Saturday, December 29, 2018

Casting the Riddikulus spell on the Boggart at the border

Trump Threatens to Close Border if Congress Won’t Fund Wall reports the NY Times. The implication, and what Trump really means and why, is to close off the entire southern border of the United States. Really? The whole damn thing? The stand-off between Trump (via the GOP) and the Dems gets more and more Riddikulus.

I pause for a Harry Potter break, directing your attention to the entries in the Harry Potter Wiki on Boggarts and in the Muggles’ Guide to Harry Potter/Magic/Riddikulus about an anti- boggart spell.

A Boggart is a shape-shifting creature that will assume the form of whatever most frightens the person who encounters it.

Riddikulus is a spell used against boggarts. The caster must think of something funny while casting this spell. If successful, it forces the boggart to take the shape of whatever the caster was thinking about. As boggarts feed on fear and are defeated by laughter, the object of the spell, ultimately is to make the boggart laughable.

And that might be a way to cut Trump out of the D & R negotiations as suggested by other posts this morning. Here are excerpts from the Times’ report.

The president’s attempts to blame Democrats for the shutdown has gained little traction with the public. About 47 percent of adults hold Mr. Trump responsible for the shutdown, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday. In contrast, about 33 percent blame the Democrats in Congress. The poll was conducted Dec. 21 through 25, mostly after the shutdown went into effect.

Despite Mr. Trump’s assertions to the contrary, most Democrats support increased funding for border security. Many Senate Democrats, for instance, voted to allocate tens of billions of dollars for security enhancements in 2013, including roughly doubling the size of the border patrol, creating new electronic monitoring systems and even some additional physical barriers at certain points along the border.

But that money was in the context of a comprehensive immigration overhaul that would have tried to address systemic problems. By contrast, they view Mr. Trump’s border wall as a costly and ineffective proposal. What is more, they have pointed to government accounting documents that show the Trump administration has spent only a fraction of the money allocated by Congress last year for a physical barrier along the border.

Typically in spending negotiations, lawmakers join the president in hammering the opposition party over their position. But other than Representative Mark Meadows of North Carolina, who is a close ally of the president, and a handful of arch-conservative House members, most Republican lawmakers have stayed out of the fray. Even Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, has held off, saying last week that it was up to Democrats and Mr. Trump to reach a deal and only when they did would he hold a vote.

Like I said, it gets more and more Boggart-like and about the only thing that will work is to cut Trump out of the negotiations by casting the Riddikulus spell on him.

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