The latest news…
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) is vexed because many important business and political leaders in the world have pulled out of his long-planned “Davos in the Desert” conference after MBS’ hit squad did away with famed Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.
And Donald Trump, fearing the loss of Saudi oil if he doesn’t completely back MBS on the Khashoggi matter, claims the Khashoggi murder could have been caused by “rogue killers” — while he refuses to recognize that he is quickly turning America into a rogue state of sorts.
Trump’s Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, a gift to Trump from Wall Street, is still planning to attend MBS’ Davos in the Desert Conference.
Associate solitary reporter Johanna Jones tells us that Mnuchin is the only American still planning to attend.
Donald Trump thinks that television was invented for one purpose, and one purpose only: so he could be looked at, in their livingrooms and in bars, or wherever, by whoever wanted to look at him.
He did it again last night on CBS’ 60 Minutes.
Interviewed by Lesley Stahl, he blathered about a lot of things, including the recent report (which, surely, he hasn’t read) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Meeting recently in Inchon, South Korea, the IPCC, which consists of scientists and government representatives, issued a report that pointed out what every sensible person knows: that time’s running out for Planet Earth.
It’s clear that climate change, caused by humans, exacerbates natural disasters such as hurricanes. But, speaking to Stahl, Trump dismissed the work of the climate scientists as they study increases in global temperatures.
Associate solitary reporter Johanna Jones was backstage with Trump and Stahl after the interview was taped. That’s when Trump told Stahl, “You know what? Hurricane Michael didn’t happen. It just didn’t happen. It’s all fake news. Those stories about what happened down in Florida and the Carolinas and Virginia, they were just made up by people who don’t like me.”
Trump also told Stahl (again, backstage) that he wants to cut off diplomatic relations with South Korea because President Moon Jae-in allowed the IPCC report to be released in his country.
Trump Praises Robert E. Lee After Hosting Kanye; Update on Saudi-US Relations After Khashoggi Disappearance
As Trevor Noah said so well on The Daily Show on Thursday, after Trump welcomed MAGA hat-wearing Kanye Kardashian West to the White House, accompanied by three thousand cameras, now the only black people Trump knows are Kanye and Ben Carson.
Trouble is, he probably can’t tell them apart.
Yesterday, he went to Ohio to stir up trouble. He did that very well by praising the memory of Robert E. Lee, who had nothing to do with Ohio other than wanting to defeat whatever Union armies might be there, and then he implied that Honest
Abe Lincoln — a Republican — was an ineffective leader during the Civil War (https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/12/trump-robert-e-lee-898520).
Today, CNN reported that Trump is upset with Saudi Prince Mohammad bin Salman (“MBS”) over the disappearance (and probable murder), inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, of Washington Post contributor and Saudi national Jamal Khashoggi (جمال خاشقجي).
Although the Q’uran requires hospitality, it seems that MBS had something in mind for Khashoggi other than offering him tea and hummus.
Saudi Arabia was the first foreign destination which Trump visited in 2017, and he loved all the attention paid to his fragile ego there, while Son-in-Law In Chief Jared Kushner negotiated a huge arms sale to the Saudis so they could continue devastastating Yemen.
But though Trump ain’t at all pleased by what MBS has apparently done to Khashoggi, it seems clear he won’t cancel the arms sale.
Associate solitary reporter Johanna Jones talked with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin early this morning and asked him whether he plans to boycott Salman’s cosmetic meeting there next week. Mnuchin told Jones that he only does what Trump tells him to do.
Democrat, combat veteran, and former Army Ranger Jason Crow is a sure bet to defeat Mike Coffman (TP-Aurora), who has represented Colorado’s 6th Congressional District for way too many years.
The Democrats — that is, the party which actually cares about real people — are poised to take back the House, but their chances of regaining the Senate are often said to be slim.
Us Dems coulda taken the Senate in 2016, but that was a presidential year, when everything headed south, especially when Ted Cruz, or Marco Rubio, or Jeb! shoulda gotten the nomination of their now failing party.
Doom and gloomsters are predicting that North Dakota’s junior senator, Democrat Heidi Heitkamp, will lose to Trump-favored Congressman (and ND’s got only one member of the House) Kevin Cramer. Which is why Trump has expended millions of gallons of airplane fuel trying to assure a GOP victory in North Dakota so Mitch McConnell can stay in power.
But they don’t know how tough Heidi is. We here at AP say Heidi will win, at least in part because Donald Trump’s trade war with China is hurting farmers everywhere, and North Dakota has lots of farms.
Not only that, Tennessee’s Taylor Swift, who, until recently, was reluctant to endorse any political candidates, has publicly endorsed (where else — in a concert!) Democrat Phil Bredesen to succeed Bob Corker, the Republican Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, because Corker has wisely decided to leave office because he can’t stand being in the same party as Donald Trump.
Bredesen, a moderate Democrat, was the governor of the Volunteer State from 2003 to 2011, and before that, he was Mayor of Nashville.
Bredesen’s GOP opponent is Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn, a former beauty pageant winner, who represents the Volunteer State’s 7th Congressional District — a solidly GOP District, in part because its population is relatively affluent.
Associate solitary reporter Melissa Smith, who covers Congress for us, has spent considerable time in Tennessee and in Missouri, where Sen. Claire McCaskill is in the political fight of her life. ASR Smith has also spent lotsa time in Arizona, where Congresswoman Kyrsten Sinema is sure to take Jeff Flake’s seat in the Senate.
Smith tells us that North Dakota will continue to have a smart woman as its senator; that Missouri will continue to have a smart woman as its Democratic senator; and that Bredesen is sure to represent Tennessee come January, in the Senate.
Stay tuned, AP fans.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Lindsey Graham was openly critical of Donald Trump when both were campaigning for their party’s nomination so the winner would be defeated by Hillary Clinton.
A few weeks ago, Trump played golf with Graham, and said, “Lindsey, you don’t want to be my Attorney General, do you?” and they laughed.
Just the other day, Graham had a meltdown as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, lambasting the Democrats on the Committee for impugning the integrity of a man credibly accused of nearly raping a brave woman who came forward to tell the truth.
Now that Trump has lost one of the few well-liked members of his
team — Nikki Haley — Washington is all abuzz about what shoe’s gonna drop next (she was popular because she was in New York and not Washington).
“Will it be Ivanka?” “Oh no, she says she’s not interested” (nobody seems concerned that Ivanka has no qualifications for the job).
Yesterday, we here at AP said that Trump would replace Nikki Haley with Putin’s Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov.
Now, there’s all this buzz about how on November 7, Trump will fire his onetime ally, Jeff Sessions, and bring Lindsey Graham in as Attorney General so that South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster can appoint Haley to the Senate.
Then Trump will be a little happier, Ivanka will still be in the White House, Jared will still be in the White House, and Gen. Kelly will be there until December.
Nikki Haley is perhaps the most astute Republican politician today: she got out while the gettin’ was good.
She didn’t tell Pompeo. She didn’t tell Bolton. She just did it.
Associate solitary reporter Johanna Jones is really the only one who knows whom Trump will pick next. She does know that for once, he can say nice things to somebody leaving Trumpworld.
Elsewhere, in Colorado, where Democrat Jared Polis is leading Republican Walker Stapleton by eleven points in the race for governor, Trump has tweeted his unwavering support for Stapleton. It's sure to be the kiss of death.