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So, how's that wall working out? Did Mexico reimburse us yet, or do we have to submit our receipts through payroll? A 2,000-mile construction project is totes NBD, right?

LOLOLOLOL we are to kid!

As with literally every single thing Donald Trump said during the campaign, this is an absolute bullshit oversimplification of a really complex issue.

'We're gonna come up with a new plan that's going to be better health care for more people at a lesser cost' - DJT, 1/25/17

So, for reals, where are we on this border wall?

Well, we do have AN EXECUTIVE ORDER!! It has eleventy million words, which mostly add up to:

  1. Terrorists and drugs come across from Mexico, time to panic!
  2. We need a "contiguous, physical wall or other similarly secure, contiguous, and impassable physical barrier," and we need it now.
  3. Commence Deport-o-Rama.
  4. Build more detention facilities for illegals.
  5. Tally up how much money we spent on Mexican aid for the past five years, issue veiled threats.
  6. Co-opt local law enforcement to participate in mass deportation.
  7. Do A STUDY.

Don't we all feel safer now?

Also the government put out a request for proposals, specifying that the structure should be 18-30 feet high, extend 6 feet under ground, and be pretty to look at from the US side. The Mexico side should be covered with middle finger emojis, PROBABLY.

As long as we're already in fantasyland...

Other than that, we seem to be entering a period of adjustment. Specifically, it's time to lower expectations on all the bullshit promises made to the rubes during the campaign. For instance, yesterday Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told the Public Lands Council

The border is complicated, as far as building a physical wall. The Rio Grande, what side of the river are you going to put the wall? We're not going to put it on our side and cede the river to Mexico. And we're probably not going to put it in the middle of the river.

And then the internet pointed and laughed because hahahahaha, Ryan Zinke is maybe suggesting that the wall will be on the other side of the Rio Grande, in Mexico. Here's Chuck Schumer's spokesman, getting in one of the first digs.

It sure does look like Ryan Zinke HAZ A DUM about geography. But I'm betting he actually knows where the Rio Grande is, and the guy is twisting himself into a pretzel trying to pretend that his boss's idiotic EO isn't a total fantasy.

"I don't know how that would work," said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate. Like most Texas officials in both parties, he opposes a full-length border wall as wasteful. "When I hear the president talk about a wall, to me I think he's speaking metaphorically."

So even though the Executive Order specifically calls for a GRRRRRR!!! WALL, that's probably a metaphor for motion sensors or drones. Or Robots!

Trump's first funding request for the wall is probably a metaphor, too. With a looming budget impasse that threatens to shut down the government, Trump is asking that Congress allocate $6 billion to border security. Even before the healthcare debacle, Republicans were in no mood to play along with Trump's moronic campaign promises.

Many Republicans aren’t very enthusiastic about the plan and say the White House has given them few specifics.

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt of Missouri, a key budget negotiator, said the Senate is unlikely to include money for a border wall in a broader spending package to avert a partial government shutdown next month.

Of that requested $6 billion, nearly $1 billion would go to building just 48 miles of new wall. Maybe you know geography and can also do math good, unlike Ryan Zinke. In case you're not, that works out to $21 million per mile. If the unfenced portion of the border is currently 1,350 miles, construction costs alone for the wall will surpass $28 billion. (Note that the EO would also call to replace existing fence with something 30 feet tall and six feet deep. But how much nonsense math can you handle in one morning?)

But wait, there's more! Most of that 1,350 miles is on real estate which YOUR GOVERNMENT does not own. If private landowners are forced to sell under the doctrine of eminent domain, they are entitled to receive fair market value for their land. So, Congress would have to allocate more money to assess, litigate and purchase it.

And in case you didn't spot the slippage, we're not even pretending that Mexico is going to fund the FuckYouMexico wall anymore. All of which is to say, this thing is never going to happen. Dave Chappelle will be Secretary of State before that thing gets built. Worry about the environment, the Supreme Court, mass deportations of undocumented residents in America. The wall?

Pfffffft.

[CNN / Dallas Morning News / WaPo]

Five Dollar Feminist

Your FDF lives in Baltimore under an assumed identity as an upstanding member of the PTA. Shhh, don't tell anyone she makes swears on the internet!

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I wasn't ready for Koko the gorilla to die. She was just 46, so still young well past the upper age limit for a gorilla, but I'll miss her. She loved cats, told mildly amusing jokes, and put up with people, so she was a lot like your weird aunt.

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Donald Trump held one of his televised cabinet meetings today in which he railed about the terrible Democrats who forced the current border crisis (at a time when illegal border crossings are actually lower than usual). In what's sure to be his favorite phrase on Twitter for the next few days, Trump blamed "extremist open-border Democrats" for all the problems he brought on himself with his family separation policy, and explained that Democrats were simultaneously hurting illegal immigrants AND the rest of America by forcing Normal America to accept Central Americans who fled to the US. It made loads of sense! And then things got ... less so.

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