JUST IN: @NBCNews confirms likely only 6 people in room for Friday's Trump-Putin meeting: Tillerson, Lavrov & translators, per official.
— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) July 6, 2017
Be afraid, Alaska! Be very afraid!
He'll have even less supervision than when he blabbed ISIS intel, called Comey a nutjob and said he fired him to end the investigation
— Salacious Materiel (@ZeddRebel) July 6, 2017
I guess we have to wait for the NSA intercepts to find out what was said?
— Christina Pazzanese (@cpazzanese) July 6, 2017
Nope. Russian state media will have us covered. I'm sure one of their reporters will be on hand.
You know, just like at the White House.
— WAC ? (@wacprime) July 6, 2017
A Kremlin spokesperson tells CNN they have "no understanding” of what Washington wants from Moscow, one day before Trump and Putin meet
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) July 6, 2017
In meeting after meeting, Trump arrives w no "asks" but public praise; foreign leaders bring concrete requests & walk away happy. https://t.co/u2FIXJMiZf
— Tamara Cofman Wittes (@tcwittes) July 6, 2017
Julia Ioffe, ex-Russian emigre, reminds us:
Keep in mind that Putin was pushing for a longer meeting with Trump *before* the G20. A mtg on the sidelines *at* G20 is not exactly a win.
— Julia Ioffe (@juliaioffe) July 6, 2017
Adam L Silverman
Putin likes to keep these bilateral meetings small. This way if there is a leak before he decides to selectively leak he has a better chance of identifying it. By limiting the meeting to Principals plus 3, which is what this is it means that the US has already made the first concession: number of participants in the meeting. That being said the US plus 3 tomorrow should be LTG McMaster, his Senior Director for Russia and Eurasian Affairs Dr. Fiona Hill (I know Fiona, not well, but we’ve met – she’s very, very sharp. The right person for this billet regardless of who is president and regardless of the president’s party), and Secretary Tillerson. I would expect on the Russian side that one of the plus 3 will be Foreign Minister Lavrov. I have no idea who the other two will be.
Forty-nine states, here we come.
And completely OT: Yes, I am watching The Princess Bride for the second time tonight. Because I can. Don’t judge me.
What’s this Late Night Widnes, Sun’s up for more than an hour yet and it’s too damn hot to be out until then.
What happened to Cheryl’s post?
@trollhattan: I suppose you’re on the west coast?
@Omnes Omnibus: My favorite movie for the great iconic lines. And one of the great two word lines of filmdom. “Humiliations galore.”
@Adam L Silverman: Um, those tweets look like Trump, Tillerson, Putin, Lavrov, interpreters. I saw a tweet that said there would be no note-takers, even. Certainly no “plus 3”.
Mike in NC
Since wingnuts have demonized Nancy Pelosi since forever, Trump might gift Putin with the Golden Gate bridge, and maybe even offer to have it moved to Moscow free of charge.
Major Major Major Major
Trying to grok that Ioffe tweet… somebody in charge of scheduling has given Putin a soft snub?
@Omnes Omnibus: good movie.
@MomSense: I looked at the list of posts, saw no new post, and wrote mine. Anne Laurie is a whiz at this and completed hers before I knew what happened. I’ve rescheduled mine for later, although there is significant overlap with this one.
@Adam L Silverman:
Does that include translators? Wasn’t that part if the idiocy last time, that the only translators were Russians?
“Sleep well, my friend, and dream of large women.”
@efgoldman: AMC is only showing it twice. I could always pop in the DVD if I need more.
@Cheryl Rofer: I live in hope for the day that a FPer suggests that the commenter was hallucinating and that no such post ever existed. Ergot and/or mushroom related remarks would be a bonus.
In related news, fuck these guys…
Major Major Major Major
@Cheryl Rofer: You’re much more expert at this, so please never hesitate to push one of my posts down!
On the other hand, this way everybody can wander as far off-topic as they like here, and then go be serious & constructive in your post…
@debbie: Not quite there yet. Man in Black vs Inigo Montoya right now.
@Cheryl Rofer: That’s the way I read it, and it would fit with Donnie’s (and Tillerson’s) behavior in the past. The “professionals” and the “experts” are “a bunch of idiots” who “gave away” everything because they were “terrible negotiators”. Donnie will come home with so many “wins” that we’ll be “sick” of all the “winning”.
(Who wouldn’t be at all surprised if Kim has another present in store for Donnie in the next day or so.)
@Anne Laurie: Who’s wandering off topic? Oh, never mind.
Adam L Silverman
@Cheryl Rofer: All the reporting I’ve seen has indicated principals plus 3. Hill is fluent in Russian, so she can always do double duty as the interpreter. If it is as you think rather than what I understand we are in even bigger trouble.
I have a mosquito bite on my knee that’s driving me crazy. Fucking Southern California mosquitoes. I hope I don’t catch West Nile.
I went into the bedroom to talk to mrs efg – and she has Princess Bride on. A kid’s movie that sort of wasn’t really a kid’s movie.
@Another Scott: Yes. There was something of an uproar in NatSec Twitter this morning to urge that Fiona Hill be included, but then the “only Trump and Tillerson” tweets started appearing. Trump makes the best deals. And Hill is female.
I have other friends who keep saying there’s going to be a North Korean nuke test, or at least anticipating the possibility thereof. The longer we go, the more I suspect they’ve got a design they like, and there won’t be more tests. Their quantities of fissile material are quite limited, and every test uses some up irretrievably.
@Timurid: Best comment, I guess that is why he is not allowed to be alone with any woman except for Mother….
Adam L Silverman
@Timurid: He’s just laying on hands to bless the space equipment.
Gin & Tonic
Pedantic point, but a “translator” is someone who reads and rewrites a book, taking his/her sweet time to get it right. The people who do the real-time stuff are “interpreters.”
@efgoldman: It is a movie for kids of all ages.
@Adam L Silverman: Can you give a link? I have not seen that at all.
And having a principal interpret is a BAD idea. I’ve been in situations like that. Interpreting takes every brain cell and then some. Better to have someone who does it all the time.
I’m betting on Alaska. Trump doesn’t want to have to concede that NK can now hit the US with an ICBM, so by giving Alaska back he solves two problems at once. See, NK can’t reach us now. Problem solved…
You DO remember what blog this is….
@Gin & Tonic: Thanks! I was just thinking of pointing that out. I don’t think it’s pedantic at all. Translation is very different from interpretation. I can do translation, but I am always in awe of interpreters.
Yup, and having no idea what “Widnes” may mean.
Adam L Silverman
@Cheryl Rofer: It was from an interview I saw with Ambassador McFaul earlier this evening. It may be that he was wrong as to what was going to happen tomorrow. Hill isn’t a principal, so having her translate wouldn’t be that big a deal. I’ve been in those situations as well. Someone forgot to make sure the interpreter was on any of the MRAPS or HUMVEES. As a result I was the only person who spoke any Arabic (and I was still nowhere near fluent even after months in Iraq) from the US side at the engagement between the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and the Iraq general who we were meeting with. Good times!
@trollhattan: It’s a town in England, but I assumed you meant to say “business.”
@Cheryl Rofer: That’s my understanding as well. One of my French instructors was a former UN interpreter and would frequently talk about working there. He said there’s really to levels of work being done – one, knowing the language so fluently that you grasp nuance in its use, and knowing it so broadly that when diplomacy is being conducted sometimes with technical or obscure jargon that you can communicate the intent properly. He always commented that the job wouldn’t be so hard if diplomats spoke plainly and directly, but being diplomats, that was pretty much a foreign concept to them. He said it was important to remember everything being said up to that point as the back context could easily influence what was currently being expressed. So yeah, translating and considering policy simultaneously is not going to happen very well. That’s one reason why many leaders that speak foreign languages stick to their native language – it frees them up to think. Putin does speak fluent English after all.
@Adam L Silverman: It looks to me like it was a recommendation, not an expectation. E.g..
Given Donnie… (sigh)
Ok, thanks. I was just reading about the hacking when I saw your post and then poof it was gone.
@Omnes Omnibus: As you wish.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen information on this one way or the other, but I would venture a strong guess that Putin knows at least enough English to follow a rudimentary conversation. He may not be fluent, but I’ll bet he has basic vocabulary at least. Whereas I doubt that Trump knows any Russian apart from a grateful, dick-tugging “Spasibo.”
Probably typed “bidnez” and Samsung took over from there, but you taught me something so it’s all for the better.
@Adam L Silverman: True; Hill is not a principal in the sense of Secretary of State or President. But the point of having her in the meeting, if that is the case, is that she is an expert on Russia. She simply cannot supply that expertise if she is interpreting. There is going to be a lot of subtle jousting going on; it would be hard enough with interpreters. I’ve been in informal meetings where a variety of people worked through a variety of languages, but we were more or less friendly.
I hope McFaul is right, but I’ve seen him get things wrong on Twitter because he assumes that things will be as they were when he was Ambassador to Russia. That’s not an unreasonable assumption in most of the alternative worlds.
Former GWB speechwriter Michael Gerson minces no words in a Post op-ed.
I’ve never seen The Princess Bride [shame!] but will remedy that this fall when TCM shows it in cinemas as part of their Classic Movies Big Screen series.
@SiubhanDuinne: You sure you want to wait that long? I don’t think you should. (There’s a lot of great stuff in there, so seeing it earlier won’t spoil it on the big screen (I don’t think).)
Adam L Silverman
@Cheryl Rofer: True. I sit corrected. Please enter into the log.
Putin has been learning English. I saw a comment today that he is almost fluent. That is a great advantage in a conversation like tomorrow’s, as ? Martin said. When I was a kid, I used to go to the UN. Anyone could sit in the galleries back then. I don’t remember what the meetings were about, but I loved the headphones with the dial for the languages and watching the interpreters in the booth. Like I said, I am in awe of what they do.
End of the day musings:
1) Those 5 days off for 4th, really is still affecting me. I’m not “sleepy” but I def didn’t catch up on as much sleep as I wanted.
2) During those 5 days, I tried to minimize my online presence on social media…at least 2 of the 5 days I tried to stay off/not post on my social media accounts for at least 24hours. Now that I’m back at routine, I’m finding that I barely go back to review posts I’ve missed…
3)Hit the ground running with planning the DC trip in October. I think they are coming along nicely. My sisters aren’t used to trips like this, so they are aggravating me with this mad rush they have to book a hotel…but since we will likely be using a sight that requires some deposit, I keep telling them ya want to do your due diligence and make sure you review the hotel before clicking sign me up!
Anyway, I’m too tried now… So I’ll leave ya with my #TBT (look it up ole people :-) for today. Was clearing out my email cache and found some old pics in my saved emails from 2011.
Check it out: #TBT April 2011
??? Godbaby Maddie
Adam L Silverman
@Cheryl Rofer: Especially considering the President is not fluent in any known language. Plus Esperanto.
@Adam L Silverman: Just don’t let him near the plutonium…
@SiubhanDuinne: You must see it. You must.
@Adam L Silverman: Indeed
It probably won’t, but the way TCM does their Fathom Events, you can see a film on Sunday afternoon, Sunday evening, the following Wednesday afternoon, and Wednesday evening. My plan for TPB is to go to the Sunday matinee, and then if I feel the need for a rewatch, I’ll still have three additional options.
The following month (November) the film is Casablanca, and I love it so much I have actually already put aside money for tickets for all four screenings. Have seen it on TV and VHS/DVD probably 40-50 times over the years, but only once on the big screen, and that was a good 15-20 years ago. Every time I see it I get something new.
Here’s what CBS News says about who will be in the room for the Trump-Putin meeting:
They’ll get rolled so hard.
@Cheryl Rofer: That reminds me of this:
How is it that they didn’t make Pence & co put on clean room garments if they are going to go into a clean room for a look see. It isn’t much of a clean room after a bunch of men in suites walk through and touch everything. I can just imagine the freak out the building management people had seeing they are going to have to sterilize the room from top to bottom now.
I am, I am.
@Omnes Omnibus: Seconded! So funny! So quotable!
@Another Scott: I was giving the welcome speech to a meeting and planned to do a small part of it in Estonian, so I went to the interpreters beforehand and told them what I planned to do, so it wouldn’t confuse them too badly, particularly since my Estonian pronounciation was not up to native standards. It worked out fine.
@kindness: They didn’t go in a clean room. See the photos here (warning, sneaky autoplay video). You can see the clean room in the back of some of the pictures. Even if they were mockups/test versions, it clearly said “Don’t Touch”.
(Who wonders if Rubio touched it, too.)
@Cheryl Rofer: International protocol gets really weird. Interpreters, who sits where, how one refers to someone else (Herr Schmidt/Herr Doktor Schmidt/Herr Doktor Oberst-leutnant Schmidt) – people seem to care.
ETA: Oddly, Hans just doesn’t work.
Did I hear correctly that someone forgot to book a hotel for Trump?
Off Topic, sorry.
Today is day 4 of our trip through several red states and the angry energy is oppressive. People in these places have lost their damned minds and we feel as if we have targets on our backs. Deadwood was like a punch in the gut. T-shirts with vile messages and Trump’s face were out in plain sight. The hotel in Sheridan WY, a nice Hilton property, has the local blood-red rag as their free newspaper instead of USA Today.
We don’t have bumper stickers on our car, no political message clothing and we have avoided interacting with anyone unless we know what their politics are first, and what they’ve said is heartbreaking. The worst was a ranger at a Montana state park who teaches HS history during the school year and has a constant battle with RW parents who don’t want him to teach facts.
@efgoldman: The US does not have a lot of Russian translators who are not of Russian background (important for sensitive meetings) and fewer still with the highly technical backgrounds that are sometimes needed. The Russians have heaps of talent, as their scientists and engineers all learn English. I learned about this imbalance back in the 1980s when I got asked to interpret for US-Soviet meetings concerning my physics specialty area. Since that time, enrollment in Russian programs in US universities has declined sharply, and many have closed altogether, leaving the US less prepared to deal with a resurgent Russia. POTUS is playing without a full deck in more than one way.
@efgoldman: The US does not have a lot of Russian translators who are not of Russian background (important for sensitive meetings) and fewer still with the highly technical backgrounds that are sometimes needed. The Russians have heaps of talent, as their scientists and engineers all learn English. I learned about this imbalance back in the 1980s when I got asked to interpret for US-Soviet meetings concerning my physics specialty area. Since that time, enrollment in Russian programs in US universities has declined sharply, and many have closed altogether, leaving the US less prepared to deal with a resurgent Russia. POTUS is playing without a full deck in more than one [email protected]Cheryl Rofer: You are right. To do simultaneous translation, you have to turn yourself into a machine. And ordinary interpreters often run into trouble with specialized vocabulary. So team members with both language and content knowledge are very important.
@Vhh: I apologize for studying French. And a bit of German.
@opiejeanne: I replied to you downstairs. Hang in there, enjoy the good parts of the trip!
Probably too late, but:
“I’m not left-handed, either.”
@Mnemosyne: Timely then. Less so now. “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”
@SiubhanDuinne: The Princess Bride is so good. It’s such a quotable movie you might want to be prepared that people could be talking to the screen in the theater showings when their favorite lines come along. That might be an issue for you since you haven’t seen it before. I could be wrong and no one will do that since it’s a TCM screening but it isn’t inconceivable.
That word, I do not think it means what you think it means.
Like everyone else said, you’re going to see it and wonder why you waited so long.
I’m so old I saw it in first run at a theater near the University of Illinois (Shampoo-Urinal, of course).
@lamh36: So cute!
“Rodents of Unusual Size? I don’t think they exist.”
I keep meaning to read Cary Elwes’ book about the making of the movie.
@SiubhanDuinne: I would do that for Casablanca, oh I love that movie. But The Princess Bride is also very good…
@Another Scott: Thanks.
I was in Wyoming during the W administration and yes, I was aware that it was a red state but it wasn’t like this. A lot of people seem ready for a fight.
Montana wasn’t too bad and we were impressed by their Symphony Orchestra’s performance before fireworks on the 4th. The orchestra and support staff are paid!. We were only in Idaho for about a minute, although we did see a grandmother driving a car with a bumper sticker offering body piercing by Glock. We know it was her car because of her plates.
We still like Wyoming and everyone was nice but don’t think much of South Dakota. We visited Mt Rushmore, being tourists and doing touristy things, and thought it was sort of a big nothing; went to Deadwood for fun and visited the #10 Saloon. Tried to visit Wild Bill Hickock’s gravesite but they wanted to charge us for the privilege to enter a public cemetery that seems to still be in use. It was really hot and a long walk up, the hill and we decided it was too hot for us. No one else seemed eager to give them money either.
Tomorrow Longmire Days begins in Buffalo and we’ll have fun there. On Monday we head to a cabin in Grand Teton and on Wednesday we have a cabin in Yellowstone for a couple of days, near Cody. After that we have no reservations and are trying to decide where we ought to go before heading home.
Did you already hit Yellowstone? I was last there as a child, but I remember thinking it was pretty cool.
@Mnemosyne: Read William Goldman’s original novel, too. It’s all wonderful.
@opiejeanne: We had a vacation in Yellowstone and Grand Teton a few years ago. Really beautiful and interesting countryside. I got sunburned my first day there. :-/ . We briefly saw a black female wolf trotting along the side of the road before she turned right, peed, and headed off into the trees. The Bison are huge and very interesting. We got caught in a very brief thunderstorm (with hail!) on one of our hikes up one of the Tetons. It’s just so beautiful there.
We spent a day or two in Jackson Hole at a moderately priced place before we headed home. I don’t know if it was worth it though.
We want to see Glacier NP before they’re all gone, but it’s kinda in the middle of nowhere.
We enjoyed our trip to the Black Hills years before that. Not Mt. Rushmore so much as the Crazy Horse mountain, the Mammoth Site, and some time on the Pine Ridge reservation. We were uncomfortable there when we stopped in a small store for gas and a snack, but we thought it was important to see the place for ourselves. Wall Drug was interesting too, but mainly for the spectacle of the place. ;-)
@Mnemosyne: Not until Wednesday. Grand Teton on Monday.
I should be packing for our trip to Chicago right now, but I’m being lazy. G much prefers that I’ve started packing several days ahead of time for a trip instead of staying up all night to pack like I used to.
@Another Scott: Glacier is wonderful as is Grand Teton. Simply a marvel.
@opiejeanne: I really love Glacier National Park. It’s heartbreaking seeing the photos of the glaciers and how much they’ve receded just in the last few decades.
@opiejeanne: I was talking to a customer today about T-ian backlash against Obama, and the trajectory of progress. We always move forward and higher in the overall arc, but it is also met with resistance and backlash.
And what I shared with my customer is that how I feel about T now – the rejection and revulsion – is certainly very like what Obama haters felt. Our motivating animus is different (compassion/progress v. hate/fear/resentment), but the feelings re: our leader are very similar.
There is a much deeper and longer argument to be had around this, but as you are traveling through red states, maybe this is a compassionate thought to keep in mind.
@seaboogie: Yes, I agree, but this is different from what I felt about W’s presidency. We smile and talk about our kids, our cat, our travels, how this trip is going (two hotels now that have been Not As Advertised) the good stuff we’ve done, We have spotted kindred spirits as well as people so far left (t-shirts) that we’ve avoided contact with them.
We have no bumper stickers, like I said, but we do have Washington plates and we are driving a Subaru. :-)
@Yarrow: We took our two girls to Glacier on the train from LA when there were 5 and 9, when they were just talking about bringing wolves back to the park. Had a rental car for the park, an elk jumped over the hood at dusk, buffalo were just wandering around, marmots sat under cars eyeing the hoses for the coolant, mountain goats on the side of a sheer cliff face. It was an amazing trip.
@lamh36: oooh, that baby is the cutest thing ever! Also too, I use booking.com to arrange hotels- often you don’t need a deposit and you can cancel until a few days before you arrive. Worth checking out. :)
Do this soon. The story about shooting the Miracle Max scene is the best part. And his memories of Andre the Giant are touching.