Early Warning for 07 February 2019

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Thursday, 07 February 2019.

 

White House

The President is scheduled to deliver remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast, receive his intelligence briefing, and have lunch with Secretary Pompeo.

8: The number of days that the Trump administration and the Congress have to reach a border wall funding agreement before a potential shutdown or national emergency declaration.


 

State Department

Secretary Pompeo is scheduled to attend the National Prayer Breakfast, meet with Kuwaiti officials, have lunch with President Trump, meet with the Swiss foreign minister, and then meet with the Saudi foreign minister.


 

Defense Department

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has no publicly scheduled events.

 

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

The Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) is off the coast of Virginia for pre-deployment training. The Lincoln will rejoin the Indo-Pacific Command once it re-bases to San Diego, CA.

The John Stennis (CVN-74) was last reported as in the Java Sea.

The Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.


 

Congress

Significant House Activity:

  • Why Investing in Our Nation’s Infrastructure Cannot Wait (Transportation and Infrastructure)
  • Raising the Minimum Wage to $15 (Education Labor)
  • Legislative Proposals and Tax Law Related to Presidential Tax Returns (Ways and Means)

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

Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) is reportedly going to introduce a bill that would tax high frequency traders at 0.1 percent of the trade’s value for every trade. High frequency trading is algorithmic, done by computers, and has been blamed for ‘flash crashes’ of stock prices. The tax would be expected to raise $777 billion over 10 years and could go towards free college tuition plans. This is the latest tax idea coming from Democrats and is a good indicator that across-the-board tax hikes are coming once Democrats get back into power.

Speaking last night, Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell had positive things to say about the economy. “The U.S. economy is now in a good place. Unemployment is low, prices are near two percent inflation, so we’re in a good place now.” Powell continued to say that some things to keep in mind over the next 10 years are that: 1) growth in per capita income for the middle and lower classes is decreasing; 2) labor force participation is going to be dependent on job training and education; 3) productivity needs to rise in order to raise wages; and 4) “[T]he prosperity we do achieve is widely spread… [W]e need policies to make that happen”. Powell said that this is not the Fed’s job, but stressed the importance of worker education and policies that would lead to better social mobility. Another Fed official, speaking about global financial risks (such as in China or Europe), said, “That will be what I, at least, will be looking at over the course of the next six months.”

Speaking on Bloomberg, Alberto Gallo (Algebris Investments) said that his firm doesn’t foresee a U.S. recession within the next 18 months. Additionally, David Kostin, Goldman Sach’s chief U.S. equity strategist, said that fear over a recession has receded for 2019.


 

Far Left Daily

“It’s not just that [Howard Schultz would] help re-elect Donald Trump, but that he came across as a spoiled billionaire more concerned with protecting his fellow billionaires from paying a lot of taxes than protecting Medicare and Social Security for the middle class.” – Democrat pollster

“We are going to take an MRI to any Russian financing that the Trump Organization and the president may have had.” – Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA)

“There will not be another shutdown. No, it’s not going to happen.” – Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

“It’s a big legislation [the Green New Deal] because it’s a huge [expletive] problem! We’re all going to die. Every week it seems like the the risks of climate change become more real, and the amount of devastation it is going to wreak upon humanity becomes larger, and that means we have to do bigger things.” – Sean McElwee, Data for Progress


 

What I’m Looking at this Morning

With another caravan approaching, military shifts on border

SOCOM needs to improve its propaganda

Macedonia takes steps to join NATO

Is Mexico a failing state?


 

Notable Quotable

“We have some folks who are very good at [unconventional warfare], and obviously the actions of Russia over the last 15 years has the globe’s attention, but especially our partners in the Baltics and throughout Europe… Our [Army Special Forces teams] are training to blow up bridges and do conventional sabotage, but I think what’s impressed me is how the force has shifted even in [unconventional warfare]. Many of our Green Berets are practicing other forms of sabotage. … And we’ll leave it at that.” – Owen West, assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low intensity conflict

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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