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Why Are The Saudis Getting the Russia Rules?

The ableist observers of Saudi Arabia and the US-KSA relationship have been saying for days that it appeared the US was holding off from saying anything too definitive about the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi to give the Saudis time to come up with at least a notionally plausible explanation of what happened – a rogue operation, an arrest or interrogation gone wrong, etc. We now see the choice. This morning President Trump announced a flat denial from Saudi King Salman (who is not really the effective ruler of the country) and his (Trump’s) suspicion that “rogue killers” are likely behind Khashoggi’s disappearance. Incredulity is warranted. But there is a bigger and, I would say, more important picture for the health of the US government. This is a carbon copy of what we’ve seen for the last two years in President Trump’s denials of Russian interference in the US elections and other bad acts.

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The Bet

The President likely will claim a small out that he said he would make Elizabeth Warren a bet for a million dollars to a charity of her choice at a future presidential debate. But basically, he dared her and said he’d pay $1 million to a charity of her choice if she took a DNA test. Here’s video of him making that bet, followed by him denying it a few moments ago before boarding Marine One.

The Rise of "Positive Good" Voter Suppression

There was one thing that came up yesterday in our Inside briefing with Marc Elias that I wanted to share – just a general point, not something new or secret. In discussing the voter suppression issue Marc said that he thought 2008/2009 was a watershed. That was when the current version of the Democratic electorate came into full view – one which disproportionately drew voters not only from non-white minority groups but also disproportionately from the young. As we’ve discussed here before, this has a particular significance because with that demographic breakdown really across the board everything that makes voting harder hurt Democrats and helped Republicans.

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November is Coming

In a few months we may have access to the President’s tax returns, which will likely shed a great deal of light on his foreign policy decisions.

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