Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Tuesday, 06 November 2018. (All times Central.)
The President has no publicly scheduled events.
Of Note: It’s Election Day, and the President will be watching coverage tonight on FoxNews. He might even call in. I can’t tell you what’s going to happen tonight, but I do want to highlight one major implication of tonight’s results. Yesterday, notoriously Leftist Vox editor Ezra Klein offered a warning about the fallout from a Democrat loss in the House.
“I don’t think people are ready for the crisis that will follow if Democrats win the House popular vote but not the majority. After Kavanaugh, Trump, Garland, Citizens United, Bush v. Gore, etc, the party is on the edge of losing faith in the system (and reasonably so).” [source]
Never mind that the “House popular vote” isn’t a real thing; Klein gives us insight into what the Far Left is thinking: if they don’t win, they might lose faith in the system and call for increased resistance, which will almost certainly lead to an increase nonviolent (and potentially violent) civil disobedience. “I don’t think people are ready for the crisis that will follow” if the Dems fail to take the House. That sounds like a serious warning.
If Klein’s thinking is a bellwether for mainstream Democratic thought, their failure to retake the House is likely to mark a turning point in political and social escalation. I’ve written a good bit about how 2019 and 2020 could be brutal years — politically, socially and culturally — perhaps no matter what happens with the House election. (Here’s some commentary from nearly a month ago.)
Caravan Watch: The first migrant caravan remains in the vicinity of Mexico City, resting for the next leg of their journey. From what I’ve read, Tijuana/San Diego seems to be the consensus destination, although that’s subject to change. Mexican officials reported that around 100 migrants have been kidnapped by organized criminals in Mexico [source], so threats like these could force the caravan to take a more direct approach to the United States.
Secretary Pompeo: Nothing significant to report.
Of Note: Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Andrea Thompson is on travel to Iceland, Estonia, and Poland, and will return after a trip to Jordan on 08 November. In Iceland, the under secretary will participate in the annual NATO conference on weapons of mass destruction, and discuss how NATO can press for international peace and stability. Estonia, the under secretary will meet with senior government officials and attend a Bilateral Cyber Working Group to “discuss cyber security and countering Russian cyber aggression”. In Poland, the under secretary will attend the Poland-United States Strategic Cooperation Consultative Group. All three European visits (Iceland, Estonia, and Poland) are focused on European security against Russia.
Defense Secretary Mattis has no publicly scheduled events.
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 being underway in the Pacific Ocean.
The Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) was last reported as being in port at Norfolk, but will be transitioning to a new home port in San Diego.
The John Stennis (CVN-74) was last reported as being underway in the eastern Pacific as it begins its shift to a new homeport in Norfolk.
The Harry Truman (CVN-75) was last reported as being in the eastern Atlantic.
The Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) was last reported as taking part in joint U.S.-Japan military exercise Keen Sword off the coast of Okinawa, Japan. Keen Sword runs through 09 November.
The George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) was last reported as being in the western Atlantic.
* Indicates significant changes to last reported location or other amplifying information.
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.
Home improvement chain Lowe’s is closing down another 20 stores across the country, blaming a slowing housing market for the decision. Lowe’s still operates some 1,800 stores in the U.S. and most of the stores closing are within 10 miles of another one, so it’s not a massive economic issue. But these types of closures carry two implications. The first is that lots of stores are closing locations (Sears, Macy’s, JCPenny’s, Kmart, Sam’s Club, etc.) due to an increase in online retail. That trend will continue. And the second implication is that shopping malls and other areas where big box stores close risk becoming depressed, especially where anchor stores are closed. Entire shopping malls have been abandoned due to the closing of a major retailer, which then decreases shopper traffic and negatively affects other stores. Here’s a map showing store closures: CNBC
HurricaneWatch: The National Hurricane Center reports that the Atlantic Ocean is clear of activity. About 24 days remain in “hurricane season,” which ends on 30 November. [source]
The latest drought map will be published on Thursday’s Early Warning report.
What I’m Looking at this Morning
“The one thing [a Democratic majority] can control is oversight. And then to me the question is: What can they do to punish people? What can they actively do so that there is a punishment, some cost, for lying to Congress, for breaking the law, for breaking your word to the Constitution? That’s the question. And that’s what impeachment is.”- Billionaire Democrat Tom Steyer