It’s really sick how some persons of authority can misuse public trust for personal gain, and how many of their colleagues help them hide it
“He’s not a policy leader. He’s a political leader. He knows how to raise money,” Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., told North Carolina radio host Tyler Cralle. “We have allowed the money to control policy in Washington, D.C.”
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.
The legal team led by Kerry W. Kircher, who was appointed House General Counsel by Speaker John Boehner in 2011, claimed that the insider trading probe violated the separation of powers between the legislative and executive branch.
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.
As the murder of the opposition politician Boris Nemtsov last week reminds us, the political situation in Russia is not just difficult, but extremely dangerous. Presumably hoping that technology might offer a relative safe way to cope with this situation, a Russian NGO has announced that it will be launching a nationwide social network dedicated to fighting bribery and corruption. You might expect that anonymity would be a crucial aspect, given the risks faced by those who choose to join. And yet, as this RT article explains, that’s not the case (via @prfnv):
the new project will have one major difference from existing social networks — a complete lack of anonymity. Membership will only be granted by invitation from existing members, and even when this condition is met, the institute that launches the project promises to open accounts only after verifying the identity of potential members in real life.
The users will have to provide a lot of details about themselves — from name and date of birth, to place of work, e-mail and phone numbers. The people launching the project say that this is a necessary measure to prevent attempted slander, which they see as the main danger threatening their network.