Deep State Daily – Fascist, Incompetent or Both?

October 16, 2018

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Welcome to the Deep State Daily.  Our intention with this newsletter is to highlight the top news stories that you need to be paying attention to.  We pull stories from major news outlets, but we also try to call attention to niche websites, think-tanks and media outlets that we think you’ll enjoy whenever possible.  If you enjoy our newsletter, please forward to a friend by clicking the forward link above. If you’re not already a Member or Insider, please consider supporting us by upgrading your membership.

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From Deep State Radio


Middle East scholar and commentator Rula Jebreal joins us for a frank discussion of where the case of the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi has brought us in regional relations and what we might expect next in the way of regional reforms or tensions.  Also: A discussion of the role the US can play working with reformers to produce outcomes that are better for the people of the region–and worse for extremists.  Join us.  Listen


While the Trump Administration may get much Trumpier with the personnel changes expected after Election Day, a Democratic victory on November 6th that brought them control of the House of Representatives is likely to create a check on Trump’s impulses of a sort he has never had to deal with.  From Russia to the Middle East, the Democrats will be pushing for very different policies and countries that have cozied up to the president perhaps should expect a backlash…one that could get worse in 2020.  Also: A discussion of the influence of foreign money in the Washington Policy community.  Listen


It is easy to dehumanize what happens in the news.  Events that are reported quickly trigger subsequent reactions and are subsumed into broader discussions about politics or the foreign affairs or economics and the underlying stories are lost.  The case of Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post reporter who was, it appears, brutally murdered at the hands of the government of Saudi Arabia, is one such story.  But we should not lose sight of the suffering involved for Khashoggi, for his fiancé, for his friends and colleagues, and for all others who have met similar fates thanks to the desire of a few men to cling to their offices and the riches and prerogatives they offer.

Few single incidents in recent memory so horrifically capture the sheer evil associated with this kind of abuse of power.  But daily countless others take place worldwide.

If that is so, why then are we so shocked by this one.  Well, in part it is because the act was so brazen.  The leaders of a foreign government, ostensibly an ally of the United States, one particularly close to the President of the United States and his family, decided to murder a man who was not only a permanent resident of the United States but who also was a columnist for the leading newspaper in America’s capital city.  He was not simply going to disappear unnoticed as do many such victims of the Saudis.

Yet, for some reason, the men who gave the order to kill Khashoggi felt they could do so without too seriously damaging their relationship with the United States.  They felt they could kill a prominent and well-respected voice in the U.S. and international media and not immediately lose the support of their most important ally.  Read More

Stories We’re Watching

Khashoggi updates

Earlier today Turkish President Erdogan told reporters that the investigation was looking into toxic materials and potential evidence tampering including painting over crime scene surfaces. Yesterday President Trump remarked on the possibility of rouge killers being responsible for Khashoggi’s death, which if true, would exonerate Turkey, Saudi, & the US. This situation has spilled over into the domestic politics of the US, where US senators have called for Saudi sanctions. Saudi media are portraying reactions to the Khashoggi case as attacks on the Kingdom.

• Middle East Eye: Key US senator says he will ‘sanction the hell’ out of Saudi over Khashoggi

• Saudi Gazette: The lies and deception in the Khashoggi case!

• Financial Times: Khashoggi disappearance puts dealmakers in a bind

US Budget Deficit increases 17% in 2018

Yesterday the US Treasury Department announced a 17% increase in the US budget deficit. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has attributed the deficit hike to increased federal spending, not to the recent $1.5 trillion tax cut. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office’s October report draws the exact opposite conclusion. Some investors are speculating that the deficit and national debt could put upward pressure on interest rates. Despite the deficit announcement, investor confidence put slight upward pressure on US bond prices.

• Congressional Budget Office: Monthly Budget Review for September 2018

• The Wall Street Journal: U.S. Government Bonds Edge Higher as Stocks Rise

• The Fiscal Times: Federal Deficit Jumps 17 Percent to $779 Billion

Google rejects JEDI & unveils Dragonfly

Last week Google decided not to bid for the $10B Pentagon JEDI (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure) contract citing ethical concerns. This follows Google’s decision in June to cancel another Pentagon contract out of ethical concerns. Yesterday Google’s CEO announced that tests of Dragonfly, a censored search engine designed for China, have been successful. He did not cite any ethics concerns. Amazon and Microsoft will continue project JEDI which aims to put secret and top secret military and defense data in the care of a single cloud provider.

• Defense One: Microsoft, Amazon CEOs Vow to Continue Defense Work After Google Bails on JEDI

• Wired: Google’s Ceo Says Tests Of Censored Chinese Search Engine Turned Out Great

• Vox: Google’s censored search engine for China is sparking a moral crisis within the company

China’s Uighur Camps are Actually Really Fun say Senior Officials

Beijing faces mounting international criticism for its Uighur detention camps in the north-western territory of Xinjiang. As many as one million Muslims have been held as prisoners in these camps. Chinese officials have shifted their official narrative from blanket denial to justification of the camps’ existence. Regional Chinese officials have described that the camps provide vocational, legal, and linguistic training as well as de-extremisation education.

• Global Times: Xinjiang stability on the rise

• Guardian: Internment camps make Uighurs’ life more colourful, says Xinjiang governor

• AP: China says camps for Muslims lead them to ‘modern’ life

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