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No-Show Almost-Interior-Inspector-General Sh*tcanned From Previous No-Show Post

Suzanne Israel Tufts, GIT OUT.

Tough week for Suzanne Israel Tufts, the nice Trump campaign lady with no experience doing investigations who was almost appointed to oversee, or at least overlook, the Interior Department's four ongoing investigations into Ryan Zinke's "ethics," for want of a better word. Not only did she not get that nice job as acting inspector general after the media got hold of the story and everyone said it stank to high heaven, but Tufts, who had been employed at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, suddenly up and quit that job too late Friday. Pour out a 40 (gallon barrel of industrial waste, into a poor community's water source) for her, won't you?

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We Told You The Trump Administration Was Coming For Your Birth Control Pills.

Should employers be allowed to tell you what to do with your compensation?

Once again, the Trump administration is coming after birth control. Specifically, they are looking to issue rules that would roll back the Affordable Care Act mandate that requires that most employers provide insurance that covers it, which would leave god knows how many women across the country without access. The administration had previously attempted to eliminate this mandate last year, but said attempt was blocked by two federal judges on the grounds that doing so would cause "serious and irreparable harm."

But now they're trying again, because forcing people to have unwanted children just seems like a really fantastic time to them, I guess. If these rules manage to get passed, and if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade as it is expected to, the Right will soon be closer than ever to the future filled with barefoot and pregnant women making them sandwiches that they have always dreamed of. For the rest of us, it will be a pretty shitty time.

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Donald Trump Loves The Stupid And Violent

Trump rallies are all shitshows that shame the nation. But the closer we get to November, the more Trump makes subtext into text. It's not the word salad dementia -- we're all used to that by now. It's the spectacle of a flabby, draft-dodging conman hooting and hollering like he's a testosterone-soaked warrior, while a crowd of knuckledraggers poisoned by Fox News howls for blood.

Can we Make America Better Than This Again? COME ON NOVEMBER.

But enough foreplay. Let's hit the Top Five Batshit Insane Moments In Missoula, Montana, where the editrix went to the nice rally at the park instead of trying to infiltrate the stupid idiots, why would she even do that?

Democrats are a MOB so get out and vote for the guy who attacked a reporter!

Seriously.

Greg is smart. And by the way, never wrestle him. Never. Any guy that can do a body slam, he's my kind of guy. I shouldn't say that. There's nothing to be embarrassed about. So, I was in Rome with a lot of the leaders from other countries talking about all sorts of things, and I heard about it. And we endorsed Greg very early, but I heard "body slam" and reporter. [Pause for cheering and applause.] And he was way up, and I said -- this was like the day of the election, or just before, and I said, 'Oh, this is terrible. He's going to lose the election.' Then I said, 'Wait a minute! I know Montana pretty well. I think it might help him." And it did.

LOL, get it? Because people from Montana are a pack of wild jackals who think it's totally cool to assault a reporter who asks a politician a question about the Republican healthcare plan.

This is all especially hilarious since a columnist for the Washington Post was just murdered by our great ally Saudi Arabia, who hacked his body into pieces and took it back in their luggage! And boy were their arms tired!

Vote for that other dude, not Jon Tester!

Trump likes Matt Rosendale, or whatever his name is. But he haaaaate Jon Tester, who had the temerity to say that Donald Trump couldn't park his personal physician Ronny Jackson at the VA to commence the GOP's privatization wet dream for veteran's healthcare. How dare Tester oppose such a handsome man with lovely sons and never a hint of scandal! Well except for that time where he blabbed about Karen Pence's interesting medical condition. And his habit of passing out uppers and downers without a prescription. And being a horrible boss who created a toxic work environment. Anyway, Trump's just here to get revenge on Tester.

Jon Tester led the Democrat mob effort to destroy the reputation of a great man, Admiral Ronny Jackson. Now Admiral Jackson I got to know well. He's a doctor, in addition to being -- he's a handsome, wonderful father. His son had just graduated high in his class in Annapolis. Incredible young man, beautiful family, incredible wife, and Tester said things about him which were a disgrace. And I say the people of Montana would not stand for it, what he said about Ronny Jackson.

Not for nothing, but Jackson withdrew when the GOP made clear they weren't going to support him. Maybe it was the report of him being drunk on duty and wrecking a government vehicle that did him in. But please, GO ON.

Never had a problem in his whole life. A little bit like Kavanaugh. Really a very fine, high-quality, handsome guy. Never had a problem. [...] That's really why I'm here. It's not that we need the votes so badly. I think we'll do good. I have a lot of respect for the man that's running, Matt. But also, I'm here because I can never forget what Jon Tester did to a man that's of the highest quality. You would have loved this man in this state, he'd be one of you. And so I said I have to come here, I have to help, because what he did was unfair. What he did was disgusting. What he did was what they did with Judge Kavanaugh. Same thing. Almost, if this is believable, worse!

Vengeance is mine, saith the Lord. Vote for Matt Whatshisname!

Who you gonna believe, Trump or your lying eyes? LOL, this is a MAGA rally, DUH.

Hey, remember that fun time when Donald Trump called on the Russians to hack Hillary Clinton's email?

Donald Trump: Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find 30K emails that are missing.

Okay, so that never happened.

Can you imagine me saying, 'I don't know what we can do, let me call the Russians. Maybe they can help.' Do you believe any of this? Let's call the Russians? If I had to call the Russians, the first one to know about it would be the state of Montana. And you would not be too happy about it. Can you imagine? That's a disgrace. It was an excuse made by the Democrats for losing an election frankly they should have won. Remember the electoral college? Exactly 270. That's right. How many times did you hear there is no way? I went to Maine, by the way, four or five times. All of the people of Maine, and I ended up winning.

He did not end up winning Maine. And also, what kind of 1984 shit is this? We all saw you, dude!

And, also, too, what Daniel Dale said.

Any Nazis in da hizzouse?

What Trump rally would be complete without a nakedly anti-semitic shout out? TFW you're taking a hundred million dollars from Sheldon Adelson, but you still want that sweet, sweet Nazi vote. After blaming Democrats for the skeeeery caravans of ragged, desperate women and children in Honduras -- which we're not quoting any more, because NO THEY DO NOT GET TO OWN THIS STORY LINE -- Trump then bragged, "It's my problem. I caused it because I have created such an incredible economy and have created so many jobs." But then he was back to accusing the Democrats of being Soros puppets because their signs weren't made with markers or something.

They are paid by Soros or somebody. Did you see with Justice Kavanaugh? And by the way, what about Justice Gorsuch? How good is he? Did you see the signs? Everybody has the same sign from the same printer in Washington. They were all identical. And I pointed that out the next day. Everybody had signs. I didn't see any of the black and white ones. There are a lot of rigged things going on. Just ask Bernie Sanders.

Well, this is all REAL STUPID! Can you bring it on home with an extra dose of MORON?

The one thing that has been really great this whole endeavor, that 'He wears a hairpiece.' They don't say that any more. They've seen me not in perfect conditions. I haven't heard that in over a year. When the wind goes crazy like the other day, Hurricane Michael and the devastations of Florida and Georgia and Alabama got hit hard? Then a couple weeks before Michael, couple weeks before, I went to North Carolina and South Carolina. Look at what happened in a little piece of Virginia. Walk around in those conditions, you can't fake it. Nobody ever says that any more. Maybe one of the best things that has happened to be in a long time.

So sorry about the flooding and devastation and whatever. But you guys have performed a valuable service to the nation by proving that mangled orange weasel on top of his head is all the way screwed in tight.

IT'S GETTING WORSE. HE'S GETTING WORSE. And if you watch this hideous C-SPAN video of that lunatic rally, you will be getting worse, too. So don't.

[C-SPAN]

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Police Arrest First Proud Boy. Surprise! He Also Likes Beating Up Women.

Last night, the NYPD finally got around to arresting one of the "Proud Boys" responsible for assaulting several activists this past weekend. Said "Proud Boy" was 38-year-old New York City resident Geoffrey Owens, who was charged with "riot and attempted assault" -- an odd choice given that there is actual video of these people surrounding the activists and beating and kicking them in true American History X fashion.

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Trump And Fox, Just Flashing White Power Signs To Each Other All Morning

POPPY, TAKE YOUR MEDS! America's Couch Potato in Chief spent the morning live-tweeting Fox & Freaking Out Your Dad For Ratings. Today the White Grievance Goon Squad spent the six o'clock hour whipping up the Silent Generation over the INVASION of Our Southern Border by a scary caravan of ragged, starving people trying to escape poverty and crime in their home countries. And Donald Trump knows who is to blame for the existential threat to this, our fragile superpower with full employment and fruit rotting on the trees.

That's right, it's those dastardly Democrats! If only they would allow ICE to throw MORE babies in cages, if we could just build gulags as White Jesus intended, no one would seek asylum in the United States. (Nope.) Then we could all go back to the way it was when America was great and strawberries cost $9/lb and you could have iceberg or romaine, but not mesclun which is some kind of Messican drug probably. MAGA!

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Post-Racial America

Latino Voters Gotta Get The Hell Out Of Dodge, Literally

Sole polling place moved outside city limits, because 'reason.'

The national cavalcade of vote-suppression fuckery continues apace, as good guys seek emergency injunctions to let qualified voters vote, the "president" threatens that anyone caught frauding will be drawn and quartered (and his toadies insist that's only a deterrent to frauders), and in Dodge City, Kansas, county officials have literally placed the only available polling place for 13,000 voters, the majority of them Hispanic, outside the city limits.

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Post-Racial America

The Andrew Gillum/Ron DeSantis MURRRRRDER Debate, Pt. Deux!

It's a special Florida gov debate Sunday Rundown!

Hello Wonks! Welcome to a very special Sunday Rundown as we cover some moments from the CNN's "The Florida Governor's Debate." Did Stephen already write this up? Well you can't over-cover a MURRRRDERRRR.

Moderated by Sunday Rundown favorite Jake Tapper, the debate was the very definition of contrast, from the calm and precise demeanor of Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum to the more frantic and misleading nervousness of Congressman Ron DeSantis. It was a debate in which Andrew Gillum showed why he should be the next governor of Florida. You know besides that WE LURVE HIM and RON DESANTIS SUX GOATBALLS. Highlights forthwith!

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Everywhere Else News

'Bone Saw Body Double' Such Bad Plan, Jared Kushner Could Have Come Up With It

We're beyond parody at this point.

Hang it up, Tarantino! You will never top the Saudis for bumbling gore. Life has overtaken art! Remember way back at the beginning of this hideous Bone Saw Saga when the Saudis said, "NUH UH! Jamal Khashoggi snuck out the back door of the Turkish consulate, totally unharmed. And we can prove it!" More or less.

Turns out, in addition to the bone saw and the autopsy expert with his dismemberment playlist queued up on the iPod, the 15-man entourage that flew into Istanbul to meet the dissident reporter contained a BODY DOUBLE. As is customary for consular visits with critics of the Kingdom, no doubt.

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popular

Charlie Kirk Misses Diaper Change, Has Complete Meltdown At Politicon

'I LIVE LIKE A CAPITALIST EVERY DAY OF MY LIFE!'

Politicon, the bizarre political Comic-con for people who for some reason want to pay money to see The Fonz interview Malcolm Nance in a place that is not their own weird fever dream, was held this weekend in Los Angeles. Unsurprisingly, some weird shit went down.

During a panel hosted by noted thirst trap Hasan Piker of The Young Turks on Saturday, diaper fetishist Charlie Kirk of Turning Point USA went right off the deep end when TYT's Cenk Uygur asked him what his salary was. Kirk had, just moments before, asked Piker what his salary was in order to prove some point about how he wasn't "living like a socialist." It was a very bad point, based on his own misconception that socialists want everyone to be poor. Upon being asked about his salary, Kirk leapt up from his chair and just started histrionically screaming, "I LIVE LIKE A CAPITALIST EVERY SINGLE DAY!"

Like I said, it was weird.

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Post-Racial America

Andrew Gillum Keeps Murdering Ron DeSantis In Florida Gov Debate After He's Already Dead

If you're in Florida, VOTE! (Right, and everywhere else too.)

I haven't put much stock in the outcome of political debates ever since Hillary Clinton curb-stomped Donald Trump in all three presidential ones, and she still somehow lost. Trump just flung feces on the stage for a couple hours, and the punditry criticized Clinton for having crap on her pantsuit. But Florida's gubernatorial debate last night offered renewed hope as Democrat Andrew Gillum conducted a public autopsy on Republican Ron DeSantis: "I will now make the Y incision and extract the large mass of bullshit that has metastasized near his lungs."

DeSantis came out swinging during his opening remarks. A new CNN poll had him trailing Gillum by double digits (don't believe the hype, just vote), so he was on the defensive and sought to reshape the race by hitching his racist wagon to Trump's blatant lies about Gillum's record as mayor of Tallahassee, which Trump has called "one of the worst and most corrupt" cities in the country. This is a bold claim about a city that was never the setting for a single "Law & Order," "CSI," or "Criminal Minds" series. It is also mostly untrue. However, DeSantis, speaking in liar with English subtitles, still tried to convince voters that Gillum would turn Florida into the "black mall" that white people stopped going to out of fear.

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National Politics

Trump Unpersons Transgender Folks

Oh, so NOW Trump gives a damn about somebody's transition.

Just in time to whip up culture war fervor among rightwing voters, the Trump administration is looking at a little change in administrative rules to define transgender people right out of existence, the New York Times reported yesterday. After all, if "sex" is defined very narrowly to mean only male or female, as written on a birth certificate, then there's no way any trans people could ever be discriminated against, you see, because there'll be no need to recognize their existence at all. Heck, it's only the civil rights of about 1.4 million Americans, and there are a lot more fundagelical voters than than, so that's just how rights work these days.

The proposal, which is still in draft form, comes from a Department of Health and Human Services memo obtained by the Times, and seeks to assuage rightwing fears that Barack Obama's administration was allowing too much freedom from discrimination for people God wants to be discriminated against. Those monsters in the Obama administration said that federal laws barring discrimination on sex applied to transgender people, so HHS would like to please just redefine "sex" so there's no way trans people can be protected.

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Science

For F*ck's Sake! Get Your Damn Flu Shot, You Stupid Baby!

Seriously. I'm a scientist. Do as I say.

No, the flu vaccine doesn't cause autism. It doesn't cause the flu either. Oh, you're worried about the "mercury" (thimerosal, actually, not pure mercury, but just being a science dick) or the formaldehyde in the vaccine that will end up being injected into you? Let's take the scary mercury one first. That's used as a preservative for multi-use vaccine vials. If you get a single shot vaccine, it won't have it. If you get one that has it, it is in really small amounts, you nervous Nelly. You'll get the same amount of mercury in one shot as there is in three ounces of tuna fish. If you eat any tuna at all this year, you're getting more mercury in your sandwich or spicy tuna roll than in the one vaccination that might prevent you ACTUALLY DYING from the flu. Yes, healthy people die too. More on that in a bit, but back to formaldehyde. That chemical is used during manufacture of the vaccine in the process to kill the virus, and YES they kill the virus and NO you aren't getting live virus which is why the shot can't give you the flu. The level of formaldehyde in the shot you get is less than the naturally occurring amount of formaldehyde you ALREADY have in your body. Ah, you didn't know you have formaldehyde naturally occurring in you? Now you do, bitches! Okay, so lead paragraph complete and we can check off "safety covered," right? Paragraph two is the scare campaign, so let's get to it.

How many people die from the flu each year in the USA? Well, we don't know for sure, but the CDC estimated 10,000 to 14,000 people died in the 2015/16 flu season with ~60% of those being 65 or older, but that still leaves some 4000 to 6000 younger folks with mostly preventable flu related deaths. Does that seem like a lot? Yes, it does, but last year the estimate was ~80,000 dead due to the flu, the deadliest year since 1976, or basically since we started counting. You don't REALLY want to help break the record again this year. Get your damn shot.

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Everywhere Else News

McKinsey SHOCKED To Discover What Saudis Did With The Enemies List It Cooked Up

Gambling at Rick's?!?!?

McKinsey Consulting, you got some 'splainin' to do! The consulting behemoth magicked up an "internal report" to figure out which Twitter activists were most influential in criticizing the Saudi government in 2015. And somehow those same activists all ended up silenced. But now that the New York Times told the world about it, McKinsey is "horrified." You see, the company never had any idea that their "internal report" would be used to target government critics, perish the very thought!

UH HUH.

This weekend, the Times published a story about the daily firehose of Twitter abuse aimed directly at slain reporter Jamal Khashoggi by the Saudi government. The harassment was directed by intelligence head Saud al-Qahtani, who was deputized by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to quash online criticism, as all your best modernizing despots do.

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Post-Racial America

Does Mueller Have A Mole In The Russian Ratf*ck Shop?

Well, Geoffrey Berman and EDVA, if you want to get technical. NERD.

Oh that Vladimir! He's such a kidder. Always with the silly Twitter jokes, like,

People living in Alabama have different values than people living in NYC. They will vote for someone who represents them, for someone they can trust. Not you. Vote for Roy Moore.

And also,

Dear Alabama, You have a choice today. Doug Jones put the KKK in prison for murdering 4 young black girls. Roy Moore wants to sleep with your teenage daughters. This isn't hard. #AlabamaSenate

Tweets like,

If Trump fires Robert Mueller, we have to take to the streets in protest. Our democracy is at stake.

And also,

Liberals: If Trump fire/remove Robert Mueller, we will take to the streets/protest. (DNC must have sent that talking point out today. Everyone using the same line.) Why would Trump need to remove/fire Mueller? Mueller is doing a fine job destroying himself. Keep the implosion coming, Mueller.

Or this thigh-slapper from February 16, 2018, the day the Special Counsel indicted 13 members of the Russian troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency.

Russians indicted today: 13 Illegal immigrants crossing the Mexican border indicted today: 0 Anyway, I hope all those Internet Research Agency f*ckers will be sent to gitmo.

IRA trolls tweeting about IRA trolls. META!!!!

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Russia

'We Got A Great Big Convoy.' Wonkagenda For Mon. Oct. 22, 2018

Turkey's got tapes, there's more Russian hacking, and a caravan immigrants. Your morning news brief!

Morning Wonketariat! Here's some of the things we may be talking about today.

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Culture Wars

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Will Cut Your Yarbles Off If She Must, But Only If She REALLY Has To.

Why yes, we DO like her.

As we've said before, we really like the cut of Kirsten Gillibrand's jib. The junior US senator from New York was appointed to fill Hillary Clinton's Senate seat in 2009 when Hillz became Secretary of State, and has quickly become one of the more prominent progressive members of the Senate, advocating for single-payer healthcare, calling to abolish ICE (or radically restructure it, really), and throughout her tenure, leading the fight against sexual assault abuse in the military. And while we must always temper talk of any candidate being a shoo-in for reelection with that warning from noted political pundit Our Girlfriend, "there are no sure things in politics anymore," all the political prediction people consider Gillibrand's seat "solid/safe/likely" Democratic this year. As one indicator, consider yesterday's New York Times piece noting that while Gillibrand's campaign has raised a bit under $11 million, she hasn't spent a dime on TV advertising this year -- which may just give you some hints about her plans for 2020.

Gillibrand, needless to say, says the mandatory "I want to be senator for the next six years" line as convincingly as every other potential presidential candidate does, which is also what she said in 2013 when there was speculation she was looking at a run in 2016. Then again, six years ago, she actually spent over $8 million on her Senate campaign.

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popular

Let's All Just Watch This Weird Video Of Some Guy Ranting About 'Q' Going Missing, OK?

This is your OPEN THREAD

I'm not going to lie to you, Wonkers, there is a real dearth of cheerful news out there right now. Except for the thing where Donald Trump apparently suggested at a rally that the Democrats should change their name to the Democratic Party (which, you know, is their name), but there is not yet any video of that. And I wouldn't describe that as cheerful so much as astoundingly stupid in a way that would be extremely entertaining were he not the President of the United States.

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2018 Congressional Elections

The Week In Garbage Men: GOP Congressman Wishes You Gals Could Be More Chill About Groping

And some other shit.

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Guns

High School Gun Humpers' Walkout Was Astroturf Operation, Big Surprise

Finally, proof teens were manipulated by outsiders. To cheer on guns, of course.

Remember how the awesome teens from Parkland, Florida, were being derided as mindless dupes of the Liberal gun grabbers, or maybe even crisis actors deployed by the Deep State? Kids like Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg clearly couldn't have mobilized a giant school walkout or a national protest on their own, so obviously, sinister forces had paid them. Of course, there was no proof of anything like that (although, yes, national groups did join in after the kids got the ball rolling). Then in May, a few wingnut teens held their very own "Stand Up for the Second" (Amendment) demonstrations, and rightwing media cooed about all the brave kids who dared to defy the commie brats (who were, again, all tools of Big Liberalism anyway). Big surprise: the "Stand Up for the Second" thing was pretty much all scripted by the "Tea Party Patriots" group, as documented by a cache of badly-secured online documents uncovered by an internet security firm this week.

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popular

Miami GOP Chair Joins Proud Boys In Screaming About Socialism At Democratic Offices.

The Republican party simply cannot get enough of this violent street gang.

Last Friday night, the Proud Boys, a Republican street gang known for their violence and unfortunate facial hair choices, chased and beat down several activists protesting their leader Gavin McInnes' reenactment of the assassination of a Japanese socialist at the Metropolitan Republican Club in New York City.

This week, Nelson Diaz, the Chairman of the Miami GOP, also joined a group of protestors that included both Cuban conservatives who probably have framed pictures of Batista on their walls and some Proud Boys -- notably Miami Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio, who attended the Unite The Right protest in Charlottesville last year -- in chasing down Nancy Pelosi and yelling at her about how she is a communist. There was no question that Tarrio was a Proud Boy, given that he was wearing the official Proud Boy outfit and also yelling "Open up, it's some Proud Boys in here!"

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Guns

Bone Saw Week Overtime: The Fisticuffs Edition

These sequels keep getting dumber.

Did we say Bone Saw Week was over? Remind us never to do that again! This horror show has more episodes than the Friday the 13th movies. The pixels had barely dried on our Friday afternoon post on the murder of dissident Saudi reporter Jamal Khashoggi, a US resident, when the Saudi government came out with yet another preposterous explanation for Khashoggi's death.

What had happened was, a 60-year-old reporter walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and started a fight with 15 armed men who had flown in just hours before to meet him. Despite having told his friends that he could never safely go home to KSA, he came to discuss returning to the Kingdom with the 15 men. One of whom was a coroner. And another of whom had brought a bonesaw for the discussion. And his favorite autopsy play list. Unfortunately, a fight broke out between the reporter and the 15 men, and Khashoggi got dead. Something happened to his body, and then all the men got on a plane and went home so the consulate could get on with repainting. Several of the men made calls to the royal palace that day, but Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman never knew anything about their rogue operation. And now MBS will supervise a commission to reform his kingdom's intelligence service to ensure that no further fisticuffs take place in Saudi diplomatic facilities. So, we good?

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