Disapproval of Trump, Democrats and Republicans over shutdown

It isn’t surprising to see disapproval of the US President and both parties over the current Government shutdown over the wall impasse – a fundamental part of governing should be to fund current services and employees.

CBS News poll: Trump, Democrats and GOP draw disapproval over shutdown

In a new CBS News/YouGov poll, President Donald Trump, congressional Democrats and congressional Republicans all draw lackluster marks for their handling of the government shutdown, with Americans expressing net disapproval for all three.

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Trump’s overall job approval has also dipped to 53.9% disapprove, 41% approve – see FiveThirtyEight.

Partisan splits are locked in: More than eight in ten Republicans approve of the president’s handling of the shutdown, while seven in ten Democrats approve of congressional Democrats’ handling.

That’s not surprising. But overall Trump is seen as the chump.

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A majority see the border problem as a problem rather than a crisis…

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…and even 38% of Republicans don’t see it as a crisis.

Despite all this disapproval U.S. Government Shutdown Hits Record Length With No End Seen (Bloomberg):

The U.S. government shutdown over President Donald Trump’s demand for border wall funding became the longest in the modern era as it stretched into its 22nd day Saturday with no end in sight.

Negotiations are at a standstill and no more talks are scheduled for the weekend or early next week. The White House scuttled efforts to reach a deal on Capitol Hill on Thursday, and Trump’s budget team is drawing up contingency plans for a shutdown that extends through the end of February, according to an administration official.

About 800,000 federal workers missed their pay for the first time Friday –at least some receiving pay stubs for $0.00 — as unions sued the government for requiring their members to work without pay. At least one airport planned to close a concourse as absences rose among security screeners who haven’t received their wages. Trump said Friday that he planned to sign a bill guaranteeing that federal employees will be given back pay once the government reopens.

Even if they are eventually paid back a month or two without pay will make things difficult for many employees, and air travel disruptions will annoy many more people.

Democrats and the president remain at loggerheads, with party leaders saying they won’t agree to fund any kind of wall or barrier and Trump insisting he won’t agree to reopen the government until the wall is funded.

I’m surprised the disapprovals aren’t greater – but if the impasse continues on then there is likely to be more against the political nonsense in Washington.

I’m astounded that budget related Government shutdowns are able to and are allowed to occur at all.

“Either we build (finish) the Wall or we close the Border……”

This should really sort out trade and migration issues.

One could wonder whether international trade agreements mean anything with Trump as President (it doesn’t sound like he is in charge).

New Zealand may have dodged a bullet with Trump pulling the US out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership – I doubt that Trump has any idea about the concept of ‘partnership. or ‘agreement’.

 

Hear it from a wall

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
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP
IN AN OFF-THE-RECORD CONVERSATION WITH PRESS
Aboard Air Force One En Route Paris, France

 

Mexican president calls off Washington visit

Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto has called off a meeting planned for next week with US president Donald Trump in Washington after Trump tweeted:

The U.S. has a 60 billion dollar trade deficit with Mexico. It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of NAFTA with massive numbers of jobs and companies lost. If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.

Peña Nieto responded on Twitter:

This morning we told the White House we won’t attend next Tuesday’s meeting with @POTUS. Mexico reiterates its will to work with the US to achieve agreements for both of us.

A new way of doing international diplomacy.

From Politico: Mexican president cancels Trump meeting in Washington

Trump kicked off the process of constructing his long-promised border wall on Wednesday, signing an executive order to begin fulfilling one of the very first campaign promises he made. The president promised throughout his campaign that Mexico would pay for a “great wall” on the U.S. border, but since winning the White House, he has begun suggesting that U.S. taxpayers would front the money for the wall for expediency’s sake but will be reimbursed by the Mexican government.

There is also growing trade tension between Mexico and the US.

Beyond upsetting America’s neighbors, a move by the Trump administration to back out of NAFTA entirely could have its own dramatic set of economic consequences. Such a decision could upset international supply chains that stretch across North America that have been developed in the 23 years since NAFTA was enacted. Those supply chains support some 14 million American jobs that depend on trade with Canada and Mexico.

Top Mexican government officials were already in Washington on Wednesday, hammering out plans for Peña Nieto to visit Washington next week, although Trump’s executive orders only added to the pressure on Mexico’s president to cancel that trip.

Peña Nieto has been adamant on the wall.

I regret and reproach the decision of the United States to build a wall that for many years, far from uniting us, has divided us. Mexico does not believe in walls. I’ve said it many times before — Mexico will not pay for a wall.

From an ABC interview with Trump:

DAVID MUIR: Mr. President, I want to start — we’re five days in. And your campaign promises. I know today you plan on signing the order to build the wall.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Correct.

DAVID MUIR: Are you going to direct U.S. funds to pay for this wall? Will American taxpayers pay for the wall?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Ultimately it’ll come out of what’s happening with Mexico. We’re gonna be starting those negotiations relatively soon. And we will be in a form reimbursed by Mexico which I will say …

DAVID MUIR: So, they’ll pay us back?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah, absolutely, 100 percent.

DAVID MUIR: So, the American taxpayer will pay for the wall at first?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: All it is, is we’ll be reimbursed at a later date from whatever transaction we make from Mexico. Now, I could wait a year and I could hold off the wall. But I wanna build the wall. We have to build the wall. We have to stop drugs from pouring in. We have to stop people from just pouring into our country. We have no idea where they’re from. And I campaigned on the wall. And it’s very important. But that wall will cost us nothing.

DAVID MUIR: But you talked — often about Mexico paying for the wall. And you, again, say they’ll pay us back. Mexico’s president said in recent days that Mexico absolutely will not pay, adding that, “It goes against our dignity as a country and our dignity as Mexicans.” He says …

(OVERTALK)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: David, he has to say that. He has to say that. But I’m just telling you there will be a payment. It will be in a form, perhaps a complicated form. And you have to understand what I’m doing is good for the United States. It’s also going to be good for Mexico.

We wanna have a very stable, very solid Mexico. Even more solid than it is right now. And they need it also. Lots of things are coming across Mexico that they don’t want. I think it’s going to be a good thing for both countries. And I think the relationship will be better than ever before.

The relationship doesn’t look very good at the moment.

Trump’s Mexico wall

Donald Trump has started to initiate the building of US/Mexico wall, but details are still vague, including costs, time frame and how it will be paid for.

Politico: Trump signs orders on border wall, immigration crackdown

President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed a sweeping set of immigration-related executive actions jumpstarting a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, cracking down on sanctuary cities, and directing significant resources toward swifter deportations for undocumented immigrants.

“I just signed two executive orders that will save thousands of lives, millions of jobs and billions and billions of dollars,” Trump declared during remarks at DHS. He added, “By working together, safe borders and economic cooperation, I truly believe we can enhance the relation between our two nations, to a degree not seen before, certainly, in a very, very long time. I think our relationship with Mexico is going to get better.”

The ‘economic co-operation’ seems to involve scrapping trade agreements and forcing US companies to pull their manufacturing out of Mexico.

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BBC: Mexico: We will not pay for Trump border wall

Mexico will not pay for Donald Trump’s border wall, the country’s president has said in a message to the nation.

Mr Pena Nieto said: “I’ve said time and again; Mexico won’t pay for any wall.

“It comes as our country is talking on new rules on cooperation, trade, investment, security and migration in the North American region.

“As president I assume the complete responsibility to defend the interests of Mexico and Mexicans.”

Trump may not have thought through the budgeting.

Politico: Trump’s budget-busting immigration crackdown

President Donald Trump’s border wall could cost $20 billion, and his directive to crack down on border security could increase federal government spending by $13 billion a year.

It’s not clear where he’s going to get the money.

Trump said Wednesday, without elaborating, that his plan would “save billions and billions of dollars.” But it’s likely he’ll need Congress to agree to a massive spending increase if he wants to fully implement his vision.

The president has some authority to move dollars around within existing budgets. But his plan could cost more than the entire 2016 combined budgets for Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection, which ran to $19.4 billion.

BBC asks How realistic is Donald Trump’s Mexico wall?

President Donald Trump wants to build an “impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful, southern border wall” between the US and Mexico.

But how tall? How powerful? How beautiful? The Republican’s big ideas can be small on detail, and the wall is no exception.

The US-Mexico border is about 1,900 miles (3100 km) long and traverses all sorts of terrain from empty, dusty desert to the lush and rugged surroundings of the Rio Grande.

Some 650 miles of the border is covered already by a confused and non-continuous series of fences, concrete slabs and other structures.

Mr Trump says his wall will cover 1,000 miles  (about 1,600 km) and natural obstacles will take care of the rest.

The Berlin wall was about 155 km.  The inner German border fence between East and West Germany was 1,393 km long as waas built between 1952 and the late 1980s. An estimated 1,000 people died trying to cross it.

What exactly will be built seems to be a changing story.

Throughout his presidential campaign, Mr Trump was adamant that he would fortify the southern border with a wall (“a wall is better than fencing and it’s much more powerful”).

The president briefly walked back his promise in November, telling CBS it might be a fence “for certain areas”.

But as recently as his first news conference in January, Mr Trump corrected a reporter who asked about his plans for the structure.

“It’s not a fence, it’s a wall. You just misreported it,” he said.

Mr Rhuzkan’s estimate was based on a wall that ran five feet beneath the ground and 20 feet above. Mr Trump’s claims for the wall range between 30ft and, more recently, 55ft. Even at 1,000 miles – vast amounts of concrete would be required.

The 650 miles of fencing already put up has cost the government more than $7 billion, and none of it could be described, even charitably, as impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, or beautiful.

And the wall won’t stop people going by air or by sea.

Talking the campaign sound bites is a lot simpler than walking the three thousand km border, let alone building a wall along it.

 

Trump versus Mexico on paying for the wall

A bizarre bunch of tweets from an apparently authentic Twitter account of an ex-president of Mexico, and the president-elect of the United States.

Trump’s Mexican stunt and immigration hard line

Donald Trump visited Mexico to talk to President Enrique Pena Nieto yesterday with an apparent softening of tone on immigration, but flew back to Phoenix and ramped up his hard line immigration rhetoric.

In Mexico Trump tried to look like he could handle foreign diplomacy, but was contradicted by Pena Nieto.

Trump’s speech comes after he met with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto earlier in the day and asserted America’s “right” to build a border wall during a hastily arranged visit to Mexico City.

While both leaders adopted a measured and respectful tone, with Trump calling it a “substantive, direct and constructive exchange of ideas,” there was disagreement on the question of the wall.

While Trump told reporters “we didn’t discuss payment of the wall,” Pena Nieto later contradicted Trump and said the subject was among those discussed. He also tweeted that he made it clear “that Mexico will not pay for the wall.”

But he came back to the USA and switched back to his tough talk on immigration, which had been wavering over the last week.

Donald Trump, fresh off a hastily arranged visit to Mexico where he met with the country’s president, doubled down Wednesday night on his vow to build a “great wall” along the southern border — and make Mexico pay for it — while outlining a more focused mission for the deportation force he’s promised to create.

In a speech in Phoenix meant to clarify his immigration positions after appearing to soften his stance, the Republican presidential nominee outlined a hardline set of proposals for tackling illegal immigration. He did not, however, definitively call for removing all illegal immigrants in the country.

Rather, Trump vowed to focus first on deporting the estimated 2 million “criminal aliens” on day one, while also prioritizing certain groups like gang members and visa overstays for removal. He said, though, that any illegal immigrant could be subject to deportation under his administration.

“There will be no amnesty,” he said, adding that no illegal immigrant would be legalized without first leaving and coming in through the front door.

“For those here illegally today, who are seeking legal status, they will have one route and one route only. To return home and apply for reentry like everybody else under the rules of the new legal immigration system I outlined above,” he said.

Trump said that America’s current immigration system “serves the needs of wealthy donors, political activists and powerful politicians.”

“Let me tell you who it does not serve, it does not serve you the American people. It doesn’t serve you,” he said.

So Trump is targeting his core support, the anti-immigrant anti-establishment demographic. He may have reassured them but it could work against widening his appeal.

Amid rumors he was considering softening his trademark position on building a wall on the southern border, Trump made his position very clear.

“We will build a great wall along the southern border,” he said to cries of “build the wall” from the boisterous crowd. “And Mexico will pay for the wall.”

He later said the wall would be “impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful.”

How will he get Mexico to pay for the wall? Visit their President and not talk about it?

Quotes from Fox News: Trump doubles down on ‘impenetrable, physical’ wall during immigration speech

But the Washington Examiner points out that things are still unclear – In fiery speech, a hard-to-spot change in Trump immigration plan:

First, Trump’s statement that those here illegally would have “one route and only one route” to legal status seems clear. Everybody seeking legalization would have to leave and then return.

But then, a few short paragraphs later, Trump said that “in several years,” when tough enforcement measures are fully in place — not contemplated, not in the planning stage, but actually up and running — then “we will be in a position to consider the appropriate disposition of those who remain.”

Trump was addressing the illegal immigrants who would choose to stay in this country — that is, non-criminals and those who chose not to return to their home countries and get in line to return to the United States. If those people stayed here, Trump said, then their situation would be debated after all the enforcement measures are in effect. At that time, there would be “different options” available for them.

So Trump is sounding tough but not on all illegal immigrants, apparently. This could be clarified in time, or it could remain confusing.

Fox also have a new poll showing that the election could still be close:

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The Real Clear Politics poll average has Clinton on 46.8 and Trump on 41.9.

The influence of Johnson and Stein and those currently supporting them could be pivotal.

A brick in the Labour wall

A letter to Labour members offering them a chance to have bricks in a commemoration wall alongside famous Labour leaders – for a price, including $250 for an unwaged, unnamed brick – is causing some consternation at The Standard.

Wainwright explains:

…an old fashioned letter with a flash donation form attached.

It’s bloody long and I don’t have a scanner handy. Usual “our party is in good heart” stuff talking about rebuilding and getting out the Labour message in 2016.

On the wall:

There are many ways we’ll commemorate our centenary but one of the most important to ensuring our Party’s future success will be a new project we’re commissioning – Labour’s Centenary Wall.

This wall will be built from bricks engraved with the names of our Party’s most influential and greatest leaders. It will act a s a reminder of the people who have carried the flag of our movement, as well as those who currently dedicate themselves to our shared cause. I twill show that together we are stronger than the sum of our parts.

I’d like to offer you the opportunity to have your name featured alongside those great figures from our past. Your name could feature on a brick next to party heroes like Michael Joseph Savage or Helen Clark. You’ll have the knowledge that your name will not only be a part of our party’s history for the next 100 years but that you’ve also played a key part in getting us back into government in 2017.

To have your name engraved on a brick on our centenary wall all you need to do it commit to make a regular weekly contribution of $5 $10 $20 or more to Labour until at least the end of 2017. For those who are unwaged we’re offering the opportunity to buy a brick for just $2.50 a week.

Over two years that’s:

– $250 “unwaged” for a brick
– $500 for a brick with your name on it
– $1000 for a brick with a certificate
– $2000 for a brick with a certificate and a letter from the leader

The thread including mostly uncomplimentary comments starts here.