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Did Jared Kushner accidentally contradict Trump’s claim there is a ‘national crisis’ on the border?

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Top White House advisor Jared Kushner has become the great genius the Republican Party hopes can end President Donald Trump’s government shutdown. But when asked about it, Kushner dropped a lot of corporate marketing language to try and explain the discrepancy between the tens of billions of dollars experts have calculated the wall will cost and the request for merely $5 billion.

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Kushner “aid he was bringing good outside business knowledge to the wall negotiations,” Politico reported in their daily newsletter. “He said the reason the wall price was going up was because of an increase in customer utilization for the border. Customer demand, he said, results in overruns.”

Customer utilization means people using the border. So, Kushner is saying that because more people are crossing the border, estimations in 2017 were higher than 2018 estimates. Trump has argued that there is a national security crisis on the border, but if the “customer utilization” of the border is down, why is there a greater crisis?

If Kushner meant that customer demand for the materials being used, that demand for steel is likely going to increase because the president’s tariffs have locked out foreign steel and aluminum. Those cost estimations will likely grow higher as the trade war continues.

One of the Department of Homeland Security’s conservative estimations for the border wall was $21.6 billion.

“The report is expected to be presented to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary John Kelly in coming days, although the administration will not necessarily take actions it recommends,” Reuters reported Feb. 2017. “The plan lays out what it would take to seal the border in three phases of construction of fences and walls covering just over 1,250 miles (2,000 km) by the end of 2020.”

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In raw materials, DHS estimated “the border wall could cost nearly $70 billion to build and $150 million a year to maintain. An internal report by the Department of Homeland Security said the wall could cost about $21.6 billion, not including maintenance,” the New York Times reported.

They also found that the wall would likely require taking land from many farmers, ranchers and other property owners on the border. If there are lawsuits, those will cost tax-payer dollars, and if the citizens demand payment for their land that is seized, it will also cost money.

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Driver hits 63-year-old man with his car after he asked him to wear a mask in a store: police

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A Rhode Island driver is being accused of hitting a 63-year-old man with his car after the man had confronted him about not wearing a face mask into a local convenience store.

Local news station WJAR 10 reports that 63-year-old William Beauchene got into an argument this week with a 30-year-old man named Ralph Buontempo, who had gone into the convenience store in the town of Lincoln, Rhode Island without wearing a mask.

Witnesses told police that the two men began yelling obscenities at one another, and that at one point Buontempo slapped a cup of coffee out of Beauchene's hand, which then splashed all over the store manager who had come outside to try to deescalate the confrontation.

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Trump has rolled out a ‘new scam’ amid internal turmoil over Fauci: op-ed

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Writing in the Washington Post this Thursday, Greg Sargent takes a look at the Trump's administration's recent walkback of its attempts to undermine its top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, after they discovered that it wasn't being received by the public so well.

According to Sargent, President Trump's "new scam" is to present the image that his administration actually respects Fauci's advice while continuing to undermine him behind the scenes.

"What’s really going on here is a kind of two-step, a double game," Sargent writes. "Trump and his advisers want him to reap the political benefits of appearing to harbor general respect for Fauci’s expertise, while simultaneously continuing to undermine Fauci’s actual claims about the threat the novel coronavirus will continue to pose — because those claims badly undermine Trump’s reelection message."

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2020 Election

GOP strategist who wrote party’s 2012 autopsy says she hopes the party loses this year

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Former Republican strategist Sally Bradshaw, who wrote the GOP's so-called "autopsy" after its 2012 election losses, is hoping the party comes crashing down in defeat this fall.

In an email to NPR, Bradshaw conceded that the 2012 election postmortem was "obviously a failure," given that President Donald Trump had taken over the party in 2016 by explicitly ignoring its recommendations about taking a more inclusive approach to immigration reform.

However, she also seemed to think that the GOP's bill for not becoming a more inclusive party had finally come due given its failures to govern through a deadly pandemic that so far has claimed the lives of 137,000 Americans with no end in sight.

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