Late Night Horrorshow Open Thread: Trump on the Loose in Asia

It’s hard to keep up with the nonstop tsunami of Trump-shit, but let’s not forget how the Repubs’ (and Putin’s) hand-picked Leader managed to further disgrace us all in front of the watching world. Mr. Pierce, at Esquire:

Well, the president* seems finally to have run out of goons and despots who will buy him with a parade and a silly shirt—American presidents used to command a higher price than those—and is returning to his own country, where 30 percent of the people are happy to see him again, or at least not prone to refuse delivery.

He reported to an anxious nation that he had a very nice time indeed…

Diplomats know well that no one can do the theatre of a grand visit quite like the Chinese. And for a president who has been accused of being all about spectacle over substance, this was the ultimate dream visit. Large parts of the city of over 10 million people remained closed down as he moved around it. Xi Jinping, ranked the most powerful man in the world by The Economist only last month, spent a whole day of precious time usually allotted to running a country of 1.4 billion people showing the visiting dignitary and his wife around the Forbidden Palace, watching a Beijing Opera with him, and observing Mr Trump’s granddaughter on an iPad singing a song in Chinese.

Spectacle and symbolism do matter in politics at this level. No one denies that. There is a good argument to say that, in fact, spectacle and symbolism are all that matter. So one immediate assessment of the whole visit was that if it did no major good, it certainly did no harm. And there were plenty who feared that such an insensitive, narcissistic figure as Trump, exposed to a culture with its own pride and sensitivities, had the capacity to cause real damage and give real offence.

In no small part due to the very accurate Chinese reading of the US President and his character, this didn’t happen. On the contrary, he looked most of the time overwhelmed by the spectacle laid out before him, and the heavy clues it gave him that he and the country he represents still matter. Trump repaid this by not once mentioning human rights, and largely emitting paeans of praise of this hosts. Remarkably, he even refrained from blaming China for one of his main criticisms when he was a presidential candidate, instead shifting the blame for bilateral trade imbalances onto his predecessors. No wonder Xi Jinping’s face was broad with smiles during the stay. Even on complex issues like North Korea, Trump was largely amenable…

China’s diplomats can sit back, well happy that, whatever it may mean for Making America Great Again, the November 2017 visit contributed handsomely to their priority: Making China even greater. Game, set and, quite possibly match, to Beijing.

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Specifically, while we were all being rightfully aghast at Roy Moore, Trump’s Happy Fun Times in the Philippines may’ve slipped under the radar…


Eugene Robinson, in the Washington Post, “What happens when you replace the president with a clown?”:

There was a time when the world looked to the U.S. president to speak clearly in defense of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights. I refer to the entirety of modern U.S. history before January, when Trump assumed the high office he now dishonors.

His Asia tour has been at times a disaster, at times a farce. What was the most shameful moment? Perhaps when he announced that he has a “great relationship” with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has encouraged police and vigilantes to fight the trade in illegal drugs by assassinating suspected traffickers without the bother of arrests or trials. At least 7,000 and perhaps as many as 13,000 people have been slain…

Meanwhile, as Trump incomprehensibly pursues a policy of “America first” neo-isolationism — refusing even to adequately staff the U.S. diplomatic corps — China moves globally to fill the vacuum. Japan and South Korea wonder whether the U.S. nuclear umbrella still protects them. And the nations Trump abandoned when he nixed the Trans-Pacific Partnership have moved forward to form a trade pact of their own — without us.

This is what happens when a very big nation is led by a very small man.

53 replies
  1. 1
    Davebo says:

    Hannity turning on Judge Roy!

    Me? I’m opening a Keurig repair shop. Gonna be rich!

    ReplyReply
  2. 2
    Another Scott says:

    And, of course, Donnie added to the mountain of evidence that he’s brain damaged tonight by tweeting about the wrong mass shooting today…

    (sigh)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

    ReplyReply
  3. 3
    GregB says:

    So before Netanyahu goes to court for graft he gets to see Trump cede Syria to the Russians who’ll allow Iranians get to camp out next door.

    Winning.

    ReplyReply
  4. 4
    CaseyL says:

    @Another Scott: Hey, cut the brain-damaged Mango Mugabe some slack! There’ve been so many mass shootings, it’s hard to keep ’em straight.

    ReplyReply
  5. 5
    NotMax says:

    Wanna bet the swag bags somehow mysteriously don’t find their way to the National Archives as regulations demand?

    Semi-related: Eight of the Weirdest Gifts Foreign Dignitaries Gave the President

    ReplyReply
  6. 6
    Yarrow says:

    Xi Jinping, ranked the most powerful man in the world by The Economist only last month,

    I’d missed this. Well, the American president certainly isn’t the most powerful man in the world.

    ReplyReply
  7. 7
    Mike in NC says:

    Fat Bastard will direct ICE agents to shoot alleged illegal aliens on sight, inspired by his BFF scumbag Filipino dictator.

    ReplyReply
  8. 8
    No Drought No More says:

    Don’t forget, we stand to regain our own pride, and incidentally some of our standing around the world, when Trump is forced from office as he soon will be. We’re going to make Putin wish he’d never heard of Donald Fucking Trump before we declare the war he started in 2016 to be over. Remember, it is literally true: we have yet begun to fight. Russia egregiously fucked up, they just don’t how badly yet, but they will soon enough. So there’s that to look forward too, as well.

    ReplyReply
  9. 9
    NotMax says:

    @CaseyL

    Speaking of Mugabe, his plate is kind of full at the moment.

    It is important for the region and the international community to be on high alert.

    There is here all the ingredients for a serious confrontation between the civilian and military authorities and this is a recipe for disaster.

    The human cost of all this cannot be overstated. All because one man failed to manage his succession when he had many opportunities to do so. Source

    ReplyReply
  10. 10

    Trump got to show off Ivanka’s kid and how she is learning Chinese. Well played, Xi.

    ReplyReply
  11. 11
    Peale says:

    well, he did run on the promise to kill 100,000 drug users, and won. Almost 40% through his first term and he’s not living up to his promises. That 7,000 number is surprisingly resilient to challenge.

    ReplyReply
  12. 12
    Yarrow says:

    Hmmm…rumors seem to be that Flynn, Jr. is the next indictment. By the end of the week. I could use a little indictment action to top off the week.

    ReplyReply
  13. 13
    Yarrow says:

    RED ALERT: Senate GOP just added provision to their tax plan that would gut ACA & kick 13M ppl off insurance. Yes, it's same tax plan that would add $1 trillion+ to deficit while giving majority of benefits to corporations & the rich. We need you to make your voices heard again.— Sen. Al Franken (@SenFranken) November 14, 2017

    I called my Reps today. Well, yesterday depending on what time zone you’re in. Need to get people calling again.

    ReplyReply
  14. 14
    Suzanne says:

    @Yarrow: Indictments will improve my mood.

    ReplyReply
  15. 15
    jl says:

    Trump looks better in a barong. He should wear one all the time when he gets back. Would also clarify our situation here.

    Edit: My comment was insulting to barongs. Sorry.

    ReplyReply
  16. 16
    Yarrow says:

    @Suzanne: Me too. Would be a nice way to start the weekend.

    ReplyReply
  17. 17
    frosty says:

    @Suzanne: I replied to your comment at the bottom of the last thread. Best wishes to you and spawn.

    ReplyReply
  18. 18
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    Has anyone else noticed how Trump’s hair is getting weirder by the day? He appears to be letting the bits on the side go gray but the bottle blonde quaff stay the same. It’s almost like he is trying to say “look I am so engaged I am going gray” while having the front bit scream “20 year old with a bad dye job”.

    ReplyReply
  19. 19
    Yarrow says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Yes, it looks very odd. I also noticed it looks wet at times. I avoid looking at him as much as possible so long periods can go by before I see a video of him. It was kind of shocking when I saw one recently because his hair looked so weird. Well, weirder than usual.

    ReplyReply
  20. 20
    The Dangerman says:

    @Another Scott:

    …the mountain of evidence that he’s brain damaged tonight by tweeting about the wrong mass shooting today…

    Phillipines to DC is a long damn flight; we are lucky he didn’t blurt orders to nuke North Korea as opposed to his usual demands for two scoops. He tired.

    I figure the fucker has The Big One after some lengthy foreign trip someday soon and it’s welcome President Pence.

    ReplyReply
  21. 21
    Yarrow says:

    @The Dangerman: I thought he was supposed to be stopping in Hawaii again. Didn’t one of our Hawaii residents say they were told that? Was there a change?

    ReplyReply
  22. 22
    Suzanne says:

    @Yarrow: It really astonishes me that someone so self-absorbed can look so bad.

    ReplyReply
  23. 23

    OT: I’m watching season 1 of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency (2016) and it’s very fun! Whoever failed to recommend this to me over the last year, booooo.

    ReplyReply
  24. 24
    Yarrow says:

    @Suzanne: It’s really weird, isn’t it? His hair is awful, his plastic surgery looks bad, his clothes don’t fit well. It’s bizarre for someone who is so obsessed with image.

    ReplyReply
  25. 25

    @Suzanne: He doesn’t have a lot to work with…

    ReplyReply
  26. 26
    The Dangerman says:

    @Yarrow:

    I thought he was supposed to be stopping in Hawaii again.

    Only for fuel:

    http://www.staradvertiser.com/.....-honolulu/

    No idea how long it takes to top off AF1 but only adds to the length of the flight.

    ReplyReply
  27. 27
    prostratedragon says:

    @Yarrow: Hostage?

    ReplyReply
  28. 28
    Suzanne says:

    @Major Major Major Major: There’s lots of not-genetically-blessed people who nonetheless dress well and take care of themselves and look good.

    ReplyReply
  29. 29

    @Suzanne: True.

    I do imagine he actually thinks he looks good though.

    ReplyReply
  30. 30
    Yarrow says:

    @Suzanne: Exactly. He could at least afford someone to tailor his suits properly. They always look bad on him.

    ReplyReply
  31. 31
    CaseyL says:

    @Yarrow: et al.: He looks bad because he has no taste, and no one can tell him he has no taste. Just like no one can tell him he’s fat, or that his hair looks ridiculous.

    A couple of decades ago, when he was married to Marla, there was an item in People or a gossip column (can’t remember) that made me laugh. They were walking to their car after an event, and she said something about good posture being important. He immediately said, Well, I have terrific posture. She said, No, you have horrible posture. He went into a big ol’ sulk, didn’t talk to her the whole ride home.

    ReplyReply
  32. 32
    TenguPhule says:

    @NotMax: Sucker’s bet.

    ReplyReply
  33. 33
    TenguPhule says:

    @Suzanne: I’d wait for convictions.

    ReplyReply
  34. 34
    TenguPhule says:

    @Yarrow: He did. It was only a refueling stop.

    ReplyReply
  35. 35
    Davebo says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Mandarin or Cantonese?

    Because.. it matters!

    ReplyReply
  36. 36
    TenguPhule says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Don’t blame me. I didn’t know your taste in entertainment.

    ReplyReply
  37. 37
    Yarrow says:

    @Davebo: Pretty sure it’s Mandarin.

    ReplyReply
  38. 38

    @Davebo: @Yarrow: 99.9% sure it’s Mandarin, but I’ve been 0.1% wrong before!

    @TenguPhule: I guess you haven’t been around on the threads where I ask for TV recs.

    ReplyReply
  39. 39
    Davebo says:

    @Yarrow:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Mandarin would be the wise choice. Which makes my max 75 word Cantonese vocabulary fairly useless. Then again, I don’t care much for Hong Kong but it’s much better than Beijing!

    ReplyReply
  40. 40
    Origuy says:

    Looks like Mugabe has been ousted. The Guardian is blogging it live.

    In another very important development, Emmerson Mnangagwa, the vice-president fired by Mugabe, is back in the country. He flew into Manyame airbase this morning. He’s always had a lot of support in the army and it’s very likely he’ll be taking over as the de facto head of government, with Mugabe, 93, as a figurehead.

    ReplyReply
  41. 41
    clay says:

    Since it’s an open thread and I can’t sleep…

    If anyone enjoys reading brutal movies reviews, The Vanity Fair review of Justice League is up.

    Some prime samples:

    Whedon’s humor is grafted on in too-obvious ways; it sticks out incongruously amid all the stilted mechanics of this alarmingly basic movie. All these Whedonisms have the opposite of the intended effect. They give off a strenuous hum, the desperate sound of a turd polished in vain.

    It’s like having a little kid stutteringly recap a movie for you (“And then this happened and then this happened, oh wait, but also this happened”) instead of watching an actual movie.

    And my favorite:

    Justice League is such a misguided mess—often feeling entirely unguided—that you want to intervene, softly saying, “Stop, stop, you don’t have to do this, stop.”

    ReplyReply
  42. 42
    Origuy says:

    There was a special election in Oklahoma on Tuesday for a state Senate district near Tulsa. Last year the Republicans won it by 15 percentage points. This year the Democrat, a 37-year old lesbian, won it by 31 votes. Tulsa World article.

    Allison Ikley-Freeman’s victory Tuesday over Republican Brian O’Hara continued a string of Democratic special election upsets over the past two years. It gives Democrats three special election victories in predominantly Republican districts in the Tulsa area in the past two years, including two this year.

    ReplyReply
  43. 43
    opiejeanne says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: I think the word you want is “coif”. A “quaff” is a drink.

    ReplyReply
  44. 44
    LesGS says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Season 2 has bad guy Alan Tudyk in it. Of course I’m watching it.

    ReplyReply
  45. 45
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Mike in NC: I was thinking he’d direct our police to expand their extra judicial killings to drug addicts. That would eliminate our opioid problem quite quickly.

    ReplyReply
  46. 46
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Origuy: Yay!! More good election news.

    ReplyReply
  47. 47
    sm*t cl*de says:

    @opiejeanne:

    I think the word you want is “coif”. A “quaff” is a drink.

    The judges will also accept “quiff”.

    ReplyReply
  48. 48
    opiejeanne says:

    @sm*t cl*de: which actually is a perfect word for what’s on top of Trump’s head, although it’s the biggest one I’ve ever seen.

    ReplyReply
  49. 49
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Davebo:
    Mandarin. That’s what they speak in Beijing and Taipei, and that’s what you learn for work/business in most of China and in Taiwan. Cantonese is for Hong Kong.

    ReplyReply
  50. 50
    SFAW says:

    @LesGS:

    Season 2 has bad guy Alan Tudyk in it.

    Did he bring his dinosaurs? If not, then it’s hardly worth watching.

    ReplyReply
  51. 51
    SFAW says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Does one need to learn Shanghainese to do business in Shanghai?

    No, not a serious question.

    ReplyReply
  52. 52
    SFAW says:

    @clay:

    Sounds like they really liked it.

    ReplyReply
  53. 53
    DHD says:

    Having her sing in Cantonese would be a major diplomatic faux pas, probably on the scale of, oh, say, accepting a phone call from the President of Taiwan. Mandarin is the only official language of the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China (where it is called “guóyǔ” or “national language” rather than “pǔtōnghuà” or “common speech”, but it’s essentially the same thing, basically a cleaned-up version of Beijing dialect).

    The PRC would very much like people in Hong Kong to stop speaking English and Cantonese and speak Mandarin instead. Note also that in Taiwan, 70% of the people actually speak Taiwanese, which is not mutually intelligible with Mandarin, but it has no official status and was actively repressed up until the restoration of democracy…

    ReplyReply

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