Jim Acosta: I'm here at the border in front of some fencing and don't see any "emergency"

Why … would he film a clip like this … to make the point that the border is tranquil … at a place where a barrier exists?

Trump’s entire argument for the wall is that illegals will give up and turn back when confronted with a formidable obstruction. If you’re trying to make the point that there’s no need for a wall, which Acosta obviously is since he’s an advocate first and a journalist second, you’d logically go to a spot where there’s no barrier and show that it’s tranquil there. Arguably all he’s proving here is that … walls work.

Even senators are dunking on him for it. I really think this clip should be his video submission for induction into the journalist hall of fame.

Meanwhile in Washington, the end is near:

Part of the White House counsel’s office review of declaring a national emergency has included laying the groundwork for a legal defense of the move, according to officials familiar with the matter.

That has included advising the President’s aides on ramping up talk of the humanitarian and security “crisis” — a characterization that administration lawyers could use later in court to defend a national emergency. The lawyers have suggested the more times the term is used, the more citations they will have in filing a legal defense.

The good news is that there’s plenty of pre-election rhetoric about the caravan that the White House can point to in court as proof that Trump was worried about a crisis even before the midterms. The bad news is that he spends probably half his time when talking about immigration reflexively boasting how border security has improved under his leadership or implying that an emergency declaration is nothing more than a political trump card he might play if Democrats don’t give him everything he wants. A court’s going to end up asking his lawyers: When did this “emergency” begin, exactly? And why didn’t the president act sooner — say, by declaring an emergency first and then negotiating with Congress to fund the wall — if circumstances at the border are supposedly so dire? If the border is more secure now under Trump than it was on January 20, 2017, a proposition the White House would certainly agree with, why didn’t he declare the emergency then?

And one more question. If an emergency really does exist, how is a wall the best solution for easing it? Emergencies by their nature require rapid remedies, like a military deployment. Any real emergency would logically need to be addressed within days, not years:

“We’re going to be in 2020 before this gets resolved,” said Walter E. Dellinger III, a former solicitor general in the Clinton administration, adding: “If they are just planning where to build slats, judges are unlikely to decide that requires expedition in the Supreme Court. I think they would recognize the wisdom of going slow.”

If, in the end, the Supreme Court were to rule that emergency-power laws give Mr. Trump authority to proceed, he would probably face still more litigation with property owners over whether the government may use eminent domain to force them to sell their border lands. There may be little time left in his term after all that to add more than a few miles, if any, of barriers to the 1,954-mile border, which already has 654 miles of fencing.

Taking into account the inevitable court battles, what’s an informed guesstimate as to when construction of a thousand miles of border wall is likely to be completed? Before or after the end of Trump’s second term? A construction economic analyst floated this a few days ago:

That’s assuming all 10,000 men can be deployed to 50 different build sites simultaneously, he stressed.

Here’s Acosta’s CNN colleague, “Republican” Ana Navarro, reminding righties once again that she’s the worst. At last check this afternoon, Lindsey Graham sounded grim about the prospects of getting Pelosi to agree to some sort of grand bargain for the wall. Looks like it’s an emergency declaration or nothing.