From the LA desk of J. T. Kelly:
Kim & Trump meet
June 12 in Singapore
The big meeting will be in Singapore, Asia’s premier rich amazingly well governed state of the art City State. This tiny island nation is one of the world’s most important centers of trade, finance and commerce. It’s name means Lion City, and in it’s Confucian way, it is a modern version of La Serenìsima Repùblica Vèneta ( In the Venetian language, the most serene republic of Venice) for over a thousand years the richest and most influential city in Europe. Interestingly, it’s totem was also the lion and the red and gold flag of Venice was a golden image o Lion of St Mark.
So North Korean President Kim will see with his own eyes the most successful and envied example of Asian values successfully implemented by a democratic but authoritarian government that in its Chinese way is very much like the patrician government of the old Venetian Republic. Kim will no doubt be dazzled by Singapore like most first time visitors. Even a jaded capitalist like Donald Trump will no doubt also be impressed by this unique nation which while surprisingly egalitarian is also severe in its laws that fine people for ordinary slovenliness and arrest, try then send narcotics dealers to the gallows.
President Trump tweeted: “We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!” And his enemies must have had fit when they read President Trump touting World Peace and telling us that he and Kim if they can make peace and end the nuclear standoff in Korea will give the gift of peace to the whole world. Imagine if they do and next year the unlikely dynamic duo share a Noble Peace Prize? It would be as unexpected as Henry Kissinger and his north Vietnamese counterpart sharing one or Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat making peace and sharing a similar Noble award.
Donald, Melania and Pence
Welcome home three Nork prisoners
Last night the President, First Lady and VP Pence all went to Andrews airfield to welcome home the three Korean American former prisoners of North Korea. The three who were Christian missionaries were arrested and convicted of activities against the North Korean State and given long sentences. However as part of the heats and flowers leading up to the Nork-US summit meeting, the pardon and release of the three is a major example of good faith and trust leading up to the meeting. As many journalist noted the three men appeared to be in good health and to have received acceptable treatment by their Nork prison staff, in sharp contrast to the last American sent home who was in critical condition and died a few days following his return. That was a major PR fiasco for the Kim regime and only made things worse. They clearly made sure it didn’t happen this time.
The atmospherics leading up the meeting are important if only for show. We can expect clips on Nork TV of President Kim eating a hot dog and watching one or more NBA playoff games and making nice comments or the skill of one or more teams or players. We can also expect to see pictures of President Trump chowing down or a hot bowl of Bibimbop (rice bowl with meat, veg & egg) with gusto or having some Korean barbecued beef with kimchee fried rice and telling us that the Koreans are really great cooks.
At home in Los Angeles this
morning brought a surprise too.
The LA Times editorial board gave a ringing endorsement of our former Mayor and Alcade Tony Villaragosa in the Governor’s contest. I was surprised since the Times editorial board usually toes the predictable Progressive line in a stuffy morally superior way. But they didn’t follow the Progressive herd and opt for Gavin Newsom, this time they went with the hometown candidate. Two things come to mind about this. The first is there just might be something about Gavin they know and we don’t. The other is it validates the old Irish adage, “Better the devil you know than one you don’t.” Even more it is interesting because this time Tony V is clearly running as the moderate Democrat and is openly reaching out to Independent and Republican voters as the best most broad based choice for California. It’s not hard to do because Gavin is beating the drum for all the current Progressive issue package including a call for California setting up its very own single payer health care system and all the other Progressive clap trap on their wish list.
Who knows, from what we saw in this week’s primaries, the voters in both parties in four important states went for the more moderate candidate on the list and nixed the Steve Bannon wild and crazy guys on the GOP side and rejected the ideologically pure ones on the Democratic side, including a perennial gadfly who’s kind of fun and full of wild themes, Dennis “The Menace” Kusinich in Ohio.
From the headlines today
Did Trump’s lawyer go rogue?
It’s beginning to look like Trump’s “Mr Fix it” private lawyer Michael Cohen may have gone rogue and reached out to major corporations and others to sign up with his law practice and use his personal standing with the President to help them with their issues. This perhaps explains a whole series of things. This sleazy and maybe even criminal activity clearly warrants looking into by the appropriate authorities and falls outside Special Counsel Mueller’s mission, which would explain why he punted it to the US Attorney’s Office for the southern district of New York. It also explains why the Trump White House seems to have backed off from their initial outrage at Cohen’s troubles. It’s clear now that things that go far afield from his dealing with the Porn Star and point at open influence peddling that might match or even exceed the sleazy dealing that end the career of then Illinois Blogovich in the previous Administration. Like the Godfather said, keep your friends close and your enemies even closer.
Chris Lizza pops off
Hillary for New York AG
And gets hit from all sides.
This is one of those funny events where everybody is stunned and promptly hammers a really inappropriate if not crazy idea. I guess it was one of those late night ideas that popped into his head, like some of Trump’s of message tweets, long time political journalist Chris Lizza proposed that the Democrats might want to offer the State Attorney General’s job vacated by disgraced former AG Schneiderman to Hillary Clinton. Sure on the face of it Hillary is a known quantity, she is experienced office holder, a New Yorker, a Yale Law School alumna and lawyer and she carried New York State in the last election in a land slide. But there are many reasons it wouldn’t work. First it would be a step down for Hillary who had been a US Senator and Secretary of State, not to mention a two time serious candidate for President. Secondly, while a long time resident and voter in New York State, Hillary would be from outside the very inbred and peculiarly New York political world. Even more to the point, Hillary does not have day to day managerial experience to run a big wide ranging legal operation that is a very demanding and detailed job at the best of times and one that has seen the catastrophic destruction of the careers of two recent incumbents. New York politics is a bare knuckles game and they don’t prisoners or show mercy to anybody. Wonder when the Democrats will start coming up with fresh faces and new ideas. If they want to refight every battle from decades ago, they are going to miss what’s on the table now.