Trump speaks with Taiwanese president, a major break with decades of U.S. policy on China

Would you go to a doctor if the doctor had no experience in medicine?

Would you hire a lawyer if the lawyer had no experience in law besides watching Better Call Saul?

I understand that politicians are fairly despised but we just elected somebody with no experience in government even at its lowest level to the most important role in probably the world. We’re fucked. And I’m not saying that in a glib way. In the WaPo article they state they’re not sure if he intends some kind of shift in diplomatic relations with China. And that’s the thing. I don’t think Trump has any intentions at all. He’s just jumping in without giving a shit about any diplomatic ramifications.

President-elect Donald Trump spoke Friday with Taiwan’s president, a major departure from decades of U.S. policy in Asia and a breach of diplomatic protocol with ramifications for the incoming president’s relations with China.

The call is the first known contact between a U.S. president or president-elect with a Taiwanese leader since before the United States broke diplomatic relations with the island in 1979. China considers Taiwan a province, and news of the official outreach by Trump is likely to infuriate the regional military and economic power.

The exchange is one of a string of unorthodox conversations with foreign leaders that Trump has held since his election. It comes at a particularly tense time between China and Taiwan, which earlier this year elected a president, Tsai Ing-wen, who has refused to accept the notion of a unified China under Beijing’s rule. Her election angered Beijing to the point of cutting off all official communication with the island government.

It is not clear whether Trump intends a more formal shift in U.S. relations with Taiwan or China. On the call, Trump and Tsai congratulated each other on winning their elections, a statement from Trump’s transition office said.

Trump Inviting Filipino Leader and Hitler Enthusiast to the White House

Charming:

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump invited Philippines leader Rodrigo Duterte to the White House next year during a “very engaging, animated” phone conversation, a Duterte aide said on Friday, amid rocky relations between their two countries.

A statement issued by Trump’s transition team, however, made no mention of an invitation.

Trump’s brief chat with the firebrand Philippine president follows a period of uncertainty about one of Washington’s most important Asian alliances, stoked by Duterte’s hostility toward President Barack Obama and repeated threats to sever decades-old defense ties.

The call lasted just over seven minutes, Duterte’s special adviser, Christopher Go, said in a text message to media, which gave few details.

Duterte congratulated the U.S. president-elect, the Trump team’s statement said, and the two men “noted the long history of friendship and cooperation between the two nations, and agreed that the two governments would continue to work together closely on matters of shared interest and concern.”

Duterte’s wikipedia page is something else. Some excerpts from some of his controversies:

At a campaign rally on April 12, 2016, Duterte told supporters that, as Mayor, he thought he “should have been first” to rape Jacqueline Hamill, an Australian missionary who was gang-raped and killed during the 1989 Davao hostage crisis.

In a campaign speech on April 27 to business leaders, he said his presidency would be “a bloody one”, but that he would issue “a thousand pardons a day” to police and soldiers accused of human rights abuses, and would also issue a presidential pardon to himself for mass murder at the end of his six year term.

On September 30, 2016, Duterte appeared to compare himself with Adolf Hitler, saying: “Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now, there are 3 million drug addicts. … I’d be happy to slaughter them.”

Friday Guest Cat Blogging

Back, way back in 2010 when Trump was just President of the US in a Simpson’s joke, one of my favorite parts of blogging was Friday Guest Cat Blogging when my fellow Cynics would send in pictures of their cats. The best part of blogging for me was the interaction between readers and having people take their precious time to send in pictures of their furry friends was always something I enjoyed. I’m glad that I brought this back to the blog.

If you want to participate next week, send me a picture of your cat (or any pet really. They’re all cats on Friday) to cynicalcblog@gmail.com.

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From Drew:

This is a stray cat we’ve been feeding for a couple of years. Thanks for the blog and happy belated Thanksgiving!

Trump Voter Who Lost Her Home To Treasury Secretary Pick Mnuchin Feels Betrayed By Pick

The amount of people who vote against their own interests never ceases to astound me.

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Donald Trump named his Treasury secretary, Teena Colebrook felt her heart sink.

She had voted for the president-elect on the belief that he would knock the moneyed elites from their perch in Washington, D.C. And she knew Trump’s pick for Treasury—Steven Mnuchin—all too well.

OneWest, a bank formerly owned by a group of investors headed by Mnuchin, had foreclosed on her Los Angeles-area home in the aftermath of the Great Recession, stripping her of the two units she rented as a primary source of income.

“I just wish that I had not voted,” said Colebrook, 59. “I have no faith in our government anymore at all. They all promise you the world at the end of a stick and take it away once they get in.”

Trump’s Yuge Victory Tour

I didn’t watch or pay attention to it last night and instead continued reading William Shirer’s Berlin Diary. (So, I guess I kinda did)

Buzzfeed has a small wrapup of his Nuremberg rally:

President-elect Donald Trump’s anti-illegal immigration agenda, which helped launch his campaign, flared again at his Thursday night “Thank You” rally.

“We will restore the sovereignty of the United States. We will finally end illegal immigration, have to,” Trump told a crowd of supporters in Cincinnati, Ohio. “We will construct a great wall at the border.”

Trump said the beefed up border would “dismantle” cartels and stop the flow of drugs into the United States. He also pledged to stop the immigration of people from regions who can’t be “safely processed.”

He wasn’t the only one at the rally talking about undocumented immigrants, all of the speakers before him also mentioned the issue that was a cornerstone of Trump’s successful campaign.

Vice president-elect Mike Pence also promised to end illegal immigration, which set off chants of “Build the wall” from the crowd.

He Made America Great Again!

Obama that is. By the end of Trump’s reign we’ll be lucky to find a can of soup from a corner store after the nuclear winters.

The U.S. economy added 178,000 jobs in November, and the unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent from 4.9 percent the previous month, according to new government data released Friday morning.

The first employment report after a contentious presidential election in which the candidates expressed diverging views of the health and direction of the economy showed a job market that is continuing to steadily strengthen from the recession.

“Overall, it’s a labor market that is continuing to improve, that has a decent momentum,” said Josh Feinman, chief global economist at Deutsche Asset Management. “So that’s certainly encouraging.”