Trump’s chumps fell for it hook, line, and sinker:
In a much-anticipated move, President Donald Trump on Wednesday will sign a directive ordering federal funds to be diverted to begin building a massive wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.
While Trump long promised during the presidential campaign to build a wall, he insisted Mexico would pay for it, and the decision to use taxpayer funds and later seek reimbursement from Mexico is a hugely contentious move.
During a visit to the Department of Homeland Security, Trump signed two immigration-themed executive orders on Wednesday. One covers starting his promised border wall project, as well as expanding resources for the Homeland Security Department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The second seeks to strip federal funding for “sanctuary cities.”
The move comes one day before the new president will fly to Philadelphia to address House and Senate Republicans at their annual retreat, and it means they will face votes in the coming months on how to fund Trump’s top campaign pledge.
Every fucking Democrat needs to vote against this.
“Building this barrier is more than just a campaign promise. It’s a common-sense first step to really securing our porous border,” White House Press Secretary Spicer told reporters. “This will stem the flow of drugs, crime, illegal immigration into the United States. And, yes, one way or another, as the president has said, Mexico will pay for it.”
Crime is down and doesn’t “flow” across the borders, immigration is way down, and the only thing that will stop drugs coming across American borders (WE HAVE MORE THAN ONE!) is lowering demand. But, whatever.
I just hope the people who own property that will be seized to construct this wall make a god damned fortune so we can hang the price tag of this debacle around their heads for the next five decades.
A Ghost to Most
If it is built, even in part, he will own it. Trump’s Folly will become an object of derision down the ages.
Это курам на смех
The trillion-dollar-cost of Bush and Cheney’s Excellent Adventure never stuck to them, so this goal is a tad ambitious.
Gin & Tonic
I’m so old that I can remember when Executive Orders were the work of a tyrant.
mai naem mobile
Every Democrat won’t vote against it. I saw Heidi Heidtkamp this morning on CNBC and she couldn’t stop agreeing more with Joke Kernen on how wrong the previous administraton was. When there’s a spill from the pipeline she better not be coming to the feds to fix the problem because hoocoodanode. Then she can tell her farmers how awesome it was to poison their farming water source.
He will wait to start building the wall until his sons complete the paper work for a joint venture with a Mexican company to produce trump branded ladders and shovels.
Not only is Mexico not paying for – like anyone with more than one brain cell would have known – but where exactly is that money being diverted fund. There isn’t a really large till of money just sitting around. If the money is being spent on a wally it isn’t being spent elsewhere.
Since people on either side of this wall are going to try to damage/destroy it on a regular basis, the main cost of construction will be guarding the project, which will take thousands of full-time guards. Finally jobs for the alt-right!
Trump supporters wanted a wall. Now, they will have a wall. They will be happy. It’s like a security blanket. It doesn’t matter whether a wall is a waste of time, which of course, it is. The wall represents a promise kept.
Trump wins big time with his supporters here. Symbolic gestures matter, especially in the context of past broken promises and the long political memory of a “do nothing” Congress.
@Gin & Tonic:
Wasn’t the executive diverting funds also an impeachable offense when the executive was black?
I am desperately trying to look at this as a stimulus measure, pointless as the end product will be.
Be careful, though. Trump has been playing them for 2 days. They’re repeating exactly what he says in these “memos” or whatever they are and it’s probably all bullshit and lies.
I can’t make sense out of any it. I guarantee no one in the country has any idea what is going on either.
For all we know this is just a big pack of lies they’re all repeating as truth. We only really know one thing: Donald Trump is a liar. I’ll need more than a press release to believe anything he says.
I know people who live near the border. The property owners aren’t all happy about the thought of the government sending in people to build a wall on their property. Nor are they happy about being forced to sell it. I expect they’ll use eminent domain to do a land grab and it’s going to get ugly in some places.
Since much of the land on the border is private property, a big chunk of that money is going to be going to lawyers for getting eminent domain orders to get an easement, and paying the landowners for the loss of the property.
I’m also curious as to exactly where this thing is going to be built. Built up areas like San Diego/Tijuana and El Paso/Juarez already have a big wall. Empty desert and mountains don’t. Is THAT where this is going? To keep the coyotes from cross border breeding?
I’ll still be shocked if there’s anything other than the Rio Grande separating Big Bend National Park from Mexico come 2020.
I’m sure he’ll gladly reimburse us Tuesday.
This may be an issue where it’s worth lobbying the Freedom Caucus and other deficit hawks.
Gin & Tonic
@Yarrow: Hell, I’m also so old that I can remember when conservatives *hated* eminent domain.
Gringa living in Mexico here who is extremely concerned about the Trump regime seizing/taxing USD->MXN remittances. No one seems to realize that there are over a million of us American expats here who, in various ways, regularly transfer our money from the US to Mexico. I keep getting assurances that it *somehow* won’t affect us, by my faith in this clowncar of an administration is approximately zero.
Hi Trump from your Northern neighbours. You want to build one one your Northern border too?
Good luck with a wall in the middle of the Salish Sea; Lake of the Woods; the Great Lakes; the Soo Locks; the St. Clair, Detroit, Niagara and St. Lawrence rivers; Lake Champlain; the Gulf of Maine; and the Haskell Library and Opera House.
Osti de tabarnak de calice…pendejo!
LOL, I work in consulting engineering for public infrastructure. You can’t just say “go build a wall.” Even if you skip the environmental process, there is still surveying, planning, etc. Those require contracts which require a request for proposals or statements of qualifications. Even if the survey or some planning has already been done, they’re probably very rough and would require fine tuning.
There is a lot of logistics just in the design and planning. Let’s say the cost is $20 billion. Big roadway projects that most large contractors can do are around $200 to maybe $500 million dollars. So this work would likely be split into 50 to 100 projects.
All of these projects would require engineering, surveying, right-of-way acquisition, on and on. Being very nice with the numbers, this would cost at least 6% of the budget so $1.2 billion or about 6000 engineers, CADD techs, surveyors, ROW agents, planners full time. This would be consultants like myself (hooray?) with federal employees merely serving as reviewers.
It took all 50 states several years to burn through the $400 million of the stimulus that Obama got (only half of the $800 million was actual infrastructure work). Much of that ended up being repaving as that could be done with very little engineering, etc.
Whether the wall is built cast-in-place or precast concrete panels (likely both will be utilized), it will gobble up much of the reinforcing steel, concrete batch plants, concrete precasters, and drillers in the United States. When SLC was building lots of steel bridges for the Winter Olympics it drove up the costs of structural steel production and fabrication way up.
So, this will have to be a huge multiyear project. Besides being a colossal waste of money, it’ll waste a lot of precious resources in both men and material. And I haven’t even gotten to how the ROW process would work or court battles with folks who don’t want a chunk of their land taken. Plus for how much of 2000 miles do we need to build access roads? Is that part of the $20 billion price tag?
Iowa Old Lady
@Seanly: I love it when knowledgeable people talk data.
I didn’t know this, but Elon Musk is an advisor of the shitgibbon. Well, there went my plan to some time buy a Tesla.
@Seanly: The Winter Olympic story is good. It corroborates stories I read about the push to upgrade wastewater plants after the Clean Water Act. Deadlines were set for a massive amount of work. Deadlines weren’t met but the price of concrete went sky high.
@Gin & Tonic:
Yeah, that was way back, what, a week ago?
You know crazed tyrants. They need massive public works projects as monuments to themselves.
This is basically the American Ryugyong Hotel, dedicated to a leader with worse hair than Kim Jong-Il
@Calouste: Yep. He jumped on board after that tech meeting. Really disappointed in that.
Those alleged deficit hawks happily went along with a budget that promises trillion dollar deficits for the next 10 years. Deficits only matter when a Democrat is in the White House.
And do those roads actually make life easier for people crossing the border in remote areas, given that the wall itself will be easy to climb?
At first I read this as President Trump will sign a “vindictive.” But then again, that’s as good a moniker as any for whatever edict he scrawls his name on.
Kay (not the front pager)
@Mary: Hahahaha oh. You were serious. Don’t you realize deficits only matter when Democrats are in charge?
O. Felix Culpa
Not that T***p would consider this a barrier, but stretches of the border are on private and tribal lands. But I imagine eminent domain and Jacksonian methods will be deployed.
Mike in DC
Mexico is going to build a tunnel(network), and the United States is going to pay for it.
@Mike in DC: Exactamente
Uh, wouldn’t that one exec order on depriving spending to sanctuary cities be a huge problem under South Dakota v. Dole? I thought any permissible conditional spending was down to germane conditions in enacted legislation of Congress, subject to some hurdles. Hard to say how this could remotely qualify and not be a gaping federalism problem.
@Lauryn11: I read it first as ‘signed two execution orders.’ And in moments of sheer irrational dread I can picture him moving on from exrcutive orders to the other.
@Wilson Heath: Just technicalities.
J R in WV
The alt-right don’t qualify for law enforcement jobs, they’re mostly convicted of stuff that prohibits them from being hired, or have medical issues, like schizophrenia, that don’t allow them to handle weapons.
That’s why they aren’t already police officers. The ones that qualify are already on the force, and drooling to the chance to kill some mud-people. Then they get fired. Kind of a bummer, but that’s how it is.
J R in WV
When we were building our house, where I’m typing this, Hurricane Andrew hit southern Florida. The price of plywood, of which we needed approximately a shitload, because I didn’t(and don’t) believe in OSB as a building material for walls and roof decks, skyrocketed!
At the same time, small generators, like what you would use for power tools on a construction site, became not available anywhere. Lowes had a ton of them, but a big tractor visited all those stores ahead of me, and took those tools south for repair of the damage to S Florida homes and businesses. Not begrudging those folks the tools they needed, but I needed one too.
When Dick Cheney shot his lawyer friend, weren’t they on a huge ranch on the border (owned by some very rich old money)? There was some reporting at the time that there was a lot of old money on the border where rich powerful people visited. Does the Tangerine Taint think his New York/ international real estate negotiating skills are going to bulldoze these people? These people are truly rich and not under water in debt. They can hand him his nuts is my understanding of how they view their place in the world. Maybe they’ll invite Qsay and Uday for a hunt.
@Yarrow: trump doesn’t’t listen to advisor well. There was a General who quit because he was supposed to be an advisor but hadn’t been called in months. Elron can give good advice like “don’t do that” but it doesn’t mean Trump will listen. I don’t know anything about the real situation but I have already noticed the title advisor doesn’t to be too important any more.
Guys – what happens to the sanctuary cities? Can they keep operating without federal funds, or are they going to have to cave? Will they even try to fight it? Etc.
It looks as if the amount of federal money involved is pretty small. According to existing Supreme Court precedent, the feds can only cut money related to the purpose they’re trying to fulfill, i.e. immigration in this case. Most of the jurisdictions involved receive only a fraction of a percent of their funding from the federal grants related to immigration, so the amount they could withhold is pretty small. Of course I’m sure Trump will try to withhold it all and let them struggle without while they sue the federal government- it’s his MO.
San Francisco only gets 1 or 2% of their budget from the feds so they have said they don’t care. Other municipalities may be more reliant on the feds and have a different response.
jake the antisoshul soshulist
Anyone have any doubt whatsoever that Trump related businesses will building huge portions of the wall.
I could never work out how outside of crybaby-magic-wish-fulfillment-land, the Mexicans could be made to pay for the wall. What’s in it for them?
I’ll guess Trump will impose tariff barriers on imports, then claim the import duties on Mexican goods are somehow “paying for” the wall and therefore he was totally telling the truth and shutupshutupshutup. And his supporters will be stupid enough to believe it.
@Yarrow: Even better, if Mexico paid for it then that wall would belong to Mexico and it would be their land.
So Trump signs some document to build a wall along the border. How is that any different than what has been done for the last 10+ years?
The only difference between what has been done and what is wanted to be done is the magnitude of money/scope to be executed. The long pole is contracting and whether there is capacity to issue contracts.
Quality would seem to be an issue when the work is to be done fast and cheap.
@Seanly: I’d just like to add that appropriations bids selections and contracting will take about two years. Unless he means to break a bunch of laws to speed things up.
I kind of picture the wall happening. Well, maybe 20 feet of it, just enough to pose in front of. He can then declare a success and fly back to DC merrily chomping on a Big Mac. The 20 feet of wall will be there for a while with some scattered cinder blocks to either side and will fall over within 3 years, trump’s legacy will be that pile of rubble. That and a grave that will always smell like piss with or without some Russian hookers’ help.
@Elaine Benis: Bitcoin.