Stories We’re Watching
White House Proposes $4.7 Trillion Budget for Fiscal 2020
Yesterday, the Trump administration released a record-breaking $4.7 trillion budget for 2020. As outlined in a 150-page document, the proposed budget would cut social services, education, and other domestic programs to divert funding to defense, including a wall along the US-Mexico border. Despite steep cuts to NASA, the Department of State, and the EPA, the budget would still contribute to the US budget deficit. While the plan isn’t expected to pass Congress, insiders believe that it will shape 2020 election debates.
- The Economist: Donald Trump’s record $4.75trn budget
- CNBC: Education Dept. faces 10% funding cut under Trump’s 2020 budget
- Associated Press: Highlights of Trump’s $4.7 trillion budget request
- WSJ: Trump’s Pentagon Budget War
China Defends Concentration Camps, Calls Them ‘Boarding Schools’
The chairman of Xinjiang’s Communist Party has defended the concentration camps in China’s far western province, calling them ‘boarding schools’. The chairman denied that China had launched a massive campaign against the region’s ethnic Muslim population but insisted that the camps would continue. According to UN estimates, more than one million of the country’s ethnic minorities are being detained in concentration camps.
- Financial Times: Chinese official defends mass incarceration of Uighurs
- Nikkei Asian Review: Xinjiang denies existence of Uighur detention camps
- Bloomberg: China Vows to Continue Crackdown Fueling Muslim Detention Camps
US Pulls Embassy Staff in Venezuela Amid Worsening Crisis
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced via Twitter yesterday the evacuation of all remaining US embassy staff in Caracas, Venezuela. The country has entered its sixth day of electricity blackouts and is still suffering from persistent political and economic crises. Secretary Pompeo has blamed Venezuela’s ongoing crises on both Russia and Cuba. The evacuation announcement has prompted speculation of imminent military intervention.
- Reuters: Russia created ‘this crisis’ in Venezuela: Pompeo
- Bloomberg: US to Pull All Personnel From Venezuela Embassy, Pompeo Says
- Axios: Mike Pompeo: US withdrawing all diplomatic staff from Venezuela
Saudi-led Airstrikes in Yemen Kill 22+ Civilians, Including Women & Children
Saudi-led airstrikes in northwestern Yemen have killed at least 22 civilians, including 10 women and 12 children. According to a report from the UN, the strikes exclusively targeted residential areas. The Saudi-backed war has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of Yemeni since hostilities started four years ago. UN officials have repeatedly warned that Yemen’s protracted humanitarian crisis is the world’s most severe and have requested $4.2bn to assist civilians.
- UN News: Dozens killed and injured by new airstrikes in western Yemen
- Reuters: Security Council members urge Yemen parties to implement peace
- Haaretz: Saudi-led Airstrikes Kill Twenty-two Civilians, Including Children
British Commons Reject Brexit (again)
British MPs overwhelmingly rejected Prime Minister Theresa May’s latest Brexit deal earlier today in House of Commons’ ‘second meaningful vote.’ Despite seeking last-minute assurances from the EU, opposition lawmakers seized on the UK Attorney General’s warning that May’s latest deal could trap Britain in the Irish backstop indefinitely. MPs will vote later this week on allowing a no-deal exit and to possibly delay the March 29 deadline. So far, EU officials have rejected the possibility of such an extension.
- Vox: Here’s what to know about the latest Brexit vote
- BBC: Brexit: Something has changed but is it enough?
- The Guardian: May’s Brexit deal: has anything actually changed?
From Deep State Radio
PODCAST: LESS THAN ZERO: A LOOK AT THE PRESIDENT’S BUDGET…AND INTO HIS MIND
For a man who’s word means nothing and who never met a lie he didn’t like, it is hard to imagine how Donald Trump could produce something even more meaningless than the stream-of-consciousness Twitterized nonsense he offers up daily. But there is one thing that qualifies and that is the President’s budget because with a Democratic House, there is zero chance his budget plan will be used for anything except lining Congressional hamster cages. Still, it gives some insight into what the president and his advisors are thinking. And when it comes to national security and foreign policy what it tells us is…disturbing. Kori Schake of IISS, Mieke Eoyang of the Third Way and Evelyn Farkas of the German Marshall Fund discuss. Join us!
PODCAST: THE ONE IN WHICH SEX SPAS IN SOUTH FLORIDA ARE FINALLY MENTIONED
Lurid and sleazy are everyday descriptions in Trumpworld but the world was nonetheless stunned by revelations of a South Florida madam who founded a chain of spas recently busted for human trafficking and how she has become a Mar-a-Lago insider & GOP donor who is now pimping out the presidency…well, just like a Trump. But the sordid nature of the story is not why it is important. The national security threats associated with it are. Kori Schake of IISS, Mieke Eoyang of the Third Way and Evelyn Farkas of the German Marshall Fund discuss this plus developments around the world. Tune in!