Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Bowing, Repeatedly

Say what you will about Barack Obama- and I've said "more about" him than almost any Democrat anywhere- he certainly has Donald Trump pegged. We learn

“He’s nothing but a bullsh–ter,” Obama told two friends early last November, describing an election night phone call with Trump, in which the businessman suddenly professed his “respect” and “admiration” for Obama—after years of hectoring.

Speaking to PEOPLE for its new cover story on Obama and his wife Michelle adjusting to life outside the White House, the two friends quoted Obama’s blunt assessment of President-elect Trump. And how has Obama’s opinion changed since Trump been in office? “Well,” said one of the sources, “it hasn’t gotten any better.”

Nothing but a bullsh-ter.  An interview conducted August, 2015 by Chris Cuomo of Donald Trump proceeds (at 5:19) as

Cuomo:  (If at a meeting you have with Pope Francis), the translator says to you "the Pope believes capitalism can be real avenue to greed, it can be really toxic and corrupt: and he's shaking his finger at you" and he says "what do you say to the Pope?

Trump: I say "ISIS wants to get you. do you know that ISIS wants to go in and take the Vatican," you knew that, you've heard that, that's a dream of  theirs to go, into Italy, you know that.

Cuomo: Talks to  you about capitalism, you scare the Pope?

Trump: Well, I'm going to have to scare the Pope because that's the only thing- 

In February, 2016 during the presidential primary campaign, Pope Francis was asked about Mr. Trump and responded “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian." Understandably, the candidate was not amused.  Fifteen months after Trump thus was definitively criticized (albeit by implication) and nineteen months after he told Cuomo that he would give the Pope the what for 

The pope, by turns dour and smiling, welcomed a more effusive president to the seat of a religion that claims more than 70 million followers in the United States. The two stuck mainly to protocol, avoiding a public reprise of the barbs they aimed at each other during Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign or the pope’s thinly veiled critiques of Mr. Trump as a symbol of a dangerously reinvigorated nationalism.

But there appeared to be a message in the gifts the pope gave to his guest. They included a copy of his influential essay on the importance of saving the environment, a rebuke to the climate change skepticism espoused by Mr. Trump. Francis also presented him with a medallion engraved with the image of an olive tree — “a symbol of peace,” he explained.

Pope Francis would have had to use a 2X4 if he had been any more obvious. Nonetheless

“We can use peace,” Mr. Trump said.

Francis replied, “It is with all hope that you may become an olive tree to make peace.”

As he bade the pope farewell, Mr. Trump told him, “I won’t forget what you said.”

He won't- but may have to charge Francis with Atrocious Assault and Battery.   The message Tuesday also from Cardinal Pietro Parolin, the Vatican’s secretary of state, also was none too subtle when he "urged Mr. Trump not to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accord."  The approach was especially notable because

There was a sense in the Vatican that Mr. Trump was easier to talk to than his tough language on the campaign trail and sharp words toward Francis had led them to believe. “Trump’s bark is worse than his bite,” said a senior Vatican official who was granted anonymity because he was not authorized to speak about the meeting.

Trump's bark is worse than his bite, as President Nieto of Mexico, President Jinping of China, Prime Minister Trudeau of Canada, Saudi Arabia's King Salman, and lots of people ripped off by Trump the businessman have discoverd. Also: Barack Obama, who neatly summed up Donald Trump as "nothing but a bullsh-ter."

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