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'Disgusting injustice,' the hurricane and Donald Trump

It turns out that more than a run of luck was involved when Atlantic City's waterfront casinos - nine on the Boardwalk, three on the marina - escaped unscathed from Hurricane Sandy. This, from a Bloomberg News story that deserves attention:

As superstorm Sandy flooded Atlantic City, New Jersey, one area was shielded from damage by dunes constructed at taxpayer expense: casinos and other beachfront businesses and homes.Nearby, another set of residents didnt get government-paid storm defense. In one of the citys poorest neighborhoods, water from Absecon Inlet filled the streets, knocking down doors, sloshing into bedrooms, destroying furniture and leaving residents wondering if they would drown.What unfolded in this East Coast resort city of 40,000, the second-largest U.S. gambling market behind Las Vegas, shows how government decisions helped businesses escape almost unscathed and open just days after the storm, while people living paycheck to paycheck suffered.The government has protected their cash cow, the casinos, at the expense of the people, said Edsel Coates, 57, whose home near the inlet flooded and roof caved in.

The piece ran on Nov. 5; I didn't catch up to it until today, when the Sidney Hillman Foundation picked it as one of the week's best stories.You can say that Donald Trump built his casinos - but that the federal government saved them. He seems to be too busy nursing grievances over "the disgusting injustice" of the presidential election to say thanks for the free bailout. After the presidential election, he tweeted: "This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy! Let's fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice! The world is laughing at us."If injustice is Trump's concern, he does not have to travel many blocks from his casinos to encounter it. Atlantic City is a study in contrasts, a place where the divide between wealth and poverty is disgustingly visible. All in all, the casinos have not made much of a difference in the storied city's impoverished neighborhoods. Even Nucky Thompson, the corrupt Atlantic City boss Steve Buscemi plays so well in Boardwalk Empire, would have been shrewd enough to realize what a mistake it would be to protect the casinos from a hurricane and not the places where voters live (however invested Nucky was in gambling operations).Trump and other casino operators should publicly thank taxpayers for saving their business from flooding. And if Trump still wants to give away $5 million, he can help the residents of Atlantic City - three-quarters of the city was flooded.

About the Author

Paul Moses, a professor of journalism at Brooklyn College/CUNY, is the author of The Saint and the Sultan: The Crusades, Islam and Francis of Assisi's Mission of Peace (Doubleday, 2009) and An Unlikely Union: The Love-Hate Story of New York's Irish and Italians (NYU Press, 2015).



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Why anyone has paid the slightest bit of attention to this bit of schmatta (The Donald) is way beyond me

Maybe Obama should stand on the dunes protecting the casinos, point at the Trump casino and say "you didn't build it'

Poor Trump. He just doesn't get it. Here's what commedian Craig Ferguson had to say:"The world is laughing at you and this is why. It is because you're wearing an orange face and a crazy wig. This is the uniform the world over of a clown!Nobody laughs WITH the clown. They laugh AT the clown. Then when the clown gets angry, it is funnier."

This is the hypocrisy. If you take away the pork no Republican nor Democrat would get reelected. More welfare is given to the rich.

I miss Spy Magazine for so many reasons, but a big one is that it's articles on Donald Trump used to drive Trump foaming-at-the-mouth-public-meltdown-crazy. We need a couple of Spy satires on Trump's adventures in politics.

Wow. A stunning lack of fact and objectivity. Trump doesn't own a casino in AC, hasn't for quite sometime. That knucklehead just leases his name to two casinos. Nucky Johnson was the name of the real AC Boss from the 20s & 30s, not Nucky Thompson (which doesn't even come close of representing the real man). As for the dune project on the ocean beach side of the island, it extends along the beachfront all the way through Ventnor City, protecting the entire length of the Beach and Boardwalk, Boardwalk Hall and all the majority of the housing of both communities. That represents the vast majority of the population, the main historic tourist attraction of the Island and easily over 30,000 jobs. Without the beach and Boardwalk, there is NO Atlantic City. Without the casinos, there is no economic engine to keep the residents (AC, the Islands and the mainland) alive after September and before June. You can also make a strong argument that the ocean side dune prevented a much more severe flooding situation in the city, more so than any seawall on the inlet side could ever do. So even if it was an either or situation like you painted it (protect the casinos or the voters), the dunes on the beach were clearly a better protective investment for the entire population and city. How do you think the folks of the inlet would of fared with 15 to 20 foot waves blasting through apartments? Do yourself a favor and at least look at a map of the city before you suggest otherwise. As for the Inlet side of the Boardwalk, can't put a dune there, no room. You could put a larger seawall there but that would cost hundreds of millions and probably would of made the flooding even worse. That small stretch of destroyed boardwalk was scheduled for demolition this winter and to be rebuilt with CRDA money. Why wasn't it done before? Until recently, the fund had been pilfered by New Jersey "non-profit" agencies up and down the state for decades. As for the flooding in the back bays (similar to the inlet area), the Bloomberg article was terribly skewed to make it look like the poor area of town was somehow ignored from flood protection. EVERYBODY on the back bay areas of AC, Bringantine,Ventnor, Margate, Longport, West Atlantic City and Pleasantville got SWAMPED by a tidal surge that nobody alive had ever seen before. It mattered not if you were poor or wealthy. I should know because I have three family members with houses in those areas that got wiped out.

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