Trump’s wall getting shorter

In an interview recently President Trump said that the Mexican border wall may not go the whole distance.

Q You were joking about solar, right?

THE PRESIDENT: No, not joking, no. There is a chance that we can do a solar wall. We have major companies looking at that. Look, there’s no better place for solar than the Mexico border — the southern border. And there is a very good chance we can do a solar wall, which would actually look good. But there is a very good chance we could do a solar wall.

One of the things with the wall is you need transparency. You have to be able to see through it. In other words, if you can’t see through that wall — so it could be a steel wall with openings, but you have to have openings because you have to see what’s on the other side of the wall.

And I’ll give you an example. As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them — they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It’s over. As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall.

As crazy as it sounds for sure.

But we have some incredible designs.

But we are seriously looking at a solar wall. And remember this, it’s a 2,000 mile border, but you don’t need 2,000 miles of wall because you have a lot of natural barriers. You have mountains. You have some rivers that are violent and vicious. You have some areas that are so far away that you don’t really have people crossing. So you don’t need that. But you’ll need anywhere from 700 to 900 miles.

There is already close to 700 miles of fence and wall  – as of May 2015, DHS had installed (Current state of the border fence):

  • 353 miles of Primary Pedestrian Fencing.
  • 36 miles of Secondary Fencing.
  • 14 miles of Tertiary Pedestrian Fencing.
  • 300 miles of Vehicle Fencing.

Plus we have some wall that’s already up that we’re already fixing. You know, we’ve already started the wall because we’re fixing large portions of wall right now. We’re taking wall that was good but it’s in very bad shape, and we’re making it new. We’re fixing it. It’s already started. So we’ve actually, in the true sense — you know, there’s no reason to take it down or ***. So in a true sense, we’ve already started the wall.

So the wall may not go the whole distance.

And it will be a see through wall so you can avoid being hit by a thrown sack of drugs.

This is apparently for real.

More interview here: Previously off-the-record White House transcript

July 12, 2017
Aboard Air Force One En Route Paris, France


Hooton on need for Cabinet reshuffle

Matthew Hooton has written in NBR about the need for a Cabinet reshuffle, and he names a few names he thinks deserve promotion and demotion Cabinet reshuffle needed soon (paywalled).

Bryce Edwards has tweeted a few key points.

Matthew Hooton (NBR): “Cabinet reshuffle needed soon” – makes case for firing many ministers

  • Nick Smith – Minister of Building and Housing, Environment
    “An unattractive arrogance has emerged… The top candidate to be sacked is obviously Nick Smith”
  • Murray McCully – Minister of Foreign Affairs
    Hooton says to sack McCully over Saudi sheep scandal-“Key would be wise to get rid of his errant foreign minister sooner rather than later”
  • Michael Woodhouse – Minister of Immigration, Revenue,Workplace Relations and Safety
    “mere spokesmen for their officials”
  • Sam Lotu-Iiga – Minister for Ethnic Communities, Local Government, Pacific Peoples
    mere spokesmen for their officials”
  • Nathan Guy – Minister for Primary Industries, Racing
    Thinks “his job is reading out MPI talking points rather than… rooting out what looks increasingly like corruption within it”
  • Craig Foss – Minister for Small Business, Statistics, Veterans’ Affairs
  • Louise Upston – Minister for Land Information, Women

“For two years, the government has meandered… Their focus has turned to bureaucratic processes rather than policy outcomes”

“An unattractive arrogance has emerged… The top candidate to be sacked is obviously Nick Smith”.

Makes the case to give ministerial roles to

  • Paul Goldsmith – already Minister for Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Associate ACC
    Promotion “would send a message to business that Key is okay having at least one centre-right minister in his cabinet”
  • Nicky Wagner – already Minister of Customs, Disability Issues, Associate Conservation
  • Todd Muller – MP for Bay of Plenty
  • Dr Parmjeet Parmar – list MP based in Mt Roskill
  • Andrew Bayley – MP for Hunua
  • Barbara Kuriger  – MP for Taranaki-King Country
  • Sarah Dowie – MP for Invercargill
  • Chris Bishop – list MP based in Hutt South
    – rated a good chance of winning the electorate with Mallard resigning
  • Alfred Ngaro – list MP based in Te Atatu
    – lost last election to Twyford by about 2800 votes

Hooton wouldn’t have Seymour promoted – preferring him formalised as Leader of the Opposition (“the only effective critic of his govt”).

This was discussed briefly on The Nation this morning. There seems to be near universal agreement that Nick Smith is past his use-by date. Will he jump before he’s pushed?

Key’s Government could certainly do with a shake up and some revitalising, but I don’t know how vested Hooton’s interests are. He hasn’t been a fan of Key for a while either but no word on leadership changes.

I think key was always likely to do a reshuffle in preparation for next year’s election anyway.

Sack them all?

It’s not uncommon so see calls to sack politicians. Andrew Little was at it again today:


Duncan Garner picked up on this: Little calls for fifth minister to be sacked

Andrew Little has called for Nick Smith to be sacked as Housing Minister.

Shock. Horror. You’re bloody joking me?

If Andrew Little had his way there may be no Cabinet Ministers left.

Maybe that’s the grand plan?

In the last year or so Little has called for the sackings of:

  • Murray McCully for the Saudi sheep deal.
  • Todd McClay for his position on China trade sanctions.
  • Simon Bridges for his Northland one-way bridges policy.
  • And Gerry Brownlee for his management of the Christchurch rebuild.

And now Nick Smith. Are there any more?

So; does Little have a point?

Has Nick Smith been so bad on housing that he deserves to be sacked by the Prime Minister?

Or does Andrew Little need to get a bit more original and find some better lines and more creative material.

There’s a real cry world type problem here. How would anyone know when it was really justified for a Minister to be sacked? Not by listening to Little. Or others.

I don’t think Little has called on John Key to resign yet but both Russel Norman and Winston Peters have in the past.

It’s hard enough getting capable people standing for Parliament as it is without sacking all and sundry at the whim of a political opponent.

Wouldn’t it be good if more leaders actually led by example instead of trying to trash everyone else?