What Conflicts of Interest?

This New York Times story on the budding Bill Frist stock scandal covers most of the main points (also, see ThinkProgress for a damning timeline), but this bit jumped out at me:

Though choosing to create a blind trust might help candidates politically, ethics rules do not require one. Many other government officials and members of Congress own or even trade stocks directly.

Really? On some level, this doesn’t much matter—it’s not like the fact that Frist owned HCA stock made his already-slavish devotion to the health care industry somehow more slavish. Still, you can see how it might create problems.