31 thoughts on “News/Politics 6-1-17

  1. Like I said…..

    Germany and Merkel don’t have what it takes.


    “In global opinion-setting press clippings, German chancellor Angela Merkel and her new friend, French president Emmanuel Macron, outclass everyone on planet Earth. But in the real world, the thing that keeps cartographers sitting on their hands and reprinting the same European border maps year after year since the dissolution of the Soviet empire is the U.S. military, the one parked in Germany since 1945.

    As one of her own party members said in an off-the-record comment to the Financial Times, “For Merkel, that was an unusually strong statement, Trump’s only been president for four months.” Perhaps a strategic partnership that has endured for the better part of a century isn’t so vulnerable to one tough speech by an American president, or so easy to change that the aspiration of a German chancellor remakes the world order.

    But that didn’t stop the gusher of enthusiasm for Merkel’s comments. The Europhilic Irish Times purred that Merkel was stating the obvious: “Faced with an erratic and unpredictable White House, with its purely transactional view of global alliances, and a United Kingdom rapidly turning inward, the EU can only achieve its goals by pulling closer together.” American opinion writers were not much more sober, declaring it the practical end of Atlantic alliance.

    How many aircraft carriers, nuclear subs, and fighter jets has Germany christened in these four months? How much closer has Germany come to military parity with Russia? What do you think Poland or Latvia thinks of trusting Germany for political and military protection, absent the United States? C’mon, everyone. Get a grip.

    European leaders, contemplating the last 15 years of American leadership, are asking themselves if the problem is one with the American public, who keep electing unserious presidents who make foreign-policy mistakes. Are Europeans immune from bad foreign-policy leadership? Ask the French about Mali or Libya. Ask Germans on the street about Merkel’s open migration policy, or the deal with Turkey meant to stanch the flow. Does the American public sometimes question the utility of NATO? Of course. But European publics are less committed to NATO’s mutual-defense pact than Americans.

    Germany is hardly more prepared to lead Europe away from the United States than Spain or Bulgaria would be. Germany’s overt leadership would divide Europe even more into competing Western and Eastern blocs. It was the non-idealistic leadership of European institutions heavily tilted toward German bondholders that led to further disaffection in the currency union. It was the idealistic leadership of Germany in the refugee crisis that led to Brexit. Questioning the Atlantic alliance in a fit of pique could look stupidly short-sighted. Donald Trump’s presidency could be over before Germany or any other European country could even rouse its public for the massive public spending that being a real-world power would require. “

    Europe is a union of peace and freedom and it is worth fighting for,” Merkel said, to a great surge of applause. Who could argue otherwise? But the rejoinder suggests itself: Is it worth 2 percent of GDP? Someone, maybe even an oafish American president, might ask. And when he does, it’s best to try not to lose the run of yourself.”


  2. AJ, Germany is not the one leading Europe away from the US. Donald Trump is the one pushing Europe away from the US. If he serves four years or less, he may not push the Europeans too far away. They do not want to be associated with Trump just as all the top candidates to head the FBI do not want to serve under Trump. Only time will tell.


  3. Debra, This article from Douthat is for you.


    However, do not despair. All the politicians are now focused on middle class whites. As soon as Trump is gone, you will see a slew of Republicans competing to be that “sane Donald Trump” that Peggy Noonan was looking for. The Democrats are also paying attention. If Biden runs, he will use many of the same demagogic appeals to blue collar voters that we saw from Trump last year.

    If you want to be right, join me on the Sasse train. However, if you want to win, stay right where you are. The politicians are all coming to you.


  4. It might be pertinent to note 70 years after WWII ended, many, many people in France still detest the Germans. That’s an unruly and capricious bunch across the pond.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Michelle, True, but loathing of Trump is one thing the vast majority of Europeans have in common.


  6. More on Merkel & Trump




    To those who have it in for our president, it’s obvious what to make of it — President Trump’s bluster and ignorance have alienated one of America’s most important allies and, in the words of the Washington Post, “sent tremors through Washington’s core postwar alliances.” But is the war of words really Trump’s fault? I don’t think so. …

    … Why, then, is she at loggerheads with Trump?

    Perhaps she simply detests the man, as so many European (and American) elitists do. Or maybe it’s for domestic consumption. Merkel’s popularity in Germany isn’t what it once was in part because of her extravagant refugee policy. Picking a fight with Trump makes her look tough and gives vent to what likely is the predominant view of the American president in Germany.

    It’s fine, within limits, for Merkel to play to her audience. But Americans shouldn’t be fooled into believing that Germany has legitimate and important grievances against Trump.


  7. Donna,

    I think it’s twofold.

    1. It’s a tailored message for her voters. She’s just telling them what she thinks they want to hear. And it’s a distraction from her horrendous open border policy that German citizens despise.

    2. Europe is ticked, because without the US playing along, their plan for global taxation (Paris Accord) to fight “climate change” falls apart. Without the big dog, they can’t pull it off.

    Hey, maybe they can get China to sign on instead, since I’ve been told they’ll step up and fill our spot as world leader. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I just want to butt in for a couple of seconds to point out to Bob Buckles and Co. that I was nowhere in sight when the T-man was mentioned today. Over the last couple of days I have tried to steer the conversation in alternate routes and enjoyed very limited success, but in your honor I have tried. The effort is exhausting and I can no longer hold it in…Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump TRUMP! (satisfied sigh) That’s better. :–)

    More on Sasse later.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Business Insider is already out with a “What the World Would Look Like If All the Ice Melted” video, so let the fear mongering officially begin!

    The good news? With DC, NYC and most of north Jersey underwater, I may soon own some beachfront property. 🙂

    Wait! We’ll need music!

    Liked by 3 people

  10. Oh, and Donna, Michelle, and Bob all need to go to Mumsee’s, because Cali., Oregon, and Wash. will be gone too.

    I kid you not folks, this is gonna be treated like The Worst Thing ever. And yet I can’t help but laugh at the absurdity of it all.

    I guess it’s a good thing I have an “End of the World” playlist. 🙂

    More music!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Like I said, Worst Thing Ever.


    “”If Trump pulls the US out of the #ParisAgreement he will be committing a traitorous act of war against the American people,” Steyer tweeted.

    Steyer was very active during the presidential campaign through his group, NextGen Climate, and has become a leading activist in an agenda that supports moving the nation toward 100 percent renewable energy over the next 25 years.

    He joins a number of environmental groups criticizing Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement.”


    “The Vatican, which under Pope Francis’ insistence has strongly backed the Paris climate change deal, would see a U.S. exit as a slap in the face and a “disaster for everyone,” a senior official said on Thursday.

    At their meeting last month, the pope gave U.S. President Donald Trump a signed copy of his 2015 encyclical letter that called for protecting the environment from the effects of climate change and backed scientific evidence that it is caused by human activity.

    Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin urged Trump in a separate meeting not to quit the Paris accord.

    “If he really does (pull out), it would be a huge slap in the face for us,” said Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, head of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, which has hosted numerous international conferences on climate change.

    “It will be a disaster for everyone,” he told the Rome newspaper La Repubblica. In a telephone call with Reuters, Sanchez Sorondo confirmed the comments in the newspaper.”


  12. And that’s why he was elected.


    “‘I represent the people of Pittsburgh NOT Paris’: Trump pulls U.S. out of climate accord saying it is a foreign attempt to seize American jobs and American wealth – and is immediately attacked by Obama

    Donald Trump is pulling the United States out of the Paris climate agreement that Barack Obama entered

    President says he is protecting American jobs and accuses treaty of being designed to redistribute U.S. wealth to other countries

    ‘I was elected to represent the citizens of Pittsburgh not Paris,’ he said – ‘It is time to make America great again.’

    Obama reacted before Trump even finishing speaking, saying action means U.S. joins a small handful of nations that reject the future’

    Trump told ‘foreign leaders in Europe, Asia and across the world’ they would not have a say over American jobs and American growth”

    Poor Barry. It must suck to watch helplessly as your legacy is dismantled. 🙂


  13. More,


    “”As of today, the United States will cease all implementation of the non-binding Paris accord and the draconian financial and economic burdens the agreement imposes on our country,” Trump said.

    “We’re getting out but we’ll start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal that’s fair. And if we can, that’s great. And if we can’t, that’s fine.”

    Although details and the timeframe are still unclear, Trump argued that the agreement was a bad deal for Americans and that he was keeping a campaign promise to put American workers first.

    “I cannot, in good conscience, support a deal that punishes the United States, which is what it does,” Trump said.

    The White House has told allies the 2015 deal was signed by President Barack Obama out of “desperation.””

    Liked by 1 person

  14. AJ — that’s the song I played when I knew Trump won the election.

    40-50 years ago, the US pulling out of an international agreement would have killed it on the spot. Now, not so much. With the EU and China on board, most non-fossil fuel reliant countries will fall in line leaving only the US and the OPEC supporters out in the cold. There is an energy revolution coming and with the right nudge from governments (cutting oil subsidies, taxing cost to the commons, etc) it will arrive even sooner.

    Not sure how rejecting Paris will help Pittsburgh — US Steel only employee 4,700 people in Pittsburgh, its 8th largest employer. Employers 1 though 7 are in health care, education, and financial services, employers who won’t be affected by Paris. Trumps’s view of the Rust Belt is stuck in the late 70s — much like his voters. By the way, the steel industry sharply declined in the mid-80s i.e. the Reagan era. Pittsburgh has reemerged without the need to produce huge amounts of carbon. I live in Canada’s version of Pittsburgh — steel now employees a tenth of its 1980s number. Similar to Pittsburgh, we’ve moved into health, education and the arts. No-one is suggesting its time to return to 1979 to make Canada great again — its always been great, we just have to keep up with the times; adapt and change.


  15. Apparently the mayor of Pittsburgh agrees, he has sent a tweet stating they will follow the accord.

    Others have noted Pittsburgh didnt elect him so dont withdraw on their behalf.

    And the right of center globe and mail in Canada thinks its not only idiotic but symbolic of the end of the American Century. Chine will pick up the mantle.



  16. Ricky @8:04 I read the Douthat piece. His writing is often good, but it’s far too early to be writing the obituary of the Trump presidency. Like so many other columnists suffering from Trump discombobulation, Douthat has succumbed to the temptation to just diddle on about Trump himself rather than address the issues that elected him. Those issues are not going away anytime soon and readers are not well served when the real concerns are not addressed.

    I disagree with his contention that this is beside the point:

    If this is the case then it’s correct but also a little beside the point to complain about how the wreckers and establishment types and Ryanists are all betraying the voters by submarining Trumpism. The betrayal starts at the top, with a president who doesn’t care enough and probably never really did.

    I quite agree with Steyn that this betrayal is bad for what remains of the republic, that it’s dangerous to teach voters – particularly the already-disillusioned sort who switched from Obama to Trump, or who voted Trump after sitting out last time — that elections don’t have the consequences that populist politicians promise. But Trump himself is likely to be the primary teacher of that lesson here, and it should have been entirely predictable….

    I suppose Douthat’s point here is that we shouldn’t expect the swamp creatures of the R party in DC to be easily tamed, and that perhaps Trump lacks the political savvy and the force of personal integrity to tolerate being as unpopular with his own party as keeping all of his campaign promises would undoubtedly make him. And thus, Trump will be the witting or unwitting tool that teaches the ignorant and gullible electorate that they are, well, ignorant and gullible.

    By comparing the movement to the primary cult with which he is familiar, Douthat makes a fundamental misjudgment. Unlike the Cult of Reagan, the cult of Trump exists primarily between the ears of Never Trumpers and anti-Trumpsters of all kinds. Many people who voted for and support Trump don’t give a rat’s patootie about the man himself; and they are willing to give him a vast amount of leeway in accomplishing his goals. He is their tool, they are not his. If he fails, many will be discouraged from mainstream participation in the electoral process, and some may begin to look to more persuasive tools.

    But Douthat is correct in that our establishment leaders are attempting to school the electorate, and it is indeed a dangerous game. I will be surprised if it doesn’t come back to bite us.


  17. HRW, China is welcome to the ‘mantle’. Being the leader of the free world is far too expensive and time consuming for a country running trade deficits with so many countries—including China and Germany. Although— it is ironic that the new leader of the free world is to be a communist country. But then again, I suppose it makes as much sense as giving China ‘most favored trade status’ and the ‘free trade’ mantra that ushered that in.


  18. Tychicus, I think I am watching an All Star Game at times. The poor defense makes this game unwatchable. Leonard is missed.


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