(A)Political Newsletter - Volume 5

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

Friday, August 18th, 2023

Good morning everyone,

We are nearing the first Republican debates, the moment the election really begins to kick off. Atlas will be releasing live commentary for the debate on the app and website, so be sure to keep an eye out to watch along with us. That being said, Trump continues to dominate the Republican polls, with Biden in a slight lead as the former president continues to face the brunt of multiple investigations, something the current president may also have to face soon. All in all, a healthy political atmosphere! Let’s see what we’ve got.

In today’s edition:

  • The first Republican debate is upcoming

  • A federal judge allows a Florida ban on Chinese land ownership to continue

  • President Biden’s approval rating on the economy


  • Michael Burry just filed a portfolio update.

    • He has opened a $1.6B position betting against the market.

    • $886M in $SPY puts and $738M in $QQQ puts.

  • We just got an update on AOC's financial holdings.

    • She disclosed less than $60K in assets, and up to $50K in student loan debt.

    • When she first entered Congress in 2019, she had less than $45K in assets, and up to $50K in student loan debt.

  • Renaissance Technologies has filed an update on its portfolio holdings.

    • RenTech was founded by the mathematician Jim Simons and is arguably the most successful hedge fund in history.

    • There were some massive changes

  • Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is buying gold.

    • He just disclosed a purchase of the SPDR Gold Trust, $GLD.

    • Whitehouse sits on the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight.

  • We got an update on Senator Jon Ossoff’s financial holdings recently.

    • The majority of his portfolio is in a blind trust worth up to $5M.

    • He has up to $205K in various mutual funds, $100K in the bank, and $15K in State of Israel foreign bonds.

  • Update on Representative Daniel Meuser’s financial holdings.

    • He has up to $340K in bank stocks. I caught this wild clip of Meuser earlier this year.

    • He thinks that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau isn't doing enough to serve the banks.

  • U.S. Steel, $X, is reportedly eyeing a potential sale after receiving several unsolicited bids.

    • Members of WallStreetBets are speculating that Elon Musk is acquiring the $5B company just for its stock ticker.

    • $X is up 26% in pre-market trading.

  • President Biden just announced that he is awarding $1.2B to carbon capture projects.

    • Occidental Petroleum is the big winner from this.

  • Rep. Matt Gaetz appears to have violated the STOCK Act.

    • We just received his annual financial disclosure, which revealed a sale of stock in “Caregivers Inc."

    • This sale was not previously disclosed. We found that Caregivers Inc. had $480K in PPP loans forgiven.

Be on the Lookout:

Seven U.S. representatives have not filed their disclosure forms by the proper due date: Rep. George Santos (NY) Rep. Kat Cammack (FL) Rep. Kelly Armstrong (ND) Rep. Bill Huizenga (MI) Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX) Rep. Michael McCaul (TX) Rep. Dina Titus (NV). As of now, these seven are facing a $200 fine. Most notable of those is George Santos, who has been in office for 8 months and has been indicted on 13 criminal charges, including "wire fraud, money laundering, and theft of public funds”.

Jordan Campaign for Speaker Fails

(PHOTO - J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

October 20, 2023: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH.) has been voted out as the Republican nominee for Speaker of the House. He tried to empower Acting Speaker Patrick McHenry (R-NC) by endorsing a vote that would empower him until January. The bill would have effectively give Jordan enough time to accrue more votes on the House Floor. If all Democrats vote against Jordan as speaker, he could only afford 4 lost votes from Republicans. He could not afford the lost votes, and had to drop out.

Jordan's third attempt, done Friday morning, showed he continued bleeding support, going rising to 25 House Republicans voting against him, up from 22 on the second ballot. After his third attempt to His detractors continue to grow support, with no one changing back to his side. As a result, his campaign became worse by the day, with no strategy to change detractors' votes, or to exit gracefully. Jordan was set to ask the Republican conference whether he should continue his race. The answer was that he should drop out.

The race to replace Jordan continues in backrooms. Rep. Tom Emmer (R-MN), the number 3 Republican in the House, has been floated as a replacement. Other candidates include former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Cali), who was ousted but whose allies have tried to reinstall.

Ron Desantis PAC Leader Resigns

(Photo - John Brighenti / FLICKR)

August 30, 2023: Florida Gov. Ron Desantis continues to stumble in his presidential bid to unseat former President Donald Trump for the Republican nomination. This time, Chris Jankowski, the chief executive of Never Back Down, has resigned from the post. Never Back Down amassed over $130 million over the summer to support Desantis's efforts, and has spent extensively on ads to both attack Trump but also attack surging candidate Nikki Haley.

Both Desantis and his wife are complaining about the ads attacking Haley, according to the NYT. His PAC funds much of the campaign's functions, which while direct coordination is illegal under federal law, happens frequently in campaigns. A key reason why was a verbal argument breaking out between members of the PAC over the development of a new PAC, which some within Never Back Down view as undermining its efforts.

Desantis in general has been undergoing missteps since the summer. Other then being endorsed by the most powerful evangelical leader in Iowa and Gov. Kim Reynolds, which could help move some Iowa voters to him, he has has to undergo many personnel cuts and the forced resignation of his former campaign manager. He has slid in the polls instead of rising in them, and is losing support to Nikki Haley, who is gaining both voter and anti-Trump megadonor support.

Remembering Rosalynn Carter

August 30, 2023: Rosalynn Carter, humanitarian and wife of former President, has passed away in hospice care at 96. Carter supported her husband for 77 years of marriage and stated her intention of not being a traditional first lady. She sat in on cabinet meetings and was a leading advocate for mental health policy, sitting as the honorary chair of the President's Commission on Mental Health in 1977. She pushed for systemic changes in how all levels of government handle mental health. After her husband left office, she was a leader of the Carter Center, which is a humanitarian center pushing in multiple areas of human rights. Her memorial service next week will be attended by both President Biden and his wife, along with other former First Ladies.

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