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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

The horrific fate that appears to have befallen journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the hands of his Saudi compatriots is not a funny topic – and John Oliver doesn’t try too hard for laughs.

The regime’s evasions about Khashoggi’s disappearance certainly provoke snickers, however. Like its claim that the 15 Saudi agents who showed up in Istanbul for a few hours, apparently to carry out this crime, were just innocent “tourists.”

Yet Oliver does far more than simply recount an incredibly grim tale of alleged torture and murder. He takes a long, hard look at Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — his  charm offensive, his domestic repression and “reforms,” and his brutal foreign policy – as well as America’s “morally compromised” relationship with Riyadh, which has grown more intense and more corrupt under Trump.

Click and gag at what our own regime will excuse — for money.

 

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, left, and former President Donald Trump.

Photo by Kevin McCarthy (Public domain)

In the professional stratum of politics, few verities are treated with more reverence than the outcome of next year's midterm, when the Republican Party is deemed certain to recapture majorities in the House and Senate. With weary wisdom, any pol or pundit will cite the long string of elections that buttress this prediction.

Political history also tells us that many factors can influence an electoral result, including a national crisis or a change in economic conditions — in other words, things can change and even midterm elections are not entirely foretold. There have been a few exceptions to this rule, too.

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