Wednesday 17th of April 2024

on a tiny, tiny, tiny little man ...

on a tiny, tiny, tiny little man ...

He called it the best nine days of his Presidency.

“Just returned from Europe. Trip was a great success for America. Hard work but big results!”

The world saw it as 9 days of buffoonery by a man ill prepared to mix it with world leaders.

The highlight was when he pushed aside the Prime Minister of Montenegro to take his place center stage as the leader of the free world. The look of indignation on his face was that of a child who imagined he was the leader of a world that he alone inhabited. A fool’s paradise, in other words.

The writer J K Rowling tweeted: ”You tiny, tiny, tiny little man.”

According to his National Security Advisor, General HR McMaster, the purpose of the trip was ”to broadcast a message of unity to America’s friends and to the faithful of the followers of three of the world’s greatest religions”.

The trip it seems has been universally condemned by many of the world leaders. He left America’s shores with a Whitehouse in chaos and returned to it in guiltier chaos. While he was gone England was struck by another terrorist attack in Manchester, Indonesian police were blown up in Jakarta anti-Christian groups went on a murderous rampage in the Philippines. The North Koreans launched another ballistic missile and the US Navy sailed within 12 nautical miles of one of China’s artificial islands.

Meanwhile as he travelled the world the leaks from the White House continued unabated. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is now under investigation by the FBI about Russia’s links with Trumps presidential campaign team.

Then we had the disclosure that James Comey the FBI Director Trump had sacked had written notes about his meeting with the President in which he says Trump asked him to go soft in his investigation of Mike Flynn who Trump had also sacked for lying to the Vice President about connections to Russia.

On top of that we had the British furore over secret information about the Manchester bombing. The White House is so disorganised it couldn’t run a chook raffle.

Not to mention his audience with the Pope where the expression on the Pope’s face seemed to say what the world is thinking.

Not often I quote Greg Sherdian but he sums it up well:

“The problem with assessing the international situation, and America’s role in it, right now is that all these developments profoundly affect each other, and they all affect what Trump achieves, or doesn’t achieve, in his first overseas trip as President.”

He visits Saudi Arabia who have a dreadful human rights record and sells them $100 billion dollars of weapons on the proviso they invest several hundred in the US. His message is a bit like this. Again as Sheridan puts it.

”I won’t criticise you on human rights; like you, I think Iran is the big danger in the Middle East; please fight terrorists; and continue to give me money.”

There was even talk that he signed private contracts to build 5 new hotels in the kingdom but I cannot vouch for the veracity of that.

It seemed like everywhere he went controversy followed whether it was  about not holding hands or shaking hands.

In Brussels French President Emmanuel Macron got his own back with a smile and squeeze that was described as “knuckles whitening” and “faces tightening” – were so fierce that Trump was forced to yield.

Or making statements that could never be kept. With the world watching Trump seemed to take delight in saying that he had everything under control when clearly he didn’t.

After doing the rounds of the Wailing Wall, The Holocaust Museum and other sites of historical significance he blithely indicated that the Palestinian leadership, under Mahmoud Abbas, was ready for peace with Israel and that a peace deal is just around the corner. There is no evidence for either of these assertions. The fact is that the road to peace is still full of potholes.

In his travels Trump ably demonstrates his lack of knowledge and his unfitness to dance on the world stage.

”He linked terrorism and immigration in a way very few of his fellow leaders would do, and failed to dispel persistent doubts about US commitment to Nato by endorsing Article 5, the mutual defence pledge at the heart of the alliance.”

”Having publicly described the far right’s Marine Le Pen as “the strongest” candidate in France’s presidential election, he told Macron on Thursday ”you were my guy” in the vote.”

Finally, it was his reluctance to reveal his hand on the issue of climate change and global warming that made the G7 countries look on with dismay, as Trump was unable to tell them if he will honour the Paris agreement America signed.

Angela Merkel said that Europe could no longer rely on others for support and that we will have to go it alone.

Particularly as his economic adviser Gary Cohn had made it clear a few days earlier in a meeting with reporters saying that ”coal isn’t even good feedstock anymore, and the future of American energy is in natural gas, solar, and wind.”

Trump had conned coal workers into thinking they were all going to get their jobs back.

It was a rare moment of truth from the Trump administration that is likely to be walked back by the White House. The coal jobs aren’t coming back. Trump’s advisers know this even as the President continues to sell a fantasy to a depressed economic region of a coal based revival that is never going to come.”

My thought for the day.

”History is just an ongoing commentary on the incompetence of men.”

Day to Day Politics: The Trump Report No. 16 ... 9 days of mayhem


fake democracy...


We tell ourselves stories in order to live, as Joan Didion said. We do this as a nation, as individuals, as families — even when that construct is demonstrably false. For the United States, the biggest institutional lie of the moment is that we have a government of the people, responding to majority will.

On almost every single concern, Congress — whether it’s the misnamed People’s House, or the Senate, laughably mischaracterized as the world’s greatest deliberative body — is going against what most of the country wants. And Congress is doing this because there will be no consequences.

We have a fake democracy, growing less responsive and less representative by the day.

The biggest example of this is the monstrosity of a health care bill, which a cartel of Republicans finally allowed us to peek at on Thursday. The lobbyists have seen it; of course. But for the rest us, our first look at a radical overhaul of one-sixth of the economy, something that touches every American, comes too late to make our voices heard.

Crafted in total darkness, the bill may pass by a slim majority of people who have not read it. Inevitably, with something that deprives upward of 23 million Americans of health care, people will die because of this bill. States will be making life and death decisions as they drop the mandated benefits of Obamacare and cut vital care for the poor, the elderly, the sick and the drug-addicted through Medicaid. The sunset of Obamacare is the dawn of death panels.

It would be understandable if Republicans were doing this because it’s what most Americans want them to do. But it’s not. Only about 25 percent of Americans approved of a similar version of this bill, the one passed by the House. By a nearly 2 to 1 margin, people would prefer that the Affordable Care Act be kept in place and fixed, rather than junked for this cruel alternative.

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Ahem... This is not new. What is new is that there is a bit more investigation of the trickery of governments. But really not "that" much effective investigation. A health bill is being chewed up by the dogs... In Australia, the same has happened since our Turdy Tony got his mittens on the Health Ministry in the days of "Honest" (he lied so much, he got this satirical nickname) John Howard. At the last elections, Malcolm's secret plan was to "strip medicare bare" without destroying it... yet... He got upset when Labor exposed this and claimed that Labor was peddling "misinformation", untruth, blah blah blah... Since he got the gig back, Malcolm has been trying to chip bits of medicare away, slowly trying to make it unworkable... taking away some drugs of the register, etc...

As well, one could say that the cartoon at top is misleading. It shows a "devolution" when obviously the monkeys we are voted the monkey in chief -- who already was a full-blown monkey. No devolution happened, only our interpretation of our own idiocy.