September 18, 2021

9-9-22 WTF Happened This Week?

9-9-22 WTF Happened This Week?

A newsletter on politics, policy & pairings (Food & Drink)

Welcome to the inaugural newsletter of Win the Future Strategies, LLC, a boutique Washington, D.C. consultancy run by Brian & Teresa Morgenstern!

See below for:

  1. what’s going on with us,
  2. the top political stories we’re following,
  3. the top policy developments we’re watching,
  4. the recipe and drink pairing of the week, and
  5. the “WTF Moment of the Week”!

Don’t hesitate to contact us with questions, comments, or content suggestions at

(1) Top WTF News

We’re starting to promote our new book, Vignettes & Vino: Dinner Table Stories from the Trump White House with Recipes and Cocktail Pairings

  • We did a joint interview with our pal Ed Henry on his morning show, American Sunshine where we shared behind the scenes details about President Trump’s White House, and viewers, apparently, think that Brian looks like former Rep. Devin Nunes. Who knew?!
  • Fox News’ Lifestyle Page editor Maureen Mackey did a nice writeup with a focus on our delicious Citrus Sangria recipe. Highly recommend! (It’s still summer-ish, right?!)
  • The Daily Mail’s Rob Crilly covered some of the interesting and cheeky behind the scenes moments from the White House as well.

The book is available for pre-sale in the biggest retailers in America! Order your copy today at one of these fine choices:

Target Walmart Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Books A Million

(2) Top Political News of the Week

Queen Elizabeth II (1926 - 2022)

Queen Elizabeth II, a stalwart figure of stability in a chaotic world, may she rest in peace after reigning for 70 years and passing at the age of 96. She was the Queen of England for longer than most human beings on earth have been alive.

  • Now-King Charles III mourned his “beloved mother,” and expressed his gratitude for the “respect and deep affection” that has been “so widely held.”
  • Brand new Prime Minister Liz Truss said that “the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the world” would "celebrate her extraordinary lifetime of services.”
  • The current and former U.S. Presidents expressed their admiration for the Queen and their condolences to her family and country.

In an increasingly political world, where leaders in all facets of society are being dragged into disputes, may God Save the King and offer him the grace afforded his mother for seven decades. It will be no easy feat to maintain the neutral reputation and widespread public support of the monarchy, especially given his rather public, leftward predilections.

Midterm Elections

The GOP is highly likely to take control of the House, and we’ll have more to say about our forecast on that soon. The Senate picture is less clear.

Republicans are running against President Biden’s policies as causing inflation and high crime rates, and Biden and the Democrats are running against “MAGA Republicans” as threats to the republic, in efforts to separate out and lure the suburban female voters who trended towards Donald Trump in 2016 but then trended towards Democrats in 2020.

While Biden’s ham-handed approach over the last week has been panned as divisive and angry, Democrats appear to be benefitting from new-found enthusiasm among single-issue, pro-abortion female voters in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s decision in the Dobbs case. The generic congressional ballot has moved in the Democrats’ direction over the last month.

In the meantime, the latest polls posted by Real Clear Politics are looking good for Republicans in a few swing states:

  • Georgia U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker leads Sen. Rafael Warnock by 3 points.
  • Florida Sen. Marco Rubio leads by 2 to 3 points over challenger Val Demings.
  • Note: Rubio led by 3 to 4 points in polls leading up to his last victory in 2016, and he won by about 8 points—more than doubling the margin of error of the polls.
  • The incumbent governors in Georgia (Kemp) and Florida (DeSantis) are also in strong positions with leads outside the margin of error in recent polls.
  • In North Carolina, GOP Senate candidate Ted Budd leads by 3 points.
  • Note: In 2020, Republican Sen. Thom Tillis trailed in the polls by 2 to 4 points leading into the election and won by about 2 points, well outside the margin of error.
  • Pennsylvania GOP Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz will likely see some benefit from Fox News’ Tucker Carlson devoting a substantial portion of his airtime to a thorough takedown of Oz’ liberal Democrat opponent John Fetterman. Tucker referred to Fetterman’s “long list of documented failures” as mayor of a wilting small town and lack of other employment history, and stated the obvious, which is that Fetterman is suffering from cognitive difficulty due to a recent stroke. The latest poll in PA was taken a couple of weeks ago and shows Fetterman with about a 5 point edge.

We also note an interesting campaign trend identified by Natalie Allison at Politico that the fights are playing out in digital warfare and tv ads—rather than traditional debates and earned media.

(3) Top Policy News of the Week

Interest Rates

The WSJ reports that the Fed is poised to implement another 0.75 point rate hike at its meeting on September 20-21 as part of its effort to tame inflation. We expect unemployment to tick up in the coming months as more people re-enter the labor force and investors hold their fire, bracing for a potentially rockier Q4 2022 and Q1 2023, further tightening capital markets and corresponding investments in labor.

Crypto Regulation

A new bipartisan bill was introduced in the Senate by John Boozman (R-AR) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) to provide clarifying regulations for the cryptocurrency / digital asset industry. It would give primacy to the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) over the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), much to the delight of the industry. The SEC has taken a decidedly hostile position on crypto, even being accused of “regulation by enforcement,” as opposed to the “regulatory sandbox” approach, or at least a more cooperative process involving proposed rules and public comment periods.

The news this week is that the Senate Agriculture Committee will hold a hearing on the legislation this Wednesday, September 14.


House Financial Services Republicans, including chair-in-waiting Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, sent a letter to Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard with pointed questions about the Fed’s moves in the direction of issuing a central bank digital currency. The members question the Fed on whether it even has such authority, whether and how individual accounts with the Fed could take shape, and whether it could have negative effects on private sector digital asset innovators.

Financial Regulators Turned Climate Crusaders

Politico reports that the bank regulators — the Federal Reserve, Comptroller of the Currency, and the FDIC — are working on ways to use their supervisory abilities to force large banks to “identify, measure, monitor, and manage the financial risks of climate change,” according to newly confirmed Fed official Michael Barr.

Energy Markets

The UK’s Telegraph published an op-ed decrying how “governments and the cult of net zero wrecked the energy market.” Former U.S. House Majority Leader and current Vice Chairman of Moelis & Co. Eric Cantor agrees, posting on his LinkedIn page

“We are witnessing the effects of a poorly thought out net-zero carbon policy that is triggering an energy poverty crisis around the world. Washington policy makers and regulators should focus on the importance of retaining natural gas as an essential transition fuel in the road towards a decarbonized energy system.”

Job Market

With interest rates and the cost of capital rising, we’re seeing a sharp downturn in tech company growth, as is the New York Times:

“Seemingly overnight, the tech industry flipped from aggressive growth, hiring sprees, lavish perks and boundless opportunity to layoffs, hiring freezes and doing more with less.”

Anecdotally, we’re seeing downstream effects as well with attorneys, consultants, and other vendors servicing the tech industry experiencing severe belt tightening.

(4) Recipe & Drink Pairing of the Week

Clubhouse Steak Sandwiches & the Manhattan Helo Ride

(This is one of our favorites from our new book, Vignettes & Vino! It’s a crowd pleaser.)

To Eat: Clubhouse Steak Sandwiches

(Makes 1 sandwich)

¼ cup mayonnaise

1 garlic clove, smashed into a paste

1½ Tbsp. fresh horseradish

1 tsp. lemon juice


1 shallot, sliced

½ medium onion, sliced

2 tsp. brown sugar

2 tsp. Champagne vinegar

2 beef tenderloin medallions

Salt and pepper to taste

Truffle butter (optional)

2 slices sourdough bread, thickly sliced

1 cup arugula

Begin by making the horseradish aioli. Mix the mayo, garlic, horseradish, and lemon juice until blended. Add salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate while cooking the rest of the meal.

In a nonstick pan, heat the butter over medium heat. Once melted, add in the shallots and onion and begin to cook to soften. Halfway, add in the brown sugar and Champagne vinegar. Turn the heat to low and cook for another 10 minutes or until the shallots and onion are opaque and soft.

Next, season the beef medallions with salt and pepper on both sides. In a grill pan, heat a tablespoon of butter over high heat. Once the butter is melted and the pan is hot, cook the steaks about 4 to 5 minutes on each side or an internal temperature of 135° F for medium, depending on the thickness of the meat. Optional to finish with truffle butter for a special kick. Allow to rest for about 5 minutes after cooking. Slice thinly.

Toast slices of sourdough either in the pan where you cooked the steaks or in the toaster. Slather a layer of the horseradish aioli on each slice of bread. Then add the sliced steak, followed by a layer of the caramelized onions. Top with arugula and close the sandwich. It is truly a decadent dish!

To Drink: Manhattan Helo Ride

2 oz. bourbon

1 oz. dry vermouth (Manhattan connoisseurs say that sweet vermouth is better, but we’ve made it with dry vermouth and enjoyed it.)

2 dashes of Angostura bitters

1 dash of orange bitters

1 oz. ginger ale

1 orange twist

1 maraschino cherry

Put ice in a shaker and add the bourbon, vermouth, and bitters. Shake well. Strain into a cocktail glass. Pour in the ginger ale. Stir. Twist the orange rind over the glass and then hang it on the rim. Drop in the cherry and serve.

(5) WTF Moment of the Week

A deranged and evidently awful person who is also apparently a professor at Carnegie Mellon University named Uju Anya took to Twitter to attack Queen Elizabeth II, who was on her deathbed, wishing her an “excruciating” death. The professor tweeted:

“I heard the chief monarch of a thieving raping genocidal empire is finally dying. May her pain be excruciating.”

She responded to her critics with downright vulgar terms. Jeff Bezos joined the many who slammed Anya, tweeting, “This is someone supposedly working to make the world better? I don’t think so. Wow.”

WTF is with Bezos on this one.

Have a great week! Email us with feedback and questions at