Good morning. Here’s your Early Warning for Monday, 28 January 2019.
ADMIN NOTE: I’ve created a new section of this report to highlight recent statements, plans, and proposals promoted by Democrats. I’ve also condensed the Defense Department reporting to only deployed carrier strike groups.
The President is scheduled to have lunch with Vice President Pence.
Shutdown: T minus 18 days and counting for the next possible shutdown. On Friday night, the House and Senate passed a bill to fund the government until 15 February. Both parties passed the funding bill in good faith to negotiate the border wall and pay federal workers. Both President Trump and Mick Mulvaney, his chief of staff, have warned that they’ll declare a national emergency to get the wall built, if necessary. And Mulvaney said that President Trump is ready to shut down the government again.
Venezuela: Last week, de facto president Nicolas Maduro gave U.S. diplomats 72 to hours to vacate the country, national security advisor John Bolton warned that the U.S. would pursue a “significant response” if Venezuelan forces attempted to remove U.S. personnel. Maduro backed down from warnings about the U.S. embassy and turned his attention to participating in a military exercise, instead. And the Washington Post is reporting that the ‘other’ president, Juan Guaido, is in talks with some military and civilian officials about their support for deposing Maduro. Meanwhile, major European powers have joined the call for a new election. That’s probably why the Bank of England refused to repatriate $1.3 billion worth of Venezuelan gold.
Secretary Pompeo has no publicly scheduled events.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan is scheduled welcome NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Pentagon.
These are the last publicly reported locations of deployed carrier groups. Conflict requiring an aircraft carrier/carrier strike group does not appear imminent.
The John Stennis (CVN-74) was last reported as in the North Arabian Sea.
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
After a month of reporting, Chinese officials finally arrived in Washington D.C. today to begin talks with the Trump administration and bring an end to the trade war. China is beginning to feel the effects of Trump’s economic policies, and those effects threaten to undermine President Xi’s vision for China’s future.
One thing that really concerns me is not just the national debt, but that 2019 will be the second year in a row that we run trillion dollar deficits. And the Congressional Budget Office reports that the federal government will be running trillion dollar deficits for several years to come. On the chart below, 2010-2018 represents the economic recovery. This is a debt-based recovery, which is no recovery at all. My concern is that if the government is having to borrow money at this rate during “good times”, what will they be forced to do during the coming bad times?
This week, we’ll get a much better picture of how the corporate economy is playing out. Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Google, Caterpillar, Pfizer, Shell, and Exxon are the big players due to report earnings. Any weakness here is going to cause ripples and add to warnings of the slowdown. (UPD: Caterpillar missed earnings and it’s already leading the media to point out that the global economy is slowing.)
Far Left Daily
(AC: I’ve added this section to show the latest statements, plans, and proposals from Democrats, most of whom are leaning Far Left.)
“About 1 in 3 American families have zero to negative wealth—and the wealth gap continues to grow. That gap is especially stark between races with white young people today having 16 times the wealth of black young people. My bill will help close that gap.” [source] – Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)
(AC: Senator Booker’s “baby bonds” plan would give each American newborn a $1,000 Treasury bond, and add annual contributions for children in low-income households. Those bonds would be released upon the child turning 18 and could be worth up to $46,000, on average, Booker’s staff says. The money would be available to spend towards higher education, buying a home, and retirement. Booker has not declared whether or not he’s running, but he’s expected to make an announcement soon.
“I’m running to fight for Medicare for All, universal pre-K, debt-free college & more. To guarantee middle-class families a pay increase of up to $500/mo with the largest working-class tax cut in decades — paid for by reversing this administration’s gifts to big corporations & the top 1%.” – Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who announced her presidential candidacy yesterday
“I think a lot about intergenerational justice… You’re going to be dealing with the consequences of what they’ve done to the debt; you’re on track to be the first generation ever to make less than your parents, unless something changes…” [source] – Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg (D), who announced his candidacy last month
What I’m Looking at this Morning
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s bid as a centrist independent president candidate “would provide Donald Trump with his best hope of getting reelected. I would suggest to Mr. Schultz to truly think about the negative impact that would make… [Trump’s] only hope, if things stay the same, is to get a third-party [candidate] to siphon off votes.” – Julian Castro, former Obama Housing and Urban Development secretary [source]