(A)Political Newsletter - Volume 38

(A)Political Newsletter - Volume 38

Good morning everyone,

Apologies for the week long hiatus on the last edition - let’s get right into it. This week was very busy in domestic politics. Republicans in Florida and Arizona have to contend with anti-abortion rules going into effect, again bringing the issue to the forefront. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson is contending with a possible right-wing revolt over a procedural vote and possible funding for Ukraine. Then, we have former President Trump asking for more debates earlier in the election season, as a way to remedy its weakness in early-voting.

In today’s edition:

  • Stock Watcher

  • Florida, Arizona push hardline anti-abortion rules despite backlash

  • Speaker Johnson deals with possible MTG-led revolt

  • Former President Trump asks Election Commission for more debates


  • BREAKING: Representative Virginia Foxx has bought stock in a small company called Ardmore Shipping, $ASC.

    • The company has a market cap of just $672M.

    • Foxx is the only politician we have seen trading it.

  • Politicians aren't the only ones receiving privileged information.

    • BlackRock and JP Morgan were reportedly leaked insider inflation data.

    • An economist from the Bureau of Labor Statistics sent information to several hedge funds, which he called "my super users".

  • BREAKING: Representative Tim Burchett just announced that he is voting against the FISA spying bill.

    • Republican Representatives Matt Gaetz and Anna Paulina Luna have also said they are opposed.

    • Provided that House Democrats are no votes, it looks likely to fail.

  • U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett just disclosed another purchase of stock in the pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson.

    • We estimate that he now holds ~$250K of $JNJ.

    • Doggett is the chair of the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health.

  • BREAKING: Marjorie Taylor Greene just threatened to oust Speaker Mike Johnson through a motion to vacate.

    • Matt Gaetz recently said that he would help the GOP raise the MTV threshold if they banned congressional stock trading.

    • They have not held a vote on a ban.

  • Morning Brew released a report on congressional stock trading this week.

    • It features some data from Quiver Quant, and interviews with several members of Congress.

  • BREAKING: Just found a new congressional stock trade that looks suspicious.

    • U.S. Representative Josh Gottheimer bought stock in a company called Perella Weinberg, $PWP.

    • It's a financial services company. Gottheimer sits on the House Financial Services Committee.

  • Here are estimates of how some of the world’s most famous investors performed this quarter:

    • Warren Buffett: +1.8%

    • Carl Icahn: +4.8%

    • Ken Griffin: +5.7%

    • Ray Dalio: +7.9%

    • Nancy Pelosi: +13.1%

Florida, Arizona Push Hardline Anti-Abortion Rules Despite Backlash

(Photo - Mike Fender / The News Herald)

April 11, 2024 - Republicans across all levels are again having to be brought back to the abortion debate, one widely seen as a losing issue for the conservatives. In Arizona, the Republican-leaning Supreme Court ruled that the Civil War-era law is still legally viable, effectively making all abortions illegal in the state. However, legal experts say there will be little enforcement of the law as both parties are trying to find ways around it. Former President Trump has condemned the law going into effect because as a swing state, Arizona could be a key to both his and President Biden’s election chances. Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Arizona to condemn the law and attack Trump over his role in overturning Roe v. Wade. Democrats across the country see abortion access as a key driver in turnout for the 2024 elections up and down ballot.

Republicans are again left reeling from abortion. Former President Trump made a declaration that abortion should be left to the states to decide and that he will not sign any anti-abortion legislation on a national level. This declaration was supposed to mollify the abortion debate for his campaign. Florida has the exact same issue, where the state Supreme Court ruled that a six-week abortion ban can go into effect, roiling the campaign in that state. Sen. Rick Scott, who is running for re-election in 2024, has been forced to soften his anti-abortion rhetoric as he tries to win the election. Democrats see Florida as possibly a comeback state because of abortion rights. The state most likely will have a ballot initiative that could enshrine abortion rights into the state Constitution. The turnout for that vote could also drive voter turnout for Democrats.

Speaker Johnson Deals with Possible MTG-led Revolt

(Photo - Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

April 11, 2024 - U.S. Speaker of the House Mike Johnson is dealing with a possible revolt among his right-wing flank led by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. She contends he is becoming too Democrat-focused with his push for greater funding for Ukraine and by supporting a procedural vote over extending the Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Service Act. Both votes are being met with right-wing fury, but the vote to oust Johnson himself is coming under MAGA scrutiny. MAGA insiders view another effort to oust the House Speaker with suspicion because of how chaotic the House became after former Speaker Kevin McCarthy lost his speakership over another right-wing revolt. Republicans do not want another few weeks of chaos showing how ineffectively they will be at ruling if they were in power.

Former President Trump will give Johnson a political lifeline on Friday, holding an “election integrity” event with him to show his support. The combined event will try to tacitly remind right-wing congresspeople of how much sway Donald Trump has over the Republican Party, and to not attack Johnson. However, Trump and Greene have a strong relationship, so Trump will most likely not attack her, but will just show his support for Johnson. The House Republican Conference is increasingly under the pressure of Trump as the party’s nominee for President. Even a small show of support could radically change the votes for any type of resolution, showing how his control over the Republican Party is complete.

Former President Trump asks Election Commission for More Debates

(Photo - Jim Bourg/Pool/AP)

April 10, 2024 - Former President Trump’s Presidential Campaign has asked the Commission on Presidential Debates to move up the presidential debate calendar, so more voters can see the presidential nominees. The campaign contends that millions of voters will vote before the second debate, which limits the exposure of the presidential candidates. One of Trump’s campaign strategies is to expose President Biden’s alleged mental decline, showing him as unfit to serve as president. Biden’s mental faculties are a main cause of concern among voters and Trump is trying to highlight these problems while live on stage.

The tactic could work in reverse, however. Their last debate in 2020 turned into a screaming match between the two rivals. If the next debate were to show Trump as angry or polemic, then that could worsen his election prospects. Trump is willing to take that chance to highlight possible deficiencies in Biden’s mental capacity.

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