Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Wednesday, 17 October 2018. (All times Central.)
The President is scheduled to meet with workers during a “Cutting the Red Tape, Unleashing Economic Freedom” event, and then holds a Cabinet meeting.
Secretary Pompeo is scheduled to travel to Turkey to meet with officials in the ongoing saga of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist (and possible Muslim Brotherhood supporter?) who Turkey accuses Saudi officials of murdering.
Defense Secretary Mattis is traveling to Vietnam and Singapore this week. Secretary Mattis expects to build support with Vietnam to counter Chinese dominance in the region.
Deployments: The Wasp Expeditionary Strike Group was last reported as underway in the South China Sea. The Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) was last reported as underway in the Atlantic to participate in Trident Juncture 2018 in Norway. Along with the Iwo Jima ARG are Marines from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit who will be joining 700 Marines already in Norway. Trident Juncture 2018 began on 15 October, but most of the exercise will take place between 25 October and 07 November.
These are the last publicly reported locations of these ships. Conflict requiring an aircraft carrier/carrier strike group 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.
The John Stennis (CVN-74) was last reported as being underway in the eastern Pacific.
The Harry Truman (CVN-75) was last reported as being in the North Sea. The carrier strike group will participate in the upcoming Trident Juncture 2018 exercise in Norway.
The Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) was last reported as being in the South China Sea.
The George H. W. Bush (CVN-77) was last reported as having returned to port in Norfolk.
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.
There’s lots of good economic news out recently. Consumer and homebuilder optimism is up, unemployment is down, there’s a record 7.1 million job openings, economists are finally starting to talk about wage growth, lots of companies are beating earnings estimates, the permanent layoff rate continues to decline, there’s been four consecutive monthly increases in U.S. manufacturing and 16 straight months of increased manufacturing capacity, and the World Economic Forum recently named the U.S. as the most competitive economy on Planet Earth.
President Trump continues to refer to the Federal Reserve as “my biggest threat,” with regard to the Fed’s policy of raising interest rates even as inflation levels off.
HurricaneWatch: The National Hurricane Center continues to show a picture in the Atlantic free of cyclone activity. About 44 days remain in “hurricane season,” which ends on 30 November. [source]
(Source: This map is updated every Thursday.)
(Source: This map is updated every Monday.)
What I’m Looking at this Morning
“Although the [U.S.’s] institutional framework remains very conducive, there are indications of a weakening social fabric and worsening security situation—the United States has a homicide rate five times the average for advanced economies—as well as relatively low checks and balances, judicial independence, and transparency.” – World Economic Forum report