Here’s the thing: Donald Trump is going to build a wall on the Mexican border.
And it’s going to be a “big, beautiful” wall.
The reason he needs to do this is clear: Mexicans are “rapists” and “they’re bringing drugs.”
Sure, “some of them, [he] imagines, are good people.”
But not most of them. Most of them are “rapists.” And drug bringers. Or rapists on drugs.
Whatever. The point, as Fabio recently put it while discussing Prop 57, is that “there’s going to be a lot of raping.”
Unless of course we wall ourselves in. In which case we can avoid being raped by the hordes of illegal aliens that are trying to overrun our country.
And let’s face it, this is something we know a whole lot about, because when it comes right down to it, the United States was founded by illegal aliens who raped, pillaged, murdered, and then relegated the indigenous population to reservations where they’re now forced to eke out a living selling trinkets and running cheesy casinos.
Now sure, embarking on a nationwide anti-Mexican push could waylay the economy, but that’s a small price to pay in pursuit of Trump’s undeniably noble goal of making America racist again.
Ok, so the thing you should note about Trump’s border wall is that it’s been an absurd proposition from the start, and he goddamn well knows it. Like everything else on Trump’s agenda, he has no idea how he’s going to make it work because let’s face it, he never thought he’d be elected and so it never occurred to him that one day the millions of misguided people who voted for him were going to expect him to actually do all of this crazy shit.
The border wall saga has been a comedy of errors from the very beginning, but perhaps the most amusing turn of events came in late March when some contract notices showed up on a government website run by Customs and Border Protection (an agency of the Homeland Security Department).
The notices outlined what the Trump administration is looking for when it comes to the proposed wall. Here’s what the notices said:
One of the CBP contract requests calls for a solid concrete wall, while the other asks for proposals for a see-through structure. Both require the wall to sunk at least six feet into the ground and include 25- and 50-foot automated gates for pedestrians and vehicles. The proposed wall must also be built in a such a way that it would take at least an hour to cut through it with a “sledgehammer, car jack, pick axe, chisel, battery operated impact tools, battery operated cutting tools, Oxy/acetylene torch or other similar hand-held tools.”
The government will award a contract based on 30-foot-wide sample walls that are to be built in San Diego.
First of all, just try and imagine the thought process that went into this. I mean what was the question that led to the “would take at least an hour to cut through” bit? Is that based on some assessment of available data on the average time it takes Mexican bandits to cut through concrete walls?
Also, the above seems to suggest that the administration thinks Mexicans’ solution to the construction of a border wall will be to form chain gangs equipped with sledgehammers, car jacks, pick axes, chisels, battery operated impact tools, battery operated cutting tools, Oxy/acetylene torches [and] other similar hand-held tools (maybe trowels? screwdrivers?). Is that realistic? I mean what the fuck are they going to do with all that equipment once they cut through the wall? Take it with them to America? (“What are you guys doing with those pick axes, chisels and Oxy/acetylene torches?” “Nothing.”) Leave it at the scene of the wall crime? Or will there be trucks there to take it back to Mexico where it will be loaned out to the next group of would-be wall cutters?
And then there’s the “sample walls.” So we’re going to have people building portions of trial walls in San Diego? Then what? Are you going to go hire some Mexicans, arm them with Oxy/acetylene torches and then time them to see how long it takes to cut through the prop walls?
As profoundly ridiculous as that most surely was, it got even sillier about a week later when it emerged that some of the companies bidding to build the wall were Hispanic-owned.
So Trump was set to hire Mexicans to build a wall designed to keep Mexicans out, completely oblivious to the irony inherent in the fact that some of those companies were in fact run by the children of Mexican immigrants.
Well on Wednesday, the whole thing took another “bigly” turn for the absurd when Trump told a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa that now he’s going to build the wall out of solar panels.
Trump confessed that this is an idea he dreamed up himself. “Pretty good imagination, right?,” he asked supporters. “Good? My idea.”
Even better is Trump’s rationale. The reason he figures this will work is because after thinking long and hard about where the Mexican border is, he determined that it’s hot and sunny down there. Here’s the quote:
We’re thinking of something that’s unique, we’re talking about the southern border, lots of sun, lots of heat. We’re thinking about building the wall as a solar wall, so it creates energy and pays for itself.
That way, Trump figures, “Mexico will have to pay much less money, and that’s good, right?”
Right. Only as Vicente Fox recently noted, Mexico isn’t “payin’ for that fuckin’ wall” whether it costs $1 or $100 billion.
But it gets better. Trump went on to say that under his solar panel plan, the height of the wall will work to everyone’s advantage.
“I mean actually think of it, the higher it goes the more valuable it is,” Trump said.
As a reminder, here’s why this won’t work (via Bloomberg):
Gordon Johnson, a New York-based analyst at Axiom Capital Management, modeled the idea in a research note. He found:
- A 40-foot-high wall more than 1,300 miles long would have an area of 279 million square feet.
- The 13,358,136 21-square-foot solar panels needed to cover that much area would be rated at 4.7 gigawatts.
- Factoring in equipment and development costs, the solar project would add an additional $7.6 billion to Trump’s $20 billion border wall.
If constructed, the border-wall-solar-plant would generate about $221 million in annual profit. Without adjusting for inflation, taxpayers would be in the black after a term of just 125 years.
Yes, “after a term of just 125 years.” So after everyone is dead.
And there’s another problem. As Johnson goes on to note, “solar panels don’t last 100 years.”
Oh, and don’t forget this (from the same Bloomberg piece):
Unfortunately, the value of money changes over time. So, discounting at a rate of 10 percent, even 215 years of $221 million annual payments would shrivel up to $2.2 billion in real dollars—leaving a $25.4 billion gap.
Finally, because no one can make Trump look stupid better than Trump himself, find the clip below. Enjoy and bring your sunglasses…
— Bloomberg (@business) June 22, 2017