1. Derek Vandivere says

    In a recent Samantha Bee episode, she had some Trump supporters (including, I think, the gay Black man who was featured on a recent This American Life) and tried to have honest conversations with them. She brought up the fact that it’s essentially unbuildable with a woman whose only response was ‘the wall just got 10 feet higher’.

    It’s clearly not based on rational thought, but I think they’re somehow plugging into the concept that a good leader makes the impossible possible. You know, the scenario of “I need two days!” “You’ve got ten minutes” that always works well to resolve a crisis before the episode’s over.

  2. wzrd1 says

    I’ll say it simpler than any have to date.
    There isn’t enough concrete in the land to build this mythical wall. To make the concrete, you need to fill a concrete kiln with calcium carbonate and silicates. It’s an energy intense process, to put it mildly.
    So, we’ll somehow produce more concrete for this wall than has ever been produced before (more than the Hoover Dam by a fair amount) and transport it to the site that isn’t owned by the government, put in a foundation so that it doesn’t sink into the earth and then make a sovereign nation pay for it.
    The entire notion, from start to finish, is nothing more than unicorn farts. Walls can and do get tunneled under. They get climbed over. They get torn down (so many idiots want to go on about the Berlin wall, as if that Soviet feat was worthy of repeating).

    I’m uncertain if you’ve heard, but “the most interesting man in the world” is retiring, we’ve replaced him with “the stupidest man in the world”. For, he’d double the national debt and have nothing to show for it but an ineffective wall.

  3. says


    They get torn down (so many idiots want to go on about the Berlin wall, as if that Soviet feat was worthy of repeating).

    No, no, y’see it was a bad commie idea, but it’s a brilliant ‘merican idea.
    Contains sarcasm.

  4. gmacs says

    I think trying to build this wall would actually succeed in decreasing the amount of Central American immigrants from coming into the US. Just not directly. If it ruins us financially, the US would probably become a much shittier place to live. And really, is anything going to stop immigration other than sucking worse than the immigrants’ home countries?

  5. Mobius says

    Oliver, as usual, is brilliant.

    (And his waffle iron plan is only racist against Belgians.)

  6. laurentweppe says

    how come people are taking Trump seriously

    I’ll treat the neighbors like shit and give YOU preferential access to the spoils: it worked with Alexander and Caesar and Napoleon and Mussolini and Adolph.

  7. says


    Half of those people were alive and lived in times where they didnt even hqve toilet paper tho, so I dont think theyre a good example to use for modern mores.

    Plus Julius was a badass.

  8. says

    John Oliver is brilliant. He did the research, which is more than I can say for Donald Trump.

    Concerning the WALL, Trump is all bluster and bullying. I cannot imagine Trump arriving in Cuba (as President Obama did) to effectively end 88 years of failed foreign policy. Trump just doesn’t have the chops.

  9. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    I liked Oliver’s Lennon reference.
    The clips of Trump in the Oliver story were part of my original characterization of Trump as a performance artist. His performance since has moved so far out of that mode that he is incomprehensible.

  10. says

    They get torn down (so many idiots want to go on about the Berlin wall, as if that Soviet feat was worthy of repeating).

    Also, to make the wall effective, the East Germans had to keep it constantly patrolled. The 140 kilometers of the wall were guarded by 116 watchtowers and 20 bunkers. In addition, there was a second fence 100 meters further into East German territory, with the space between cleared out to provide an open fire zone for guards. The “death zone” was also filled with hazards, such as beds of nails and dogs on long lines. The proposed border wall would be at least ten times longer. Never mind the fact that the Berlin Wall was a public relations disaster for the Soviets, just imagine the cost in manpower needed to keep the Trump Wall similarly patrolled.

  11. says

    Trump routinely exaggerates. What he says about the wall applies to everything: hyperbole or outright lying is the order of the day.

    Writing for Slate, journalist Seth Stevenson described what is like to follow Trump on the campaign trail:

    […] The hokum washes over you after a while. A reporter sitting next to me at the Saturday rally in Cleveland chuckled when Trump bragged there were 29,000 people in the room. “That can’t be remotely possible,” she said, lifting her head for a moment to assess the crowd, then giving up and returning her gaze to her laptop. A fire marshal later announced the attendance had been about 7,000. The lie, though, never made it into her piece. Why bother to spend the time and column space to correct a silly exaggeration, when this same man has said he might want to summarily execute enemy combatants and defile their bodies? You need to pick your battles.

    “We used to fact-check everything, every day,” another reporter told me, “but it gets hard to keep up.” For a writer filing on deadline an hour after a rally ends, there’s not enough time to thoroughly fact-check the dozens of fabrications that spilled from the stage. It’s also hard to know who the fact-checking is for. At this point, anyone who hates Trump has ample evidence he’s a liar. And anyone who loves Trump doesn’t care. […]

  12. raven says

    1. The Great Mexican Wall fixes a problem that doesn’t even exist. Mexican migration went negative 6 years ago.
    What it would do is trap Mexicans trying to go back on the US side of the border.

    2. Walls don’t work. They can be overcome with shovels, ladders, or simply knocked down. You have to continuously patrol and maintain them. That is an ongoing expense that will cost billions per year.

    3. It would be much easier to simply require employers to check green card workers against a central database to weed out fake green cards. And a large fine for violators. Companies really hate this idea, which is why it has never been done.

    4. Who benefits from undocumented immigration which we’ve been tolerating for decades? The US economy and businesses. The US economy would take a hit although who knows how much of a hit.

  13. wzrd1 says

    @aaronpound, there were also tunnels under the Berlin wall. There was a military intelligence unit in Berlin whose HQ was under the Russian’s feet. I’m sure the converse was equally true.

    @Lynna, OM, what amazes me is that Trump can keep even 10% of his bullshit straight, yet he does surprisingly well keeping track of his fabrications. Even if he “doesn’t know what is going on.”
    Maybe I’m hypersensitive to that phrase, as my father used to say it when his dementia was in its final stage.

  14. illdoittomorrow says

    wzrd1 at 2, aaronpound at 10:

    See, even you guys admit, Trump will create lots of jobs! Classy jobs, too, made so fast your head will spin!


  15. wzrd1 says

    illdoittomorrow, if concrete work and patrolling an insanely long, economy crushing wall is a classy job for you, you’re welcome to it. The TSA is hiring.
    Personally, I’ve got a nice classy job already in information security. It pays rather well too, with excellent benefits.
    I’ve had more than my fill of patrolling in the Army, from which I am happily retired.

  16. unclefrogy says

    The US economy will take a hit, well I think it is a bit more complicated. It is true that some will take a hit but the attraction of low wage immigrant workers is the low wage and none union membership. So it would seem that those industries that have grown to rely on them will have to replace them with automation or higher wage workers. So things made and used here will cost more to produce but the labor cost goes directly to growing the purchasing power of the market does it not? Completely ending the importation of low cost workers would be disruptive and is not ever likely to happen by any law or wall it I do not see how it would be that catastrophic for working people while for people like the “Waltons” and Tyson foods it might be a little more problematic.
    The wall will not be made out of anything more substantial than the “cow pies” the rest of the crap he is selling is made of, it is just labeling, That is all his “business” is anyway!
    uncle frogy

  17. Chris Capoccia says

    because trump supporters would rather have someone at least trying at the unrealistic goal of keeping central and south america out than someone trying to make a plan for a reasonable legal process to let people in. it’s the same on the other side why people liked the idea of closing guantanamo and even the incremental progress even though guantanamo still exists.

  18. unclefrogy says

    sure it is easy to find solutions for a problem that you yourself have defined in such a way as to be insoluble.
    What we have is the establishment class personified by republicans has defined the problem as immigrants who are coming to take your jobs get tax money and be criminals it is their fault you are in the shape you are in.
    The “job creators” have had little difficulty outsourcing jobs, off shoring jobs, demonizing organized labor and a whole lot of other things including tax breaks of all kinds.
    Amoral corporations can easily become internationalized with support from international treaties and agreements while Labor is prevented from doing that by the same agreements.
    yah we need one around all the f’n trumps and their clones at least 60 ft tall
    uncle frogy

  19. bargearse says

    You just don’t understand Trump’s brilliance, he’s playing a very long game here. The plan is to be as offensive as possible and to whip up his supporters into such a frenzy of xenophobic hatred that Mexico will gladly build and pay for the wall just to keep Americans out of Mexico. Campaign promise delivered.

  20. ck, the Irate Lump says

    Derek Vandivere wrote:

    You know, the scenario of “I need two days!” “You’ve got ten minutes” that always works well to resolve a crisis before the episode’s over.

    In the real world, this scenario usually results in it taking four days instead of just two. Two days to unravel the mess created in those ten minutes, and then another two days to do it right.

  21. wzrd1 says

    I dunno, ck. Those ten minutes in 2001 have turned into *how* many years in Afghanistan?
    I’m rather certain that it’s more than two days and things are still fucked up.

  22. antigone10 says

    So, it would take 4 billion to 16 billion to create a pointless wall that would do dick-all to stop illegal immigration. 4 billion dollars could be used to create:

    1) A working database of all green card residents that companies were required to check AND
    2) enough inspectors to check all of the ranches/ farms/ and factories that are probably using illegal labor AND
    3) enough bureaucrats to process more legal immigration.

    If we were feeling like this was really a big problem, we could also use this money to fund schools and communities in Mexico, central and South America so there were fewer motivations to move in the first place. We could also stop turning a blind eye to the number of guns we let get south of the border.

  23. Intaglio says

    raven @12
    antigone @24

    Checking green cards. Trump hates that idea, one of his hotels was making a fast buck processing green cards for Chinese nationals.

    Donald is a dangerous demagogue and everyone needs to work to stop him. If you check his history it is similar those of Mussolini and, more particularly, Berlusconi; they too were wealthy business magnates with dubious connections among the criminal fraternity.

    Trump also has a history of having others resort to violence on his behalf. Stuff NZ reported about how Trump attempted to break his contract with the Rolling Stones. When the Stones tour manager told Trump “Your fired!” Trump’s bully boys responded by pulling the brass knuckles. Fortunately for the tour manager the Stones Security manager had already lined up 40 of the stage crew to to shut that sort of behaviour down.