Trump’s Triumphant Return from Asia

Full of himself as usual with all sorts of imagined successes, the president is back in town.   Well, at least we’re still not at war with North Korea, which I view as a plus.  Most concerning still is how war might begin by accident especially now that we have three carrier fleets in the vicinity which must look menacing to Kim Jung UN.  Maybe we want them to be a bit menacing, but definitely not to the point which will prompt him to cross some imaginary, hard to define line between us, the line of no return.

Fortunately – I guess – there are reports that Kim has hired American foreign policy experts to help him better understand Trump, so Kim at least is trying not to jump the gun.  On the other hand, I don’t know how well we understand the man despite all the theories that abound, so I’m not sure what image NOKO is getting.

In terms of North Korea, the most hopeful sign I’ve seen is news of a special envoy from China being sent to NOKO.  I choose to hope he will be of some help, even though there is no knowing why he is going.  Oh, I’m sorry.  My poetic nature is showing.

As for the rest of the trip, it seemed mostly just a lot of photo opportunities and Trump’s ego being assuaged by being treated like royalty.  Meanwhile those various Asian nations are working on business relations among themselves without the United States, since Trump pulled us out of the Pacific Trade Pact, with China courting all of them for closer relations.

While Trump wants to take us back to the 1950’s (his childlike version of Back to the Future), the Chinese are steadily working their away into the future with trade pacts  and much money spent developing anti-polluting energy technology.   As the prolific and incisive political theorist Thomas Friedman has asserted, the Chinese view the Donald as, “Trump the Chump”; they wine and dine Little Donnie to make him feel big, while they are steadily making themselves bigger on the world stage  apparently without his noticing.  His hats should be redesigned:  Make America Smaller than Ever.

You know how Trump keeps talking about replacing these multi-nation trade pacts with great trade deals he is going to arrange with individual nations.  Has there been even one so far?  After all he has had a year.  Have I missed it?

The only clear plus of this visit seems Trump’s help in getting those three tall UCLA shoplifters out of prison, but as with everything he touches, he smudged that, too.  With all that he might tweet about upon his return,  the always ungracious Trump chose first to lecture the boys on how they should thank him for his help,   Which they later did, to which Father Trump responded they should also thank Chinese leader Xi Jin Ping and should remember how life’s a winding road or something equally trite.

This is one of those moments when I’m certain his J. middle initial stands for “Jerk.”

Summing it all up, the trip was a typical performance by our Clown-in-Chief.  The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson describes the trip in a more fully developed and better written editorial:  “Clown Goes Abroad”.  My post might be viewed as an appetizer for his more satisfying meal.  I think he really nails the absurdity of Trump playing president.  Right here.

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Wuz Up in Trumperland for November?

It has been over three weeks since I posted, an indication of how sick I am of writing about Trump, a man who deserves little written about him at all, except for one revolting fact:  He is the President, the only guy with a one man nuclear capacity.  Oh, right, there is also that North Korean guy.  More about the two of them below.

This seems a good time to make a few points as potentially important events might be in store for us this month and not just speculation and wild goose chasing launched by the President’s off hand comments in tweets and in public, a continuous fourth of July fireworks of distractions that usually leave us a little more divided each new day.

Here are three key areas to keep our eyes on over the course of this month despite whatever distractions that Trump trumps up:

The Mueller investigation has become more concrete in recent days with a couple of indictments and news of a guilty plea by one of the actors, George Papapodopoulis, a guy unknown to most of us, but with the potential of opening up Trump’s can of worms regarding connections with Russia.  What the indictments and plea deal suggests is that Mueller is sending a message to those tied to the Trump administration that they too could be indicted if they try to deceive investigators.   This could produce a number of real news events in contrast to the suffocating miasma of speculation that we have had to stomach for months now.

The second news thread to follow is the Republican tax “reform” plan that is supposed to be revealed today.  One key idea is that a few trillion in closed loopholes will be necessary to prevent this “reform” from ballooning our national debt, and as always, we all hate loopholes accept for those which benefit ourselves.  They couldn’t get a healthcare bill to pass and that seems a walk in the park compared to this.   If this is a park, it is replete with muggers.

Saving the worst for last is Trump’s upcoming 12 day visit to Asia starting Friday.   On the surface this would seem a good thing to do for several obvious reasons, except we are talking about Trump doing it, so who knows.   Of course, he will say it was all great, especially him.  I’ll say it was good if we don’t seem even closer to war with North Korea than we do now.

The NOKO issue is particularly scary because Trump and Kim Jong Un appear on a collision course, as the latter seems to see an expansion of his nuclear weaponry as the best way to keep his regime, especially himself, safe while the former seems unlikely to tolerate a NOKO capacity to strike our mainland with a nuclear weapon.

Something has to give here, or catastrophe on both sides seems inevitable.   An additional danger is that one of the bluster brothers might interpret some threat the other makes as a sign of imminent attack, prompting a preemptive strike.  I can’t recall who labelled North Korea the “land of lousy options,” but that’s remains a fine description.

Thanksgiving is in three weeks and while I have much to be thankful for in my personal life, I wonder how thankful I will feel regarding the three issues touched upon above.