Morning Mashup: Pres. Nieto Says Mexico ‘Not Paying for Any Wall’ + Trump Wants to Make Torture Legal + Dems Lost in the GOP Sauce

+ President Nieto States “Mexico Not Paying for Any Wall”: Well, I guess this is where the rubber hits the proverbial road, or wall, as it were. In a direct and unequivocal challenge to one of president Trump’s key positions that made him a darling to his base and ultimately propelled him to the White House, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto stated emphatically to world news outlets that, “Mexico does not believe in walls,” and that “Mexico will not pay for any wall.” It will be interesting to see how Trump will play this one. Even now, the promise seems to be crumbling in terms of who will foot the bill for the wall. In an interview with ABC News, the president stated that, “we will pay for the wall and Mexico will reimburse us for it at a later date.” Trump has given no details on how this will happen. More to come as the story develops.

+ Trump Wants to Make Torture Legal: Nope, that’s not a typo. In that same interview with ABC News, Trump, when asked if he felt torturing terrorists worked, he stated, “Do I feel it works? Absolutely, I feel it works,” and that, “As far as I’m concerned, we need to fight fire with fire.” But given his retaliatory modus operandi and proclivity to “hit back” at anyone who may dare to challenge him, I don’t think it should surprise anyone that Trump would be predisposed to this manner of extracting information from those who mean to threaten our safety. Even it is illegal under the provision of the Geneva Conventions and just inhumane in general. No one on either side of the aisle is rallying to Trump’s side on this, thank goodness. America’s should is already at stake, the least we can do is keep our dignity by not treating our fellow humans barbarically.

+ Dems Lost in the GOP Sauce: To say Senate Dems are at a critical moment would be to grossly understate that parties political reality. After sustaining massive and embarrassing losses in the 2016 election cycle, the party of Clinton (Bill, that is) and Obama have skulked off to a town in rural West Virginia to discuss why they lost to Donald Trump up and down the ballot and how they can get the voters back who broke with tradition and went the way of the red. I hope during this retreat and all its panel discussions that one word came up at least once: Authenticity. Voters aren’t stupid and they want to vote for people they actually connect with and believe in. Which is why Obama & Bill Clinton won successive terms. And which is also why Hillary Clinton lost both her bids to take the highest office in the land. Don’t get me wrong, I respect Hillary Clinton; policy wise she is one of the most, if not the most formidable individuals in any room she walks in. But the people, for a variety of reasons, just didn’t see her as authentic. Donald Trump, for all his flaws, connected with people precisely because they felt he was authentic. They felt they were getting the real Donald Trump, straight, no chaser. I hope the Dems look to unabashedly authentic voices like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders for guidance and put its full weight behind such voices when it’s time to vote again. There can be no connection without authenticity, and without connection, there is no system of belief and in political land that translates to no votes. Find your authentic voice, Dems, and you’ll be ok. Don’t, and you’ll languish in the land of the red for the next 8 years, which in political terms, is the equivalent of reality. And a hellish one at that.

Thanks for reading this morning’s Mash Up. More commentary to come on the hottest stories of the day!

Think Passionately. Disrupt Strategically.
-A. Lawrence Haskins

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