Foreign Policy Open Thread: Jared Kushner Will Bring Peace to the Middle East…

… shortly after I win the Miss America contest. For which, let it be specified, I do not meet the basic requirements. And also, I wouldn’t enter if I *did*. So, context!

The Oval Office squatter and his Repub enablers don’t care about what happens in the Middle East, and even if they did, they haven’t the ability to do anything about it. But if they can skim some cash from the petrostate oligarchs for putting on a heavily PowerPointed dog & pony show — about the money, that, they care.

Long information thread here:








Russia, If You’re Listening Open Thread

George Stephanopoulos scored an interview with the Orange Plague, and ABC is teasing it.

Ask Turab Lookman about that.

Lookman has been indicted for lying about his contacts with China and accepting research grants from China. He has pleaded not guilty and could go to prison if he is found guilty.

If, um, Norway (Trump really likes those Nordic folks) offered Adam Silverman some sweet deal having to do with his military interactions and it wasn’t vetted by the proper governmental folks, Adam would be in bigtime trouble too. (Norway is a member of NATO, so it’s entirely possible for Adam to cooperate with some of their programs.) But, of course, it’s not Norway that invited the Trump folks to all those get-togethers.

So yeah, it’s an invitation, just as surely as that campaign speech in which Trump asked Russia to get him Hillary’s emails.

 








C.R.E.A.M. Open Thread: Young Jared Is A Busy Little Oligarch

(Jeff Danziger via GoComics.com)
.

… Small wonder he occasionally “forgets” minor details of his many, many important jobs in the Squatter-in-Chief’s administration. Such as sending out invitations and RSVPs for the ‘business conference’ intended to bring peace to the Middle East…


 
… Or mentioning the petty sums — I mean, a mere $90 million, that’s chump change! — from “opaque offshore entities” on his financial disclosure forms…


Read more








Cold Grey Pre-Dawn Open Thread: Nobody Loves A Charmless Grifter


The NYTimes withdrew the tweet, but Maggie Haberman’s two-faced encomium remains — “For Trump, London Visit Is a (Royal) Family Affair”:

Whether they had official roles in the visit or not, the extended Trump family seemed to materialize in London overnight — all save the president’s youngest son, Barron, who stayed home. But Monday’s lavish audience with the British royals was the culmination of more than a month of planning by White House officials who have grown accustomed to accommodating President Trump’s children, whether that includes redrawing plans for a state visit or evicting guests from their seats at the State of the Union address.

As Mr. Trump presides over a White House with unprecedented turnover, he has relied on his children the same way he has for decades — asking them for advice or seeing them as surrogates in the fight against his real and perceived enemies.

On this visit, another family opportunity surfaced: The Kennedys have long occupied the American political culture as the unofficial royal family, but this week, the Trumps appeared to present themselves as the 2019 version…

Our British ‘cousins’ have an expansive acquaintance with that class of professional grifters which organize themselves as an Aristocracy, so they have rather higher standards for such gentries’ entertainment value than the gawping rubes of Trump’s loyal (very) Base. Per the Daily Beast, “William, Harry and Kate Deny Trump What He Wanted Most: a Photo Op”:

Prince Harry and his brother Prince William have successfully denied Donald Trump the opportunity of appearing in a photo with either of them or their glamorous and popular wives during his state visit to the U.K., which would have been invaluable PR for his 2020 re-election campaign, after the president used the word “nasty” while discussing Harry’s wife, Meghan Markle…

It was also noticeable that when Trump visited Westminster Abbey on Monday to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, he was not accompanied by William, as might have been expected, but by Prince Andrew, the queen’s second son.

Andrew’s name-recognition in the wider U.S. is minimal, meaning the trip will have little PR value for the 2020 campaign…

[Perhaps the two men had met before: “Randy Andy” was notoriously another Friend of Jeffrey Epstein.]

And yet, President Trump has made it clear to those close to him that he actually does care about his reputation among the British royals. According to several former and current White House officials, Trump will grow visibly more animated or excited when the topic of meeting prominent members of royal families comes up, including the British royals. He makes a point of repeatedly asking aides about what he and others should wear during state visits and high-profile events with foreign countries’ royalty, the sources said, and enthusiastically asks advisers about what kind of pomp and pageantry he should expect…

…[A]Whitehall official told The Times that the queen’s meeting last year with President Trump was “kept to the bare minimum. The Queen will do her duty, but among the wider family, they were not as enthusiastic as they were when [President Barack] Obama came over.”








So Much Crime We Can’t Keep Up

It’s just depressing that this administration is so criminal things that would be major scandals in normal times just fly under the radar. Like the Elaine Chao scandal. How many of you even heard about it?