Briefing By AOC & Fellow Dems On Banning Stock Trading By Members Of Congress

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Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY) joined fellow Democrats for a briefing(04/07/22) on their push to ban stock trading by members of Congress. Others on the briefing were Senator Jeff Merkley(D-OR), Rep Joe Neguse(D-CO), Rep Rashida Tlaib(D-MI), Rep Abigail Spanberger(D-VA), Rep Pramila Jayapal(D-WA), Rep Andy Kim(D-NJ) and Rep Angie Craig(D-MN).

Rep Ocasio-Cortez said banning stock trading by members of Congress will not only address legitimate concerns about conflicts of interest, but that it would also tackle the other urgent problem involving crisis of faith in our institutions. She said: “We are also tackling a crisis of faith in our institutions in the United States, and that exploitation of that crisis of faith is a direct threat to our democracy, as we have seen over the last two to four years. It is our responsibility to ensure that we eliminate that perception of impropriety, because it is these perceptions that can be exploited to undermine our most sacred institutions.”

The final speaker, the epitome of “save the best for last”, was Minnesota’s Rep Angie Craig(remember that name folks, vivacious Angie is going up the Dem ladder). She said: “My background experience in this issue is I actually sat on a corporate executive team for 12 years before I came to Congress, and this is not hypothetical to me, it’s not hypothetical. I helped run the investor relations department of a major fortune 500 company. I know that information moves markets, and it moves stocks. That’s why when I first got here, I wrote something called the Humble Act, which as part of it, would ban members of Congress from owning individual stocks. And it’s also not hypothetical to me because before I was sworn in to Congress, I had stock from the company I had worked for for 12 years. I had stock options from that company as well. Every single one of those shares were sold in the open market before I stepped foot into the U.S. Capitol, every single one. And if we can’t find 535 people in the damn United States of America, who are willing to give up their personal stock portfolio in order to serve their constituents, then shame on us, just shame on us.”

Bottom line folks, as some of the speakers here pointed out, banning stock trading by members of Congress should be a no-brainer, and no Democrat should be opposed to it. Opposing a stock trading ban for members of Congress is bad optics, bad morally, bad politics, and a sure loser at the polls this Fall. It’s really that simple.

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Betsy Devos’ Aide Behind Reopen America Protests

In case you missed it, there was a bombshell revelation on MSNBC’s AM Joy show that prominent republican operatives are behind the reopen America protests that are springing up across the country in opposition to stay-at-home orders issued to prevent the spread of covid-19. One of those prominent republicans, per AM Joy, is Greg McNeilly, a longtime political aide to the Devos family. McNeily was apparently behind the recent reopen America protests in Michigan which were highly promoted by Fox News and it’s number one customer President Trump.

AM Joy’s host Joy Reid perfectly nailed down what these so-called protests boil down to–rich people getting regular folk out on the streets to advocate for what they(rich people) want and that is, a return to making profits, the human cost be damned! Joy Reid specifically said, “You do have very very wealthy people who see their own interests as getting as many people back on the cog in the wheel as possible for themselves who are then creating these supposed grassroots movements, sort of astroturf movements…..The Devos family…. is one of the groups promoting this group the MIchigan Freedom Front. It’s run by Greg McNeilly the longtime political adviser to the Devos family, who are prolific Republican donors and have funded Conservative causes for decades. McNeilly was campaign manager for Dick Devos the husband of current U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy Devos..”

It is vitally important for the public to understand the point Joy Reid is making and that is, these so-called protests we are witnessing across the country in opposition to covd-19 stay-at-home orders are not organic grassroots protests from regular folk clamoring for their freedoms. Instead they are well organized and financed campaigns led by rich republicans like the Devos family, who are desperate to get the economy back up and running regardless of how many human lives are expended in the process.

It cannot also be left unsaid that President Trump who for all practical purposes leads the coronavirus task force, has also shockingly encouraged such protests–essentially urging the public to disobey the recommendations of his own task force that people continue to stay at home to curb the spread of the disease. Of the many reckless actions President Trump has undertaken while in office, encouraging the public to protest reasonable stay-at-home orders in the face of a pandemic certainly ranks at the very top.

Bottom line folks, it is important that we remember who is really behind these so-called protests. As Joy Reid perfectly put it, it is rich folk looking out for their own financial interests. Your duty, especially if you are a person of color and thus more susceptible to death from covid-19, is to exercise due diligence and make sure your local officials are basing their “reopening” decisions on scientific data as opposed to going along with Trump’s/Republican party politics. The best way to do that is to ensure covid-19 testing numbers and results at your locality support the conclusion that it is safe for you or your family member to go back to work. Simply put folks, look out for yourself and your family when making covid-19 related decisions and be very skeptical of the reopen America “protests” that are designed to deceptively suggest that the public is raring to go back to work. You don’t have to take Yours Truly’s word for it, NFL star Malcolm Jenkins gives the same prudent advice.

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