Remember Jamal Khashoggi? The U.S. resident and Saudi dissident said to be kidnapped and dismembered via bone saw, reportedly on the order of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a grisly murder Donald Trump let the guy get away with even after Saudi Arabia admitted the killing was premeditated and the CIA separately concluded that MBS directed the whole thing? And that Trump bragged to Bob Woodward that he’d “saved [the crown prince’s] ass,” adding, “I was able to get Congress to leave him alone”? And that, according to The New York Times, it was former first son-in-law Jared Kushner who urged Trump to “stand by” MBS, arguing that the outrage—about a man being dismembered—would simply blow over? According to a new report, it appears young Kushner was handsomely compensated for his loyalty!
In a Times story detailing the many gifts the Trump administration received from foreign governments, and an inspector general’s investigation into a missing $5,800 bottle of Japanese whiskey given to Mike Pompeo (which, per the Times, Pompeo said he never received), a 22-karat gold coin given to another State Department official, and allegations that “Mr. Trump’s political appointees walked off with gift bags worth thousands of dollars that were meant for foreign leaders at the Group of 7 summit planned for Camp David in 2020,” comes this fun detail:
Obviously, this raises more questions than it answers. Because the gifts were paid for, and Kushner presumably retained possession of them, what special display case does he keep them in? Does he show them off to visitors, saying, “These are from my buddy MBS, you know, the guy who had a man chopped into tiny pieces”? And maybe most importantly, how many times a week do you think he takes the swords and dagger out to play with them, and how many times has Ivanka had to take him to the emergency room for stitches despite having told him on numerous occasions, “Jared, these are not toys”? Inquiring minds would like to know.
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Texas Governor faces off with private businesses who want their employees to live
In one corner, you’ve got companies like Southwest and American Airlines, who don’t want their employees to die an easily preventable death. In the other, there’s Greg Abbott. Per Bloomberg:
Southwest has set a deadline of November 24 for workers to be vaccinated, or potentially lose their jobs, while American has set a December 8 deadline. Both companies have said they will consider exemptions on a case by case basis. In defending his ban on mandates, Abbott claimed the Biden administration is “bullying” private companies into vaccine mandates, which is an interesting argument coming from a guy who is currently trying to force pregnant people into having children against their own will.
In related news…
Representative Jim Jordan thinks we should bring back polio.
The White House warns some of you will be getting coal this Christmas
Apparently even Santa’s workshop is suffering from supply chain woes. Per Reuters:
“There will be things that people can’t get,” a senior White House official told Reuters.
Someone may be actually willing to buy Trump’s Washington hotel
Located less than a mile from the White House, from 2016 to 2020 the hotel was the place where Republican lawmakers, executives with business at the Department of Justice, foreign officials, and anyone looking to get on Trump’s good side knew their money would go far. “Why wouldn’t I stay at his hotel blocks from the White House, so I can tell the new president, ‘I love your new hotel!’ Isn’t it rude to come to his city and say, ‘I am staying at your competitor?’” an Asian diplomat told The Washington Post back in 2016. Last February the Washingtonian reported that servers at the hotel’s restaurant had to follow a seven-step protocol for serving Trump a Diet Coke; that his dining companion’s steak had to be smaller than his; that mini glass bottles of Heinz ketchup were to be opened “in front of [him], taking care to ensure he could hear the seal make the ‘pop’ sound;” and that “a tray of junk food needed to be available for every Trump visit: Lay’s potato chips (specifically, sour cream and onion), Milky Way, Snickers, Nature Valley Granola Bars, Tic Tacs, gummy bears, Chips Ahoy, Oreos, Nutter Butters, Tootsie Rolls, chocolate-covered raisins, and Pop-Secret.”