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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

Irma, Houston, Russiagate, tax reform, and don’t forget North Korea. Big stories consuming our media landscape in a country both enthnocentric and myopic, even on the sleepiest news day. So I will keep this brief.

In 2014, after he and Najib Razak played a round of golf, Donald J. Trump gave a photo of himself to the Malaysian leader, inscribed, “To my favorite prime minister.” This is according to reporting by Mark Landler, in a New York Times article, “Trump Welcomes Najib Razak, the Malaysian Leader, as President, and owner of a Fine Hotel.”

Some of Najib’s qualifications for this designation may include his crackdown on journalists in Malaysia. It could be they share being investigated by the Justice Department. Or Najib’s firing of investigators in his home country looking into his behavior. Or maybe it is simply because Najib stays in Trump hotels on his travels abroad. Go figure.

The Justice Department believes Najib and his cronies diverted $3.5 billion of government funds to “buy jewelry, real estate and the rights to Hollywood films,” according to the Times. I guess we should consider it progress, since he was at least attempting to buy the rights to the films.

The White House avoided the traditional head-of-state photo-op hand shake with a rather stiff gathering captured by WH.gov.

Najib arrived with goodies, including his promise to purchase 25 Boeing 737s and eight 787 Dreamliners, and have one of Malaysia’s biggest pension funds invest up to $4 billion in OUR infrastructure. You gotta love that. Our own Congress won’t invest in infrastructure, but Trump’s authoritarian friends will.

Malaysia has been cozy with North Korea, but claims to have backed off. You may remember Kuala Lumpur International Airport as the site where North Korean agents poisoned Kim Jong-nam, Kim Jong-un’s half brother. My favorite tidbit is this: Najib is running for re-election, and the fact that he was able to enter the United States—without being detained—was considered a victory. Hooray!

To be fair, President Obama played golf with Najib in 2014, but long before any Justice Department investigation. President Trump seems to relish in his embrace of leaders of a certain ilk and Najib fits that pattern. Now back to our regular programming.

 

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Madison Cawthorn

Image via Politico

The Republican party seems to be having trouble trying to be the Christian Taliban and hating on LGBT people when they’ve got Rep. Madison Cawthorn in their ranks. His presence is making it so much harder for them to suppress their inner self-loathing--homosexuality and moral hypocrisy.

We all know politicians secretly love illicit drugs as much as taking bribes or paying off strippers they knocked up, so you have to give Cawthorn some credit for being honest. However, any creditability as a human he might have goes out the window when you consider his hatred and policies toward the LGBT community while, hypocritically enough, he engages in homosexual acts himself.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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