What We're Reading

Morning Reads: No Insider Trading for Family; Trump Plans to Stock EPA With Koch-Linked Climate Deniers

A roundup of some of the stories we're reading at BillMoyers.com HQ...

Morning Reads: No Insider Trading for Family

People take a selfie in front of the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. (Photographer: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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Insider trading gets harder –> The Supreme Court ruled yesterday in Salman v. United States, an insider trading case in which Bassam Salman benefitted from inside information that his investor brother-in-law passed to him. The question was whether this was still inside information, since the information was passed through a third party, a relative. The court ruled unanimously that yes, this violated security laws, assuring regulators that they can pursue similar suits. It’s anticipated that regulations on Wall Street may be stripped back under Donald Trump’s insider-heavy administration, leading to a more volatile stock market.

The Trump crash –> Trump tweeted yesterday that he wanted to cancel the government’s order with Boeing for the new model of Air Force One, saying that it was much too expensive. This caused the company’s stock to fall… but it took ten seconds to do so. “The 10-second delay, which was calculated by the analysis firm Nanex, indicates that something rare was likely happening in global markets Tuesday morning: Human beings were seeing — and reacting to — news before computer trading programs could move on it,” Eamon Javers writes for CNBC. Javers reports that now, Wall Street’s high frequency traders are looking into ways to build algorithms that make trades based on Trump’s tweets faster than any human can — making the possibility of a Trump-triggered stock market crash more likely and the mechanics of such a crash much more direct than previously imagined. [h/t to Noah McCormack for this story.]

Climate action opponents dominate transition –> Trump plans to stock key administration posts — at the EPA, Department of Energy and NASA, among other agencies — with alumni of think tanks, many of them Koch brothers-funded, who deny that climate change is happening or question its severity or likely effect on humans — assertions that run contrary to science. This makes Trump’s recent visit with Al Gore, and statement to The New York Times that he has an “open mind” on the Paris deal, seem meaningless. Chelsea Harvey and Chris Mooney of The Washington Post round up some of the key individuals and their backgrounds.

It’s a start –> “President-elect Donald J. Trump on Tuesday fired one of his transition team’s staff members, Michael G. Flynn, the son of Mr. Trump’s choice for national security adviser, for using Twitter to spread a fake news story about Hillary Clinton that led to an armed confrontation in a pizza restaurant in Washington,” The New York Times reports. “The uproar over Mr. Flynn’s Twitter post cast a harsh spotlight on the views that he and his father, Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn, aired on social media throughout the presidential campaign. Both men have shared fake news stories alleging that Mrs. Clinton committed felonies, and have posted their own Twitter messages that at times have crossed into Islamophobia.”

Democrats promise to focus on winning back states –> In statehouses across the country, Democrats are even worse off than they are at the federal level. In two-thirds of the states, Republicans control both houses of the legislature and the governorship. At a conference in Washington, DC, this week, party leaders committed to focusing on the states, and committed to dealing with the statehouse gerrymandering that makes the House nearly unwinnable for Democrats. Paul Blumenthal writes at The Huffington Post that former attorney general Eric Holder “announced that he would be the chairman of a new organization called the National Democratic Redistricting Committee. This would be a central hub to support state legislative campaigns to win back statehouses to regain the power to draw district maps, manage legal strategies in states controlled by Republicans and to oppose gerrymandering. He hinted that this effort may be joined by Obama when he leaves the White House.”

What Would Hillary Do? –> On our website, Bill Moyers and Michael Winship have a hypothetical, Clinton counter-inaugural address in which she proposes shadowing each of Trump’s appointmenent and legislative efforts with a team that will tell the other side of the story.

The DC swamp switchboard –> Trump’s Taiwan phone call was the result of months of aggressive lobbying by none other than former Republican presidential candidate Bob Dole. Isaac Arnsdorf reports for Politico: “Dole, the only past Republican presidential nominee to endorse Trump before the election, briefed the campaign’s policy director, set up meetings between campaign staff and Taiwanese emissaries, arranged for Taiwan’s delegation to attend the Republican National Convention, and helped tilt the party platform further in the island’s favor, a lobbying disclosure document filed with the Justice Department and released to POLITICO shows. He even arranged for members of Taiwan’s ruling party to take a White House tour, according to the filing.” For this, Buzzfeed’s Megha Rajagopalan reports, Dole’s firm was paid $20,000 a month for almost a year.

Delegating –> The New York Times: “When Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader of the House of Representatives, called Donald J. Trump shortly after the Nov. 8 election, they talked about domestic policy and infrastructure. But when Ms. Pelosi raised the specific subject of women’s issues, the president-elect did something unexpected: He handed the phone over to another person in the room — his 35-year-old daughter, Ivanka.”

Morning Reads was compiled by John Light and edited by Michael Winship. See a story that you think should be included in Morning Reads? Tell us in the comments!



We produce this news digest every weekday. You can sign up to receive these updates as an email newsletter each morning.