A normal headline in the Trump era
That isn't even the leading story in America today. I'm not sure it will even make the evening news:
President Trump on Saturday appeared to side with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in renewing his objections to joint military exercises with South Korea, calling such drills “ridiculous and expensive” at a time when Pyongyang has ramped up tests of short-range missiles.
In a pair of morning tweets from his resort in Bedminster, N.J., where he arrived late Friday for a 10-day vacation, Trump said Kim objected to the exercises in a letter and suggested the missile tests would end once the drills, which began this week, are finished.
“It was a long letter, much of it complaining about the ridiculous and expensive exercises,” Trump wrote, asserting that the letter amounted to “a small apology for testing the short range missiles.”
Trump also said Kim suggested that negotiations over its nuclear weapons program, which have been dormant since a second summit in Hanoi broke off without an agreement in February, could resume after the joint exercises conclude.
“I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un in the not too distant future!” Trump added. “A nuclear free North Korea will lead to one of the most successful countries in the world!”
Pyongyang has repeatedly insisted the tests are a reaction to joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises, as well as Seoul’s import of F-35A stealth fighters from the United States. Trump appeared to accept that explanation. He offered no rebuttal to the idea that the exercises were not worthwhile, even though his own military say they are vital to maintain combat readiness.
If we somehow manage to survive the chaotic and dangerous Trump years, I think this is going to be one of the main things we will look back on and marvel that anyone could have voted for such a clearly incompetent person for president. How his delusional followers see him as a big brave hero when he insults everyone except Kim Jong Un and Vladimir Putin --- even as they laugh in his face --- is one of the great mysteries of life.
I think he actually believes those ruthless tyrants respect him (although on some level they scare the shit out of him too.) We have literally never seen anything like this. Ever. And yet our political system is unable to do anything about him -- and there's an excellent chance that he'll be re-elected. We have sen the great flaw of democracy --- it depends on human beings being rational.
These rich assholes like his racism too apparently, along with the fact that he's a total moron:
President Trump cracked jokes about the Equinox scandal, the old days of rent-controlled New York and his dealings with North and South Korea among deep-pocketed pals in the Hamptons on Friday.
Trump was feted at two big-money fundraisers — first a lunch for 60 hosted by real estate guru Stephen Ross, whose company owns Equinox and Soul Cycle. Then Trump talked for an hour to a crowd of 500 at the sprawling Bridgehampton home of developer Joe Farrell. The two events raised a total of $12 million.
After Equinox members revolted over Ross’ fundraising for the president, with many threatening to cancel memberships, Trump said he had joked with Ross about how divided the nation is.
Noting the relentless attacks on himself by the media, Trump quipped, “Steve Ross got into a little bit of trouble this week, I said, ‘Steve welcome to the world of politics!’ ”
Of his fundraising visit, Trump went on to say, “I love coming to the Hamptons, I know the Hamptons well, everyone here votes for me but they won’t admit it.”
And of his tough stance on trade tariffs and US military aid, Trump told a story of going as a boy to collect rent checks with his father, adding, “It was easier to get a billion dollars from South Korea than to get $114.13 from a rent-controlled apartment in Brooklyn, and believe me, those 13 cents were very important.”
Trump thanked a number of people at the event, held in a huge tent in the garden of Farrell’s famous home, titled “Sandcastle,”
Trump said, “There’s Don Jr., I didn’t think he liked politics, but actually he’s really good at it. And so is Kimberly. Don Jr. is my gun expert, he knows more about guns than anyone I know.”
Turning to the tragic events of this past week Trump said, to applause, “We need meaningful background checks. It is time.
“I spoke to Lindsay Graham on the way over in the car, I spoke to Nancy Pelosi, I called her, she called me, I talked to Chuck Schumer . . . we are all in agreement about this. It is time for meaningful background checks.”
Trump kept returning to hit back at the “fake news” media attacks on him, saying of claims from the Democrats that he is a racist, “That is the only ammunition they have.”
Trump also made fun of US allies South Korea, Japan and the European Union — mimicking Japanese and Korean accents — and talked about his love of dictators Kim Jong Un and the current ruler of Saudi Arabia.
He started by saying how the EU had not paid its share to NATO and he insisted it does so.
Talking about South Korea, Trump said it makes great TVs and has a thriving economy, “So why are we paying for their defense. They’ve got to pay.” He then mimicked the accent of the leader Moon Jae-in while describing how he caved in to Trump’s tough negotiations.
On his remarkable friendship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, “I just got a beautiful letter from him this week. We are friends. People say he only smiles when he sees me.
“If I hadn’t been elected president we would be in a big fat juicy war with North Korea. “
Turning to Japan, Trump then put on a fake Japanese accent to recount his conversations with Shinzo Abe over their conversations over trade tariffs.
Trump spoke about his friendship with Abe and how fascinated he was with Abe’s father, who had been a kamikaze pilot. Trump asked Abe if the kamikaze pilots were drunk or on drugs. Abe said no, they just loved their country. Trump remarked, “Imagine they get in a plane with a half a tank of gas and fly into steel ships just for the love of their country!”
Of the midterm elections he said the media predicted a disaster for the Republican Party, but in the end it won seats in the Senate with only a few shocking defeats (the Democrats won the House). Trump added, “We got rid of two nasty ones,” perhaps referring to some politicians he claimed at the time hadn’t shown him enough love.
And he couldn’t resist a real estate joke or two. Noting that the very house the event was at is currently on the market for $39 million, Trump joked to Farrell, “What would you rather have, Joe, this beautiful house for $40 million or the White House for free?”
Among the 500 people at the Joe Farrell event were Somers and Jonathan Farkas, Steve Mnuchin, Wilbur Ross and wife Hilary Geary Ross, Rory Tahari, Joe Piscopo, Geraldo Rivera, Rudy Giuliani, Andrew Giuliani, Phil Falcone and wife Lisa Maria, Jean Shafiroff and Neal Sroka.
Also at the event were Estee Lauder billionaire and philanthropist Ronald Lauder, financier Leon Wagner, Vornado founder Steve Roth, co-chair of the RNC, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Bob Castellani, CEO of North American Rescue, real estate mogul Richard Le Frak, financier Peter Worth, commercial real estate developer Bill Stern, Rob Godfrey, former First Lady of Florida Carole Crist, Monica Crowley, Cantor Fitzgerald’s Howard Lutnicki, Steve Witkoff, Bill Ford, Joe Thal, Andrea Catsimatidis and Ed Cox.
All that money and they are just a bunch of crude, insular fools, happy to allow this crude imbecile to kill their golden goose, just for a couple of pennies they can't bear to leave on the sidewalk.