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Tuesday, March 20, 2018
National News

Stop Saying Columbus ‘Discovered’ The Americas—It Erases Indigenous History

Just over a hundred years ago in Peru, a tall history professor from Yale University left his camp in a valley northwest of Cusco, and walked through cloud forest to a mountain ridge more than 7,500 feet above sea level. There, high above the roaring Urubamba river, he found an ancient stone citadel; sculpted terraces of temples and tombs, granite buildings and polished walls that were covered in centuries of vines and vegetation.

October 9, 2017
Lin-Manuel Miranda

Lin-Manuel Miranda Releases A Star-Studded Puerto Rico Tribute Song, ‘Almost Like Praying’

The Tony-winning “Hamilton” creator released the song at midnight Thursday night, featuring a murderers row of Latin superstars including Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Camila Cabello, Gloria Estefan, Fat Joe, Luis Fonsi, John Leguizamo and Rita Moreno.

October 7, 2017

Such Empty Thoughts And Prayers

We’re living and grieving this essential truth, no matter how many times we try to tell ourselves and anyone who will listen that with God, all things are possible. The older I get the more that sounds like blame, not credit. I’ve always thought of God as a partner who expects us to do our part, which involves a whole lot more than singing, chanting or fingering the rosary and then thanking him for listening.

October 6, 2017
A pile of handguns are placed in a trash bin after they were surrendered during a gun buyback program organized by Mayor Eric Garcetti's Gang Reduction and Youth Development Office in Los Angeles, California, December 14, 2013. REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian

In The Gun Debate, Bipartisan Hypocrisy

Chris Christie blamed Barack Obama for failing to grasp “that the most basic responsibility of an administration is to protect the safety and security of the American people.” Marco Rubio defended mass electronic surveillance, arguing that after the next attack, “the first thing people are going to want to know is, why didn’t we know about it and why didn’t we stop it?”

October 6, 2017

America Creates Industry To Clean Up Massacres

But something made this story stand out. It was the professionalism of those hired to deal with such calamities. The police who went after the gunman while managing the chaos below. The emergency medical workers removing the wounded from the carnage, not knowing whether the shooting had stopped. The hospital workers putting in multiple shifts while deftly handling the crush of causalities.

October 5, 2017

Did Rex Tillerson Call Trump A Moron?

President Donald Trump’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, described his boss as a “moron” over the summer as tensions grew between the State Department and White House, according to a report. Tillerson made the comment to other officials after a tense July 20 meeting at the Pentagon with members of the administration’s national security team and Cabinet members, three people familiar with the incident told NBC News Wednesday.

October 5, 2017
Deranged Trump, Right-Wing

7 Most Unhinged Moments From Trump’s Puerto Rico Trip

“The job that’s been done here is really nothing short of a miracle,” Donald Trump said early Tuesday during his trip to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico. Coming from someone else, those words might have meant something. But from this president, it was just more empty babble meant to distract the world from noticing how poorly his administration has handled a crisis.

October 5, 2017

We Need More Than ‘Thoughts And Prayers’

Whenever someone commits a heinous gun crime like the massacre in Las Vegas, politicians swiftly assure us that the victims and their families are “in our thoughts and prayers.” What these mush-mouthed messages mean, in plain English, is that government, as embodied in those politicians, will do nothing to make the country safer from gun violence.

October 3, 2017

Far Right Outlets Pushed Vegas Shooting Hoax

Late on October 1, Stephen Craig Paddock reportedly opened fire at a concert in Las Vegas, killing at least 50 people and injuring more than 400. Police have located the alleged gunman’s roommate, who they believe “at this time not to be involved.”

October 3, 2017
Puerto Rico

Sunday Talk Shows Ignore Catastrophe In Puerto Rico

On September 20, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, and knocked out power to the entire island of 3.5 million people. Puerto Rican officials have described “apocalyptic” destruction, and a dam is in danger of bursting, threatening to flood already devastated areas.

September 25, 2017
Andrew Hawkins of the Cleveland Browns makes a catch on November 30, 2014 in Orchard Park, New York

All Rise, Or Not, For The United States Of Football

This column isn’t about baseball. It’s about Cleveland Browns football players, the national anthem and a police union president who has a habit of making us sound like a town of time travelers who just arrived with a thud from somewhere in the 1950s.

September 16, 2017

Trump Won’t Shut Up About The Size Of His Hands At Disaster Relief Events

President Trump, who was called a “short-fingered vulgarian” in the 1980s, is still feeling insecure about his hands. He brought up the size of his hands at a Hurricane Irma relief location run by the Red Cross in Florida, as he was handing out food. Trump claimed his hands were “too big” for the gloves.

September 16, 2017

Hurricane Irma Makes Second Landfall

Hurricane Irma made a second ferocious landfall near Naples Sunday after inundating the low-lying Florida Keys, sending floodwaters surging into downtown Miami and menacing millions in Florida’s Gulf Coast cities where some had initially sought shelter from the storm.

September 11, 2017

South Florida Residents Won’t Have Power For Weeks

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Florida Power and Light (FPL) CEO Eric Silagy announced Sunday evening that more than 2 million households and businesses in South Florida would not get power restoration for weeks. FPL Vice President of Communications Rob Gould also told ABC News that affected areas will see a “wholesale rebuild” of the electrical grid, which could be considered the “longest restoration in U.S. history.” FPL serves more than 10 million customers across Florida.

September 11, 2017

As Hurricane Irma Approaches, For Some ‘Leaving Is Not Really An Option’

Forecasters say Irma will hit Florida directly this weekend, starting in Miami and the Keys, and then the entirety of the state by Monday. Nadege Green, a reporter with WLRN in Miami, lives in an area that’s not currently in an evacuation zone. She has boarded up her house in preparation for the storm. She says she’s staying put not because she wants to, but because she feels like she has no other choice.

September 10, 2017

Three Hurricanes Set To Pummel Americas Over Weekend

The three hurricanes—Category 4 Irma, Category 4 Jose and Category 2 Katia—are swirling and wreaking havoc along their distinct paths. Both Irma and Jose are moving up the eastern Atlantic Ocean, with Irma already causing destruction in the northern Lesser Antilles and Jose expected to do the same over the weekend.

September 9, 2017

9 Million People Expected To Lose Power In Hurricane Irma, Florida Utility Says

FPL now has 13,500 crews from around the country, as well as its own, on hand to restore power once hurricane and tropical winds subside, Silagy said. “We’re frankly more prepared for this hurricane than we have been for any storm in the history of our company,” he said. But Hurricane Irma is the kind that “can snap concrete poles and bend metal,” he said. Silagy expects overgrown vegetation and debris to cause some equipment failures, as well as flooding. “We’re going to see a lot of damage. We’re going to see areas where we’re going to have to rebuild,” Silagy said.

September 9, 2017

Irma Rips Across Islands On Course Toward Florida

In their early morning discussion, National Hurricane Center forecasters said the latest model runs have moved Irma’s path slightly to the east, taking the fierce Cat 5 storm over Florida’s east coast or the northern Bahamas in the coming days. But they say models are still struggling to factor in a trough moving over the U.S. expected to help steer Irma.

September 7, 2017

The Price Rises On Houston’s ‘Cheap’ Housing

The disaster in Houston has put many conservatives on the defensive. Houston was their urban model. Developers could put almost anything anywhere, which lowered the cost of living. By unfavorable comparison, “elite” coastal cities that regulate development have relatively high housing costs. But it’s an extreme creed that portrays regulation as the enemy of investment. In the real world, smart regulation can protect investments.

September 6, 2017

What A Difference A Leader Makes In Crisis

Confronted with the catastrophe still unfolding now, Turner sticks by his story. His defiant tone, under duress, falls flat. It seems clear now that those living in Houston’s 100-year floodplain should have been strongly encouraged to flee their homes, ahead of time, in an orderly process. That’s emergency preparedness 101.

September 5, 2017
houston. harvey

Development And Disasters — A Deadly Combination Well Beyond Houston

“In the Houston metro area alone, there is more than $325 billion in residential value at risk,” Simmons said in an interview. “Most damage to residential property will be flooding and if people don’t have flood insurance they are on their own.” (Most don’t, in part because the floodwaters reached so far beyond established danger zones.)

September 2, 2017

Harvey Is Likely To Be The Second-Most Costly Natural Disaster In U.S. History

With the shutdown of oil refineries and chemical plants, impaired roads and ports, and widespread damage to homes, businesses and cars, the economic toll from Hurricane Harvey is now being estimated as the second-costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, trailing only the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

September 2, 2017

Trump Didn’t Visit With Harvey Victims While In Texas

It’s not unusual for presidents to visit states impacted by natural disasters, but it is somewhat odd for a president to not meet with victims of such disasters. Former President George W. Bush was criticized for his delayed visit to the Gulf Coast following Hurricane Katrina, but when he finally did visit the Gulf Coast, he made sure to visit with victims.

August 31, 2017
Natural Disaster, Flood, Houston, Texas, Tornado, Oklahoma, National News

Meeting The People Through Disaster

Politicians, celebrities and the rich often set the world’s idea of their cities and regions. It takes a disaster to meet the regular folks. We met average Louisianans during Hurricane Katrina and the commoners from New Jersey and New York for Superstorm Sandy. Hurricane Harvey has introduced America and the world to ordinary Texans.

August 31, 2017

8 Reasons Jared And Ivanka Are As Useless And Detestable As Anyone In Trump’s White House

Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump—or Javanka, as some terrible person has dubbed them—moved to Washington, D.C. eight months ago certain they’d become America’s preeminent power couple. Turns out that vision was clouded by an inability to see beyond their own cloistered versions of reality.

August 31, 2017