Posts tagged Dick Durbin
Senator Dick Durbin: “It’s Time to Say Who’s a Real Reporter”
If you study the American criminal class long enough, it becomes quite easy to anticipate its next move in almost any serious situation. This is precisely what I did last week in my piece: It’s Acts of Journalism that Matter Not People Called “Journalists.” By watching the mainstream media’s reaction to Edward Snowden’s leaks, it became pretty obvious that what the power structure would attempt to do is pass a federal law that would ostensibly protect free speech and journalism, but in reality would allow the “authorities” to define who is and who isn’t a journalist. That way they can create distinct groups of people with distinct rights. One group would be permitted to share valuable information with the public, and the other would not. Of course, only compliant lapdogs to the state would be granted such privileges and we will end up rather quickly with no free press in America. Such a law should be resisted at all costs. Specific groups of people should not be carved out and granted specific rights, specific actions must be protected. Such as the act of journalism, not so called “journalists.”
Last week, the Senatorial spokesperson for the Ministry of Information, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, wrote the following fascist op-ed in the Chicago Sun Times. Some key excerpts:
Is each of Twitter’s 141 million users in the United States a journalist? How about the 164 million Facebook users? What about bloggers, people posting on Instagram, or users of online message boards like Reddit?
But who should be considered to be a journalist?
Everyone, regardless of the mode of expression, has a constitutionally protected right to free speech. But when it comes to freedom of the press, I believe we must define a journalist and the constitutional and statutory protections those journalists should receive.
I’m confused. We’ve survived as a country without making such definitions just fine for the past 223 years under The Constitution. Seems to me you and your crony friends are just concerned you are losing your grip on power.
Image added to original post.
You cannot read the description of the personal stock trading allegedly conducted by Rep. Spencer Bachus and other members of Congress during the financial crisis and conclude anything other than the following:
Our government is completely corrupt.
Yes, this behavior may be technically legal, because of an absurd loophole that makes insider-trading rules not apply to Congress.
Yes, this behavior may be widespread on Capitol Hill.
But there is no universe in which a reasonable person would consider this behavior ethical or okay. And for the 300+ million Americans who aren’t members of Congress, it would be just plain illegal
Many members of Congress seem guilty here, including John Kerry, Dick Durbin, and Jim Moran. But Spencer Bachus takes the cake.
According to a new book called Throw Them All Out by Peter Schweizer, as relayed by Dave Weigel at Slate, Rep. Bachus made more than 40 trades in his personal account in the summer and fall of 2008, in the early months of the financial crisis.
The fact that Bachus personally traded on private information he received as a result of his job is bad enough. The fact that he was the ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee at the time is simply outrageous.
In one case, the day after getting a private briefing on the collapsing economy and financial system from Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson, Rep. Bachus effectively shorted the market (by buying options that would rise if the market tanked.)
A few days later, after the market tanked, Bachus sold his position and nearly doubled his money.
If a corporate executive or Wall Street trader did this–cashed in personally after getting private, non-public information from his work–Rep. Bachus and every other member of Congress would be screaming from the rooftops about how the financial system is deeply corrupt and how the executive should be charged with insider trading.
And they would be right.
Rep. Bachus should return whatever money he made by betting on the direction of the markets (or anything else) in the fall of 2008. He should apologize for his behavior and jaw-dropping lack of judgement. He should urge his fellow members of Congress to immediately enact legislation that defends the fairness of the markets by holding Congress to the same insider trading laws as everyone else. He should then resign in disgrace.