Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Wednesday, 07 November 2018. (All times Central.)
The President has no publicly scheduled events, although he’s expected to address the country today about the mid-term elections.
Of Note: After last night’s House victory for Democrats, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) struck a more conciliatory tone, even as she excoriated some Republicans, and called for America to unite and work together. Will House Democrats ultimately pursue bipartisanship with the president and work for ‘America’s benefit’? Unlikely. If a Democrat House works with President Trump, they give him legitimacy and a cooperative relationship with the House could send him to another victory in 2020. To hear Pelosi speak last night, you’d think that impeachment was completely off the table. Now controlling the purse, Democrats will be forced to work with the Senate to deliver on their promises — things like healthcare reform and a “livable wage”– but they were elected to bring perceived accountability for President Trump. Expect politics as we’ve expected: Dems will use the House Intelligence, Ethnics, and Judiciary Committees to investigate President Trump and his officials, bring large numbers of Congressional subpoenas, and likely begin impeachment proceedings. If Democrats really believe these mid-term results are a repudiation of the president, expect them to make the next two years very uncomfortable for Trump and his staff, even as they sell a message of bipartisanship. We can’t forget the words of Tom Steyer, a Bay Area Democrat billionaire who donated $120 million to this election cycle: “What can [the Democratic House] 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.”
Caravan Watch: According to the latest reporting, caravan leaders resting in Mexico City are deciding whether the caravan stays together or breaks apart for the last leg of their journey to the United States. Around 6,000 migrants remain in the first caravan, and some want to wait for the second caravan, which could put the total number of migrants at 10,000. One organizer of People Without Borders (Pubelos Sin Fronteras) told a reporter that they plan to stay in Mexico City for two weeks before making a decision on whether to split up when they move forward.
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.
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink warned yesterday that the current budget deficit would force the U.S. Treasury to find funding abroad, and that President Trump’s escalation of tariffs threatens the ability to find that funding. “The problem is we are living with a deficit that is very large. We are fighting with our creditors right now worldwide. Generally, when you fight with your banker, it’s not a good outcome… Forty percent of the U.S. deficit is funded by external factors. No other country has that.” Fink also warned that increasing interest rates would make these deals more expensive for the Treasury Department and that the high rates would slow down the economy.
HurricaneWatch: The National Hurricane Center reports that the Atlantic Ocean is clear of activity. About 23 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
“We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America.” – French president Emmanuel Macron