Trump To Federal Workers: Drop Dead

President Trump is making clear that he doesn't care how his shutdown is impacting Federal workers.

Of all the things President Trump has said since the shutdown started, his comments over the weekend about the plight of Federal workers impacted by the shutdown are perhaps the worst of all:

President Trump said Saturday that he wants to end the partial government shutdown that is stretching into its third week while reiterating his claim that most of the federal workers being furloughed or forced to work without pay are Democrats.

“I don’t care that most of the workers not getting paid are Democrats, I want to stop the Shutdown as soon as we are in agreement on Strong Border Security!” the president tweeted. “I am in the White House ready to go, where are the Dems?”

This was the second time that the President had made the claim that most of the Federal workers impacted by the shutdown are Democrats, the first came during the holiday break:

President Trump early Thursday resumed his feud with Democrats on Capitol Hill over funding for a border wall, claiming that most of the hundreds of thousands of federal employees furloughed or forced to work without pay due to a partial government shutdown are Democrats.

“Have the Democrats finally realized that we desperately need Border Security and a Wall on the Southern Border. Need to stop Drugs, Human Trafficking, Gang Members & Criminals from coming into our Country,” he tweeted.

“Do the Dems realize that most of the people not getting paid are Democrats?” he added.

The president did not provide an explanation for his claim.

Here are the Presidents tweets on the issue:

There is, of course, no support for the President’s claim that most of the Federal workers impacted by the shutdown are Democrats, but even if that were proven to be true, it’s entirely irrelevant. This isn’t about benefiting one party or the other, or at least it shouldn’t be. This is about doing what’s best for the country as a whole, and about making sure that the Federal workers, whether they are furloughed or being forced to work without pay for the foreseeable future, meaning that most of them are facing the prospect of having rent, mortgage, and other bills coming due that they are unable to pay due to the fact that they aren’t getting paid. Asked about that during a Rose Garden appearance on Friday, the President claimed, without any evidence, that he was sure that creditors would give a break to Federal workers caught up in this conundrum, claiming that as a landlord he has done that many times in the past. Whether or not that’s true, the President’s word on this issue is hardly dispositive.

In reality, of course, it’s unlikely that Trump actually cares much about Federal employees one way or the other. They are pawns in his efforts to push the foolish idea of his border wall just as much as anyone else. In the meantime, we’re starting to see stories about the real-world impact that the shutdown is having both on Federal workers and the public as a whole. This includes closed museums in Washington D.C., Federal workers who are finding themselves forced to apply for unemployment compensation as the shutdown drags on, married couples in Washington, D.C. being unable to get marriage licenses since the District’s budget is tied up in the shutdown, and Federal Courts facing a funding shortfall in coming days as the efforts to rely on money from fines and other sources comes to an end. The shutdown is also having an impact outside the Federal Government as Federal contractors and businesses that rely on Federal workers are starting to feel the pinch. Finally, people who rely on food stamps and early tax filers looking to get their refunds from the Internal Revenue Service are likely to be impacted as the shutdown goes on. The longer the shutdown goes on, the wider the impact will become. And the President doesn’t care.

FILED UNDER: *FEATURED, Congress, Deficit and Debt, Donald Trump, Politicians, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Kathy says:

    How about using some of that go fund me wall money to help the furloughed and forced-to-work-without-pay employees?

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  2. Trump has demonstrated in the past that he doesn’t care about the little people (like contractors who have been stiffed by him in his previous life). Hence, this attitude is not surprising.

    And it is truly disgraceful for him to suggest that the partisan identity of federal workers should dictate whether he is compassionate or not.

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  3. Timothy Watson says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    And it is truly disgraceful for him to suggest that the partisan identity of federal workers should dictate whether he is compassionate or not.

    But that’s been the GOP talking point since the 1995-96 shutdown, Steven. It’s been the talking point for the GOP for even longer that government workers are Democrats and evil, and anytime something bad happens to them, it’s good for the country.

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  4. Sleeping Dog says:

    The Airline Pilots Assoc has sent a letter to Trump, and only cc-ing the Congress, calling for him to end the shutdown. I guess Tiny can claim that the pilots are Dems because they belong to a union, but given their incomes a number will be Repubs.

    https://www.inc.com/chris-matyszczyk/delta-united-airlines-pilots-to-president-trump-cut-nonsense.html

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  5. Gustopher says:

    Don’t forget the lasting damage to the national parks.

    The parks are overflowing with garbage and human feces — and then those people are leaving their own garbage and feces all over. It’s going to take park staff months to get things back to normal.

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    This includes closed museums in Washington D.C., Federal workers who are finding themselves forced to apply for unemployment compensation as the shutdown drags on, married couples in Washington, D.C. being unable to get marriage licenses since the District’s budget is tied up in the shutdown, and Federal Courts facing a funding shortfall in coming days as the efforts to rely on money from fines and other sources comes to an end.

    But not a certain clocktower in DC:

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Smithsonian museums are closed. There are no federal staffers to answer tourists’ questions at the Lincoln Memorial. And across the United States, national parks are cluttered with trash. Yet despite the federal government shutdown, a historic clock tower at the Trump International Hotel remained open Friday for its handful of visitors, staffed by green-clad National Park Service rangers.

    “We’re open!” one National Park Service ranger declared around lunchtime, pushing an elevator button for a lone visitor entering the site through a side entrance to ride to the top of the 315-foot-high, nearly 120-year-old clock tower.

    The Trump administration appears to have gone out of its way to keep the attraction in the federally owned building that houses the Trump hotel open and staffed with National Park Service rangers, even as other federal agencies shut all but the most essential services.

    Amanda Osborn, a spokeswoman for the General Services Administration, which owns the building and leases it to the Trump Organization, said in an email that the shutdown exemption for the comparatively little-known clock tower was “unrelated to the facility’s tenant” — the Trump business. The agency says the law that put it in charge of the site obligates it to keep it open, even as federal Washington closes around it.

    But the scene at the modest historic site at the Trump hotel building, where rangers often outnumber visitors, marked the latest episode in which Trump’s business interests have overlapped with the work of the federal government, creating at least the appearance of a conflict of interest.

    Yeah. Sure.

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  7. dennis says:

    Well, like Lindsey Graham and other GOP’ers keep reminding us: elections have consequences. I wonder how many of those who didn’t get off their @$$3$ to vote are affected by all this?

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  8. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Back when the Tea Party frenzy was at it’s craziest I found myself dealing with some of it’s most strident supporters, proudly waving their Gadsden flags, speaking proudly of their self reliance and how they didn’t need any government help. It surprised me how many of them worked for…

    You guessed it, a government (local, state, and federal). The cognitive dissonance is rich with these people.

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  9. Liberal Capitalist says:
  10. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Gustopher:

    The parks are overflowing with garbage and human feces — and then those people are leaving their own garbage and feces all over. It’s going to take park staff months to get things back to normal.

    On this, I think that we do fail as a nation. Other countries do not spend billions on maintaining national parks, but still, somehow those people find a way to eliminate their bowels and not just leave it.

    Europe has hiking trails throughout the alps. England has the National Trails and public footpaths… and yet there are not piles of fast food bags or human waste.

    This is a failure of the individuals.

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  11. Kathy says:

    Rashida Tlaib: We’ll impeach the motherfucker

    Trump: Disgraceful!

    Reporter: Mr. Trump, what about the Federal workers not getting paid? How will they get along?

    Trump: Let them eat cake!

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  12. Scott F. says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    As Timothy Watson notes, this is not Trump’s disgrace alone and the media/punditry need to stop letting Congressional Republicans off the hook.

    Flaming Assh*le is Trump’s brand, so of course he doesn’t care about not only little people, but frankly anybody not named Trump. And the Trumpkins love him for it, so the profound dickishness isn’t costing him anything. But as the mid-terms demonstrated, for any seats in the Senate or House that aren’t solidly Republican, unabashed callousness doesn’t play well at the ballot box.

    Let Trump “get away” with being the horrid person he is. He’s immovable anyway. But, hang their acceptance of this malignancy around the neck of every Republican who isn’t calling for a vote on the House bills.

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  13. Michael Reynolds says:

    Trump isn’t choosing to show no compassion, he is not capable of empathy or compassion. This isn’t an act or a pose, that part of his character is not there. No part of his brain ever considers anyone’s needs but his own. 100% of the time. He’s a psychopath: no empathy, overweening ego, devoid of moral core, wildly exaggerated notion of his own brilliance.

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  14. @Timothy Watson: @Scott F.: FWIW, I am not trying to let anyone off the hook, and I do agree that the GOP establishment in general, especially the infotainment types, have long identified federal workers and Democrats. I am sure some member of congress has said so as well.

    And, I agree they deserve a large share of the blame.

    But there is something singularly problematic for the POTUS to be talking like this, since he is the head of the executive branch (not to mention head of state).

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  15. @Michael Reynolds: I certainly wouldn’t argue with that assessment.

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  16. Doesn’t anyone in this leftist enclave believe that the Dems in the House deserve most of the credit for the shutdown? They are the ones holding up the spending bill. Trump can’t sign anything at this point until it gets through Congress. How is this Trump’s fault, and not Pelosi’s?

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  17. An Interested Party says:

    Doesn’t anyone in this leftist enclave believe that the Dems in the House deserve most of the credit for the shutdown? They are the ones holding up the spending bill. Trump can’t sign anything at this point until it gets through Congress. How is this Trump’s fault, and not Pelosi’s?

    Ladies and gentlemen, this is the kind of disingenuous bullshit that allows the boorish pig in the White House to continue to rant and rave and not suffer any consequences from his own side…and it bears repeating, let us not forget that we are in this situation because this idiot needed a memory trick to stay focused on the campaign trail…

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  18. dennis says:

    @Angel Artiste:

    No.

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  19. Jax says:

    @Angel Artiste: No. This lies firmly on Trump and McConnell. Trump has repeatedly said so. The Senate passed a bill unanimously that Trump had previously indicated he would sign, with no wall funding, and your reality tv star president got called a weenie by some people on Fox News, so he feels he needs better ratings. Now here we sit.

    Celebrity Apprentice: The White House, season 3 sucks.

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  20. Jax says:

    Help, my comment is stuck in moderation, somebody save me!

    Hey, while I’m here, how do I put a picture on my comments? I’m tired of being a power button.

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  21. Scott F. says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    This is kind of my point, Steven. If Trump is a psychopath, as Michael’s assessment makes a strong case for, then isn’t it a little impractical to continue to call Him on that behavior? He’s not going to change behavior. We wouldn’t expect that from someone who’d been clinically diagnosed as a psychopath. Someone with mental capacity would have to intervene.

    So, putting even “a large share of the blame” on the Republicans absolves them of the inescapable accountability the GOP has for the situation the country is in. In our two party system, only the Republicans have the agency to intervene.

    Trump is unfit. More need to be calling for Republican action.

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  22. Mikey says:

    @Angel Artiste: Oh, for fuck’s sake. House Democrats are not holding up anything. They have already passed a spending bill that would end the shutdown. It could be passed by the Senate tomorrow, but Republican leader Mitch McConnell will not even allow a vote.

    So no, we don’t believe the Democrats deserve even 1% of the blame. Because they objectively do not.

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  23. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Angel Artiste:

    Doesn’t anyone in this leftist enclave believe that the Dems in the House deserve most of the credit for the shutdown? They are the ones holding up the spending bill.

    Four things:

    1) I don’t remember seeing your nom de plume at the recent “leftist enclave” komrade koffee klatch event… So I don’t know if you qualify to make that judgement.

    2) This site is actually a moderate site, ala Eisenhower Americans. Some would actually say constitutional conservatives.

    3) Wasn’t Trump having the same issue with a GOP controlled house and Senate? Budget and Wall funding is the can that they kicked for some time before kicking it over to a GOP controlled Senate and DEM House. Maybe you should be asking why Mitch McConnell has not put any bills forward… The Senate can originate a bill as well.

    4) Bye Felicia.

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  24. @Scott F.: I think calling him on his behavior is also putting pressure on those who are enabling his behavior.

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  25. Gustopher says:

    @Jax:

    Celebrity Apprentice: The White House, season 3 sucks.

    And the apprentice is the President, with FoxNews calling the shots… Oy.

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  26. Gustopher says:

    @Mikey:

    It could be passed by the Senate tomorrow, but Republican leader Mitch McConnell will not even allow a vote.

    At this point, I think Pelosi should walk away from negotiations until there has been a vote on the House bill (which was last session’s Senate bill). Let them vote against it, or let the President veto it.

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  27. Gustopher says:

    @Angel Artiste:

    Doesn’t anyone in this leftist enclave…

    The hosts of this leftist enclave are Republicans and Libertarians, last I checked. Not sure about Dr. Taylor, but James Joyner has been a lifelong Republican who has been having some problems with his party, Doug Mataconis is a Libertarian who has traditionally been of the “a plague on both your houses” type.

    A lot of the commentators who were very conservative have left to go to Trumpland or wherever. A few pop by, but they aren’t very good at it.

    (For instance, your post fails to account for Trump not managing to get his wall for two years, and having rejected compromises after he accepted them. Who can negotiate with jello?)

    It’s not that this is a leftist enclave, it’s that the Republican Party has gone places where a lot of people won’t follow.

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  28. gVOR08 says:

    As someone said in response to Trump’s claim that furloughed and unpaid federal employees are Democrats — they are now.

    I caught just the tail end of a TV ad this evening about ‘support border security’ with a closing text about paid for by Trump for President. Trump’s spending his reelection money on this fight? Sounds desperate.

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  29. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Scott F.:
    I guess it depends on how you look at mental illnesses and personality defects. It is devilishly hard not to blame a mentally ill person for their illness, isn’t it? It seems to be built into the language. Then again we still blame people for getting cancer.

    Maybe this is why I’ve been stuck on the point that my real issue is with the 46%. I mean, Trump himself is a sick man degenerating before our eyes. That’s not snark, when you watch old tapes of a younger Trump he was a psychopath but he wasn’t an idiot. And objectively if it is true that he suffers from various learning and personality defects – dyslexia, narcissistic personality disorder, complicated perhaps by dementia – that makes it less a matter of morality than of illness.

    He’s a bit of a Dylan Roof character in the end. Maybe he’s sick, maybe he’s a victim of a life we don’t know about, but sadly, one way or the other, we lack the medical knowledge to do anything but remove him from society. But that doesn’t explain the 46%. Trump’s just an awful human being, but he’s just one lone creep. His power comes from people who on average do not share his pathologies or his excuses.

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  30. gVOR08 says:

    @Resistance Ron: I have a theory that innumeracy is a factor in conservatism. Thank you for the demonstration.

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  31. DrDaveT says:

    @Resistance Ron:

    All this because Democrats are holding their breath and throwing a tantrum over a measly $5 million.

    Jesus, you people are stupid. I blame GOP education policies.

    1. It’s $5 billion, not million. You’re only off by a factor of 1000.
    2. The Republican Senate passed a budget that the Republican House refused to pass without adding that useless waste of $5B. How, exactly, is that the fault of Democrats?
    3. It’s useless because $5B is totally inadequate to build the wall Trump wants, which in turn would not substantially alter illegal immigration. It’s pouring money down a hole in order to signal to morons like you that Trumps shares your bigotry and xenophobia.
    4. Yes, I know, you don’t care about any of that, because you’re either too stupid to understand it, too brainwashed to recognize it as truth, or just a troll anyway. My bad for responding.

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  32. An Interested Party says:

    But we know walls work.

    A pity there’s no wall here to stop some desperate troll from constantly returning using many different aliases after being banned over and over again…

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  33. Tony W says:

    @Resistance Ron:

    Rather than wasting lots of money, let’s start with the smaller amount, then judge the wall’s effectiveness. If it works well, we can then build more. If not then we can discuss other options.

    Why is it okay to waste $5 Billion to build a short wall and test its effectiveness? I can think of a lot of ways to have a much bigger impact on border/national security for the same $5 Billion.

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  34. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Resistance Ron:

    But we know walls work.

    Ummmm, no they don’t. In the real world people just fly right over them. Or drive right through them. Or dig under them. Or sail around them.

    If you had even a passing acquaintance with reality, you’d know this.

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  35. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Resistance Ron: Walls work? The Great Wall of China and the Maginot Line beg to differ.

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  36. KM says:

    @Resistance Ron:

    But we know walls work.

    *sigh* If walls work, then why did our ancestors stop walling cities? Trump and his trolls are bringing up the Vatican lately as some sort of a-ha gotcha without understanding the time-frame they were built in. By his logic, if the people who built St. Louis or Chicago or Austin had brains, they’d have walled their cities from the get-go so you could use those walls today to keep out immigrants.

    Walls. Only. Work. If. You. Can’t. Get. Around. Them. This was true back in the day as well – a reason for moats was to avoid tunneling under or climbing over the castle wall! A peasant back in the day would have had a hard time with a stone wall because they wouldn’t have easy access to ladders, digging equipment, climbing equipment, explosives, or just plain ole alternate travel by air or sea.

    By the late 1700’s, people understood this concept and stopped walling things off. Why did people hundreds of years ago get something you and yours have trouble with?

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  37. MarkedMan says:

    @KM: Some years ago I visited a friend in his home in Naarden, in the Netherlands. For centuries it was fortified as a walled city, and by god, it is some kind of wall. In addition to the usual very thick stone walls, there were two concentric star shaped moats, fortified by cannons and soldiers. I visited the museum there and came away with at least three things relevant to this discussion. First, there were big negatives associated with being a walled and fortified city. Travel, commerce, etc. Second, the fortifications always eventually failed, resulting in slaughter. After each war, they rebuilt with bigger, tougher, absolutely unbreakable defenses and they would last until the next enemy soldiers laid siege and eventually broke through. Third, once the airplane entered the picture, the Dutch government declared that the program of town fortification would end. And, as stated in a small plaque in the Naarden museum, the people of Naarden cheered. In fact, Naarden is the only city that kept its moats and fortifications in place. All the others immediately filled them in and became a normal town once again. Naarden keeps the stuctures because they saw the land between the two moats could be made into a beautiful park, and the moats are big enough for small craft sailing and such.

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  38. Blue Galangal says:

    @Resistance Ron: Illegal immigration is already decreasing. So why do we need a wall, again?

    The estimated number of Mexicans in the United States illegally rose steadily for many years, from 2.9 million in 1995 to a peak of 6.9 million in 2007. But the number began dropping in 2008 and has fallen more since, reaching 5.8 million in 2014, the latest year for which Pew analyzed data.

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  39. Kylopod says:

    @Resistance Ron: Now why don’t you answer for the fact that your “prediction” about how Trump would get Mexico to pay for the wall fell totally flat? Your words:

    When Trump wants to open negotiations, he opens with an over-the top position. This gives him bargaining room…. If President Trump were to tell Mexico that the wall was going up and they were going to pay for it, I can pretty much guarantee that they wouldn’t ignore him. Because President Trump would have a LOT of tools on hand to bring them to the negotiating table…. [Goes on to list several things Trump could do as president that would effectively force Mexico’s hand]

    Now Trump is reduced to the laughably illiterate non sequitur that Mexico will be effectively paying for the wall through TRAFTA.

    Trump is shutting down the government to extort $5 billion from American taxpayers for a project he claimed would be funded by Mexico, a promise you contorted yourself into a pretzel to explain rationally even though it was so obviously nothing more than empty macho bluster. How does it feel day after day trying to invent rationalizations for the most transparently idiotic bullshit, when you should have figured out by now it’s only a matter of time before it gets thoroughly and decisively exposed for the hollow bunkum that everyone with half a brain knew it was all along? Are you some kind of a masochist?

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  40. Kathy says:

    @KM:

    *sigh* If walls work, then why did our ancestors stop walling cities?

    Gun powder.

    Not that walls worked that well before gun powder and cannons. They kept an enemy out of a city, yes, but also kept supplies from coming in. See the siege of Rome in 537 to 538. Belisarius managed to eke out a Pyrrhic victory of sorts, even when the Ostrogoths lacked the man power to encircle the city.

    By 1453, Constantinople’s vaunted walls could not withstand damage from the very primitive cannon of the day.

    A border wall would perhaps work for a little while, before people found the best way around it. Personally I don’t think spending years and billions of dollars on a measure that will become obsolete in short order is a good idea. But the toddler at the White House day Care facility seems to feel differently.

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  41. Teve says:

    OT but too good not to share

    Jim Hoft
    Jim Hoft
    @gatewaypundit

    EXCLUSIVE: Yorktown Elitist and Bronx Hoaxer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Went by “Sandy” Well into College at Boston U

    (VIDEO) (link: https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2019/01/exclusive-yorktown-elitist-and-bronx-hoaxer-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-went-by-sandy-well-into-college-at-boston-u-video/) thegatewaypundit.com/2019/01/exclus… via
    @gatewaypundit

    @AOC

    I’m amazed he hasn’t deleted it yet, considering that the first 200 comments I read were laughing at him.

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  42. @Kylopod:

    How does it feel day after day trying to invent rationalizations for the most transparently idiotic bullshit,

    Based on watching the process over the years, I am guessing it feels like even more rationalization is needed to really bring the point home.

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  43. grumpy realist says:

    @SC_Birdflyte: [Historical Geek time]: actually, remember that Hitler’s armies went AROUND the Maginot line, so that wall pretty well worked….

    The major problem cities discovered with walls-as-defence was they had to keep building more walls as the city would grow.

    And Trump’s little building project would a) not be completed with the $5B funding required, b) doesn’t deal with the eminent domain problems everyone intelligent admits exists, c) ignores the mechanisms by which a sizeable percentage of “undocumented aliens” get to the U.S. in the first place, and d) is attempting to solve a problem that is already disappearing.

    Basically, Trump wants a chunk of money to build a Potemkin wall so he can have pictures taken of himself posing in front of the “structure” and his idiotic supporters can jump up and down praising him and telling him How Wonderful he is.

    (Never think the U.S. can’t turn into North Korea, guys. A sizeable percentage of the U.S. population already has the mentality of looking for a “strong man” to tell them how fantastic they are and how everything that goes wrong in their lives can be blamed on other people. Look at the trolls we have posting here–epic suckers and clueless marks.)

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  44. @grumpy realist: Plus, in terms of the “walls work” assertion, a wall does essentially nothing about drugs and terrorism, despite the claims being made.

    Drugs come in mostly via ports of entry (and, drugs rather easily go over and under walls).

    And there simply aren’t terrorists walking across the desert.

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  45. Kathy says:

    @grumpy realist:

    [Historical Geek time]: actually, remember that Hitler’s armies went AROUND the Maginot line, so that wall pretty well worked….

    Sort of. The Germans went through the Ardennes, which the French considered to be so rough and forbidding, they thought it would take an army weeks to cross. It took two days.

    The Maginot line is a good analogy to the Vanity Wall, though. You can go around it, and the routes around are not guarded.

    For years many in the GOP have avoided comprehensive immigration reform, on the pretext that they wanted to secure the border first. IMO, the border is as secure as it can be in peace time between two free nations. It certainly doesn’t need a Dennison Wall.

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  46. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Naarden keeps the stuctures because they saw the land between the two moats could be made into a beautiful park, and the moats are big enough for small craft sailing and such.

    In other words, much like Hwasong in Korea, they saw the advantages of the wall as a tourist destination thing. Maybe this is what RR is talking about when he says “Walls work.” Think of all the tourist traffic we could generate–Ron and his family, Guarneri and whatever he has for life partners/companions, those other guys with “Hispanic” wives/girlfriends. That’s a dozen or so people right there. The possibilities are unlimited.

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  47. Barry says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: “You guessed it, a government (local, state, and federal). The cognitive dissonance is rich with these people.”

    All right-wing propaganda is Freudian projection.

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  48. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: At this point, any federal employee who still supports Trump is a fucking idiot. He’s made it abundantly clear he despises them, has no respect for them and the work they do, and could not care any less about any damage to them and their families his unnecessary and stupid shutdown will cause.

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