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      This post is by Tony Wikrent I have been looking at the work of Cornell University law professor Robert Hockett, who is serving as an economics adviser to Representative Alexandria Occasio-Cortez. I have been delighted to find that Hockett has been working the same angle I have: applying the classical republicanism that informed the creation of […]
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Murder on 5th Avenue

Today, I learned that if our intelligence agencies discover a plot to kill someone, they are supposed to warn the target. This did not happen with Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi dissident and permanent resident of the United States. Mr. Khashoggi was also an opinion writer for the Washington Post, owned by Amazon founder and richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos.

The short story is that Khashoggi’s fiancé is a Turk living in Istanbul. After their wedding, they planned to split their time between turkey and the US. To marry her, he had to obtain some documents from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. When he tried to get them last week, the consulate told him to come back in a few days. In the meantime, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince flew an assassination squad to Turkey. When Khashoggi returned to the consulate with his fiancé, he had her wait outside for him while he retrieved his documents. Three hours later, he still hadn’t come out.

CCTV cameras in Istanbul show Khashoggi entering the building and some time later, a black van was seen exiting and driving to the home of a diplomat.

The Turks say they know where the body is buried.

We may now have a clue as to what made Nikki Haley resign so precipitously. Her resignation letter had a “please don’t hurt me” feeling about it when she mentioned she was going back to being a private citizen and really, REALLY wouldn’t be running for president in 2020. Oh, and Jared Kushner is a “hidden genius”. I thought she meant a cunning trickster in the Descartes tradition but she may have meant a diabolical fiend. Jared is supposedly tight with the Saudi crown prince.

In any case, I suspect the circumstances of Khashoggi’s death and the expected presidential response had something to do with Haley leaving. Because how could the UN ambassador from the United States defend the actions of a president or his administration that lead to the death of a journalist? Even for Haley, that must have been a bridge too far.

So, what did the president know and when did he know it? Did he blow off a PDB where his national security advisor tried to show him in pictures what the Saudi’s were planning? Did he get the heads up and just forget about it? Or did he decide that he would teach Jeff Bezos and the Washington Post a lesson? The truth will come out.

At this point, what can the Washington Post do? They have seen that Congress in the hands of Republicans will not make Trump accountable – for anything. Nevertheless, the leaders of both parties have started a procedure that would trigger the Magnitsky Act on the Saudis. The president has 120 days to respond. But this president and his family consider the Saudi’s friends and allies. And so far, Trump has done and said nothing on the matter officially.

Well, Khashoggi was only a Muslim citizen residing in the US. Had it coming to him after he started writing for WaPo. That’ll learn’em, is what I expect to hear from Trump’s defenders. But this is much more serious than Trump’s reprehensible treatment of strangers in our land. Khashoggi was a journalist working for an American paper. Allowing him to be assassinated is crossing a sacred Constitutional line.

I only hope the press stands up courageously. We need it now to do its job as it didn’t before the 2016 election or we will enter our own Dark Age.

Khashoggi’s fiancé said, “I have this strange feeling like I have failed to look after something so dear,”

We may all have that feeling before this administration is over.


79 Responses

  1. Jeez, the lady next to me on the bus smells like a bong. How the hell do you go to work high at 7am??

  2. Good theory about Nikki Haley’s resignation. Also, trump being so nice to her was a tell looking back. Her weird comments about Jared too are a clue. Saudis as ruthless and this particular one appears even more so.

    • It also lends some credibility to the notion that Haley was the insider author of the anonymous piece on Trump. Jared is just plain creepy.

  3. Did you all see this weird Nuzzi’s piece? Somehow, you can’t help but think that trump and all his minions Kelly, Pence and his CoS, and Pompeo were, while they were laughing and joking, also trying to intimidate her — she was going to write a critical piece about Kelly. She calls it a production and it sure looks like one. Is this how the trumpies give all that gossip MAGA Maggie and MAGA Mike write in their garbage pieces? Did Nuzzi give their game away?

    • Lol! I read that. It was a surreal Potemkin lunch. Trump is giving the same speech everywhere and he’s surrounded by toadies stabbing each other in the back.

  4. Roberts fail!

  5. Why do Hispanics still support GOP? Because they are anti-abortion? I don’t understand why these people are so intent on hurting themselves and their kind.

    • It shows how absolutely frustrating it is that currently there are many states whose population will simply not vote for any Democrat. Texas is the chief of those; a large state which has been so brainwashed by the general drumbeat of Fox News and the right-wing radio shows, that it does not even care about the truth. They’ll vote against O’Rourke because he is a Democrat, in a state which has immense pride in its
      hatred of Democrats.

      Congress is about to pass legislation destroying the ability to obtain insurance for people with pre-existing conditions. No sane person outside of someone owning an insurance company, would want that, but apparently the voters do not care to understand any of it. I guess that losing insurance is better than “libs winning.” Or Trump will write another editorial telling them that is was actually Hillary who took this away. And the awfulness of putting out junk insurance plans which credulous people will buy, only to learn that they insure against nothing. It makes one want to cry. But the tribalism of politics which has been stoked by Republicans (even though the media loves to “both sides” this, when Democrats have never been close to as partisan as Republicans), allows them to push through the most awful legislation, because people who proudly “hate libs” get regularly voted in by them. I just hope we can win the House, because we are not going to win the Senate; and at this rate, may not do so for decades, because Red States will not elect Democratic Senators, unless maybe the Republican is a child molester; and they’ll surely replace Jones with a good old right-wing Republican in 2020. When this economy collapses, maybe they will realize their stupidity, but likely they are so brainwashed that they’ll believe what they are told about Obama and Soros having caused it. The Nazis convinced the Germans that they lost WWI because of Jewish bankers.

      • The reason why we’re probably not going to win control (and definitely not overwhelming control) of the Senate this time around is simple arithmetic. There are 9 Republican Senators up for reelection this time, and 22 Democrats. Democrats won overwhelmingly in 2012 (Class 1), so here just aren’t enough Republicans to defeat this time. There are more Republicans up in 2020 (Class 2) and 2022 (Class 3).

        Nil desperandum, William, our time will come. There will be a lot of damage done in the meantime, to be sure.

        Control of the House is enough to block a lot of Trump’s worst legislative impulses (although, unfortunately, not enough to block his judicial appointments).

        • Seriously thought how many of his judicial appointments are we even going to find are not qualified to do the job? I remember him wanting to nominate a blogger who had never practiced law to a judgeship.

      • That group never reliably votes. It would seem no one becomes a reliable voter until they reach the age of 30. It’s one of the reasons I laugh at the Bernie Bros. They were relying on people who are easily dissuaded from voting because the motivation just isn’t there in the first place.

        • I have to believe that the Stoneman-Douglas kids and the real threat of Roe v. Wade extinction would make a difference. Their bodies are on the line.

          • I just heard Katie Tur, on tour to colleges. She said the yutes aren’t interested in what national politicians are interested in. Their want list: good jobs that pay better as they age, health care, the environment. Also mentioned minimum wage and voting issues. I guess none of them had time to listen to Hillary. No mention of the SC, human rights (civil, women’s, gay), immigration, border security, muslim ban, separating parents and children and incarcerating them, misogyny or gun control. Surprised she didn’t mention student debt as a big want.

          • If they understood the easy connection, they would. Some of them don’t seem to understand that they will not have health care if Republicans win., nor can they save the environment. I do think Democrats should run on those issues; I am not ordinarily a fan of Bill Kristol, but he is bright, and he keeps saying that Democrats can win on these economic issues, not so much if they make it a cultural battle. I know that in some races, our candidates do talk about such things, but perhaps not enough. The Republican candidates blatantly lie about all of it, and I guess they confuse some of the voters just enough. And with Adelson pouring in another $100 million or so, they simply deluge the voters with lies. That’s almost always why the Republicans gain ground in the last few weeks of Congressional campaigns.

            Ultimately, of course, it is up to the voters to figure it out. Projected numbers for 18-29 year-olds intending to vote, are terrible, though maybe a tad better than last time. Is it some kind of “hip” removal from engagement?? Waiting for Berndot, or else they won’t vote? Some of that; and the rest, I think, is they just don’t see it, the kind of thing we learned about in Government and History class,and saw played out even in our teenage years;: the the inevitable connection between how we vote, and how the country is run. But for anyone, young or old or in between, who somehow did not see that Hillary was a classic New Deal Democrat who was running on a very progressive platform, and would have tried to accomplish all of it, because that is how she is, there is probably not much hope that they will ever understand it. Just to add, I watched this kind of discussion on one of the shows yesterday, and there was Chris Matthews, and a few others, and they were discussing how a national candidate must fight Trump, by being tough on him, and holding him to his statements, but not being rude and abrasive like he is. And nary a word about Hillary having clearly won all three debates, by doing just that. It is literally as if they think that they will break some rule, if they say anything complimentary about Hillary, her positions, or how she ran. It is so obvious, as to be both infuriating and deeply troubling.

        • It’s been pretty well established that the “Bernie Bro” phenomenon was largely apocryphal:



          Even the author who coined the term (Robinson Meyer of The Atlantic) regretted having done so:


          We now know that the sexist tweets supposedly by Bernie supporters were, in many cases, Republican (or Russian) astroturf (“ratf*cking”, if you prefer) aimed at exploiting the Left’s regrettable tendency to form a circular firing squad at the slightest provocation. Division is the name of the game where they’re concerned. This is one of the reasons why I have studiously avoided getting a Twitter account (if your deepest and most profound political thoughts can be expressed in 140 characters, you should probably do everyone a favor and keep silent – this goes double if you’re President of the United States).

          Yes, Sanders supporters skewed young (and old – the distribution showed peaks in both the 18-24 and 65+ demographics, at least in early polling). The party could easily have secured larger young voter participation in the general by a different choice of VP and a few platform concessions, but I believe they assumed that Trump was such a thoroughly ridiculous candidate that they didn’t have to.

          In my little corner of the world (Boulder, CO – probably the most left-wing town in America outside of Berkeley), we went overwhelmingly for Sanders in the caucus (64-36) and overwhelmingly for Clinton in the general (nearly 71%, with 89.5% turnout – which simply could not have happened if student voters or other Sanders supporters had stayed home or voted Green in droves).

  6. Jared, the hidden genius.

  7. When if ever will we see public officials saying that the increased force and frequency of hurricanes are do to global warming? Of course one does not want to minimize the destruction and casualties involved, but trying to do something to improve the situation is imperative. It seems that in the immediate moments or aftermath of a hurricane, the focus is only on the effects, not the causes, which is understandable, except that then we go on to other things. How stupid or willfully biased does someone have to be, not to understand that these are not some random events, like they try to pretend that scorching summers and horrible fires are. Own those libs, destroy the planet to show them! How did climate change become a political thing, rather than a humanity one? What is wrong with the political leaders, the voters, and the media?

    • William, we both know what is wrong with the pols, the voters, and the media operatives–but it’s just too damn depressing to face. 😦

    • Don’t forget the effect of rising sea levels on storm surge, either.

  8. Pass this tweet… trump is trying to curtail protests in DC. That includes protests started by Phillippe Reines/Parkhomenko that goes on every evening with sound/music.

  9. Leaving this here without comment… no, I do want to say, WTH, why is he grabbing her shoulders and patting her so hard, the way he pushed her out of the way? BTW, she was W’s secretary.

    • Jeez, she hates his guts. And he doesn’t treat her like an actual person.

      • A big tell was during the Fox interview he answered a question that was directed to her. The creepiest pictures though are the ones with his hands all over his daughters. Does he have any appropriate behavior when it comes to females?

  10. Look at this tweet. It is a major news org. Can they not say ‘purge happened’ instead of saying “critics charge’? What critics and what charge? It either happened or it didn’t. If it happened, it is pretty bad, so say it happened and say who did it. Put the motherfuckers on notice.

  11. RD, I think one of your comments is in the spammer!

  12. Have the MAGA brigade, Maggie and Mike written about how the big, huuuge, trump-kanye ‘summit’ came about?

    What a masterful distraction and how the DC press/media motherfuckers fall for it every time. Media is the problem.

    Meanwhile, trump administration made this 5 YEAR OLD sign away her rights… that is what is fucking going on in the real world. They had a 2 year old sit in court. This is unconscionable, yet, Texas is still Republican voting for that lizard, Cruz.

  13. https://mobile.twitter.com/kylegriffin1/status/1050885184105590784

    Susan Glasser on trump rallies. I don’t know how she puts up with her drab pusillanimous husband, Peter Baker of NYT game.

      • They want violence, it will give them the ability to declare martial law. I am waiting or the equivalent of the Nazis setting fire to the Reichstag. Nixon’s people tried to engender violence at anti-war rallies, in order to paint the demonstrators as a dangerous mob. This is what they are doing now, but in an even more horrifying way. And it is virtually inevitable that there will be mass attacks on liberals by right-wing fanatics, as in the first Nazi era. Meanwhile, the media continues in its “both sides,” “critics allege” narrative. And I am sure everyone here notices that even on MSNBC shows, at least half of the hour is taken up by showing Trump’s latest abhorrent speech, and then commenting on it. And that every time he does any stunt like having Kanye West ramble senselessly, they must cut away to show it. Orwell could not have imagined much worse; how is this different than the mandatory telescreens of “1984.”?

  14. I can be so dumb. I didn’t know why McConnell and co. were so desperate to get Kavanaugh sworn in right now. It was so that the Supremes would uphold all the voter suppression laws. D’oh.

    • Yes, without the seat filled, the gerrymandering and voter suppression laws would have mostly been overturned by district courts, and then a 4-4 Supreme Court vote would not have reversed the decisions. They needed five. Of course, the district courts are now mostly packed with horrible right-wing “judges.” This is probably the worst aspect of the Trump presidency, the packing of the courts. This is what far too many people did not see, or did not care about sufficiently. I suppose that the only mild antidote to this is to somehow win enough state legislatures and governorships so that the gerrymandering will go in the other direction (it should, it is the only way to combat the Republicans), and that there will be no voter suppression laws. The governor’s races in Ohio, Georgia and Wisconsin are so important.

  15. Benedict Donald’s supporters now are tribally obligated to hate the NFL, the FBI, the CIA, the late John McCain, and Harley Davidson, while liking Kanye West and Mommie Dearest Russia.

    Their Heads A Splode in 5…4…3… 😈

    • Yes. that is sort of amusing re the NFL. Of course, hating “liberal Hollywood” never stopped them from watching movies.

      • I forgot Willie Nelson and Taylor Swift.

        IIRC, the Boss Cr@wd@d was sweet on Taylor.

        I wonder how he feels about her now? 😈

        Of course, I might find out by lurking at his website, but that would mean I would need to LURK at THAT WEBSITE. 😛

  16. 😛 😈 😆

    BTW, “The Whacked-Out Pot Bots” was the name of my Grateful Dead/Bob Marley/Willie Nelson cover band back in the late ’90s.

  17. Goofy employee, or disgruntled employee? 😈

  18. FOX should be disbanded. Murdoch is a traitor and revoke his citizenship and send him back to the country where he came from. What is wrong with the people who work there?

  19. They learn to CON at an early age. Jared K is also a tax cheat.

  20. Argh, just checked my guy for Congress, ours is a gerrymandered + 14% red District, he is projected to lose by a 1-2%. The Green Party is projected to take 3%, same as last election, we lost by an .08 margin and ended with a Trump Republican from a small rural town, with an abysmal toxic environmental social justice record, go figure. I hoping this time can be different, this Republican Party is menacing to our Democracy and communities. We have so many similar reasons, regardless of political identity, to want to flip the House and Senate and throw these folks out: they withdrew us from the Paris Climate Accord, they rolled back Clean Water regulations, they have Illegally suppressed voting rights for non-republicans by trickery, they have unconstitutionally Gerrymandered stealing many seats for their Party, they gave support to the “fine people” who murdered Heather Heyer, they have established children Internment camps, they have illegality separated children from their parents, they have corrupted the US Census for a white nationalist agenda, they have enabled indicted illegal actions by Russia’s to win seats during the 2016 election, they have criminally obstructed an already partisan FBI, DOJ and SCOTUS, they have allowed the killing of an immigrant journalist Khashoggi by siding with the country that gave us 911, they continue to conduct rabid rallies to debase, demean and incite violence against women- Hispanics criminal (MS13)- Blacks unpatriotic outsiders- Journalist as frauds and on and on and on. All this so their ranting participant’s might feel better about themselves, again.
    Argh disgusting, vote these people out.

    • Well expressed. It appears that the idiots who keep voting for the Green Party in your district keep getting the Republicans elected. Why anyone would vote for that party is beyond me; it does no good at all, and their presidential candidate was a Putin stooge. As to the rest of it, the only hope for our country is that more people figure out how awful the Republicans are in all respects, far worse than at any time in our history. But yes, it has been turned into some kind of tribal warfare, or to many of the men, like a football rivalry, where “winning” gives them a good feeling, irrespective of what the people they vote in, do to their lives. I was thinking about global warming, and how nothing will convince these people that it is real. I decided that the psychological cost for them admitting that they were wrong, outweighs actually wanting to do the right thing; so they quadruple down. It is a sad testament to the human condition, since animals try to improve their situation.

  21. Kleptocrats will steal from you and everyone else. Exhibit 1010100100101

  22. I have no words.

  23. Happy 243rd to the U. S. Navy. :mrgreen:


  24. Huh… I thought southpaw was a smart guy but this tweet is kind of not ok for me. All these men and women who supported Obama in 2008 did not understand the anger Hillary supporters felt (at being shortchanged by the media) and also how she was railroaded by her own party. If women are angry now, we were angry then too at how Hillary was treated by the media motherfuckers and the party. To equate us to being a precursor to trump phenomenon is insulting.

    • I agree. Brazile and co. forced Obama on us although Hillary was the front runner. How did that turn out for the Democratic Party? Not so good. Turned out great for Obama, though. He never worked to build the Party; he was too cool for school.

      • I think southpaw represents that 20+ generation who fell for Obama ‘magic’. Media was full of them then protecting and babysitting Obama all through his 8 years. The most galling thing, well, there are so many, in addition to not building the party, is that Obama let fall through the cracks the voting rights act decision from the SCOTUS. What he did do about it? Nothing and we are feeling repercussions of it now.

    • Incredibly inane analysis. Hillary, who urged her supporters to support Obama, who campaigned for Obama, somehow led PUMA? And then this somehow led to the rise of Trump? Why not just write, “I hate Hillary Clinton, and I blame her for everything.”?

      The kind of ludicrous back-patting analysis that goes on in the Left, is not as awful as the loathsome conspiracy theories which are present on the Right, but they are just about as destructive to Democrats trying to save the country. I am still stunned at the snide comment; Hillary caused the rise of Trump, because some of her supporters vowed to not support Obama, but most of them did, anyway, and then they supported him when he ran again. And the Tea Party was not due to Obama, but to Hillary; and all those lost seats in the midterms again were due to Hillary, logging hundreds of thousands of miles traveling to foreign lands. To the Left, Hillary caused the Iraq War, caused Obama to lose; well, he didn’t lose, but he could have won by more; caused the rise of Trump; caused the cottage industry of Hillary hate; caused Bernie not to be president’; caused the Citizens United opinion and all the dark money used against Democrats; and caused Obama not to tell the country that Russia was interfering with our election process in order to defeat Hillary. Hillary also caused Richard NIxon, Pat Buchanan, Newt Gingrich, Mitch McConnell, Dick Armey, Dick Cheney, the Bush v. Gore decision, Fox News, and the Heritage Foundation.

      • Besides all that, she turned me into a newt!


        I got better… 😛

      • Yes, William, Hillary is an Evil Genius. You would think they would at least give her points for her high level of productivity with respect to her malevolent acts not to mention her uncanny ability to never get charged with a crime, ever.

        • They give points for all the same things to trump. They marvel at his capacity to lie, cheat, defraud… without getting caught and at the same time, letting him off the hook, not holding him accountable. It is a complex web they weave to save the white man, when the man does the things they falsely attribute to the woman.

          • Power of the penis, baby, even if it is shaped like an ugly mushroom! (No offense intended to the enlightened gents on this blog.)

  25. It would be silly to underestimate the shock that the misogynistic, corrupted, racist campaign waged against Clinton during the 2008 Democratic Party’s Primary had on many Democrats. It was then and is still my view that it was unnecessary, cheap, ugly and a major betrayal by the supposed “Party of Women” that resulted in the candidate who was the most qualified, had won the most delegates and the most votes, wasn’t declared the Nominee. So yes it would be ludicrous to blame that on Hillary and not the Democratic Party.

    • Peep, I will never forget the Rules committee taking 4 delegates from Hillary and giving them to Obama who had taken himself off the ballot in Michigan. Their rationale was that exit polls showed that many people would have voted for the boy wonder IF he had been on the ballot, so it was only fair that he get some of HER delegates. Blatantly outrageous, illogical and biased. I can’t even listen or watch Brazile. She is dead to me as are the Obamas and the DNC.

  26. The rally goers are fucking stupid which is why trump lies with so much impunity. This is one of many that he told in a rally yesterday (but the vet’s reply here debunks the lie).

  27. Disney Heiress.

    • Would love to send that vid to my repub friends but as soon as they realize it is raising the veil on the rethugs, they will shut it down (fake news) if they even bother to click on it in the first place! Great vid, pm.

      • Cats, I really think that there is some major cognitive dissonance occurring. The Trump voters simply cannot even consider that they made a terrible mistake. So they twist everything in their head to validate that they cast the right vote. Concurrently, they must convince themselves that Hillary is totally evil, so they can say, well, at least we don’t have Hillary in office. No facts matter to these people. The level of lying from the Republicans has gotten to the level of Hitler and Goebbels. When those voters see their insurance premiums become much more expensive, when some of them lose their insurance; when real wages decline, they will blame it on Hillary or Obama. Trump, the person who lies about everything, who never takes responsibility for anything bad which happens, has found his marks, people who can’t reason, know nothing, and want someone to tell them that he and they are all winning.

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