(A)Political Newsletter - Volume 27

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

Good morning everyone,

Happy Friday and welcome back to volume 27 of the (A)Political Newsletter! This week has been eventful, with former President Trump continuing to sweep endorsements after his roughly 30% margin of victory in the Iowa Caucuses. Nikki Haley and Trump are battling it out in New Hampshire for the next race. Republicans could possibly prepare a motion to vacate Speaker Mike Johnson if he passes a new spending deal. Finally, the Department of Health and Human Services made a memo wanting to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule one substance.

In today’s edition:

  • Stock Watching

  • Trump Wins Iowa Caucuses, Continuing Nomination March

  • Campaign for New Hampshire Primary Continues

  • House Republicans Possibly Prepare Motion to Vacate

  • HHS Supports Marijuana Classification


  • BREAKING: Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has bought stock in the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly.

    • Whitehouse is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Budget.

  • Senator Jerry Moran has filed 45 new stock trades. 43 of them were sales, totaling up to $680K.

    • His only purchases were two buys of up to $15K of Berkshire Hathaway stock.

    • Data on all his trades is up on Quiver.

  • Representative Mark Green just sold up to $250K of stock in NGL Energy.

    • He bought up to $1.3M of stock in the company in 2023.

    • It has risen over 105% since his March purchase.

    • Wild that politicians can buy stocks and then sell within a year.

    • It’s betting, not investing.

  • BREAKING: U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley has been hospitalized to treat an infection.

    • Senator Grassley is 90 years old.

  • Former US Rep. George Santos talking about insider trading in Congress. The example he gives isn't even the worst we have seen.

    • We are constantly finding suspicious congressional trades.

    • Even when our reporting gets picked up by the media, the trading never gets investigated.

  • No media coverage of this yet. U.S. Representative Kevin Hern just disclosed new trades of Devon Energy stock. Devon is based in Oklahoma. Hern represents Oklahoma.

    • He sits on the House Subcommittee on Energy.

  • Members of Congress officially earn a salary of $174K a year. They often make much more than that from outside sources.

    • I’ve been writing code to estimate how much wealth politicians gain in office.

  • BREAKING: Just caught several suspicious stock trades by Representative Kevin Hern.

    • He bought stock in multiple defense contractors.

    • He also bought stock in several energy companies, while sitting on the House Subcommittee on Energy.

Trump Wins Iowa, Continuing Nomination March

(Photo - Wall Street Journal)

January 15, 2024 - Former President Trump’s performance in the Iowa Caucuses has shown his dominant lead among the Republican Party during the Iowa Caucuses on Monday. His final lead was thirty percent above his next closest challenger, Gov. DeSantis. DeSantis, Haley, and Vivek Ramaswamy combined, had a combined forty-eight percent, which is still below Trump’s fifty-one percent.

In the sunup to the election, which was blisteringly cold, Trump, Haley, and DeSantis all advocated to turn out their supporters, especially Trump. He told voters, “even if you vote and pass away, it’s worth it.” Haley and DeSantis continued attacking each other, pulling each other down as Trump continued to be above the fray. Vivek Ramaswamy, who throughout the campaign he would either win or place in the top three of the caucuses, came in fourth. He subsequently endorsed Trump the day after.

Trump has been vacuuming up endorsements among Republican politicians this week. Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Marco Rubio, among others, have endorsed Trump. It is notable because Cruz and Rubio both ran against Trump in the 2016 Primaries. Trump is attempting to pull and finish off Haley in New Hampshire and run a general election campaign months before he is officially nominated.

Campaigning for New Hampshire Primary Continues

(Photo - Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

January 18, 2024 - The New Hampshire Primary continues as Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and former President Trump compete in the state. The top two Republicans are campaigning heavily, with most polls showing Haley is anywhere between fifteen to nine points behind Trump. If Haley were to win the New Hampshire primaries, it would put a serious dent in Trump’s armor. Trump is relying on enough conservative Republican voters that would vote against Haley due to some of her more moderate stances. Haley is relying on a quirk in the New Hampshire primary system, where independent voters can vote in either the Republican or Democratic elections. Since independent voters, according to polling, have backed Haley over Trump by large margins, she is hoping to capitalize on that fact.

The strategy is risky, where by appealing to moderate voters in this state could alienate her from more conservative voters in others. She has also been helped by the fact that former Gov. Chris Christie withdrew from the race, which while not endorsing Haley, did effectively consolidate the anti-Trump vote for her. Florida Gov. Desantis has abandoned the state, where he has sent his entire campaign staff to South Carolina to campaign. With him not being in the state, she has free rein to mainly attack Trump and not take as many attacks in return.

House Republicans Possibly Prepare Motion to Vacate

(Photo - Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

January 18, 2024- House Republicans could possibly be preparing the motion to vacate to remove House Speaker Mike Johnson, in response if Johnson has a vote on the spending package the Senate approved. Republicans like Marjorie Taylor Greene have put the motion to vacate on the table. She said that any effort to combine Ukraine aid and border security. In response, Johnson said he was not afraid of the vote, in full confidence of his ability to beat back the threat

The same motion to vacate was used to remove former Speaker Kevin McCarthy from his post just months ago, which threw the House into chaos for a few weeks. While rank-and-file Republicans are hoping such a vote does not happen, which could undermine the image they are repairing in their bipartisan districts, the House Freedom Caucus is continuing on its path. Another right-learning Rep., Matt Gaetz, said he would not endorse using the motion to vacate so soon to the last time, however.

HHS Supports Marijuana Reclassification

(Photo - Ted S. Warren/AP

January 16, 2024 - The Department of Health and Human Services has released a 252-page document that states marijuana should be reclassified from a Class I substance to a Class III substance. The HHS says that the evidence-backed usages for marijuana are medical. The HHS found that the drug does not have as many negative effects compared to opioids, cocaine, and heroine. Another problem is withdrawal, which except for frequent users of the drug, has very little associated withdrawal symptoms.

In response, marijuana stocks rose across the board. In order for the recommendation to become active, the Drug Enforcement Agency must agree to the changes. If that is to happen, which reports say they are “likely” to change, which could allow wide ranging changes to all marijuana-allowing states. The biggest impacts to the industry would be allowing the bank deductions to go through, which at the current moment they cannot. The change would also allow more scientific research into the subject, which was stymied by marijuana being a Schedule I substance.

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