🇺🇸 Inside Beltway Trading
January 7, 2022

Good morning, and happy Friday! India is reintroducing cheetahs into the wild after 70 years of extinction in the country.

Plus, one Google Glass creator is unveiling a smart device that lets you send text messages with your tongue.

Flag Polls


ab521640-e2ad-6400-4ea0-8848d603c575.png 1/6: Biden Job Approval, Rasmussen Reports Approve 43, Disapprove 57
ab521640-e2ad-6400-4ea0-8848d603c575.png 1/5: Biden Job Approval, Economist/YouGov Approve 43, Disapprove 51
D 1/5: Gen. Congress Vote, Economist/YouGov Republicans 38,
Democrats 42
D 1/4: Gen. Congress Vote, USA Today/Suffolk Republicans 37,
Democrats 39

Trending On The Left


NY Times: A Year After Capitol Riot, Trump’s Hold on the Republican Party Is Unrivaled

Vox: The Real Threat to American Democracy is not Republican Politicians. It’s Their Voters.

Mother Jones: Take Republicans at Their Word When They Say They’d Overturn an Election

NPRRepublicans criticize Ted Cruz for calling Jan. 6 a violent terrorist attack

Trending On The Right


NY Post: Nassau County exec signs order defying Hochul’s ‘autocracy’ on mask mandates

Fox News: Dire message to Biden about his COVID strategy after failing to 'shut down the virus'

The Federalist: J6 Hysteria Is How Media And Other Democrats Are Avoiding Accountability

Wash Examiner: 'Nauseating': DeSantis says Jan. 6 'obsession' smears Trump supporters

CONGRESS

Inside Beltway Trading

Credit: Gage Skidmore CC 2.0
From The Left: “Congress has a spotty and inconsistent method for collecting fines from members and top staffers who break a federal law designed to stop insider trading and conflicts of interest, an Insider investigation found." (Business Insider)

From The Right: “Critics on both the left and right have argued that members of Congress should be banned from trading individual stocks and instead only be allowed to invest in broader funds.” (New York Post)

From The Flag: It’s a political rarity, but there’s a significant amount of common ground when it comes to members of Congress buying and selling stocks. Here's what both sides are saying.

LEFT-LEANING SENTIMENT

Congress Harms Democratic Process By Breaking Rules


Left-leaning commentators are nearly universally outraged that Congress appears to sidestep the rules when it comes to disclosure and potential insider trading. Some argue the issue harms democracy and diminishes voter trust in elected officials. Former President Trump plays a role here as well, and GOP integrity is called into question—although many are also very unhappy with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"No, Members of Congress Should Not Own Individual Stocks" Matt Ford, The New Republic: “Banning lawmakers, their top staffers, and their spouses from buying and selling individual stocks should be as noncontroversial as crop rotation or pulling to the side of the street when an ambulance goes by. But no matter how often a lawmaker’s investments make the news—or how much controversy these revelations subsequently court—the status quo remains intact, and excuses that sound very similar to Pelosi’s recent remark sound a shrugging refrain. Following the Trump era, when government corruption and the ethics of the president and his inner circle often took center stage, you would think lawmakers would be more cognizant of the ways that even an appearance of self-dealing or conflicts of interest can breed cynicism in the electorate. And in an era when the very bedrock of our democracy is under attack, that cynicism can be doubly damaging."

"Trump's financial conflict of interest strategies are alive and well in Congress" Richard W. Painter, MSNBC: "The hypocrisy of Congress is astonishing when you look at the fact that every other federal employee is subject to a criminal statute that prohibits financial conflicts of interest with official duties. ... Of course, the very people who make the laws — members of Congress, as well as the president and the vice president ... are allowed to have financial conflicts of interest with their official duties that for other federal employees are a crime. ... It’s time for new leadership in Congress. Giving control of either the Senate or the House to the Republicans won’t help; in fact, it would probably make things worse. Congressional Republicans refused to acknowledge Trump’s financial conflicts of interest throughout his presidency, making it impossible to believe that they would do anything about their own conflicts of interest."

"Pelosi said it’s fine for lawmakers to trade stocks. She’s wrong." Editorial Board, The Washington Post: "[House Speaker Nancy Pelosi] should have advocated for tighter scrutiny on congressional trading. Even better would be a full ban on individual stock trades for members of Congress." Keep reading.

RIGHT-LEANING SENTIMENT

Stick To Mutual Funds, Unlike Nancy Pelosi


Right-leaning commentators attempt to take a clear-eyed look at the issue by exploring how well senators do when buying and selling stock. Others urge both sides to consider the ominous nature of House Speaker Pelosi’s comments, after she had argued members of Congress should be free to participate in the market. Finally, some note the most progressive members of Congress remain hypocritically silent in regards to Pelosi.

"Why Senators Shouldn’t Pick Stocks" Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal: "Reformers want a hard-and-fast rule, such as a congressional ban on owning individual stocks. That could deter successful people from seeking office. ... Voters already have the last word on any politician’s financial disclosures, and they seem to get results. Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler, who [faced] an election in November, [was] under fire for stock sales [last] year that she [said] were made by advisers without her knowledge. [She wrote] that she and her husband 'are liquidating our holdings in managed accounts and moving into exchange-traded funds and mutual funds.' Most people are better served by that investing approach. Politicians have an extra reason: It’s usually easier to explain later."

"Insider Trading and Congress, a Love Story" Addison J. Hosner, The American Spectator: "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has decided to give the American public one more reason to doubt the integrity and honesty of our politicians. Pelosi’s latest comments on whether Congress members and their spouses should be banned from trading stocks while in office signal to the American people that we should do as the politicians say, but not as they do. ... When the nation was facing the COVID-19 pandemic without knowledge of when a vaccine would arise, at least 75 federal lawmakers held shares of Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer — all of which eventually benefited from nearly $6 trillion in relief bills. ... This isn’t a Republican or Democrat issue, it’s an issue of ethics and right from wrong. Members of Congress, particularly the most wealthy, have made fortunes selling out the American people."

“Squad Silent on Pelosi’s Defense of Lawmakers Trading Stocks” Caroline Downey, National Review: “All five members of the progressive Squad are choosing to stay silent on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s defense of the right of lawmakers to hold and trade stocks while serving, despite their vehement opposition to the practice in the past.” Keep reading.

FLAG THIS

Americans Largely United Over Congressional Trading Issue


Bipartisan polling shows that 67% of Americans believe members of Congress should be banned from owning stock in specific companies. That number jumps to 85% when asked if they should be required to publicly disclose financial holdings. Finally, nearly 8 in 10 Americans express "extremely serious concerns" about members of Congress profiting off classified information (Campaign Legal Center).

It’s worth noting that this past spring, members of Congress introduced bipartisan legislation that would aim to stop government officials from profiting off insider information.

Flag Polls: Let us know how you feel about the ability of Congress to trade individual stocks. Click here to share your thoughts.

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US & WORLD

No Tennis for Novak, Kazakhstan Chaos, Record Rabies Deaths

NBC: Tennis star Novak Djokovic's appeal against his visa cancellation in Australia has been adjourned until Monday, leaving his chances at defending his Australian Open title in question after he was blocked from entering the country.

CNN / Fox: President Biden spoke about January 6 yesterday. Here was the headline from CNN: "Biden condemns Trump as a threat to democracy in speech marking one year since January 6 attack" and here was the headline from Fox News, Jan. 6: "Trump hits back, saying Biden trying to 'further divide America' to distract from failures."

CNN: Coca-Cola is tapping into the canned cocktail craze with a boozy version of its Fresca soda. In a partnership between Corona brewer Constellation Brands and Coke, the companies will launch Fresca Mixed, a spirit-based cocktail, later this year.

Reuters: Fresh violence erupted in Kazakhstan's main city of Almaty on Thursday as Russia sent in paratroopers to put down a countrywide uprising in one of Moscow's closest former Soviet allies.

The Hill: The US documented a record number of COVID-19 pediatric hospital admissions on Wednesday, with federal data showing almost 1,000 children with confirmed infections were admitted.

AP: Five Americans died of rabies last year — the largest number in a decade — and health officials said Thursday that some of the people didn’t realize they had been infected or refused life-saving shots.

CNN: Some members of a rowdy group shown dancing, drinking, and vaping maskless aboard a flight to Cancun find themselves stranded in Mexico after their return flight to Canada was scrubbed and other airlines have declined to fly them home.

WATERCOOLER

First US Presidential Election, Cold Immersion, SNL Cue Cards

January 7, 1789 was the date Congress set by which states were required to choose electors for the country's first-ever presidential election. A month later, on February 4, George Washington was elected president by state electors and sworn into office on April 30, 1789. Above is an oil-on-canvas portrait of Washington by Gilbert Stuart.

WIRED: Could Being Cold Actually Be Good for You?

Vox: Where have all the truck drivers gone?

New York Magazine: Seriously, Upgrade Your Face Mask

Today I Learned Saturday Night Live still uses cue cards instead of teleprompters, and Wally Feresten has been doing it for over 30 years.

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