Insider Congress

May 8, 2015

123243-5778393-6Sunrise arriving with a light-white haze in the east this Friday, and most-likely another bright, mostly-windy episode here on California’s north coast.
Although neither the NWS or WunderBlog forecast any gusty-wind, yesterday was strong on bluster — some gusts rattled the vents.

Speaking (or writing, as in this case) of venting, came across this story just earlier, and a pisser — from The Intercept yesterday morning:

In a little-noticed brief filed last summer, lawyers for the House of Representatives claimed that an SEC investigation of congressional insider trading should be blocked on principle, because lawmakers and their staff are constitutionally protected from such inquiries given the nature of their work.

(Illustration found here).

Corruption in corrupting the STOCK (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge) Act:

In 2012, members of Congress patted themselves on the back for passing the STOCK Act, a bill meant to curb insider trading for lawmakers and their staff.
“We all know that Washington is broken and today members of both parties took a big step forward to fix it,” said Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, upon passage of the law.
But as the Securities and Exchange Commission made news with the first major investigation of political insider trading, Congress moved to block the inquiry.
The SEC investigation focused on how Brian Sutter, then a staffer for the House Ways and Means Committee, allegedly passed along information about an upcoming Medicare decision to a lobbyist, who then shared the tip with other firms.
Leading hedge funds used the insider tip to trade on health insurance stocks that were affected by the soon-to-be announced Medicare decision.
Calling the SEC’s inquiry a “remarkable fishing expedition for congressional records,” Kircher and his team claimed that the SEC had no business issuing a subpoena to Sutter.
“Communications with lobbyists, of course, are a normal and routine part of Committee information-gathering,” the brief continued, arguing that there “is no room for the SEC to inquire into the Committee’s or Mr. Sutter’s purpose or motives.”

And what about the STOCK Act?
From NPR two years ago, and how Congress is led around by assholes, and how with previous quiet, unlawed parts of the law — Lisa Rosenberg, a lobbyist for the Sunlight Foundation, which advocated for the STOCK Act: ‘“It’s really shocking that they used basically the situation of questions about whether some language in the bill was overbroad to just gut the bill — to gut the transparency measures that apply to themselves.”

Yet people’s disapproval of their Congress made a 2 percent tick further downward — ‘A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 10 percent of Likely U.S. Voters rate Congress’s performance overall as good or excellent.’

Rotted fruit…

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