AuthorTopic: 🤡 Trumpty-Dumpty POTUS Thread  (Read 153235 times)

Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 38360
    • View Profile
Re: 🤡 Not for sale: Danish MPs ridicule idea of Trump buying Greenland
« Reply #2055 on: August 18, 2019, 04:56:22 AM »

Who gave the US the deed to most of North America?

The Brits.  They claimed North America for the Crown.  Then they fought a war with France over Canada.  Then they fought a war with the colonists, and lost the original 13 states.  Then they systematically eradicated the native population and went coast-to-coast in Manifest Destiny.  Then they fought a war with Mexico over TX.  Then they bought Alaska from the Ruskies, who had claimed it for the Romanoffs.

I think the Danish Crown claimed Greenland and nobody lived there to fight it.  None of the other colonial powers wanted it, it was just a big Ice Cube.


As I said, Americans claimed a continent there old fashioned way: genocide, murder and treachery.

That is true, I was just clarifying how it went.  It all stems from British Common Law and the Property Ownership system.

The Danes never had to fight for Greenland, nobody wanted it in the colonial era.  So they claimed it, they got it.  NOW, Trumpovetsky is trying to buy it, as Seward did with Alaska, I suspect on the assumption it has important geopolitical significance for military bases.  I don't think they have discovered OIL around Greenland, but it might be there and accessible after the ice melts off.

Save As Many As You Can

Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 38360
    • View Profile
🤡 ‘I Am The Chosen One’: Trump’s Religious Comments Enrage Critics
« Reply #2056 on: August 22, 2019, 12:06:57 AM »
Taking Megalomania & Narcissism to new heights...  ::)


‘I Am The Chosen One’: Trump’s Religious Comments Enrage Critics
Lisette Voytko
Breaking News Reporter

President Trump has a history of aggressively (and awkwardly) courting Jewish voters.The Washington Post/Getty Images

Topline: Just hours after accusing Jewish people who vote for Democrats of “disloyalty” (which drew widespread condemnation), President Trump quoted a controversial radio host who called him the “King of Israel” and “the second coming of God,” in the latest of a series of inflammatory comments about Jews.

    In his tweet, Trump thanked Wayne Allyn Root, considered a “conspiracy theorist” by the Washington Post and others, for the tweets, calling them “very nice words.”
    Trump followed his tweets by saying “I am the chosen one” during an interview with White House reporters. He was referring to his role in managing the trade war with China.
    #DisloyalToTrump and #KingofIsrael soon began to trend on Twitter.
    Trump also caused a firestorm of controversy last week when he encouraged Israel to bar Muslim congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from visiting the country⁠—which Israel acted upon.

Chief critics: A lot of Jewish people. The New York Times noted the “disloyalty” comment stems from an anti-Semitic trope that Jews are more devoted to Israel than the countries they reside in. It’s also a belief promoted by white nationalists. (Also, in the Jewish faith, there is no second coming of God.) Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted, “I am a proud Jewish person and I have no concerns about voting Democratic,” while Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer tweeted,“When [Trump] uses a trope that’s been used against the Jewish people for centuries with dire consequences, he is encouraging—wittingly or unwittingly—anti-Semites throughout the country and world.”

Meanwhile, on CNN, Anti-Defamation League director Jonathan Greenblatt said: “It is the height of hypocrisy to use Christian theology to bully Jews and to push out some messianic complex—literally, it’s hard to think of something less kosher than telling the Jewish people you’re the king of Israel, and therefore we should have some fidelity to you for that reason.”
Save As Many As You Can

Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 38360
    • View Profile

'I am the Chosen One': with boasts and insults, Trump sets new benchmark for incoherence

President outdoes himself in new press conference as he attacks the Danish prime minister, Jewish Democrats and the press

Tom McCarthy

Wed 21 Aug 2019 16.26 EDT
Last modified on Thu 22 Aug 2019 07.09 EDT

Donald Trump says he is 'the chosen one' to take on China – video

Donald Trump started off precisely on-message.

Strolling to the end of a White House driveway on Wednesday ahead of his departure for a veterans event in Kentucky, the president began speaking while still walking toward a crowd of waiting reporters. “So the economy is doing very, very well,” he said.

With fears of a recession stirring and public confidence in the health of the economy dropping for the first time in Trump’s presidency, it was a sound message to project to a skittish nation. But that was as good as it got.

What followed might have swept away all previous Trumpian benchmarks for incoherence, self-aggrandizement, prevarication and rancor in a presidency that has seemed before to veer loosely along the rails of reason but may never have come quite so close to spectacularly jumping the tracks.
The latest major Trump resignations and firings
Read more

Over an ensuing half-hour rant, Trump trucked in antisemitic tropes, insulted the Danish prime minister, insisted he wasn’t racist, bragged about the performance of his former Apprentice reality show, denied starting a trade war with China, praised Vladimir Putin and told reporters that he, Trump, was the “Chosen One” – all within hours of referring to himself as the “King of Israel” and tweeting in all caps: “WHERE IS THE FEDERAL RESERVE?”

Leaving aside those who were left merely gape-jawed, the performance inspired reactions from new expressions of doubt about Trump’s fitness for office to evocations of “the last president I know of who compared himself to the Messiah”.

(That turns out, according to Brookings Institution fellow Benjamin Wittes, to be Andrew Johnson (1865-9), whose articles of impeachment cited his “intemperate, inflammatory and scandalous harangues”.)

After the news conference, the hashtag #25thAmendmentNow was the top trending item on US Twitter, referring to a constitutional proviso by which cabinet members and the vice-president can band together to remove a president deemed unfit.
Did Trump cancel his Denmark visit because Greenland is not for sale? – video report

Soon after the ill-fated driveway news conference got under way, Trump faced a question about his decision to cancel a meeting with Danish prime minister Mette Frederiksen, who had rejected a proposal floated by the Trump administration to purchase Greenland as “absurd”.

Calling Frederiksen “nasty” – his preferred insult for women in politics – Trump described his wounded pride at the way his offer had been rejected.

“I thought it was a very not nice way of saying something,” Trump said. “Don’t say ‘What an absurd idea that is’… You don’t talk to the United States that way, at least under me.

“I thought it was not a nice statement, the way she blew me off.”

As Trump continued his attack on Denmark on Twitter from aboard his airplane, the world below struggled with the rest of the wild, wild things he had just said, including an attack on another group: Jews who vote for Democrats.

In response to a news conference Monday by Democratic Representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib criticizing their exclusion from Israel, Trump had questioned the “loyalty” of Jews who support Democratic politicians. Accusations of “dual loyalty” have been used in the past in an attempt to undermine and marginalize Jews living outside Israel.
Trump doubles down on claim that Jewish Democrats are 'disloyal' – video

Asked about the “loyalty” charge Wednesday, Trump said: “I have been responsible for a lot of great things for Israel,” mentioning the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem and his opposition to Iran.

“I will tell you this, in my opinion, the Democrats have gone very far away from Israel,” Trump continued. “In my opinion, if you vote for a Democrat you’re being very disloyal to Jewish people, and you’re being very disloyal to Israel. And only weak people would say anything other than that.”

Trump ignored a shouted question about whether Jews in the United States have a right to be simply American – but Trump denied he was employing an antisemitic trope.

“I haven’t heard anybody say that, just the opposite,” Trump said.
Trump stands by antisemitic trope that sparked anger among Jewish Americans
Read more

Trump then embarked on an increasingly breakneck tour through the hills and valleys of a personal political landscape whose map, if it existed, was private to him, although his route was provisionally signposted by questions shouted by the media.

“We wiped out the Caliphate, 100%, I did it in record time,” he said of the fight against Isis.

“I am the least racist person ever to serve in office, OK? I am the least racist person,” he opined.

And, of course, his journey included a visit to his old favorite stomping ground: reality TV.

“I made a lot of money for NBC with The Apprentice, and I used to like them, but they are so biased,” he said. “You are so obviously biased and that’s why the public doesn’t believe you.”

His dislike for the media was on familiar display.

“The fake news, of which many of you are members, are trying to convince the public to have a recession,” he said. “‘Let’s have a recession!’”

But then – as he discussed his trade war with China – came a new twist as Trump bestowed himself with a new title certain to launch a million Twitter memes.

“This is a trade war that should have taken place years ago… somebody had to do it. I am the Chosen One.”

That last line echoed a tweet the president had sent earlier in the day, in which Trump quoted the conspiracist Wayne Allyn Root, who in the past has said that violence including the murder of a peace activist at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, was “probably paid actors & infiltrators hired by Soros”.

“The Jewish people in Israel love him,” Trump quoted Root as saying on Wednesday, “like he’s the King of Israel. They love him like he is the second coming of God.”

His putative status as the reincarnated Christian savior was not among the many topics Trump touched on Wednesday. At the end of the news conference, Trump walked toward his helicopter and headed for Kentucky.
Save As Many As You Can

Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 38360
    • View Profile
That one backfired well on Trumpovetsky.  ;D

I don't think the PRs are "joking" either.


Trump joked about trading Puerto Rico for Greenland. Puerto Ricans are joking back.
Puerto Rican Twitter users coined the term "Caribbean Vikings" and created their own Danish "starter kits" in case Puerto Rico becomes a colony of Denmark.
Aug. 22, 2019, 10:21 AM AKDT / Updated Aug. 22, 2019, 12:03 PM AKDT
By Nicole Acevedo

President Donald Trump has been joking recently about trading Puerto Rico for Greenland. But now it's Puerto Ricans who are the ones laughing — and many say they'd be happy with the trade.

Some called themselves the "Caribbean Vikings" and others shared all the benefits they would have if they stopped being a U.S. territory and became an autonomous Danish territory.

"I don't know about you, but I have no problem with being sold to Denmark," Gabriel René, a digital ad executive, tweeted, after The New York Times reported on Trump's joke.

"Denmark is the country with the best education in the world," a man wrote on Twitter.

"Honestly being part of Denmark may be the best thing to ever happen to us," Dartina Marie Pérez, who lives in Puerto Rico, tweeted.
Trump postpones Denmark trip after dispute with prime minister
Aug. 21, 201905:49

A Puerto Rican podcaster, known as Nieto, shared what some labeled as the Danish "Starter Kit."

"I have been preparing for when Trump exchanges us for Greenland and we are a colony of Denmark," Nieto tweeted in Spanish, sharing photos of "Danish Delights" butter cookies, the TV show "Vikings" and Danish beer bottles.

Others included a Danish-to-Spanish dictionary on their "Starter Kits."

"We're ready," one Twitter user wrote, alongside a picture of a "Conversational Danish" reading book.

Under the hashtags #DenmarkPR and #DinamarcaPR, meaning Denmark in Spanish, Puerto Ricans started claiming the Danish royal family and shared some of the perks they would get by being a Danish territory.

Regina C. Ortiz tweeted in Spanish, "[Here's] OUR Queen: Margrethe II of Denmark," along with a picture of her.

"We will finally have representation in the Europe [League] and possibly in the World Cup," a Twitter user wrote in Spanish, sharing a photo of the Danish soccer team.

While countless jokes were unleashed after reports surfaced that Trump "has on multiple occasions discussed trying to buy the country of Greenland," a serious diplomatic rupture occurred between the United States and one of its longtime allies.
The Amazon rainforests are on fire. Brazil's Trump-like president, Jair Bolsonaro, is to blame.
Danes react with anger after Trump cancels state visit over Greenland dispute

Trump was scheduled to go to Denmark for an official trip but he canceled it after the country's prime minister said that Greenland was not for sale and labeled his remarks as “absurd.”

The reactions from Puerto Ricans come after Trump voiced, on multiple occasions, his opposition to fund hurricane recovery efforts in Puerto Rico and considered diverting hurricane relief funds to build a border wall.
Save As Many As You Can

Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 38360
    • View Profile

Trump Has Told Friends That Gutting Medicare Could Be a Fun “Second-Term Project”

Republicans want Trump to deal with the exploding deficit by gutting the social safety net, and the president is reportedly receptive to the idea.
By Bess Levin
August 22, 2019

US President Donald Trump (C) walks with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R), R-Kentucky, and US Senator John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, as he arrives to speak with the Republican Senate Caucus on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on November 28, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)By JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images.

When Donald Trump was running for president, he boldly proclaimed that he would not only balance the budget, he would eliminate the entire national debt, which at the time was approximately $19 trillion. That, of course, was about as likely to happen as Don Jr. going vegan or Ivanka publicly admitting that her father is a sick individual who needs help. Instead, President Trump has pushed the federal deficit to new heights thanks to a tax cut that did not, in fact, “pay for itself,” and a trade war that has turned out to be neither “good” nor “easy to win.”

On Wednesday, the Congressional Budget Office said that the federal deficit will reach $960 billion for the 2019 fiscal year, which ends September 30, and breach the $1 trillion mark in 2020. Previously those figures were expected to come in at $896 billion and $892 billion, respectively, but the damage from the president’s tariffs, along with a sharp falloff in revenue thanks to the 2017 tax cuts, have caused deficit projections to rise faster than expected. Incredibly, this is all happening against the backdrop of the longest economic expansion on record and the lowest jobless rate in 50 years, conditions that typically cause the budget deficit to shrink. And under the continued tutelage of Donald Trump, the New York Times reports, things are only expected to get worse:

    Mr. Trump has shown little inclination to prioritize deficit reduction, and has instead considered policies that would add to the debt. The president has mused in recent days about reducing the taxes that investors pay on capital gains, a move that is estimated to add $100 billion to deficits over the next decade. He has also talked about cutting payroll taxes, which could reduce revenues by $75 billion a year for every percentage point cut in payroll tax rates.

    The president also wants to make permanent many of the temporary individual tax cuts contained in the 2017 law, which are scheduled to expire in 2025. The budget office forecast assumes those cuts expire and tax revenues rise; if they do not, future deficit projections would be even larger.

    The need to borrow more money has been aggravated by several bipartisan budget agreements to raise military and nondefense domestic discretionary spending. And it could increase if the trade war further chills business investment and consumer spending, resulting in slower economic growth and fewer tax dollars flowing to the Treasury Department.

But while the nonpartisan CBO has placed the blame squarely on things like the trade war and tax cuts, Republicans—the ones who spent eight years under Obama screaming about fiscal responsibility and bankrupting our grandchildren—have an idea for how to deal with the situation that doesn’t involve taking tax cuts away from the wealthy or reeling in Tariff Man:

    Conservative groups—which largely supported Mr. Trump’s tax cuts—have pushed Congress to cut future deficits by reducing benefits for federal health care and retirement programs, like Medicare and Social Security. “Something must be done soon,” the conservative advocacy group FreedomWorks said in a news release on Wednesday, “and that means taking a hard look at mandatory spending, the root cause of the United States’ fiscal woes.”

While Republicans do not expect Trump to push for cuts while campaigning for reelection, they’ve apparently encouraged him to do so should he win a second term—a proposition to which President “I’m not going to cut Social Security, I’m not going to cut Medicare” has reportedly been receptive. “We’ve got to fix that,” Senator John Thune, the number two Republican in the Senate, told the Times. “It’s going to take presidential leadership to do that, and it’s going to take courage by the Congress to make some hard votes. We can’t keep kicking the can down the road. I hope in a second term, he is interested,” Thune said of Trump. “With his leadership, I think we could start dealing with that crisis. And it is a crisis.” Republicans, said Senator John Barrasso, who seems to regularly chat with the president, have “brought it up with President Trump, who has talked about it being a second-term project.”
Watch Now:
Billy Eichner Breaks Down His Career, from Parks and Recreation to The Lion King

If you would like to receive the Levin Report in your inbox daily, click here to subscribe.

Hey, you know what would be a great way to boost economic growth?

Hint: It’s the opposite of the policies Trump and his racist sidekick are trying to implement:

    As unemployment rates nationwide have sunk to record lows, filching workers—from kitchens and construction sites, warehouses and Walmarts, truck cabs, and nursing homes—has become routine. In cities like Miami that are magnets for immigrants, newcomers have filled some job openings, but employers across several industries and states insist that many more are needed for their businesses to function, let alone grow.

    The economic impact is just one facet of an immigration debate that vibrates with political and moral import, challenging ideas about America’s identity and culture. But it is also one that can be examined more dispassionately by looking at the numbers. And the numbers, most economists say, indicate that there is plenty of room. Immigrants make the country richer, they argue.

“Without immigration, we shrink as a nation,” Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office who now serves as the president of the American Action Forum policy institute, a conservative think tank, told the New York Times. As for the “they’re taking our jobs!” argument, John Kunkel, the founder and chief executive of 50 Eggs, a restaurant group based in Miami, told reporter Patricia Cohen, “The idea that legal immigrants are taking jobs away from residents of the U.S. is just not reality. That’s the armchair view of somebody who doesn’t run a business.” You know who would probably agree with that, were he not busy stirring up violence and racism among his base? The guy who continues to employ undocumented immigrants at his businesses as ICE rounds them up.

Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne is parting ways with the company he founded

Which, all things considered, is probably for the best:

    In a controversial career that included knockdown battles with short sellers and a foray into cryptocurrency, it was Byrne’s personal claims about a romance with a Russian agent and his involvement in federal election investigations that ended his tenure at Overstock. Before rallying today, shares were down 22% since the company published his statement on August 12. Passages in that release confused Wall Street and left some wondering about Byrne’s stability. “Starting in 2015 I (operating under the belief that I was helping legitimate law enforcement efforts) assisted in what are now known as the ‘Clinton Investigation’ and the ‘Russian Investigation,”’ it read. “It was the third time in my life I helped the Men in Black.”

    That statement quoted Byrne as saying the probes were “less about law enforcement and more about political espionage.” He elaborated in a subsequent New York Times interview, saying he came public this month because of concern about the U.S. government’s prosecution of Maria Butina, with whom he claimed a romantic relationship. Butina is serving an 18-month prison sentence for failing to register as a Russian agent.

“This is a tremendous catalyst for the stock,” said D.A. Davidson’s Tom Forte, of Byrne’s decision to leave the company. “I think the latest controversy”—y’know, the one wherein Byrne claimed he’d been engaging in covert activities at the behest of the U.S. government—“was one too many.”
Save As Many As You Can

Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 38360
    • View Profile
🤡Sure, Trump Can Buy Greenland. But Why Does He Think It’s Up to Denmark?
« Reply #2060 on: August 24, 2019, 12:36:42 AM »

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Sure, Trump Can Buy Greenland. But Why Does He Think It’s Up to Denmark?

It’s not 1850 anymore. Here’s how a land purchase might work today.


August 23, 2019


Continue to article content
The Friday Cover
The Friday Cover for Friday, August 23: The Mystery of the Brazen Pot Heists

Read more

Joseph Blocher is law professor at Duke University School of Law.

Mitu Gulati is a law professor at Duke University School of Law.

Over the past week, President Donald Trump’s apparently serious interest in purchasing Greenland has gone from a widespread Twitter joke to a diplomatic spat with the Danish prime minister.

In the first phase of this ridiculous news cycle, the internet critics got something wrong: Conceptually speaking, a purchase of sovereign territory isn’t all that outlandish. (Sovereign here meaning any land tied to a government; not necessarily self-governing.) As a historical matter, such transfers were a regular occurrence up to around World War I. In fact, the last of these was a purchase by the United States from Denmark: that of the U.S. Virgin Islands, for $25 million in 1917.

In the second phase, Trump got something wrong when he picked a fight with Denmark, canceling a meeting with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen because of her dismissal of the idea. If Trump wanted to purchase Greenland, Denmark wouldn’t be the most important party—the people of Greenland would be.

Trump seems to be under the impression that sovereign purchases work as they did in the 1800s. When the United States bought the Louisiana Purchase from France, the people living in that region had no say. When the United States bought Alaska from Russia in 1867, there was no referendum among the 50,000 or so indigenous peoples living there. But this is 2019.

What’s more, the relationship between Greenland and Denmark is not as simple as that between colony and colonizer. Especially since a 2008 referendum, Greenland has a far greater measure of autonomy than earlier in its colonial history. The country has its own Parliament and premier and control over most political matters, except those concerning foreign policy and national security.

Sure, Trump’s Greenland fantasy is a long way off from realization. But if it were to happen, it would be through a process that Trump has yet to invoke: one that depends on approval of the transferred territory itself, ideally through a popular referendum or legislative vote.

To understand why the Greenlandic people—or at least their government—are necessary in acquiring the territory, it helps to know a bit about the history of sovereign land transactions, and, crucially, how changes in international law and practice would require them to look different in 2019 than they did in 1800.

As we have written at some length (admittedly never expecting our work to become relevant in such bizarre circumstances), the core idea of purchasing sovereign territory is hardly unprecedented. But until the early 20th century, transfers of sovereign territory required the consent of only the two nations involved, and not that of the people living on the territory itself. Under the old rules, nations could essentially treat their sovereign territory like property; Trump’s real estate model would have been quite appropriate.

Things are no longer so simple. Beginning especially in the wake of World War I and peaking in the era of decolonization, international law and practice have begun to give greater recognition to the principle of self-determination—the notion that peoples should be able to choose their sovereignty, rather than have it assigned to them. Like many rules of international law, the principle of self-determination is not the result of a single treaty or written document, but a series of documentary references combined with a course of regular practice followed out of a sense of obligation. Although the origins and scope of the principle are heavily debated, it is broadly agreed to have special strength in the context of former colonies, and throughout the 1950s and 1960s it was repeatedly invoked by colonies seeking independence.

Self-determination is the fly in Trump’s buttermilk. As we argued in our earlier work, and as some commentators have noted in the past week, this proposed deal wouldn’t be permissible even if Denmark did want to sell, because respect for the principle of self-determination would require that the people of Greenland agree as well. As the Danish prime minister succinctly put it: ““Greenland is not for sale. Greenland is not Danish. Greenland belongs to Greenland.”

In fact, respect for that principle might help explain (along with various other factors) why the market for sovereign territory seems to have dried up: It was easier to buy and sell territory when the people living on that territory could be treated as fixtures, rather than as necessary parties to the deal.

But—and this is where Trump’s critics sometimes go too far—the right of self-determination does not prohibit sales of territory. It simply specifies who the relevant seller is. Specifically, it suggests that the right to sell and buy sovereign control lies with the people of the territory.

This is how you might go about buying Greenland in 2019. First, negotiations would need to involve at least the United States, Denmark and Greenland, rather than the first two alone. (If Greenland were to first become independent, then Denmark would largely drop out of the conversation.) Second, terms would have to be proposed that would satisfy all of the interested parties. Those terms might be largely financial, but not exclusively so: The people of Greenland might want U.S. citizenship, or even statehood (so as to avoid Puerto Rico’s fate). Third, approval would have to be secured—most importantly, from the people of Greenland. Ideally, this could be done through something like a referendum, perhaps with a supermajority requirement, given the importance of the question.

Admittedly, we are sketching on a blank slate here. Although we are confident that the best reading of modern international law requires popular approval for transfers, this kind of thing has not been attempted outright in a long while, which means that we do not have a template. And that—more than the consummation of the deal itself—seems like an important opportunity. Trump’s off-the-wall idea creates a chance to clarify the scope of self-determination, which is important above and beyond his particular proposal.

Of course, none of this means that the people of Greenland should consider putting their country up for sale. We see no indication that they have any interest in becoming part of the United States. The point is that if they wanted to consider a deal—$10 million for each Greenlander, a house on the beach in Santa Monica, plus a U.S. passport?—international law would not prohibit it.

If that still seems like uncomfortable commodification, reframe it in more humanitarian terms, and make the seller the offeror. Imagine a scenario in which people of a war-torn nation rich in natural resources seeks bids from the United States, Canada, Japan and other nations—sovereign control over their territory in exchange for citizenship, peace and personal cash payments. If we take self-determination seriously, those people should have that option.

To be clear, we are talking in hypotheticals. History shows that even “voluntary” deals can be coercive and corrosive. Attention would have to be paid to ensuring that the bargaining process is fair, as with any treaty. But to rule out such transactions entirely is, we think, too rigid of an approach in a world in which so many people are straining against the artificial limitations that borders create.

To bring our argument back to the present moment: Trump’s legal error (one of them, anyway) is not in suggesting that Greenland could theoretically be purchased, but in saying that “Denmark essentially owns it.” Ownership arguably isn’t even the right concept—again with the real estate framing—but even if were, Denmark doesn’t possess it.

If the conversation about sovereign territory sales is ever to get started again, it must begin by focusing on the relevant sellers—the people.
Save As Many As You Can

Offline Surly1

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 15994
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner

Sure, Trump Can Buy Greenland. But Why Does He Think It’s Up to Denmark?

It’s not 1850 anymore. Here’s how a land purchase might work today.

In the first phase of this ridiculous news cycle, the internet critics got something wrong: Conceptually speaking, a purchase of sovereign territory isn’t all that outlandish. (Sovereign here meaning any land tied to a government; not necessarily self-governing.) As a historical matter, such transfers were a regular occurrence up to around World War I. In fact, the last of these was a purchase by the United States from Denmark: that of the U.S. Virgin Islands, for $25 million in 1917.

In the second phase, Trump got something wrong when he picked a fight with Denmark, canceling a meeting with Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen because of her dismissal of the idea. If Trump wanted to purchase Greenland, Denmark wouldn’t be the most important party—the people of Greenland would be.

Trump seems to be under the impression that sovereign purchases work as they did in the 1800s. When the United States bought the Louisiana Purchase from France, the people living in that region had no say. When the United States bought Alaska from Russia in 1867, there was no referendum among the 50,000 or so indigenous peoples living there. But this is 2019.

What’s more, the relationship between Greenland and Denmark is not as simple as that between colony and colonizer. Especially since a 2008 referendum, Greenland has a far greater measure of autonomy than earlier in its colonial history. The country has its own Parliament and premier and control over most political matters, except those concerning foreign policy and national security.

Really interesting take.

As Trump spins farther and farther from his own axis, opportunists like Tom Cotton (who planted this idea) are trying to germinate their own bad ideas before he cores out or his head explodes.

You can be sure that Trump cares as much for the rights of native Greenlanders as he does those of the American people, which is to say not at all.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 38360
    • View Profile
🤡 Trump walks into a ‘nightmare’ G7
« Reply #2062 on: August 24, 2019, 10:49:50 AM »

German Chancellor Angela Merkel deliberates with President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the second day of the G-7 summit on June 9, 2018 in Charlevoix, Canada. | Jesco Denzel /Bundesregierung via Getty Images

foreign policy
Trump walks into a ‘nightmare’ G7

The president heads into a summit of world leaders in an increasingly isolated position, facing an increasingly troubled global economic environment.


08/23/2019 12:00 PM EDT
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter

President Donald Trump heads into the G-7 summit in coastal France more isolated than ever — and perhaps never more in need of the international coordination he has repeatedly assailed.

The president faces warnings of a U.S. economic downturn driven partly by his fractious trade negotiations with China. He blames other countries' trade policies for mounting economic risks in the U.S., even as many of those countries teeter on the edge of recession. And Trump is expected to spend his time in southern France urging fellow leaders to follow his lead rather than changing course himself.

Trump administration officials said the president is heading to Biarritz this weekend with resolve to tackle common global economic challenges — even as they continue to downplay fears of a U.S. economic slump around the corner.

“The great advantage of the G-7 is that these are challenges that are collectively shared by the world’s most advanced industrialized economies, and they can really dig in and come up with … solutions,” a senior administration official told reporters, adding that the U.S. specifically requested a session on the “global economy” at the summit.

The problem is, Trump has rarely embraced global governance and many economists blame his “America First” approach for propelling the widespread sense of economic uncertainty rippling across the globe.
POLITICO Playbook newsletter

Sign up today to receive the #1-rated newsletter in politics

By signing up you agree to receive email newsletters or alerts from POLITICO. You can unsubscribe at any time.

“Each of these global meetings has become more adversarial,” said a former senior administration official, who cited the president pulling out of the Paris climate agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Iran deal as top-line ways in which Trump has blown up the global order.

“That’s the consequence of the president’s non-orthodox approach: In general, America is more isolated,” the former official said.

Ever unpredictable, Trump adopted a take-it-or-leave-it attitude that blew up last year’s gathering of G-7 countries in Canada, distanced himself from European leaders in Paris at a World War I centennial commemoration last fall, and injected chaos into the G-20 summit in Japan this summer. In between those international gatherings, he launched Twitter broadsides against the since-removed British ambassador to the U.S., threatened to slap tariffs on French wine after the country enacted its digital services tax, and recently criticized European allies over what he views as inadequate contributions to NATO.

“G-7 summits have turned into a bit of a nightmare for all concerned and chances are this one could be especially terrible,” said Richard Gowan, an expert on multilateralism at the International Crisis Group.

The G-7 and G-20 became critical forums over the past decade for the world's leading economies to confront ballooning crises. Their coordinated message and shared action in 2009 helped calm markets in the depths of the global financial crisis and spur a global economic recovery. Leaders used the gatherings in the years that followed to tackle the rockiest stages of the European debt crisis.

Trump’s animus toward international bodies, combined with his protectionist vision on trade, “means it’s really hard to see him having the sort of constructive private conversations that in its early days the G-7 was meant to foster,” Gowan said.

Trump heads into this round of G-7 meetings as the odd man out — breaking from long-standing norms for how advanced nations conduct economic policy.

“The great irony is that if other countries took the approach we did, they would be racking up huge deficits and politicizing the central bank,” said Douglas Rediker, a senior nonresident fellow at the Brookings Institution.

“If everyone were to emulate U.S. policy, then you would have a race to the bottom,” Rediker said.
Donald Trump

President Trump and other leaders attend the Gender Equality Advisory Council working breakfast on the second day of the G7 Summit on June 9, 2018 in Quebec City, Canada.

The White House’s message heading into the G-7 remains as #MAGA as ever — with plans to tout the administration’s policies of tax cuts and deregulation as the panacea to other countries’ policy ills. The administration wants to urge other countries to follow the same path, or “bend to Trump’s will,” as one administration official put it.

“What the U.S. pushed for, while I was at the White House, was for countries to take actions to deal with their economic problems and to promote pro-growth economic policies — tax cuts and deregulation among other things. I think they will push that quite hard this weekend,” said Clete Willems, the former deputy assistant to the president for international economics in the Trump White House who is now a partner at Akin Gump.

Trump, who remains diametrically opposed to many of the positions held by his European counterparts on trade, has said he does not intend to back away from his policies, including his aggressive stance on China, which could drag American businesses and consumers into a painful recession.

A second administration official on Thursday said the G-7 has proven it is unable “to cope with actors like China coming onto the scene,” despite Trump’s purported efforts to rein in Beijing.

“It’s about time, whether it’s good for our country or bad for our country short term. … The fact is somebody had to take China on,” Trump told reporters this week.

His comments came amid growing evidence of trouble for other industrialized economies beyond the United States. Germany‘s central bank warned this week that its economy could shrink again in the third quarter — starting a recession — and much of the country’s economic slowdown has been attributed to the U.S.-China trade war, which has reduced Chinese demand for German imports.

“It seems like he is setting up a real challenge to the European Union’s economy and all this is going to do is continue to deteriorate his own economic outlook for his reelection,” said Heather Conley, Europe program director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Trump administration officials don’t see it that way. And they say the G-7 meeting's agenda is full of potential land mines that are squarely aimed at baiting Trump.

A number of Trump appointees “think the whole G-7 agenda is an anti-U.S. agenda,” one person familiar with the concerns said.

Another U.S. official said Trump is already planning to confront French President Emmanuel Macron over the “highly discriminatory” 3 percent tax that France imposed on digital services revenues last month. In the conference call with reporters Thursday, administration officials said overtaxing tech would be framed as “counterproductive.”

Trump’s willingness to disagree with G-7 leaders on areas in which they once shared consensus has already had a notable impact ahead of the summit: Macron, who is hosting this year’s summit, confirmed Wednesday that he will skip the joint communiqué that has followed each G-7 meeting since 1975.

“I know the points of disagreement with the U.S. If we draft an agreement about the Paris [climate] accord, President Trump won’t agree. It’s pointless,” Macron said. (Trump suddenly withdrew his endorsement of the collective statement last year, citing frustrations with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his position on tariffs.)

Removing the communiqué from this year’s G-7 summit — which includes the U.S., France, Germany, Japan, Canada, Italy and the United Kingdom — is still unlikely to prevent disagreements from boiling over.

In a preview of what’s to come, administration officials said Trump plans to engage in blunt conversations with America’s European allies on trade and “multilateral reform.” He’s expected to highlight his administration’s recent attempt to modernize the World Trade Organization and to push for the removal of trade barriers that he claims have affected U.S. agriculture and other industries.

Trump will participate in five main sessions — including topics as varied as gender inequality, climate change and digital transformation — in addition to bilateral breakouts with his fellow G-7 leaders. Senior administration officials say the president is looking forward to those meetings, yet few expect the sessions will yield anything of substance.

One of those sit-downs will be with newly appointed British Prime Minister Boris Johnson — the first time Trump and Johnson will meet face to face as leaders. They've spoken by phone four times since Johnson moved into No. 10 Downing and a White House official suggested Trump might launch a charm offensive to bring Johnson closer to his side on trade, climate change and Iran.

“There’s likely going to be a lot of sniping amongst the European participants over Brexit and obviously that creates the risk that Trump is going to speak up for Johnson,” Gowan said. “That could cause Johnson to run into a bit of a car crash with [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel or Macron.” Johnson faces his own dangerous task of navigating Britain’s exit from the EU for which he has set a deadline of the end of October.

Less probable, but still being discussed among administration officials, is the possibility that Trump finalizes a partial trade agreement with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the summit. An agreement that reinforces the president’s disruptive trade policies could bring minor relief to an otherwise tense three days in France, the White House official said. The president’s top trade adviser Robert Lighthizer met with Japan’s economy minister in Washington this week, after which the Japanese official said both sides “agreed to speed up discussions and work on the remaining issues for an early achievement of results.”

The summit in Biarritz begins Saturday evening with a welcome dinner hosted by Macron, and runs until Monday afternoon, when Trump is slated to host a press conference. The president is expected to be accompanied by National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, national security adviser John Bolton, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Lighthizer.
Save As Many As You Can


Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
6 Replies
Last post January 13, 2017, 04:34:48 PM
by RE
1 Replies
Last post January 18, 2017, 12:55:29 AM
by RE
3 Replies
Last post June 02, 2018, 09:43:37 AM
by agelbert