House Speaker Ryan Says Puerto Rico Will Have What They Need

Puerto Rico has not been forgotten.

So says House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Amid all the talk of kneeling athletes, you would think the devastation Hurricanes Irma and Maria wrought on the territory was settled, but that’s not so.

Ryan said in a statement Monday that lawmakers are working with the White House “to ensure necessary resources get to the U.S. territory,” where island-wide power outages and widespread damage have imperiled more than 3 million U.S. citizens.

“The stories and images coming out of Puerto Rico are devastating,” Ryan said. “Our fellow citizens in Puerto Rico remain in our prayers as we make sure they have what they need.”

Congress is working through aid packages for Houston, Texas, still recovering from Hurricane Harvey, and the southeast that felt the impact of Hurricane Irma.

They will have to increase the National Flood Insurance Program’s borrowing authority. It currently has a $30 billion cap. That will have to be raised, in order to pay out flood insurance claims.

Meanwhile, Puerto Rico struggles on.

Puerto Rico is expected to be without power for months while government officials struggle to address food and fuel shortages across the territory. The island had already been reeling from a debt crisis that froze swaths of the Puerto Rican financial system and led to severe cuts to critical state health care, social services and education.

This was a horrible time to have to deal with the destructive power of a major storm, as well.
Keep Puerto Rico in your prayers.

BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys and Jerry Jones Kneel Before Anthem

In what they describe as a show of unity, the entire Dallas Cowboy team, together with team owner Jerry Jones, locked arms and knelt before the performance of the national anthem. The Cowboys were preparing to take on the Arizona Cardinals in this week’s Monday Night Football matchup.

Both times locked arms and stood while “American Idol” winner Jordin Sparks performed the “Star Spangled Banner.” Per ABC News, Sparks performed the song with a Bible verse on her hand. Proverbs 31:8-9 reads, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

Jerry Jones was reported to have warned his players that he would fire anyone who took a knee during the national anthem. San Antonio’s KSAT reported that Jones never made that statement, but that he did discuss the issue on an appearance on a Dallas sports radio show last month.

“I just feel so strongly that the act of recognizing the flag is a salute to our country and all of the people that have sacrificed so that we can have the liberties we have,” Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. “I feel very strongly that everyone should save that moment for the recognition of the flag in a positive way, so I like the way the Cowboys do it.”

 

 

 

 

 

Football Fans Send a Clear Message to the NFL

After every member of his team but one stayed in the locker room while the national anthem was being sung, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told reporters, “Like I said, I was expecting 100 percent participation, we were gonna be respectful of our football team.”

Since when did it become more important to respect a football team than to respect our country? Former Army Ranger and current Steelers left tackle Alejandro Villanueva served three tours in Afghanistan to preserve the right of others to protest, so he’s also earned the right to express his own opinion on this subject.

Regarding the Colin Kaepernick situation, Villanueva previously said,

I don’t know if the most effective way is to sit down during the national anthem with a country that’s providing you freedom, providing you $16 million a year … when there are black minorities that are dying in Iraq and Afghanistan for less than $20,000 a year.

After Sunday’s team boycott of the national anthem, lifelong Pittsburgh Steelers fans are now turning to social media in droves, to let the team know how they feel about the disrespect being shown to our country by these “protests” to give credibility to a fictitious narrative, specifically that claim by Black Lives Matter that there is an epidemic problem of racist white police officers murdering innocent, unarmed young black men.

This patriotic and very angry former Steelers fan burned over $1000 worth of memorabilia, including a nice, expensive leather jacket.

Another fan suggested his favorite Steelers hat, formerly a cherished present from one of his children, could now “burn in hell.”

This woman even seems to now regret her Steelers tattoo, but in a slightly more pragmatic gesture, announced she would donate her nice, expensive jackets to homeless people. She only planned to burn her most sentimental mementos.

However, in spite of the fact that Steelers fans across America are now burning their team memorabilia, sales of gear bearing the name of one particular Steeler left tackle have suddenly surpassed team jerseys with names like “Brady” or “Rodgers” on them, to become the hottest selling NFL merchandise on the market.

That’s right — Alejandro Villanueva is currently the most popular player in the NFL.

Trump Signs Executive Order

Trump Administration Unveils Indefinite Travel Ban For 8 Countries

 

 

President Trump has issued a new Executive Order imposing a stricter travel ban on citizens of eight nations. The order was issued by the president on Sunday and revises the nations listed in the two Executive Orders that implemented the travel policy earlier this year.

The new Executive Order follows a review initiated by President Trump’s Executive Order of March 6, 2017. The review found that eight countries, Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen, had “’inadequate’ identity-management protocols, information-sharing practices, and risk factors” for screening entry into the United States and suspends the entry of most citizens of these countries on an indefinite basis beginning on Oct. 18. Precise guidelines under the new policy vary by country.

The original travel ban was set for 90 days for most citizens and 120 days for refugees. The current policy comes without an expiration date. A senior administration official told the Washington Post that the restrictions were “necessary and conditions-based, not time-based.”

The new list eliminates Sudan from the original travel ban due to its improved cooperation on national security and information sharing. It also adds the nations of Chad, North Korea and Venezuela.

Iraq was also listed in the original travel ban, but was dropped in the March 2017 version. The current Executive Order notes, “The Secretary of Homeland Security also assesses that Iraq did not meet the baseline, but that entry restrictions and limitations under a Presidential proclamation are not warranted,” adding that nationals of Iraq may “be subject to additional scrutiny to determine if they pose risks to the national security or public safety of the United States.”

Unlike Trump’s first travel ban, the new Executive Order contains a number of exceptions. These include legal permanent residents, dual citizens, diplomats, people admitted prior to Oct. 18, and people who have been granted asylum. There is also a provision for waivers to be granted on a case-by-case basis.

Critics of the restrictions on immigration have argued that the policy is an unconstitutional implementation of the “Muslim ban” that Donald Trump proposed during the campaign. The Supreme Court upheld most elements of the prior version of the travel ban in June. The Court was scheduled to hear oral arguments on the previous policy on Oct. 10. At this point, it is uncertain whether the new policy will affect the case currently before the Court.

“The restrictions either previously or now were never, ever, ever based on race, religion or creed,’’ one senior administration official told the Washington Post. “Those governments are simply not compliant with our basic security requirements.”

Alex Nowrasteh at the Cato Institute says that the policy will be expensive and ineffective, noting, “From 1975 through the end of 2015, zero Americans have been killed by foreign-born terrorists on U.S. soil who hail from any of the eight countries on the new executive order.” Nowrasteh adds, “Only nine terrorists from those countries have carried out an attack or actually been convicted of planning an attack on U.S. soil during that time.”

“Due to the high guaranteed cost of Executive Orders like these and the small potential security benefits, the administration should supply an excellent reason for this order along with sufficient evidence to demonstrate their claim,” Nowrasteh says. “It speaks volumes that they have not done so.”

The new Executive Order will undoubtedly face legal challenges, but the previous travel bans have survived judicial scrutiny largely intact. If the Supreme Court keeps its Oct. 10 date to hear the current travel ban case, the new immigration policy could be enacted more swiftly than its predecessors.

The Erick Erickson Show 09-25-17

Tonight on the show Erick goes into the NFL protests, the shooting in a Nashville church, the history of the national anthem in sports and the devastation in Puerto Rico.

 

Charles Barkley Warns: Media…They’re ‘Not Our Friend’

PATRICK: “What do you make of these shows of — if you want to say of protest or unity or support that the players are doing? Is it the right way to go about this?”
BARKLEY: “I don’t tell people how to protest or not protest. You do what you want to. I would stand for the national anthem, personally, but I don’t ever tell anybody how to protest, and especially if they’re peaceful. If they’re peaceful, that’s the right way to go. Now they’ve got the platform, they’ve got to use it because we’re going to spend all our — wasting our time — this is where the players got to be smarter. They’ve got to understand the media is not our friend. We have to spend all our time today and probably for the rest of the week talking about kneeling, being unpatriotic to the flag. That’s not the thing. What are we protesting for? Don’t let the media make all this money, because they’re on TV and radio 24/7 talking about who’s kneeling and people calling in and arguing for four hours at a time, but what are they arguing about, that’s the most important thing.”

Puerto Rico Hospitals In Ruins; Patients In Dire Straits

Amongst the destruction and chaos left behind in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands by the hurricanes, some of the direst is at the hospitals.  Medical facilities are flooded, wrecked, filled with debris, and running off diesel generators to keep patients alive. Dire may not be a strong enough word.

The situation makes care for some of the neediest patients too difficult to manage.  For the most critical, evacuation to the U.S. mainland hospitals is the only hope.

Among them is Cheira Ruiz and her baby girl Gabriellyz, who was born two weeks ago with a serious heart defect. The newborn was admitted to the Centro Cardiovascular de Puerto Rico in the capital shortly before Maria slammed into the island last Wednesday, but it was impossible for doctors to operate in such precarious conditions. 

Gabriellyz was among the first infants cleared to take a medical flight out of Puerto Rico since the storm. Her parents, who live two hours south of the capital, found out the good news Friday when emergency officials knocked on their door in the town of Guanica and told them to pack for the trip to Miami. With phone service out, the doctors had called one of the island’s radio stations, which broadcast their plea for help in locating the couple.

Food, clean water, fuel, and electricity shortages are hitting everyone in the islands.  But failure of generators at hospitals means the inability to run ventilators, dialysis machines, MRIs, CT Scans, monitoring equipment, and many other critical devices.

For hospitals across this region, the challenges are mounting. After the power went out, back-up generators at some hospitals failed quickly. Other hospitals are running critically low on diesel. Fuel is so precious that deliveries are made by armed guards to prevent looting, according to Dr. Ivan Gonzalez Cancel, a cardiovascular surgeon and director of the heart transplant program at Centro Cardiovascular. 

Another hospital wants to transfer two critical patients here because they don’t have electricity,” Gonzalez Cancel said. “We can’t take them. We have the same problem.”

Fuel is just the beginning. The cardiovascular center was “in shambles,” Gonzalez Cancel said. Without air conditioning, the walls of the operating room were dripping with condensation and floors were slippery, he said. Most patients had been discharged or evacuated to other facilities, but some patients remained because their families could not be reached by phone.

Doctors are advising evacuation to the mainland for anyone physically able.  Patients and their families are being told to evacuate themselves, but the airport is in disarray.  Without special orders or pre-existing tickets, there may be no seats out of Puerto Rico until October 4.

U.S. first-responders and military are arriving to help with recovery.  They are doing their best in a remote land with poor infrastructure.  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is setting up temporary medical facilities to help care for people.

But if hospital generators continue to fail or run out of fuel, the situation could worsen greatly still.  There is nowhere that time is of the essence like this.