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BREAKING NEWS: Just to clarify things, after a few years of saying the opposite, Donald Trump patiently explained to the stupid lying news media yesterday that all those times he said he was going to build WALL between the US and Mexico, and that Mexico would pay for it, he never once said Mexico was actually going to pay for WALL with, like, CHECKBOOK. That's just silly! How could anyone get that from him saying, "I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words." Get real. He was simply pronouncing it with the silent "indirectly," like in French.

Or maybe he just imagined he'd send them an invoice for WALL and Mexico would lose it at the bottom of the junk drawer and never pay it, like a common Donald Trump. Oh well, anyhow!


Before flying off to Texas to make grunting noises about the antiquity of wheels, the millions of Americans being killed every day by illegals, and coyotes who just "turn left" and are in the USA bringing in kidnapped women wrapped in blue tape, Trump explained to reporters at the White House that all his fans had been cheering and chanting about anything BUT Mexico directly paying for WALL:

And then everyone in the fake news media got on their computers and started finding all the times Trump said Mexico would definitely pay the USA for a wall, including examples where he said they'd write a check, like when his campaign website said very directly Mexico would make a direct payment of five to ten billion bucks for the wall, or we'd start seizing Mexican immigrants' remittances to their home country, or maybe there were a bunch of other ways to pressure Mexico to pay up, too!

Oh, yes, and he said it on camera, too:

Oh, but he said they "may even write us a check," so BOOM, that means he never said Mexico WOULD write a check, liars.

Also, there were the campaign rallies where he had people chanting that Mexico would pay for the wall, and he beamed and said "100 percent!", but those don't count because he never said it would be a direct payment, now did he?

But everyone in the audience clearly understood Trump meant the wall would be paid for when a still-not-ratified adjustment to NAFTA goes in, maybe, although they shortened it to shouting "Mexico" because wouldn't including some vague stuff about trade deals and trade deficits (neither of which is a "payment") make for a ludicrously unwieldy chant?

Mind you, as the Washington Post's Philip Bump goes to some lengths to demonstrate, Trump really has been extremely vague and all over the place -- to the point of nonsense -- about how the miracle of "Mexico pay for WALL" would come about. In fact, in his very first reference to WALL in April 2015, Trump did claim that closing the trade deficit with Mexico would fund WALL, sort of: "I will take it from out of just a small fraction of the money they've been screwing us for over the last number of years."

Of course, as Bump also points out, that is not actually a way that trade deficits or infrastructure funding even work.

[The] trade deficit is not a function of an imbalance between governments but, instead, of the discrepancy between the value of goods and services purchased from or sold to either country. A reduction in the trade deficit does not generate money that the government can use to pay for a construction project.

You can't simply declare one set of numbers has "paid for" a wholly unrelated thing, no matter how often you insist you can afford that new 60-inch flatscreen because the unemployment rate is way down.

Still, Trump racked up an impressive numbers of ways Mexico would "pay" for WALL, including

  • Making Good Deals
  • Getting Them To Pay
  • Standing Firm
  • Being a Business Guy
  • Mexico Makes One-Time Payment of $5-10 billion
  • Reducing All The Drugs Coming In
  • Making Mexico Reimburse Us
  • Being Smarter Than Mexican Politicians
  • A Tax Or A Payment
  • A Reimbursement, In "Perhaps A Complicated Form"
  • Solar Panels On WALL
  • One of 10 Forms Of Payment, Many Forms Of Payment, I Didn't Say How
  • They Will Enjoy Paying

And of course there's our favorite, "in some form," which you will note did not say "a check" so Donald Trump WINS, you dumb libs:

So now all we need is to declare a state of NATIONAL EMERGY and suck some money out of disaster relief funds, and Mexico will have paid for WALL, and maybe also for all the lawsuits that would almost certainly block WALL from being built, and then we can shut down the government again, assuming it has at some point reopened.

[CNN / WaPo / Trump campaign on Archive.Org / WaPo / Atlantic]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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We want to say right here at the outset that we hate Julian Assange. Aside from the sexual assault allegations against him, and aside from the fact that he's just a generally stinky and loathsome person who reportedly smeared poop on the walls at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, while reportedly not taking care of his cat, an innocent creature, he acted as Russia's handmaiden during the 2016 election, in order to further Russia's campaign to steal it for Donald Trump. All signs point to his campaign being a success!

So we are justifiably happy when bad things happen to Julian Assange. We are happy his name is shit the world over, and that any reputation WikiLeaks used to have for being on the side of freedom and transparency has been stuffed down the toilet where it belongs. We are happy he looked like such a sad-ass loser when the Ecuadorian embassy finally kicked him out and he was arrested.

And quite frankly, we were OK with the initial charge against him recently unsealed in the Eastern District of Virginia. If you'll remember, he was charged with trying to help Chelsea Manning hack a password into the Defense Department, which is not what journalists do. Journalists do not drive the get-away car for sources. Journalists do not hold their sources' hair back while they're stealing classified intel. Assange is essentially accused of doing all that.

Now, put all that aside. Because -- and this is key -- journalists do publish secrets they are provided by sources. That's First Amendment, chapter and verse, American as fucking apple pie and fast-food-induced diabetes. And that is what much of the superseding indictment of Assange unsealed yesterday was about. (And nope, it wasn't about anything regarding Assange's ratfucking the 2016 election or Hillary's emails. Why would the Trump Justice Department prosecute anything about that? It's all about the older Chelsea Manning stuff, the stuff the Obama Justice Department considered charging Assange with, but ultimately declined, because of that little thing called the First Amendment.)

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The pharmaceutical giant Gilead Sciences, Inc. -- heck of a name for these times -- recently announced US sales of a generic version of its HIV prevention drug Truvada would begin a year earlier than originally planned. The stepped-up schedule for the generic was at least in part the result of pressure from activists, who have made a lot of noise about the fact that Gilead's huge revenues from Truvada -- about $3 billion annually -- came only after the basic research for the drug was done at taxpayer expense, largely through grants from the Centers for Disease Control, which holds the patent on the drug.

At a House Oversight Committee hearing last week, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez let one of the witnesses, Gilead CEO Daniel O'Day, know she wasn't personally blaming him or his greed for the high cost of the drug, which prevents the spread of HIV through "pre-exposure prophylaxis" (PrEP). No, that's all a result of the terrible incentives that come from the fact that the US, alone among developed countries, treats healthcare as a commodity, not a right for all. Which is why a monthly supply of Truvada costs nearly $1800 here, and roughly eight dollars in Australia.

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