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Thursday, October 18, 2018

"The timing of this is no coincidence," the American official working on Syria policy told the Times on Tuesday. "In all probability, the Saudis want Trump to know that his cooperation in covering for the Khashoggi affair is important to the Saudi monarch," Joshua Landis, a professor at the University of Oklahoma, surmised to The Washington Post. "Much of its financial promises to the U.S. will be contingent on this cooperation."


White House senior adviser Jared Kushner raised concerns among administration officials by communicating with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on private channels, including through the messaging service WhatsApp, CNN reported Wednesday. Kushner's relationship with the Saudi leader reportedly raised concerns among national security staffers early on in his role, but has come under increased scrutiny as U.S. officials monitor the findings of an investigation into the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Once concerns were raised about Kushner's close ties to bin Salman, Kushner reportedly told others within Trump's team about his conversations with the crown prince, according to CNN. CNN reported that Kushner, who is also President Trump's son-in-law, has worked "behind-the-scenes" to stay out of the spotlight and help handle the diplomatic fallout in the wake of Khashoggi's disappearance.


Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Rep. Steve King (R-IA) in recent months has retweeted a popular white nationalist YouTuber and a British neo-Nazi -- with no apology and facing no consequence from his party or Congress. He did it again Tuesday night, endorsing Faith Goldy, a white nationalist candidate for mayor of Toronto.


Following an announcement Monday from the Treasury that the federal government ran a deficit of $779 billion in Fiscal Year 2018, the Democratic staff on the Senate Budget Committee released a report showing that the federal government would be running a surplus today if not for four Republican policies. Without the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the enormous post-9/11 defense buildup and two rounds of costly, regressive tax cuts, the federal government would be running a $156 billion surplus instead of a $779 billion deficit. The Trump Tax Cuts -- which coupled permanent corporate tax cuts with temporary individual tax cuts -- added $164 billion to the 2018 deficit. The Bush tax cuts contributed $488 billion to the deficit in FY 2018, the Trump tax cuts added $164 billion, the direct costs of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ran up $127 billion and base defense increases led to $156 billion in spending. read more


Tuesday, October 16, 2018

"An aging, nearly 90 percent white GOP cannot carry its candidates to electoral victory on a platform that revels in the consequences of unvarnished racism -- such as Charlottesville -- or the terror of family separation and placing babies in cages," Emory University professor Carol Anderson tells Rolling Stone. How does one maintain such a model for electoral success in a browning America? For those Republicans who indulge in it or silently benefit from it, voter suppression provides the leeway.


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