The Thinker: Rich Galen


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Enough, Already, with the Wall

Rich Galen

Thursday February 14, 2018

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  • Happy Valentine's Day.

  • From the website:
    Valentine's Day, also called St. Valentine's Day, (February 14) when lovers express their affection with greetings and gifts. The holiday has origins in the Roman festival of Lupercalia, held in mid-February.

    The festival, which celebrated the coming of spring, included fertility rites and the pairing off of women with men by lottery. At the end of the 5th century, Pope Gelasius I replaced Lupercalia with St. Valentine's Day. It came to be celebrated as a day of romance from about the 14th century.

  • Britannica adds:
    "Lupercalia began with the sacrifice by the Luperci [priests] of goats and a dog, after which two of the Luperci were led to the altar, their foreheads were touched with a bloody knife, and the blood was wiped off with wool dipped in milk; the ritual required that the two young men laugh."

  • Here's some chocolate, some flowers, and a nice steak dinner.

  • Do not touch your partner's forehead with the bloodied steak knife, no matter how fervently he or she promises NOT TO LAUGH.

  • Now. The Wall.

  • As I write this on Wednesday afternoon, it appears that the funding bill that has been used as a club to get Donald Trump's Wall funded, will be signed.

  • According to the Wall Street Journal,

  • "Asked whether he would sign the deal lawmakers agreed on, Mr. Trump said he had to study it but added that it was 'not doing the trick.'"

  • The notion of Donald Trump actually studying a piece of legislation, while amusing to contemplate, did not appear to cause any reporters in the room to laugh with or without touching a bloody knife to their foreheads.

  • Remember, Trump wants $5.6 billion for a couple of hundred miles of some kind of physical barrier along the border with Mexico.

  • We are $22 TRILLION in debt.

  • The Wall represents 0.025 percent of the national debt.

  • Of course using billions divided by trillions is like using Monopoly money to buy groceries. It has no meaning.

  • Let's try this: Say you made $100,000 last year. If I said I needed you to donate 0.025 percent of your salary to a worthy cause let's pull one out of the hat here Oh, Look! Marietta College, Marietta, Ohio 45750. What were the chances?

  • Anyway, you might think that 0.025 percent represents a pretty hefty number.

  • It's twenty-five dollars.

  • About two glasses of wine at your favorite watering hole.

  • Do I think a five billion dollar wall will solve anything? No, but that's way outside my area of expertise. Would I have voted for a bill that included five billion for a wall to have avoided the shutdown?

  • Absolutely.

  • I understand the Democrats not wanting to give Donald Trump a win, but this is an easy one.

  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi can put on here schoolmarm act and say something like: "Sometimes it's easier to let the class bad boy pout by standing in the playground by himself after recess, than it is to argue with him about coming back inside with everyone else."

  • The bill that will be coming to Trump's desk includes about $1.4 billion for The Wall.

  • Assuming Trump signs the funding bill in the next few days, he will simultaneously issue an Executive Order moving money around within the Department of Homeland Security (and perhaps elsewhere) to get closer to the $5.6 billion he asked for.

  • At that point, the Congressional Democrats will have an attorney standing at the Clerk's window at a Federal Courthouse to file a motion stopping the President from doing any such thing.

  • Everyone has wrung every ounce of political advantage there is to get from The Wall. There are a lot of big issues that deserve front-and-center attention from the Congress and from the President.

  • Enough, already.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to the entry for Valentine's Day and to NPR's analysis of the funding bill.

  • The Mullfoto is a better Ego-Tag on a BMW than Monday.

-- END --

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