Early Warning for 08 March 2019

Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Friday, 08 March 2019.

 

Early Warning: In Senate testimony on Venezuela yesterday, Sen. Marco Rubio warned of worsening conditions.

“The suffering people of Venezuela are about to experience the most dramatic shortages they have ever faced… Venezuela is just a handful of days away from running out of basic staples, wheat and corn meal and cooking oil… All of the leaders of Venezuela are overweight, and yet the people, on average, are losing 24 pounds in a year.”

Rubio also described the fuel situation: “As of today, Venezuela has about six, seven days left of fuel supplies. This in the most oil-rich country in the world, and this is because they have destroyed the domestic production capacity.”

As for any chance of military action, special envoy to Venezuela, Elliot Abrams, said, “It certainly is not desirable, and it is not the path that this administration is taking.”

Yesterday evening, a power outage brought Caracas to a halt for a couple hours. Maduro blamed the outages on the U.S., and the power company blamed a cyber attack on a power-producing dam.


 

Government Today

 

The President is scheduled to meet with some victims of this week’s storms in Alabama, and then travel to Mar-a-Lago to participate in a joint fundraising committee roundtable.

Secretary Pompeo is scheduled to meet with the UK’s national security advisor.

Acting Defense Secretary Shanahan: Nothing significant to report.


 

Congress

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.


 

Strategic/Defense

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 Strait of Singapore.

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


 

Far Left Daily

“I am certainly not looking to be comfortable, and I don’t want everyone necessarily to feel comfortable around me. I think really the most exciting things happen when people are extremely uncomfortable.” – Ilhan Omar (D-MN)

“I think the vice president is more dangerous than the man who is running the circus [Trump]. So, impeachment is something that I think might become necessary—but I’m also afraid of it.” – Ilhan Omar (D-MN)

“It’s not just the divide in the freshman class, it’s the divide between the Democrats who just got elected from swing districts and the Democrats who were elected to committees and committee chairmanships who come from ultra-safe districts and are now under heavy pressure from activists to investigate 10,000 different things in the executive branch. It was only a matter of time before these fissures in the Democratic caucus emerged, and they’re emerging with a vengeance.” – Dave Wasserman, Cook Political Report

“The DNC is doing their best to accommodate a huge field, but this is going to be very unruly, and candidates will be lucky if they get a minute on a single question with so many people on stage. In the beginning, these debates are going to be useless, even fruitless.” – Democratic strategist Patti Solis Doyle


 

Economy/Finance

Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) is embroiling economists and investors in debate. MMT says that deficit spending and the national debt don’t matter for countries who issue their own currency as long as inflation remains low. I first wrote about it back in January and then dedicated several hundred words to the topic last month. This week, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said that MMT is “garbage”. Former Obama economic advisor Larry Summers warned that MMT could lead to hyperinflation. But that hasn’t stopped MMT from being adopted by far left politicians like Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.


 

What I’m Looking at this Morning

U.S. ‘gets its ass handed to it’ in wargames with Russia and China

The West isn’t ready for the coming Chinese misinformation


 

Notable Quotable

“He has … taken on the job of caring for prison cats. He occasionally argues with his cellmates about proper grammar.” – An author describing “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli, who’s serving a seven-year term for securities fraud. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Shkreli still runs his potentially billion-dollar company from inside the prison using a contraband cellphone.

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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