Thursday, January 26, 2017

Hoopalong Trump

Until Donald Trump took office, I had heard of Executive Orders, but I had never actually seen one being signed. Now we are treated to them everyday. They all end with Donald Trump surrounded by a few people. He is signing a paper mounted inside a portfolio. When he finishes signing, he holds the document up to the cameras for a photo-op.

In fact, almost everything Mr. Trump does is orchestrated and videotaped. His actions generate a lot of press coverage, but I'm not exactly sure what else they accomplish, other than freaking me out.

In 2006, Congress passed legislation to build a wall on our Mexican border. The Secure Fence Act was then signed into law by George W. Bush on October 26.

So where's the wall? Well, the cost of building the wall was never fully funded by Congress and so it wasn't really built. There was enough wall built for the press to take pictures, but the wall never materialized. Some fencing was put up.

Uh, so what's changed now as a result of Trump's Executive Order? Hell if I know. Unless Congress appropriates the funds, the wall will continue to exist on paper and in the minds of those who are susceptible to door-to-door vacuum salesmen.

If, by chance, Congress should actually fund this project, then a wall might eventually go up. The cost of said wall is debatable. Everyone agrees that $15,000,000,000 is the least it might cost, but the smart money is on costs that could top $25,000,000,000.

Twenty five billion dollars!?

I need to clarify what I said 2 paragraphs ago. The "smart money" I referred to is actually "dumb and wasteful money". It would be dumb and wasteful to build such a wall, because it would do little to stop illegal immigration, but it might make for yet another Trump photo-op.

So what is going on here? What's all the hoopla about? Well, like much of what Trump does the hoopla is about the hoopla. Trump is big on hoopla. In fact, Trump is hoopla.

What is really happening is a dog and pony show that has not been rivaled since Catherine the Great (Catherine II) of Russia decided to take a tour of her country to see what was really happening.

Sadly for Catherine, her ministers built false sets along her route and hired people to populate them as she rode by in her coach. The people were all instructed to be "happy". Catherine got to see her "happy" subjects.

We've actually seen some of this with Trump. People have been sent to some of his events to applaud and cheer. Catherine never caught on and I don't think Trump has either. If you applaud and cheer for Donald Trump, he thinks he is doing something that makes a difference.

Meanwhile, Trump's Republican handlers are busy behind the scenes readying real legislation for him to sign. Legislation like tax cuts that will mostly benefit those already far too wealthy for our own good.

Maybe Trump is a reincarnation of Catherine. That would be something. The other thing Catherine was known for was having a voracious sexual appetite. Rumor has it that she did not restrict herself to humans when she indulged those appetites.

Catherine reigned in Russia from 1762 to 1796, which is a good thing, because there was no possibility of her antics being videotaped.

Holy Moly!

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