Friday, January 17, 2020

Dopes and Babies

Boss Baby, via South China Morning Post.

Washington Post book promo, adapted from Philip Rucker's and Carol Leonnig's A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America, coming out next week, on the meeting of 20 July 2017, arranged by Mattis as a kind of emergency education session for the president to familiarize him a little bit with the ins and outs of foreign and national security policy, on which Trump was imperfectly informed ("Mattis, Tillerson, and Cohn feared his proposals were rash, barely considered, and a danger to America’s superpower standing. They also felt that many of Trump’s impulsive ideas stemmed from his lack of familiarity with U.S. history and, even, where countries were located")—the meeting where Rex Tillerson came to understand that Trump was a "fucking moron":
“We should charge them rent,” Trump said of South Korea. “We should make them pay for our soldiers. We should make money off of everything.”
That's how to run a country like a business. It's all about the shareholders, whoever they are.

Dunford sought to explain that he hadn’t been charged with annihilating the enemy in Afghanistan but was instead following a strategy started by the Obama administration to gradually reduce the military presence in the country in hopes of training locals to maintain a stable government so that eventually the United States could pull out. Trump shot back in more plain language.
“I want to win,” he said. “We don’t win any wars anymore . . . We spend $7 trillion, everybody else got the oil and we’re not winning anymore.”
Trump by now was in one of his rages. He was so angry that he wasn’t taking many breaths. All morning, he had been coarse and cavalier, but the next several things he bellowed went beyond that description. They stunned nearly everyone in the room, and some vowed that they would never repeat them. Indeed, they have not been reported until now.
“I wouldn’t go to war with you people,” Trump told the assembled brass.
Addressing the room, the commander in chief barked, “You’re a bunch of dopes and babies.”
The point of view characters are Bannon, informing us on the president's thinking, as his tutor I guess, mocking his lack of aptitude but telling us what he ought to have said ("Bannon thought to himself, 'Not good. Trump is not going to like that one bit.' The internationalist language Mattis was using was a trigger for Trump") and Tillerson, growing more and more concerned, as  Mattis ("genetically a Marine, unable to talk back to his commander in chief, no matter what nonsense came out of his mouth") and Pence sit there in abject submission, .
Tillerson told others he thought he saw a woman in the room silently crying. He was furious and decided he couldn’t stand it another minute. His voice broke into Trump’s tirade, this one about trying to make money off U.S. troops.
“No, that’s just wrong,” the secretary of state said. “Mr. President, you’re totally wrong. None of that is true.”
But the emperor has no brains!

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