Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Friday, 07 September 2018. (All times Eastern.)
UPDATE: So far, police have arrested 212 protestors at the Kavanaugh hearings. Yesterday, I reported that Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) bragged about violating procedures when he released documents on Kavanaugh. It turns out that those documents had already been approved for release the night before. Specifically, I said that the deliberate rule breaking was an indicator that established norms continue to be violated, adding to political instability. That trend still continues, however, not specifically in this instance because it appears that no rules were actually broken.
The President is scheduled to hold two fundraisers in North Dakota and two in South Dakota today.
Secretary Pompeo: State Department information was unavailable at the time of publication.
Defense Secretary Mattis: Aside from making a surprise visit to Kabul, Afghanistan yesterday, there’s nothing significant to report.
The Carl Vinson (CVN-70) was last reported as having returned to port in San Diego.
The Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) was last reported as having returned to Norfolk.
The John Stennis (CVN-74) was last reported back as participating in an exercise off the coast of southern California.
The Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) was last reported in the Atlantic.
The Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) was last reported in the South China Sea. (Freedom of Navigation patrol)
The George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) was last reported as having returned to port in Norfolk.
Conflict requiring a Carrier Strike Group does not appear imminent.
Significant House Activity:
- The Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will hold a hearing on water resource projects.
- A subcommittee of Financial Services will hold a hearing on the means of terrorist financing.
Significant Senate Activity:
- The Judiciary Committee continues to hold hearings on the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.
* Reporting will appear in the Strategic Intelligence Summary or National Intelligence Bulletin.
– The president is free to implement another round of tariffs on China, this time on $200 billion of goods. My concern is that there’s no good way out for China unless they escalate. For instance, they could target U.S. multinational corporations operating in China (think Apple, Boeing, or Starbucks) by increasing operating costs. Alternatively, they could pledge to stop buying U.S. debt until the trade war is resolved. The Chinese have to do something to achieve parity with U.S. tariffs because President Trump’s trade policies are hurting China much worse than they’re hurting the U.S. I’ll have further analysis on the Chinese economy as it pertains to risk to the U.S. economy in today’s National Intelligence.
– Sure to draw the ire of President Trump, the Fed appears set to raise interest rates again this year. New data showing a sharp rate in wages means another rate hike this year is more likely. The Fed will have a monetary policy meeting later this month.
– After saying that he might pursue a government shutdown over border wall funding, President Trump reversed course this morning and said that a shutdown is no longer a possibility because it would harm the GOP during the mid-terms.
Hurricane Florence was downgraded to a tropical storm by the National Hurricane Center, but watchers expect it regain strength and turn into a hurricane again before making landfall. Right now, NHC is forecasting Florence to hit late next week.
REMINDER: This hurricane watch section will remain in this report through the end of the season. I check the latest from the National Hurricane Center each morning and will provide details as necessary.
Drought conditions persist across much of the Southwest. This map is updated every Thursday.
What I’m Looking at this Morning