Not a Down Payment

President Trump keeps telling his supporters that Mexico will pay for “the Wall,” but that Congress needs to fund a “down payment.”

This is absurd on its face. A down payment is used to secure a mortgage.

  1. There is no such mortgage.
  2. A borrower still needs to pay off a mortgage, principal and interest. It’s not free money, even if it were issued by Mexico.
  3. Given the massive amount of debt the US government already has, the so-called down payment would be paid with more debt.

Such language would seem to be intentionally confusing and nonsensical in order to hide the fact that the wall would indeed be funded by American taxpayers.

This is all so obviously true that it should go without saying, yet amazingly some of the news media is happy to accept this term and use it uncritically. Here is the Washington Times:

Mrs. Pelosi also said the president agreed to forgo his demand for wall funding in the bill. Mr. Trump said that is true but he will need to see a down payment for the wall in other bills moving through Congress this year, or else he will throw a wrench in the works.



The NYT congratulates themselves, rightly, on calling Trump’s unfounded and outrageous accusations a “lie.” The opinion piece also features quotes from other news organizations regarding what particular word — falsehood? untruth? — should be applied to the factually challenged assertions emanating from the Trump White House.

Just don’t call them “alternative facts.”


Paid for by Hillary for America, a grassroots campaign of 1.2 million donors committed to electing Hillary Clinton (and keeping Donald Trump out of the White House).

This appears underneath a national promotion using the names and photos of Chelsea and Hillary Clinton. There is nothing “grassroots” about this.

My dictionary defines “grass roots” as:

the most basic level of an activity or organization: the whole campaign would be conducted at the grass roots | [ as modifier ] :  trying to improve the sport’s image at the grass-roots level.
• ordinary people regarded as the main body of an organization’s membership: you have lost touch with the grass roots of the party.

Grass roots are the opposite of a centrally coördinated effort.