February 16, 2016

It's the thought that counts, right? The latest candidate to be fuzzy on the specifics of American geography is Marco Rubio, whose newest ad features an opening shot of the Vancouver, Canada, skyline as a voiceover intones, "It's morning again in America."

The riff on Ronald Reagan's classic "Morning Again in America" uses stock footage of a harbor and tug boat, shot by Vancouver-based videographer Guy Chavasse, The Washington Post reports. "It's pretty funny, isn't it? It's a good-looking video, no doubt, but it's pretty recognizable as Vancouver," Chavesse told the CBC following the mix-up.

Other Canadians agreed. "It's unmistakably Vancouver," the Vancouver Sun blasted Monday, pointing out the city's "familiar" landmarks like the Harbour Centre, One Wall Centre, and the Port Metro Vancouver cranes. BuzzFeed News went as far as to observe that the flag on the tugboat in the foreground is pretty clearly Canadian.

"Ha! Nice catch by BuzzFeed — we hadn't noticed that. We are not going to make Canada an issue in this election," a Rubio campaign spokesperson told BuzzFeed when reached for comment.

Rubio isn't the first candidate to misrepresent foreign lands as American turf — earlier this year, Donald Trump used footage of the Moroccan border while implying it was the U.S. border with Mexico.

Watch Rubio's ad below. Jeva Lange

12:23 p.m. ET

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) has declared that migrant family separation at the border is his next civil rights cause.

The congressman declared he'll "go to the borders" and is even "prepared to go to jail" to end the controversial policy in a news conference Wednesday, reflecting on his many arrests fighting for civil justice over the past 50 years.

"If we fail to do it, history will not be kind to us," Lewis said, before asking Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) to tell him "whatever you want me to do" to reunite children with their families.

Lewis joined Gutierrez and other House Democrats in a press conference outside the Capitol on Wednesday. The lawmakers then took advantage of a House rule that says each member can bring two children under the age of 12 into the chamber, per the Chicago Sun-Times, bringing children into the building to make a point about the family separations. Democrats continued their speeches inside, where Lewis again pleaded Congress to "stop the madness." The in-House protest ended when Gutierrez called the visiting children onto the floor and spoke beyond the few minutes he was allowed. Kathryn Krawczyk

11:36 a.m. ET
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The U.S. government is forcing migrant children away from their parents and into tent cities — but it could save a few bucks by booking five-star hotels instead.

Holding children in newly built tents costs $775 per person per night, an official from the Department of Health and Human Services told NBC News. That's far more than the $256 nightly charge in a permanent HHS facility, or $298 per night in a detention center like where the children's parents are staying. Even a luxury hotel — like, say, the Trump International in New York City — costs only about $519 nightly.

Moreover, it costs $5 million more per month to place 400 migrant children in a tent instead of in a permanent building, per NBC News, and kids usually stay for about two months. The price tag stems from a sudden influx of separated children and a rush to build, secure, and air condition the tents, former HHS officials told NBC. Still, HHS is "aggressively looking" for places to put more tent cities, the current official said.

Overall, Immigration and Customs Enforcement spends $2 billion each year on private detention centers, per the Migration Policy Institute. Kathryn Krawczyk

11:21 a.m. ET

Facilities holding immigrant children who have been separated from their parents at the border are already getting crowded, and in Texas they're about to get even worse.

Texas officials have given the green light for 15 shelters to hold up to 50 percent more children, filling up beyond capacity as President Trump's administration continues its zero-tolerance border policy, the Texas Observer reported Wednesday.

Records show that facilities have been approved to hold an additional 722 kids beyond their current max capacities, a 16 percent increase. Some shelters have filled even more rapidly, increasing capacities by 48 percent. The shelters are owned and run by nonprofit organizations that the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement contracts to oversee youth detention. About 11,000 children are in ORR shelters, reports the Observer.

"Child welfare is being thrown out of the window because the feds say they don't have enough room," a National Association of Social Workers official said. "The capacity was never meant for this new population [of separated kids], so you're going to run into issues." State officials say they have reviewed the facilities to ensure they will be able to handle the new influx of kids. Read more at the Texas Observer. Summer Meza

10:55 a.m. ET

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced Wednesday that "tomorrow the House will vote on legislation to keep families together" in an effort to halt the Trump administration's "zero tolerance" policy of splitting up migrant parents from their children at the border. "The administration says it wants Congress to act and we are," Ryan said.

House Republicans, though, do not appear to have the votes on their immigration compromise bill, which includes "a path to address the family separations," CNN reports. What's more, that legislation has no realistic chance in the Senate.

Notably, there is no law mandating the separation of immigrant families at the border, and legislation is not required to stop the policy — only an order from President Trump. Senate Democrats, as a result, have been resistant to legislation targeting the "zero tolerance" policy, demanding the president address it on his own. Jeva Lange

10:08 a.m. ET
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Disney's hounding of 21st Century Fox finally paid off.

Fox accepted Disney's massive $71.3 billion offer in cash and stock to buy the company, The Wall Street Journal reports. The whopping deal, which Disney proposed Wednesday morning, is "superior" to Comcast's $65 billion all-cash offer made earlier this month, Fox said in a statement Wednesday. Disney had previously offered $52.4 billion in stock before being outflanked by Comcast.

The rejection is good news for Comcast's bank account. Buying Fox would've plunged Comcast nearly $170 billion in the hole and made it one of the most indebted companies in the world, CNN reports.

Disney's acquisition includes the 20th Century Fox film and TV studio, Fox's American cable channels, and U.K.-based Sky News, says Bloomberg. Some major Fox assets, including Fox News, Fox Sports, and its TV stations, aren't part of the purchase. They'll be spun off into a so-called "New Fox."

The Justice Department still has to okay the deal, and Fox was worried that Comcast's offer posed bigger regulatory concerns, the Journal reports. A judge's recent approval of the AT&T-Time Warner merger bodes well for Fox and Disney's union. Kathryn Krawczyk

9:50 a.m. ET
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump is worried about staff holdovers.

Trump is becoming paranoid that officials who also worked for previous administrations are not sufficiently loyal to him, The New York Times reported Tuesday. "The Bushies in the White House are out to get me," he reportedly said of staffers who also worked for former President George W. Bush.

The Trump administration has seen a record-breaking number of departures and an incredibly high turnover rate, reportedly leaving Trump concerned that he can't trust the staffers who are left. Few of Trump's original team members remain, which has pushed the president to become increasingly isolated in the White House, preferring not to communicate much with his aides out of worry that they are secretly hoping for his downfall. Read more at Talking Points Memo. Summer Meza

9:08 a.m. ET

MSNBC's Rachel Maddow broke down in tears Tuesday night while trying to make her way through an Associated Press report about "tender age" shelters, which are being used by the Trump administration to house babies and toddlers forcibly separated from their parents on the U.S.-Mexico border.

Maddow, visibly distraught, was unable to make her way through the opening sentence of the report, looking up at the camera to say, "I think I'm going to have to hand this off. Sorry, that's it for us tonight, we'll see you again tomorrow."

She later tweeted an apology to her viewers:

Maddow subsequently shared the AP report, which reads: "Trump administration officials have been sending babies and other young children forcibly separated from their parents to at least three 'tender age' shelters in South Texas. Lawyers and medical providers who have visited the 'tender age' shelters described play rooms of crying preschool-age children in crisis." Maddow added: "Again, I apologize for losing it there for a moment. Not the way I intended that to go, not by a mile."

Her fans were understanding. "Rachel Maddow breaking down on live TV is all of us," tweeted writer Brian Tyler Cohen. Jeva Lange

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