Over the weekend Donald Trump warned of "severe punishment" if an investigation concludes that a Saudi hit team murdered Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Riyadh then counter-threatened, reminding us that, as the world's largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia "plays an impactful and active role in the global economy."

Message: Sanction us, and we may just sanction you.

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Was Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and then his body cut up with a bone saw and flown to Riyadh in Gulfstream jets owned by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman?

So contend the Turks, who have video from the consulate, photos of 15 Saudi agents who flew into Istanbul that day, Oct. 2, and the identity numbers of the planes.

Supporting the thesis of either a murder in the consulate or a "rendition," a kidnaping gone horribly bad, is a Post story that U.S. intel intercepted Saudi planning, ordered by the prince, to lure Khashoggi from his suburban D.C. home back to Saudi Arabia. And for what beneficent purpose?

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After a 50-year siege, the great strategic fortress of liberalism has fallen. With the elevation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, the Supreme Court seems secure for constitutionalism -- perhaps for decades.

The shrieks from the gallery of the Senate chamber as the vote came in on Saturday, and the sight of that bawling mob clawing at the doors of the Supreme Court as the new justice took his oath, confirm it.

The Democratic Party has sustained a historic defeat.

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Four days after he described Christine Blasey Ford, the accuser of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, as a "very credible witness," President Donald Trump could no longer contain his feelings or constrain his instincts.

With the fate of his Supreme Court nominee in the balance, Trump let his "Make America Great Again" rally attendees in Mississippi know what he really thought of Ford's testimony.

"'Thirty-six years ago this happened. I had one beer.' 'Right?' 'I had one beer.' 'Well, you think it was (one beer)?' 'Nope, it was one beer.' 'Oh, good. How did you get home?'"

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Judge Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court was approved on an 11-10 party-line vote Friday in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Yet his confirmation is not assured.

Sen. Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, has demanded and gotten as the price of his vote on the floor, a weeklong delay. And the GOP Senate has agreed to Democrat demands for a new FBI investigation of all credible charges of sexual abuse against the judge.

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Mike Scruggs