"The central doctrine of Christianity, then, is not that God is a bastard. It is, in the words of the late Dominican theologian Herbert McCabe, that if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you."--Terry Eagleton

"...doesn't philosophy amount to the sum of all thinkable and unthinkable errors, ceaselessly repeated?"--Jean-Luc Marion

“The opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice."--Bryan Stevenson

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Speaking Truth to Power

Who, exactly, did he make this clear to?

A reminder that most people who think "a wall" will solve problems on the Mexican border know absolutely nothing about either the border or the problems they think a wall will solve.

And Trump's go-to defense is the wall in Israel.  So we'll have a heavily militarized zone on the border, in the desert of Arizona, through Big Bend National Park, along the Rio Grande in El Paso?  In Del Rio?  Brownsville?

Yeah, that's a great idea.  The rest of his response is classic Trump:  no idea what he's talking about, but sure in his ignorance that he is right.  One example:  his claim that we give money to other countries, not to ourselves.    The United States is the largest donor of foreign aid in terms of amount donated.  However, in terms of percentage of GDP, the U.S. isn't even in the top ten. But still, we give too much....

Just to be clear, this is a meeting the White House described as:

President Donald J. Trump just concluded a successful bipartisan and bicameral meeting on immigration reform.  During the closed-door portion of the meeting, they reached an agreement to negotiate legislation that accomplishes critically needed reforms in four high-priority areas: border security, chain migration, the visa lottery, and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders said a "deal" was negotiated after the cameras left.  But this statement only says the President and Congress agreed to do what we pay the President and Congress to do:  negotiate legislation.  And according to Shep Smith, the President negotiated with himself and gave up on a border wall:

Here is the official White House transcript of what Trump said about "the wall":

And we don’t need a 2,000-mile wall.  We don’t need a wall where you have rivers and mountains and everything else protecting it.  But we do need a wall for a fairly good portion.  We also — as you know, it was passed in 2006 — a essentially similar thing, which — a fence, a very substantial fence was passed.  But, unfortunately, I don’t know, they never got it done.  But they need it.

The Homeland Security Secretary, subsequently, noted:

So we need the wall system, which is some physical infrastructure as the President described — personnel and technology — but we have to close those legal loopholes, because the effect is that is this incredible pull up from Central America that just continues to exacerbate the problem.  So border security has to be part of this or we will be here again in three, four, five years again — maybe, unfortunately, sooner.

And then the President responding to Rep. Cuellar (in case you aren't watching all these videos carefully):

Now, that doesn’t mean 2,000 miles of wall because you just don’t need that because of nature, because of mountains and rivers and lots of other things.  But we need a certain portion of that border to have the wall.  If we don’t have it, you can never have security.  You could never stop that portion of drugs that comes through that area.

I'm still wondering if "rivers" means the Rio Grande, because that's about the only river affected by the border and a border wall (there is the Colorado River Delta in California).  Or more likely, Trump just has no idea what kind of geography he's talking about.

Yeah, we’re doing a study on that right now.  But there are large areas where you don’t need a wall because you have a mountain and you have a river — you have a violent river — and you don’t need it.  Okay?

He can't mean the Rio Grande; that was navigated by steamboat in the 19th century.  Yeah, that's what it is; he just doesn't know what he's talking about.

And then the overnight reviews came in:

So I ask again:  who did he make himself clear to?  Harvey the invisible six-foot rabbit?

Can you imagine what Trump will do when he finally sits down with Robert Mueller?


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