Early Warning for 04 April 2019

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Thursday, 04 April 2019.

 

Politics & Governance

President Trump is scheduled to meet Chinese Vice Premier Liu He today at the White House, which could be a sign that a trade truce is becoming more likely.

According to officials from the Mueller team, their report is more ‘troubling’ for President Trump than Attorney General Bill Barr’s findings let on. Anonymous sources speaking to both the New York Times and Washington Post say that Barr’s summary didn’t “adequately portray” their findings.

Yesterday, the House Ways and Means Committee voted to request six years of Trump tax returns from the IRS. Democrats say that oversight is necessary because the president hasn’t taken steps to recuse himself from financial interests which could be conflicts of interest. The Treasury Department is expected to make the call on whether it complies with the demand.

Yesterday, Senate Republicans pushed through new rules to speed up confirmations of Trump nominees for both administration and judicial positions. This is the “nuclear option” that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he will use to push as many judicial nominees through for as long as he can.

In a sign that the Maduro regime may actually fall, the Trump administration is readying a $200 million funding plan for Venezuela should interim president Juan Guaido or another opposition leader take over. The international community is waiting for Cuban security forces to pull out first, and for the Venezuelan military to finally turn on Maduro.

 

Far Left Daily

“Mitch McConnell is setting a precedent that it’s OK to change the Senate rules to confirm more of your side’s judges. Democrats should take this ball and run with it once we regain power.” – Brian Fallon, director of Demand Justice

“It’s not just about winning an election. It’s about winning an era.” – South Bend (Ind.) mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg

“If we’re going to be successful as Democrats, and going into 2020 with a very, very fragile majority, we got to be on the same team.” – Cheri Bustos, chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee

“We want to pass a full $15 minimum wage bill. Not a regional bill. We’re very clear about that. Being in Congress means leading, and we need to lead on minimum wage.” – Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)

“I don’t know why [Republicans] are continuing to pursue this except that they want to ram through judges, they want to ram through Justice Department people. It will be a sad day for this chamber.”- Sen. Amy Klobuchar, speaking about the new Senate nuclear option

“[Republicans are] always going to do [cast Democrats as extreme], no matter who the candidate is, because they don’t want to have a debate about how Americans deserve health care. They don’t want to have a debate about making sure prosperity is broadly shared.” – Matt Duss, foreign policy advisor for Bernie Sanders

“We are confident this progressive leader will have a strong support from the people of the US. Democratic revolutions are built upon democratic elections.” – Bolivia’s socialist president Evo Morales

“The far right have internationalised. They cooperate and coordinate across borders, so if we are to defeat them, we need to do the same. Bernie gets that in a way I’ve not seen from any other presidential candidate.” – Ross Greer, member of Scotland’s Green Party


 

Economy/Finance

In his annual letter to shareholders, JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon lashed out at socialism, stating that “Socialism inevitably produces stagnation, corruption and often worse – such as authoritarian government officials who often have an increasing ability to interfere with both the economy and individual lives – which they frequently do to maintain power. This would be as much a disaster for our country as it has been in the other places it’s been tried.”

Dimon went on to warn shareholders that the “U.S. economy will be confronting a wide variety of issues in 2020 and 2021. It’s hard to look at all the issues facing the world and not think that the range of possible outcomes is broader and that the odds of bad outcomes might be increasing.”

Dimon also warned that banks will have less operating room during the next downturn. “When the next real downturn begins, banks will be constrained – both psychologically and by new regulations – from lending freely into the marketplace, as many of us did in 2008 and 2009. New regulations mean that banks will have to maintain more liquidity going into a downturn, be prepared for the impacts of even tougher stress tests and hold more capital because capital requirements are even more procyclical than in the past. Effectively, some new rules will force capital to the sidelines just when it might be needed most by clients and the markets.” [source]


 

Strategic/Defense Situational Awareness

General troubled by Russian mercenary presence in Africa

VP Pence warns that China will challenge NATO in coming decades

Lithuania signs defense cooperation pact with U.S.


 

Notable Quotable

“I ask myself every day: How do we own the libs? How do we do it in a way that makes a difference? Because these people deserved to be wrecked.” – Benny Johnson, on a college speaking tour about memes

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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