Monday, January 29, 2018

Where Is Monty Hall When We Need Him?

A lot of people on my side of the fence were less than pleased when Democratic leadership "caved" on the government shutdown and allowed the thing to start back up. They did this without getting an agreement on DACA. They could have held out for days, weeks even. Instead, they took what many felt was the coward's way out. They got in line and passed an interim spending bill to keep the lights on and checks going out to military families and social security payments. It will also keep the snowmobiles away from Old Faithful in Yellowstone.

While everyone over here was proud and happy to refer to that weekend as the #Trumpshutdown, there are plenty of folks on the other side happy to laugh and point at the #Schumersurrender. It's a ridiculously macho thing. A staredown. A competition. A contest. Winners and losers. Members of Congress got paid, maybe because some of them stuck around and tried to work over that weekend when the government was shut down. None of them were deported.

Meanwhile, DACA recipients and Dreamers numbering in the hundreds of thousands waited for an answer to their questions: When will I be deported? Will I be deported? Why are we being used as pawns in this process? All of which were met with deafening silence. The government started up again and still no answers were forthcoming.

So after all that brinkmanship, the actual negotiations continued. Yes, there was that schadenfreude moment when the "President" missed his Inauguration Anniversary party, reminding us all about the questions surrounding the attendance at his actual inauguration. But what about those bargaining chips? Those men, women and children who were hoping for a chance to become citizens of this great country.

Well, it turns out that the "President" has settled down a little since having to stay home from his soiree. He's now reportedly willing to offer citizenship to nearly two million Dreamers IF he gets a twenty-five billion dollar trust fund set aside for his pet project, The Wall. Which is confounding in itself, since the "President" has repeatedly insisted that Mexico would pay for the construction of this edifice. Twenty-five billion dollars is a huge IF. Confounding again because The actual cost of building something like this varies wildly and by political party. Are we about to put a price tag on the Dreamers, and if so, is twenty-five billion dollars a good deal? That works out to about seventeen thousand five hundred dollars a dream. Turns out that maybe it's not such a bad deal after all.

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