Sometimes, it really feels like the actions of the Trump administration are pulled from some cartoonish villain’s exploits. The problem is — at this wildly high level, President Donald Trump and his cronies keep wrecking the lives of American families, including now those gathered at the Fort Campbell military base, which sits along the border between Kentucky and Tennessee. A new report in The New York Times highlights how funds originally meant for the construction of a new middle school for the kids on that base are being diverted towards Trump’s long-sought border wall blocking off Mexico. That means that American children will continue to suffer in tangible ways while Trump attempts to deflect a crisis that doesn’t exist. According to no conventional understanding of the word is there an “invasion” along the southern U.S. border.
The funds diverted from this middle school project alone include $62.6 million, which helps add up to the total of $3.6 billion in military funding that’s being diverted towards the wall. Ironically enough, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) himself has previously proudly touted his efforts to secure federal financial assistance for Fort Campbell — but that wasn’t enough to stop this onslaught. While a spokesman claimed McConnell is “committed to protecting funding for the Fort Campbell middle school project,” he voted in favor of the controversial national emergency resolution allowing Trump to divert the funds in the first place.
Fort Campbell teacher Jane Loggins notes that she and her colleagues try and support students’ “emotional needs” in light of their front row seat to death and destruction, but those efforts have now been dealt a swift undercut. The Times grimly notes:
‘The Pentagon’s decision… means that 552 students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades will continue to cram themselves in, 30 to a classroom in some cases, at the base’s aging Mahaffey Middle School. Teachers at Mahaffey will continue to use mobile carts to store their books, lesson plans and homework assignments because there is not enough classroom space. Students stuffed into makeshift classrooms-within-classrooms will continue to strain to figure out which lesson to listen to and which one to filter out. And since the cafeteria at Mahaffey is not big enough to seat everyone at lunchtime, some students will continue to eat in the school library.’
Besides this issue, in which despite administration officials’ attempts at reassurances, replacements for the funds Trump diverted remain elusive, the president’s plans have steamrolled over projects ranging from an elementary school in Wiesbaden, Germany, to a cyberoperations center in Virginia.
Retired Army Major General Paul Eaton insisted:
‘What Trump has done, to take money from the Department of Defense school system for this artifice called a southern wall, to deny new school construction, is just crazy.’
House Democrats have come up with some attempts to stop these kinds of things from happening, including a provision included at one point in defense spending legislation to stop the diversion of most future funds under any circumstance. In a Congress half-controlled by Trump-shilling Republicans, however, that was largely doomed from the start.
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