Early Warning for 03 January 2019

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Thursday, 03 January 2019.

 

White House

The President: Nothing significant to report.

 

Shutdown: Still on. President Trump yesterday rejected a proposal that would re-open government while the two sides continued to hash it out. Democrats are refusing to offer more than $1.6 billion for border security, and President Trump is still demanding $5 billion for the border wall. The two sides will meet again tomorrow to discuss a solution, however, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said the shutdown could go on for weeks.

Impeachment: In an upcoming interview, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was asked whether she thought the Robert Mueller team should observe the guidance that a sitting president can’t be indicted. “No… I do not think that that is conclusive. No, I do not.” Meaning: Pelosi says that the DOJ may not be correct that a sitting president can’t be indicted. She also said in another interview that President Trump was going to be in a “different world” after her House takeover.


 

State Department

Secretary Pompeo: Nothing significant to report.


 

Defense Department

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan: Nothing significant to report.

 

These are the last publicly reported locations of these ships. Conflict requiring an aircraft carrier/carrier strike group does not appear imminent.

The Carl Vinson (CVN-70) was last reported as having returned to San Diego.

The Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) was last reported as having returned to Norfolk.

The John Stennis (CVN-74) was last reported as in port at Jebel Ali, United Arab Emirates.

The Harry Truman (CVN-75) was last reported as having returned to Norfolk.

The Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) was last reported as having returned to home port in Yokosuka, Japan.

The George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) was last reported as having returned to Norfolk.

 

Bold indicates significant changes to last reported location or other amplifying information.


 

Congress

Significant House Activity:

  • Democrats are scheduled to take control of the House today, and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is expected to be elected as the new Speaker of the House.

Significant Senate Activity:

  • Nothing significant to report.

* Only events pertinent to national security are listed. Significant reporting will appear in this week’s Strategic and National Intelligence reports


 

Economy/Finance

French investment bank Natixis warns in a recent note: “The [U.S.] economy has become heavily dependent on financial asset prices. The fact that the level of total financial assets as a share of [gross domestic product] is at a record high is troubling.” The note points out that a peak in the ratio of household financial assets compared to GDP peaked just before the last two recessions, and we’re looking at another peak in the ratio in Q4 2018.

In its latest investment outlook, investment bank J.P. Morgan says that the U.S. economy “will slow down but not stall” in 2019.


 

What I’m Looking at this Morning

Army infantry basic training extended from 14 to 22 weeks

Mexico’s new National Guard to become country’s primary security force


 

Notable Quotable

“China, China, China.” – Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan’s directive on where the department should direct its focus

Samuel Culper is a former military intelligence NCO and contract Intelligence analyst. He spent three years in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now the intelligence and warfare researcher at Forward Observer.

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