Going Around Trump, Governors Embark on Their Own Diplomatic Missions

Leadership at the state level has taken on an increasingly global dimension amid worries that Mr. Trump is abandoning the typical priorities of the government.

Comments: 210

  1. God bless our noble and patriotic Democrat and Republican government officials willing to fill in for the vacant leadership we have today.

  2. I hate you remind you: most of those noble Republicans were and still are Trump supporters. He did this to them. What are they thinking?

  3. Ultimately, self-interest and the desire for re-election will prevail.

  4. While it's good that states are taking up the slack in US-foreign trade, aren't these moves playing into the hands of the anti-federal sentiments of Tea Partiers?

  5. Maybe each state can secede and we'd be 50 countries. Most of us would be better off. And no more USA wars.

  6. Makes up for not having a president.

  7. Yep...violating the Logan Act is a-ok if it is a Democrat doing it.

  8. Trump is no leader. I'm glad real leaders are stepping in to fill the vacuum. Unfortunately, this trend isn't necessarily sustainable nor ideal, so I'm looking forward to the next leader America needs, one who isn't afraid of science; and hopefully one with a modicum of wisdom.

  9. The next leader we need may just be one of these governors. I'd like to suggest Jerry Brown. He's doing a great job here in California!

  10. Well, trump did indeed promise to abandon politics as we collectively knew it. I guess he was speaking literally. With a "president" such as ours, seems best to leave the heavy lifting to the political grown-ups and let the toddlers distract themselves with the likes of Twitter.

  11. It all stands to reason in unreasonable times. As Trump debases the presidency, goes backward on environmental protection, toys with health coverage just to score a dubious win, and alienates allies, other leaders will have to step up to the plate and compensate for him. There just might be a potential president among these governors, springing towards the void Trump made at the top.

  12. Article 1, Section 8, of the US Constitution reserves negotiations of foreign trade to the federal government.

  13. We have no functioning federal government.

  14. Actually that refers to interstate commerce. You are thinking of foreign treaties.

  15. What it doesn't do is prevent folk with having conversations with people from other countries.

  16. I'm so glad that in America the citizens in each state are allowed to elect their own state governor. I have read here in the NYT how this is not true in Russia. In Russia there is a process that looks like an election, but the candidates are vetted and the winner certified by Putin. That's how his personal bodyguard who'd never been to the province of Tula in his life wound up installed as their governor. It's good to have Putin as an example at least so that we can better appreciate our own system. And now we can see why Putin wants to have the power to hire and fire governors in the first place.

  17. It is also not true in countries like Thailand, which also had a facade of democracy at one time. I have commented to my Thai friends that in a real democracy, there are all kinds of things we vote on and thereby get practice formulating opinions, taking action seeing results on government offices at all levels. I think a real democracy needs that frequent voting activity in order for the population to experience that the government is 'for the people, by the people, and of the people."

  18. The moronic USA doesn't even require runoffs in all elections where no candidate wins a majority.

  19. This is good news. If Trump insist in governing for only a 40% of Americans, each State has the right to serve it's own interest.

  20. The Trump enablement will soon fracture the US if left unchecked. That is Putin's revenge for the breakup of the Soviet Union.

  21. The Republicans advocated for States Rights and empowerment and they got their wish. They certainly set the platform for it happening sooner rather than later and not on their terms or under their control.

  22. I'm pro states-rights and I'm a never-Trumper, but first and foremost I'm a Constitutionalist. The Constitution grants the FEDERAL government, not the states, the power to negotiate international trade and to make treaties.

  23. "State's rights" is just Newspeak for unequal protection of the law.

  24. True but Ivanka and Jared will be in the vanguard of negotiators with China for example. Guarantee that the end results will Increase their net worth. I'll take a.chance on trusting the governors as they show no signs of funny business.

  25. I think this is good. Ironically, it is turning out that a strength of our system is that states can assert power. It may not be the most efficient or cost-effecive way to enact a climate agenda, but that they can take an independent stance and make a difference, how many other countries can do that? Thank God for the Governors.

  26. If you look around the world at economically developed democracies I think that you will find that their subdivisions (called states or provinces or cantons or whatever) can and do do the things that the US states are doing.

    No matter how many flaws the US system of government exhibits, and it seems to be exhibiting quite a few flaws right now, Americans still seem to think that it is the greatest system in the world that the rest of us should strive to emulate.

  27. Just remember though, J, states can use that power to disrupt and obstruct as they did under O. A double-edged paper cutter.

  28. All of a sudden it's good. Any governor trying to do that under the prior administration would be excoriated in these pages as Un-American, disrespectful, not respecting federal or presidential authority, so on and so on.

  29. A “giant sucking sound of ignorance” : Trump Nation 2017

    The idiots in the class want everyone to fail; but the Trump terrorists won't win.

    Donald Trump is a political mutation, a cancer of ignorance and spite that can be overcome with education-and-information chemotherapy.

    Hail to the governors, corporate leaders and citizens who openly resist the Trump-Trashing of progress, democracy and evolution.

    The Trump Presidency is an international disgrace, but it is temporary.

    We must resist the Trump-Pence Russian-Republican efforts to flush America down their oligarchic Whites R Us Know Nothing toilet.

    Not on our watch !

  30. Putin is our leader. We must respect that. He conquered us without firing a shot. Quite an accomplishment don't you think.

  31. Governor Jerry Brown, in case I've never told you before, I have great respect for you and your centrist pragmatism. In these times, I am comforted to know that you are looking out for your Californians, and Californians from all economic levels and walks of life.

  32. First I'll say that I'm glad to see the governors stepping up. A concern is that Trumps base, unaware of this, will be deceived into thinking that any progress in their state is due to Trump. As we have seen in the past, he is quick to claim any success as his own. Make sure they know this by 2020.

  33. Make sure the constituents know who to give credit to by 2018. Trump will claim anything that looks good for himself.

  34. Excellent observation!
    It is particularly galling on the part of the Republican governors who still claim to support Trump, in the face of how he might affect their economy.
    That they feel the need to circumvent him should tell them they are on the wrong side of history. Governors should not have to compensate for Trump's bad decisions. They should be at home running their states.
    Trump has no grasp of basic economics, and boy, is it showing.

  35. Most of Canada's processed and raw food, automobiles, building materials, and machinery comes from the USA. Canada mostly sends energy (oil, gas), raw materials (coal, iron, lumber, paper), and automobiles and parts to the USA. This means that Canada generates more jobs in the USA than the USA generates in Canada. The US would be foolish to drastically change the NAFTA agreement with Canada and the governors understand that.

  36. Sounds like Canada should be the one to scrap such a deal.

  37. That is why the governors wanted to meet with Trudeau. 38 out of 50 states sell more of their exports to Canada than any other country in the world, so think of the American jobs connected to that. The governors sure don't want to scrap it, regardless of what Trump wants.

  38. To what extent can individual states create their own trade agreements? Could they write themselves back into the North American Trade Agreement if they wanted?

  39. No, they just want reassure other countries that changing the trade agreements will not happen in any significant way, hoping that those partners will not start looking elswhere.

  40. Nope, the Constitution gives those powers to the Feds. See Article 1 Section 8 and Section 10. However, the 10th Amendment to the Constitution states that "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the he people."

    With the power vacuum in Washington, the States are kind of left to their own devices. Not sure how it will all wash out.

  41. No. It is expressly forbidden by Article I Section 10 of the Constitution

  42. Wouldn't it be great to see Governors abandon the party line they are fed by fax every morning from either the RNC or DNC, and run their states as vibrant and forward thinking and doing what is right by their constituents now and for the future? Some will. Most won't because they are bought and paid for. I hope the Times sheds a light on the few Governor's who are independent thinkers and care more about their constituents than the party line.

  43. Any Republican who opposes this ought to read his or her Constitution - nice 10th amendment option being played here. Jerry Brown does this outreach with China, too.

  44. The US constitution delegates all management of foreign policy to the federal government.

  45. You need to read your Constitution. Article I Section 10 forbids states from entering into agreements, treaties, or pacts with foreign powers

  46. I am biased, owing to my seething contempt for the loud fraud who now plays at acting as president. Please help me out. Has Trump done anything right, correct, proper, something that advances our nation's interest?

  47. Yes, I want to know what good he has done too. I live in a different part of the state but we are darn curious too. So far, all bad news as far as California is concerned. But Trump doesn't like California, he has made that abundantly clear. Which is very unfortunate for California. (Probably why Trump wife 2 lives here; no love lost between Marla and the Donald.)

  48. Nada.

  49. Yes, seething contempt is what so many feel. How dare this contemptible, ignorant individual try to drag America into the dirt, oblivion. So many have suffered life and limb to protect our great democracy. We are a proud, decent people. To succumb is not an option. To strip away our pride, all that we stand for will not be tolerated.

  50. This is exactly what happens when your chief executive is a failure: you get 50 states acting on their own in international and, as we will see, national interests. This is what the Repubican Party has been aiming at for at least 40 years. Undercut national/federal rules, connections, goals etc. This is called divide and conquer. Who succeeds? Global corporations freed to make their own rules.

  51. Divide and conquer? What I see happening is the GOP gerrymandering of states to retain control of them. Then handing those states they do control over to private corporations to ransack and pillage (metaphorically).

    After bankrupting their GOP states, the state GOPs then want the federal government to bail them out with money from other states.

    Where would Wyoming be without all the financial support it gets from papa federal government? It is not bankrupt but not self supporting financially.

    My sister in law used to live there. She and her husband never want to pay any taxes. They moved away after her husband earned a Wyoming state pension. They did not like the weather there nor lack of modern amenities but loved the tax policy. They have moved to another state with lowish taxes. They do not like the weather in their new state either. Not sure they can afford to move again. Moving is not cheap.

  52. Well there is one governor....who is ....not his own man....and that is
    former Governor Mike Pence...who ...is ...Trump's ..yes man.........
    and
    I believe he knew and knows all about the Russian hacking....yes ...yes...yes.
    and ..Pence might just ...save his own soul ...if he started to tell the TRUTH..
    and then the Governors' might appreciate his return to ...let's say normal..
    that is close to honesty....I think those in the Hoosier State would appreciate
    a return to normal from the all pious and unbelievable nowadays trancelike Pence.
    I hope when Trump faces impeachment...and Pence is next in line....he will
    change back into a respectable Governor like person....and get all the help
    from our US Governors....who are successfully governing...ant that is...
    because it is ONLY in our individual States that democracy is playing out its
    due course in US History....
    Pence just signed up with the wrong crowd.....he never really met anyone
    like Trump or similarly Putin....rather like the Maffia....on a grand scale...
    Pence needs to talk to Emmanuel Macron....all by himself...take his wife
    to Paris....and be glad that we have a strong NATO.....and embrace
    The Paris Accord....
    I have some hope for Mike Pence.....he just needs to travel more.

  53. Pence could circumnavigate the planet ad infinitum and he would never develop into a responsible, intelligent leader.

  54. Isn't there something in the Constitution about this?

  55. If only these governors would have the courage to state their opinions loud and clear - at home in front of voters!!! Wait - some do!

  56. By his ignorance of how international trade operates and how the federal government works and relates to the governments of the states, President Donald Trump has turned things upside down.

    Mr. Trump has abdicated his responsibility as the highest ranking officer of the federal government, while forcing the states to fill the gap and to do important things on the international level. The states have been compelled out of necessity to fill a role every other president has jealously guarded.

    Coupled with his disdain for science and his foolish stance on global warming, President Trump’s simplistic views of international trade are embarrassing our nation.

    After six months of the Trump administration, a travesty like this is nothing new.

    Elections have consequences.

  57. while forcing the states to fill the gap and to do important things on the international level. The states have been compelled out of necessity to fill a role every other president has jealously guarded.

    ============================

    The Constitution explicitly prohibits states from making any agreements with foreign governments. They cannot "fill any gaps" or "fill any roles"

  58. constitution

    to protect and defend it

    he swore on the BIBLE. no less

    ah but that doesn't matter now does it?

    only when defending the 2nd amendment

    toss the rest out too ' librul"

  59. Not a mention of Michigan's governor, Rick Snyder. I can't even find out if he attended. Such a disappointment. Snyder's MO is to keep as low a profile as possible and never to take a controversial position. His lack of leadership in MIchigan, and internationally with Canada is painful to observe.

  60. OH, he's working on fixing the water problem his administration helped to create in Flint.

  61. Thank god for these people. The slow-motion destruction of the most powerful country in the world thanks to an incompetent and malicious administration and the machinations of a hostile foreign power is terrible to watch. I hope these brave people can save the country in spite of the corrupt White House and the part of the population that has been brainwashed by Fox news and is in a blindly self-destructive rage.

  62. Well- the Republican platform is to push things to the states!

  63. If that is their platform, then we do not need the federal government any more.

    We do not need this Congress.

    We do not need this President.

    We do not need this Supreme Court.

    A meeting of the governors should be called to decide on who wants to stay under this Congress, President, and SCOTUS and who wants out.

    State plebiscites should be held in each state to see what The People of each State want.

    The Soviet Union dissolved and the East Bloc dissolved. Now it is our turn to return self government to the states.

    I personally am tired of other states messing with California's state laws.

  64. states rights

  65. Trump's disarray and stupidity seems to be falling on governor's deaf ears, as they act responsibly, as any adult wielding the power of government must do. Kudos to them. Too bad we have a compliant republican congress willing to thrash the country by following a vane-like ignoramus, a guy that changes his opinions, and orders, according to where the wind blows, thinking he is still in candidate's mode, cheating on the hopes and rights of 'the people', by telling them lie after lie, and condemning the very press he so craves. Incompetence always goes hand in hand with corruption, witness the mafia installed in the White House, a true pluto-kleptocracy.

  66. Exactly. He is running the country like he used to run his company.

  67. Well, the GOP has always been preaching about less big government. Looks like they got their wish. The smartest thing the states can do is ignore Congress and the President, and do what is best for their people, their economies, their healthcare system and the environment.

  68. Because it is clear that the states do have different needs. Whether we admit it or not, the United States are not United anymore. Different states have different needs and priorities. One size does not fit all.

  69. I LOVE it! What happened to all the people who howled "THE LOGAN ACT" over elected officials contradicting the president on international policy ? It's not a problem if you agree?
    Like I said during the election, Trump is a walking, talking hypocrite detector. He sure smokes them out without trying.
    https://emcphd.wordpress.com

  70. The Federal leadership is MIA. Too busy watching tv, visiting his properties and playing golf, on tax payer money. It is rather shrewd of Trudeau to seize the opportunities, solidifying working relationships among America's governors, since POTUS is too busy enriching himself. If I were Trudeau, I'd try to lure these governors to secede the USA and join Canada instead. And why not? Certainly Trudeau seems more interested in bringing businesses into these states than POTUS. The governors of these United States will find more common ground with the leader of Canada than the current occupier of the White House. If the red states want to continue supporting this self-indulgent POTUS, they can stay and continue to pay federal taxes to a government that does nothing to aid them. But for the rest of us, look to the North for leadership and potential allegiance.

  71. Trudeau is not as honorable as you imply and is just trying to court Canadian interests, which is his job for a country of 36 million people ( think smaller than California and roughly the same population as New York State and Pennsylvania) where 90%? Of the residents live within 100 miles of the US border. When you have a health care system that in the shadows relies on the major medical centers near the Canadian border for the affluent Canadians to use when they don't want to wait for stents, pacemakers or other treatment at home you end up with a more glorified vision of the system than what actually exists.
    And, when it comes to golf playing Presidents Trump has a long,long way to go before he passes the Obama mark!

  72. "When in the course of human events..."

    One thing I thought the Constitution left out, was a section on allowing any state that decides its interest are no longer served by being part of the Union, to peacefully request to exit the Union and that such requests be honored without bloodshed. The European Union was wise enough to include that.

    If that had been in place, all the killing during the American Civil War would have been (maybe) avoided. I would have hoped that the South, as an independent Confederacy, would eventually realized that a slave based agricultural society was not going to have much of a future by the time the 20th century began. That their slaves were just as human as their white "masters" and perhaps, finally, become adult enough to free their slaves as most other advanced countries were doing at the time. Many problems we have today still go back to the Civil War which did not really resolve as much as it should. The South, sfter the Civil War, acted similarly to the way Germany did after World War One, resenting their loss, causing more trouble. The South has been fighting the federal government ever since, to the detriment of the whole US. The Southern myths have spread to every state, causing more trouble.

    We should have let the South leave.

  73. And we'd finally have single-payer health coverage for all. Sounds fine by me but I'd really rather not have all those who voted for Trump coming along. I'm sure Canada doesn't want to populate its country with imbeciles.

  74. "he hoped the White House would preserve existing economic bonds that favor his state."
    -Gov Ricketts Nebraska

    That's NAFTA Ricketts is talking about. No sympathy from me. Nebraska is just about all "red" and voted for Trump overwhelmingly.

    And that goes for every state that voted for Trump. And no matter what the Governors try to preserve in the way of international trade and Climate Change cooperation, who would believe them. No one, not when you have Trump slamming every trade agreement and he and Pruitt tearing apart the fabric of the Paris Climate Accord.

    What the Governors should be doing is, taking aim at the Administration and let them know in no uncertain terms to stop this stupid rhetoric about bad trade deals and sign on again to the Paris Accord.

  75. Exactly.

  76. I've always thought we need to use our state's natural resources for the benefit of Texans.

  77. Nice to see dome responsible adults doing the right thing.

    I applaud any governor that does the right thing and acts in the best interests of their constituents- regardless of party!

  78. seventy years ago i was told that corporations would someday govern the world. it was laughable at the time. with trump rule it doesn't sound like such a bad idea.

  79. easy for you to say since you probably won't be around in ten year's time.

  80. Trump rule is corporations running the US.

  81. It's a horrific idea and sounds like something Nazis would applaud (fascists, you know). Unfortunately, with Trump and his evil minions infesting all three branches of government, it is plausible.

  82. This is just silly. The governors aren't going to give away $billions/year, and that is what Paris was all about. If they do, they won't be governors much longer.

  83. That is not what Paris was about. It was about wealthy countries who most benefited economically from causing the damage showing some accountability and paying the true costs.

  84. We litter the planet more than any other nation. Why shouldn't we pay for the resultant effects of our share of capitalistic gluttony?

  85. If the President won't lead, someone has to step up.

  86. Even if true, there is no such clause in the Constitution

  87. Trump is on a permanent vacation. All his bluster about trade has resulted in nothing, not even talks or renegotiations.

    Bravo to the governors for filling the void. I hope they can keep up the pace until 2020, or until Trump decides to resign.

  88. A permanent campaign, too. covfefe started his prep for a 2020 run even before inauguration, and already trademarked its easily-guessed slogan.

    The GOP complained that President Barack Obama was doing exactly this. Then again, the GOP complained that President Barack Obama was doing exactly *anything*.

  89. Article I, Section 8:

    The Congress will have power to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

    Article I, Section 10:

    1: No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

    2: No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Control of the Congress.

    3: No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any Duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.

  90. The federal government does not rule all. The states may not make treaties and levy impkrt/export duties, but that in no way stops them from cooperating with other nations to increase huskies ties and work toward common climate goals.

  91. Yes: written in the closing stages of the 18th Century, the framers never anticipated Twitter, email and robots. No: expecting these constitutional tenets to be effective.

    Because Washington D.C. has been in angry gridlock for decades, perpetrated by Gingrich et.al, the elected Governors need to step up.

    My Governor actually believes in science and our nation-state has the power to change the world, which it is doing so right now for the benefit, in my view, of all Californians and especially our neighboring states. It is any wonder then that we and our neighboring states are often on the same page? Mind you, we don't agree on all things, but we are making change here and not waiting for the Despots in DC to (not) help.

  92. There are no state elected offices with national perspectives or interests.

  93. The Republican Party is no longer capable of defending our national interests and Constitution from foreign enemies.

  94. Not from enimies from within.

  95. It is a domestic terrorist organization. If you are afraid, blame the Republicans.

  96. I applaud the intentions but we cannot have 50 fiefdoms making their own rules.

  97. It won't be fifty states. What matters are the states in northeast and west. The US has always been state vs federal. The system allows the states a great amount of autonomy.

  98. No, 50 fiefdoms wouldn't work - that was the point of the original Constitutional Convention, reorganizing the earlier, failing version we started out with.
    We can hope that someday we will have a fully functional Federal Government again - or else the states will have to create a sort of shadow version, with regional coalitions and agreements. I'm afraid that in that kind of decentralized political economy, the red states will fall even further behind. But who knows what the future holds?

  99. If you believe that the federal government must lead the way, the fact that this administration is not apparently wasting time of the Paris treaty should stop all states from moving forward on what amounts to international treaties by the states going around the federal gov't.
    Flaky governors like McAuliffe making international agreements are expressly ruled out in the Constitution.

  100. Until they cross the constitutional limits and undermine the federal principle what's wrong if the Governors, cutting across state and party lines, try to fill the vacuum left by the US federal administration in the international arena, if the purpose is to serve the national interests under the changed circumstances of global reality, specially on the issue of cooperation on the trade and climate agenda that requires global cooperation to survive.

  101. Prof, I agree, but run-on-sentences much?

  102. The destructive competition between states caused them to neuter the federal government.

  103. Well, the Republicans keep insisting on "states' rights" so no one should have any doubts about our governors' willingness to maintain their own foreign policies that make more sense for their own states than the one the White House has thusfar implemented.

  104. It is helpful that foreign leaders recognize the unfortunate situation regarding the lack of leadership at the federal level and are willing to work with our state governments. Our governors are currently the highest elected officials that are, for the most part, acting on behalf of the American people. It's in our collective best interest to encourage this collaboration until our federal government can be restored.

  105. Look at the bright side. When we split up into 50 fiefdoms, most will still be larger, and have more annual GDP numbers, than most of Europe.

    Now, when Indiana starts building a wall to keep Illinois grandparents out ....

  106. And from a Canadian perspective, we are asking our federal government to work with 50 different states; probably it will work out well, as the state governments are prepared to work together.

  107. Excellent article and congratulations to governors who take this initiative. Keep up this important work.

  108. This is great - if we could have more federalism in other aspects of politics and Business it would even better. That is how this federal nation was supposed to be - rather than federal govt adopting one size fits all positions.

  109. If the U.S. federal government continues to deteriorate, it would be best to live in a state with policies that suit one's lifestyle and values. At some point, certain parts of the national government may be reduced to irrelevance; health care, education, and environmental protection come to mind. I may need to relocate when that happens.

  110. The United States needs laws protecting us from the massive spending efforts by national and multinational wealthy individuals, corporations, and governments to influence U.S. elections, laws, regulations, and politics in general.

    The United States Government is continually under attack by those whose motive is personal profit. We need new laws and new regulations to enable our government to protect us. We need regulation of business because the motive for business is profit with little concern for the public good. Government is established for the good of the people. Government is not a business established for profit. Lets start with solid election finance regulations. Lets start with no more election contributions from foreign nationals or foreign businesses. Lets limit the amount business can contribute to campaigns.

  111. Unfortunately, for the sake of continuing to buy into the simplistic mantra of "government and taxes are evil", the politicians put in power by uninformed voters set the table for Oligarchs to legally spend enormous sums of money to be able to ultimately control the government agenda to serve strictly their interests, no one elses. "Citizens United" guaranteed that scenario and given the make-up of the Supreme Court now and into the future, changes, as you describe, aren't coming anytime soon.

  112. Conservatives have been arguing for state's rights and against federalism from the beginning. They should be pleased.

  113. When NAFTA was first passed , my concern was for American workers' jobs. So now that NAFTA has been around so long, are American workers' jobs tied to global trade?

  114. The law of unintended consequences hits America's foreign policy. A divisive federal president -- perceived to be taking actions on behalf of his constituency only -- gives incentive for dissent at the state level.

    Climate change and immigration are perhaps the beginning of a new trend. California is the first state to secede from Trump's position to withdraw from the Paris CO2 emission control accord.

    For a country so keen on the teachings of the Bible, Mark 3:25 is in the order of the day: If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

  115. I find it passing strange that Mr Burns writes this article saying that governors are "going around Trump" on their own "diplomatic missions" implying governors are making their own foreign policy, without noting that states are explicitly forbidden by the Constitution from making agreements of any kind with foreign governments.

  116. Trump has created a power vacuum on foreign policy. You can't blame the states for stepping in to fill the void.

    The constitution forbids the states from going against the federal government on foreign policy, not for making deals when the federal government is asleep at the wheel. States have been making supplemental international deals for as long as I have been alive.

  117. How ironic that the cross-party collaboration so woefully absent in Congress now exists in governors' mansions across state lines. There is no state that does not want to encourage the development of new business within state borders. Plainly, the governors, whether Republican or Democratic, are alarmed by the harm they believe will be visited on their states by President Trump's overseas eccentricities. I am reluctant to call those eccentricities "policies," as the latter term implies more thought, planning, and organization than are reflected by our president's impulsive acts, thoughtless statements, and crude and rough-hewn tweets. His international "policies" might more accurately be referred to as diplomacy on the fly or ad lib diplomacy.

    The governors, who are to be praised for joining forces for the shared benefit of their states, will nevertheless have a fine line to walk. They cannot hold themselves out to foreign officials as representing "real" national views on issues properly reserved to the federal government.

  118. Does anyone see this activity among the governors as a possible threat to our Federal system and ongoing integrity of the 50 'united' states. I'm all for free trade and international climate agreements, but what happens should a state or groups of states decide theiy are better off going it alone.? For example, I think California is the 6th or 7th largest economy in the world. They could certainly function on their own and possibly linking up with Oregon, Washington states and with their own economic agreements with Canada, Mexico, and Pacific nations, they would definitely rival the economy of remaining US and possibly rank in the g8 community and definitely the g20.

  119. Sounds like treason.
    NAFTA for example, is not in Americans interest, short of a few people selling out American workers to line their pockets
    Nor is the Paris agreement, which treats China as a developing country, despite the fact that it has twice the climate emissions as the US. For the record, climate change is far more complex than carbon emissions. You can not make important decisions with 3 seconds worth of input

  120. I think you need to up your research game, James.

  121. There is no trade agreement that would change much in this country. We've been relying on open markets to take care of working class and it failed across the board. Economic challenges change quickly nowdays and we do not have any structural ability to adopt. Part of the working class has supported this situaltion last 40 years by voting conservative. Now they pay the price though still have no clue what hit them. Blaming trade agreements will not change anything. It is not a problem if certain industries are gone. It is that we do not have anything else to generate new jobs fast enough. Markets won't do that, it is the government role to anticipate challenges and make adjustments. Just look at Germany, they are not wasting time crying over the loss of low paying jobs, they are busy creating high tech manufacturing jobs that pay very well. Yes, the government DOES create winners and lossers. With removing environmental protections to get few dirty jobs we are creating only losers. Structurally, our economic system is outdated, is not responding to challenges, and serves only megacorporations. We desperately need a more efficient and more middle class oriented government. Cutting taxes for the rich is the silliest thing we can do, basically it is a WASTE of money.

  122. Our "more perfect union" is turning out to be no union at all. This administration supported by the Republican Party does not listen to the people of this country on any issue from healthcare to climate change. At least the governors are working in the best interests of those who live in the states--which is way more than I can say for Trump and the GOP who are working on their own behalves--period.

  123. curious when blue states claim states' rights to diverge from federal policy. we're so accustomed to red states claiming tenth amendment rights that we sometimes forget the rights apply to all.

    inasmuch as the blue states are the ones that drive the economy, there ought to be more deference.

  124. Europe will continue to pay the price for letting in millions of undocumented refugees from hostile nations. Mr. Obama never had any experience at negotiating before and during his Presidency. The Paris Climate Accord had China doing nothing for 13 years and the US sending millions to India while the US closes coal plants and India increases their coal output by double. More of a wealth redistribution scheme than a climate friendly pact.

  125. The reason for giving China and India leeway in the agreement is that over the last two hundred years the US has dumped far more carbon into the atmosphere than either of those countries.
    Is that fair? In the long run it doesn't matter. What is important is that the future of energy is clean renewables, which once installed are nearly free. Soon most of the world will be running on sun, wind, geothermal, waves, etc.
    The price of these technologies is dropping, while the price of fossil fuels is rising, as we have to go to more extreme measures, like fracking, deep sea drilling, attic drilling etc.
    China knows this, and has used it's standard dumping techniques to steal our solar industry, while our government tries to prop up 19th century fuels with subsidies and wars for oil.
    Even if global warming were a hoax the future is in nearly free energy.
    The fossil fuel corporations are fighting it because they don't want you making your own energy.
    They are even paying state laws to prevent you from selling energy back to the grid. It's amazing how they love regulation when it's good for their profits.

  126. The "States Rights" crowd now finds that the concept works both ways!

  127. With trump's and conservatives penchant to find virtue in putin, let's hope our governors and the majority of voters who did not support trump continue to step up. This is horrifying:

    “There are conservatives here who maybe read into Russia things they wish were true in the United States,” said Angela Stent, director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies at Georgetown University. “And they imagine Russia and Putin as the kind of strong, traditional conservative leader whom they wish they had in the United States.” To these conservatives, she added, “Russia is the true defender of Christian values. We are decadent.”

  128. Thanks, Governors, and thanks to our founders. Federalism may yet save our nation. Let's get rid of Trump before the Supreme Court intervenes.

  129. How to destroy a federal republic -
    1) Elect to the national level characters who inspire anger and division, for various reasons, in nearly the entire population.
    2) Allow the media to turn these political characters into mass entertainment.
    3) Embolden individual states of the republic, in the absence of national leadership, to start navigating their own ways through the world
    4) ???

  130. 4) the federal government sues individual States under the Logan act, for illegal direct engagement in foreign diplomacy
    5) these States decide to "Brexit", the USA splinters apart

  131. Unless we get rid of this Corporation in the White House, we will never regain the losses we are now incurring. And, if we don't fix the prerequisites for the office of president, this situation will be repeated. It is amazing to me and many others, how much we seem to tolerate in the name of Party Money and Power. At this rate, I hate to think of the level of damage to our government and country we will accrue by 2020. The people who voted for Trump will get the damaged government part of Trump Promises, but I think they will come to hate the rest---just too late.

  132. If Governor Malloy wants to increase trade and jobs by dealing directly with foreign leaders, I'm all for it. We certainly need it now that two major long time employers are leaving.
    But don't commit my tax dollars to the Paris Agreement when you are cutting aid to towns for special education.

  133. Unfortunately, although some of us might prefer conservative and/or liberal states to become their own countries, the internationalization of US states is part of Putin's plan to divide our country. That's also why he funds separatists in California (https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/02/21/us/yes-california-calexit-marinell..., Texas (http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2015/06/vladimir-putin-texas-sece... and the rest of the world (http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/what-s-behind-russian-support-world-s-.... We should try to get along and unite against a common foe rather than further dividing ourselves by having 50 heads of state.

  134. If this movement continues, it would lead to loosening ties among the states and between the states and the federal government. It would also lead to sectionalism and disunion. The United States has been held together by democracy, the rule of law, and the "mystic chords of memory". But it is a large country, with very different regions, and its unity has not been tested as it is being now, since the run-up to the Civil War.

    It is doubtful that we would face that again, but a looser confederation may lie ahead.

  135. Federal leadership at home and abroad has simply ceased to exist in the Twitter fantasy world of a dysfunctional president. Of course state governors will step in to occupy the vacuum left by our national tumble into the theatre of the absurd.

    Nobody respects decay.

  136. The Logan Act prohibits citizens from negotiating with foreign governments in disputes involving the American government.
    A few months ago, the New York Times alleged that Michael Flynn violated the Logan Act while serving as a member of the Trump transition team by discussing the possible future lifting of sanctions imposed by the Obama administration with the Russian ambassador. The resulting furor forced Flynn’s resignation from his post as national security advisor and generated charges that President Trump should be impeached for obstructing justice for interceding with FBI Director James Comey on Flynn’s behalf. Now the New York Times is praising governors who negotiate with foreign heads of state to undermine polices imposed by the Trump administration

  137. I am shocked that those who actually have governing responsibilities and take them seriously, don't want to rock the boat with trade agreements in any significant way. However those who are screeming against trade agreements the most, and exhibit woeful economic ignorance and utter lack of professional responsibility, want to change them. Most prominent example of the latter lot is Trump administration and its propaganda arms, Fox, Breitbart, Rush, Hanity, etc.

  138. Is this the beginning of the end of the 'United' States?
    The longer the GOP allows Trump to stay in power the more torn apart this country will be. Their short term gains will be long term losses.
    There will come a point of no return. Is the GOP willing to allow Trump to weaken the power of the presidency and Congress to such a degree that both may become all but irrelevant? Can they see past their own greed to even see the danger?

  139. The Republicans, and Congress, should never let Trump negotiate anything. His own business record is one of abject failure. He makes promises that he has no intention of keeping, doesn't understand the basics of market demands (right up there with Rick Perry) and creates enemies, not allies. And he defines success as "winning." Anyone who has every negotiated an agreement knows that compromise is the key to make a strong and lasting agreement. Agreements that strongly favor one side are destined to fail. Ironically, Trump's "winning" is for "losers."

  140. Trump's voters in states like Kentucky and West Virginia are going to be angry at their local government

    They want their insurance cancelled, Medicare ended, and dirty coal to be king as well as a trade war to hurt exports of products like Bourbon. Not to mention to have to pay higher taxes so the rich can pay less.

    I can't believe they will let their local governments get away with departing from Trump.

  141. Leaving aside the fact that running 50 different foreign policies is a horrible thing for our country, I'm glad to see not just Democratic but also Republican governors trying to act in the best interest of their states' citizens, even if it runs counter to the actions of the Trump Administration and the Republican-controlled Congress. It is disappointing, however, that none of the Republican Governors quoted in this article are willing to disavow either the President or their Party for making the lives of their states' citizens more difficult. If Republican policies and leaders on the national stage are harming your constituents, why are you still supporting them? Why would you still be a Republican? Tribalism seems to be a stronger motivation than good governance, smart economics, or even basic morality. Sad.

  142. States depend on international trade for their own income. The Trump administration, with its threats of protectionism and other impediments to normal foreign relations is hurting people at the local level. For example, Mexico is the largest consumer of American exported corn. The opening of trade with Cuba is set to be a game changer for Trump-voter dominated Midwest. Now the Trump rollback of Cuba relations threatens to destroy this. States are having to go it alone to do an end run around this destructive and dysfunctional administration--and this is no surprise.

  143. states rights

    until 45 and crew sue the states choosing their own path

    sounds like FEDERAL OVERREACH to me

  144. What rules are these governors breaking?

    Many years ago my local newspaper ran a front page photo of our smiling Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in Japan holding a large tray of California produce. He was there to promote California agricultural products and was not breaking any law in doing so. A governor's job is to promote his/her state's businesses.

    That is all the governors mentioned in this article are doing, promoting the industries of their respective states. That by itself does not violate federal law unless they are selling a product that is controlled by export laws.

    It is not the fault of the governors that the current president is an ignorant buffoon. They are not remaking foreign policy or violating any laws so far as we can tell. They are merely making the best of a bad situation under an incompetent president.

  145. All southern governors are engaged in a race to the bottom. They continue to follow an anti labor path, helping to keep wages low, benefits almost non existent, they promote and enforce anti education policies and espouse social policies that are designed to keep the populace ignorant.

  146. When someone first mentioned that Trump is the most unprepared, incapable, unqualified individual to hold the presidency... that person was unequivocally correct.

  147. Trump is achieving Osama bin Laden's goal of dividing the United States of America. Each state is pursuing its own agenda since the national agenda is ridiculously going in the wrong direction. We lack a climate policy, other than to destroy the planet. We lack a diplomatic policy other than to annoy everyone, including our allies. And our trade policy is one of not to trade. So the governors have to step in to ensure jobs, safety and safe water for their states. Thank you Donald, you have achieved Osama's goal of dividing us.

  148. From the article:

    "Mr. Trump’s determination to overhaul Nafta and his rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership..."

    Bernie Sanders, Americans foremost socialist, has consistently expressed the same beliefs on world trade - is this really a Trump problem?

    The endless anti-Trump material appearing in the Times is becoming truly tiresome. At best, this story belongs on the Society Page.

    Why can't you just say "Trump is a crook who is in it for the money" using your special "War has been Declared" size type face, and then start reporting actual news again?

  149. Like the proverbial needle in a haystack we occasionally find reasoned posts such as yours on this site; somewhat pathetic and scary the low level of reasoning exhibited by the majority of the posts ( Trump must be removed! (because I don't like him)).......

  150. `Governors Go Around Trump on Global Diplomacy`

    But this is exactly what may of the Trump people have been doing, They talked to foreign governments. Heavens.... How dare they. How much outrage by the Times when it's Trumps people. And, how much praise by the Times when it's people going around Trump.

  151. Good advice. When encountering a big orange blockade, go around it.

  152. Can someone tell Mayor Deblasio he can stop now?

  153. Unfortunately the Governors of America must compensate for the incompetence and narrow mindedness of the Trump administration. may God bless and strengthen our Governor Brown as he takes on this additional burden.

  154. @ Rick
    Jerry Brown is a crook!
    Here in the Golden State- We just passed 2 additional gasoline taxes- one fund is "directed at infrastructure" the other "may help with infrastructure" - BOTH funds are discretionary and will be used to fund CALPERS [California's pension system] for State employees.

    CA state workers comprise less than 5% of the workforce- yet they have direct control over 70% of the tax revenue generated. 20 years employment as a fire, police, teacher, social worker and administrator means a lifetime fully funded pension and healthcare. And the CA taxpayer is on the hook for these people every year. Why can't they have a 401K like everyone else? Why is it that the public unions get favorable treatment all the time? This nonsense must stop.

  155. Why is Justin Trudeau allowing himself to be photographed with the utterly corrupt Terry McAuliffe? Progressives must move away from the failed, exhausted, self-serving Clintonistas.

    80 million dollar profit from 80 thousand investment in Global Crossing. What else do you need to know about McAuliffe?

  156. And the next thing is that States will become independent and run their affairs completely separate from Washington ...
    The Trump administration may be at the root of even splitting up the US

  157. Or maybe they are all angling for presidential runs because of the GOP and Dems have such shallow benches.

  158. there are somewhere around 200 countries in the world.

    apparently if any of them have a trade surplus with the united states of america, it's only because they're all shifty, sneaky furriners taking advantage of that poor, pitiful meek country which has the largest economy on the planet and is relentless in winning at all costs.....

  159. Barack or the feckless Loretta Lynch went to some trouble to make sure the honey from the Kremlin got into the U.S.
    The Russian lawyer with whom Donald Trump Jr. and others on the Trump campaign met was cleared to enter the United States under “extraordinary circumstances” by the Obama Justice Department prior to that meeting.

  160. This is good activism.

    The proven Russian interference in our last election combined with an irrelevant process of electing our country's ceo has resulted in our having the most unqualified person in that position in history.

    The interview with reporters on AirForce1 on the way to Paris underscores just how looney his ideas are, which are harmless enough for an entertainer catering to a low brow audience; they are horrific for a president of any country much less the usa, the erstwhile leader of the free world.

    He made it erstwhile.

  161. As usual, I am proud of our governor who protects and represents our values. One more thing, please, please don't move here I beg of you!

  162. Best case scenario: This leads to the isolation of the Thing in the White House, the news media goes back to normal news coverage rather than serving as the 24/7 channel for the Thing, responsible government leaders get the Thing and his minions impeached, and we end up with a stronger United States.

    Worse case scenario: The United States fractures into multiple smaller nations.

  163. Hold on now - not such a bad idea to have separate nations in this, way too large, governing body. Wall off all the southern right wing, bible thumping states from the rest of the country. Then we can really cut down on immigration when the texans, alabamans, mississippians, georgians, arkansasens?, want to visit the good part of the country. We can charge exorbitant border crossing fees to build a permanent wall between the stupid states and the smart states. Believe me.

  164. Thank goodness for Governors. That's difficult to say after having some doozies in Alabama.

  165. Nature abhors a vacuum. Donald J. Trump is the vacuum that is going to destroy the American economy and America's leadership around the world. Never in the history of the United States has anyone so incompetent made it to the White House. (That includes Warren G. Harding and George W. Bush.) How many "successful" businessmen have declared bankruptcy as many times as Trump? How many have settled cases instead of being convicted of fraud? We now have this fraud as POTUS and still millions of Americans think he is going to "make America great again". Donald J. Trump will have historians scratching their heads for decades trying to figure out what mass insanity allowed this clown to ever get elected president

  166. Thank you !

  167. History often rhymes, and in our current surreal reflux (as opposed to 'redux') of Jackson, in the form of Trump, we are served Donald Trump, trashing NAFTA, which drops trade tariffs, and advocating the type of regional protectionism designed to defend and empower a few small square states and rust-belt states . . . as they were economically comprised forty years ago, but no longer are. Trump and his followers live in some strange deluded time jumbled world based upon a collapsed telescoped sentimentality that never was.

    Meanwhile, Governor Jerry Brown, gets to play the visionary, representing the State of California, whose economy dwarfs Russia'ss! $2.44 Trillion to $1.36 Trillion. But, Trump wants to act like California- the rural portion, should chop off the $2Trillion dollar portion. Strangely, so does Russia (no coincidence that). Meanwhile, they are one of our greenest states in conservation and ecological policies and, opposite of Calhoun, embrace the NAFTA anti-tariff and trade barrier model.

  168. As usual, Mr. Trump can't see how interconnected the world is. He doesn't get the idea of unintended consequences. So people have to clean up after him.
    Not much winning or greatness is gonna come from this.

  169. I remember when the ethos of this country was "Out of many, one."
    With the election of Donald Trump, it is now "Because of one, many."

  170. Trump's ethos is "I'm the one. You are nothing more than what you pay me."

  171. I am glad other nations are being reassured that not all Americans are crazy.

  172. We are to sit back and watch while the crazy man in office makes us embarrassed to say he's ours? And congress is as guilty as he is. They show their disdain every minute they ,stop talking to us, hide and plan, don't listen to who voted for them. Trump and his gang get away with God knows what! I say whoever is Brave enough, dedicated enough, patriotic enough. You are to be commended. You are to be applauded, you are to be helped. Supported! We are proud,for a change in our elected officials. God Bless!

  173. A simple question: why is this man still our president? Get him out of there and replace him with an adult.

  174. Autarky is what fascist states like Germany during the 12-year regnum of Hitler engage in. It doesn't work. Then Germany simply invaded the countries around it and confiscated their capital. Now a state that professes its desire to go into autarky does not have such facile options. Absurd on its face, like every other initiative of this childish brat who was forced on us by the Electoral College...

  175. Why not??? They have actual jobs to do, and actual people to help.
    The Trumps are only concerned with the Trumps, PEROID.

  176. US GOVERNORS Govern while Washington Burns! Trump is burning the house down. Refusing to honor any US commitments. So astute governors are making international trips to reassure US international partners. With the notable exception of Chris Christie who plopped his carcass down on a NJ beach that as closed due to a budget impasse. He's taking care of business locally. By working on his sunburn.

  177. haha-really sad but true !

  178. ‘Forget the federal government. Come directly to the states,’” Mr. McAuliffe said. Many in the US believe that government works best at the local level. Trump had during his campaign pledged to end its decades-old role as a global player and ally. Now each state has to look out for its own best interests in the Trump era.
    So this subsidiarity principle like the one we have in the European Union since 1993 is not a bad idea. In many cases the EU should not act as a whole body and interfere, when powers may be more effectively exercised at member state level. It works quite well and it should work in the US too.

  179. Trump wants better free trade agreements that serve the forgotten man and woman. The governors are charmed by rubbing elbows with the liberal elites. It's the same old tired story. I'll stick with Trump.

  180. Good idea. Nobody cares more about the common man that the billionaires. (intense sarcasm)

  181. Quite the contrary, if Tump was so committed to his so-called jobs initiative, the governors would not have to bother with this effort. Canada is America's largest trading partner, the largest purchasers in the world of American exports and the millions of American jobs that go with it. Do you think that the governors want to disrupt that?

    After all, when the next election comes around they want to keep their jobs too.

  182. Jerry Brown, gets to play the visionary, representing the State of California, whose economy dwarfs Russia'ss! $2.44 Trillion to $1.36 Trillion. But, Trump wants to act like California- the rural portion, should chop off the $2Trillion dollar portion. Strangely, so does Russia (no coincidence that). Meanwhile, they are one of our greenest states in conservation and ecological policies and, opposite of Calhoun, embrace the NAFTA anti-tariff and trade barrier model.

    Trump is not an idiot. He's a an owned puppet of Putin's. And if you stick with him, what does that make you?

  183. It's funny seeing Democrats embrace states' rights, considering that they, along with the left in general, have usually dismissed Republicans' demands for states' rights as a flimsy excuse for bigotry. NOW do you guys see why it's important? The federal government isn't always going to be led by a cool, hip Democrat. The states should have power. Ultimately that's a good thing, even if sometimes it means having to deal with bad laws regarding voter ID, gay marriage, etc.

  184. While I certainly appreciate the concerns raised here about individual governors assuming traditional federal responsibilities, I have to point out that this is just one more consequence of putting a thoroughly unqualified man in office.

    Trump did not acquire the U.S. in a business deal or takeover; he just can't run things as he alone sees fit. His actions (or inactions) affect more than just his brand. Governors recognize their duties and responsibilities to their citizens, and feel compelled to act if they see potential detriment to their states.

    Admittedly, the president has put governors in an uncomfortable situation. But keep in mind that if it is anyone who is undermining the union, it is Trump through his inability to govern -- not the governors for trying to contain the damage.

  185. We're experiencing the fastest trickle-down in history, with the sudden, severe drop-off in European and Asian travel to the U.S.
    Indians, in particular, stopped coming to the U.S. as tourists after the February killing of an Indian engineer in Olathe, Kansas. European visitors are off by over 50%.
    We are "family stay" hosts, meaning that we serve dinner to our guests -- and have long dinner table conversations with them (250 nights a year). So, I'm not guessing at the reasons for the tremendous shift in the market: the rest of the world does not like the new face of America, the figurehead in Washington and his reflection throughout the rest of the country.
    We've been hit, and fast, by the rhetoric and its often tragic consequences, and despite what our server has chosen as our geographic location, we are five hours away from San Francisco in a rural backwater of a poor county.
    We're the liberal elite only if you consider commonsense and critical thinking to be the cornerstones of elitism.

  186. Under the Obama administration and the then obstructionism of the GOP, I was so thankful for the inherent abilities and responsibilities bestowed upon the executive branch. Now I find myself grateful for the sovereign rights of our states. In both our Blue and Red states, we are not only finding our governors but also our mayors take the lead and doing what is best for their states and cities. For the most part they are rising to the task of keeping our nation in step with the reality of the 21st Century whether it be climate change, trade, health care, or friendly relations with our allies and neighbors. I dare say that their leadership surpasses with wisdom and common sense that of Trump's - for certain - and our Republican-led Congress. It is encouraging and heartening that our forefathers foresaw the necessity of checks and balances across our government.

  187. "Race to the bottom"is a phrase used by critics to describe the competition between governments to lower worker, consumer, and environmental protections This competition has been set up using. so-called free trade agreements like NAFTA, which are actually investor protection agreements in defense of those agreements.
    Just because Trump is a walking constitutional crisis doesn't mean the neoliberal disaster that has made workers so desperate that the voted for Trump is a good thing.
    Very slick of Trudeau to turn it around and use it in defense of those very agreements. This is the first time I've heard "Race to the bottom" used to describe a trade war.
    There is more than one way to globalize and agreements that give most power to global corporations is not the way to go.

  188. We need to consider what it says about our nation when our Governors are independently conducting diplomatic missions. The Constitution is quite clear that the President represents the US in dealings with other nations.

  189. Apparently, not so much anymore. Action speaks louder than words.

  190. The Constitution mentions specific things that only the president is authorized to do in dealings with other nations and mentions specific things the states cannot do, but meanwhile, all US citizens abroad (also) represent the US in whatever they do abroad and domestically.

  191. Just so you know Trump cannot govern!!!!

  192. Yes, Gov. McAuliffe, you are very right! Forget about this Federal Government with an ego-maniac at the helm. Preserve your state and it's people. If all Governors shared this goal, our country could yet be saved. God Bless America!

  193. It will be interesting to see the Republican response to this movement. The party of limited government and state's rights usually collapses into one of their fits of indignant hypocrisy whenever the states ignore them and actually do what the people want. See medical and recreational marijuana as but one example.

    Now they risk being the party that puts the federal government on a side track when it comes to the most important issue of the day. Nobody pays much attention to them because they are doing absolutely nothing to address it.

    And it's not just blue states. Texas has a booming renewable energy industry that is growing by the day. They don't seem too concerned about getting hit on the head by flying bags of weed, evidently a top national Republican priority that, as usual, addresses a non-existent issue. And they stopped the expansion of the border wall cold. Not California, Texas.

    Power to the people! How about that!

  194. Pence said that the administration wanted NAFTA to be a "win-win-win" for all of our trading partners. I don't think that's enough winning. I think it should be "win-win-win-win" if not "win-win-win-win-win."

  195. This country is obviously better served when the so-called president travels around the world preening before foreign dignitaries. The less times he spends in this country, the better.

  196. Well the states HAVE to take control of their well-being when we have a obscenely lazy, mean, greedy GOP majority led congress, and a do-nothing petulant, vindictive President that has repeatedly shown their utter contempt and disdain for the American people. Unless of course you are a corporation, or in the top 1%, that Congress can individually profit. They remove protections from our water sources, the air we need to breath, they take the health insurance we need to live, and wish to sell off our public parks to corporations to make a dime. They wish to destroy our education system and beef up the Military Complex because fourteen years of war is NOT enough and no longer as profitable. They need new wars to fight so Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Boeing, Raytheon, General Dynamics can profit as the lives of our young men and women are used like disposable toys for their war games.
    They do not listen to we the people. They lie, cheat and gerrymander to get the outcomes they want, without the slightest consideration of the people they are supposed to protect and serve.
    What a massive joke our nation has become under The Trump administration.

  197. The Logan Act prohibits citizens from negotiating with foreign governments in disputes involving the U.S. government. This is what got Michael Flynn in trouble with the FBI and led to obstruction of justice allegations against President Trump when he tried to interceded on Flynn's behalf.

  198. It is absolutely common practice for governors and other elected officials to visit and forge ties with foreign leaders and businesses. Whether they do it on the public's dime or not, these elected officials' interactions with foreigners are a matter of public record...If they do or say something illegal, everyone will know about it. This fact alone makes it unreasonable to conflate the subject of this article with Michael Flynn's activities.

  199. Governors are elected officials, and a right wing mouthpiece from Texas who spouts off stet NRA arguments mired in a misinterpretation of the 2nd Amendment and bastioned in the prerogatives of the 10th Amendments to States, such as yourself, is indulging in rich hypocrisy indeed, in citing the Logan Act. Yes, it applies to Flynn, and also to Trump prior to his election, and to Trump Jr., and to Jared Kushner. No, it does not apply to the elected Governor of California who has spent his whole life in public service.

    What your comment, does reveal, however, is that those who support Trump blindly, do so from the basest level of cynicism with a philosophy of, "by any means necessary" in the service of their malice against the majority of the American people, who they would like to deny voting rights to and shoot in the back in the name of 'law enforcement." Yes, people follow the comments page and notice such posters as yourself and their pattern of prejudice, which makes it valid for fair comment and observation.

  200. That's why they are not resolving US issues, just dealing with issues directly as a STATE.

  201. It's interesting to watch Democratic governors don the mantle of state sovereignty. That usually is a Republican position. New York City, from LaGuardia to Koch, Giuliani and Di Blasio has had a long history of mayors with their own foreign policies.

  202. The irony of this is that the boomerang effect of President Trump's rhetoric and politics fulfills a conservative tenet to remember that our country is a federal republic comprised of states that govern themselves. From a conservative point of view, what this article describes is a good thing; instead of looking for the federal government to tell them how to do everything, up to and including who can use a public bathroom, let the governors determine what is best for their own citizens, and act in their own states' interest. This why they are often called the 'laboratories for democracy', after all.

  203. This just means that it is wishful thinking to think that Trump will be a true leader. Perhaps Trump should have run for Governor??? Perhaps he would have been forced to learn a thing or two about diplomacy. For now we have a good clown show and "we the people" get an experiment in cacophony.

  204. Trump could never even win a state for the governorship.

    New York and California would never vote for him.

    Maybe Mississippi would elect Trump Governor.

  205. All I have to say about this action by governors, is do so at your own peril.

  206. Um...governors have been doing this sort of thing "at their peril" forever. In general, these visits and interactions are normal, but the pace has quickened somewhat lately.

  207. Undoubtedly the President has the opportunity to do more good and help more people in the world than any other single person. Trump's combative nature and focus on the trivial has thrust others into the real position of power. Who are the real world leaders moving the planet forward? Merkel, Macron, Trudeau, Xi combined with a host of State Governors. The net effect of Trump's 'leadership' will be that the Office of the President will be less relevant both at home and abroad. Maybe that is the inevitable effect of Globalization but it seems a wasted opportunity when so much good could be done.

  208. Congratulations to any governors who counter Trump's authoritarian tendencies.

    I wish the GOP governors would more forcefully acknowledge that authoritarianism begins as demagoguery and then metastasizes into full blown dictatorial kleptocracy. It is a creeping phenomenon, like the demagogic consolidation of power under Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini.

    "Authoritarian" refers to a personality type--the personality type that Trump exemplifies in his disdain for ethical and political norms, and in his constant criticism of democratic institutions such as the free press and an independent judiciary.

    Trump, many GOP politicians and their media enablers employ the demagogue's favored tactics on a daily basis: gross oversimplification, fear mongering, scapegoating, emotional appeals, accusations that opponents are disloyal or weak, attacks on the news media, obstructive refusals of all compromise and bald faced lies.

    Among their anti-democratic and demagogic strategies are: gerrymandering, voter suppression, appeals to divisive "social/moral" issues, identification with a shallow militaristic "patriotism" and a narrow "Christian" fundamentalism, and the branding of socially beneficial programs as deviations from the one "true course": unfettered cutthroat capitalism.

    To repeat: Authoritarianism begins as demagoguery and then metastasizes into full blown dictatorial kleptocracy.

  209. Mr. Bjelland:
    I agree with what you say, and I also feel quite certain that Americans will not willingly go into that particular dark night. Certainly a few will go along, but most will refuse, with the Constitution at their backs. That said, I think it's an important point that needs to be repeated frequently until people understand it in their guts. Empty promises and demagoguery do not translate to good government.