In Digest

New Cold War.org Information Bulletin, Vol 2 #48, March 16, 2017

Ukraine-Russia-Europe:  (* denotes also published in full on New Cold War.org)
* Call for international protest against Latvian gov’t granting Riga city center for Waffen SS festivities on 16 March 2017, by Monica Lowenberg, in London, published on Defending History, March 12, 2017

* Nazis and Canada’s Latvian love-in, by Scott Taylor, published on his website Esprit de Corps and in his weekly column ‘On Target’ in the Chronicle Herald (daily in Halifax, Nova Scotia), March 12, 2017

Ex-Russian Finance Minister Kudrin says Kiev sanctions on Russian banks will have boomerang effect, TASS, March 16, 2017

Key Democratic officials now warning base not to expect evidence of Trump/Russia collusion, by Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept, March 16, 2017

From MSNBC politics shows to town hall meetings across the country, the overarching issue for the Democratic Party’s base since Trump’s victory has been Russia, often suffocating attention for other issues. This fixation has persisted even though it has no chance to sink the Trump presidency unless it is proven that high levels of the Trump campaign actively colluded with the Kremlin to manipulate the outcome of the U.S. election — a claim for which absolutely no evidence has thus far been presented.

The principal problem for Democrats is that so many media figures and online charlatans are personally benefiting from feeding the base increasingly unhinged, fact-free conspiracies — just as right-wing media polemicists did after both Bill Clinton and Obama were elected — that there are now millions of partisan soldiers absolutely convinced of a Trump/Russia conspiracy for which, at least as of now, there is no evidence. And they are all waiting for the day, which they regard as inevitable and imminent, when this theory will be proven and Trump will be removed…

Dutch general election results March 2017

Dutch PM cheers EU leaders by seeing off far-right’s Wilders, Reuters, March 16, 2017  [See full election result here on Wikipedia.]

Why far-right populism hasn’t caught on in Spain, by Gerry Hadden, Public Radio International‘s ‘The World’, March 14, 2017

… Jesus Higueras, a 52-year-old handyman living on unemployment benefits, gets by on about $450 a month and free food from the town’s food bank. He says far-right ideas remind people of Franco — as in General Francisco Franco, the dictator who ruled Spain for half a century until 1975.

“No one wants to return to those days,” he says. “It took a huge effort for this town to recover. A huge effort.” They had to recover from the oppression, but also from the poverty and isolation that marked Franco’s reign…

Turkey-Syria-Middle East and Caucasus:
Dozens arrested, including three journalists, in anti-HDP operations ahead of Nevruz Kurdish holiday
Turkish Minute, March 16, 2017

… Nevruz is a spring festival traditionally marked in the second half of March and has a highly symbolic meaning for Kurds, with colorful celebrations across the predominantly Kurdish Southeast of Turkey.

Pro-Erdogan columnist calls on gov’t to ‘set West on fire’ before it occupies Turkey, Turkish Minute, March 13, 2017

Western chicken hawks are going cold on Turkey, commentary by Neil Clark on RT.com‘s ‘Op-Edge’, March 13, 2017

Where is the increasingly vituperative spat between Turkey and The Netherlands (and other EU countries) going to lead? Why is this political fall-out between fellow NATO members happening at this precise moment? First, a quick recap of the events…

United States:

Donald Trump’s March 16, 2017 budget blueprint for 2018 (Mark Wilson, Getty Images)

Trump unveils first budget blueprint with big rise for defense, cuts across government, Xinhua News Agency, March 16, 2017

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2017-03/17/c_136134801.htm

Trump’s budget is out, now the lobbying begins, by Michael D Shear, New York Times, March 16, 2017

 

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s proposal on Thursday for deep cuts to the budgets of a broad swath of the federal bureaucracy was billed as a necessary corrective to the growth of the government’s power. But even members of his own party questioned some of the cuts — and what was not being cut. More expected cries of alarm came from scientists, human rights advocates, teachers, diplomats, artists and workers…

Mr. Trump was elected on a promise to wage war against what he has frequently mocked as a bloated and ineffective federal work force, and he is betting that his first budget will help consolidate support by calling for a significant shift of resources away from established programs that aid the poor, the environment, foreigners and the arts. The approach is a risky gamble for a politician whose victory last November came in part by assembling a coalition that included low-income workers who rely on many of the programs that he now proposes to slash…

Donald Trump’s initial budget proposal for 2018, issued on March 16, 2017 (New York Times graphic)

Trump the outsider outsources his budget to insider think tank, by Zaid Jilani, The Intercept, March 16, 2017

President Trump’s budget proposal, released on Thursday, echoes none of the populist, anti-establishment themes of candidate Trump’s campaign for higher office. Instead, it calls for a large increase in defense spending while reducing spending for a variety of popular domestic programs.

The Ryan-Trump healthcare act – some economic consequences, by Jack Rasmus, published on his website on March 15, 2017

While Republicans on the right and the far-right wrangle over whether to repeal the Obamacare Affordable Care Act, or just revise it, the Ryan proposal does both. How can that be? Revise and yet repeal?

The repeal is every dollar and cent that the Obamacare Act taxed the rich and their corporations. The rest, the non-funding features is what’s being revised. Only in the past 24 hours is the corporate press even discussing the tax increases under the ACA now being totally repealed by the Ryan-Trump bill. That’s because they can no longer ignore it, since it was reported today by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). But they knew the details weeks ago. So did the Democrats in Congress. Yet they said nothing. How much in taxes were being cut for the wealthiest individuals and their corporations are we talking about? Over $590 billion over the decade…

What we have in exchange for the $592 billion tax cuts on the rich is a de facto tax hike on the 10 million plus consumers who bought plans on the exchanges, in the form of the elimination of the subsidies that had been provided to help them purchase plans. Subsidy repeal is just a tax hike by another name…

The Kagans are back; wars to follow, by Robert Parry, Consortium News, March 15, 2017

The neocon royalty Kagans are counting on Democrats and liberals to be the foot soldiers in the new neocon campaign to push Republicans and President Trump into more “regime change” wars

Trumping Trump and howling at the corporate media heads, by JP Sottile, published on Consortium News, March 16, 2017

… Until the 2016 election, the media business (local stations, regional networks, medium-sized station groups, cable news channels and the big four broadcasters) reliably reaped a bi-annual windfall from the hundreds of millions of dollars in political advertising they packed into the commercial breaks in-between their programming. The two-year election cycle was good. The presidential cycle was way better. But Trump changed the paradigm.

This time, the coverage became the political commercial and the political commercial became the programming. Simply put, Trump’s bloviating, bombastic style translated into ratings. And those ratings translated into dollars that could be earned by charging more for the ads in-between the coverage…

Global warming and climate change:
Parts of the Great Barrier Reef have died, turned white, and may never recover
, by Colin Packham, Reuters, March 16, 2017

Donald Trump orders review of fuel-efficiency standards in big win for auto industry, ABC.net.au, March 16, 2017


New Cold War.org Information Bulletin is posted daily (or every several days) to the New Cold War.org website as a complement to the feature articles published or re-produced in full. It is included in the daily newsletter emailed to website subscribers. As of Nov 22, 2016, the ‘search’ function on the website will be needed by readers to find many of the items by published title or author. Articles that are published exclusively on New Cold War.org will continue to be published in their entirety and tagged in the relevant subject category. Comments in square brackets [ ] are those of New Cold War.org editors. Comments and suggestions welcome; find email address under ‘Contact’ on main website page.

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