The Monday Morning Teaser

It’s not hard to pick out the biggest story this week: Jamal Khashoggi’s murder and the continuing Saudi cover-up. What’s harder is getting past the reaction of “What do you expect? It’s Saudi Arabia.” The Saudis still behead people, the ruling family is famously corrupt, and it’s considered major progress that women can drive now. Human rights, especially freedom of speech and freedom of the press, are not their strong suit. In the face of everything else that’s going on in the world, why should you care that the Saudis murdered a journalist, even if he has been living in Virginia this past year and was a contributing columnist for The Washington Post?

What hit me about the story, though, was that it led to a second Helsinki moment: All week, the President of the United States kept repeating the talking points of some other country, as if he worked for them and not for us.

In Helsinki — only three months ago, can you believe that? — Trump left Americans to wonder exactly what he owed Vladimir Putin, or what kompromot Putin was holding over his head. This week, though, we knew the reason for Trump’s unpresidential behavior, because he had told us himself: The Saudis buy a lot of stuff from the Trump Organization. Trump was reacting to the Khashoggi scandal primarily as a private businessman, not as a public servant.

So this week’s featured article is “This is why the Founders banned emoluments”. It should post between 10 and 11 EDT. The weekly summary will discuss Khashoggi, but also voter suppression, Elizabeth Warren, Mitch McConnell’s predictable plan to deal with the deficit he caused, some treaties Trump wants to pull out of (including one that goes back to the Grant administration), and a few other things, before closing with the James Korden/ Alanis Morissette update of “Ironic”. It should be out around noon.

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  • Agents of Reason  On October 22, 2018 at 11:30 am

    Well crafted Monday teaser. Thank you! A fine reflection on the Saudi mess and the behavioral link to Helsinki.

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