Thom Hartmann Hates Insider Trading by Politicians, Except Pelosi
As timing would have it, my 12-year-old daughter read Orwell's "Animal Farm" for school just before I encountered an eerily similar human version of one of its characters.
Do you remember Squealer, the propagandist for the pigs who ran the farm after the animals seized control of the property? He was described as "a brilliant talker" who when arguing "had a way of skipping from side to side and whisking his tail which was somehow very persuasive." (Audio after the jump)
After the Berkshire boar Napoleon succeeded in chasing off porcine rival Snowball en route to imposing dictatorial powers, it was fellow pig Squealer who assured the other animals that Napoleon was above reproach. Orwell has Squealer saying this -- "Comrades, I trust that every animal here appreciates the sacrifice that Comrade Napoleon has made in taking this extra labour for himself. Do not imagine, comrades, that leadership is a pleasure! On the contrary, it is a deep and heavy responsibility. No one believes more firmly than Comrade Napoleon that all animals are equal. He would be only too happy to let you make your decisions for yourselves. But sometimes you might make the make the wrong decisions, comrades, and then where should we be"?
Later in the story, after Napoleon dispensed with the pretext of believing all animals equal, Squealer amended one of the Seven Commandments painted on the barn wall so that it read, "All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others."
Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is among the more equal ones and liberal radio host Thom Hartmann all too eager to serve as her dutiful Squealer.
Here's what Hartmann said on his radio show June 13 about members of Congress engaging in insider trading or pushing legislation that would fatten their bank accounts (audio) --
Congressmen, senators and their staffs can legally do day trading based on insider information, not on wiretaps but, for example, if, you know, the congressman Joe Blow is working on a bill that's gonna, you know, pass $5 billion contract off to Lockheed, people in his staff can be buying, you know, buy options on Lockheed, basically letting Locheed's stock is going to go up, and doing it in a very, very highly leveraged way. And not only can they, but many of them do. As far as I know, there are no Democrats who do this 'cause Nancy Pelosi has come out strongly against this and tried to pass a law against it. But among Republican members of Congress, this is not an uncommon practice.
Squealer, uh, Hartmann, is apparently unaware or has conveniently forgotten how "60 Minutes" nailed Pelosi for insider trading back in November 2011. Here's how he'd respond after seeing it --
It's true, Comrade Pelosi did take part in at least eight initial public offerings while she was House Speaker, as reported by those right-wing hate merchants at "60 Minutes."And yes, Comrade Pelosi and her equally honest husband took part in an IPO offering from VISA at a time when legislation unfavorable to the credit card industry was wending its way through the House.
Two days after our esteemed leader and her husband bought 5,000 shares of VISA at $44, it was selling for $64, but this was mere coincidence, comrades, as was the fact that the legislation deemed odious by credit card companies never made it to the House floor, at least according to "60 Minutes." But everyone knows that CBS and its minions at these "news" programs cannot be believed, especially when their targets are dedicated leaders on the front lines of the Revolution.
Even if what "60 Minutes" reported were true, comrades, and most assuredly it is not, what if Comrade Pelosi and her tirelessly dedicated spouse were to profit a farthing or two when they weren't otherwise engaged in furthering the Revolution? Are they not entitled to the dignity that comes from their hard-earned labor? Who among us would deprive them of what is deservedly theirs, by dint of keen attention to such matters, while the rest of us are more concerned with the travails of the Kardashians or who's ahead on "American Idol" ...