Gives U.S. President A Taste Of Being A Beloved Autocratic Leader
Which we all know is what Trump wants. This is about as blatantly conjectural as we’re ever gonna get. But c’mon just look at the video in this Tweet from the President (taken from “Fake” ABC News no less)! Click here or on the photo to watch:
Xi strikes us as a shrewd and keen observer of the U.S. President, particularly cognizant of Trump’s love of pomp and spectacle, and tendency to interpret orchestrated adoration as a sign of “great chemistry“.
So Xi struck exactly the right tone for what he called “a new historic starting point“, in a series of touristy-on-steroids activities he planned for Trump, followed by a series of meetings which resulted in myriad “feel-good” proclamations with no hard policy mandates attached. Trump loved it so much he even made it the main image on his Twitter page.
Here are some other images and video clips:
Of course, in order to have the confidence to proceed along this path, one must feel he has the upper hand, and Xi right now certainly does, with Trump backing off most of his campaign promises to get really harsh on China. And the U.S. only recently waking up to the idea that China wasted no time stepping in with its own pan-Asia initiatives as soon as Trump dropped out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which like the deal or not, was at its heart a powerful move to debilitate China’s economic aspirations.
Trump Wasn’t Quite So Cheery In Korea, Where A More Serious Tone Pervaded
But he again sent somewhat mixed messages: the big, repeated and Tweeted warning to North Korea “Do not try us“, while at the same time urging the North Koreans to “come to the table“. (Something he’d previously Tweeted would be a total waste of time when Secretary of State Tillerson suggested that.)
He also then Tweeted this:
Which again directly contradicts his Secretary of State (and also Secretary of Defense), who have repeatedly stated the U.S. does not seek regime change in North Korea or reunification as part of their overtures to begin talks and prevent further escalation of military confrontation.
More Democrats Sign On To Restoring Assault Weapons Ban, But Still No Republicans
Both of Maryland’s Democratic Senators are now backing a return to a ban on assault weapons, led by California Senator Diane Feinstein. (To her credit, she was pushing the ban long before 26 people were killed in the mass shooting in Texas earlier this week). A previous federal ban passed in 1994, but expired in 2004. Senator Ben Cardin Tweeting: “We cannot stand idly by after each deadly shooting.” That brings the total to 22 Democratic Senators (so not quite halfway there), 0 Republicans.
In The “Not So Fast” Department
• We reported yesterday that Maine voters approved Medicaid expansion in that state that could help nearly 90,000 residents, after legislative efforts to achieve the same thing were repeatedly thwarted by the state’s Governor. Well, not so fast. The Governor, Paul LePage says he just won’t implement it, despite the results. As Vox’s Sarah Kliff reports, the Maine legislature could force him to, except that the leader of Maine’s Senate is also opposed to Medicaid expansion. On the other hand, she says on the heels of the Maine ballot initiative’s passage, activists in Utah and Idaho are initiating efforts to get Medicaid-expansion measures on those state’s ballots next time around.
• And a merger that looked like it was almost in the books now appears to be teetering due to late action from the Justice Department. AT&T was set to buy Time Warner for $85-billion. But Politico now reports it might have to sell off CNN in order to do that.
So the central question is moving from “will CNN keep its editorial point-of-view with the decidedly more Conservative AT&T Execs in charge?” to “is the Justice Department doing this just because Trump is angry with CNN?” And a question we think is far more important than that even: “Who might buy CNN?” We gotta assume Jeff Bezos is out there with an ear to the ground, but there are also a lot of radical Conservatives with a ton of money to burn… Here’s a whole bunch of Tweets about that.
While busting up that merger was something Trump promised to do during his campaign, seems approximately nobody thought of all the campaign promises he’s broken this would be the one he’d keep.
Is This The Best Illustration Of This Week’s Election Results Ever, Or What?
The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza pointed out this photo to us from a Washington Post story from late September about local Virginia elections.
Significance? All the people on the top won. All the people on the bottom lost.
Is This The Most Hilarious (Or Sad) Trump Tweet Ever, Or What?
Don’t like the thrashing your party (and by relation, you personally) took in 2017 elections? Just hop on Air Force One and time-travel back to 2016!
Question: Is The Take-Away From Tuesday’s Election Results That Trump’s Peculiar Cocktail Of Divisiveness And Hate Is A Winning Formula Only For Trump?
Or was this just a pit stop, and now everybody’s refueling for the far more important 2018 Elections?