Tag Archives: build the wall

‘We’re building a wall … in Colorado!’

There was a time — and some folks still giggle at it — when a presidential candidate named Barack Obama talked about visiting all “57 states” in this country.

Republicans had a field day with it. They said the Democratic candidate didn’t know the country he sought to lead.

Well …

Here we are in the present day. The current president of the United States stood before a crowd this week and bragged about building a wall along our southern border. Then he said, “We’re building a wall in Colorado!” 

Donald Trump raised eyebrows everywhere. What? What do you mean, Mr. POTUS? Colorado is an “inland state.” It doesn’t border Mexico.

The man with “the best brain” who knows the “best words” made a mistake.

What I find remarkable, though, is that when he made that gaffe, many in the crowd to whom he was speaking in Pennsylvania stood and clapped and cheered and hollered. They don’t know their geography any better than the president of the United States.

I don’t know if Obama ever acknowledged publicly his goof in 2008. I can rest assured that Trump won’t do so with his, um, misstatement about Colorado. Indeed, he is likely to find a way to double down on it, contending that the “fake news media” has taken his words “out of context.” Or maybe he will say that since Colorado borders New Mexico, that the wall is needed because New Mexico is letting too many illegal immigrants cross its border with Mexico.

Or that Democrats are feeding into the laughter that can be heard across the country … even in Colorado.

How did Trump persuade Americans that Mexico would pay for wall?

A fellow I know has sought to determine who among his social media network actually thought “Mexico was going to pay for the wall.”

Here’s my answer: No one in their right mind could possibly have thought such a thing. Then again, it can be argued that Donald Trump’s signature campaign promise appealed directly to those who, um, aren’t in their “right mind.”

So I guess the weird among us could have believed that Mexico would foot the bill for a 2,000-mile-long barrier between the United States and Mexico.

This is the so-called “magic” of Trump’s successful campaign for the presidency. He made the pledge repeatedly while running for the only office he ever has sought. The cheers the promise elicited egged him on. He absorbed all that love and adoration as an endorsement of his dubious belief that Mexico would write us a check for billions of bucks to build a barrier.

There was this little problem that those “base” supporters of Trump didn’t factor into their notion. The federal government’s price would escalate dramatically because of that darned Fifth Amendment provision that says the government cannot seize private property without providing adequate compensation to the landowners for the land it would take.

Trump has blamed Mexico for its own lax border security. He has said that “Mexico is sending” criminals into this country, suggesting that the government somehow should be held responsible for those who seek entry into the United States illegally.

Oh, and how in the world does the United States plan to build that wall along the Rio Grande River, which comprises virtually the entire border between Mexico and Texas? How, too, does the United States bill Mexico for a wall that would have to be built along the U.S. side of the river?

Trump made a promise he couldn’t keep. He cannot possibly force another sovereign country to do his bidding.

This individual doesn’t know what he’s talking about. What’s more, nor do those who cast their votes for him based primarily on that phony promise.

Where’s the wall, Mr. President?

What you see here is a picture of the home where Barack and Michelle Obama live. Donald Trump said the Obamas live behind a 10-foot wall and wondered why if a wall is good enough for the former president and former first lady, why can’t we build a wall along our southern border.

Do you see a wall? Anywhere? Are the Obama hiding behind a wall?

Gosh. I don’t see it.

Which goes to show yet again that the Liar in Chief cannot tell the truth. He must be genetically redisposed to lie even when he doesn’t have to lie.

He lied about his presidential predecessor’s home. He is lying about the dire circumstances he insists require the construction of The Wall. He lies about everything, every single subject he chooses to address.

We are expected to believe a single statement that flies out of the president’s mouth? Nope. Can’t do it.

Trump shows smallness with Christmas greeting

Presidents of the United States routinely offer Christmas or other holiday greetings with an ample measure of good cheer and happiness. They wish us well, perhaps inject a little faith into their greetings. We feel good hearing from our head of state.

What did Donald J. Trump do today? He fired off a Twitter message that talks of the “disgrace” that infects our political world . . . but then offered a Merry Christmas greeting. It looked for all the world like a throwaway line.

He said: “It’s a disgrace, what’s happening in this country. But other than that I wish everyone a very merry Christmas.” Warm and fuzzy, yes?

I want to suggest that the tone and tenor of the president’s message today reflected a smallness, a bitterness and a pettiness in the man who holds the nation’s highest office, who commands the world’s greatest military and who (supposedly) represents the world’s most indispensable nation.

I wish he could have just — for once! — followed the norm set by all his predecessors. He could have simply offered his fellow Americans a heartfelt holiday wish and saved the political malarkey for another day; I’d even settle for him returning to the fight the day after Christmas.

He didn’t do that. He invoked the fight that has shut down part of the federal government. He suggested the “disgrace” is augmented by his fight with members of Congress over construction of The Wall he wants to erect along our southern border.

Oh, and then he tweeted this message on Christmas Eve: I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security. At some point the Democrats not wanting to make a deal will cost our Country more money than the Border Wall we are all talking about. Crazy!

The more he claims to be a big man, the more he sounds like a small man. The larger the boast, the smaller he becomes.

Donald Trump is one strange dude.

Merry Christmas to you, too, Mr. POTUS

Donald Trump sort of offered a mixed Christmas wish to his fellow Americans.

He wrote: “It’s a disgrace, what’s happening in this country, but other than that I wish every a very merry Christmas.”

Geez, thanks, Mr. President.

His greeting kind of reminds me of how someone might have greeted Mary Todd Lincoln: “Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?”

The “disgrace” Trump referenced is the border wall standoff and the partial shutdown of the federal government. I get that it’s a disgrace what is happening, except that he’s a principal party to it occurring in the first place. He insists on $5 billion for a wall that stands as a waste of money that the government doesn’t have; we are in debt up to our armpits, after all, right?

Trump once promised/pledged/committed to forcing Mexico to pay for the wall on our southern border. It ain’t happening. That means you and I could be stuck with the tab.

Still, the president’s Christmas greeting offers the faintest of good wishes.

I’ll accept the “Merry Christmas” part of it with some reluctance. The “disgrace” element? Well, that’s on the president as much — if not more so — as it is on everyone else in government.

Government shutdown: it’s on Trump

Here is where we stand with this partial shutdown of the federal government.

Donald Trump and some right wingers in Congress want to erect a wall along our southern border. The rest of Congress won’t give them the money to build that wall, which Trump pledged would be paid by Mexico.

The government has shuttered some agencies. All’s quiet in many federal agencies, along with Capitol Hill.

Meanwhile, Democrats and some reasonable Republicans are blaming Trump for this monumental government cluster-flip.

But as Politico reports, Trump is OK with that.

I want to stipulate something that I believe is the reason behind this shutdown: It’s all about whether to build the wall; it has nothing to do with the overall scheme of “border security.”

Democrats want to secure the border as much as those rigid Republicans. They just don’t to erect a wall. They keep saying they support border security in the form of implementing and augmenting existing technology. Thus, they are willing to appropriate a sum of money that pays for those techniques.

That’s not good enough to suit Trump, members of that far right coalition called the Freedom Caucus and a handful of Fox News commentators and right-wing radio talkers. Indeed, it was the radio blowhards who got to Trump and persuaded him to renege on the pledge he made to Senate Republicans to sign the bill they approved.

That, my friends, is the sign of a mealy-mouthed weak leader. Yet the president pretends to be a strongman when in reality he is a tool, a puppet being manipulated by the right-wing element of his political base.

This shutdown might last a while. Or, it might end if senators and House members can come up with a compromise that everyone — including Donald Trump — can endorse.

This is an unacceptable state of play in Washington, D.C.

Donald Trump pledged to take control of government, to “drain the swamp,” to “unite” a nation torn by political division, to make the “best deals ever seen.” He is an abject failure.

He told congressional leaders in the Oval Office he would be proud to take ownership of a government shutdown. He’s got one now. Trump seems proud, all right. He also is acting like an ignoramus.


Trump ‘leadership’ takes a huge hit

Donald J. Trump has spared little effort in disparaging the leadership of his immediate presidential predecessors.

He actually has praised dictators such as Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un as being “strong leaders” who govern with iron fists while denigrating the leadership of our own president at the time, Barack Obama.

So . . . how did the current president “lead” as it regarded the government shutdown?

He agreed with a Senate deal that he assured leaders he would sign, even though it didn’t contain money for “The Wall” he wants to build along our southern border.

Then right wing blowhards such as Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter blast him for “caving” to Democrats and sensible Republicans; they want the wall built, period! They made their displeasure known to Trump.

The president then caved to them! He reversed course! He took back his pledge to sign the bill. Then he blamed Democrats for failing to achieve a compromise.

Is that how we define leadership? Is that the mark of a strong leader? Is that how a committed statesman governs?

Donald Trump has demonstrated jaw-dropping weakness. In the face of political pressure, he kowtows to a radical right wing radio blabbermouth and a right wing commentator known for her intemperate utterances about anyone with whom she disagrees.

Take a look at how two PBS commentators, liberal columnist Mark Shields and conservative columnist Michael Gerson, characterize the president’s behavior this week:

Oh, and then we have the James Mattis resignation as secretary of defense as well.

Are you frightened yet? If so, you are part of a growing number of Americans.

Speaking of promises, Mr. President . . .

Donald Trump’s ever-shrinking but still potent political base is reminding us of the promise the president made about border security and the wall.

He was going to be get it built, no matter what, they tell us.

Part of the government has shut down because congressional Republicans cannot persuade the rest of the legislative branch to pony up $5 billion to pay for the wall across our southern border. Thousands of hard-working American families are now thrown into turmoil just before Christmas.

Trump’s base reminds us of a campaign promise he made, yes? How about this promise: Mexico is going to pay for the wall!

He kept repeating it all along the 2016 campaign trail. Who’ll pay for he wall? Mexico will! Over and over. He beat it like a drum. The base ate it up. Mexico said, “No we won’t.” Donald Trump kept insisting Mexico would finance it.

Why, then, are we haggling, dickering and arguing over whether American taxpayers should pay for a wall that won’t do a thing to make us more secure? Why have we shut down part of the government and thrown families into chaos on the eve of one of our most sacred holidays?

Oh, wait! I almost forgot! We’re doing it because Donald Trump made a hollow campaign promise that he could not keep and possibly knew he could not keep when he kept bloviating about it en route to the presidency of the United States.

However, enough voters in just the right states swallowed the hook and got him elected to the nation’s highest office.


Blogging requires multi-tasking skills

For the first time — more than likely — since I started blogging full time I am left with too much to comment on.

Just today alone, the news exploded all over the place.

  • The U.S. House of Reps decided to put $5 billion to build a wall along our southern border into a stopgap funding bill, then got assurances from Donald Trump he wouldn’t sign the Senate version of a bill that would keep the government running.
  • The government is about to shut down partially.
  • Then to top it off, Defense Secretary James Mattis quit and told the president off in his letter of resignation. Man, he blistered the commander in chief’s rear end. He delivered the letter in person at the White House. And get this: He signed his letter without salutation; there was no “sincerely,” or “with great respect” or “God bless you, sir” at the end of Mattis’s resignation letter.

I’ve been focused this afternoon on the Mattis matter, as I consider it to be most critical at this moment. I believe his resignation and his reasons for quitting constitute a national security crisis . . . as if Donald Trump doesn’t have enough crises to keep him, um, occupied.

As for me, I now need to figure out what I can write about in the moment and what I can set aside for another day. This reminds me of the situation I faced as an opinion page editor after 9/11. We had more to write about than space would allow, meaning we had to decide which topics we could postpone for another time. It’s an editorial writer’s and editor’s ideal situation.

This blogger now has the same dream.

Democracy at its messiest best

The great British statesman Winston Churchill had it right when he described representative democracy as an inefficient, clumsy and messy form government, but better than any other form that had devised.

We’re witnessing it in its messiest form right now.

Congress and the president are locking horns over spending for a wall along our southern border. Donald Trump wants money to pay for the wall, although he initially promised he would make Mexico pay for it. That won’t happen.

Failure to pay for the wall would result in a partial shutdown of the government at midnight Friday. Merry Christmas, to thousands of federal employees who will not be paid for the time they are being forced to take away from work.

I am just one of those Americans who doesn’t quite understand why we reach this precipice every few months. Why in the world must we subject ourselves to this kind of melodrama? Why do Congress and the White House fail continually to provide long-term budgets that allow them to avoid this kind of brinksmanship?

The president has his constituency. Each member of Congress — 435 House members and 100 senators — answers to his or her own constituencies. They fight. They wrangle. They haggle. They argue. They threaten each other. They toss insults. And all the while the government that is supposed to serve all Americans is being kicked around like some kind of cow chip.

We don’t need to build a wall to secure our southern border. The president doesn’t seem to get that. He wants the wall because he made some idiotic campaign promise. Congressional Democrats want to secure the border through other means.

At last report, the White House indicates that Trump is backing away from the wall. The impasse remains.

Churchill was right about representative democracy. So help me, though, it doesn’t need to be this messy.