VP: disease spreads with ‘blinding speed'; but no travel restrictions


Sometimes you have to wonder if anyone at the White House compares the prepared remarks to what’s happening in the news.

"In a globalized world, threats as diverse as terrorism and pandemic disease cross borders at blinding speeds." -VP Biden

— Vice President Biden (@VP) October 2, 2014

Um … Joe, you might want to call your office. Your boss doesn’t seem to get that.  ‘Good freaking grief': Disbelief after WH deems Ebola-related travel restrictions unnecessary

Again, it’s more difficult to bring a piece of fruit from the Bahamas to the US than it is ebola from outbreak areas http://t.co/6WEjXjgF7I

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) October 2, 2014

White House: We don't need Ebola travel restrictions http://t.co/expnCClXHo

— Phx Ken (@PhxKen) October 2, 2014

@VP This is why it should not be business as usual on who we allow to enter our country via a airline flight.

— Jimmy Vegas (@jimmyvegas337) October 2, 2014

@VP Well… No shit, Sherlock… Aren't you the smart one…

— Milt Jowers (@BenReclused) October 2, 2014

At least some people in Washington are interested in getting ahead of the problem.

US Rep. Renee Ellmers and US Senate candidate Thom Tillis seek travel restrictions on countries with Ebola outbreaks http://t.co/zFyR5igSUv

— newsobserver.com (@newsobserver) October 2, 2014

.@SenTedCruz prods FAA for travel restrictions to keep #Ebola out of US http://t.co/4xTzBlFwBd #DallasEbola

— Todd J. Gillman (@toddgillman) October 2, 2014

Unfortunately the “experts” disagree.

.@DrFriedenCDC: Isolating countries through travel restrictions would make it more diff to help control outbreak & put US at greater risk

— Ram Ramgopal (@RamCNN) October 2, 2014

Imposing quarantine on entire nations would backfire and fuel the #Ebola epidemic. #CDCchat

— Dr. Tom Frieden (@DrFriedenCDC) October 2, 2014


“Restricting” travel doesn’t have to mean completely isolating a country.



News chopper caught Ebola clean-up crew; Um. Notice anything missing? (It’s enraging) [photo]

Stop! Dana Loesch accused of ‘promoting xenophobia’ for Ebola concern

CDC director says hospitals ‘must’ comply with CDC’s Ebola guidelines

What might prompt WH to ban flights from Ebola outbreak countries? Jim Geraghty nails it

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2014/10/02/vp-disease-spreads-with-blinding-speed-but-no-travel-restrictions/

Mike Tyson: Bravo lauds the convicted rapist as ‘RHONJ’ super fan


All is right with the world … when a convicted rapist is trending as a lovable buffoon?

Bravo had Mike Tyson on as a guest on “Watch What Happens Live” last night. It turns out that the ear-eater and rapist is a huge fan of “Real Housewives of New Jersey.”

Had an awesome time on #WWHL. @BravoANdy, the games made my night. Thanks for the laughs!

— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) July 9, 2012

He’s just a giggle machine! Or something.

I'm serious though, America is the ONLY place you can be broke AND still live in a mansion.

— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) July 9, 2012

Last night on the show, Mike Tyson compared himself to RHONJ’s The Giudices; bankruptcy is awesome and hilarious, you see. You can still live in a mansion and buy tons of stuff, even while stiffing your creditors!

Mike Tyson tweeted out photos from his reprehensible swoon-fest all night.

me & @joegorga before #WWHL tonight http://t.co/nAmWbGFo

— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) July 9, 2012

On set tonight with @BravoAndy and @MelissaGorga. http://t.co/Trtgc4rP

— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) July 9, 2012

#RHONJ http://t.co/RnQqNH6b

— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) July 9, 2012

me & @MarkConsuelos http://t.co/EW5zUZXk

— Mike Tyson (@MikeTyson) July 9, 2012

And Bravo and its fans continued to laud him as a cool super fan.

Could @miketyson be our newest #RHONJ superfan?! Watch this truly spectacular clip from #WWHL last night: http://t.co/22qJpoKs

— Bravotv (@Bravotv) July 9, 2012

Ok I hope everyone dvr'd #WWHL. @miketyson is priceless. Get ironmike his own show. Oh he has one. Broadway will never be the same. Epic.

— Carole Radziwill (@CaroleRadziwill) July 9, 2012

So is the epic #WWHL with Mike Tyson and @melissagorga going to repeat? I need to see this! @BravoAndy @joegorga

— Beth Donahue-Weedman (@bdonahueweedman) July 9, 2012

Last tweet @BravoAndy LOVING Mike Tyson on #WWHL! Too funny–Holyfied hotsauce!!!!!

— Phaedra Parks, Esq. (@PhaedraParks) July 9, 2012


#MikeTyson Played "Plead The Fifth" on #WWHL; Tyson explained what is needed to make an ear taste more like a delicacy: http://t.co/DrCG42A3

— Erica Kitsch (@SoTaylorKitsch) July 9, 2012

Oh lawd,Mike Tyson is cracking me up!!Meanwhile Andy and Melissa Gorga are looking like Wth!#WWHL

— Little Ms.Sunshine (@LoveAlwSunshine) July 9, 2012

Proving once again that @BravoAndy is a TV magician, I no longer think Mike Tyson is just a wife-beating rapist. He's a charming delight!

— Amanda Guinzburg (@Guinz) July 9, 2012

Um. Delight is the wrong word. Perhaps she meant “disgust.”

Other Twitter users and Bravo fans weren’t so enamored of the convicted rapist.

Mike Tyson the rapist?!? RT @WubsNet: Mike Tyson and @melissagorga were awesome on WWHL with @BravoAndy SO fun xxoo

— Barbara Darlin (@BarbaraDarlin) July 9, 2012


Mike Tyson pissed away like 300 million dollars. The guy is part cannibal, part rapist he's a cannapisst, that's can of pisst with a lisp.

— David Moretti (@fromapaddedcell) July 9, 2012

Mike Tyson is cracking me up!!! I almost forgot he is a big scary rapist. 😳

— Maritza (@futieton) July 9, 2012

@BravoAndy @melissagorga Enjoy the CONVICTED rapist interview. Tyson has NO business on @Bravotv & lighthearted #WWHL. Ask Chris Brown next?

— Maren (@Maren10) July 9, 2012

Really? Reminding people that Tyson is a CONVICTED RAPIST is arrogant? You're sad. RT "@lisalips1122: @BlckdByJilZarin get over yourself."

— BBJZ: Blockd By Jizz (@BlckdByJilZarin) July 9, 2012


So interesting that Mike Tyson, a CONVICTED RAPIST, has become accepted as a comedic figure

— Christian (@LivChristianLiv) July 9, 2012

Indeed. Not a smart move, Bravo and “Watch What Happens Live.” Nice moral bankruptcy you have there. Y’all are always up-in-arms about “bullying.” But raping is A-Okay?

Maybe it is time to give yourselves your coveted “Jackhole of the Week” award.

Update: Wow, Caroline. Really?

Hey @bravoandy tell mike Tyson my boys love him and we want him to come over for Sunday dinner!

— Caroline Manzo (@CarolineManzo) July 9, 2012

He’s a rapist.

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2012/07/09/mike-tyson-on-wwhl-bravo-lauds-the-convicted-rapist-as-real-housewives-of-new-jersey-cool-super-fan/

Who will think of the Gay-lo covers? Who? Newsweek kills its print edition


Oh, my. Newsweek is killing its print edition and will go all-digital.

RT @mickimaynard: And the phrase, “made the covers of both Time & Newsweek” leaves our vocabulary.

— jmartpolitico (@jmartpolitico) October 18, 2012

We know; it is a surprise that Newsweek still sort of exists.

When I left as business editor of USNews & WR in 2009, I told the staff that they were betteroff there than at Time or Newsweek.Yup

— James Pethokoukis (@JimPethokoukis) October 18, 2012

More from Newsweek’s Twitter feed.

Standby. We’re going to tweet a few lines from the memo @thetinabeast published on @thedailybeast about our digital transition.

— Newsweek (@Newsweek) October 18, 2012

“It is important that we underscore what this digital transition means and, as importantly, what it does not.” 1/3

— Newsweek (@Newsweek) October 18, 2012

“We are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it. We remain committed to Newsweek and to the journalism that it represents.” 2/3

— Newsweek (@Newsweek) October 18, 2012

As we head to our 80th anniversary, we must sustain the journalism that gives the magazine its purpose & embrace the all-digital future 3/3

— Newsweek (@Newsweek) October 18, 2012

Oh, our aching sides! It’s so cute that Newsweek thinks what it does is journalism! But, an important question remains: Who will think of the Gay-lo covers? Oh, the humanity! Twitter users react to the news as only they can.

Breaking: Daily Beast to go print-only. Tina Brown seen laughing maniacally in her office.

— Frank Sennett (@SennettReport) October 18, 2012

Without Newsweek covers, where are we supposed to get our rage from?

— Matt Berman (@Mr_Berman) October 18, 2012

Where else am I supposed to go to for myasinine cover photos fix? #newsweek

— Nick Marcelli (@NickMarcelli) October 18, 2012

You have to admire Newsweek’s determination to stay a pretty crappy magazine to the bitter end, regardless of consumers, critics, etc.

— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) October 18, 2012

So now that Newsweek is going all digital, will dentists’ office of the future feature crumpled and torn iPads and kindles?

— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) October 18, 2012

All that said, I love print and I think it’s sad whenever a print publication goes under. Also sad some good people losing their jobs.

— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) October 18, 2012

Yes, but it was surely expected. A magazine cannot alienate a huge chunk of its customer base and expect to be successful. The partisan hack and femma-gogue extraordinaire Tina Brown just made it worse.

#Newsweek out of Time RT @drudge_report: OUT OF PRINT po.st/MLjOvr

— Barbara McMahon (@southsalem) October 18, 2012

Admit it, you will miss freaking out over @thetinabeast‘s Newsweek covers. Tina! There’s still time for an Angelina/Malala cover, DO IT.

— Maureen O’Connor (@maureenoco) October 18, 2012

Behind TinaBrown’s big expensive embarrassing Newsweek fail–I would say this WWD story is vindicated wwd.com/media-news/pri…

— Mickey Kaus (@kausmickey) October 18, 2012

Tina Brown finally manages to kill print edition of #Newsweek. Now you’ll have to go online to find out which bath bombs Joss Stone buys.

— flurrious (@flurrious) October 18, 2012

Yet another success for Tina Brown. Newsweek GONE.How long do you think a standalone digital version will last? Might not even get started

— David Bernknopf (@dbernk) October 18, 2012

Liberals shocked by the lack of remorse among conservatives for Newsweek don’t grasp how it lost its prestige as a straight mag years ago

— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) October 18, 2012

That it did. Gee, we wonder why?

What, I’m supposed to pretend to be upset that a dishonest rag that attacked everything I believe in is closing? That’ll be the day.

— John Nolte(@NolteNC) October 18, 2012

I guess I could pretend to give a shit about Newsweek going under.

— S.M (@redsteeze) October 18, 2012

This is the sound of nobody caring. RT @ap: BREAKING: Newsweek says it will cease print publication, go all-digital at end of the year.

— DiploMatt (@mdrache) October 18, 2012

The official death of Newsweek’s print edition means….um nothing actually.

— DrewM (@DrewMTips) October 18, 2012

Was Newsweek the one who ran the cover with the Toddler breast feeding?

— BiasedGirl (@BiasedGirl) October 18, 2012

Shorter Tina Brown: “Good magazines sell. Newsweek will continue to remain the other kind.” thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/… #

— JP (@RileyRebel129) October 18, 2012

.@alwaysonoffense I thought Newsweek’s decision to become more openly liberal was brilliant — as a poison pill to hasten its demise

— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) October 18, 2012

@misskf Hi Katherine, I’m a writer for Newsweek, hoping to speak to you about the response to your debate question. Can we talk?

— Michelle Goldberg (@michelleinbklyn) October 17, 2012

With “writers” like the deplorable Michelle Goldberg, what more did they expect?

Ari Fleischer wonders if they will still have White House briefing room access.

I wonder if Newsweek will get to keep its seat in WH briefing room. The final decision rests w former Time reporter Jay Carney.

— Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) October 18, 2012

And Sean Trende sums it all up.

This –> MT @thegarance How I learned of Newsweek’s end of print: Twitter followed by Google. Print’s problem in a nutshell.

— Sean Trende (@SeanTrende) October 18, 2012

Well, that and the fact that Newsweek is just awful. Some predict what the final cover will be.

In final Newsweek, Andrew Sullivan will argue that only Barack Obama can save Newsweek; Niall Ferguson will blame Obama for killing Newsweek

— Josh Greenman (@joshgreenman) October 18, 2012

Prediction for final cover of the print edition of Newsweek: “UNEXPECTEDLY!”

— Daniel Wanke (@danielwanke) October 18, 2012

And how will the all-digital version fare?

I, for one, can’t wait to see Newsweek’s web traffic numbers once they go all digital. You know, for laughs.

— Daniel Wanke (@danielwanke) October 18, 2012



Rooting for injuries: Bill Maher and Newsweek’s Tina Brown have Twitter tiff

#HitTheRoadBarack: Strange bedfellows; Conservatives get on board with … Newsweek

Uterine forensic expert Andrew Sullivan to hold live chat on Newsweek’s Obama in ‘gay-lo’ cover story

Newsweek’s Michelle Goldberg: Ann Romney is kind of like Hitler and Stalin; Update: Faux apology issued

The angel Obamael gets his gay-lo from Newsweek

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2012/10/18/who-will-think-of-the-gay-lo-covers-who-newsweek-kills-its-print-edition/

But Thats None Of My Business

But Thats None Of My Business

Read more: https://imgflip.com/i/b1r9x

CBI seeks info on D-company’s gutka biz from Pak, UAE & UK – Times of India

Probing the infamous decade-old Gutka scandal involving underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and paan masala makers of the country, the Central Bureau of Investigation has recently approached Pakistan, UAE and the UK seeking evidence against the D-company boss. The judicial requests (letter rogatories) have been sent to three countries to get information on Dawood and his illegal gutka business.

Read more: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/CBI-seeks-info-on-D-companys-gutka-biz-from-Pak-UAE-UK/articleshow/53971119.cms

Romney attributes Israel’s economic success to ‘culture'; Left freaks out


“Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle” is a 2009 book by Dan Senor and Saul Singer about the economy of Israel.

The Council on Foreign Relations asks in its blurb for the book : “How is it that Israel — a country of 7.1 million people, only sixty years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources—produces more start-up companies than large, peaceful, and stable nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada, and the United Kingdom?”

It’s a good question — one that presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney touched on today in comments to Jewish donors in Israel. According to the Associated Press, Romney noted that per capita GDP is much higher in Israel than in nearby areas managed by the Palestinian Authority. This is a factually accurate observation, although Romney’s numbers were off. (He overstated per capita GDP in the Palestinan-controlled areas.) Then the fit really hit the shan when Romney attributed Israel’s remarkable economic success in part to the country’s culture and to “the hand of providence.”

Naturally, Palestinian leaders are outraged  by Romney’s comments, which they deemed “racist”:

Palestinian official says Romney's stance on disputed Jerusalem `absolutely unacceptable' http://t.co/dxySrVam #Romney

— AP Politics (@AP_Politics) July 30, 2012

The reaction from anti-Romney forces on Twitter was equally swift and heated:

Utter coldness Mitt Romney exhibited when speaking about Palestinian people shows he is morally unfit to be President of the United States.

— Picasso Kat (@Picassokat) July 30, 2012

Perhaps Romney thinks God placed 540 checkpoints in West Bank, besieged Gaza, and made Palestinian exports impossible? http://t.co/xuuDyDEA

— Ali Abunimah (@AliAbunimah) July 30, 2012

Romney claims Jewish culture the reason Israel's GDP higher than Gaza/West Bank. He means Isreal's culture of Palestinian oppression, right?

— Christopher R. (@CRWaterhouse) July 30, 2012

Romney's comment that Israelis are richer than Palestinians because of their culture is racist, disrespectful and ignorant. #OutOfTouch

— Michael Skolnik (@MichaelSkolnik) July 30, 2012

So Romney spouts racist insults to black people in the US and the Palestinians in Israel. I detect a pattern. #RomneyShambles @EricBoehlert

— Hesiod Theogeny (@Hesiod2k11) July 30, 2012

Romney's "Palestinian culture" comment is reminiscent of what about Jews for centuries. Does he have similar lens re: poor Americans?

— Amy Fried (@ASFried) July 30, 2012

Please. Romney’s comments were innocuous and obvious. They were similar in spirit to those made last month by Google chairman/Obama advisor Eric Schmidt, who called Israel a “tech miracle” and said, “We love Israel.

Can anyone seriously believe that Israel’s pro-business climate and start-up friendly ethos have nothing to do with its incredible economic success?

President Barack Obama, who recently told small businessmen that they did not deserve credit for building their own businesses, could learn a lot from Israel.

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2012/07/30/romney-tells-the-truth-about-israels-economic-success-left-freaks-out/

Another look at Solyndra


From Forbes Magazine:

Rand Paul: I find it curious that we have this huge public outcry over this huge lapse of oversight where a billionaire gets a $500 million loan from the U.S. government and goes bankrupt. It turns out his attorney’s husband works in the Department of Energy. Your mandate is to look at the loans, and to study oversight, and we’re not going to look at Solyndra? I find that very very curious. And my question for you would be did anyone from the administration ask you either directly or in writing to not look into Solyndra?

Herbert Allison: The direct answer to your question is no.

Paul: Did you have the power to look into Solyndra if you wished to? Your mandate looks to me wide open. You’re supposed to look at oversight. Why wouldn’t you look at where the problem is?

Allison: I was asked to look at the extant loans, the loans that exist now.

Paul: It says current status of DOE’s loans, strengthen management and oversight. If you’re going to strengthen oversight, certainly you’re going to have to look at where the problems are. This seems to be so myopic as to be politically motivated. I’m very skeptical as to why you didn’t look into Solyndra when that’s the whole reason you were commissioned, was to look into Solyndra.

From the New York Times:

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has been seeking with limited success to portray the financial support for a solar company, Solyndra, which eventually went bankrupt, as a politically inspired boon to an Obama campaign fund-raiser who was an investor in the business. But at a hearing scheduled for Tuesday, the committee is to release a staff report that argues that in other instances the Energy Department overrode the objections of some of its professional staff members to pick aid recipients that were supposed to have innovative projects when, in fact, the technology was nothing new.

“The Department of Energy manipulated analysis, ignored objections from career professionals and strategically modified loan evaluations in order to force project funding out the door,” the committee’s chairman, Representative Darrell Issa, Republican of California, said in a statement.

Also worthwhile is this related story from McClatchy:

The Navy is losing money on new solar energy panels installed with stimulus funds at Naval Air Station Lemoore and other California bases, auditors say.

Lemoore, located in the sun-baked San Joaquin Valley in Kings County, was among 10 Navy and Marine Corps bases in California to have solar energy systems installed, even though they won’t be cost-effective, the Pentagon auditors found.

As a result, taxpayers will be out $25.1 million, while the Obama administration finds another shadow cast over its use of stimulus funds for renewable energy.

Some tweets:

What's stopping DOE from making mistakes like Solyndra again? Today I asked Sec. Chu abt the loan guarantee program: http://t.co/Eo8lyc9n

— Sen. Lisa Murkowski (@lisamurkowski) March 13, 2012

Obama: opponents of green energy "members of the Flat Earth Society." Although, unlike Solyndra, Flat Earth Society still in business. #tcot

— Fred Thompson (@fredthompson) March 17, 2012

NYTimes reports how Senate oil lobby, waving Solyndra banner, effectively killed DOE's $16b loan program for electric cars

— Robert F. Kennedy Jr (@RobertKennedyJr) March 15, 2012

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2012/03/19/another-look-at-solyndra/

The Undocumented Immigrants Who Rebuilt New York After Sandy

As Superstorm Sandy’s floodwaters receded from the New York metropolitan area, much of the hardest, dirtiest, and most dangerous work fell to immigrant day laborers. Their stories, in their own words, as told to BuzzFeed News’ David Noriega.

David Noriega / BuzzFeed

After the destruction and death and confusion, what 2012’s Superstorm Sandy left behind was work. The storm littered roadways with the trunks and branches of trees. It flooded hundreds of thousands of basements, rotting walls and corroding wires and exposing insulation. And it ripped houses clear off their foundations and deposited them in other people’s yards alongside marooned boats. The storm damaged or destroyed more than 650,000 homes in New York and New Jersey alone, and caused some $50 billion in damage in the U.S.

Someone had to clean it all and — slowly — rebuild it.

At least 4,000 day laborers worked on Sandy recovery in the New York metro area, according to an estimate provided to BuzzFeed News by Baruch College sociologist Héctor Cordero-Guzmán and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. Cordero-Guzmán estimated, based on the usual characteristics of the day laborer population, that some 75% of those workers were undocumented.

It’s been two years since the disaster, and BuzzFeed News spoke with nearly two dozen immigrant day laborers who worked to clean up the New York metropolitan area.

Most of these workers hail from Mexico or elsewhere in Latin America, and the large majority are undocumented. Some requested that we change their names and hide their faces for fear of deportation or retaliation from contractors; names that have been changed or truncated are marked with an asterisk. All interviews were conducted in Spanish.

David Noriega / BuzzFeed

Miguel Ángel Piñeda, 33

Staten Island, New York

“Maybe two or three days after the storm, when the water started to go down, everything was chaos. There was no gasoline, people had lost their jobs. The first person who called me was a doctor I had done work for before.”

The doctor hired Piñeda and a group of other men to empty his basement and clear rubble from his property.

“They didn’t give us gloves or masks or anything.” One day, believing a worker had tried to steal scrap metal from the house, the doctor threatened Piñeda and his colleagues: “I’ll take out my gun and kill all of you.”

Piñeda had experience as an electrician, and about a week later he got work with an electrical contractor restoring power to homes in the area. Piñeda said the contractor ordered him to do illegal work: repairing and replacing meters, a task restricted to electrical utility workers. Piñeda said he opened the meters by cutting through Con Edison’s locks with a power grinder.

(A Con Edison spokesperson told BuzzFeed News that the utility is not aware of such illegal work being done after the storm, but said it may have been performed by “a rogue contractor skirting the city’s regulation.”)

In most cases, Piñeda said the cables delivering electricity to the homes were still live.

“People were desperate because they didn’t have power. The kind of work I’d usually do in three days I had to do in a few hours … One time, I was replacing a meter panel, and I felt a piece of plastic break — the piece that keeps the power line from touching the metal of the panel. Since I had been doing this work for a few days and I knew the cables were live, all I’d been thinking was, When is something going to happen? So when I felt the plastic break, in the moment before the cable touched the metal, I reacted — I jumped off my ladder. And then I heard an explosion, and all I saw was this ball of fire …

“When I opened my eyes I couldn’t see anything. I saw light, and nothing else, like when you stare at the sun. Two or three minutes went by before I could see again … I ran to my car and looked in the mirror and my eyebrows were all brown. The tips were scorched. My eyelashes were half burnt off … Nothing worse, thank god.

“I’m not from here, from this country, but I’ve lived half my life in Staten Island, and when I saw that disaster, well, the truth is that it hurt … There wasn’t racism then, not like now or like before. There was a lapse of time when Americans didn’t see us as immigrants, but as other people here dealing with the same things.”

David Noriega / BuzzFeed

Alberto Ávila, 26

Keyport, New Jersey

Like many day laborers, Ávila first did volunteer work after Sandy before he looked for any paid jobs. He and a group of workers from CASA Freehold, a worker center and immigrant advocacy group, helped rebuild a church in Union Beach, New Jersey, ripping up rotten floorboards and laying new ones.

Later, Ávila worked for pay cleaning out a flooded video arcade in Keyport, on the Jersey Shore. “We had to drag out all the machines, really heavy machines. There was humidity, mold, mud, everything … I wound up getting sick for almost a month, just from three days of work. I don’t know if I breathed something in or if it was just the cold and the humidity. I had a fever for three or four days, but I felt the symptoms for a month. I still went to work, but I could barely breathe …

“I’m from Mexico. From Michoacán. I’ve been here since I was 14, working ever since. I became a man at that age. Not going to school, hiding from the police … I’m sick of this country, bro, working like an animal since I was 14.”

And yet, after the storm: “I felt sad for people, more than anything. And I felt like helping. Even though they might not think about you very much, you think about them, when you see that they fought their whole lives for something — a business or a home. Then you see them with nothing.”

David Noriega / BuzzFeed

Reyna*, 47

Staten Island, New York

“My usual job is cleaning houses, so when the storm happened I was left without work. The houses didn’t have electricity, and who knows where the owners were — I would call them but they wouldn’t answer … Some time later I got a call from a woman, one of my clients, to come help her clean up the basement of her house …

“The basement was filthy. She gave me gloves, but they were the really thin kind, and they kept breaking. My fingers started turning white and the skin started peeling off around the fingertips. All she gave me was a mop, a broom, and some trash bags. I had to carry out all the furniture and clean the mud off the floor. She paid me the usual: $10 an hour … They never treated me badly. They’re good people, they treat me with respect. I was grateful for the work.”

After helping clean four flooded houses, Reyna began feeling sick. “I think I got some kind of infection. When I tried to breathe, I would feel a lot of pain in my chest and in my back. My throat hurt, my eyes itched … I couldn’t breathe. I just couldn’t.

“For two months I would get these attacks, like asthma attacks. I don’t have medical insurance. I didn’t go to the hospital because the emergency room is too expensive, I would have gotten a very big bill and I wouldn’t have been able to pay it. I never go to the doctor because they ask for too many papers, and I don’t have Social Security or anything like that. I used home remedies, breathed in water vapor…”

Weeks later, Reyna recovered. “I think people here sometimes don’t appreciate what they have. This is a beautiful country. Where I come from there is very little water. Here there is a lot of water. Sometimes people who have everything don’t realize it. Some of them — not all of them.”

David Noriega / BuzzFeed

Enrique Gutiérrez, 24

Long Beach and Oceanside, Long Island

“At first we were worried that people would die. But once we realized there wasn’t that much human damage, mostly damage to houses, even though we knew so much was destroyed, then we thought mostly about the work.

“In all the basements and first floors, everything was filled with water, so everything had to be dragged outside. And the walls that the water reached were wet, they were rotten, they smelled bad. Because you had water that was there for a month. And all the dirty water that was in the sewers rose up.

“So we had to do the work with all the risks, with bosses who wouldn’t give us safety equipment. That’s how we had to do it.

“I had a boss after Sandy who didn’t pay me overtime. He would take me to work and say, ‘OK, I’m going to give you $120 at 4 o’clock, and at 4 o’clock you can leave.’ So I would go and work, and 4 o’clock comes and goes, and nothing. It’s that overtime that they don’t pay you, even if they keep you working very late. So you work more hours for less money. That’s their thing, always: more work for less money.”

David Noriega / BuzzFeed

Eduardo*, 38

Colts Neck, New Jersey

“I didn’t think the storm was going to hit so hard. The next day I got a call from one of my bosses telling me to show up to work at 7:30. We’d been hired for 80 hours to clear fallen trees and branches around some city offices … then the snowstorm came” — the nor’easter that brought sleet and snow to an already storm-ravaged New York on Nov. 7, 2012.

“So we went back to the same place. I think the snowstorm destroyed more trees even than Sandy. And I remember that my colleague told me he didn’t want to use the cherry picker to cut the higher branches, because he was afraid of heights. I had experience cutting trees, but never using a cherry picker. I like to learn how to use all sorts of machinery, so I said yes. The days went by, and I started getting good at it.

“I don’t know if it was the boredom from doing the same thing every day, or the sound of the chainsaw, but I wasn’t paying attention … The branch was pinned against the cherry picker, so when I sawed through it, the part that was still attached to the tree snapped up and hit me in the face, between my nose and my mouth.

“They gave us helmets, but nothing to protect our faces. And I remember I couldn’t even pronounce a single word when I went to tell the foreman I’d been hit. I couldn’t even tell him what happened, because my mouth was so swollen.

“I went to the hospital with my boss’s brother. I told them at the hospital that this was a work accident, but the brother didn’t want to give them the information for the company’s insurance. He said the bills should go to me directly, then I would take the bills to the boss. He said that’s how the company operated…

“So then I got a bill for $1,000. I took the bill to my boss, and he said don’t worry about it. Some time went by and I got the same bill again. So I asked him what happened, and he said that I had to wait until it went to debt collection so that he could negotiate a lower price … My wife convinced me to talk to the lawyer who’s handling my immigration case. The lawyer said no way can you let it go to collection.

“So I went to the boss and told him that I needed him to pay, or at least tell me if wasn’t going to. I said, ‘We’ve worked together before. We have a good relationship. I don’t want to sue you.’ And that’s when he finally took care of it.”

David Noriega / BuzzFeed

José Cuba, 53

Coney Island, Brooklyn

Three city-owned hospitals were flooded by Sandy. Signal Restoration Services, the private contractor hired to repair them, was found by the New York attorney general to have underpaid its workers and was ordered to pay $500,000 in back wages.

José Cuba was one of those workers.

“I was on the corner of 69th and Roosevelt [in Jackson Heights, Queens], where the day laborers usually get together, and an Ecuadorian guy I know showed up with three vans and filled them with workers. As the day went on he kept bringing more and more people to the hospital … We worked every day, Monday to Sunday, from 7 in the morning until 9 at night.

“Eventually they brought in big lights to illuminate the hospital, but the first few days it was dark. And the first few days they didn’t give us any safety equipment. You showed up to work with the clothes you were wearing, that’s it …

“Our job was to clean up the hospital. We took out everything. Televisions, computers, X-ray machines, gurneys. We went from room to room, little bit little — waiting rooms, operating rooms, the morgue … Then we demolished everything that was damaged.

“The first few weeks they paid us $12 an hour with no overtime. But then Local 79 [the Construction and General Building Laborers Union] found out and told us they weren’t paying us enough. They paid us in cash, once a week. They said they would pay us at the end of every week, but it was, you know, the day after, or two days after, or the week after … It’s not that I’m a conformist. But for someone who’s illegal, who doesn’t have papers — you have to take what you can get.”

Read more: http://www.buzzfeed.com/davidnoriega/the-undocumented-immigrants-who-rebuilt-new-york-after-sandy

Game changer: Obama touts Thin Mints as best Girl Scout cookie


Whew! The most pressing debate of our time has finally bubbled to the surface.

BREAKING: Obama says he is "partial" to thin mints.

— Mike Memoli (@mikememoli) July 16, 2012

That’s right; President Obama is on Team Thin Mints. We are only surprised that he didn’t tell Girl Scouts that they didn’t hoof it all over town to sell their cookies and raise money; someone else did that for them.

Still, is this a game changer?

Thin Mints are, in fact, the best Girl Scout cookie. I'm now voting for Obama.

— Christine (@cmdeb) July 16, 2012

President Obama's favorite Girl Scout Cookie flavor? Thin Mints. FOUR MORE YEARS!

— Hokie Wartooth (@Hokie_Wartooth) July 16, 2012

But, wait! Not everyone is a fan of the Thin Mints, even though “Thin Mints” is now trending on Twitter.

obama is wrong, samoas are better. now im voting for romney. #youlie RT @mikememoli BREAKING: Obama says he is "partial" to thin mints.

— Oliver Willis (@owillis) July 16, 2012

Oh, my! When you’ve lost Media Matter’s Oliver Willis …

Proof that the President and I are just on different sides. #teamsamoa RT @politico: Obama’s favorite Girl Scout Cookie http://t.co/C2OHtXzG

— CapitolHillStyle (@CapHillStyle) July 16, 2012

Even worse, thin mints are decidedly NOT the best kind of girl scout cookie and I can't trust someone who thinks that.

— Kate Bachelder (@katebachwsj) July 16, 2012

#YES RT @TerryMoran: MAJOR GAFFE. Obama declares his favorite Girl Scout cookie is Thin Mints. The correct answer, of course, is Samoas.

— Bliss (@_blissdavis) July 16, 2012

Obama did not think about this Thin Mints statement at all. Totally alienating the Thicksnacks delegation.

— Bäé & Nephew (@Carnegro) July 16, 2012

Anyone not choosing Tagalongs has v. questionable judgment RT @pemalevy: Mystery solved: Obama's favorite Girl Scout cookie is the mint one.

— David A. Graham (@GrahamDavidA) July 16, 2012

Explicit pander. http://t.co/H1Z3QwPN

— Josh Greenman (@joshgreenman) July 16, 2012

Others see Thin Mints as a code-word “dog whistle,” natch.

Samoas are gross and thin mints are the white man's cookie. Tagalongs are where it's at.

— Jamelle Bouie (@jbouie) July 16, 2012

And “real journalists” are feeling the shame, for once.

This is the third blog post I've written about cookies in the last 10 days. http://t.co/mkHmeaFf #journalism.

— Byron Tau (@ByronTau) July 16, 2012

Twitter user extraordinaire, Nathan Wurtzel, comes up with a whole new Girl Scout cookie for the Tax-lover in chief.

I thought Obama's favorite Girl Scout cookie would be Samoataxdollars.

— Nathan Wurtzel (@NathanWurtzel) July 16, 2012

That’s a win right there. Another suggestion: Disappoint-Mints.

This cookie thing has more successfully distracted attention from Bain/taxes than anything Romney has tried. Nice job, Obama.

— Jamison Foser (@jamisonfoser) July 16, 2012

See? Game changer!

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2012/07/16/game-changer-obama-touts-thin-mints-as-best-girl-scout-cookie/

Company that donated fire truck to West, Texas, wanted no mention of generosity


The town of West, Texas lost three fire trucks in last week’s fertilizer plant explosion that killed 14 people, including 9 first responders. As the community recovers from the devastating explosion, Waco Police Sgt. William Patrick Swanton says the West Volunteer Fire Department received a generous gift: a much-needed pumper truck.

Pat Siddons of Siddons-Martin Emergency Group told Swanton he didn’t want the act of kindness mentioned, but Swanton “told him I was having none of that.”

Good Morning All, Sgt. Swanton here… I would like to tell you all about the continued and amazing support our… fb.me/wYiKfbnn

— WacoPolice (@WacoPolice) April 22, 2013

More from Swanton’s post on the Waco Police Department Facebook page:

I wanted to share with you what I have learned this morning as just one example we Texans are capable of. I understand there is much of this going on but I am glad to call this man my friend for what he and his business have done.

Pat Siddons and I used to work on an ambulance together and that is where I became familiar with his graciousness in dealing with people. Pat was raised in our area and still has family here but has moved on to run a fire emergency vehicle company know as Siddons-Martin Emergency Group.

I verified with him today that his company has donated the below truck to our neighboring community of West to assist them in keeping their town safe. He wanted no mention of this act but I told him I was having none of that and people needed to know what we as Texans do.

One Facebook user commented:

I spoke to Pat also this morning. He said the same thing. He wanted to remain annomoyus. Well my friend the cats out of the bag, and it won’t go back in easy! Proud to call you my friend.


‘Keep the faith’: Waco PD finds ‘special message’ in photo of West, Texas, wreckage

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2013/04/23/company-that-donated-fire-truck-to-west-texas-wanted-no-mention-of-generosity/