TIMELINE begins September 2017

—Donald Trump, in an over-the-top performance at the General Assembly of the United Nations, threatens to totally destroy North Korea;
—North Korean leader Kim Jong-un unexpectedly meets with newly minted South Korean president Moon Jae-in, and together they initiate a peace process;
—Trump declares he should get the Oscar — strike that — the Nobel Peace Prize;
—Trump issues sanctions on ZTE, a huge high-tech company with direct ties to the Chinese government after members of Congress from both “parties” and the “military” warn that ZTE poses a direct “national security threat” to the US;
—In a scene that brings down the House—and Senate—Trump institutes tariffs against firms in France, Canada and Argentina that export steel to the US;
—Enter Marco Rubio, who dryly observes: “I can assure you that ZTE is a much greater national security threat than steel from Argentina or Europe”;
—Xi Jinping, China’s “President for Life” makes a phone call to Donald Trump; the two have a private phone conversation;
—The Trump Company makes a REALLY BIG DEAL in Indonesia with a major Chinese developer, one negotiated by Donald Trump, Jr., who, despite negative reviews, manages to pull the whole caper off while the media talks about his dad going to North Korea;
—Trump unexpectedly changes his tune and surprises even his most ardent fans by tweeting that he wants to “save Chinese jobs!” He calls off the sanctions against ZTE;
—Trump explains that his change in heart was part of the “larger trade deal we are negotiating with China and my personal relationship with President Xi”;
—Trump travels to North Korea and meets behind-the-scenes with Kim Jong-un. During their private encounter, Trump plays a video created especially for Kim, one that includes cameos by Trump, by Kim, scenes of people working, laughing, and a fantasied vision of the total annihilation of North Korea;
—During a “live” press conference that follows, Trump praises Kim, “his country,” the “beautiful beaches” and the “prime real estate” there that would be so much nicer if only it had condos;
—Trump returns home to a zero’s welcome; Dissatisfied with his most recent performance, he declares a trade war with China.