Five things you need to know about Trump’s wall

As we’ve discussed, with the economy slowing, and a recession on the horizon, Donald Trump desperately really needs for his base to come through for him on Election Day. As his support withers among suburban white women, farmers, and college educated independents, he needs to keep his diehard supporters happy. And, sadly, that means more racism. It means more stories about the deportation of immigrants receiving life-saving medical treatment here in the United States. It means more cruelty against South American children in U.S. custody. It means more tacit approval for white nationalists. And it means more lies from Donald Trump about how he’s building a wall at the southern border to keep out foreign invaders (i.e. people of color)… To put it simply, Donald Trump knows that, if he loses the election, he’ll face prosecution, and he’ll do anything in his power to stop that from happening, even if it means leading America into an all out race war… There’s a lot to talk about, but, for today, I just want to note five quick facts about the “big, beautiful wall” he says he’s building at our southern border.

1. If Donald Trump and the Republicans had really wanted the wall — if it were really a priority for this administration — it would have been green-lit in 2016, when the GOP had control over every branch of the government. The truth, however, is that they knew it was a stupid idea from the get-go… They knew it was a totally impractical waste of money. They knew that, when Trump first promised his magical wall while on the campaign trail, illegal border crossings were at a 50 year low. They knew that every study showed the idea of a wall to be an impractical, expensive, and ineffective means of controlling illegal immigration. And, when push came to shove, the Republicans and Trump demonstrated that all they really cared about was cutting taxes for the super-wealthy and making it easier for corporations to destroy the environment, regardless of what might have been said on the campaign trail… So, yeah, Trump promises the wall every election cycle, but he knows it’s stupid, and he doesn’t really give a shit about it. It’s just a way to gin up the racist base. Nothing more.

2. Trump says the wall is going up very fast. The truth is, it isn’t… A few days ago, Donald Trump shared the following on Twitter, claiming that his wall is going up “very fast.”

The truth is, not a single mile of new wall has been built under Donald Trump’s administration. While some barriers have gone up (like those seen in the above tweet), they were just replacement panels, put up to take the place of sections built under previous administrations. And this isn’t just “fake news” being perpetuated by the liberal media. Last week, the conservative news organization Axios reported, ““(Trump’s) administration cannot tell us when it will add its 1st mile of new wall to a border area that doesn’t have pre-existing barriers.” And Shepard Smith said the following on Fox News. “The president made border security a mainstay of his message dating back to the campaign with ‘build that wall and Mexico will pay for it,’ though that last promise is long gone,” Smith said. “Despite the president’s claims to the contrary, there’s no new wall. Existing barriers have been replaced. Same span. The total of repaired barrier is about 60 miles along that 2,000 mile border.” [This doesn’t, of course, mean that Fox is now a legitimate news source. As Dan Pfeifer recently said, Smith and a few others “are massively overpaid by Fox explicitly so they will do this performance once in a while so Fox can continue to get American corporations to help pay for White nationalist propaganda at all hours of the day.”] So, regardless of what you might have heard, the truth is that Donald Trump hasn’t put up even a single mile of his long-promised wall.

3. Donald Trump recently offered pardons to his aides if they could help him get some of the wall built prior to the election… As much as Trump knows that a wall would be ineffective, he also knows that he has to start construction if he wants to keep his terrified racist base happy. But there are significant barriers standing in his way. One of the many problems with Trump’s magical wall is that much of it will have to be built on what is now private property. And, a few days ago, Donald Trump instructed his aides to start aggressively seizing this land, without any concern for the legality of doing so, promising to use his presidential pardon power to keep them out of prison. [According to sources, he also urged them to illegally fast-track billion of dollars worth of construction contracts, and disregard environmental legislation that might slow down the building of the wall.] This act alone, according to legal scholars, constitutes bribery on the President’s part, and Democratic lawmakers have promised to investigate it. [For what it’s worth, a senior White House official did not deny that Trump promised pardons for those who would help him get the wall built, even if it meant breaking several laws. Said official claimed, however, that he was merely joking.]

4. Illegal immigration was actually down before Trump took office. His policies have increased it… I said it at the outset, but it bears repeating. When Donald Trump took office, talking about the threat of Mexican rapists and gangs invading the country, illegal immigration was at a 50-year low. Through his policies, however, he has made matters much worse, and it certainly isn’t helping that he’s slashed aid to Central America, which is increasing instability in the regions, and forcing more families to travel north in hopes of securing asylum.

5. In advance of Hurricane Dorian making landfall in Florida, the Trump administration transferred $155 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Relief Fund to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)… Perhaps because he doesn’t understand the severity of hurricanes, or appreciate the importance of FEMA, Donald Trump approved the movement of $155 million from the FEMA to ICE, where it will be used to fund migrant detention camps on our southern border. As presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg recently said, “Taking money Congress authorized to protect people facing disaster in order to indefinitely detain asylum seekers is unconscionable.”

There’s more that I could say, but that’s pretty much the gist of it…. There is no new wall, regardless of what Trump would have people believe. And he knows that, if he’s to have a shot at staying in office, it’s not going to be enough just to have the most cruel and racist immigration policy in recent American history. He knows he needs to actually build a real wall, and he’s encouraging members of his staff to break the law in order to see that happen. And, speaking of those cruel immigration policies, he’s also diverting money from disaster relief to pay for them… So, yeah, things kind of suck right now in America.

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  1. Anonymous
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    No one has ever heard of a Category Five hurricane.

  2. Eel
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    6. Mexico didn’t pay for it. Not even a little bit.

  3. iRobert
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Many Republicans are jumping ship with regard to this nutty clown. I wonder how long are resident Republicans will deny their better judgement.

  4. iRobert
    Posted September 1, 2019 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Naturally I meant “our” and can’t explain why the word “are” is there instead. I’m a little drunk. That could be it.

    As our resident Trump supporters here jump ship, will you report your change of heart to us here. We could use some good news around here.

  5. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted September 2, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    “While some barriers have gone up (like those seen in the above tweet), they were just replacement panels, put up to take the place of sections built under previous administrations.”

    I mean they are replacing mesh fence with 30 foot “bollards.” If you decided to put a 500 horsepower V-8 in your wimpy commuter would you call it a “replacement engine”?

  6. Anonymous
    Posted September 2, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    You are such an unbelievable sucker, HW.

  7. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted September 2, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Nice opinion but how do you justify it? What I said is factual.

  8. Anonymous
    Posted September 2, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    So, when people were chanting “Build The Wall”, they didn’t mean “Build an actual wall across the border”, but “Make a few miles of the Obama barrier a little higher”?

    You are the definition of hilarious.

  9. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted September 2, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    You have to start somewhere and I don’t think that is accurate to say it is merely a little higher. The new wall is obviously superior to old busted ‘fencing’.

  10. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted September 2, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Honey I’m home! I picked up a new engine for the Prius. I know you like how it drives already but with so many miles on it I thought it was time for a replacement…

  11. Anonymous
    Posted September 2, 2019 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    If we’re talking about the section of wall between the Pacific Ocean and Otay Mountain, the plan for redoing it can be credited to Obama. (This section was originally built during the the Vietnam War.)

    LA Times: “This project was part of a plan proposed in 2009 by the Obama administration and funded in 2017 by the Trump administration to replace existing border barriers.”


  12. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted September 2, 2019 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Did you notice they tried to reverse the reality in the headline? It should be “new wall replaces decades old border fence in san diego.”

    So since Obama proposed it (didn’t do it but proposed it) then it’s not racist, right?

  13. Frosted Flakes
    Posted September 2, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Can you articulate the point you think you are making Anonymous?

  14. Anonymous
    Posted September 2, 2019 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    My point? I thought it was clear. My point is that this awesome “500 horsepower V-8” of a wall that Trump is taking credit for, was planned during the Obama administration. My other point is that the Warlord is a sucker for chalking this up as a “win” for Trump, as it’s not a new wall at all, but a replacement wall.

  15. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted September 2, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Not much of a plan to propose it at the beginning and not be able to do it over the course of two terms.

  16. Jean Henry
    Posted September 2, 2019 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

    The border wall improvements are planned about 3-5 years ahead of execution. They have to be funded for development, planned, engineered, then funded again for construction, then bid out, then built. I had a long talk with a construction supervisor in El Paso a few years ago. He could be wrong but I suspect not. (I also don’t blame Trump for not getting the wall built. It was an impossible task. And I’m glad he failed on that promise to his base)

    My favorite thing in that amazing trip to Juarez was that they had painted a portion of the wall sky blue on the Mexico side, so it disappeared. Another section was emblazoned with a Labor Day- appropriate statement: “Somos trabajadores internacionales, no ilegales. “We are international workers not ‘illegals’”

  17. Frosted Flakes
    Posted September 2, 2019 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Why though? What is the point of your points?

    The replacement wall is either an upgrade or isn’t. Do you know that it isn’t an upgrade?

    The proposal and execution of a wall is either racist or isn’t. If it truly is Obama’s wall plans then does that mean Trump is no more racist than Obama.

    You are either a failure for not executing your plans or you are not. If Obama failed to execute his planned wall then does that make him a failure? If Trump is failing to execute his planned wall but is able to execute Obama’s plans then does that make him less of a failure than Obama.

    Your point is HW is a sucker because you think he believes something he probably doesn’t believe?? HW is pointing out that it is not a mere replacement of already existing walls but an upgrade. Jesus Christ, the article you shared, to supposedly prove some imaginary point, confirms the very claims that HW was making…

  18. dogmatic dolt
    Posted September 3, 2019 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Aloha FF, For all your nitpicking you fail to see the forest because all you want to do is identify the various trees you see.

  19. Sad
    Posted September 3, 2019 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    They should change their handle to PP-

    punctilious Prevaricator

    What’s Trump doing for those kids in Hong Kong?

  20. Frosted Flakes
    Posted September 3, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    A bunch of imagined trees doesn’t amount to a real forest.

  21. Frosted Flakes
    Posted September 3, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    If the Anonymous-type commenters are claiming there is a forest then it shouldn’t be so difficult for them to point out some actual trees.

  22. dogmatic dolt
    Posted September 3, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Aloha FF, as our good buddy JB did not correct me last week, and you seem to be in agreement with, it is all about personalities and not policy (continuity in policy between BushII, Obama, and Trump is pretty consistent). Endless regime change wars, tax cuts for the rich, protection for the big banks, support for the fossil fuel industires. Obama and Trump seem to have swerved away from Bush II’s embrace of immigrants, and support for workers through increases in the min. wage, but those Bush II era policies were admitted outliers (and very weak examples of policy differences) to the dominant narrative. Much like Obama’s ARRA was a very weak push towards more worker friendly policies (they like Bush II immigration policies) were jettisoned in the 2nd term. I tend to believe that whether it is Trump, Biden, Warren, Butti…, Harris, Booker the only differences in policy will be minor and cosmetic–but the optics of the White House would be much more appealing to more folks if Trump and his grifters were gone.
    Despite 20th century history, Democratic administrations are proving to be far less corrupt than Republican, and that does count for something I suppose–so just call me a dolt for my earlier comments.

  23. Jean Henry
    Posted September 3, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    FF–Obama did not “fail’ to execute his improvements. They happened throughout his tenure, first improvements planned by Bush that he completed and then his own and now some of Obama’s plans are being completed during the Trump administration. The funding was allocated beforehand. Of course, Trump or Obama could have killed the previous plans and funding but they didn’t. Trump’s plan was more ambitious and has not received funding nor has it been planned/designed, much less executed. Maybe he’ll. get the thing funded. Maybe (certainly) he still won’t be able to finish it due to term limits. Maybe the person who holds office after him will do so. Maybe not.

    But let’s be clear, given the timeline for these projects, the failure is NOT about completing the [projects within one’s term(s) in office; that’s impossible. it’s a failure if the President failsto get adequate funding/planning completed. The PResident is not managing construction of the wall…. Obviously not his job. This Trump failure was predictable and pleases me.

    This entire conversation thread demonstrates how idiotic arguments on this blog have become. They are all about political positioning (calling winners/losers); reality doesn’t matter at all. Political discourse has become idiotic. It’s all spin. Weird to see the public in a country with broad free speech protections be manipulated into turning out their own disinformation and propaganda.

  24. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted September 3, 2019 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    The House dems and courts have been able to hinder Trump’s plan. So what? That always happens. The takeaway is all the recent presidents have at least attempted to appear to be serious about border security. Since Obama is one of them you can no longer say it is a racist impulse.

  25. dogmatic dolt
    Posted September 3, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Aloha JH, thank you for affirming my position on the continuity of policies between administrations. People want to forget that their is a form of collective leadership to the USA, though Congress repeatedly abdicates its responsibilities to the President, and some times (evidently) it is up to the intelligence/security apparatus to make sure collective policies are properly pursued.

  26. Jean Henry
    Posted September 3, 2019 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    DD & HW– I personally actively objected to immigration policy under Obama and Trump… and GW and Clinton and Reagan… FWIW. I have never denied that we live in a racist country with structural inequality. I never said Obama was anti-racist, though he had his moments (too few). So HW I can absolutely say that Trump’s immigration policies are racist because I think Obama’s immigration policies were racist too. Trump are a fuck of a lot more racist though.

    Obama was tough on immigration in the first term because he thought conceding that to the right would give him the legitimacy and leverage to push through comprehensive immigration reform, which we all admit we need as the current system encourages and rewards undocumented entry. It didn’t work. As so often happens we kept the two steps back and skipped the three steps forward that is the only way this country seems to manage progress. Obama improved things a bit his last two years (via executive order having given up on congress). All that was lost and more by Trump. He’s dyed in the wool racist. As are his policies. It stuns me that you can think differently, HW.

  27. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted September 3, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    You said it is impossible for a minority in the USA to be racist therefore putting up walls cannot be racist. Someone, don’t know if it was you said the only reason to be against Barack Obama is being racist. Didn’t see you or any maynardites berate that poster so I assume you are okay with it. You project your own racism onto Trump is what I think. During the Trump administration we are making tremendous strides in improving conditions for minority Americans as we have discussed.

  28. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted September 3, 2019 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    Don’t see how a Clinton supporter could say Trump and his policies are racist. Super Predator bill? That affected (targeted) black Americans. She said we have to bring them to heel like bad dogs. Pretty racist sounding shit I would say from the Grand Cyclops’ protege.

    All Donald Trump did is say countries South of the border are sending rapists and killers and drug smugglers and human traffickers which is factually true. Mexico could disallow many many interlopers from entering the USA who do actually do those things. Face it: the cartels are running a fuck of a lot of shit in Mexico and beyond. Politicians on both sides of the border are owned no doubt. You can pretend countless horrific crimes are not the reality but it changes nothing.

  29. Frosted Flakes
    Posted September 3, 2019 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    It sounds like Jean is saying that, in her opinion, the relative racism between our recent presidents and presidential candidates is not a distinguishing factor, because they are all pretty much racist.

  30. dogmatic dolt
    Posted September 3, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Aloha FF, there you go getting personalities confused with policies.

  31. Frosted Flakes
    Posted September 3, 2019 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    I think you are onto something DD with your “policy versus personality argument” (I like it) but you are misapplying it. Jean is not saying Obama is racist out of his general hatred for black people. Jean is saying Obama was racist because he had racist immigration policies.

    Pointing out that she seems to be arguing against racism being a distinguishing factor amongst presidents and presidential candidates takes emphasis off the “personality” side of things and places emphasis onto the “policy” side of things. See how that works?

  32. John Brown
    Posted September 3, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    So by Faulty Fascist’s mangled logic of JH’s comment, then a magazine with 5 rounds and one with 100 rounds are the same thing. He must have missed that Sesame Street on “a little” versus “a lot”.

  33. Frosted Flakes
    Posted September 3, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    Fake John Brown,

    Jean can clear it up if she thinks I have some misapprehension. I do think Jean, to some extent, wants to have her cake and eat it too. She wanted to say all presidents and presidential candidates are racist, on the one hand. On the other hand, she also wanted to say that she thinks Trump is more racist.

    What I find interesting is not so much the fact that Trump and Obama had somewhat similar immigration policies but how Trump’s versus Obama’s immigration policies were perceived so differently. Not a little different. A lot different.

  34. dogmatic dolt
    Posted September 3, 2019 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    Aloha FF, “policies were perceived so differently. ” only by the Corporate Media which wants to control how we think. Hispanics called Obama the “Deporter in Chief” for a reason. Not much different in “perceptions”. Chaldians who I worked with voted for Trump because they thought he would treat them differently than Obama did–wrong again. I am sorry that you seem to only know what goes on through the filter of the MSM, (they also want you to believe Trump is a putin puppet-despite all the evidence to the contrary) we have so many other ways to be informed now. Most Americans ignore the talking pundits. Just play reruns of Glen Beck to know how the biggest “news” network wanted you to “perceive” the Obama administration–how much did you believe?

  35. Frosted Flakes
    Posted September 3, 2019 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    There is a difference between articulating a point of view /perception and actually sharing that same point view/ perception.

    Comparing different perceptions of roughly similar immigration policy is an indirect critique of the MSM filter; rather than an example of falling victim to the MSM filter, as you are oddly trying to suggest.

    I agree. We have many ways to be informed now. It is awesome!!!

  36. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted September 4, 2019 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Daaammmn, everything you say gets all kind of fucked up. You guys are dyin’.

    …Who wrote your simple arithmetic widget!

  37. Jean Henry
    Posted September 5, 2019 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    FF— I did not call Obama racist, I said some of his policies were racist. And they were. There impAct was disparate by race. Beyond that there is simply no logic that supports the idea than one is either racist or not and that there’s no spectrum of degrees of bigotry or of negative impact, especially when talking about the impact of the president of the United States, it’s just bizarre to insist on a black and white understanding of racism. (Heh.)

  38. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted September 21, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

  39. Posted December 8, 2020 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Whistleblower: Companies Building Trump’s Wall Smuggled In Armed Guards From Mexico

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