Late Night Horrorshow: Oval Office Occupant, for Rent – Cheap

I don’t pretend to understand the foreign policy implications here. (To be honest, since I grew up with Armenian neighbors, my first thought upon hearing about this was This sounds like the sort of torture porn the Turks would dream up.) But I know good old-fashioned American corruption by two-bit grifters entirely too well. Donald Trump is a national disgrace, and I sincerely hope he’s punished for enabling Khashoggi’s (alleged!) murder, among his ever-growing list of impeachable offenses.

Mohammed has billed himself as a reformer and moderating force in Saudi Arabia, and he has become a key strategic partner in particular to Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser.

Kushner has tried to promote Mohammed to skeptical national security officials, who have long viewed him as an impetuous and ruthless leader who has an overly simplistic view of the complex challenges the United States faces in the Middle East.

During a bill signing Thursday in the Oval Office, President Trump called Khashoggi’s suspected killing “a terrible thing,” but stopped short of assigning blame.

“We’re looking at it very strongly,” Trump said. “We’ll be having a report out soon. We’re working with Turkey, we’re working with Saudi Arabia. What happened is a terrible thing, assuming that happened. I mean, maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised, but somehow I tend to doubt it.”…


49 replies
  1. 1
    MobiusKlein says:

    Have you ever put a website out with a few security flaws, and woken up to 3 national spy agencies owning your user data, credit cards, and PII?
    That’s POTUS today

  2. 2
    MobiusKlein says:

    Ps. Not an exaggeration.

    Can’t say the company. But true story

  3. 3
    opiejeanne says:

    The massive amounts of money pouring into our country are going directly into Trump’s pocket through real estate sales & hotel room rentals. There is no massive sale of arms because the Saudis can’t afford it, and as I understand it they won’t suddenly switch to buying from anyone else; they would have to scrap what they have of ours and start from scratch because of compatibility issues.

  4. 4
    Amir Khalid says:

    There is an obvious hazard in having more than one shady paymaster. I wonder if Trump is aware of it.

  5. 5
    Tony Jay says:

    Not to worry. If things get too hot over the Khashoggi murder I’m sure that Bibi will do his pal a solid by having a spokesman announce that Iran totally did it, and The Pustule can ‘win’ a news cycle by making a ‘strong’ statement about that. These guys know what they’re doing, in the same sense that a dog knows what it’s doing when it digs up your lawn burying a shit.

  6. 6
    oatler. says:

    And we have news of Kanye typing 00000 for his phone code, Thomas Pynchon are you listening??

  7. 7
    Keith P. says:

    @oatler.: It sounds like the kind of combination that an idiot would have on his luggage. Only stupider.

  8. 8
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    The Saudi prince once reportedly bragged that he had Jared Kushner “in his pocket.”

    Eeeewww… I know how I’d feel if reached into my pocket and found a warm, fresh, dog turd there and it’s not like bragging about it.

  9. 9
    Van Buren says:

    “It’s OK that someone gets killed as long as my friends and I are raking in the bucks” is really the embodiment of US foreign policy since WWII. Usually not stated quite so bluntly, but that’s Trump for you.

  10. 10
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Republican pair apparently pose as communists to make Democratic donation

    Making federal campaign contributions under a false identity is a crime.

    Espect charges to be filed in 3…2…1… never.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @JPL: Back atcha.

  13. 13
    Kay says:

    We desperately need some congressional oversight. No one has any idea what the various members of the Trump Family are doing, who pays them, what they trade, what they get in return. Nothing. It’s a black box.

    Once they’re gone we need a whole new set of rules for executive branch disclosure and regulation, starting with an enforceable anti-nepotism law. They’re not going to stop robbing until they’re stopped, even then they have some Trump family appointees in the judiciary who will protect them and have to be gotten around but that’s a second stage problem.

  14. 14
    Kay says:

    Amy Spitalnick

    Verified account

    16h16 hours ago
    NEWS: DOJ finally admits that Wilbur Ross talked to Steve Bannon about the decision to demand citizenship info on the #2020Census. Ross suddenly “recalls” this now, in a new DOJ filing in @NewYorkStateAG et al’s suit. It’s no wonder they’ve been fighting Ross’ deposition…

    Congress needs to start enforcing their own rules about lying to them. It’s really bad that the Trump people lie to Congress constantly and nothing happens to them. If they can’t bring “perjury”, and they seemingly can’t since they never do, they need some other enforceable code or rule because these people are just happily lying to them and then going on their merry way, which makes congressional hearings and oversight a waste of time.

    If they didn’t anticipate that all of these Trump appointees would brazenly lie under oath they need to adjust and recover and adapt to the new reality which is : they lie without any fear of any repercussions. They lie because it works. The “oath” was never the thing- only criminals would be seizing on this “I wasn’t technically under oath” thing. The oath isn’t magical. They shouldn’t be hiring people who are bragging about narrowly escaping perjury sanctions. The lying is the thing. “He’s not an indicted criminal so let’s hire him” is not sound management practice.

  15. 15
    SFAW says:


    If they can’t bring “perjury”, and they seemingly can’t since they never do,

    Well, they haven’t found any Dems they could get for perjury. Once they do … “whoa, Nelly!”

  16. 16
    JMG says:

    The last person I remember who was indicted for lying to Congress was Roger Clemens. He was acquitted. I think on the grounds that the jury thought the whole case a complete waste of time.

  17. 17
    SFAW says:


    The last person I remember who was indicted for lying to Congress was Roger Clemens. He was acquitted. I think on the grounds that the jury thought the whole case a complete waste of time.

    To improve their record, they’ll keep looking for something on Hillary.

    ETA: Of course, since there’s nothing (legitimate) to go after Hillary for, Junior G-Man Lindsey Graham will done his Angry Defender of Shitgibbon cape and cowl, and find something. Maybe marble countertops.

  18. 18
    Gin & Tonic says:

    All I want for Christmas is to see Jared Kushner indicted as an accessory to murder. Which I believe he is.

  19. 19
    hells littlest angel says:

    “Strongly.” The adverb of choice when you’re completely full of shit.

  20. 20
    SFAW says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    All I want for Christmas is to see Jared Kushner indicted as an accessory to murder. Which I believe he is.

    Oh, it’s not as if a journalist is a real person.

    You libtards, with your quaint ideas of “justice.” As Leona might have said, “Justice is only for little people.”

  21. 21
    Citizen_X says:

    It’s tragic what happened to Kashoggi; I’m sure something happened to him. But there’s no reason to put the blame on an accomplished young man with a bright future ahead of him like Mohammed bin Salman without any evidence.

    Kashoggi doesn’t even remember how he got out of the embassy, how can he remember who murdered and dismembered him?

  22. 22
    Aleta says:

    (BBC) Sir Richard Branson has halted talks over $1bn Saudi investment in Virgin space firms after the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Sir Richard has also suspended directorships in two tourism projects.

    In a statement, Sir Richard said: “What has reportedly happened in Turkey around the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, if proved true, would clearly change the ability of any of us in the West to do business with the Saudi Government.
    “We have asked for more information from the authorities in Saudi and to clarify their position in relation to Mr Khashoggi.”

  23. 23
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Aleta: Two things so far amaze me. First, how badly the supposedly savvy MBS seems to have miscalculated; second, how thoroughly wired (by the Turks) the Saudi consulate was.

  24. 24
    tokyocali (formerly tokyo expat) says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I wondered about that. I mean revealing this shows how deep they have access into the embassy. I would be interested if Adam or anyone else knowledgeable could give insight into why the Turks might have been willing to risk this in this particular case. The Turks have to be angling for something.

  25. 25
    Aleta says:

    I was looking forward to returning to Riyadh this month to speak at the Future Investment Initiative conference, and participate in a Red Sea Project meeting. In light of recent events, I have decided to put my plans on hold, pending further information regarding Jamal Khashoggi.

    — Steve Case (@SteveCase) October 11, 2018

    (WaPo) The website for the Future Investment Initiative conference, taking place Oct. 23-25 in Riyadh, shows dozens of top Western business officials scheduled to attend as speakers. It also lists more than a dozen Western companies as “partners” of the event.

    Viacom Inc. chief executive Bob Bakish, who was listed among the speakers, said through a spokesman Thursday he would no longer be attending the conference. Earlier Thursday, Viacom said it was “aware of the reports regarding Jamal Khashoggi” and “monitoring the situation closely.”

    Another scheduled speaker, Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi, said in a statement Thursday that he was also withdrawing, and that he was “very troubled” by the reports about Khashoggi. “We are following the situation closely, and unless a substantially different set of facts emerges, I won’t be attending the FII conference in Riyadh,” Khosrowshahi said.

    The companies’ announcements follow some by U.S. media organizations and executives, including the New York Times and Los Angeles Times owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, that they would not participate in the Saudi conference.

    A spokesman for JPMorgan Chase & Co. said the bank had no comment on whether the Khashoggi case would affect chief executive Jamie Dimon’s plans to speak at the Saudi conference.

    Investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. also declined to comment. Its chairman, Gen. David Petraeus, and co-president, Joseph Bae, are scheduled to speak at the Saudi event.

    More than 30 other U.S. and European companies and executives listed as sponsors or speakers for the conference, including MasterCard, McKinsey & Company and Deloitte, did not respond to requests for comment Thursday.

  26. 26

    President Pig-eyed Fatberg and everybody around him are the worst people on Earth. And what’s worse, they don’t even do it with any style. Burnt steaks and a house that looks like a Russian whorehouse threw up after too much Tяump vodka? These people aren’t just bad, awful, soulless, evil people, they’re cheesy, tasteless, crass people. Somehow that even makes it worse.

  27. 27
    David Evans says:

    @Citizen_X: That’s frighteningly good.

  28. 28
    kindness says:

    Well we’ll get the House come January. I wish I could confidently say we’d get the Senate too, but that is looking less likely. Damn I loathe Mitch McConnell’s smirk (as well as his very being). Karma can’t come quick enough for him.

  29. 29
    Aleta says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I read one anon. mention that they didn’t mean to kill him. (me : Only kidnap him back to SA for god knows what atrocities.) I don’t entirely trust the motivation of that statement.

    If he even thought of it as a risk, it shows how desperate MSB is to stop the increasing number of dissidents speaking out abroad, by using terror. If not, another example of how absolute power corrupts a brain, so the mind believes it has control over everything.

    Seems like the draconian underbelly of these wealthy thugs was OK with Western corporations as long as their justice system was described as religious in origin, and cultural wrt women. All along their repression and public executions have been a reign of terror. Run by people who the British put in power, it’s said.

  30. 30
    Tokyokie says:

    Since MSB put the country’s elite (i.e., his cousins) under house arrest at a luxury hotel and strong-armed concessions (and lots of money) from them, I’ve firmly been of the opinion that it’s merely a matter of time — and probably not that much time — before his brains splatter the concrete somewhere. MSB’s instinct seems to always to be dramatic overreach, and one doesn’t make as many powerful enemies as he has in a society in which political assassination is viewed as a semi-legitimate form of self-expression.

  31. 31
    Gin & Tonic says:

    So people/organizations are now dropping like flies from MBS’s “Future Investment Initiative” conference in a couple of weeks, from the World Bank President, to Andrew Ross Sorkin, to The Economist, to Viacom, all deciding not to attend.

    Steve Mnuchin, obviously, has no plans to cancel.

    Scumbags, top to bottom.

  32. 32
    Wag says:


    At least Kanye opted for the extra security of a six number passcode instead of a simpler four digit code

  33. 33
    stan says:

    Why the shot at the Turks?

    The armenian genocide happened under the Ottomans, a different country than present-day Turkey. There were plenty of mass murders to go around in the last decades of the 1800s and first few of the 1900s on all sides in the Balkans and within what was the ottoman empire. I’m not sure why the gratuitous swipe at the Turks as if they are more depraved than the rest of us are.

  34. 34
    Kay says:

    Brown’s odds improved when Renacci, a former lobbyist, secured the Republican nomination, neutralizing potential attacks tarnishing Brown as a Washington insider. State Treasurer Josh Mandel, a former state representative who was long expected to take the nomination, would have been able to levy that criticism more credibly.

    Josh Mandel was never going to beat Sherrod Brown. Never. Not in a million years. The Ohio GOP has been promoting Mandel for years now and he hasn’t exactly caught fire with the electorate. Because he’s horrible and he was, incidentally, a bad treasurer. Even. He’s most famous for hiring his unqualified college buddies for no-show jobs in the treasurer’s office. That’s the sum total of accomplishments there.

  35. 35
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @stan: Maybe because they continue to deny that it even happened? Just a guess.

  36. 36
    SFAW says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Maybe because they continue to deny that it even happened? Just a guess.

    You’re being kind. In recent decades (i.e., since 1990), the Turkish government has exerted itself anytime someone in an official, or quasi-official, position dares to suggest that the Armenian Genocide actually occurred. And by “exerted itself,” I mean “has threatened retaliation if Country X or Person Y (diplomat/politician from country Z) does anything to call significant attention to it.” I might be mixing up memories — quite possible — but I seem to remember Turkey threatening closure of either air space or Incirlik AB if the Congress passed some resolution relating to the genocide.

    On the other hand, “it was only about a million Armenians” so …

    And besides, it’s not as if Erdogan is a dictator or anything.

  37. 37
    SFAW says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.):

    President Pig-eyed Fatberg

    Interesting nickname, considering his anti-Semitic tendencies. And, no, having a Jewish son-in-law, and being BFFs with Bibi, does not change that.

  38. 38
    celticdragonchick says:


    Yep. They did exactly that.

  39. 39
    mr gravity says:

    @Kay: Doesn’t testifying under oath imply that the person testifying has some sort of “moral compass”?

  40. 40
    Bjacques says:


    — Serdar Argic

    (Hands up if you remember this chappie)

  41. 41
    Kay says:

    Darrel Rowland
    Follow Follow @darreldrowland
    Mike DeWine will be at Donald Trump event ahead of time Friday in Lebanon, OH, to greet supporters, but will have to slip out early for previously scheduled event, per campaign.

    Hmmm. Now why wouldn’t Mike DeWine want to appear with the super-popular and awesome Donald Trump?

  42. 42
    noncarborundum says:

    @SFAW: I wouldn’t have thought a Semitic reference was intended there. Instead, I my mind went of here.

  43. 43
    Kay says:

    Randy Ludlow
    ‏Verified account
    Oct 11
    DeWine says he always has sought to protect pre-existing coverage, pointing to votes in Congress and prior statements. He did sue to overturn Obamacare, which included pre-existing coverage mandate and Medicaid expansion.

    This is such a big deal in Ohio. Briefly, DeWine, who has no real beliefs of any kind, sued to overturn Obamacare back when he was pretending to be a Tea Partier. But before he was pretending to be a Tea Partier, he was a “moderate” in the US Senate and made some lame and ineffective efforts on health care. So he tells the Trumpsters he opposes Obamacare and he tells everyone else he supports what’s inside Obamacare.

    It’s kind of gratifying to watch in the “all lies all the time” Trump era, because he actually got nailed on it. You start to think they never do. This lie really backfired.

  44. 44
    SFAW says:


    I wouldn’t have thought a Semitic reference was intended there. Instead, I my mind went of here.

    You’re probably right. I had never heard of a “fatberg” before you linked to it, but your version makes a lot more sense.

    Sorry for not picking up on that, Smedley!

  45. 45
    opiejeanne says:

    @Bjacques: That was a joke, right?

  46. 46
    SFAW says:


    This lie really backfired.

    In theory. We’ll have to see if there are tangible consequences for his lie(s).

  47. 47
    Bjacques says:

    @opiejeanne: More of a homage. Serdar (which means “Colonel” in Turkish) Argic was a legend on Usenet; anytime, day or night, he’d respond almost instantly whenever Armenia was mentioned in any newsgroup.

    He turned out to be a Turkish secret police agent at a US university on a student visa, the abusr of which eventually got him booted out of the country.

    (If you’re familiar with him, my apologies for the mansplaining.)

  48. 48
    opiejeanne says:

    @Bjacques: Thank you for the explanation. I was very late to usenet, and only very very marginally. I think my only interaction were a swing dance venue calendar and something called The Mining Company, although I don’t remember if the latter was actually a usenet thing.

  49. 49
    But her emails!!! says:

    It’s the penny ante nature of the corruption that is particularly galling. They’re leading a country with an 11 digit gdp and 10 digit tax revenue and even Trump is settling for 10s of millions in hotel room rentals and real estate deals, while the legislature sells out for nice dinners, plane rides and the chump change they can skim off the top of a few million in campaign contributions. We’d be better off if Trump just pocketed a billion each year and each senator and representative took 10 million straight from the till as long as outside of that they actually acted in the best interest of the country.

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