Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Monday, 22 April 2019.
Politics & Governance
The Supreme Court is scheduled to begin hearing the case on the census citizenship question tomorrow. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is accused by a District Court judge of making several legal and ethics violations in order to ask census recipients about their citizenship status. A ruling is expected in June, just before the Census Bureau is set to starting printing census forms in July. Last year, the Supreme Court upheld President Trump’s travel ban in a 5-4 vote. And in a sign that the court again rules by ideology, three Supreme Court Justices (Gorsuch, Thomas, and Alito) said they would have halted this case in the District Courts. That leaves Chief Justice Roberts and the most recently appointed Justice Brett Kavanaugh who will likely control the decision.
Senators Kamala Harris (D-CA) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) are both calling for impeachment proceedings against President Trump, as many House Democrats continue to wage a campaign to prove impeachable offenses over the president’s alleged obstruction of justice. Other Democrats have backed off threats of impeachment, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is holding a conference call today to discuss a party strategy on the question of impeachment. Pending some damning testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller, if and when he appears in front of Congress, impeachment is still highly questionable at this point, despite the continued push for it by elements of the Democratic Party.
As Joe Biden readies to enter the presidential race, the New York Times is asking this morning if the Democrats will nominate another white man. “Is a white man the best face for an increasingly diverse Democratic Party in 2020? And what’s the bigger gamble: to nominate a white man and risk disappointing some of the party’s base, or nominate a minority candidate or a woman who might struggle to carry predominantly white swing states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania that both Barack Obama and President Trump won?” [source]
Far Left Daily
“There is no question that there is good reason to believe that there was an obstruction of justice by this president. There is no question.” – Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)
“It may be that we undertake an impeachment nonetheless. I think what we’re going to decide as a caucus is what is the best thing for the country… That’s going to be a very consequential decision and one that I’m going to reserve judgment on until we have a chance to deliberate about it.” – Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)
Earlier this month, Goldman Sachs revised its 12-month recession risk to 10 percent, which was down from 20 percent. Analysts credited the Federal Reserve with decreasing downside risk. But in a new investment note from Goldman chief economist Jan Hatzius, the Fed is criticized for losing its forecasting edge to a wider array of private analysts, who make it more difficult to beat the “wisdom of the crowd.”
That said, the latest Atlanta Fed GDPNow forecast is at 2.8 percent for Q1 2019. That would really be something, especially considering that at the beginning of last month, the GDPNow forecast was just 0.3 percent. Q1 GDP growth is typically weak, but a Wall Street Journal survey found a consensus expectation of 2.4 percent economic growth for the quarter. Something like 2.5 percent is going to stave off recession fears for the foreseeable future.
Strategic/Defense Situational Awareness
Sri Lankan officials have named the Islamic terror group National Thowfeek Jamaath as being responsible for seven suicide bombers that attacked Christians on Easter Sunday. National Thowfeek Jamaath is a domestic group, but authorities suspect foreign involvement. So far, 290 victims have died and 500 are injured.
During a meeting with Iranian-Americans last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the Trump administration is ‘not going to do a military exercise inside Iran’ to achieve regime change.