BennyCapricorn / Flickr BenCarson Ben Carson says x27 Other...
BennyCapricorn / Flickr

The Department of Housing and Urban Development, under Ben Carson, had a legally required deadline back in September to make desperately needed hurricane relief funding available to the suffering American island. The housing agency was supposed to issue funding notices to 18 states and territories affected by hurricanes on Sept. 4. They did so with one exception: Puerto Rico.

President Donald Trump tosses paper towels into a crowd as he hands out supplies at Calvary Chapel, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017, in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. Trump is in Puerto Rico to survey hurricane damage. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Trump throws paper towels to Maria survivors

Donald Trump and Ben Carson are refusing to release the aid in direct opposition to the congressional mandate. HUD officials even told the House Appropriations subcomittee that they just won’t do it. Not only did HUD officials admit that they are willfully defying the law, but they also admitted that they have “no statutory authority” to miss such a deadline

So why are they doing it? Because laws don’t matter in Trumpland, and Trump hates Puerto Rico.

Just as Trump does with California, another place he hates, where in the past two years raging wildfires have killed 87 people and burned more than 2.15 million acres. Trump is now threatening to withhold federal aid for firefighters for no other reason than his animosity towards the state and its people. The official reason Trump gives is that they wouldn’t listen to his brilliant idea of  “raking the forests,” which is along the same lines of his idea of nuking hurricanes. It’s a stupid idea from an uneducated man. Yet the real reason is hatred.

HUD officials are parroting Trump’s ignorant claim that Puerto Rico is too corrupt to receive federal aid. Carson even had the unmitigated gall to claim that HUD isn’t releasing the funds because Puerto Rico is incapable of managing the funds.  Yeah, the same guy who spent more than $31,000 of HUD money to buy a dining room table for his office:

The purchase of the custom hardwood table, chairs and hutch came a month after a top agency staff member filed a whistle-blower complaint charging Mr. Carson’s wife, Candy Carson, with pressuring department officials to find money for the expensive redecoration of his offices, even if it meant circumventing the law.

I don’t know what is more outrageous, that a dining room table can cost tens of thousands of dollars or why the f*** anyone needs a “dining table” in their office. Unlike Ben Carson, Trump’s own inspector general report cleared Puerto Rico of corruption charges. He found no evidence of widespread corruption within Puerto Rico’s housing agency. Trump has no legitimate reason to withhold the money, and certainly no legal standing to do so. Yet he’s doing it anyway because screw you.

Trump’s contempt for Puerto Rico is well known. He has mocked the survivors, made fun of their accents, completely lied about relief efforts, and back in March said he didn’t want “another single dollar going to the island.” Unfortunately, congressional Democrats have taken little action. They could threaten to withhold agency funds, or take Trump to court. Instead, they’ve essentially just pleaded with Trump to do the right thing:

These are Americans down on the island. Over 3.1, 3.2 million people who every day face the same indignation from your inaction, your anger against the island. It’s time to finally be Presidential and do the right thing for my brothers and sisters on the island.

—Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL)

If Democrats haven’t learned by now, they never will: Trump cannot be shamed into doing the right thing.

We are talking about a man who has no trouble taking brown children from their parents and putting them in cages. He holds Puerto Rico beneath contempt, and that indifference won’t change unless and until the island gets real political power. Democrats need to be focused on getting Puerto Rico statehood. Without political power, the island colony will continue to suffer at the whims of a bigoted president.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


  1. What has Carson done while being in office?? He’s just as corrupt as the rest of the administration. There’s a pattern of the constant grifting that seems to be the republitards mantra. It seems like every turdmuffin appointee has had some kind of scandal to defraud the system. The people of Puerto Rico deserve better.

  2. Weil —, one must remember, Trump ,
    “only has the best people”! To be
    (the best ) , in Trump world , one must be able to lie , cheat , and steal ,
    with a straight face . And ,— if your an abusive husband , or a (sexual deviate ),
    well , that could actually help you become
    one of —“ TRUMPS BEST PEOPLE “.
    And being willing to take the blame for
    Trumps stupid mistakes? IE ( being stupid ) ,
    Almost guarantees you to be
    a “ Trump guy “.
    Carson , said to be an “honorable DR “,
    before Trump , has (over nite) become
    a lying , cheating , creature, that Trump loves .
    And will be thrown under TRUMPS , BIG bus .
    Tossed into the political dust bin !

    He will be the new (KICK -ah – me ).
    Al Capps , comic strip character
    in (LIL ABNER ),that loved to be
    kicked in the ass .

    • Well if you want to work for trump it would be like the interview scene in the Irishman. That said we have forgotten the plight of Puerto Rico. The towel throwing scene to trump trashing that lady. That’s a whole new impeachment case.

  3. Seems like the dems need to spend the rest of 2020 impeaching this administration for abuse of power. I bet that money is going to shell companies trump and the rest of the crime syndicate own. Seems a good amount of the corruption stemmed from FEMA and HUD granting electric infrastructure contracts to friends of the administration to the tune of billions of dollars. It must be some loophole that if they don’t administer the money, it gets lost in limbo then Trump inc. can steal it. There is no other reason that Trump inc. would be so concerned about who gets what money other than why they aren’t getting it. I think this criminality needs the FBI to start charging people with RICO predicates, the dems are not equipped to do this alone and I think that most of them are too scared to anyway ( talking to you Richard Neal). There has to be something that the dems can do to bypass Bill Barr.

  4. Puerto Ricans are Spanish-speaking Latin Americans. PR exists as a Spanish culture decades before the Pilgrims and Virginia. US/Florida was discovered by the Spanish governor of PR. US citizenship was imposed on us in the brink of US entering the 1st World War, after the PR House had declined it. Statehood will never be granted to 3.5 million “Hispanics”.
    Your article says Trump is refusing aid to California, which has the largest population and voting power in the US, while Hawaii suffers under the Jones law which makes ships from China to US sail by it on route to California and the Hawaii cargo in the ship has to be sent there in US flag ships with US sailors, the costliest and most inefficient merchant marine in the world. The colony of PR suffers under that same law.
    What we need is independence, Hawaii also.


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