Malacandra.me

Robbing Pedro by @BloggersRUs

Robbing Pedro

by Tom Sullivan


Hole cut in prototype border fence using common power tools. Image via NBC News.

Except for bald-faced lying, it is not as if some of our politicians work all that hard at hiding the truth. It is just still a surprise when they speak it aloud, as Rep. Steve King, Republican of Iowa did ... again:

A New York Times piece on King is generating more controversy for the already embattled Republican. “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization—how did that language become offensive,” King wonders in the piece. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?
King has drawn fire for the comments, but really, it is nothing new. In July 2016, King bragged of his white pride to MSNBC's Chris Hayes, saying, “Where did any other sub-group of people contribute more to civilization?” Complaining about immigration in a 2015 radio interview, King claimed Barack Obama was recruiting "people in foreign countries to come in here illegally." That could destroy the republic, King said, and keep us from "saving Western Civilization for the world."

Since the partial shutdown of the government for the last three weeks is over immigrants from largely Christian, Spanish-speaking lands to the south, one wonders just what defines western civilization in King's mind.

Statements like King's stir controversy, but maybe it is more important to watch what such people do.

The sitting president (likely people working under him) is formulating plans for using a national emergency declaration to divert tax dollars to fund the southern border wall he spent his 2016 campaign promising Mexico would pay for. Since Donald Trump is getting pushback on diverting funds from the military, the White House is eyeing other funds, including "diverting emergency aid from storm- and fire-ravaged Puerto Rico, Florida, Texas and California."

CNN reports:

Congress appropriated $14 billion in supplemental funds to repair infrastructure in areas of the country hardest hit by disasters including hurricanes, like Hurricane Maria which slammed Puerto Rico in 2017 and resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people.

In anticipation of a national emergency declaration, the official tells CNN that the Pentagon was asked to provide lists of unspent funds including those earmarked for civil works projects that are part of disaster recovery in Puerto Rico, Texas, California, Florida, and elsewhere. The official said the funds were only recently received. There is more than $13 billion not yet physically spent on the infrastructure repair projects, but that have been promised to these communities.

For instance, more than $2 billion planned for projects in Puerto Rico has not yet been spent. More than $4.5 billion for projects in Texas, including those related to 2017's Hurricane Harvey, has also not been spent.

Hurricane Maria relief was itsef a disaster. Now the White House may compound it. For Americans in Puerto Rico and Latino Americans elsewhere, this is the Trump plan: rob Pedro to prohibit Pablo.

What white nationalists say about "sub-groups" is offensive, yes. What they do speaks louder.