NSA Spying … Here Is A List That Should Surprise No One

October 3, 2013

NSA DIRECTOR ADMITS:

  1. … Collecting data from social networks
  2. … Testing U.S. cellphone tracking
  3. … Releasing ‘misleading’ numbers on terror plots foiled by snooping

And I bet that is just the start. When is Congress going to put a stop to this? And what has happened to all our liberal friends?


NSA Spying Under Bush

October 1, 2013

A CEO who resisted NSA spying is out of prison. And he feels ‘vindicated’ by Snowden leaks.

Just one major telecommunications company refused to participate in a legally dubious NSA surveillance program in 2001. A few years later, its CEO was indicted by federal prosecutors. He was convicted, served four and a half years of his sentence and was released this month.

Prosecutors claim Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio was guilty of insider trading, and that his prosecution had nothing to do with his refusal to allow spying on his customers without the permission of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. But to this day, Nacchio insists that his prosecution was retaliation for refusing to break the law on the NSA’s behalf.

Apparently not everything Bush was doing was legal …


Huge House majority backs insider trading ban

February 10, 2012

This is good news … At least as far as it goes … Ask Republican Bachus how it works.

The House overwhelmingly passed a slimmed-down version of a bill to ban lawmakers from insider trading Thursday, setting up a battle with senators and the White House over what kind of contact citizens may have with their representatives in Washington.

Known as the Stock Act, the legislation has wide support in both chambers, but partisan divisions are threatening to impede what all sides say is a key test of whether Congress can reach consensus on something President Obama requested in his State of the Union address last month.

The Senate, which passed its bill last week, tried to crack down on what lawmakers say is a burgeoning market in “political intelligence” by expanding the definition of who qualifies as a lobbyist, and added language making it easier to prosecute criminal conduct by public officials.

House Republicans powered their bill through on a 417-2 vote Thursday after dropping the public corruption provision and slimming down the political intelligence language to a study of the consequences of reining in the trade in congressional secrets.

“Think of the wording ‘political intelligence,’ ” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican, told reporters. “I mean, there’s so much question about what that even means. And there’s a lot of discussion in this building and elsewhere about what is the consequence of that provision.”

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Congressional Insider Trading

February 8, 2012

On Tuesday, February 7, House Republicans proposed adding a “Pelosi Provision” to the fast-moving insider trading ban known as the STOCK (Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge) Act that would prevent members of Congress from landing coveted and lucrative initial public offerings (IPOs), similar to the Visa stock IPO Rep. Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul Pelosi scored, that made them a staggering 203% profit.

The Pelosi Visa IPO revelation made headlines when Breitbart editor Peter Schweizer published the evidence in his New York Times bestselling book, Throw Them All Out.  CBS News’s 60 Minutes did a subsequent report based on Schweizer’s book that sparked a media firestorm.

Back in November — ’60 Minutes’ Blows The Lid Off Congressional Insider Trading

In early 2008, Nancy Pelosi and her real estate developer husband, Paul, were given an opportunity to buy into a Visa IPO.  Despite Rep. Pelosi’s consistent railing against credit card companies, on March 18, 2008, the Pelosis bought between $1 million and $5 million (politicians do not have to report the exact amounts, only ranges) worth of Visa stock at the IPO price of $44 per share. Two days later, the stock price rocketed to $65 per share, yielding a 50% profit. The Pelosis then bought Visa twice more. By their third purchase on June 4, 2008, Visa was worth $85 per share.

And now they are trying to include the Executive Branch in the law. Done!

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Trying To Take Away Their Money Maker

February 3, 2012

Ever wonder how when you get to Congress you become rich???

Does it cover things like Harry Reid’s “land deals”??? Long way before it becomes law.

Insider trading by members of Congress, their top staff and executive branch officials would be banned by legislation that passed the Senate on Thursday.

Although insider trading is illegal for anyone, some had argued that the STOCK Act, which passed 96 to 3, was needed to close loopholes that let lawmakers and lobbyists profit from “political intelligence.”

“We are entrusted with a profound responsibility to the American people to look out for their best interest, not for our own financial interest,” said Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), one of the lead sponsors on a measure that garnered rare bipartisan support, including from Republican senators such as Maine’s Susan Collins and Massachusetts’ Scott Brown.

“Bottom line, members of Congress have to live by the same laws everyone else does,” said Brown. “With approval ratings of Congress at an all-time low, this bill represents an opportunity to build some trust with the American people.”

The three senators who opposed the bill were Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.). The two Republicans both argued that the measure was unnecessary and that the law already bars insider trading.

“Senator Burr voted against cloture on the bill because there are already laws in place to address this critical issue,” said Burr spokesman David Ward. “Members of Congress are elected to serve the people, not make money for themselves, and any Member or staff member who breaks the already existing insider trading laws should be held responsible.”

Bingaman added that the measure will pose problems for many federal workers. “I can’t support a bill that places unreasonable and burdensome reporting requirements on over 300,000 federal workers,” Bingaman said. “It is my hope that this legislation can be improved as the process moves forward.”

The Senate legislation also requires lawmakers and senior staffers to declare within 30 days if they sell a significant financial asset, in theory letting constituents know if a legislator might have had a financial interest in a measure.

A number of attempts to do other things with the bill, including banning earmarks, failed.


Congress Tries to Police Itself on Insider Trading

January 29, 2012

Aware that most Americans would like to dump them all, members of Congress hope to regain some sense of trust by subjecting themselves to tougher penalties for insider trading and requiring they disclose stock transactions within 30 days.

A procedural vote Monday would allow the Senate later this week to pass a bill prohibiting members of Congress from using nonpublic information for their own personal benefit or “tipping” others to inside information that they could trade on.

Insider trading laws apply to all Americans, but CBS’ “60 Minutes” in November said members of Congress get a pass, citing investment transactions by party leaders and a committee chairman in businesses about to be affected by pending legislation.

The broadcast report raised questions about trades of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; the husband of Democratic leader and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California; and Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

All three denied using any insider information to make stock trades, but the broadcast set off a flurry of efforts in Washington to deal with the public perception.

A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll of registered voters found 56 percent of them favor replacing the entire 535-member Congress. Other polls this year have given Congress an approval rating between 11 percent and 13 percent, while disapproval percentages have ranged from 79 percent to 86 percent.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., said he’s working on an expanded bill that would go beyond stock transactions and ban lawmakers from making land deals and other investments based on what they learned as members of Congress.

Read more at Associated Press.


Palin On Insider Trading: Congress, It’s Time To Stop Lining Your Pockets

December 13, 2011

Thanks to the solid new research and recent revelations in Peter Schweizer‘s book Throw Them All Out and the subsequent coverage on 60 Minutes, we have concrete proof to explain how members of Congress accumulate wealth at a rate astonishingly faster than the rest of Americans and have stock portfolios that outperform even the best hedge-fund managers’. (Full disclosure: Schweizer is employed by my political action committee as a foreign policy adviser.)

From sweetheart land deals to initial public offering (IPO) stock gifts to insider trading with non-public government information, the methods of unethical wealth accumulation for our permanent political class are endless. The reaction from the Beltway establishment to the revelations concerning insider trading among members of Congress was predictable. First they denied it, then they dismissed the problem as much ado about nothing. Some said there was no need for new laws or action because the Securities and Exchange Commission could prosecute members of Congressunder existing laws against insider trading.

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