You Have it Completely Wrong on Cabinet Nominations

Animals,

We have been beating around the bush on this subject during the podcast, so if you don’t regularly read the blog, this is one is a must.

For the past 2 weeks I have basically been banging the war drums, sending up smoke signals, and beaming radio transmissions to outter space to get one message out:

JOE BIDEN’S CABINET IS IN DEEP DOODOO FOR A MARCH 1 CONFIRMATION DATE

I explained it on this blog here when this bit of genius first hit me:

And finally, two weeks later, the marketing is starting to agree.

Why Can’t the Senate Confirm Joe Biden’s Cabinet by March 1?

The main reason is that in his epic meltdown before leaving office, Trump basically sank his own ship right at the gates to the proverbial Congressional harbor.

And for the Senate to even begin work on Biden’s agenda, they need to clear out the husk of Trump’s unfinished business first.

So before Biden can get to work, the Senate first needs to:

  • Agree on a power sharing resolution to conduct basic business yet (this is because it is split 50-50)
  • Conduct Donald Trump’s second confirmation trial
  • Do a COVID stimulus bill and send people $2,000 of Biden Buxx

And at the same time…

  • Republicans have been using procedural tactics to slow down the confirmation process, as we expected.

Now, I personally love to commit an absolute bank robbery with great predictions like this one. But as someone who writes a blog that gives advice on how you can do the same, there is a point where the absolute massacre of people who bought “Free Money” YES positions on generic cabinet members being confirmed by March 1… is a natural disaster for our shared humanity.

Seeing this kind of pain hurts me in a very real way too.

So let me one final time explain what matters and what doesn’t

This Nominee is Non-Controversial

Brother, no one cares. Almost, if not all, of these nominees will eventually be approved. What matters here is TIME. And the Senate moves VERY slow. Every time a single senator objects to a nominee, that sets the process back 30 hours.

Get that through your head.

One objection = 30 hour delay.

And if you are the Republicans, and you are out of power in every branch of government, slowing down the Dems is your only real leverage. Remember, every day that the Senate spends debating Biden’s nominees is a day that it can’t spend making Puerto Rico a state, or creating an FBI probe into the color White.

Here is my Google sheet that tracks floor time left for this process.

“This Nominee Has a Committee Hearing Scheduled”

Okay. But this is the ultimate DGAF for the confirmation process. True, a committee hearing is an important step. But it no way relates to when they will actually get confirmed. Committee hearings are prioritized according to a few things, and one of the most important of them is when the right paperwork is filed to begin the confirmation process. That is very separate from how high of a priority this cabinet official is.

I could go on, or you could just look at the Senate’s own records.

And check out these two that are some of the juciest NOs for Biden’s cabinet.

Long story short, it’s very common for nominees to wait weeks or months from their hearing to their confirmation.

The Senate won’t be as a partisan and Biden’s nominees won’t be as controversial as Trump’s?

Are you kidding? Go with God then. Tony Blinken (Secretary of State) is one of the least controversial nominees imaginable, and Sen. John Barasso (legit a nice dude) is already beer bonging Haterade to gum this one up.

Josh Hawley has pledged to filibuster Alejandro Mayorka (DHS) and literally everyone is going to block Xavier Becerra (HHS). The partisan snowball is already rolling.

The #1 Way to Lose Money on These Bets Is

To tell yourself, “They’re going to get approved, so I will bet YES.” I literally cannot scream it loud enough — these bets have nothing to do with whether a nominee will be approved. It’s all about time.

Keendawg, What Actually Matters?

A president must have a national security team first, and he needs a few high-level domestic policy advisors. After that, it’s hard to say, but I personally would group these appointments into these buckets.

URGENT PRIORITY

  • Secretary of Defense, Treasury, State, Attorney General, DNI

HIGH PRIORITY

  • Secretary of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Labor

SORT OF A PRIORITY

  • Secretary of Transportation, VA, CIA, Dept of Interior

MEH, WHATEVER

  • EPA, Dept of Education, Dept of Energy, OMB, Commerce, everything else.

The Places I am Actively Shorting

  • Katherine Tai – 15c NO
  • Marsha Fudge – 20c NO
  • Deb Haaland – 23c NO
  • Gina Raimondo – 10c NO
  • Samantha Powers – 20c NO*
  • I am also shorting Xavier Becerra every time he goes to the 90s. Republicans will fight this guy and freak people out.

*This is a riskier bet than it seems. Might hit you with a blog about that later on.

Are you going to hold these all the day?

Not a chance, hombre. I’ll explain below.

THE RISKS

Keendawg, you could be wrong!!

Yes, I could be. It’s not a guarantee that the Senate Republicans will fight these nominations as hard as the Democrats fought Trump’s in 2017. If they back off, the timetable will speed-up by a lot. That said, Mitch McConnell is one of the all time-time savages of parliamentary strategy and does not even know what losing feels like in a Senate floor fight, so I don’t know how much faith you want to put in that.

On the flip side…

Cocaine Mitch and Chuck Schumer are at an impasse over preserving the filibuster. I will not go into detail about this, but I am 99 percent sure that if Schumer offered to put it in writing that no one will touch the filibuster anytime soon, then McConnell would greenlight all of Biden’s nominations. At the end of the day, fighting them is only delaying the inevitable.

Do you want to lose money slowly and painfully, or just get nuked badly all at once?

The longer this process drags out, the more value YES positions on any nomination are going to lose. People holding 85c bags are going to start wetting the bed when the impeachment trial begins and it’s Februrary and like 4 cabinet officials have been confirmed. It’s likely that bets on low-priority positions will basically be the walking dead by February.

Now, the other side of this is that when these votes do get scheduled, NO positions are going to get owned worse than this Zombie Kill of the week.

Basically, they’ll just get crushed down to 0 the second any movement comes. And that’s a bad place to be.

My Strategy

I’m just going to sell as these go up over time. Even a partial win is huge and money is money, right?

KEENDAWG.

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2 thoughts

  1. Are Trump’s picks still considered the current occupant of the position on March 1 if that person has not resigned? For instance, OMB and Russel Vought?

    1. No, their terms ended at noon on January 20. The positions are vacant until a nominee is confirmed.

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