(A)Political Newsletter - Volume 33

(A)Political Newsletter - Volume 33

Good morning everyone,

Welcome back for the thirty-third edition of (A)Political! We are one step closer to our fiftieth and to the 2024 Presidential Election. In this issue, we cover Mitch McConnell’s announcement to leave Senate leadership. Then we head to Michigan for former President Trump and President Biden’s victories in the critical swing state. Both the House and Senate passed stopgap funding bills to avert a shutdown. Finally, Alabama Congressional Republicans passed a law that would protect providers of IVF after the Supreme Court stated that embryos are people.

In today’s edition:

  • Stock Watching

  • Mitch McConnell to Step Down as Republican Leader in November

  • Fmr. President Trump/Pres. Biden win Michigan Primaries

  • House, Senate Pass Stopgap Bill

  • Alabama Republicans Pass Law to Protect IVF


  • BREAKING: Representative Mark Green has announced that he has reversed his decision to retire.

    • We have covered many stock trades by Green.

    • We have seen him make 800% profits buying and selling DogeCoin.

  • Representative Sean Casten recently disclosed purchases of bonds in a carbon removal company called MYNO Carbon.

    • He sits on the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. His father is the chair of MYNO’s board.

    • These trades were all disclosed well past the 45-day reporting deadline set by the STOCK Act. Casten has worked on several pieces of energy legislation which could directly impact the company.

  • Bipartisan legislation to regulate congressional stock trading has been referred to the Committee on House Administration.

    • This committee is chaired by Bryan Steil. Steil has suggested banning politicians from shorting stock.

  • Senator Tommy Tuberville bought up to $315K of stock in Cleveland-Cliffs a few months ago. Cleveland-Cliffs is a steel producer.

    • Tuberville sits on the Senate Subcommittee on Commodities. The stock has now risen over 45% since his trades.

    • Tuberville has been one of the most vocal opponents of proposals to ban congressional stock trading.

    • He has said that it would really cut back on the number of people who wanted to serve.

  • Josh Hawley has suggested Steve Daines as a replacement for Mitch McConnell as Senate Republican Leader Daines is one of just four Senate Republicans who have co-sponsored legislation that would ban congressional stock trading. Hawley is another one of those four.

  • On February 21st, UnitedHealth discovered a cybersecurity breach.

    • The same day, Nancy Pelosi made her second purchase of call options in a cybersecurity company called Palo Alto Networks.

    • Yesterday, it was announced that Palo Alto Networks was chosen to investigate the hack.

    • Palo Alto Networks stock is up over 19% since Pelosi’s second purchase.

  • BREAKING: Lobbyists from Amazon are being banned from the European Parliament.

    • Our data shows that Amazon has spent over $4.4M on lobbying in the United States last quarter.

    • One of Senator Chuck Schumer’s children is a registered lobbyist for Amazon.

  • BREAKING: U.S. Representative Shri Thanedar just disclosed cryptocurrency sales of up to $800K.

    • He sold up to: - $500K in Bitcoin - $250K in Ethereum - $50K in Litecoin

  • Nancy Pelosi just disclosed a purchase of call options in the cybersecurity company Palo Alto Networks, $PANW.

    • The CEO of $PANW recently said that they are hoping for a major government contract. We'll keep an eye on our government spending data to see if that contract arrives.

Mitch McConnell To Step Down as Republican Leader in November

(Photo - Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images)

February 28, 2024 - Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has announced he will step down as leader in November, no matter which party wins the presidential race. The announcement comes amid swirling problems for McConnell, from a GOP moving away from his Reagan-era policies to a more Trumpian views and questions about his health. McConnell, since the 2022 Midterms, fell during a campaign fundraiser and then had two freeze-ups during press conferences, where he stood silent and motionless for periods. Then, McConnell tried to push through a major bill that would resolve some border issues and provide billions of dollars in funding to Taiwan, the Indo-Pacific, Israel, and Ukraine. Former President Trump, planning on running against President Biden and using immigration as the key touchstone of his campaign, effectively ended the momentum that had been built to support the bill.

The last 8 years were dominated by a Trump-McConnell relationship that was political maneuvering at best and extremely toxic at worst. It started in 2016, when McConnell accosted Trump with his allies, but they were able to pass some Republican priorities. Together, they were able to pass a tax-cuts bill and were one vote short of partially gutting the Affordable Care Act. The biggest triumph of the duo was confirming three Supreme Court Justices together. After the January 6 incident, their relationship entered new lows when McConnell said the event “tried to disrupt our democracy.” He was very close to telling congressional colleagues to vote for Trump’s conviction for impeachment, but instead held off after Trump left office.

In the last two years, he has refrained from attacking Trump directly, especially after he gradually regained power in the march to the 2024 Republican nomination. However, McConnell has also, at the time of writing, not endorsed Trump, making him the last Republican leader in Congress who has not endorsed his candidacy. McConnell has served since 2007 as the Republican leader. 

Trump and Biden Win Michigan Primaries

(Photo - Rebecca Cook/Reuters)

February 27, 2024 - Both President Biden and former President Trump walloped in their respective primaries, but both had problems that could hurt them in the general election. Michigan, in particular, was watched by political pundits because it is a critical swing state that swung for Trump in 2024 and then switched back to Biden in 2020. Let’s look into the positives and negatives of each candidate’s votes.

Former President Trump again beat former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, continuing his undefeated streak heading into Super Tuesday. Trump beat Haley sixty-eight percent to approximately twenty-seven percent. However, this still shows that a sizable portion of the Republican electorate is not backing Trump, even after all his momentum. Haley has stated she will stay in the race at least until after Super Tuesday. The Trump campaign has tried to switch to more general-election messaging but cannot fully change due to a primary challenger still in the race, even if she is not winning any primaries.

President Biden also trounced his other opponents, but his problem lies in the number of “uncommitted” votes. Michigan has a sizable Arab American population, which is angry with Biden for how little he has done to avert the Israel-Gaza War or condemn Israel in any stronger terms. In response, a campaign to vote “uncommitted” for the Democratic primary was put forth to show how powerful the coalition is that wants Biden to take a stronger stance against Israel's conduct in the war in Gaza. The number of votes, approximately 100,000, is more than enough to tip the election in Trump’s favor in Michigan’s traditionally close elections. Democratic politicians are pushing Biden to find ways to avert such an outcome.

House, Senate Pass Stopgap Bill

(Photo - Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

February 27, 2024 - The House of Representatives passed a stopgap bill, extending government funding for a week so that Republicans and Democrats can have more time to reach a compromise. House Speaker Mike Johnson passed the funding bill, even while receiving backlash from the conservatives in his conference. The Senate also passed the bill, with thirteen conservative Republicans voting against it.

Mike Johnson continues to be in tenuous water in his position as House Speaker. Former Speaker Kevin McCarthy also lost his post because of a right-wing backlash for a bipartisan package. Johnson does not want the same to happen to him, especially as confidence in his abilities to run the conference continues to wane. However, the stopgap bill does not have any funding provisions for either Ukraine or Israel, which Republicans said they would try to fund by itself.

Alabama Republicans Pass Law to Protect IVF

(Photo - Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

February 27, 2024 - Both the Alabama Senate and House passed bills that would prevent any enforcement of the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling that embryos are “extrauterine children.” These votes come in response to Republican backlash, including from former President Trump. The ruling would prevent any law enforcement agency from arresting anyone associated with IVF or any private entity, such as pro-life organizations, from filing civil lawsuits against providers. Republican politicians were horrified at the ruling because it would reopen wounds from the Supreme Court overturning the right to an abortion. The abortion argument has continually been used by Democrats to trounce Republicans in competitive races, especially in the 2022 Midterm elections.

Republicans have had to navigate the abortion issue, much to their detriment. Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin tried to have a compromise solution but lost both the state House and the Senate. Former President Trump has stayed mum on the issue, trying to placate pro-life voters, which are his base, while not alienating general election voters who are more liberal.

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