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Trump: Let's make the border wall solar...and transparent. Wait, what?
And we approved it's length a decade ago.
Look, I'm not a guy who piles on President Trump for every weird little thing he says. Let's be honest. If I was, I'd never get any sleep. But this? This is...something.
I'm hoping this is just some kind of odd spitballing session that's being reported in a way that makes it sound like more than it really is. Because according to the New York Post - and you may want to be sitting down for this - President Trump would like the border wall with Mexico to be transparent so you don't get 'hit on the head' with 60-pound drug bundles when smugglers throw them over. ...And he'd like it to be solar powered. ...And he reiterated the notion that it may not cover the entire border.
“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,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One late Wednesday en route to France.
A transparent wall would give the smugglers nowhere to hide, he said.
He also repeated his hopes that the border wall — which he still insists will be paid for by Mexico despite that country’s denials — should be solar-powered.
“Look, there’s no better place for solar than the Mexico border — the southern border,” Trump said. “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.”
I'll admit I don't know how many people are getting bonked on the noggin with bushels of cocaine, but I'm willing to bet it's a rare occurence. I think it's probably safe to say we might be overthinking things here.
According to Reuters, Trump is also closing in on an overall lengh of the wall.
President Donald Trump said the wall he wants to build on the 2,000-mile (3,200-km) U.S.-Mexico frontier may not need to cover the entire border because of existing natural barriers, according to remarks released by the White House on Thursday.
On a flight to Paris from Washington, Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One: "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.
"But you'll need anywhere from 700 to 900 miles."
If that sounds familiar, it may be because it's roughly the length of the wall that already approved over a decade ago. The "Secure Fence Act" passed on September 29, 2006, and said:
Not later than 18 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Secretary of Homeland Security shall take all actions the Secretary determines necessary and appropriate to achieve and maintain operational control over the entire international land and maritime borders of the United States
The centerpiece of those "actions" was to be the construction of a 700-mile double-layer border fence. To date, only around 40 miles have been completed to specifications, and most of that went up when George W. Bush was still in office.
I'm on board with the idea that the wall doesn't need to cover the entire length of the Southern border (though I'm not entirely sure that Trump's die-hard supporters are) but a transparent-solar-wall sounds like a nightmare of maintenance, security, and logistical issues. To be blunt, it sounds like the kind of doomed federal boondoggle that conservatives usually rail against. A plain old double-layer fence is going to be expensive enough, and hard enough to get by the Democrats, so let's keep it simple.
Pretty please, with sugar on top, just build a regular, functional, wall.
If we feel like slapping windmills all over it, we can do so later.