Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Monday, 04 March 2019.
ADMIN NOTE: Welcome to Early Warning 2.0. You’ll notice a slightly different format today. Please let me know what you think… And also keep an eye out for today’s Daily Intelligence Summary, or the Daily INTSUM. It comes out later in the day, between 2pm and 5pm Central, and is my more timely opportunity to highlight important things that happened each day, along with my perspective and analysis.
Early Warning: Speaking yesterday on ABC’s “This Week,” Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-CA) accused President Trump of obstruction of justice. “We are going to initiate investigations into abuses of power… and into obstruction of justice… It’s very clear that the president obstructed justice” when he fired former FBI director James Comey.
Nadler chairs the House Judiciary Committee, which is responsible for carrying out impeachment proceedings. While six Democrats have already filed articles of impeachment against President Trump, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has complained several times of how destabilizing an impeachment would be. That’s why she’s remained reluctant to promote impeachment unless there’s bi-partisan support. And that’s the Democrats’ next step: proving a case of an impeachable offense serious enough to gain popular support.
Impeachment proceedings leading up to the 2020 election could be disastrous for Trump’s re-election, but here’s where impeachment becomes especially problematic. Whether it’s because Democrats don’t have enough House support or Pelosi wants to see if Trump is defeated, maybe Democrats don’t push impeachment prior to the election. But the re-election of Donald Trump could push the House to pursue impeachment to stave off ‘four more years.’ Where this could get particularly troublesome is if the Democrats re-take the Senate in 2020. Under those circumstances, Trump could be fated for impeachment by the House and removal by the Senate.
This is just one possible scenario, but a survey of the possible scenarios shows that the 2020 election could bring about an “SHTF” event, in more ways than one.
EWx2: Venezuela’s quasi-president Juan Guaido is scheduled to make a return to his country today, despite repeated vows by dictator Nicolas Maduro that he’ll be arrested. Guaido seeks to re-build momentum in his efforts to oust Maduro. There’s no word on what the U.S. will do if Guaido is arrested.
The President is scheduled to have lunch with Vice President Pence, receive his intelligence briefing, sign an executive order entitled, “Supporting the Transition of Active Duty Service Members and Military Veterans into the Merchant Marines” and then deliver remarks at the National Association of Attorneys General.
Secretary Pompeo is scheduled to speak at the Future Farmers of America and “discuss how the American agriculture industry’s embrace of free enterprise and innovation helps bring prosperity to the American people and high-quality American products to the world.”
Secretary Nielsen (Homeland Security) was in California last week, where she highlighted a shift on terrorism prevention from “whole-of-government” to “whole-of-society”. DHS will do more to involve nonprofit organizations and community leaders alongside state and federal officials in order to prevent terrorism and radicalization.
Acting Defense Secretary Shanahan has no publicly scheduled events.
Significant House Activity:
- Nothing significant to report.
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.
These are the last publicly reported locations of deployed carrier groups. Those not listed were last reported in port.
The John Stennis (CVN-74) was last reported as in the Gulf of Tonkin.
The Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.
U.S. and South Korean Forces are scheduled to hold a combined exercise from 04-12 March to replace joint drills cancelled as a diplomatic measure for ongoing North Korean negotiations.
China recently deployed four strategic bombers to conduct combat exercises 280 miles off the coast of Taiwan. The exercises are another show of force directed at Taiwan.
Approximately 3,500 Russian troops began drills over the weekend at 30 training ranges over the weekend in Russia’s Southern Military District. It’s not a major event, although training areas include South Ossetia, the embattled breakaway region from the Republic of Georgia, which is trying to join NATO.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused U.S. national security advisor John Bolton of seeking regime change in Venezuela, and then continuing on throughout Latin America under the Monroe Doctrine. “[John Bolton] mentioned that the Monroe Doctrine could be used in Venezuela… Moreover, several days ago Washington threatened that Venezuela is not the end of the story, and Cuba and Nicaragua will be next.”
Far Left Daily
“It’s a 45-55 against the president at this stage of the game.” – Peter Hart, Democratic pollster
“[W]e’ll have to look at future generations… retiring at a later age, paying a greater percentage of their income into Social Security and making other necessary adjustments” – Beto O’Rourke, from an old campaign ad
“I know how to do what everybody’s talking about doing. They’re all talking about how to fly an airplane. None of them have flown. And that’s a big difference when you get in the seat and you buckle the seat belt. And we just had a guy who spoke about flying a plane. And never flew. It’s not as easy as it looks. I know how to do affordable housing. I know how to bring jobs to the middle class. I know how to build infrastructure.” – New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who may be running for president
“He’s lost a lot [of supporters] who have lost faith in him. Once you lose faith in the person, the message loses credibility. It was a vision, and he came in credible. He was apparently a billionaire—who knows what he really is. He was a businessman, outsider, successful, articulate. And a fresh face. He had all that going for him. Now he is mercurial. Obnoxious. Alienating.” – Andrew Cuomo
U.S. and Chinese officials are reportedly closer to a trade deal, after Chinese committed to lower tariffs and purchase more U.S. goods.
The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow took a nose dive to 0.3 percent, which is its current forecast for Q1 2019 GDP growth. The Blue Chip consensus fell to just below 2 percent, but that hasn’t been updated since last month. The drops are due to the government shutdown, but some economists expect those numbers to pop back up.
What I’m Looking at this Morning
“Shouting down political opponents, inflexible dogma, and the making of lists of the politically impure, unfavored classes, and offending businesses, has always been integral to socialism. History is utterly clear on this point. The list is always acted on.” – Independent presidential candidate Howard Schultz