Friday, November 30, 2018

Something to Know - 30 November (happy birthday son)

Stuart Carlson Comic Strip for November 28, 2018

We have struggled with the presence of an annoying and dangerous political operative for far too long.  Along the way, he has been christened with so many nicknames and uncomplimentary references, but we can now settle on who he is this morning.   DJT is on the world stage in Argentina, and the drama of being the representative of the United States of America is all being viewed under a cloud of suspicion.   After all the hours, weeks, and months of legal dancing, our president is now, and will be further known as "Individual #1".  He is identified in testimony regarding his activity as candidate and office holder in criminal and felonious conduct.   As more facts emerge and the legal process comes to an end, his financial empire and his family businesses will take follow a sad story.  I know that it is too early to predict the end, but we, who remember the early 1970s, remember how Richard Nixon ended up.  Nixon was an experienced political operative, and knew, or should have known, the ways of Washington D.C.    "Individual #1" is a political novice who does not have the skill sets to outrun the rule of law.   Last night, and this morning, his Twitter messages sound exactly like all the Mafia mobs bosses who have gone down before him.   Perhaps he should remain in Argentina and claim political asylum; it was tried and worked for some nefarious Teutonic white supremacists in the middle of the last century.

On Nov. 5, 1996, "American real estate mogul Donald Trump" checks out sites in Moscow for luxury residential towers. (Igor Tabakov/AP)

Until this week, public revelations about special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation focused on characters who had been around President Trump.

  • For the first time, the special counsel's narrative has suddenly come alive with pre-presidential actions and entanglements by Trump himself.
  • "Investigators have now publicly cast Trump as a central figure of their probe into whether Trump's campaign conspired with the Russian government during the 2016 campaign," the WashPost reports.
  • Why it matters: This week's disclosures show that "Trump was in close contact with his lieutenants as they made outreach to both Russia and WikiLeaks — and that they tried to conceal the extent of their activities."

The WashPost's Devlin Barrett tweeted: "In both of his guilty plea hearings, [former Trump lawyer] Michael Cohen has gone beyond the court filings to make clear his criminal actions were specifically on Trump's behalf."

  • And ABC News reported that Cohen, with years of visibility into Trump's financial and political dealings, "has spent more than 70 hours in interviews with Mueller's team."

The president of the United States was labeled "Individual 1" in yesterday's court filing by Mueller.

  • The filing, which spelled out the facts that led to Cohen to plead guilty to lying to Congress, began to tie together the New York and Washington branches of the investigation.

Cohen made it plain that Trump "was more involved in discussions over a potential Russian business deal during the presidential campaign than previously known," as the N.Y. Times put it.

  • "Trump's participation in discussions about building a grand skyscraper in Moscow," The Times reports, "showed how the interests of his business empire were enmeshed with his political ambitions as he was closing in on the Republican nomination for president."
  • The backdrop: "Trump for decades dreamed of building a Trump Tower in the heart of Moscow, a plan that flared and fizzled several times over the years." (AP)

Be smart: That suggests a profit motive for Trump's persistent and unexplained affinity for Russia.

  • Trump said as he left the White House yesterday for Argentina: "I was running my business while I was campaigning. There was a good chance that I wouldn't have won, in which case I would have gotten back into the business. And why should I lose lots of opportunities?"

Trump tweets from Argentina this morning:

  • "Oh, I get it! I am a very good developer, happily living my life, when I see our Country going in the wrong direction (to put it mildly). Against all odds, I decide to run for President & continue to run my business-very legal & very cool, talked about it on the campaign trail..."
  • "....Lightly looked at doing a building somewhere in Russia. Put up zero money, zero guarantees and didn't do the project. Witch Hunt!"

P.S. ... Statement by Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for Trump:

  • "BREAKING NEWS ALERT:  Michael Cohen is a liar. It's no surprise that Cohen lied to Congress. He's a proven liar who is doing everything he can to get out of a long-term prison sentence for serious crimes of bank and tax fraud that had nothing to do with the Trump Organization."
  • "It is important to understand that documents that the Special Counsel's Office is using to show that Cohen lied to Congress were voluntarily disclosed by the Trump Organization because there was nothing to hide."
  • "It is hardly coincidental that the Special Counsel once again files a charge just as the President is leaving for a meeting with world leaders at the G20 Summit in Argentina. The Special Counsel did the very same thing as the President was leaving for a world summit in Helsinki."
  • "With regard to the hotel proposal in Moscow, the President has been completely open and transparent."


"Yes, yes, but I bring that out in people. I do. I'm not saying that's an asset or a liability, but I do bring that out. ...I bring rage out. I do bring rage out. I always have."
- Candidate Donald J. Trump in April, 2016

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Andy Borowitz

Satire from The Borowitz Report

Photograph by Drew Angerer / Getty

Cindy Hyde-Smith Says She Never Lost Faith in Mississippi's Racists


By Andy Borowitz10:56 A.M.


Photograph by Drew Angerer / Getty

JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI (The Borowitz Report)—Celebrating her election victory on Tuesday night, U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith said that, despite predictions that her state was ready to turn the page on its shameful past, "I never lost faith in Mississippi's racists."

"For weeks, we've been hearing national pundits say that Mississippi was ready to enter the twenty-first century," Hyde-Smith told a crowd of supporters at her victory rally. "Tonight, with your help, we proved them wrong."

Hyde-Smith said that, despite the media's unearthing of a cavalcade of embarrassing comments and actions from her past, "I never doubted that, at the end of the day, the people of Mississippi would listen to the racist voices in their heads."

Choking back tears, Hyde-Smith thanked her supporters for honoring Mississippi's storied heritage of hatred and cruelty.

"Mississippi voters do not want to tear down the relics of our Confederate past," she said. "As such a relic, I am eternally grateful."

Exit polls showed that Hyde-Smith performed extremely well with voters who described themselves as bigots, and dominated among those who could not correctly spell "Mississippi."


"Yes, yes, but I bring that out in people. I do. I'm not saying that's an asset or a liability, but I do bring that out. ...I bring rage out. I do bring rage out. I always have."
- Candidate Donald J. Trump in April, 2016

Something to Know - 28 November

Jack Ohman Comic Strip for November 28, 2018

Much news has transpired since election eve, day, and the aftermath discussion about the "Blue Wave".   Trump is running around doing his thing, and mostly trying to cobble up support from his remaining staff and GOP leaders (mostly through fear).  Mueller is also slowly grinding away and cobbling up his neat little holiday gift for the executive branch.   Meanwhile, the political junkies and speculators are having a field day trying to predict where this is all going.   In the maelstrom of junkie's discussions, this gem came through.  It is a response to an individual (a Trumpite) who vomits the FOX news script on how liberals and progressives drink the feminine Kool Aid from the font of Maxine and Nancy - and the response should become the heart of the Dems agenda on peeling back the damage done the last few years.  The conversation comes from a 1962 college alum (Jim) and the glorious response from a 1962 college alum (Gomer); enjoy:


If you would offer a heartfelt apology to our classmates for your support of the ideas of Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi, and for the nasty behavior of democrats questioning Supreme Court Justice Cavanaugh during his confirmation hearings, we might be able to discuss more, but really, after the attempted invasion of the Tijuana border yesterday by those who want to enter our country illegally,  maybe simply a kind word for our President would do.  He has, afterall, managed to keep law and order in spite of the Democrats.

At what point are you willing to recognize the urgent need for a secure southern-border wall to prevent more illegal aliens from swarming our country?  Our Border Patrol folks are catching at least 125 illegals a day trying to sneak into California, California's Central Valley has already been conquered by illegals, and the surge is on by Central Americans to invade illegally and take as many jobs away from our citizen-poor as possible.   Should California be a Sanctuary State?  Gov Moonbeam and the incoming guy might think so,   but  most of our Country folk thinks that's a nutty idea.

Jim (last name deleted)

Hi Jim,

Would you please explain what ideas of Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi require an apology. Is it their idea that everyone should receive health care when they need it? Is it their idea that our children and grandchildren should be able to attend college without being saddled with huge debts? Is it their idea that we need clean water, clean air and affordable public parks? Is it their idea that all citizens should be allowed to vote, and in districts that are not gerrymandered? Is it their idea that we need a comprehensive solution to our immigrant policies -- one that secures our borders, reinstates DACA, provides a path to citizenship for law-abiding immigrants who have lived here for many years and are integrated into our society and economy, cracks down hard on employers of illegal immigrants, and meets our international obligations to take in refugees? Is it their idea that we should not have an economy and tax system that steadily increases the ranks of billionaires while low income families find themselves homeless and struggling to feed their children -- in particular, their idea that we should raise the minimum wage to at least $15 (which is still way less in real dollars than the level that it was in 1970), and require the ultra wealthy to pay their fair share of taxes? (I found it really annoying when I found that I was paying taxes at a higher rate than Richard Nixon, and more recently that I was paying taxes at a substantially higher rate than Mitt Romney -- while my wife and I lived on the incomes of an engineer and a part-time college instructor.) Is it their idea that we should protect Social Security for our senior citizens who have worked hard their entire lives? Is it their idea that our elections should not be sold to the highest bidder? Is it their idea that we should continue working against job discrimination, housing discrimination, lending discrimination, law enforcement discrimination, etc., until they are no longer practiced? Is it their idea that students should no longer be ripped off by some for-profit colleges that take the money and don't provide the education? Is it their idea that we should be doing something about global warming, instead of leaving it to the other nations of the world? 

All of these are ideas that are espoused by Maxine Waters and Nancy Pelosi, and opposed by President Trump and the Republicans in Congress. Which ones do you object to? Or are there other ideas of theirs you object to? If so, which ones? 

If you assume a priori that Kavanaugh was not a heavy drinker in his youth, and was not aggressive when he got drunk, and therefore he did not lie about it, then the behavior of Democrats during the hearings would seem nasty. If you assume that there is a genuine question about Kavanaugh's behavior and truthfulness, given the number of witnesses who have challenged them, then the behavior of Democrats during the hearing would seem like a genuine effort to discover the truth. I still regret that President Trump was not willing to let the FBI carry out a thorough investigation that likely would have settled the issue one way or the other. 

As you probably know, a very large section of the law enforcement community does not want police officers and other local officials to be forced to report any illegal immigrants they encounter to federal officials. Doing so would make it nearly impossible for them to carry out their law enforcement duties, because many victims of crime and many witnesses would refuse to cooperate with them. Moreover, the so-called sanctuary cities do not stop federal officials from enforcing federal laws -- in the same way that California is a sanctuary state for marijuana users, but California does not prevent federal officials from enforcing federal laws against marijuana if they really want to. 

I will say a kind word about President Trump. To quote from a birthday card I was once given, I think by our classmate Steve Montague, a roommate and very close friend, Trump does not kick dogs who wear glasses. 

Best regards, Gomer (last name not included)


"Yes, yes, but I bring that out in people. I do. I'm not saying that's an asset or a liability, but I do bring that out. ...I bring rage out. I do bring rage out. I always have."
- Candidate Donald J. Trump in April, 2016

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Andy Borowitz

At this time of the "holiday season" it is appropriate to be thankful.   Recently, there are things happening on the national stage that we should all be thankful for.  Among those are the "Blue Wave", and the rebuke to the 45th about the Constitutional purpose of Federal Judges.   Each day we see spines emerging from the dorsally deficient GOP.   So those of you who are going to be carving a turkey for today's main meal, you should also be thankful that the bird you are about to serve was probably more intelligent and innately gifted than the Doofus in Mar A Lago.

Satire from The Borowitz Report

Obama Willing to Serve as Temp President While Trump Receives Psychiatric Evaluation


By Andy BorowitzMay 16, 2017



WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Amid concerns about Donald Trump's fitness to be President, former President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that he was willing to serve as "temp President" while Trump undergoes psychiatric evaluation.

"It would just be a temp thing," Obama told reporters. "As soon as psychiatrists determine that Donald Trump is mentally stable and fit to serve as the most powerful officeholder in the world, I'd step aside."

Obama said that he was a "logical choice" to serve as temp President because of his eight years in the White House. "For starters, I know how the light switches work," he said.

Obama said that, once installed as temp President, he would look after the day-to-day running of the White House: "You know—vetoing bills, naming Supreme Court Justices, that kind of thing."

Asked how he envisioned his working relationship with Vice-President Mike Pence, Obama said, "I think Mike has been working so darn hard, he really deserves a vacation. Joe Biden has said he'll fill in for a while."


"Yes, yes, but I bring that out in people. I do. I'm not saying that's an asset or a liability, but I do bring that out. ...I bring rage out. I do bring rage out. I always have."
- Candidate Donald J. Trump in April, 2016

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Something to Know - 17 November

Jack Ohman Comic Strip for November 17, 2018

Our 45th president is running around trying to be relevant and nice.  When he gets back to wherever he sleeps at night, he might begin to grasp the crappy situation he has put himself in. Anyway, the show will go on, and we who were around for Nixon, are now drawing parallels between these to disastrous executive picks.

The House Judiciary Committee impeached a corrupted President Nixon for far less than what's going on now with Trump, who has set an unprecedented high bar in terms of number of impeachable offenses. 


"Yes, yes, but I bring that out in people. I do. I'm not saying that's an asset or a liability, but I do bring that out. ...I bring rage out. I do bring rage out. I always have."
- Candidate Donald J. Trump in April, 2016

Friday, November 16, 2018

Something to Know - 16 November

Steve Breen Comic Strip for November 16, 2018

It is now evident to me that the decline of Trump is now trending quickly to the eventual outcome that is similar to Nixon's storyline.  The midterm results resulted in a referendum on Trump.   Mueller is closing in on the oval office with the gathering of evidence, and has given the president a list of questions to answer.   GOP leaders are showing a willingness to accept the fact that the fear-monger-in-chief is no longer in charge.   The next two weeks will set the stage for the gradual diminishment of power of the GOP in Congress that Trump has had in the past.  I hope that there are alliances and groups inside the beltway who are poised to step in should the commander in chief attempt to do something rash and very dangerous.  Rather than figure out how to punish Trump and waste valuable time, the Democrats in the House should methodically craft the steps to be taken to roll back the damage that has been done to destroy the administrative state of our government and re-institute the grave damage that has been done.    The serious and sober workings of government need to be demonstrated so that the citizens of this country can understand what it is that government does and why it does it.  Leave the petty political wars behind.  Let the Judiciary Committee lead the way to reasserting good governance is the repair of the executive branch.   If I could offer suggestions on what the priority of business should be, it is:  (1) Ensure that the 2020 census is fully funded, and also not let that stupid and unconstitutional and illegal question of "Citizenship" not see the light of day on the census form, (2) Consider a standardization of oversight on any Federal elections - midterm and general - be instituted.  Elections with standard ballot formats, standards for voter registration, and early voting, and how votes are counted need to be put in place.   Why should votes by mail be counted last when they are the first to be submitted.   They should be counted when received, but not posted until the closing hours on election night.  As more and more voters vote by mail and vote early, we need to take advantage of this and stay ahead of the curve.  Give citizens of this country confidence in the registration of voters and the voting process.   Once we get this completed, then we can go on to other items such as revisiting the Voters Rights Act and Civil Rights, and completing the tasks necessary that level the field for all Americans.  First things first.  (ps - yes that was our son on the PBS News Hour last night)

How Trump Is Worse Than Nixon

The current president is pushing closer to fascism than even the man behind Watergate.

By Elizabeth Drew

Ms. Drew covered Watergate for The New Yorker,

When President Richard Nixon decided in late October 1973 to force out the attorney general and replace him with someone who would fire the special prosecutor haunting his life, he went through the chain of command until he got to the third person in line, the solicitor general, who did the deed. Now here we are again, with another president wanting to be rid of an investigation by a special counsel that threatens his presidency.

But rather than follow the regular order, as Nixon had, President Trump selected as acting attorney general a lackey who had been chosen as chief of staff to the attorney general because of his TV appearances as a private citizen in which he echoed the president's position on the special counsel's investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 election. Among other things, he'd parroted Mr. Trump's obsessive line, "There was no collusion." It has been broadly assumed that this man would, one way or another, end the special counsel's investigation.

Whether, as some legal scholars argue, Mr. Trump's choice was unconstitutional, since the new acting attorney general has never been confirmed by the Senate, or was simply unwise since his choice was blatantly self-serving, the differences in the ways the two presidents have approached getting rid of an inconvenient prosecutor are informed by their different backgrounds.

Nixon, a lawyer who had been a member of the House of Representatives, a senator and a vice president, was more accepting of the political order. Mr. Trump, with no government experience, and little knowledge of how the federal government works, has been a free if malevolent spirit, less likely than even Nixon to observe boundaries.

As president, Nixon tried to bend the constitutional and political systems to his will. He interfered in the Democratic Party's process for picking his future opponent. And he challenged the separation of powers — setting off the constitutional crisis that Watergate was. But as far as Nixon moved toward fascism, Mr. Trump has been going further.

This isn't to suggest that Nixon was a sweetheart, or meek in his efforts to save himself. But his background as a creature of the establishment inhibited his actions.

One systemic and critical difference between Nixon's situation and Mr. Trump's is that Nixon faced a Democratic Congress, while Mr. Trump has enjoyed a completely Republican-controlled one. (That changes when the Democrats take control of the House in January.) Under Mr. Trump there has been more reluctance to allow top figures to testify before congressional committees than there was under Nixon.

Each president tried to stir up public impatience with his perceived persecution and thus pressure investigators to hurry up, but Mr. Trump makes Nixon look like a pussycat.

Nixon officials were prone to saying things like, "Enough wallowing in Watergate," while, for example, in early August, Mr. Trump tweeted, "This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now." Mr. Trump has done much more than Nixon did in trying to damage public trust in whatever their prosecutors might come up with.

Mr. Trump's allies among Republican leaders of House investigatory committees have sought to undermine the jobs of not just the special counsel but also key figures in the Justice Department and the F.B.I. Such goings-on didn't happen in Watergate.

Mr. Trump has other structural advantages over Nixon. Nixon's base nearly melted away in the face of evidence of his guilt in a cover-up. Mr. Trump's base has yet to be so tested, but it's larger and more cohesive than Nixon's. And Nixon had nothing remotely like the propaganda organ that Mr. Trump has in Fox News. (There was no cable TV in Nixon's time.)

Though both men have shown hatred of the press, Mr. Trump has gone much further by encouraging violence against it. And, as far as we know, Mr. Trump has been less prone than Nixon to using levers of the bureaucracy to punish his perceived "enemies," but he may be catching up. For example he appears to have moved to raise postal rates to hurt Amazon, whose owner, Jeff Bezos, also owns The Washington Post.

The big question is whether there will turn out to be a major difference between the two men when it comes to honoring the decisions of the law, or of the public. Nixon shied from challenging John F. Kennedy's narrow electoral victory in 1960 not out of magnanimity but because he concluded he couldn't make the charge of fraud stick. Mr. Trump, as we're seeing, needs no evidence before charging election fraud.

When the Supreme Court ordered Nixon to turn over the White House tapes, he obeyed. And after Republican elders went to the White House to tell him that he lacked the political support to survive as president, Nixon yielded to their implication that he should leave office. Nearly impossible as it is to imagine a similar scene involving the current president and his pusillanimous party, Mr. Trump has given us reason to wonder whether he would defer to legal findings against him or even to a re-election loss in 2020 — if, that is, he's still in office then.

Elizabeth Drew, a political journalist who covered Watergate for The New Yorker, is the author of "Washington Journal: Reporting Watergate and Richard Nixon's Downfall."


"Yes, yes, but I bring that out in people. I do. I'm not saying that's an asset or a liability, but I do bring that out. ...I bring rage out. I do bring rage out. I always have."
Candidate Donald J. Trump in April, 2016

"Yes, yes, but I bring that out in people. I do. I'm not saying that's an asset or a liability, but I do bring that out. ...I bring rage out. I do bring rage out. I always have."
- Candidate Donald J. Trump in April, 2016

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Something to Know - 14 November

This guy is not happy

Inside Trump's Paris temper, election woes and staff upheavalThe president's post-election outbursts during his Paris trip include a testy call with the British prime minister and threats to fire aides.


"Yes, yes, but I bring that out in people. I do. I'm not saying that's an asset or a liability, but I do bring that out. ...I bring rage out. I do bring rage out. I always have."
- Candidate Donald J. Trump in April, 2016

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Something to Ponder - 13 November

  • "The president has grumbled for months about what he views as Nielsen's lackluster performance on immigration enforcement and is believed to be looking for a replacement who will implement his policy ideas with more alacrity." 
The "president", and his lack of knowing and understanding history, has heard that a certain guy by the name of Heinrich Himmler might be the one he is looking to put into the head of Homeland Security.   Unfortunately, there is no one on his staff who has the courage to tell him that he is wrong to follow that assumption.    We might also ask why our "president' was absent from any ceremony honoring veterans yesterday.   


"Yes, yes, but I bring that out in people. I do. I'm not saying that's an asset or a liability, but I do bring that out. ...I bring rage out. I do bring rage out. I always have."
- Candidate Donald J. Trump in April, 2016

Monday, November 12, 2018

Something to Know - 12 November

Jeff Danziger Comic Strip for November 11, 2018

Our president performed in such a disgusting manner at a ceremony in Paris that embarrassed all of us, and made us appear that we never learned from the fascism that overtook the world at the end of World War 1 and took us to another war several years later.  He has no sense of history.  He figuratively spat in the faces of all of our veterans who fought and were killed in both wars.  Check out the story below, if you have not read it already, or if you need to re-visit the dangerous path that "our" president has put us in.

By Peter Baker and Alissa J. Rubin

  • Nov. 11, 2018
    • 78

PARIS — Dozens of leaders from around the globe marched in the soaking rain down the Champs-Élysées on Sunday, expressing solidarity for an international order that had its origins in the end of a world war 100 years ago, an order now under increasing pressure on both sides of the Atlantic.

Only after these leaders arrived by foot at the Arc de Triomphe did President Trump show up, protected from the rain as he made an individual entrance. A few minutes later, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia did the same.

For Mr. Trump, at least, the separate arrival was attributed to security concerns. But somehow it felt apt that these two leaders would not arrive with the crowd.

No one has done more to break up the postwar global system in the last couple of years than Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin. As the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I was commemorated on Sunday, Mr. Trump's brand of "America First" nationalism was rebuked from the podium while he sat stone-faced and unmoved, alienated from some of America's strongest allies, including his French hosts.

But while he may have been out of step with many of the leaders gathered around him, Mr. Trump remains at the vanguard of forces that are redefining the Western political paradigm in countries like Poland, Hungary, Italy and Turkey. In Britain and Germany, two of the Continent's major powers, nationalist movements have upended the establishment.

So a ceremony meant to celebrate the ties that bind the world today in effect showcased the divisions that are pulling it apart.

"Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism," President Emmanuel Macron of France said in a speech at the Arc de Triomphe, welcoming the leaders and extolling an old system now under siege. "Nationalism is a betrayal of patriotism by saying: 'Our interest first. Who cares about the others?'"

Recalling the forces that led to World War I, Mr. Macron warned that "the old demons" have been resurfacing and declared that "giving into the fascination for withdrawal, isolationism, violence and domination would be a grave error that future generations would very rightly make us responsible for."


Mr. Trump, who recently declared himself "a nationalist," appeared grim as he listened to the speech through an earpiece and clapped only tepidly afterward. He had no speaking role and made no mention of the issues Mr. Macron raised during an address later at a cemetery for American soldiers killed in the war.

The ceremony led by Mr. Macron encapsulated the tension in the international arena as Mr. Trump seeks to rewrite the rules that have governed the world in recent decades. He has abandoned international agreements on trade, nuclear proliferation and climate change, and disparaged alliances like NATO and the European Union.


On the campaign trail this fall, Mr. Trump railed against what he called the "rule of corrupt, power-hungry globalists," as he put it at a rally in Houston. "You know what a globalist is, right? You know what a globalist is? A globalist is a person that wants the globe to do well, frankly, not caring about our country so much. And you know what? We can't have that."

Mr. Macron has now, in effect, given a rebuttal. In addition to the speech, he also used an interview with Fareed Zakaria of CNN that aired Sunday to define himself as "a patriot" rather than a "nationalist."

"I do defend my country," Mr. Macron said. "I do believe that we have a strong identity. But I'm a strong believer in cooperation between the different peoples, and I'm a strong believer of the fact that this cooperation is good for everybody, where the nationalists are sometimes much more based on a unilateral approach and the law of the strongest, which is not my case."

Despite the friction with Mr. Macron, Mr. Trump's views have been embraced by other Western leaders, some of whom, like Viktor Orban in Hungary, have made an anti-immigrant stance the keystone of their policy.

"He's not isolated," said Bruce Jentleson, a scholar at Duke University, citing nationalist politicians across Europe. "They've all benefited from him as precedent." Other leaders have even adopted and adapted Trump phrases like "fake news" and "America First" for their countries.


But, Mr. Jentleson said, it "mostly gives him second-tier players like Poland, Hungary, Italy, and not the big guys like Germany and France."

And even some of those nationalists do not favor unraveling the world order entirely so much as changing the rules, as with President Xi Jinping of China or the Europeans who want better arrangements within the European Union, not a departure from it.

Daniel Fried, a former assistant secretary of state for Europe, said Mr. Trump's nationalism did not reflect a consensus even within his own administration, which still has senior officials with a more traditional internationalist outlook.

"The danger to the world is not that Trump will lead the nationalists, sweeping them to remake the world in an ugly, pre-1914 image or a dystopian counter-world of the U.S. siding with the fascists in World War II," he said. "The danger is that Trump may take the U.S. out of the game — à la the interwar period — long enough for one of the serious nationalists, Putin or Xi, to do major damage."

Aside from the discord with the French president, Mr. Trump's two-day visit to Paris was marred by his decision on Saturday to scrap a planned visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery at the foot of the hill where the Battle of Belleau Wood was fought. Aides cited the rain in canceling a helicopter flight, but it went over badly in Europe.


Mr. Trump had another chance to pay respects to the war dead on Sunday at the Suresnes American Cemetery outside Paris, where 1,565 American soldiers are buried. Speaking in a drenching rain, Mr. Trump paid tribute to the soldiers and praised Franco-American relations, largely sticking to his prepared text without responding to Mr. Macron.

"The American and French patriots of World War I embodied the timeless virtues of our two republics — honor and courage, strength and valor, love and loyalty, grace and glory," he said after visiting a field of white crosses. "It is our duty to preserve the civilization they defended and to protect the peace they so nobly gave their lives to secure one century ago."

In contrast to the stiff interactions with the American president, Mr. Macron and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, representing two nations that were once bitter enemies, demonstrated the close friendship that has emerged from the rubble of war. In appearances over the weekend, the French and German leaders — who are facing their own political struggles at home — appeared affectionate, and Mr. Macron on Saturday posted a picture of the two holding hands along with the single word "Unis," or "United."

Mr. Putin, on the other hand, seemed focused on Mr. Trump, approaching him at the Arc de Triomphe, shaking his hand and giving a friendly pat on the arm. The two later chatted briefly at a lunch for all the visiting leaders, according to the Kremlin, but will wait for a formal meeting until later this month, when both will be in Buenos Aires for a Group of 20 summit meeting.

In marking the centennial of the armistice, Mr. Macron said that from the ashes of that war and the next one came hope. "This hope is called the European Union, a union freely entered into, never before seen in history, a union that has freed us of our civil wars," he said.


Yet absent from the ceremony was the prime minister of Britain, which is currently in the throes of trying to detach itself from the European Union. Prime Minister Theresa May attended her own country's commemorations on Sunday, although she made a point of visiting France and Belgium on Friday to lay wreaths at the graves of soldiers killed in the war.

Among the leaders present on Sunday were Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, King Felipe VI of Spain, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine and dozens of others.

The ceremony, in some measure Franco-centric by dint of being held in Paris, made a palpable effort to reach out to other countries that lost hundreds of thousands of people.

While the Marseillaise, the French national anthem, opened the ceremony, the most moving moments came when high school students in yellow scarves read century-old letters from eight men and women who either fought or lived through World War I, sticking to the language in which they were written, including English, French and German.

After the ceremony and subsequent lunch, Mr. Macron opened the Paris Peace Forum, a three-day conference to discuss fostering multilateralism. "History will retain an image — that of 84 chiefs of state and of governments united," he declared.

"What is uncertain for the future is how this image will be interpreted," he continued. "Will it be a ringing symbol of a durable peace among nations or the photograph of the last moment of unity before the world goes down in new disorder?"

Mr. Trump was not there to help answer that question. He skipped the forum and headed back to the United States.


"Yes, yes, but I bring that out in people. I do. I'm not saying that's an asset or a liability, but I do bring that out. ...I bring rage out. I do bring rage out. I always have."
- Candidate Donald J. Trump in April, 2016