Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Tuesday, 26 February 2019.
ADMIN NOTE: After reviewing last month’s survey results, I’ll be making some minor changes to this daily Early Warning report. You may have noticed that EW is hitting inboxes between 0730 and 0800 Central most mornings, Monday through Friday. Waking up early and writing this report is the absolute highlight of my day, so that’s not going to change. But I’ll be minimizing some sections that are less popular and including a new section that was widely requested. You can expect those changes next week. Thank you for all the support. – S.C.
The President is scheduled to arrive in Vietnam and has no publicly scheduled events today. The Trump-Kim summit starts tomorrow.
Cohencidence?: Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen is scheduled to testify in front of the House Oversight Committee tomorrow, conveniently during the Trump-Kim summit in Vietnam. Cohen is expected to testify, under oath, that President Trump committed criminal conduct when he approved a hush-money payment. Cohen will also allege that President Trump may have broken the law when Trump avoided paying property taxes. (The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Cohen will also accuse President Trump of “lies, racism, and cheating.”)
Secretary Pompeo will be in Vietnam and the Philippines from 24 February to 01 March. Secretary Pompeo will participate in the Trump-Kim summit in Vietnam, then travel to the Philippines to meet with President Rodrigo Duterte.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan has no publicly scheduled events.
These are the last publicly reported locations of deployed carrier groups. Those not listed were last reported in port.
The Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) is off the coast of Virginia for pre-deployment training. The Lincoln will rejoin the Indo-Pacific Command once it re-bases to San Diego, CA.
The John Stennis (CVN-74) was last reported as in the South China Sea.
The Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) is forward deployed to Yokosuka, Japan.
Significant House Activity:
- The State of Water Supply Reliability in the 21st Century (Cmte on Natural Resources, Subcmte on Water, Oceans, and Wildlife)
- Securing U.S. Surface Transportation from Cyber Attacks (Cmte on Homeland Security, Subcmte on Transportation and Maritime Security)
- Options for U.S. Diplomacy on North Korea (Cmte on Foreign Affairs, Subcmte on Asia, the Pacific and Nonproliferation)
- INF Withdrawal and the Future of Arms Control: Implications for the Security of the U.S. and its Allies (Cmte on Armed Services, Subcmte on Strategic Forces)
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.
According to the latest data from the St. Louis Federal Reserve, the wholesaler inventories-to-sales ratio continues to climb, showing that existing sales are slowing down compared to inventory ordering. That’s a classic sign of a slowdown. Despite that, the latest Bloomberg Consensus for Q1 2019 economic growth is hovering around two percent.
Add another recession survey to the list: according to a National Association for Business Economics survey, 10 percent of respondents see a recession starting this year, 75 percent see a recession starting in 2020, and 11 percent see no recession through 2021.
Far Left Daily
During a CNN townhall last night, Sen. Bernie Sanders is asked whether or not, if he were elected, America would become a socialist nation. Sanders refused to answer the question, instead saying that, “If I am elected president, we will have a nation in which all people have healthcare as a right, whether Trump likes it or not.” Sanders went on to express support for free college tuition and raising the minimum wage. In a question from the audience, Sanders is asked if he can make “a simple, persuasive case as to why socialism is preferable to capitalism.” He doesn’t answer the question.
“If the Republicans are going to try to block us on key pieces [of legislation] that we’re trying to move forward, then you better believe we’ve got to keep all the options on the table.” – Sen. Elizabeth Warren, speaking about removing the Senate filibuster
Eitan Hersh, a Tufts political science professor, warned via Twitter that the Democrats could be doomed in five steps:
What I’m Looking at this Morning
“No, I do not. I doubt that [President Trump] would even be able to say that the Fed’s goals are maximum employment and price stability.” – Former Fed chair Janet Yellen, saying that President Trump doesn’t understand economic policy or the Federal Reserve