The Morning Jolt

White House

Let’s Buy Greenland

Town of Tasiilaq, Greenland, June 15, 2018 (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

Making the clickthrough worthwhile: President Trump considers buying Greenland; CVS foments feminist outrage; and the president wants to bring back mental institutions.

Greenland New Deal

The president is considering purchasing the country of Greenland, with what a source close to the administration called — a better distillation of the Trump presidency, I cannot conceive — “varying degrees of seriousness.” As CNN reports, historians generally consider the United States to have made two significant inquiries into the polar isle: once in the summer of 1867, when then-Secretary of State William H. Seward concurred with former Kansas governor Robert J. Walker’s suggestion that the U.S. consider “the propriety of obtaining . . . Greenland,” and the other in 1946, when then-Secretary of State James F. Byrnes reportedly told a Danish foreign minister that “Greenland was nothing but a huge lump of ice that happened to be of great strategic importance to the United States but could never be anything but a burden to Denmark.” The negotiations, to the extent that they could be so described, ended soon thereafter.

The Danes don’t seem warm to the idea. From AOL:

Danish politicians on Friday poured scorn on the notion of selling Greenland to the United States following reports that President Donald Trump had privately discussed the idea of buying the world’s biggest island with his advisers.

Trump is due to visit Copenhagen in September and the Arctic will be on the agenda during meetings with the prime ministers of Denmark and Greenland, an autonomous Danish territory.

“It has to be an April Fool’s joke. Totally out of season,” former prime minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said on Twitter.

The notion of purchasing the territory has been laughed off by some advisers as a joke but was taken more seriously by others in the White House, two sources familiar with the situation told Reuters on Thursday.

Talk of a Greenland purchase was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Regardless of what Rasmussen has to say, everyone has their price, and the Danes, no doubt, have theirs. Let’s buy Greenland.


CVS stoked the outrage of the left-wing Twitter mob for engaging in standard corporate negotiations with a subscription-model birth control company. The service “Pill Club” delivers, per Business Insider, oral contraceptives that arrive at “a customer’s front door, in a ‘care package’ that also includes goodies like sweets and stickers.”

The pharmacy giant was engaged in negotiations with Pill Club over reimbursement rates; it’s standard fare for other providers that use CVS as a third-party intermediary to sell their medication. But in the course of these negotiations, the director of NARAL saw that CVS intended to change its payment structure, which might cut into the profit margins of the candy-and-contraceptive delivery service, and sent out a scathing series of tweets. #CVSdeniescare and #BoycottCVS began setting Twitter ablaze not soon thereafter. More from Business Insider:

The CVS spokesman told Business Insider that earlier this year the company notified “non-traditional pharmacies” like Pill Club that had been receiving reimbursements at the same rate as retail pharmacies that they would be subject to different terms and reimbursement, based on their business models.

“Other pharmacies in our network with similar business models as Pill Club have agreed to the same terms and reimbursement,” the spokesman said.

Joel Wishkovsky, the CEO of Simple Health, a startup that provides birth control online, said his company was on a similar contract as Pill Club. He said Simple Health wouldn’t turn away Caremark patients even if CVS paid his company less.

Pill Club has sought to portray CVS as hostile to women’s health issues. In an email to Business Insider, a Pill Club spokeswoman wrote that “CVS clearly doesn’t see women’s health as a priority,” citing the health giant’s connections to the Trump administration and its majority-male board of directors.

The language used by Pill Club also closely mirrors that of some people on social media.

Woke Capital once again employs the useful idiots on Twitter to predictable ends.

Mental Institutions

The president has turned his attention to mental health after flirting with gun control measures. Speaking with reporters before his New Hampshire rally yesterday, Trump said that “We have to start building institutions again because, you know, if you look at the ’60s and ’70s, so many of these institutions were closed, and the people were just allowed to go onto the streets.”

To a shamelessly self-referential journalist, the statement sounded like a fantastic idea, one that highlighted a niche issue that they have a borderline-undue interest in.

From my NRO editorial:

Congress might start by repealing the Johnson administration’s so-called “IMD (Institutions for Mental Disease) exclusion” in the Medicaid statutes, which prevents individuals from using Medicaid funds at a facility with more than 16 psychiatric beds … While every state still has psychiatric hospitals, it’s almost impossible to be admitted to one unless an individual is an immediate danger to himself or others, a standard which is often met only after it is too late. Repealing the IMD exclusion (a move which the administration has shown itself open to) would allow both states and private providers to expand existing institutions or even create new residential services as institutions without running into the blatant discrimination against the most severely ill that is baked into the Medicaid cake. This, combined with more proactive commitment policies for the incapacitated in these hospitals, is an evidence-based means to reduce state homicide rates: A 2011 study from the University of California at Berkeley found a statistically significant association between looser involuntary commitment standards and declines in statewide homicide rates.

Next, the president should direct the Department of Justice to stop its obstreperous Olmstead litigation. Olmstead v. L.C. was a 1999 Supreme Court case which held that the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) granted persons with mental illness and intellectual and developmental disabilities the right to treatment in a community-based setting, provided 1) that the “community-based” care, as opposed to institutional services, is medically appropriate; 2) the individual does not oppose a transfer from an institution to a community setting; and 3) it can be reasonably accommodated by the state without a fundamental alteration to their delivery of services.

The Obama DOJ made a point of ravaging the existing care networks of some of the states that were most reliant on state hospitals and institutional services. While there are legitimate Olmstead violations to be fought — an individual, for instance, who is medically capable of living in the community, and whose transfer from an institution would not force a fundamental alteration to state services, represents the ideal candidate for such action — the DOJ has gone far beyond these individual remedies, preferring class-action suits that indict statewide paradigms of care. The Department’s discordant and often-abrasive actions leave one with little alternative but to presume that their Civil Rights division would, if made king, close every last public psychiatric hospital in this country. DOJ, as I write this, is going after Mississippi (a state that, despite its poverty, has the single lowest statewide rate of homelessness) for its supposedly disproportionate reliance on state hospitals. A better approach would be to expand community services for those qualified, while leaving open the hospitals that are providing care to the most vulnerable citizens in Mississippi…

Litigious activists at DOJ are making states reluctant to make use of institutional services, even for those who need it, for precisely that “fear of litigation” of which Justice Kennedy so presciently forewarned. The president could stop it tomorrow by shifting the Department’s focus toward individual abuses and away from class-action suits, which often conscript unwitting and unwilling parties and are explicitly designed to change entire systems of care.

It’s possible to do what the president is talking about, if he actually means it.

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