Trump To Trudeau: Blame Canada!

Once again, President Trump seems intent on insulting a major American ally.

Another day, another international embarrassment by the President of the United States

President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had a testy phone call on May 25 over new tariffs imposed by the Trump administration targeting steel and aluminum imports coming from Canada, including one moment during the conversation in which Trump made an erroneous historical reference, sources familiar with the discussion told CNN.

According to the sources, Trudeau pressed Trump on how he could justify the tariffs as a “national security” issue. In response, Trump quipped to Trudeau, “Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?” referring to the War of 1812.

The problem with Trump’s comments to Trudeau is that British troops burned down the White House during the War of 1812. Historians note the British attack on Washington was in retaliation for the American attack on York, Ontario, in territory that eventually became Canada, which was then a British colony.

When asked if the comment was received as a joke, one source on the call said: “To the degree one can ever take what is said as a joke. The impact on Canada and ultimately on workers in the US won’t be a laughing matter.”

The White House declined to comment and the National Security Council did not immediately return a CNN request for comment.
Asked about the state of US-Canada relations, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow acknowledged some short-term tensions, but said he believes relations between the two countries remain “very good.”

“I have no doubt that the United States and Canada will remain firm friends and allies whatever short-term disagreements may occur,” Kudlow said.

During the Burning of Washington, on August 24, 1814, first lady Dolley Madison famously rescued a portrait of George Washington before fleeing the White House.

Trudeau has publicly denounced the “national security” justification for the new tariffs.

“The idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is, quite frankly, insulting and unacceptable,” Trudeau told NBC’s Meet the Press.

Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland questioned the Trump administration’s move on CNN.

“And I would just say to all of Canada’s American friends — and there are so many — seriously? Do you really believe that Canada, that your NATO allies, represent a national security threat to you?” Freeland asked on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

In some sense, I suppose, it’s accurate to say that some of the troops that were involved in the War of 1812 on the British side did come from what we now call Canada, but that’s because at the time what we call Canada was a British Colony. Moreover, many of the people who ended up in Canada were settlers from the former American Colonies who remained loyal to the Crown, so it’s not surprising that some of the people residing in that British territory on the other side of Niagra Falls may have joined in the fight, especially given the fact that the attack on Washington was largely meant as retaliation for the American attack on York, a city in what is now the Canadian province of Ontario. York, of course, is now part of the City of Toronto.

There’s at least some suggestion that Trump was joking when he made this comment, and perhaps that’s true. However, this does seem to indicate that, bizarrely, Trump seems insistent on souring American ties with yet another long-standing American ally. The recent tariffs, for example, seem to be utterly absurd given the fact that the President is essentially telling one of our closest ally, with whom we share the longest unguarded international border in the world, that they are a national security threat. This assertion is absurd, of course, not the least due to the fact that Canada is not only a part of NATO but also a part of NORAD, the primary defense for the airspace of North America. In fact, I tend to agree with Daniel Larison, who suggests that Trump is simply using the ‘national security’ loophole to play games with international trade:

I suspect that Trump and his advisers don’t really consider steel and aluminum imports to be a matter of national security, but they are abusing that loophole simply because it is there and because they can. Unfortunately, by abusing the loophole they are encouraging other governments to do likewise, and by tying the president’s trade preoccupations to national security they are harming U.S. economic and security interests at the same time.

This is especially ironic given that we’re just one day past the 74th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion, something that thousands of Canadian died or were injured participating in. Additionally, Canadians have fought alongside Americans in numerous conflicts since World War Two, including the war in Afghanistan and it was, of course, Canada that played host to hundreds of American tourists who were prevented from landing in the United States on September 11th, 2001. To suggest that Canada of all nations is somehow a national security threat is not only absurd, it’s a slap in the face. Finally, as Kevin Drum notes, the War of 1812 is something that ranks very high as a symbol of Canadian national identity even though it’s been largely forgotten in the United States.  Perhaps the President is serious in all of this, or perhaps he’s just taking South Park too seriously:

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, Politicians, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    I don’t believe in the history of international relations going back to Ur that you’ll find an example of any two neighboring countries that have gotten along as well, for as long, as the United States and Canada. So of course Trump spit in their faces. He’s a pig. He’ll never be anything but a pig.

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  2. Kathy says:

    Don’t forget the Canadian diplomats who helped a group of US diplomats escape Iran after the US Embassy in Tehran was taken over.

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  3. Pylon says:

    He’s lucky it was Justin and not Pierre he was talking to. Trudeau senior would not be so polite.

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  4. Kathy says:

    @michael reynolds:

    What have you got against pigs?

    The worst part of all the harm the Cheeto is doing to the US and the world, is that he doesn’t even have a good reason for it. All he cares about is being cheered by his base (and imagining it’s the whole country doing it). He’s wrecking the international order to feed his vanity.

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  5. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    What was that game show from the ought’s?
    Are You Smarter Than The President?

    An aside:
    In the War of 1812 the British had a blockade on the Long Island Sound that shut down commerce on the Connecticut coastline. Many of the merchant ship owners here outfitted their ships as “privateers” that would capture British Ships and sell them for profit, giving a share to the US Government of course. This was actually an important part of the war effort. In 1814 the British rowed 6 miles up the CT River and, at 3:30 am, attacked Pettipaug…what is now Essex, CT. After a brief exchange of morter rounds and musket fire the British secured the town and burnt the fleet.
    We recently renovated a house just up Main Street from the harbor…and found a number of musket balls in the post and beam structure.
    Today the Town of Essex still commemorates the Burning of the Fleet…which I have always found odd. Who celebrates getting your ass kicked?

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  6. Hal_10000 says:

    Here’s the thing that scares me about Trump. One of the things I learned early in life is that something can take years or a lifetime to create and only seconds to destroy. The current international order — the most peaceful and prosperous in history — has taken decades to build, mostly through US leadership. It certainly has its flaws but it has been improved over many years through multiple Presidents to its current state. Trump is wrecking that, either because he thinks he can build something better in four years or just because he hates everyone who is not him. And it may take decades to recover from the damage he’s doing.

    I always like the thought experiment of Chesterton’s fence. Trump’s policy is to smash down every fence he can get his hands on. And while he tells us he’s going to build even better fences, he has yet to dig a single post hole.

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  7. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    OT…a must-read:
    https://themoscowproject.org/explainers/a-case-study-in-collusion/
    Based only on what is is publicly known:
    1.Russia’s military intelligence unit hacked the emails of Trump’s Democratic opponents.
    2.Russia alerted the Trump Campaign that they are in possession of the stolen emails.
    3.The two sides met to coordinate.
    4.Russia released emails through its trusted intermediary WikiLeaks, timed to benefit the Trump campaign.
    5.Trump made the emails central to his message in the final weeks of the campaign.
    Does anyone really think Mueller hasn’t fleshed this out in detail?
    And do you really think Dennison and Rudy are working so hard to discredit the investigation because they are innocent of the above?

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  8. michael reynolds says:

    @Hal_10000:
    We won’t recover, not entirely. We can undo Trump’s damage domestically, but we have sent a fatal signal to the world: the American voter cannot be relied on to be rational. It’s a bit like what happens when you notice the first signs of dementia in a person, you never see them the same way afterward, you’re always looking for the signs, and you have no real expectation of improvement.

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  9. Warren Weber says:

    You’re a little late, Mr. Mataconis. A bunch of people already pointed out that Trump’s remark was a joke, and that in Canada they routinely (and semi-laughingly) teach that the burning of DC was, in part, retaliation for the US burning of York (now Toronto, Canada) and Newark (now Niagara-on-the-lake, Canada).

    If I may offer a suggestion: perhaps you should put up a daily “who hates Trump the most” and “who can say the most outrageous thing about Trump” thread. Pretty much every article degenerates into that anyway; maybe if you give the haters a specific thread of their own, you can have the occasional discussion that does not end up that way.

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  10. michael reynolds says:

    @Warren Weber:
    Worldwide respect for the US is dropping like a cinderblock thrown from a tall building. You can regurgitate your spoon-fed talking points all day long, but the evidence is clear and unmistakable. The world is divided between derisive laughter and fear, with our enemies doing the laughing while our allies feel the fear.

    Your president is a rolling disaster. No president in modern times, not even George W. Bush, has done so much damage to American power and prestige. But he makes libruls mad and that excuses everything, right? Because you’re a bunch of patriots.

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  11. Kathy says:

    @Hal_10000:

    Here’s the thing that scares me about Trump. One of the things I learned early in life is that something can take years or a lifetime to create and only seconds to destroy.

    I’m afraid it’s worse than that.

    While it may take seconds to destroy, it can also take months or a few years for the consequences to be felt. If they were immediate, Trump’s approval rating would be much lower, and the GOP would either be distancing from him or poised for a big loss in the midterms.

    As it is, the consequences haven’t quite arrived yet. Some have, like the downward dive of America’s reputation among many of her allies, but none of great import thus far. So there is nothing yet to restrain Trump’s destructive spree.

    I think this is what people mean when they say things will get worse before they get better.

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  12. george says:

    @michael reynolds:

    It was especially odd that he singled out the War of 1812 (which was actually Great Britain vs America, Canada didn’t exist then) as an act of destruction, when he might have justifiably pointed out that we sent Justin Bieber your way …

    Yeah, he’s a nut.

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  13. Facebones says:

    @Pylon:

    He’s lucky it was Justin and not Pierre he was talking to. Trudeau senior would not be so polite.

    Yes, the late Pierre would have told Trump – in two languages – what acts he could go perform on himself.

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  14. Pylon says:

    I’m pretty confident that the only reason it was even on Trump’s mind is because he got some sort of WH tour when he moved in and that was his takeaway.

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  15. al Ameda says:

    @Warren Weber:

    You’re a little late, Mr. Mataconis. A bunch of people already pointed out that Trump’s remark was a joke, and that in Canada they routinely (and semi-laughingly) teach that the burning of DC was, in part, retaliation for the US burning of York (now Toronto, Canada) and Newark (now Niagara-on-the-lake, Canada).

    It is doubtful that Trump knows where Toronto is.
    If he did have business in Toronto he would probably have Air Force One take him to Southern Italy.

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  16. James Pearce says:

    There’s at least some suggestion that Trump was joking when he made this comment, and perhaps that’s true.

    Of course he was joking. Of course the tariffs have nothing to do with the War of 1812. Of course he doesn’t want to explain the true purpose of his tariffs –to bribe his supporters for domestic political support– because that would make the tariffs hard to support.

    So we have to play this little game where we go, “Well, actually, it was the British who burned down the White House during the War of 1812….”

    Well, I’m not going to do that. Trump implemented his job-killing, wealth-destroying tariffs because he’s an idiot who thinks that trading long-term economic security for short-term domestic support is a wise move. Surely we have the capacity to explain why it’s not.

    Or have we lost that too?

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  17. Warren Weber says:

    @michael reynolds: He’s your president, too. Grow up, for Christ’s sake. If you don’t want Trump to be your president, feel free to leave the country. But as long as you’re an American citizen, he’s your president. I lived with Obama as mine for 8 years, you whiny crybaby.

    And Canadian history doesn’t start in 1867, just like US history doesn’t start in 1776 or 1783 or 1787. Canada was part of a nation at war with the United States in 1812.

    And if I may go off-topic briefly, it’s now come out that as part of Obama’s deal with Iran, Obama reached out to US banks and told them to ignore the sanctions laws and let Iran have access to the US banking system — all on the QT, of course. The banks, quite sensibly, told Obama that they had more respect for the actual laws on the books than they did for his pen and phone, and they weren’t interested in violating the law just on his say-so.

    Personally, I can’t wait to see how the Trump-hating “THE LAW IS THE LAW” crowd spin this one. I’m betting on “ignore it and pretend it never happened,” but I could be surprised.

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  18. Warren Weber says:

    @al Ameda: That’s not a bad entry for the daily “I hate Trump the most” contest, but currently Mr. Reynolds has the lead. You’ll have to try a little harder.

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  19. Pete S says:

    @michael reynolds: That comment about dementia is harsh but it is a good analogy. What is the point of negotiating an agreement with the United States when they have now demonstrated that all agreements are temporary and can be ended by one poorly informed toddler having a tantrum?

    And when we visit the States now we need to keep our heads down and walk quickly, because for some reason Trump voters are proud of what he does and are proud of themselves for voting for him. It is hard to have a conversation with those people without saying something unhelpful.

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  20. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Warren Weber:

    A bunch of people already pointed out that Trump’s remark was a joke

    Sycophants like you, making excuses for your ignorant, but dear leader. Trudeau certainly didn’t take it as a joke.

    in Canada they routinely (and semi-laughingly) teach that the burning of DC

    Provide a link from a reputable source.
    Or else, you aren’t credible, and should go away.

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  21. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Warren Weber:

    Canada was part of a nation at war with the United States in 1812.

    No. the country, Canada, didn’t exist in 1812. No more than the United States could have landed on Normandy in 1721.
    This is pretty basic stuff.
    You’re apparently just dumb.

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  22. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Don’t feed the troll

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  23. Warren Weber says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: You really shouldn’t toss around the term “dumb” when you’re showing your own ignorance.

    I didn’t say “the country, Canada,” I just said “Canada.” And that name for the region goes back to 1545.

    Likewise, “Normandy” as a name goes back about a millennium. And you marginally have a point about the “United States,” which is why anyone with a clue would use the term “America” or “The American colonies” for the present-day US in 1721. Or other terms, depending on what part of present-day US they were referring to.

    Do you ever bother to think or check things before you type? Evidence indicates not very often.

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  24. michael reynolds says:

    @Warren Weber:
    Show me a credible source indicating that Obama reached out to banks to get them to bypass sanctions.

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  25. Warren Weber says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: From the Wikipedia entry on the War of 1812:

    Invasions of Upper and Lower Canada, 1812

    U.S. leaders assumed that Canada could be easily overrun. Former President Jefferson optimistically referred to the conquest of Canada as “a matter of marching”.

    From history.com:

    The United States suffered many costly defeats at the hands of British, Canadian and Native American troops over the course of the War of 1812, including the capture and burning of the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., in August 1814.

    Why, it’s almost like Canada actually existed before their independence, and were actually known as “Canada.”

    It’s remarkable. Trump routinely says stupid things, but that still doesn’t keep his haters from inventing ones anyway.

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  26. KM says:

    @Warren Weber:

    A bunch of people already pointed out that Trump’s remark was a joke

    You guys say that a lot. An awful lot. Many of Trump’s stupid comments get explained away as “jokes”. He’s that insensitive asshat who “jokes” at a funeral and wonders why he gets punched by the grieving family.

    Did it ever occur to you numbskulls that if you have to keep telling people you’re joking, nobody can normally tell and that’s a bad thing? That maybe you’re really bad at it and should stop? If Trump has to continually say “j/k people” he should stop trying to be a comedian and try working at being a statesman?

    I agree with Pearce – not playing the corrections game. I’m just going to point out how stupid his defenders are supporting telling something insulting to the leader of an ally and being OK with “j/k”. I don’t care if it was a true joke or not – it was stupid, ill-timed and absolutely not something that should have come out of his mouth on a professional call. You’d never do this to your boss, a valued client, your loan officer, etc because it’s bad business sense. Why would it ever be OK to do to the leader of a free nation?

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  27. Warren Weber says:

    @michael reynolds: Nice catch-22. You get to define “credible,” and I’m sure any source that contradicts your prejudices won’t meet that standard.

    But here’s CNN’s report.

    https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/06/politics/iran-united-states-bank-exchange-republicans-report/index.html

    Officials at Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control asked two US banks to work as intermediaries and execute the transaction, but they declined, citing concern over potential regulatory backlash and a ding to their reputations.
    Emails reviewed in the investigation show that OFAC officials worked to encourage banks to take part in the deal by proposing to bring in senior officials.
    “I agree it would be a good idea to have (Treasury Secretary Jack) Lew engage (the US bank). If they refuse we can suggest (Secretary of State John) Kerry will call, which will drive them nuts,” an email from a US government official said.
    After Treasury officials were examining whether the Iran deal’s relevant sanctions permit currency exchange of rials to dollars, the report says a Treasury official wrote in an email, “Yikes. It looks like we committed to a whole lot beyond just allowing the immobilized funds to settle out.”

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  28. Hal_10000 says:

    @Kathy:

    Yep. When my blog was still up, I said that we’d survived the first year of Trump but I was afraid that he’d put things in motion that would reap bitter fruit in the years to come. The tarriffs in particular are something that will start showing up maybe later this year or in the next few years. And the result is unlikely to be obvious, more of a general downturn and the US unable to reach its full economic potential (which he will, of course, blame on Democrats).

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  29. James Pearce says:

    @HarvardLaw92:

    Don’t feed the troll

    You probably mean this in the “Don’t engage Warren Weber, just ignore him” sense, but you should mean it in the “don’t let him pick the battlefield” sense.

    If he’s all “Canada was part of a nation at war with the United States in 1812,” you don’t go, “But ‘Canada’ didn’t exist in 1812,” as if you’re trying to reason with a person who doesn’t know they’re wrong, you go, “What the F does that have to do with tariffs in 2018?”

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  30. Warren Weber says:

    @KM: Now that’s close to legit. Trump is right up there with Joe Biden for insensitivity, and I don’t recall anyone saying it was a good joke. (Personally, I think he might have been riffing on Obama and David Cameron’s exchange on the burning of the White House, but those two did it much better.)

    Another reason Trump should have probably skipped the joke is that there was a hell of a good likelihood that it would have gone right over Prime Minister Zoolander’s head.

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  31. Not the IT Dept. says:

    People, on behalf of my Canadian wife and in-laws, stop talking about another country’s history like you understand it. Asshole that he is Warren Weber (aka J*****S’ latest incarnation), his second paragraph is 100% right. Everything else is wrong, but credit where credit is due. (And yes, my wife is looking over my shoulder for this.)

    Also (per my wife), the American invasion of Canada was an attempt to liberate Canada from Britain and absorb it into the United States. Instead it backfired (no pun intended) completely and it is cited as the beginning of Canadian national feeling that led to Confederation in 1867.

    (Can I have my coffee back now, dear?)

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  32. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Warren Weber:

    I didn’t say “the country, Canada,”

    Troll…when you are referring to an exchange with Trudeau…you are referring to the country of Canada. He is the Prime Minister.
    You will bend over backwards to defend the indefensible from your Dear Leader.
    What will you say when he seriously fvcks up because he is in way over his abilities?

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  33. An Interested Party says:

    …it would have gone right over Prime Minister Zoolander’s head.

    That’s amusing, considering that the Prime Minister was talking to President Cartman…if anyone has a problem understanding basic concepts, it’s definitely the orange guy with the cotton candy hair…

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  34. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    @Warren Weber: Oh good god. Did you actually READ that report you oh so sarcastically linked to? It amounts to “Republicans in Congress accuse Obama administration of bad things with a headline grabbing accusation. Democrats point out in detail why that’s complete BS. Supposedly liberal news media is unable to determine truth so presents both positions as equal even though they aren’t.”

    Nice touch to only quote a small piece of the article, not the bits that pointed out it was perfectly legal, consistent with standard practices, and *all about meeting the terms of the treaty*, followed by the typical pre-accusation that liberals will just ignore things they don’t like (projecting much?). Go away, troll.

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  35. michael reynolds says:

    @Warren Weber:

    From your CNN report:

    A report released by Republican senators on the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigation said the Obama administration didn’t tell Congress that it sought access for Iran and, in its eagerness to clinch the nuclear deal, was trying to dodge sanctions that remained in place following the 2016 agreement.

    The accusations were rejected by Obama administration officials who said Republicans are trying to make a one-time effort to meet obligations under the nuclear deal sound like an attempt to give Iran broad access to the US financial system. They said the Republican senators never interviewed former Obama administration officials involved, and noted that no Democrats were involved.

    The story “is widely overblown,” said Jarrett Blanc, the former State Department coordinator for Iran deal implementation at the State Department.

    The source is not CNN, the source was Republican senators desperate to rationalize Trump’s moronic cancellation of the JCPOA. That does not automatically mean it’s not true, but it is at the very minimum, questionable given Republicans’ relationship with truth. But the fact that these Republican senators carefully avoided taking testimony from Obama officials and excluded Democrats very strongly suggests it’s bullshit.

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  36. Kathy says:

    @Hal_10000:

    It’s hard to say when the trade wars will begin to have an impact. Much raw material has already been imported or produced before the tariffs took effect. Mexico has already put retaliatory tariffs in place, but the same caveats apply (some is on perishable goods, but frozen meats can last a very long time).

    Officially a recession is two consecutive quarters with negative growth. The downturn, though, begins to be felt before it’s official. The one thing that almost always sways the American voter is a hit to the pocket book. So the one good thing that may come off this is a means of stopping Trump from causing much more damage (one dares hope). But it’s all happening too close to the midterms to have much effect.

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  37. michael reynolds says:

    @James Pearce:

    If he’s all “Canada was part of a nation at war with the United States in 1812,” you don’t go, “But ‘Canada’ didn’t exist in 1812,” as if you’re trying to reason with a person who doesn’t know they’re wrong, you go, “What the F does that have to do with tariffs in 2018?”

    No, because then the reply is, “Nothing: it was just a joke.”

    We’re not talking about the tariffs per se, we’re talking about the historical ignorance and cloddishness of the clown in the White House. That ignorance is an important fact in assessing anything Trump does. Understanding the depths of his ignorance and the severe limitations on his capacity to learn or grow, is directly relevant to a wide range of issues. And it remains important to make the point because many Americans are themselves so ignorant of history that they have no way of knowing whether or not the remark is historically accurate, and I for one still believe the truth matters.

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  38. Electroman says:

    @Warren Weber: Hi, Jen. How’s it been?

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  39. michael reynolds says:

    @Kathy:
    The great thing from the perspective of our erstwhile allies is that the sanctions they’ve laid on us can take effect very quickly. It’s pretty easy to take Bourbon off the shelf and stock more Scotch, Tequila or Rum. The price of soy beans or whatever translates very quickly into higher loan costs and lower profits for farmers. But it’ll take a while for US aluminum and steel to tool up to replace the overseas metals we import.

    So we’ll take a beating from their carefully-targeted sanctions, we’ll pay higher prices, and because steel is no longer at all labor intensive, we’ll gain a handful of jobs while costing consumers billions.

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  40. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Are You Smarter Than The President?

    Probably not.

    Smarter then the usurper sitting in the Oval Office, though, very much so.

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  41. Mikey says:

    @Warren Weber:

    it’s now come out that as part of Obama’s deal with Iran

    BUTWHATABOUT
    BUTWHATABOUT
    BUTWHATABOUT
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    BUTWHATABOUT
    BUTWHATABOUT
    BUTWHATABOUT
    BUTWHATABOUT
    BUTWHATABOUT
    BUTWHATABOUT
    BUTWHATABOUT
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    Shut the hell up.

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  42. Kathy says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The great thing from the perspective of our erstwhile allies is that the sanctions they’ve laid on us can take effect very quickly. It’s pretty easy to take Bourbon off the shelf and stock more Scotch, Tequila or Rum. The price of soy beans or whatever translates very quickly into higher loan costs and lower profits for farmers.

    Sort of.

    Its not like sales of bourbon have been banned. They’ll just be more expensive to import (maybe Jack Daniels can build a distillery in Mexico!)

    I work in food distribution. We import a great deal of meats, in addition to buying from local suppliers. Some we process a bit (cutting in portions, de-boning and so on), so we import things like pork pieces, which will now be charged a tariff. For some customers, we may be able to absorb part of the added cost, but not for all. So the smart move will be to switch to other sources, be they local or foreign without a tariff in between. I wouldn’t be surprised if some orders not yet shipped get cancelled, too.

    We don’t buy from farmers directly, but from wholesale distributors. These will no doubt try to unload their stock locally, or to countries that won’t charge a tariff. I wish them luck. But chances are they won’t buy as much stock afterwards.

    It’s an unholy mess that will hurt a lot of people in rural areas. Good thing for the Cheeto Benito not one of his supporters will suffer any financial harm, eh?

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  43. Kylopod says:

    When I first heard about this the other day, my first thought was that I was a little surprised Trump was even familiar with the burning of the White House. I immediately suspected he was parroting something he’d heard in right-wing media. I did a Google search on recent references to the War of 1812 on right-wing sites, and I came to this:

    Thomas Jefferson was a free trader, but after the War of 1812 when he saw the White House burned by the British, he said, “We must have our manufacturing industries. Even if costs a little more, we should be buying what’s made in America.”

    That’s from a spokesman for a group called America First Policies, in an interview with Breitbart News in March. Of course Canada goes unmentioned, but at least we know the talking point of invoking the War of 1812 destruction of the White House to justify tariffs has been floating around the right-wing universe recently. I bet this wasn’t the only example.

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  44. TM01 says:

    @al Ameda:

    It is doubtful that Trump knows where Toronto is.
    If he did have business in Toronto he would probably have Air Force One take him to Southern Italy.

    Hey! You just totally made his point!

    I hate Trump more.
    No *I* hate Trump more.

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  45. TM01 says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    You will bend over backwards to defend the indefensible from your Dear Leader.

    And yet every time someone points out how Obama actually DID act like a power hungry dictator, or lied about the Iran deal, or well…anything….all you people can do is scream “BUTWHATABOUT!!”

    Remember when this site actually had insightful political perspectives? Instead of just OMG TRUMP!! And instead of the latest Twitter news. Or MuhRussia.

    Pepperridge Farms remembers.

    Too bad that’s all largely gone now. Now it’s all hate and ignoring everything that happened before Trump.

    BUTWHATABOUT!! Well, you didn’t give a shet when other Presidents did what you’re complaining about Trump doing now (be it real or imagined) so should anyone give a fsck what you say now?

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  46. wr says:

    @Warren Weber: “I didn’t say “the country, Canada,” I just said “Canada.” And that name for the region goes back to 1545.”

    Why is it that after a couple of responses all trolls end up sounding like J@nos? Is it just the obviousness of their intellectual dishonesty, or do they go to troll school where they learn to play these moronic rhetorical games?

    Or do they just change their names a lot?

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  47. wr says:

    @Not the IT Dept.: “Asshole that he is Warren Weber (aka J*****S’ latest incarnation)”

    Ah, you went there, too…

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  48. al Ameda says:

    @Warren Weber:

    @al Ameda: That’s not a bad entry for the daily “I hate Trump the most” contest, but currently Mr. Reynolds has the lead. You’ll have to try a little harder.

    To be fair, Trump has been grifting for about 30 years.

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  49. Mikey says:

    @TM01:

    And yet every time someone points out how Obama actually DID act like a power hungry dictator, or lied about the Iran deal, or well…anything….all you people can do is scream “BUTWHATABOUT!!”

    Because you’re engaging in total whataboutism.

    Weber talked for about two lines regarding the subject of this post, and then diverted to some entirely unrelated thing Obama supposedly did (which was proven in half-a-dozen subsequent comments to be overblown GOP-generated bullshit anyway).

    There may be legitimate ties to past events, but you and the rest of the whatatboutist crowd don’t display even the slightest inclination to explore them. You just jump straight from A to X in what’s apparently an attempt to accuse others of hypocrisy, based on our supposedly not caring about some shit that happened 10 years ago.

    It’s lame and stupid and transparent.

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  50. george says:

    @Not the IT Dept.:

    Unless my remembered Canadian history (I grew up in both Canada and America) is shakier than I think, Upper and Lower Canada, even as colonies, weren’t united until 1841 – Canada was a common geographical designation, not a colonial political unity before then. There was no political entity ‘Canada’ in 1812. It was like naming North and South America – a common geographical designation in a name does not necessarily imply political union.

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  51. Warren Weber says:

    “WHATABOUTISM” is simply the latest way of saying “you can’t call me a hypocrite when I’m being hypocritical because SHUT UP.”

    But to be fair, “President Cartman” as a rebuttal to “Prime Minister Zoolander” isn’t that bad. There’s a shallow, surface accuracy behind it that makes it at least a little justifiable, and Cartman hasn’t always been wrong. Mostly, but not always.

    I might even lift that one and use it myself.

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  52. Warren Weber says:

    @michael reynolds: Thank you for proving my point about your prejudices. I even quoted actual Obama administration documents showing them trying to get banks to ignore the sanctions laws on the books, but as soon as you found your excuse — “a Republican was involved in reporting this!” — your mind slammed shut.

    Even with quotes from the original documents presented and names named.

    No wonder you scream so much about dishonesty. You are intimately familiar with it. You know how dishonest you are, and expect others to be just as dishonest.

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  53. James Pearce says:

    @michael reynolds:

    No, because then the reply is, “Nothing: it was just a joke.”

    Treating the Trump administration as a kind of joke or cruel prank is probably the most appropriate reaction I can think of.

    We’re not talking about the tariffs per se, we’re talking about the historical ignorance and cloddishness of the clown in the White House.

    But “the historical ignorance and cloddishness” of Trump isn’t the issue, is it?

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  54. Andre Kenji de Sousa says:

    Brazil until 1822 was either a Portuguese colony(For some time Pernambuco was a Dutch colony) or part of the Kingdom of Portugal and Brazil. You can’t say that Brazil did not exist prior to that, specially because used local elites to keep these colonies in the Americas and in Asia. There were relatively large cities in Brazil some hundreds of years before 1822.

    What Trump said was completely idiotic, but not because Canada did not exist them.

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  55. Kylopod says:

    @Warren Weber:

    “WHATABOUTISM” is simply the latest way of saying “you can’t call me a hypocrite when I’m being hypocritical because SHUT UP.”

    Actually, the term whataboutism has been around since at least the 1960s, when it referred to the Soviet Union’s habit of trying to deflect criticisms by saying “what about” some wrongdoing allegedly committed by Western powers.

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  56. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @TM01:

    every time someone points out how Obama actually DID act like a power hungry dictator, or lied about the Iran deal, or well…anything

    First…I doubt it.
    Second…every time you point something out it is at least mis-informed, if not an outright lie.
    For instance the mis-leading quote provided by J-E-N-O-S above.
    Obama…a power hungry dictator? Well, what do you expect from a Kenyan?
    What a maroon.

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  57. Kathy says:

    Why don’t we skip the history lessons and get to the root of things:

    Canada was not a sovereign nation at the time. It was a British colony.

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  58. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Warren Weber:

    They call me Potsie because when I was a young boy I used to like to make things with clay, and one day my mother called me Potsie.

    Looks like J-E-N-O-S is jumping the shark.

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  59. Just nutha says:

    @michael reynolds:

    We’re not talking about the tariffs per se, we’re talking about the historical ignorance and cloddishness of the clown in the White House.

    So this is about preaching to the choir? Or is it an arcane version of “gotcha?”

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  60. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    Can we just short-circuit this idiotic discussion? Trump allegedly said ““Didn’t you guys burn down the White House?”

    He wasn’t talking to the prime minister of “upper and lower Canada” or “the geographical area formerly known as Canada”. He was talking to the head of state of “the country, Canada”.

    And it’s a moot point anyway as it clearly *was* a joke. The problem is not that he made a bad joke. The problem is that the head of state of a main ally pointed out to him that what he was doing was both illegal and hostile and the best he could do address the issue in a meeting he had days to prepare for and where he knew the issue would be coming up was this lame dad-joke. The man is no comedian but he’s not hired as a comedian. The problem is that he was hired as president and he’s a clown.

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  61. michael reynolds says:

    @Warren Weber:

    “a Republican was involved in reporting this!” — your mind slammed shut

    But that is of course not the truth, is it? It was not that Republicans were involved, it’s that only Republicans were involved. They refused to take testimony and excluded Democrats and I’m supposed to take that seriously? Benghazi? Pizza Sex Cult? Biggest crowd ever? Mexico will pay? Spygate? The tax cut won’t favor the rich?

    Unlike you, apparently, when I’ve been lied to by the same people again and again and again and again, I eventually begin to suspect that I shouldn’t believe them.

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  62. I would note that even if it was a joke, joking about a wartime act isn’t funny, especially in the context of Trump telling an ally that he is using a national security provision to install the tariffs in question.

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  63. wr says:

    @Warren Weber: “I might even lift that one and use it myself.”

    Oh, yeah, there’s the tell. What did it take — maybe a dozen messages before ol’ Warren here started using J@nos’ stock phrases? Really keen disguise there.

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  64. wr says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: And it’s about as useful or believable a “reason” as saying we won’t allow olive oil imports from Greece because 3300 years ago Greeks hid soldiers inside a wooden horse and so clearly any container coming from that country is suspect…

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  65. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @wr:

    ol’ Warren here

    Potsie

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  66. Barry says:

    @Warren Weber: ” He’s your president, too. Grow up, for Christ’s sake. If you don’t want Trump to be your president, feel free to leave the country. But as long as you’re an American citizen, he’s your president. I lived with Obama as mine for 8 years, you whiny crybaby.”

    This all says soooooooooooooo much about the right.

    Not a G-D right-wing was willing to admit that President Obama was president, much less ‘their’ president.

    President Obama was so much better a man and a President than your guy that it’s like comparing apples with sh*t.

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  67. Kathy says:

    @wr:

    Don’t forget the Wooden horse was alleged to be an offering to the Goddess Athena, who gave the Greeks the olive tree to begin with. They’re inextricably linked.

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  68. Mikey says:

    @Barry:

    Not a G-D right-wing was willing to admit that President Obama was president, much less ‘their’ president.

    Most of them wouldn’t even accept that he was born an American.

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  69. An Interested Party says:

    It’s quite amusing comparing Obama to Trump…yes, of course Obama had his faults, but compared to the Orange Clown? It’s like comparing a college professor with a little brat playing in a sandbox…granted, a little brat that hit the inheritance lottery, but still a little brat…

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  70. One American says:

    @michael reynolds: it was from the AP crap report that I saw, amazing they even reported it.

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  71. One American says:

    @Warren Weber: rock on, heads will soon explode .

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  72. One American says:

    @Barry: is that you Barry Sotero? Aka barrack Hussein O? I know he was my president for 8 long years but now he is not, what is so difficult to grasp?

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  73. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Warren Weber: Awwww…. Poor baby, are people saying mean things about your precious tiny hands president again?

    Bad people! Bad! You’re hurting Warren’s little feelings again! Stop it!

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  74. pylon says:

    @al Ameda:

    Trump knows where Toronto is. It’s where they yanked his name off the hotel after only 5 years. Apparently his brand wasn’t marketable.
    https://globalnews.ca/news/3606958/trump-international-hotel-and-tower-toronto-sign-removed/

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  75. teve tory says:

    Trump knows where Toronto is. It’s where they yanked his name off the hotel after only 5 years. Apparently his brand wasn’t marketable.

    It’s been reported that Donald Trump’s family fortune originated from a brothel started by his grandfather. Isn’t that shocking? There was once a Trump business that made money.
    – Conan O’Brien, June 05, 2018

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