Stories We’re Watching
#TheLiesWeAllTellOurselves: PM Theresa May’s Brexit Deal Loses another Commons Vote
Earlier today British PM Theresa May lost the most recent commons vote on Brexit by 11 votes, (297 vs 308). Instead, MPs will continue debating until next week’s vote, which is also expected to end in defeat. If it does, the government will then only have 3 days to come up with revised Brexit plans–not 3 weeks, as was originally planned. PM May faces significant opposition from Northern Irish politicians over the terms of the backstop. The UK is scheduled to exit the EU–deal or not–on March 29. Analysts warn that exiting without a deal in place will severely disrupt transactions across multiple sectors, including transportation and immigration.
- The Guardian: Brexit and the future of British democracy
- Reuters: As Brexit debate begins, PM fails to win over Northern Irish
- New York Times: U.K.’s Mixed Signals on a No-Deal Brexit
- The Independent: Brexit debate – LIVE: MPs vote by 308-297 to defeat May
Ignorance Is Bliss: US-China Trade Talks Conclude, Markets Rally, & No One Knows Why (or What They Even Agreed to)
Talks between US and Chinese negotiators have officially concluded; although, neither side has revealed what specifically was discussed and agreed upon. Markets in the US and Asia opened higher today, and oil prices surged again–the longest oil rally in over a year. Insiders expect the talks to resume later this month at the White House. Since President Trump’s ultimatum last November at the G20 summit, China has resumed buying American soybeans, cut tariffs on US cars, and has introduced draft legislation aimed at curbing forced technology transfers. China and the US have until March 2 to resolve the ongoing trade dispute.
- NPR: US-China Trade Talks Wrap Up After Extending To 3rd Day
- The Guardian: US ‘plans next steps’ after trade talks with China end
- CNBC: Asia markets gain amid hopes of progress as US-China trade talks
- Wall Street Journal: US Stocks Edge Higher Ahead of Fed Minutes
Forever Alone Trump Loses another General: Retired 4-star Marine Anthony Zinni Resigns
Retired four-star Marine Corps General Anthony Zinni, the Trump-appointed special envoy working in the Persian Gulf, has resigned. Gen. Zinni had been tasked with helping to resolve the conflict between Qatar and other Arab states as well as with helping to build an ‘Arab NATO’ to counter Iran. Gen. Zinni cited the intransigence of regional leaders as the main motivation for his departure. In 2017 Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, and Egypt cut ties with Qatar over accusations that the Qataris supported militant groups tied to terrorist attacks.
- Task & Purpose: Retired Marine General Tapped By Trump Administration To Develop ‘Arab NATO’ Resigns
- Daily Beast: Anthony Zinni, US Special Envoy Working on Qatar Dispute, Steps Down
- Marine Corps Times: Retired 4-star Marine resigns from Middle East envoy in Qatar dispute
- Middle East Monitor: Egypt accuses Qatar, Turkey of destabilising Libya
From Russia With Love: Manafort’s Team Leaks Redacted Statement, Russian Lawyer Indicted, & SCOTUS Refuses to Intervene in Mysterious Case
Yesterday, Paul Manafort’s defense team accidentally shared previously sealed accusations against him. Prosecutors allege that Paul Manafort shared Trump campaign data with a Russian associate tied to the Kremlin during the 2016 campaign. Also yesterday, Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was indicted for obstruction of justice—in a case separate from the Mueller investigation. Veselnitskaya met with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort at Trump Tower in June 2016. Again, yesterday, the Supreme Court declined to intervene in the case of an unnamed corporation tied to an unnamed foreign government linked to the Special Counsel’s investigation over Russian campaign interference.
- Buzzfeed: Paul Manafort’s Lawyers Tried To Redact A Court Filing About Whether Manafort Lied To Investigators. It Didn’t Work
- WIRED: Paul Manafort Is Terrible With Technology
- Vox: The past 24 hours in Trump-Russia news, explained
- Lawfare: The Veselnitskaya Obstruction Indictment: A Collusion Tale
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein Likely to Step Down
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is widely expected to leave the Department of Justice upon the new attorney general’s confirmation. President Trump has nominated William Barr to replace Jeff Sessions as US Attorney General. Rosenstein has been repeatedly criticised by President Trump since appointing Robert Mueller to lead the Special Counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 general elections. Legal experts fear Rosenstein’s resignation would jeopardize the Mueller probe, but Barr has assured lawmakers that the investigation would continue. An early confirmation hearing is scheduled for next week—even as some US lawmakers have called on President Trump to withdraw the nomination.
- Politico: Schumer calls on Trump to withdraw Barr nomination
- NPR: Attorney General Nominee Visits Hill; Rosenstein’s Exit Expected
- Vox: Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein is reportedly headed out the door
- Reuters: Trump AG nominee Barr will let Mueller finish Russia probe: Graham
From Deep State Radio
PODCAST: 2019: THE YEAR IN REVIEW, PART I–“WAR: WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?”
As we have learned, these days years seem much longer than they used to. So, as a special service to Deep State nation, your favorite podsters are providing you with all of 2019 in two compact 45 minute episodes. The first looks at what is going to happen internationally in the year ahead. And it’ll be a full year–with everything from military confrontation between the US and China in the South China Sea to the collapse of Venezuela, the US still in Syria by year end and not a single mile of new wall built on our southern border. Join Kori Schake of IISS, Rosa Brooks of Georgetown Law, David Sanger of the NY Times and Ed Luce of the Financial Times for a great new episode…and the introduction of…Deep State Dog.
PODCAST: 2019: THE YEAR IN REVIEW, PART II–“THE WORST YEAR OF DONALD TRUMP’S LIFE”
In this, our second year in review episode for the year ahead we look at US domestic developments in the next 12 months. The bad news is–they’re pretty bleak. The good news is–we tell them to you in advance so you can sleep through the whole year or just settle into a drunken stupor. Join Rosa Brooks, Kori Schake, Ed Luce, David Sanger and Deep State Dog for a great conversation about what will surely be the very worst year in Donald Trump’s life. Tune in!