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The Grift Never Stops


Say this for Donald Trump, his dedication to the art-of-the-self-deal is relentless:

President Donald Trump’s new European travel restrictions have a convenient side effect: They exempt nations where three Trump-owned golf resorts are located.

Trump is already under fire for visiting his properties in both countries as president, leading to U.S. taxpayer money being spent at his own firms. The president has been saddled with lawsuits and investigations throughout his term alleging that he’s violating the Constitution’s emoluments clause by accepting taxpayer money other than his salary.

The U.S. government proclamation initiating the ban targets 26 European countries that comprise a visa-free travel zone known as the Schengen Area.

The United Kingdom, which is home to Trump Turnberry and Trump International Golf Links, and Ireland, which is home to another Trump-branded hotel and golf course at Doonbeg, do not participate in the Schengen Area. Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania are also not part of the Schengen Area. All three of the resorts are struggling financially.

Trump was already in a remarkably shaky position for an incumbent in a period of ongoing economic growth in January 2020. We are now looking at the potential that Republicans will face structural conditions as bad or worse than they faced in 2008 with a similarly unpopular incumbent who will be directly on the ballot, which would make him a huge underdog Electoral College or No Electoral College. His own political self-interest would dictate sending the strongest possible signal to markets that he is willing to defer to people who are actually competent. Instead, he puts his dumbshit failson-in-law in quasi-charge, misstates the details of his own plan, and makes sure to do a little minor profit-taking along the way. Oddly, this doesn’t seem to be working.

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