(A)Political Newsletter - Volume 8

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

Good morning everyone,

Trouble continues to brew on the US southern border as a migration crisis clashes with politics. The Republican primaries also continue to unfold as former President Donald Trump maintains his major lead. President Biden faces troubles at home and abroad with conflicts with Russia and China at the G20 meeting, and the Hunter Biden investigation continues as President Biden’s approval rating suffers. Former President Trump may yet again face even more legal trouble. What a time to be alive - let’s dive in.

In today’s edition:

  • Congressional stock watching

  • The Texas buoy border remains - for now

  • The Republican race continues

  • Biden receives poll updates


  • Senator Tommy Tuberville called proposals to ban congressional trading “ridiculous.”

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

  • US Representative Virginia Foxx just disclosed new stock trades, including a purchase of Alliance Resource Partners, $ARLP.

    • We now estimate that Foxx has traded $1.9M of stock and options in the last year.

    • This is more than 10x her salary as a member of Congress.

  • The data shows that three members of Congress have traded options contracts in the Chinese tech company Alibaba in the past few years: Blake Moore, James Langevin, and Tommy Tuberville.

    • They have something else in common: All three are on armed services committees.

  • Senator Thomas Carper has disclosed a purchase of stock in the lending and online banking company SoFi.

    • Very few members of Congress buy SoFi stock.

    • Carper sits on the Senate Committee on Finance.

  • Senator Thomas Carper has made another bet against the US economy.

    • He just disclosed new purchases of $PSQ, the ProShares Short QQQ ETF.

    • Carper sits on the Senate Committee on Finance.

  • Mitch McConnell appears to have just disclosed a purchase of up to $100K worth of garage door openers.

    • He just filed a purchase of "Chamberlain Units" worth $50K-$100K.

  • US Congressman Warren Davidson has called for the firing of SEC Chair Gary Gensler.

    • Davidson sits on the House Committee on Financial Services.

  • The military contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, $BAH, has been accused of overcharging U.S. taxpayers to subsidize itself.

    • Senator Thomas Carper bought $BAH in May. The stock has risen over 23% since.

    • Carper sits on the Senate Committee on Homeland Security.

  • US Representative Gerald Connolly just sold stock in the defense contractor Lidos, $LDOS.

    • Connolly sits on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

  • Data shows that the last 10 congressional trades of Blackrock, $BLK, have all been sales.

    • This includes a recent sale by Representative Josh Gottheimer.

    • Gottheimer sits on the House Subcommittee on Illicit Finance.

Be on the Lookout:

Visa and Mastercard have discussed raising credit card fees. Congress has tried and failed to pass legislation to limit credit card fees and rates. Some members implied that the U.S. needs to do more for banks and credit card companies. More Senate and House members are betting against the U.S. economy.

Appeals Court Temporarily Allows Texas to Keep Buoy Barrier on Rio Grande

Workers inspect buoys being used as a barrier along the Rio Grande in Eagle Pass, Texas.(Photo - Eric Gay/AP file)

September 7, 2023: The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals halted an order from a district judge to remove the barrier on the Mexico border. The buoys were placed to prevent or deter migration via the river. Texas had been previously ordered to remove it, but the new ruling allows them to keep it in place until a full decision is released.

The buoy system is over 1,000 feet long and has an anti-dive net to prevent people from going under it. Critics have noted that once one is caught under it, it is very difficult to escape due to the weight of the water inside the buoys and the heavy cables that connect them, leading to dangerous situations where some could drown attempting to cross them.

Texas has based the appeal on the state's security and the "irreparable harm" that would occur upon the buoys removal. The state also claims that the buoys are primarily a method of defense from the "invasion" of cartels. Opponents of the buoy argue that women and children are the ones drowning, not cartel members.

Governor Gregg Abbott’s office said that "it was prepared to fight the case up to the Supreme Court if necessary". Texas has also been told that if it does end up being moved, it will be in tandem with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The White House and the Mexican government have both complained to the state, calling it "inhumane and illegal". Another decision is expected to be rendered soon.

Republican Candidates Continue to War

Trump and DeSantis at a rally in Pensacola, Florida, on November 3, 2018. (Photo - Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)

September 8, 2023: Republican presidential candidates have all regularly made headlines for their attacks on former President Donald Trump. Yet recently, they have been increasing the rhetoric against each other, likely in order to strengthen their positions should Trump have to leave the race.

This week, former Vice President Mike Pence attacked Trump’s MAGA politics, saying in a speech that the right wing of the Republican Party, which views Trump as its foremost leader, is "leading the country on the road to ruin." This follows other attacks Pence has made, such as more forcefully coming out against Trump for his alleged attempt to overturn the 2020 election, including on January 6.

Other candidates continue to batter one another, letting Trump slide, likely in an effort to save polling numbers with pro-Trump voters. Some polls suggest that around 60% of Republican voters have at least a slightly favorable opinion of Donald Trump.

Nikki Haley’s campaign manager compared Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida and Vivek Ramaswamy to "Trump-lite" for many of their more extreme policies. Haley has risen in the polls since her fiery rhetoric and moderate stances at the first Republican debate. She has been particularly on the offensive against both DeSantis and Ramaswamy, likely trying to appeal to the more moderate, "old school" Republican voters. Despite this, Trump continues to remain fair ahead of the pack, attacking, or in some cases outright ignoring, the other contenders without suffering any polling damage.

CNN Poll finds President Biden tying with nearly all Republican Contenders

(Photo - Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images)

September 7, 2023: President Biden received concerning news following a new CNN poll, where there are continuing issues raised about his age and the health of the economy. The poll found that 46% of voters would rather have any Republican contender over President Biden, which highlights the large number of people against his presidency. However, 44% stated that any Democratic candidate would be better than Trump. In the hypothetical Trump vs. Biden matchup, there is no clear winner; both are within the margin of error. This certainly paints a worrisome picture for Biden, whose most likely opponent is dealing with 91 indictments across four criminal trials. Both Biden and Trump have underwater approval ratings of 35%. The only Republican candidate who is not in a statistical deadlock with the encumbent president, the polling found, was former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley.

Concerns about his leadership in dealing with the economy continue to fluctuate among voters. 58% stated that Biden’s economic policies have worsened the economy, while 70% found that things are going poorly for the country overall. 73% had concerns about Biden’s age affecting his mental and physical capacity, while 76% had concerns about his age affecting his ability to govern effectively. However, another consolation for Biden is that 30% of voters would vote for Biden regardless if he went against Trump, which could drive turnout for voting.

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