On Tuesday night, just as the president* was beginning his warm bath in the sour dreams of his acolytes in El Paso, the bipartisan congressional delegation tasked with striking some sort of deal on border security in order to avoid another government shutdown on Friday announced that it had struck an agreement in principle. This development seemed to strike the president* even more deeply into incoherence than is customary for him.
Remember that I have to tell you, as I was walking up to the stage. They said that progress is being made with this committee. Just say you know we're building the wall anyway. They say that progress has been made. Yes now, just now I say wait a minute. I got to take care of my people from Texas. I got to go. I don't even want to hear about it. I don't want to hear so I don't know what they mean.
Translation From The Original Weaselspeak: They wanted me to do my job but I prefer to bask in the misbegotten devotion of my mouth-breathing base.
Progress is being made significant. Now. What did happen? Is the Democrats were being hit really hard on the concept of releasing criminals into our society? That has not been playing well, so maybe progress is made, maybe not, but I had a choice. I could have stayed out there. Listen. I could have come out to the people of El Paso and Texas. I chose I chose so so we probably have some good news, but who knows us will learn we're setting the stage folks, you know what it's called right. It's called we're setting the stage we're setting the table we're doing whatever we have to do the walls being built. It will continue it's going at a rapid pace, the Rio Grande, it's happening, go check it out.
Yes, I, too, sprained my ankle trying to get clear of that syntax, but let's move on.
The deal itself is another abject surrender on the president*'s most basic campaign promise: a big, beautiful, stupid wall for which Mexico will pay. It calls for $1.3 billion for border fencing, subject to local environmental and community concerns. That'll buy him 55 miles of new border fencing-not a wall, not even close-and that's 10 miles less than he would've gotten had he agreed to the deal from last summer that he ultimately torpedoed.
Also, the negotiators managed to solve the late-arising problem with the number of detention beds that threatened to monkey-wrench the talks over the weekend. From The New York Times:
The negotiators also agreed to reduce the number of migrants and undocumented immigrants who can be held in detention. Democrats’ demand for a limit on how much detention space could be used for unauthorized immigrants arrested within the United States had threatened to derail the negotiations over the weekend, but lawmakers agreed to waive the demand.
Instead, lawmakers agreed to adhere to levels, set by a number of detention beds, established in the previous budget. That would fund 40,520 beds, a decrease of about 17 percent from current levels, which Immigration and Customs Enforcement reached in recent months only by surpassing its funding caps.
Privately, Democratic aides admitted the provision could have no impact on the number of beds ICE assigned for detainees. There is nothing to prevent Trump administration officials from funding a greater number of slots in excess of the lower target number, and then securing congressional outlays to cover those expenses, as ICE officials have done routinely in recent years, the aides said.
The most important consequence of the announcement is that the country's several other presidents went out of their tiny minds. President Hannity actually cut away from the El Paso rally to call the deal a "garbage compromise." President Ingraham and President Dobbs also went into orbit. And the gibbering primates of the House Freedom Caucus screeched and howled and flung poo all around the electric Twitter machine.
This conference agreement is hardly a serious attempt to secure our border or stop the flow of illegal immigration. It kicks the can down the road yet again, failing to address the critical priorities outlined by Border Patrol Chiefs.- Mark Meadows (@RepMarkMeadows) February 12, 2019
Congress is not doing its job.
He could sign it and declare victory and a lot of his rank-and-file base might buy that. Or he could listen to President Hannity and veto it, which would put the Republicans in Congress in a real nutcracker deciding whether or not to override him, occasioning another shutdown that clearly again would be their fault.(Frankly, at this point, I'm not entirely sure he would accept being overridden.) This business of having several presidents at once is not working out the way they planned.
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