BORDER WALL II: LAST WEEK TONIGHT WITH JOHN OLIVER – TRANSCRIPT

Nearing the 2020 election, John Oliver checks in on one of the key promises of President Trump’s 2016 campaign: the border wall.
Border Wall II: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Season 7 Episode 22
Aired on August 23, 2020

Main segment: Border wall and the arrest of Steve Bannon (“Border Wall II”)
Other segments: 2020 Democratic National Convention, Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections

* * *

“It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
―Mark Twain

♪ ♪ ♪ ♪

John: Hi there! Welcome to the show still taking place in this blank void. Think of it as the inside of an oyster, making me the pearl. Which does make sense — I’m a small white irritant to which some people have inexplicably assigned value. This was a busy week, dominated by the Democratic National Convention, which had to be held virtually this year due to… Y’know. And this meant things looked significantly different — or, as people on TV preferred to put that:

[MSNBC Live] We’re calling this the unconventional convention.

[ABC] An unconventional convention.

[Fox News] Unconventional convention.

Unconventional convention.

[CNN Live] I know everyone has been saying — it’s a cliche — an unconventional convention, and it has been an unconventional convention.

John: Yeah, okay, we get it. It was an “unconventional convention.” The thing is, that’s one of those phrases that sounds like it has gravity, but actually means next to nothing, like “it is what it is” or “Quibi exclusive.” And while the lack of attendees did make some things awkward, there were upsides, too. For instance, the roll call of delegates was done virtually this year, with states and territories finding novel ways to showcase themselves. Hawaii rubbed their beaches in everyone’s face, Pete Buttigieg showed off what I can only assume is his new social media start-up, and the entire population of Montana turned up. But it was the state of Rhode Island that stole the show with this moment.

[C-Span] Rhode Island, the ocean state. Our state appetizer, calamari, is available in all 50 states.

John: Yeah, that was Rhode Island’s democratic party chairman pledging delegates while standing next to a calamari ninja. And I had no idea that calamari was Rhode Island’s official state appetizer. It might be the first thing I’ve learned about that state that I’ve actually liked. Aside, of course, from the fact that it doesn’t include the city of Danbury, Connecticut. I’ve said it before: fuck Danbury! Babies, elderly, pets, buildings — all of you can go fuck yourselves.
In terms of tone, the DNC spent the week steering hard toward the middle of the road. Because while, yes, there were brief appearances from stars like AOC and Stacey Abrams, a lot of time was given to republicans like Meg Whitman, Colin Powell, and John Kasich, who delivered his remarks standing at a literal crossroads. And it’s hard to convince progressive voters that you’re a forward-looking party when your convention feels like a Zoom cast reunion, except the show is the 2008 RNC. As for Biden, his nomination speech also played it safe, showcasing his warmth and his empathy. But while he name-checked broad goals like “expanding child care” or “ending racism,” the speech was light on detail and heavy on lines like this:

[Joe Biden, Democratic National Convention] This will determine what America is going to look like for a long, long time. Character is on the ballot. Compassion is on the ballot. Decency, science, democracy. They’re all on the ballot.

John: Okay go numb out now normally, I would point out that passion and decency are not concrete policy agendas, but considering open authoritarianism is also on the ballot, sure, what the fuck — adequate vs. evil. Let’s go. And I’m honestly not saying it’s a mistake for the DNC to spend four days pointing out that Joe Biden’s not Donald Trump. It’s a very attractive quality. But spending so much of their convention underscoring Trump’s unfitness for office may’ve been redundant, given that Trump spent the entire week basically making that case for them, by continuing to sow distrust of voting by mail, calling for a boycott of an American company that employs over 60,000 workers, and refusing to disavow the QAnon conspiracy theory. But as appalling and unsurprising as all of that is, the biggest news regarding Trump this week actually got buried, and it was this:

[ABC News] Tonight, the republican-led senate intelligence committee releasing its final report, declaring the 2016 Trump campaign had repeated contacts with Russian operatives.

John: Yeah, the senate’s report confirmed Trump’s campaign was uncomfortably close to Russian intelligence. It’s something we already knew, but it’s still nice to have it in writing, like when your dad signs a birthday card with “I love you.” Sure, he may not be emotionally ready to say it out loud, but at least he had your mom scribble it on top of Garfield’s ass. That’s not nothing, is it?
This report has new details, and cites Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort’s willingness to share information with individuals closely affiliated with Russian intelligence as a grave counterintelligence threat. Not only that, it details how Roger Stone tried to get WikiLeaks to drop damaging emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair, just as the “access Hollywood” tape came out. And while Trump denied knowledge of Stone’s activities to Robert Mueller, this report has put one hell of an asterisk on that.

[CBS Evening news] The committee assesses that Trump did, in fact, speak with Stone about WikiLeaks on multiple occasions.

John: Yeah, of course. And not only did everyone assume that, but it’s impossible Trump wouldn’t have remembered that conversation. How would anyone forget talking to Roger Stone, a man who can best be described as visually too fucking much? The bipartisan report — which, remember, comes from a republican-led senate committee — is a truly damning indictment of Trump’s character, underscoring just how important the election in November is. And as much as the DNC’s platform of “Biden is not Trump” should be an overwhelmingly successful strategy, the truth is Trump still has a very real chance at winning re-election. Take that Rhode Island calimari chef. The Washington Post tracked him down, and he said he’s not sure if he’ll vote for Biden at all, adding, he doesn’t know much about the democratic nominee. And it’s pretty frustrating to claim you’re only vaguely aware of Biden. Because we’re talking about a former vice president who’s been in public office for nearly 50 years, not Penn fucking Badgley. And while your instinctive reaction might be, “how the fuck can anyone still be undecided?” The sad fact is, lots of people still are. So I really hope the DNC’s strategy this week of wooing undecided voters with the star power of John Kasich and Meg Whitman pays off. Because if the democrats just spent a week trying to appeal to conservatives who ultimately end up voting republican, then this will have turned out to be a depressingly conventional convention. And now this.

♪ ♪

Announcer: and now… Yes, it’s still August, but guess who’s back?

Pumpkin spice season is starting earlier than ever this year. I feel like every year, it gets earlier and earlier.

Yeah! Pumpkin spice season has come earlier and is coming for the remains of your fragile psyche!

We all know pse, pumpkin spice everything season, it is inevitable.

It’s inevitable! Soon all of existence shall be cradled in the fragrant pumpkin arms of the spice!

If you want to go buy a pumpkin coffee, do it.

Do it.

Do it! Do it!

Are you pumpkin spice?

I’m not.

No, I’m not either.

We just want the regular coffee.

You can’t have it! Regular coffee like the precious touch of a mortal friend is nothing but a faded memory!

I have never had a pumpkin spice latte.

It is really good.

Oh, my god, it is so fucking good! Jill, you have to try it! Jill!

Every year, people who like pumpkin spice kind of get made fun of.

Yes, they do.

2020 Has been, might I say, a dumpster fire. Just let them have the pumpkin spice, right?

Just let us have it! Pumpkin spice is all we have left!

♪ ♪

John: Moving on. For our main story tonight, we thought we’d look at the border wall. One of the more upsetting things from 2016, tied, of course, with the reboot of Gilmore Girls. I know I’m a little bit late with this but just a few notes. One, who the fuck was Paul? Not enough Paris. Who the fuck was when did both of these women Paul? Forget how to hold a cup? Who the absolute fuck was Paul? #Teamloganforlife. It was the key promise of Trump’s first campaign. He talked about it constantly, even famously managing to inadvertently point out key flaws in the idea, like this:

[Trump] There’s no ladder going over that. If they ever get up there, they’re in trouble, because there’s no way to get down. Maybe a rope.

John: Yeah, maybe a rope. That was Trump, recognizing in real time that his signature plan could be completely undone by thick string. If that clip’s familiar to you, it might be because we played it in our first piece on the wall four years ago, when I was approximately 50 years younger. And in that show, we discussed how the wall seemed — in addition to being transparently racist — like it was going to be both expensive and pointless. Well, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but Trump is actually president now, and has spent the last three and a half years putting his plan into action. In fact, just before the pandemic, he was reassuring attendees at a rally that things were going great.

[Trump] We’ll soon be building many many miles a week, but we’re up to over 125. I guess, 127 or 28 miles of this super-duper wall, super-duper.

John: I’m sorry, “the super-duper wall?” That sounds less like a description of border fencing and more like the name of an off-brand play set recalled because it collapsed on a bunch of small children. Listen to me! Do not buy “the super-duper wall!” Unless you want to wind up with a pile of cracked fiberglass and a flattened toddler. But clearly, the wall is by no means super-duper. And while we predicted the whole thing would be a shambles, the extent to which that’s been true, even we didn’t see coming. Take what happened just this Thursday.

[ABC News] Steve Bannon and three others are accused of defrauding hundreds of thousands of people by personally profiting off a scheme to raise money to help build president Trump’s border wall.

John: Yeah, Steve Bannon, the president’s campaign manager and former chief strategist, was arrested! Which is one of those things that you knew would eventually happen, but are pleasantly surprised that it happened so soon, like Jennifer Lawrence’s Oscar win, or Roger Ailes‘ death. And the story behind that arrest is absolutely fascinating, and I promise we’ll get into it later in this piece. But we thought that tonight — especially ahead of the RNC next week — it’d be a good time to give you an update on the status of Trump’s border wall. Because before he took office, he wanted it to define him as a president. And that has very much happened, but in none of the ways that he intended. So let’s try and break down a few things: what he’s built, what damage it’s done, and crucially, who’s been doing some of the building. And let’s start with what, exactly, he has built. Because from the start, Trump insisted that he wanted a concrete wall — something many border patrol agents had advised him against because it would block their view of what was going on behind it. Yet Trump was still so insistent on it that less than a year into his term, this happened.

[CNN] President Trump said he wanted a big, fat beautiful wall. These are his 30 by 30 foot options. One of these eight contestants could soon stretch across the border. There’s a chance that one of them gets — one of them gets selected, eight of them get selected, or a mix of their characteristics get selected for construction.

John: Yeah, Trump essentially organized a wall pageant. And look, if you’re going to hold a weird contest in the middle of the desert, at least make it Saudi Arabia’s actual beauty pageant for camels. A real, annual event where the hottest camels are evaluated on the “fullness of their lips, how gracefully they walk, and the size of their humps.” And you might be thinking, “wow, it’s pretty problematic to objectify camels like that,” but the fact is, this contest is actually one of the biggest scholarship opportunities they have. And do you really think now is the time to argue we need fewer camels in stem? Of course not. Get real. Be an ally.
But it’s true. Eight prototypes were built, so they could test them to figure out which would work best. And it didn’t go well. A government report found every mock-up was “deemed vulnerable to at least one breaching technique,” with one having the “potential to impact the structural integrity of the entire mock-up.” Which is ridiculous. We all know the only wall that should be in danger of collapsing is the “super-duper wall!” I’m serious — do not buy that wall! It will squish your child like a panini. So the design they ended up going with was a wall of slats, or bollards, topped by a metal anti-climbing plate. And Trump did not like that design, reportedly telling officials “he thinks it’s ugly.” And I have to say — he’s not actually wrong there. I don’t mean to wall-shame, but if I had a list of hot walls, that one wouldn’t crack the top 30. This stone wall? Scorching hot. This wooden one? Call me tomorrow, you big tease. This human wall? I think we all know I feel about that. Collapse on my chest, you impenetrable barrier. Crush my rib cage, you load-bearing behemoth. But this border wall? No, thank you. That’s a hard pass from both me and the president. Still, Trump insists that regardless of how this wall looks, the important thing is, it works.

[Trump] We actually built prototypes and we have, I guess you could say, world-class mountain climbers. We got climbers. We had 20 mountain climbers — that’s all they do, they love to climb mountains. They can have it. Me, I don’t want to climb mountains. But they’re very good. And some of ’em were champions. And we gave them different prototypes of walls. And this was the one that was hardest to climb.

John: Okay, hold on. There’s no need for Trump to say “I don’t want to climb mountains.” That was — and I cannot stress this enough — assumed. If I knew nothing else abou t Donald Trump, based solely on his appearance, I’d immediately make three assumptions: bad knees. Weird dick. Doesn’t want to climb mountains. He’s giving me information I already have. And obviously, that claim is bullshit, not just because nobody’s been able to find those champion climbers, but also because of this:

[CBS News] President Trump has called these refurbished walls unclimbable. But this video posted just yesterday on social media shows two men scaling a replaced portion of the wall in California.

John: Yeah, of course! You don’t even need a rope if it can function like a fireman’s pole. So to recap what we’ve learned about walls so far: fuckable. Definitely fuckable. And very much climbable. So that is what the wall looks like.
The next question is where, exactly, are we building it? Well, as we pointed out in our first piece, finding places where you can build the wall is a bit of a challenge. Under presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama, hundreds of miles of border barrier had already been constructed, and much of the rest of the border is already covered by natural barriers, or is on private property. So what Trump did was start building in the places where it was easiest to do that — specifically, where barriers were already in place. In fact, of the 275 miles of new wall Trump has completed to date, only five miles are in locations where no barriers at all previously existed. It might be tempting to think, “oh, well, then he hasn’t done very much, has he?” But Trump’s acting secretary of homeland security, a man named Chad Wolf, pushes back on that claim, hard.

[Chad Wolf] And you put up what’s behind us. That’s not replacement wall. That is a new wall. That is a new physical infrastructure. I just — I don’t — I don’t agree with the assertion that we’re simply replacing wall.

John: Okay, first, let’s deal with the sheer “chad wolf”-iness of this man. If I lost all my memories and fell into a coma for 30 years, opened my eyes, and saw him, the first words out of my mouth would be, “you must be chad wolf.” He looks like the model for a knockoff “top gun” costume you find at party city called, “top flight fast pilot costume: USA!” He looks like his parents started with the name “Chad Wolf” and then found a baby to match. But he is actually right there. The replacement wall is a completely new physical infrastructure. I’ll show you: here is the old barrier in a remote section of Arizona. Here is the new structure. Those are very different. Claiming that they’re the same because they’re technically barriers is like claiming that John Cena and I are the same because we’re the exact same age and we’re both named john. Sure, yeah, on paper, there are some similarities. But when you compare the two side by side, one is gigantic, and the other looks like it might collapse if you press on it too hard. But, crucially, these massive new barriers are causing significant problems, disrupting animals’ migratory patterns, and slicing up people’s land. And the thing is, for what? If this is about stopping drugs or people from entering the country, it’s worth remembering, most of that happens through our ports of entry. And even the department of homeland security’s own inspector general issued a scathing report just last month saying the administration “did not use a sound methodology to identify and prioritize investments in areas along the border that would best benefit from physical barriers.” In other words, putting walls where we’ve been putting them just doesn’t make sense. And if you want to see just how nonsensical, new sections are currently going up along the top of these jagged mountains in a national wildlife refuge, which is just utterly insane. And this is costing a lot of money. Mexico, obviously, is not paying for the wall. Instead, we are, and in the dumbest way possible. So far Trump has garnered $15 billion of taxpayer money for the wall — but only $5 billion of that was provided by congress. Trump declared a national emergency at the southern border so he could tap into pentagon accounts for the rest. That redirection of funds diverted money that had been set aside for things like replacing an overcrowded middle school on a Kentucky military base, or repairing a daycare for service members’ children, which reportedly suffered from sewage backups, flooding, mold, and pests. And when asked to justify those decisions, senator Lindsey Graham had a pretty amazing rationale.

[Lindsey Graham] Let’s just say for a moment that he took some money out of the military construction budget. I would say it’s better for the middle school kids in Kentucky to have a secure border. We’ll get them the school they need, but right now, we’ve got a national emergency on our hands.

John: Wow. Everything about that is bad. From the idea that Trump’s national emergency declaration was justified — which it wasn’t. To the idea that his vanity project is “better for middle school kids” than a new school, which it’s not. To that tie, which looks like a candy cane that melted on his shirt. It looks like the tie that Santa Claus wears to elf funerals. It’s the worst thing in that shot, which is saying something because that shot also includes Lindsey Graham. And that brings us to our final question: who’s building this? Because the answers to that are actually a little surprising. Just look at one of the companies that was invited to take part in that america’s next top wall in the desert competition, fisher sand & gravel. The head of the company, Tommy Fisher, knows how to curry favor with Trump. Here he is on Laura Ingraham‘s show, giving him the hard sell.

[Tommy Fisher] If he allows us to play in, our team of fisher industries to play, I guarantee you, no different than Tom Brady, once we get in, we never come out. And if we don’t perform, the president can fire us, and that’s how comfortable and confident I am is when people see what we really offer.

[Laura Ingraham] I love it! I love it. I’m not taking sides on which prototype is best, but this is why you’re a good businessman.

John: “I love it!” I didn’t think Laura Ingraham was capable of that level of delight, but it turns out her love language is white men begging for attention. Because that man is thirsty as fuck. “I’ll win for you, daddy, just like that Tom Brady you like! And if I don’t, you can fire me like you used to on TV.” And that was, by no means, fisher’s only appearance on Fox. He went on the network ten times to praise the president and sell his wall. And these appearances seemed to have an effect. Because while both DHS and the army corps of engineers actually turned down fisher’s initial wall designs because they didn’t meet operational requirements, fisher’s company was nevertheless added to a small list of pre-approved bidders thanks to personal pressure from the president, who — according to one of the senators from fisher’s home state — liked fisher because he had seen him on television. And of course he did! Trump is like a shut-in who sits at home all day and orders what he sees on fox, but instead of ordering legendz xl male enhancement pills, he picks companies to build a giant wall across the border. But just as with boner pills, you shouldn’t just buy something because you saw it on TV. You might want to at least google it first. Because fisher’s company had a lot of obvious red flags.

[KPNX, 2017] Fisher has been hit with lawsuits, one from the federal government for sexual discrimination in New Mexico. It settled for 150 grand. The company and the founder’s son were both accused of tax fraud in 2009. The son pleaded guilty, the company paid more than a million in back taxes.

John: Wow. So they cheated to get ahead, got caught, and yet, they’re still around. They really are the Tom Brady of the construction industry. But wait, there’s more, because over the years, they’ve also racked up around 2,000 violation notices from city, county, state, and federal regulatory bodies, including 469 criminal charges for violations in Phoenix, where the company ran an asphalt plant — charges only reduced to civil penalties after Fisher agreed to permanently close it. But wait — I’m still not done. Local governments have rejected their bids on contracts due to after considering, among other things the former head of their family of companies, Fisher Industries, was convicted for child pornography. And sexual harassment, tax fraud, federal violations, and child pornography is not a great list for a company vying to receive government money, it’s not even a great list for the Ozark season four writer’s room. Guys, guys, that’s too much. Not even Jason Bateman can make those crimes likeable! And yet, Fisher was incredibly savvy about how to appeal to Trump — not just with his constant TV appearances, but also by hooking up with “We Build the Wall” — that is the non-profit organization that led to Steve Bannon’s arrest on Thursday. It was founded by a veteran named Brian Kolfage, and it took money from individual donors, with the promise that it would build new sections of wall on private land. It even had a fundraising “Wall-a-thon,” featuring a star turn from a man calling himself “Foreman Mike”:

[Wall-a-thon Advert] We Build the Wall construction. They are real! We need your help. We need to get donations in. We want to start. You can buy a bollard panel. Put your name on it for eternity, cause you’re not gonna last forever. $5,000. And if you can’t do that, get yourself a brick. It lasts forever as well with your name, your family, your girlfriend, whatever you want to put on it. You need to donate today.

John: Okay, there’s a lot to digest there. Because despite what you may think, “foreman mike” is not a promo for a new WWE character whose signature move is “the chaotic sales pitch.” In fact, he isn’t even the foreman on the project, just as “We Build the Wall construction” is not a real construction company. He’s just some guy they use to fundraise so he can grunt about personalized bricks. Which I do admit are a great idea, because we all know the best way to deter someone who’s crossing the border is for them to see the message, “to the one and only Kiersten, may our love be as strong as this wall.” And as ridiculous as that may seem, “We Build the Wall” raised $25 million. And yet, according to this week’s indictment, quite a bit of that money wound up getting redirected back to Bannon and Kolfage, who — along with others — worked together to misappropriate hundreds of thousands of dollars for their own personal benefit. With Bannon allegedly using money for personal uses and expenses, and Kolfage allegedly spending funds on a luxury SUV, a golf cart, jewelry, and payments toward a boat. And look, Bannon and Kolfage deny those charges. But it definitely paints this moment from that “wall-a-thon” in a very different light:

Welcome back, this is Stephen K. Bannon. We’re off the coast of San Tropez in southern France in the Mediterranean, we’re on the million-dollar yacht of Brian Kolfage — Brian Kolfage, who took all that money from build the wall. No, we’re actually in Sunland Park, New Mexico.

John: ha ha ha! I get it! I get it! Joking about stealing people’s money is funny! Because you know what they say, all great jokes have an element of truth in them. Now Trump was anxious this week to distance himself from “We Build the Wall,” saying “I know nothing about the project,” which is a little hard to believe, because here’s Kolfage with Don, jr., At an event where he described “We Build the Wall” as “private enterprise at its finest.” And here’s Trump ally Kris Kobach on the group’s own YouTube page, being pretty unequivocal about where the president stood.

[Kris Kobach] I was speaking with the president and we were talking about a variety of issues, and the topic came up — I mentioned that I was working with We Build the Wall, and he said, well, you tell the people you are working with that this project has my blessing, and he went further, and he said, I want the media to know that this project has my blessing. He was really making a point that he was behind this.

John: Yeah, of course he was! I’m just surprised Kobach didn’t continue, “this president wanted you to know he’s completely behind this wall scam until it fails, and then you’ll not be able to reach him and he won’t have heard of you. That’s just how this guy works.” And look, to be fair, some of that $25 million they raised did go to construction. Specifically, they say they gave around $10 million of it to Tommy Fisher’s company, most of it to build that private wall in new mexico that you saw a guy named mike banging with a hammer. And that wall does appear to feature some personalized bricks, like this one that Kolfage excitedly put on Instagram, which says, “Thicc latinas will not be deported,” which is just fucking disgusting. The group also helped fund another fisher wall, built directly along the Rio Grande, which Fisher referred to as the Lamborghini of walls, claiming that, “it’ll stand for 150 years, you mark my words.” Although it seems to be conking out around 149 years ahead of schedule.

[Phoenix News] A propublica and “Texas Tribune” investigation found erosion beneath the foundation of a stretch of wall in Texas. That stretch was just built in January of this year by Fisher Sand & Gravel.

[Man shaking one of the wall columns] I’m just doing this with one hand, not even exerting myself.

John: Okay, so it turns out, it really is the Lamborghini of walls, in that as soon as you get near it, the owner yells, “hey, please don’t touch that, it’ll lose value and you could break it.” And while I have to tell you, Fisher’s attorney has told reporters that erosion is a normal part of new construction, and that if there are issues that come up, they will address that. It seems there are issues fucking coming up. Experts said that “it was concerning to see the level of erosion around the fence” and that “segments of the structure could topple into the river if not fixed.” So, to recap: Fisher Sand & Gravel is a company with a checkered past that partnered with a shady nonprofit whose backers are now under indictment for skimming money for their own uses, in order to have a foreman who’s not the actual foreman help build a wall that looks like it may either collapse or get pushed over. And if you know anything about this administration, it will not surprise you to learn that Fisher has now wound up with over $2 billion dollars in border-building contracts. They’re one of the biggest contractors the government has hired for this project. And the thing is, should Trump be re-elected, all of this is only going to accelerate — in fact, his administration seems to be stepping up its efforts, attempting to take private land by filing more eminent domain lawsuits during the pandemic than at any other time in his presidency. And they’re also using a provision tucked into the real id act of 2005, giving the administration the power to waive all legal requirements necessary to construct the wall. And that means it’s not bound by environmental or cultural heritage protection laws, which has enabled them to plow through native american communities, with devastating effects.

Construction crews in Southern Arizona conducted controlled blasts earlier this year along monument hill.

Fire in the hole.

The same day of the detonations in February, the Tohono O’odham tribe’s chairman sat before congress.

It’s hard to see the blasting that you showed on the video today. That area is home to our ancestors. And by blasting and doing what we saw today, has totally disturbed — totally, forever damaged our people.

John: That’s horrible. As that man told congress, “for us, this is no different than DHS building a 30-foot wall along Arlington cemetery or through the grounds of the national cathedral.” And I’d like to think that’s something Trump knows would be wrong, but who knows, given that he had people teargassed so he could stand outside a church, holding a bible with an expression like it just fucked his wife. And the devastation caused by this wall was completely predictable. I know that, because we literally predicted it. And believe me, this is the last thing I wanted to say I told you so on. I’d much rather have said that about the fact I knew Pete and Ariana weren’t going to make it or that a crockpot would be the killer on “this is us,” or the fact that I knew the babadook was gay as soon as I saw him. C’mon, guys — the hat! But even I didn’t see some of this coming — from the pointlessness of a beauty contest in the desert, all the way through a sketchy charity selling personalized bricks. All of this was stupider than even I thought was possible. Because the fact is, this wall is not a functional barrier. If it’s anything, it’s a fucking monument to Trump. Which actually makes more sense. Because we all know that he’s completely obsessed with his legacy. Trump reportedly even asked South Dakota’s governor how he could be added to Mount Rushmore. And while that is clearly not going to happen — for one thing, it’s impossible to carve stone into whatever fucking shape his hair is — he also doesn’t need it. Because this is his monument. And there’s perhaps nothing more emblematic of his presidency than this wall: it’s destructive, pointless, ineffective, racist, weak, and something the damages of which we’re going to be dealing with for a very long time.

That’s our show. Thanks so much for watching. We’ll see you next week, good night.

♪ ♪ ♪ ♪

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