Lock who up?


Bad combover. Check. Too long red tie. Check. Orange spray tan. Check. Tiny hands. Check. Cluelessness. Check…

Early this morning:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
Good luck today in court to General Michael Flynn. Will be interesting to see what he has to say, despite tremendous pressure being put on him, about Russian Collusion in our great and, obviously, highly successful political campaign. There was no Collusion!
5:41 AM – 18 Dec 2018

Some of the sarcastic responses:

Man you sound nervous.

Trump vodka failed but Trump Whinery is alive and well!

I hope Flynn tweets you a good luck message on YOUR big day, too.

Start packing, #Individual1 . You’re next.

It’s called conspiracy

Dear Individual-1,

Espionage. No Collusion. Espionage. You do need to focus, sir.

A little light witness tampering to start the morning

I heard if you shout something often enough, it makes it true

We love the smell of your fear in the morning.

You keep saying that Grandpa, but less people believe it than ever.

Thoughts and prayers.

Witness tamper much?

On and on.

Campaign Finance: the restocking continues


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Today at the Missouri Ethics Commission for the Missouri republican state senate committee:

C071094 12/17/2018 MISSOURI SENATE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE Dealers Interested in Government PO Box 245 Jefferson City MO 65102 12/17/2018 $10,000.00

C071094 12/17/2018 MISSOURI SENATE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE Missouri REALTORS PAC Inc. PO Box 30635 Columbia MO 65205 12/17/2018 $7,500.00

[emphasis added]

They’ll always have all the money they’ll ever need.

Finding 46P/Wirtanen – again


, , ,

The comet 46P/Wirtanen this evening:

F 5.6, 21 sec, ISO 4000, 140 mm.

Yes,that’s an aircraft in the frame.

Pleiades Cluster (yellow arrow), 46P/Wirtanen (red arrow).

F 5.6, 3.7 sec, ISO 16000, 280 mm.

Pleiades Cluster (yellow arrow), 46P/Wirtanen (red arrow).

F 2.8, 2.5 sec, ISO 10000, 200 mm.

46P/Wirtanen (red arrow).


Searching for 46P/Wirtanen (December 9, 2018)

Finding 46P/Wirtanen (December 15, 2018)

You’re a mean one, Mr. Hawley…


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“I truly hope that God affords you the opportunity to feel the terror that I feel tonight about my son’s health insurance.”

Josh Hawley (r) [2016 file photo].

The U.S. District Court judge in Texas who was sitting on an ACA/Obamacare ruling before the November election ruled on Friday night (the day before ACA enrollment closes) that the ACA is “unconstitutional”.

Right wingnut republican Josh Hawley (the new senator-elect from Missouri) wasted no time in dancing on everybody’s graves via Twitter:

Josh Hawley @HawleyMO
Tonight TX court has declared Obamacare individual mandate unconstitutional. Now it’s time for both parties to work together to lower healthcare costs, improve access to quality care for all, and protect those with preexisting conditions
8:51 PM – 14 Dec 2018

Well, first, it’s a U.S. District judge, it ain’t the Court of Appeals nor the U.S. Supreme Court. It’s maybe a first step.

Second, Josh, you’ve never had a “plan” nor will you ever “work together” on affordable and accessible healthcare for Americans.

We knew that already.

Some of the responses to Josh Hawley’s (r) Twitter happy dance:

Thank this judge for making a much stronger case for Medicare for all.

Going to be difficult to do with you having to respond to subpoenas in Jeff City.

There’s that.

Go fuck your self you piece of shit fraud.

I agree

Honestly, I have absolutely no confidence from you and your so called Republican Party providing a viable health care solution. @royblunt, @gop The Tea Party is a oligarch scam on America.

No one is going to work with some 38 year old creep who is under investigation for pissing away tax payer money. [….]

There’s that.

You’re on big boy. Time to finally reveal your #ACA replacement that still makes healthcare affordable for people with pre-existing conditions.

My dude, we have a law that does that already; it’s called Obamacare.

No, the time to work that out was BEFORE. #murderer

Let me get this right. First, take away healthcare. Next, spend yrs & yrs trying to fix it and come-up empty handed (because the Republican majority already did that) so let’s do it again wasting time, money, & lives. @HawleyMO works for the GOP, not the people. #ThisIsNotProLife

No, now is not the time. The time was 8 years ago after the ACA was passed. It was flawed but better than nothing, but all Republicans have done since then is whine about it and do all they could to gut it instead of improving it. No alternative plan. Shame.

Your party had a decade to come up with something.

With no replacement, your only goal was to redistribute wealth from people who work & pay for their coverage.

We had that, or at least a good start towards it, until you ruined it. Jacka$$.

Get absolutely wrecked, ladder-climber.

And what are we supposed to do in the meantime? It took almost a year from the draft of the ACA to signingbit into law. Months of debate, input from experts, analysis from the CBO, mark-ups in multiple committees. The law didn’t have to be thrown out. It could have been fixed.

Fixing the existing law would have been faster and provided the Americans affected by your completely self-serving political ambition a measure of stability and security.

The GOP doesn’t care.

The ACA as originally written was upheld by SCOTUS in 2012. With Trump’s modifications, it’s now flawed. Your party did this. You’ve said you wanted to replace ACA for 8 years. Where’s the plan? Rs only destroy…don’t create solutions for Americans.

Special place in hell for you sir. Trying to be a hero by swiping healthcare from millions. I bet mommy is proud.

You mean all of the things that ACA does

You must believe Medicare for All will be more effective

Odd for a Republican.

Congratulations on your great con of “protecting those with pre-existing conditions” – well done! Your party’s mission to take essential healthcare away from tens of millions takes a major step forward. Congrats again!

Your a bad person Josh. You’ve brought a lot of stress and uncertainty into the lives of people with health conditions. The ACA has helped a lot of people, and you’ve done everything you can to destroy the good that’s been done. For you, healthcare is a privilege for the few.

Josh doesn’t care–he’ll have more than adequate healthcare in prison. #LastRepublicanSenatorFromMissouri

YOU did this.
Your lawsuit.

Yes indeed, his lawsuit & lawsuits from other states AG in attempt to “remedy” an imaginary problem with ACA that will not fix anything, only make everything worse. And god bless those bastards the all used our state tax dollars to do it.

People of Missouri lost their goddamn minds electing you.

The GOP has worked to eliminate protections for patients, allow insurers to sell junk plans & increase costs for local hospitals. Please expand on your ideas Sen-Elect NO PLAN. You now have Congressional coverage. What’s your JOSH-I-DUNNO MAYBE-GO-FUND-ME NO-COVERAGE-PLAN for us?

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what the Affordable Care Act does, but it doesn’t work unless young healthy people buy in. So, you just made every one of those agenda items harder, less likely and more expensive.

Which is exactly the outcome they were looking for.

Fighting to remove ACA consumer protections without a better plan anywhere in sight, is cruel and irresponsible. One step closer to health care Armageddon for the middle class and poor.
Worse health danger than any disease…. clueless politicians.

I truly hope that God affords you the opportunity to feel the terror that I feel tonight about my son’s health insurance.

Let’s help this arsonist put out the fire he started…

You lied to Missourians and I sincerely hope your day in court comes soon!

You’ve now successfully gutted pre-existing protection for millions of Americans. Congratulations on being evil. You wear it well.

They had all that already with the ACA, but sure…

Hell isn’t hot enough for these people.

So where’s your plan, big mouth?

Exactly what health care economic reform plan are you referring to?
Ohhh the one that does not exist, so anyone buying health insurance is even more screwed than ever before. You are a political prostitute for the health insurers like most of Congress.

Liar. You are a bold faced liar. How does it feel? Does your conscience ever bother you, knowing that you lie so frequently…and that your true stance on health care coverage will kill innocents? How does it feel to be tihs sort of being?

For the last 10 years, GOP did nothing but obstruct when it came to developing a proper healthcare solution. Hawley is lying. They have no interest in helping anybody with a good healthcare plan.

You are so full of it. Fraud.

GOP wanted nothing to do with the #ACA when Obama was trying to protect people with pre-existing conditions and then sabotaged it at every chance they had.

Exactly. GOP howls against ACA for years and is now going to the come to the table for a bipartisan alternative? I’ll believe it when I see it.

Hawley’s tweet would be gold as an Onion headline. As real life, it’s just depressing.

Because the best way to protect those with preexisting conditions is to take away protection for those with preexisting conditions

And on and on.


U.S. Senate: Josh Hawley (r) theenks your reely, reely stoopit (September 24, 2018)

Finding 46P/Wirtanen


, , ,

The comet 46P/Wirtanen (bluish/green smudge):

46P/Wirtanen – December 14, 2018 – F 2.8. 2.7 sec, ISO 3200, 200 mm.

46P/Wirtanen – December 14, 2018 – F 2.8. 2.3 sec, ISO 16000, 200 mm.

46P/Wirtanen – December 14, 2018 – F 2.8. 4.6 sec, ISO 3200, 200 mm.

46P/Wirtanen – December 14, 2018 – F 2.8. 2.8 sec, ISO 2000, 200 mm.


Searching for 46P/Wirtanen (December 9, 2018)

By the book


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“…heightened scrutiny…”

Josh Hawley (r) [2016 file photo].

State Auditor Nicole Galloway (D) [2018 file photo].

Auditor Galloway responds to request from Secretary of State for assistance in investigating complaint against Attorney General
December 14, 2018

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo (Dec. 14, 2018) State Auditor Nicole Galloway today responded to the request by Secretary Jay Ashcroft for assistance in investigating a complaint against the Attorney General. The complaint alleges Attorney General Josh Hawley used public funds to support his candidacy for the U.S. Senate. A routine closeout audit of the Attorney General’s Office will begin after Attorney General Hawley officially resigns.

“The goal of an independent audit is to get to the truth for taxpayers and not to proceed based on assumptions,” Auditor Galloway said. “My office will review these concerns with heightened scrutiny.”

It’s nice to have a real State Auditor.

The letter [pdf] from State Auditor Nicole Galloway (D) to Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (r):

Nicole R. Galloway, CPA
Missouri State Auditor
December 14, 2018

The Honorable John R. Ashcroft
Secretary of State
James C. Kirkpatrick State Information Center
600 W. Main Street
Jefferson City, MO 65101

Re: Closeout audit of the Missouri Attorney General’s Office

Dear Secretary Ashcroft:

In your letter dated December 10, 2018, you requested my office investigate, as part of or routine closeout audit, whether Attorney general Josh Hawley used public funds while Attorney general in support of hi candidacy for the U.S Senate. In that letter, you also offered to provide documents to my office and requested access to audit records, as well s access to audit discussions with employees and third-parties related to the allegations of improper use of state resources.

Based on you letter, I understand that you have determined that the allegations in the American Democracy League Fund complaint are not frivolous, and are proceeding with an investigation. We appreciate your offer to provide documentation obtained in the course of your investigation. My office will be reaching out to your office to request these documents.

As you noted, the State Auditor’s Office always reviews use of taxpayer funds in audits. The same is true of any closeout audit of a statewide office holder. Based on the concerns expressed in your letter, my office will review the allegation with heightened scrutiny.

A closeout audit will begin when the term of the prior officer has ended – here, after Attorney general Hawley officially resigns. Attorney General Hawley’s administration will be the subject of the audit, but the auditee will be both Attorney general Hawley and appointed Attorney General Eric Schmitt. As such, document requests to that office will be directed to and processed by incoming Attorney General Schmitt.

Missouri law permits us to share with you records in matters officially before your office. In conducting an audit, we must comply with Government Auditing Standards established by the Comptroller General of the United States, as well as Missouri law. We look forward to discussing those parameters with your office.


My Chief of Staff, Michael Moorefield, will be contacting your office in the coming days.

Nicole Galloway, CPA
State Auditor

cc: The Honorable Josh Hawley, Missouri Attorney General
The Honorable Eric Schmitt, Missouri State Treasurer

Jay Ashcroft (r) [2017 file photo].

Alrighty then.

Campaign Finance: “…Ash nazg thrakatulûk agh burzum-ishi krimpatul”


, , , , , , ,

One Ring Money to rule them all, One Ring Money to find them, One Ring Money to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.”

Today at the Missouri Ethics Commission for the PAC created to prop up governor Mike Parson (r):

C180490 12/14/2018 Uniting Missouri PAC DAVID L STEWARD PO BOX 1724 MARYLAND HEIGHTS MO 63043 WORLD WIDE TECHNOLOGY INC 12/14/2018 $100,000.00

C180490 12/14/2018 Uniting Missouri PAC REX SINQUEFIELD 244 BENT WALNUT WESTPHALIA MO 65085 RETIRED 12/14/2018 $150,000.00

C180490 12/14/2018 Uniting Missouri PAC KEVIN KNASEL ONE CLAYCHESTER DRIVE ST LOUIS MO 63131 PMA HOLDINGS LLC 12/14/2018 $19,800.00

C180490 12/14/2018 Uniting Missouri PAC AMEREN MISSOURI PO BOX 66892 ST LOUIS MO 63166 12/14/2018 $25,000.00

C180490 12/14/2018 Uniting Missouri PAC SPIRE MISSOURI INC 700 MARKET ST ST LOUIS MO 63101 12/14/2018 $10,000.00

C180490 12/14/2018 Uniting Missouri PAC THE RENCO GROUP INC ONE ROCKEFELLER PLAZA NEW YORK NY 10020 12/14/2018 $25,000.00

C180490 12/14/2018 Uniting Missouri PAC MISSOURI MINING INVESTMENTS LLC 1530 S 2ND STREET ST LOUIS MO 63104 12/14/2018 $25,000.00

C180490 12/14/2018 Uniting Missouri PAC SUPPORTERS OF HEALTH RESEARCH & TREATMENTS PO BOX 11591 ST LOUIS MO 63105 12/14/2018 $22,400.00

Oh gee, while you’re at it why don’t you all just pile on?


Campaign Finance: “Ash nazg durbatulûk…” (November 13, 2018)

Claire McCaskill (D): closing remarks


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Senator Claire McCaskill (D) [2017 file photo].


McCaskill Delivers Farewell Speech on Senate Floor
Thursday, December 13, 2018

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill today delivered her farewell speech on the Senate floor. Her remarks as delivered:

“It probably won’t surprise my colleagues to know that I don’t like much the idea of a farewell speech. I haven’t spent a great deal of time contemplating it over the years I’ve been here. I’m not a big fan of the concept. But I want to respect the tradition, especially since I’ve witnessed so many Senate traditions crumble over the last 12 years. So I will do my best to get through this without breaking up.

A traditional farewell speech in the United States Senate is full of accomplishments and thanks. I’m gonna skip half of that. I’m extremely proud of my body of work over 34 years of public service, but it is for others to judge, and I won’t dwell on it today other than to say it is a long list and a tangible demonstration of the value of hard work.

The wonderful Barbara Bush said, “Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people—your family, your friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way.”

So Rather than talk about what I’ve done, I want to speak a few moments about my family—and I have three different families I want to talk about today. My actual family. My family I like to call Missouri—or Missourah, we argue about it a lot. And my family here in the Senate.

First my actual family. Because they are the most important.

In the words of author Andre Maurois, “Without a family, man, alone in the world, trembles with the cold.”
I have been very warm my whole life. I have not trembled in the cold, because I’ve always had my family.
My parents taught me that caring about the community around us was noble and good, and that holding public office was an honorable endeavor, even though my parents were largely spectators and supporters, and not candidates or office holders. They just cared—and they wanted me to care too.

And at the risk of going down too many family stories, it may explain a lot that my dad fell in love with my mom when he saw her smoking a cigar and belting out Won’t you come home Bill Bailey at a party. And that my mother made me say, “Trick or treat, and vote for JFK,” when I was 7. And that my father insisted that I not only learn the rules of football, but that I also learn to tell a good joke and to learn to laugh at myself.
My siblings, my two sisters, my brother. They simply have been the port in every storm.

My children, we have a large blended family of many of children and grandchildren that is close and loving. I adore them all. But I need to specifically mention my three children: Austin, Maddie, and Lily. Because they were there from the beginning. Infants in car seats going to political events, toddlers sitting sometimes not so quietly as I gave a speech, and then amazing troopers in the almost decade of my career when I was a single working Mom, hauling them all over the state on campaigns.

They now have forgiven me for the missed recitals, and the missed field trips, and the fact that I couldn’t be the homeroom mom. Today they have grown into amazing strong adults who make me very proud.

And yee howdy those grandchildren! I have 11, going on 12. I can’t wait until they’re all old enough to yell at them what my mom used to say to us when we were dawdling and too slow in getting to the car, “Last one in is a Republican.”

And my husband, Joseph. How lucky I am to have him as my best friend. We were married 16 years ago, after I was well in to my political career and after he had achieved great success in business. He is proud and supportive of me always—but he certainly didn’t bargain for the incredibly unfair treatment we got at his expense because of his business success.

Let the record of the Senate now say what my Republican colleagues did not during my campaigns. Thank you Joseph for your integrity, your honesty, your generosity, and your heart—which has always directed you to do good as you do well.

And then there’s my Missouri family. I love my state. All of it! Every corner of it—even the parts that aren’t very crazy about me. My honor to work for Missourians has been immense, and I’m incredibly grateful to them for the opportunity I’ve had to get up every day and work my heart out in an interesting, challenging career of public service. And so lucky to have made many, many good friends along the way. I’m excited that I will now have more time for them.

David Stier said, “Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.” And that’s how I feel about Missouri. That’s why my office has tried very hard to help every individual who has come to us for help—every veteran who has needed assistance, every senior caught in Social Security red tape. No matter who they were, or where they lived, or what their politics were.

And my staff family. Mr. President I ask unanimous consent that my staff’s names be entered into the record.
My staff, here and in Missouri, in this job, my previous jobs, and many, many campaigns.

Richard Bach said it best, “The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.” They have been my rock, my compass, my inspiration, and my coach. The best and the brightest, looking not for money or fame, but just to make a difference.

To my Senate staff here today and watching—and all the staffs of my offices, of the prosecutor’s office, the Auditor’s office, county legislature, state legislature—I respect each of you immensely. As you go forth in the world, remember the McCaskill office motto, they could cite it for you right now if I ask them, “If you work hard, you can do well. But if you’re having fun, you’ll do great.”

We were happy, and it made a difference.

George Bernard Shaw said, “A happy family is but an earlier heaven.” Working with my staff was heaven.
And finally, to all of my fellow Senators, and all the many people who work here in the Senate. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was worried about this place. It just doesn’t work as well as it used to. The Senate has been so enjoyable for me, but I must admit it puts the fun in dysfunction.

Peter Morgan, an author, said, “No family is complete without an embarrassing uncle.” We have too many embarrassing uncles in the United States Senate. Lots of embarrassing stuff.

The United States Senate is no longer the world’s greatest deliberative body. And everyone needs to quit saying it until we recover from this period of polarization and the fear of the political consequences of tough votes.
Writing legislation behind closed doors, giant omnibus bills that most don’t know what’s in them, K Street lobbyists knowing about the tax bill managers package before even Senators. That’s today’s Senate. And no amendments.

Solving the toughest problems will not happen without tough votes. We can talk about the toughest problems. We can visit about them, we can argue about them, we can campaign on them. But we’re not going to solve them without tough votes. It will not happen.

My first year in the Senate was 2007. We voted on 306 amendments in 2007. This year, as of yesterday, we voted on 36. That’s a remarkable difference. Something is broken, and if we don’t have the strength to look in the mirror and fix it, the American people are gonna grow more and more cynical—and they might do something crazy like elect a reality TV star President. I’m not kidding. That’s one of the reasons this has happened.

Power has been dangerously centralized in the Senate. We like to say, “Oh, we can’t change the rules, we’ll be just like the House.” We kind of are like the House, guys. We kind of are. A few people are writing the legislation, a few people are making the decisions.

We have to throw off the shackles of careful, open the doors of debate, reclaim the power of members and committees—and most of all realize that looking the other way and hoping that everything will work out later is a foolish idea. And for gosh sakes, debate and vote on amendments.

But with all the problems I’ve outlined, know that I love this place and you. Almost all of you!
You have filled my life with interesting work and unforgettable memories. We have argued, we have sang, we have fought, we have cried, and we have laughed. Together. Just like family. You are family, and I will miss you terribly.

Desmond Tutu, a very wise man, said, “God’s dream is that you and I, and all of us, will realize that we are family, that we are made for togetherness, for goodness, and for compassion.”

Thank you very much. I yield the floor.”


Campaign Finance: “Ash nazg durbatulûk…”


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One Ring Money to rule them all, One Ring Money to find them, One Ring Money to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.”

Via the Missouri Ethics Commission:

C180490: Uniting Missouri Pac
Committee Type: Political Action
Po Box 444
Farmington Mo 63640
Established Date: 06/29/2018

C091068 08/19/2018 HOUSE REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE, INC Uniting Missouri PAC PO Box 444 Farmington MO 63640 8/18/2018 $50,000.00

C071094 10/23/2018 MISSOURI SENATE CAMPAIGN COMMITTEE Uniting Missouri PAC PO Box 444 Farmington MO 63640 10/23/2018 $25,000.00

That’s it. One sided.

Uniting? Uniting what?

C180490: Uniting Missouri Pac
Committee Type: Political Action
Information Reported On: 2018 – 30 Day After General Election-11/6/2018
Beginning Money on Hand $384,921.24
Monetary Receipts + $227,801.00
Monetary Expenditures – $31,014.38
Contributions Made – $0.00
Other Disbursements – $0.00
Subtotal $196,786.62
Ending Money On Hand $581,707.86

Holy @#%$, that’s a lot of money.

And since election day, where’s the money coming from?:

C180490 11/13/2018 Uniting Missouri PAC GOLD RUSH AMUSEMENTS INC 5277 TRILLIUM BLVD HOFFMAN ESTATES IL 60192 11/12/2018 $10,000.00

C180490 11/13/2018 Uniting Missouri PAC AMEREN MISSOURI PO BOX 66892 ST LOUIS MO 63166 11/12/2018 $10,000.00

C180490 11/28/2018 Uniting Missouri PAC COLLINSVILLE ACQUISITIONS INC 8025 FORSYTH BLVD ST LOUIS MO 63105 11/28/2018 $7,200.00

C180490 11/28/2018 Uniting Missouri PAC KP CHARLOTTE LLC 8025 FORSYTH BLVD ST LOUIS MO 63105 11/28/2018 $30,000.00


C180490 12/11/2018 Uniting Missouri PAC ROY PFAUTCH 62 PORTLAND PL ST LOUIS MO 63108 CIVIC SERVICE INC 12/10/2018 $22,400.00

C180490 12/11/2018 Uniting Missouri PAC MISSOURI REALTORS PAC INC PO BOX 30635 COLUMBIA MO 65205 12/10/2018 $6,000.00

C180490 12/12/2018 Uniting Missouri PAC GREG HOBEROCK 500 BRAEBURN CT WASHINGTON MO 63090 HTH COMPANIES CEO 12/12/2018 $25,000.00

[emphasis added]

There’s a trend in there somewhere.

What, nothing from organized labor?

Who [pdf], again?:

Outside groups dominate spending in Missouri campaigns with dark-money donations

…A PAC called Uniting Missouri was established this summer to support Gov. Mike Parson, who took over the state’s top job on June 1 after Gov. Eric Greitens’ resignation…


…Uniting Missouri raised $225,000 in July. More than half of that money came from clients of lobbyist Steve Tilley, a friend and longtime political adviser to Parson.

John Hancock, a former Missouri GOP chairman who is running Uniting Missouri, said that because contribution limits aren’t going away, candidates have no choice but to form these PACs…

$581,707.86 and rising. Uniting what again?

This morning…the Wall


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Bad combover. Check. Too long red tie. Check. Orange spray tan. Check. Tiny hands. Check. Cluelessness. Check…

Someone’s up this morning:

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump
I often stated, “One way or the other, Mexico is going to pay for the Wall.” This has never changed. Our new deal with Mexico (and Canada), the USMCA, is so much better than the old, very costly & anti-USA NAFTA deal, that just by the money we save, MEXICO IS PAYING FOR THE WALL!
6:38 AM – 13 Dec 2018

I understand there’s a bridge in Brooklyn.