November 11, 2017

Putin declines to confess to meddling. Again.

I see Trump and Putin got into their matching blue jammies* and chatted:
"He said he didn't meddle. He said he didn't meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times. Every time he sees me, he says, 'I didn't do that.' And I believe, I really believe, that when he tells me that, he means it. I think he is very insulted by it."
What's the point of asking? Whether the answer is yes or no, he's going to say no. It's not as if you can look into his eyes** and know if he's telling the truth.
____________________

* Should I not make fun of these oversized blue shirts?



I know they're supposed to be some sort of traditional garb of the host country (Vietnam), but I think that to show respect for the practice of putting on the local costume is to endorse cultural appropriation. The leaders should wear their own clothes and look serious.

** You can, however, form a belief about whether he's telling the truth. As George W. Bush famously said: "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. I was able to get a sense of his soul." I wasn't looking Bush in the eye when he said that, so I don't have a sense of whether he really believes you can get a sense of the soul from looking a man in the eye or, more importantly, whether the sense that he got was in fact that Putin is very straightforward and trustworthy. I think Bush was trying to play Putin, and I think Putin knew it. As for Trump, I'm sure he looked Putin in the eye, mainly as a way to try to control him, and I doubt if he takes anything Putin says at face value, and I'm sure Putin knows that.

63 comments:

Michael K said...

Bush got rolled by every grifter he met.

Inga...Allie Oop said...

Ohhhhh what a relief, I’m so glad that’s all cleared up now.

Beloved Commenter AReasonableMan said...

I'm sensing a double standard here. When I used to suggest that Bush Jr was not the sharpest tool in the toolshed ignominy rained down upon my head. Now Michael K says the same thing, crickets.

I was a man before my time.

Lucien said...

I don't really believe that La Althouse swallows any of the "cultural appropriation" BS, which means she's likely being provocative here.

Ann Althouse said...

"I don't really believe that La Althouse swallows any of the "cultural appropriation" BS, which means she's likely being provocative here."

I think it's best to wear your own clothes. I don't like the practice of dressing up in "native" clothing when you're in a foreign country. I'm appropriating the cultural appropriation argument mostly because I just dislike the way it looks. I understand why men in hot, un-air-conditioned places have adopted the loose untucked shirt as acceptable business dress, but I don't think the President of the United States needs to show camaraderie by wearing what is unnecessary for him. A man's business suit really does look great and gives great dignity and stature.

Anonymous said...

@Michael K I don't think that Bush got rolled so much as the entire establishment, of which he was a part, got rolled over and over again. Many of the Bush family advisers are still hanging around out at Stanford (James Baker, George Schultz)advocating big government programs -like Carbon Tax Credits - rather than trying to adapt to the desire for government restraint.

Michael said...

Cultural appropriation!! LOL. I am sure that Trump and Putin could not wait to put back on Western suits. And, Althouse, let's not use this stupid phrase.

Anonymous said...

@AA Trump should have worn the new tropical weight jungle camo BDU's - "going native", of course. He is, after all, the CIC.

Clyde said...

I think that it's a good-natured thing for all of the leaders involved to wear the local costume. It shows a certain égalité to have leaders of nations great and small all dressed in the same outfit, rather than the business suits they would normally wear. Sort of like baseball teams donning pink for Mother's Day or red, white and blue uniforms for the Fourth of July.

It's certainly nicer than what baseball teams used to have their rookies wear when being gently hazed during the season, before all of that went out the window with political correctness.

tim in vermont said...

There is that great scene from the Godfather about asking about his business that woukd apply here.

Anonymous said...

And don't tell me Melania did not look drop-dead gorgeous "culturally appropriating" Chinese styles. Wow!

Fernandinande said...

The US State Dept is hiring people to meddle in Hungarian politics

"The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (DRL) announces an open competition for organizations interested in submitting applications for projects that increase citizens’ access to objective information about domestic and global issues in Hungary.
...
Applicants should not request less than $500,000 and no more than $700,000."

Michael K said...

"@Michael K I don't think that Bush got rolled so much as the entire establishment,"

Agreed.

I'm listening to the book, "Hue 1968" which has posted the theory that Khe San was a diversion to distract Westy from the Tet Offensive.

A friend of mine was a medical officer during the siege,

Oso Negro said...

I don't have good window treatments in my house, because I feel it is inappropriate to appropriate gay culture.

Hagar said...

The SE Asian countries do this, and everybody graciously cooperate with host country.

Oso Negro said...

I thought it was awesome that Trump and Putin both wore the same blue shirts. A great visual image for a worried world. But.....COLLUSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oso Negro said...

When in Thailand, I like to culturally appropriate a soapy massage.

Inga...Allie Oop said...

I think that are women who have some sort of infatuation with public figures that they see as very manly. They don’t like seeing that man dressing in anything that may make them look silly, or boyish. Trump and Putin should’ve strongly rejected letting themselves be dressed up and looking foolish and weak to their female supporters who love the strong man type.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

I think they both look great in their prison blue shirts.

Hari said...

Trump should say he asked Putin whether he interfered to try to get Trump elected, but based on what is coming out now, he probably should ask Putin whether he interfered to get Hillary elected.

buwaya said...

The world is getting far too homogenized, and unnecessarily so. Costumes are one of these unnecessary international generic things. I think its good that there is some PR to normalize national dress.

If anything, the outfits these gentlemen are wearing are too westernized as it is. Proper dress for a diplomatic occasion there would be a brocade ao gam.

Well into the 18th century it was usual for diplomats to dress as their hosts; a European envoy to the Ottoman court would wear Turkish dress.

Gahrie said...

I think that to show respect for the practice of putting on the local costume is to endorse cultural appropriation.

Cultural appropriation is a good thing for Christ's sake. It shows you approve of and like the other culture. The English language was built through appropriation and Western Civilization was built on cultural appropriation. Every society and cultural appropriates.

The whole concept of cultural appropriation being evil is merely an attempt by ignorant Leftists to wield power over their enemies.

Hagar said...

The politicians of all of these nations are obliged to show up for even their most solemn national occasions such as convocation of their national assemblies dressed according to the current dictates of the American fashion industry; blue single breasted suit, white shirt, and red or light blue necktie.

Gahrie said...

I don't like the practice of dressing up in "native" clothing when you're in a foreign country.

How do you feel about people around the world wearing jeans and T-shirts? Or three piece suits? Or ties?

Gahrie said...

I think that are women who have some sort of infatuation with public figures that they see as very manly

So do I. Repeal the 19th.

buwaya said...

I never liked the universality of the business suit. It is a western super-standard, but that is remarkably recent.

narciso said...

The determination was made by crowdstrikr which has direct ties to Mueller the Atlantic council, which in turn was funded among other parties Prince talal

buwaya said...

It would raise morale wonderfully if all these Indian people we are hiring these days dressed as Indians did.

The ladies particularly.

buwaya said...

And as for untucked shirts, in our case I rely on the decree by Governor-General Claveria permitting this dress for Filipinos - that is, Spaniards born in the Philippines (thats me), when attending official functions.

What was good enough for the chief representative of the Crown in 1847 is plenty good enough now in mere business occasions.

Anonymous said...

@ Michael K The 4.2" mortars in Hue with the call sign Whiskey X-Ray (Landry's diary) were from Whiskey Battery 1/11 - the battery I commanded at the time. The 155mm Howitzers that are mentioned were also part of Whiskey 1/11. We passed through Hue from Camp Evans the afternoon of the beginning of the Tet offensive on our way to Phu Bai. We were lucky the NVA had bigger plans because we would have made n excellent ambush target. (Outside the Citadel Hue was quite lovely; nice little bungalows with walled gardens, a couple of big churches. We went back through about a month later and it looked like pictures of French villages in WWII. Nothing but rubble.)

Unlike the Army at Camp Evans we were set up in Phu Bai when Tet began and were firing all night. A few days later we moved north a bit to be in better range of Hue. That is about when the four-deuces went to Hue. We shot a lot of 155 along the river ( must have been The Triangle) and west of the city. I don't know if we ever shot into the Citadel. That would have been better handled by the four-deuce mortars.

All I ever got from my Marines that were in Hue was how heartily they partied and how much they enjoyed the local women. It was interesting to read excerpts from Landry's diary.

khematite said...

Speaking of looking into someone's eyes to ascertain whether they're telling the truth:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SmoBvg-etU

Anonymous said...

As far as Khe Sanh is concerned I don't think it was purely a distraction. If the NVA had been able to cut it off like Dien Bien Phu they would have tried to overrun it. There are photos of NVA trenches reaching just outside the Khe Sanh wire. My feeling is that Westmoreland ( The Asshole) did not have a clue about what was going on either there, or in the entirety of VN. He was blinded by his own opinions - and pressure from McNamara - and it's clear his intelligence people were as well. Certainly the activity around the DMZ during the prep of Tet was meant to distract MACV from the passage of troops and supplies along the Ho Chi Minh trail into the southern part of VN. Of course, we should have put a division across the trail when we began to up our presence in VN. Since it was mostly jn Laos we didn't dare . That, in itself, should have indicated to everyone involved that we really weren't serious and should get the hell out.

Gk1 said...

The last time I bothered to argue with a lefty on russian "collusion" I asked them if it was worth starting W.W.III over. "Where did you plan to take this?" I would ask them. Its not like you will get to go back and appoint Hillary president if you were able to oust trump. Here we are over a year later and democratic operatives in the media are still stirring the pot asking Putin and Trump about this.

mockturtle said...

Trump is just obeying the old dictum, "Keep your friends close. Keep your enemies closer." Not that I think Trump believes Putin is an enemy but I really appreciate the diplomacy he is showing to China as well as Russia.

mockturtle said...

Timing is everything. When all the other candidates went to Iowa in jeans and plaid shirts, Trump showed up in suit and tie, showing that he didn't believe Iowans to be a bunch of rubes who would be flattered by the 'local hick' routine. He's smart. He probably knew Putin would don the shirt and did likewise for diplomatic reasons.

Unknown said...

"I know they're supposed to be some sort of traditional garb of the host country (Vietnam), but I think that to show respect for the practice of putting on the local costume is to endorse cultural appropriation. The leaders should wear their own clothes".

My goodness this is old curmudgeonly talk. Have a little fun for gods sake.

BJM said...

That both Trump and Putin were in blue indicates that either the planners or their advance people wanted them to appear on an equal footing, status-wise with their host President Tran Dai Quang; it's just PR optics.

However is is entertaining watching the left lose their shiznit over a shirt. How do they manage to maintain this level of rage and crazy?

Howard said...

Twinsies sporting Crip colors.

Bruce Hayden said...

“And don't tell me Melania did not look drop-dead gorgeous "culturally appropriating" Chinese styles. Wow!”

Agreed. Thing is, to me, that she can pull off the cultural appropriation because she looks so good doing it. I see it as complimenting the Chinese w/o pandering to them. The President doing so would be pandering. And, if you are going to pander, as the President, best not do it with the Ruskies or the ChiComs, who are always looking for weakness that they can exploit.

I think that the picture of Trump with Putin is just fine. They are dressed equivalently, with puts them on an even footing, and it isn’t either of their normal dress. I think because of his size, Trump comes out a little ahead here.

Bruce Hayden said...

“Putin declines to confess to meddling”

Duh. Normally, he would have a fairly weak hand right now. Our economy is booming. His is not, esp with the lower price for oil (driven to a great extent by our fracking), and his country’s dependence on extractive industries. But the Dems are quite happy undermining Trump here with their bogus Russian interference claims. Geopolitically, we would do much better if they would just shut up, and accept that they lost the election last year by running the crookedest Presidential candidate in probably better than a century. They can’t, of course, thanks to the cognitive dissonance of believing (because they have been told it so often) that they are on the right side of history, and of demographics, and then decisively losing the Electoral College.

exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

Early cultural appropriator Calvin Coolidge:

https://www.reddit.com/r/HistoryPorn/duplicates/4vbi5h/president_calvin_coolidge_wearing_an_indiannative/

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
exiledonmainstreet, green-eyed devil said...

All the leaders wore those baggy blue pajamas and they all looked kind of silly. However, if Trump alone had insisted on wearing a suit, while everyone else wore the blue pajamas, the predictable screams from the Left would be that he was asserting white privilege and that what he was doing was the equivalent of eating steak with ketchup abroad instead of the local food. If Trump cured cancer, Inga would criticize him for putting oncologists out of work.

I've seen a great chart illustrating how liberals see race. If a white person*:

Moves into the city - gentification = RACISM
Moves out of the city - white flight = RACISM
Doesn't see color - ignoring racism = RACISM
Sees color = RACISM
Doesn't partake in the culture of others - non-inclusive = RACISM
Partakes in the culture of others - cultural appropriation = RACISM

*This only applies to Trump and Trump voters. White liberals give themselves a pass on everything they do, because they consider themselves to be eternally blameless.


walter said...

I saw the shirts and thought they were forming some sort of global choir.

Unknown said...

How nice it is not to have the Russians and Chinese not fight to the death enemies but business, cultural and education competitors. Especial since China has already won WW3 peacefully since we owe them so much they now own our country, like we owned Britain after WW2 because o the debt they owed us. So we can both get on to more serious business like axing both of our military industrial complexes' swamp. Which eat up so much of both of our economies. So one more time about "collusion" it's not a crime, look up its definition. So it's not clear to me that whatever they did is more or less of a collusion than what happens between the Donorcrats and the MSM. Ok I get it, when we do it it's ok. I suspect the Russians are much more rational than the MSM, because they know it will disrupt their and the U.S. joint interests like fighting terrorism and Syrian atrocities, which of course our MSM cannot do because they are clearly irrational, They are unable to put feet on the ground or bombs in the air. Way to go Donorcrats. We've arrived at the one world government that George Soros wants, where we bribe, and even coerce other country's behavior, but He and his sycophants are working hard to destroy what exists, provocateurs in the Antifa pretending to be T. supporters beating up themselves, claiming foreign influence and more. Not the brightest bulbs they are. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

Jim at said...

Ohhhhh what a relief, I’m so glad that’s all cleared up now.

Hillary herself could come out and say there was no collusion and you STILL wouldn't believe it.

You are a stupid, stupid person with absolutely no critical thinking skills.
None.

D.E. Cloutier said...

Re: "Cultural Appropriation"

1. Don't like it? You better tell the folks in the fashion industry.

From the promotional blurb for a new book ("John Galliano: Unseen") from Yale University Press: "Currently creative director of the Paris-based fashion house Maison Margiela, Galliano has fascinated the fashion world with his often outrageous and whimsical creations, including SOME OF THE MOST MEMORABLE COLLECTIONS OF THE 20th CENTURY: from the iconic Suzie Sphinx collection to luxurious and edgy reinventions of Chinese, Peruvian, Yemeni, or Mongolian costumes."

Link:
https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300228953/john-galliano

(You can buy the book through the Althouse Amazon Portal.)

Michael K said...

That, in itself, should have indicated to everyone involved that we really weren't serious and should get the hell out.

Yes. The book is pretty interesting as he has interviewed many VC and NVA plus ARVN and some Americans.

It is infuriating to read (hear) how American REMFs had no clue and were ordering Marines on suicidal missions the first two days of Tet.

Michael K said...

based on what is coming out now, he probably should ask Putin whether he interfered to get Hillary elected.

I think they just meddled as much as they could to screw up the post election period.

It's working quite well, aided by the Democrats' insanity attack.

Unknown said...

> how much they enjoyed the local women.

Pussy is why we lost that war - the hairy lasso

Jupiter said...

I suppose Trump is used to it, but I hate Western men's formal business wear. The collar is too tight to begin with, and then you wrap that tie around your neck. If you've been working out much, you can barely move your shoulders in the suit jacket, the pants are so flimsy they feel like they'd blow off in a strong wind, and you have to be very careful about not getting any of it dirty. Don't even think about sitting on anything that isn't specifically designed to be sat upon. Sucks. Plus, I am not comfortable wearing shoes I can't run or fight in.

I didn't learn to drive 'til I was well into my 20's, and I see no point to clothing I couldn't hop on a bike and ride ten miles in.

Anonymous said...

@Michael K It wasn't REMFs that were clueless, it was senior officers in both the Army and the Marine Corps. (REMFS are generally thought of as clerk/typist types residing in relative comfort at headquarters. Senior officers, in this case, had their own special section of hell.) I truly did not understand why the senior commanders ignored, or overrode, the front line intelligence they were getting. The book really doesn't adequately explore that aspect. Of course way down the chain as we were - and in the "rear" - we were not at all aware of what was going on other than we were firing most of the day and night for the first couple of days of Tet.

The Army commander's decision to send out an infantry battalion from Camp Evans with no artillery support is inexplicable. Just recently, in Niger 50 years later, somebody did the same thing with about the same result. In my experience, the Marine Corps, so imbued with the spirit of the attack ( absolutely essential when you are assaulting a beach), had a hard time adjusting rapidly to conditions that called for a bit of caution and intelligence gathering - I saw this in training newly commissioned Lt.s at The Basic School after I returned from VN. I imagine that has changed considerably since VN because of the conflicts the Marines have been called upon to fight in the last 50 years. I know it has changed for infantry officers who now have an additional course after graduating from Basic School.

Also we must remember that in every war, as in every day life, there are going to be people in charge who are not as competent as we might wish. Just look at Lincoln's travails with "political Generals" 150 years ago. In VN line commanders spent a limited tour in command and were rotated to other career enhancing positions. It was not a situation of removing the incapable and keeping the best. In those circumstances Grant would probably have been somebody's G-2 and God knows who would have commanded the Union Army.

stevew said...

You know what really good liars are really good at? Convincing you that they are telling the truth when they're lying. They'll look you right in the eye and say with the utmost sincerity that they are telling you the truth or didn't do some bad thing. And you'll believe them because they've convinced you they have exposed their soul to you.

-sw

Rosalyn C. said...

I don't think it's called cultural appropriation when you are a guest in someone's home and they offer you some clothing to wear. I can imagine the criticisms and attacks if Trump refused the gift, how insensitive and rude he is, etc. It wasn't his idea to dress up in the "big blue pj top."

Of course Putin denied, but just asking him puts him on the spot "if" he is lying, and is potential leverage. Notice has been served.

Rusty said...

Blogger AReasonableMan said...
I'm sensing a double standard here. When I used to suggest that Bush Jr was not the sharpest tool in the toolshed ignominy rained down upon my head. Now Michael K says the same thing, crickets.

"I was a man before my time."

It's because Michael K isn't a fascist


"I was a man before my time."

If you say so.

mockturtle said...

ARM proclaims: "I was a man before my time."

But what are you now?

Jason said...

The more I read up on Westmoreland, the more I appreciate Abrams.

Nancy Reyes said...

the custom of wearing the traditional costume of the country giving the meeting has been going on for years. It is a sign of respect. When they meet here in Pampanga, they will wear the Barong Tagalog, and every one will smile.

calling the costume "pajamas" is actually racist: a racist smear from the days of the Vietnam war when the insurgents were ridiculed as wearing "pajamas", as if they didn't care to wear a decent suit.

D.E. Cloutier said...

1. Excellent comment, Nancy Reyes.

2. The current "cultural appropriation" crap needs to be nipped in the bud.

A lot of low-income people in developing and undeveloped countries depend on the sale of traditional crafts and clothing to tourists and other travelers. If you take that away from the poor, you take food out of the mouths of their children.

Buy a sombrero. Buy a camel saddle. Buy a Navajo rug. Enjoy them.

Trading with different cultures drove the creation of the Silk Road. Trading with different cultures drove the creation of the modern world.

Daniel Jackson said...

Regardless of the "appropriateness" of the Blue Mao Shirt, the image is simply incredible. Here we have the Big Two, dressed alike (in Mao Shirts), talking or greeting each other in the land of Mao Shirts, in a manner reminiscent of boxers in a ring. I mean, the ARE the contenders.

Whether intentional or not, it is Trump who dominates this encounter. The picture makes him literally tower (pun intended) over Putin who appears small with none of his usual swagger he loved to show off in front of our former less masculine presidents. He looks like such a piker next to the Big MAO Man who shakes his hand and pats him on the back at the same time.

Trump does not need to take his shirt off and chop wood to look MANLY. He can walk into any room, in any garb, with the First Babe on his arm and that's enough.

Voila. And the little boy throws a shit fit sending a drone over the Golan, which gets shot down by an Israeli rocket battery.

Daniel Jackson said...

Oh, yeah. I forgot the gold thingy on the collar. Trump is wearing his gold medallion on his left collar while Putin does not have one.

Trump totally owns Putin.

stlcdr said...

‘Blue shirt’ should be a meme, now.

I recall a few years ago, a couple of responses to someone who was fibbing would be ‘I’ve got a yellow jumper’, and ‘itchy chin’(while scratching your chin, as if it had a beard).

stlcdr said...

Trump: “so, this election thing. You wanted Hillary, didn’t you?”
Putin: “Ah, you got me. But it turns out, this is so much more fun!”