(A)Political Newsletter- Volume 21

(A)Political Newsletter - U.S. Political News & Election Updates

Friday, December 8, 2023

Good morning everyone,

A busy week for the Senate as they rush to appoint military leadership positions and try to haggle border security in a Ukraine and Israel aid package. Far from the D.C., Republican candidates took the stage to once again try and grow their campaigns before the Republican primary. Lets get right into it!

In today’s edition:

  • Stock Watching

  • Fourth Republican Debate

  • Tuberville Releases Senate Appointment Blockade

  • Disagreements Over Border Funding and Ukraine-Israel Aid


  • Congress has released text for the $886B defense bill.

    • Proposals to ban politicians from trading stock in defense contractors were scrapped.

    • Many of the politicians who vote on the defense budget also seek personal profit from defense spending:

    • 32 Members of Congress own stock in Lockheed Martin

    • 21 own stock in Raytheon.

    • 20 own stock in General Dynamics.

    • There have been many suspicious trades of defense stocks.

    • Representative John Rutherford bought stock in Raytheon on the day that Russia invaded Ukraine.

    • Representative Kevin Hern bought, sold, and then bought stock in Lockheed Martin again in the span of a few months.

    • Many of the members trading defense stocks also sit on committees responsible for oversight of the Department of Defense.

    • It’s not uncommon for companies to restrict employees from trading certain stocks.

  • One of the largest holdings in Senator Kennedy's personal portfolio is JPMorgan stock.

    • Many of his largest corporate donors come from Wall Street.

    • He told bank CEOs that he is very proud of them at the Wall Street oversight hearing.

  • Senator Ron Wyden just revealed that the DOJ is spying on Apple and Google users through push notifications.

  • Representative Josh Gottheimer bought stock in $ADYEY on October 16th.

    • In less than two months, the stock has risen over 58%. 

    • $ADYEY is a financial services company.

    • Gottheimer sits on the House Financial Services Committee.

  • Senator Tommy Tuberville has ended his hold on military promotions.

    • He was one of Congress' most active stock traders during the hold.

    • He traded ~$11M of stock and options.

    • He has said that a congressional trading ban would cut back on the number of people who want to serve

  • Representative Patrick McHenry is expected to announce he won’t seek re-election today (Dec 5).

    • He is the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

  • Representative Jonathan Jackson just disclosed a sale of up to $100K of stock in the government contractor Honeywell, $HON.

  • Suspicious stock trade by Senator Tina Smith is starting to pay off.

    • She bought stock in a small company called Artivion on November 10th.

    • I posted this video calling out the trade.

    • Since then, the stock has risen 30%.

  • Representative Malliotakis did make a pretty suspect trade.

    • She bought stock in New York Community Bank in the middle of the banking crisis.

    • Just two days later, it announced it would be taking over branches from Signature Bank

    • The stock rose over 100% in the months following.

  • Representative Greg Casar has cosponsored legislation that would ban congressional stock trading.

    • We have not seen @RepCasar trade any stock since joining Congress last year.

    • He is one of the few congressmen who we estimate to have a net worth of less than $1M.

Be on the Lookout:

Every week members of Congress are increasingly vocal about a bill banning congressional stock trading. Many of those on the ethics committee have either been exposed or are suspected of participating in insider trading and have not investigated themselves.

Fourth Republican Debate Takes Place

PC: Jonathon Newton/ WP and Getty Images

December 8, 2023: The fourth Republican debate took place in Tuscaloosa, Alabama where candidates had to fight harder to preserve their campaigns. The Republican primary is getting closer and many of the candidates have not put a dent in the numbers of former President Donald Trump. Four candidates were present, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, Ron Desantis, and Chris Christie.

Nikki Haley seemed to be the target of the night as Ramaswamy and Desantis took turns bashing her for taking money from Wall Street donors and bringing Chinese investment to her state. This rhetoric from the candidates could be an indicator that Haley may soon take second place from Desantis who seems to be almost tied with her in some polls.

Following Haley, Desantis seems to have found his footing among the other candidates on stage. He spent most of his night giving what some called “vague sidesteps” but what others called “skillfull dodging”. Regardless of where the opinion falls, Desantis is holding his ground by sticking to his policies and redirecting what he doesn’t want to answer.

Vivek Ramaswamy has seemed to have lost some momentum as one-liners can only take him so far. He has made it a point to attack Nikki Haley over her “hawkish” views of U.S. foreign involvement. He also made it a point to go after her donors again, which would occur throughout the night.

Chris Christie had some interesting moments throughout the debate. He has been the candidate most willing to attack Donald Trump, but also attack those who refuse to denounce him. In an interesting turn, he defended Nikki Haley after Vivek Ramaswamy made a comment that Christie claimed “insulted her basic intelligence”.

Although it is not clear who the winners and losers of the debate are, the second place race is likely going to fall to Desantis or Haley. The next debates will be hosted by CNN in Iowa and New Hampshire during January.

Senate Confirms 400 military Posts after Tuberville lifts blockade

PC: Marium Zuhaib/ AP File

December 8, 2023:The Senate has unanimously confirmed 400 military posts just hours after Senator Tommy Tuberville (R.-Ala.) removed his opposition which has lasted for months. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D.-N.Y.) immediately began pushing confirming those posts through the Senate. The opposition was opposed by a bipartisan list of members, and the Biden administration.

Tuberville was voicing his concerns about a Pentagon policy of reimbursing service members or their families about some abortion-related expenses, which he is opposed to. He continued his opposition, pushing the military to where the highest ranking position in the Marine Corps, Army and Navy were filled by acting officials who had not been confirmed by the Senate, Axios reports.

Disagreements on a $110 Billion Security Package over Border Funding

PC: Christie Wilcox

December 8, 2023:Republicans blocked foreign security aid worth $110 Billion that would be used in defending Taiwan, Ukraine, and Israel. They have asked for changes to prevent or at least cut down on illegal crossings of the border. The changes sought by Republicans have failed to be passed through bipartisan action so far.

Democrats are willing to acquiesce to some Republican border security measures. A major change that’s been suggested, according to WSJ, is a harder screening standard for migrants to receive full asylum. They are also potentially open to expanding rapid deportations, not just at the border but through the whole of the U.S. due to the importance of continuing funding Ukraine's military after the 2022 Russian invasion, they are bargaining to get the funding.

Senate Democrats had previously indicated that talks about the border have fallen apart since reporting on a potential bipartisan solution last week. The lead Democrat, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), claimed that Republicans are exchanging Ukrainian aid for policies that would “essentially close the border.” But Republicans as well as Democrats have since changed their stance and have re-opened dialogue.

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