This story from Vice might as well just be tattooed, in full, in bright yellow paint, on the face of the statue of liberty, so perfectly does it represent our America:
President Donald Trump still wants his wall, but it turns out that despite his campaign promises, Mexico will not be paying for it. So his administration found a way to get funding: They’re pulling money from military projects and the fund that’s intended to help Puerto Rico recover from Hurricane Maria.
With Hurrican Dorian about to smack into the coast of my home state of North Carolina, this feels like the story we deserve. Apparently the Pentagon is diverting money left and right to pay for the wall, and that includes $400 million meant to help Puerto Rico get off its feet after the devastation of Hurricane Maria. There are many other victims of Trump’s monomaniacal wall obsession, including:
Plans to replace warehouses that store hazardous materials in naval shipyards in Virginia
Elementary schools that educate the children of service members stationed in Japan and Germany
Equipment storage buildings, rifle ranges, and aircraft simulators
Republicans are mad because he’s gutting military projects, Democrats are mad because he’s removing funding from childcare and development projects, and even the dogs are probably mad at him, because he’s cutting a “treatment facility for working dogs at Guantanamo.” Yes, really.
But the $400 million earmarked for Puerto Rico is the headline here, both because it’s morally indefensible and extremely ironic considering the state of the east coast at this exact moment.
Trump seems to be hellbent on building this wall, knowing that if he doesn’t at least fulfill his signature campaign promise, his chances of winning re-election look even worse than they do now. And it’s clear that he doesn’t care who gets hurt with his gambit of declaring an emergency and pilfering funds from everywhere else. It doesn’t stop at the wall, either, as Vice noted in its kicker:
With Hurricane Dorian pounding the Southeast, it’s also worth noting that Trump has pulled $155 million from FEMA’s Disaster Relief Fund and allocated it to ICE, and pulled $116 million from the Coast Guard for the southern border.
For those counting at home, we’re one year and two months from election day.