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Hurricane Carter and Michael Steinberg

April 23, 2014 at 3:16 pm

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The well publicized death earlier this week of the boxer Hurricane Carter, who served 19 years in prison before the triple murder charges on which he had been wrongfully convicted were dismissed, got me thinking about Michael Steinberg.

Steinberg is the fund manager at SAC Capital Advisers LP, part of the Connecticut hedge fund led by Steven A. Cohen, who was convicted in December after a prosecution led by the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara. This site covered our doubts about the conviction and the prosecution in an earlier post here.

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Regulator Pay

April 22, 2014 at 11:36 pm

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Paul Kupiec writes on the Wall Street Journal op-ed page:

The average compensation at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) exceeded $190,000 in 2012. The staff at the Federal Reserve is likely even better compensated, but the Fed refuses to release employee salaries.

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Unfair Wage Act

April 22, 2014 at 8:04 am

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The latest innovation in left-wing political economics is legislation that would raise the minimum wage in New York State to $15 an hour — but only for a select group of employers unlucky enough to be targeted by politicians. The bill's champion is advertising for three-day-a-week unpaid interns. It's all the topic of my column this week. Please check it out at the New York Sun (here), Reason (here), and Newsmax (here).

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Brandeis and Ayaan Hirsi Ali

April 18, 2014 at 9:50 am

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Brandeis University's decision to revoke its invitation to give Ayaan Hirsi Ali an honorary degree is the subject of my column this week. Please check it out at Reason (here) and Newsmax (here).

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The Blessings of Rootlessness

April 18, 2014 at 9:43 am

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My return to Massachusetts after 19 years away is the subject of a Passover-timed personal essay I wrote for Zocalo Public Square.

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United States of Envy

April 18, 2014 at 9:15 am

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Allan Meltzer writes at the Hoover Institution's Defining Ideas site:

Voters who will hear the Obama call for envy and redistribution should ask themselves and others: Would you prefer to live in an America where the market is dynamic and opportunity abounds, or in France, where unemployment is high and tax rates are crushing? Don't you prefer opportunity to envy?

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Ricky Greenfield

April 17, 2014 at 4:12 pm

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The sad news arrived this morning that the businessman, newspaper publisher, and conservative pro-Israel activist Ricky Greenfield has died.

There will be more remembrances to come, but it is not too soon to recall that Greenfield was an accomplished figure in many ways, and to call particular attention to his contributions to this site.

Greenfield was successful enough on Wall Street at places like Wertheim and Bear Stearns that he was able to spend his later years in the Jewish newspaper business, which hasn't recently spawned many great fortunes.

In addition to the Connecticut Jewish Ledger, which he bought a part of in 1992 and entirely in 1994, and which he owned until last month, and the Massachusetts Jewish Ledger, which he sold last month, he distributed information through a series of active email lists that he maintained.

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Ron Paul Defends Publishing 9/11 Conspiracy Theory

April 17, 2014 at 11:52 am

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Former congressman Ron Paul was asked on the Fox Business show "The Independents" about the decision to publish on the web site of the Ron Paul Institute, which he chairs, an article by Paul Craig Roberts asserting "The conclusion is increasingly difficult to avoid that elements of the US government blew up three New York skyscrapers in order to destroy Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah and to launch the US on the neoconservatives agenda of US world hegemony."

His answer, which can be viewed at the 7:25 mark on the video, was disappointing: "People should have a right to express their viewpoints...That doesn't mean I endorse what he said...He shouldn't be excluded because he takes that particular position...I don't believe government commissions ever get to the bottom of anything."

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Krugman's Pay

April 16, 2014 at 11:34 pm

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The income inequality institute at taxpayer-funded City University of New York will pay Paul Krugman $225,000 as a nine-month salary for a first year on the job that will involve no teaching or supervision of students, Gawker reports.

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George WIll on Liberty Versus Democracy

April 16, 2014 at 11:13 pm

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George Will's column this week is about the tension between liberty and democracy:

The fundamental division in U.S. politics is between those who take their bearings from the individual's right to a capacious, indeed indefinite, realm of freedom, and those whose fundamental value is the right of the majority to have its way in making rules about which specified liberties shall be respected.

I recommend that you click through and read the whole thing; it's a gem.

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Reid's Chinese Solar Deal

April 14, 2014 at 1:23 am

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Reuters reports about the Nevada Democrat, Harry Reid, who is the Senate majority leader:

questions surrounding family ties are flaring again in Nevada around the Senate majority leader. He and his oldest son, Rory, are both involved in an effort by a Chinese energy giant, ENN Energy Group, to build a $5 billion solar farm and panel manufacturing plant in the southern Nevada desert.
Reid has been one of the project's most prominent advocates, helping recruit the company during a 2011 trip to China and applying his political muscle on behalf of the project in Nevada. His son, a lawyer with a prominent Las Vegas firm that is representing ENN, helped it locate a 9,000-acre (3,600-hectare) desert site that it is buying well below appraised value from Clark County, where Rory Reid formerly chaired the county commission.

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Obama's Tax Returns

April 11, 2014 at 3:22 pm

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The Obamas have released their annual tax return, and one thing it shows is that as an investor, President Obama is a statist, or at the very least highly tax efficient. If he collected anything by way of dividends or capital gains in a banner year for the stock market, he did it in tax-exempt retirement accounts, because he recorded barely anything in investment income. For a guy who has reported a lot of assets — all those millions in book royalties — he's sure put a lot of assets in Treasury bills. Of their $481,098 in adjusted gross income reported for 2013, $394,796 was wages, $104,809 was his income from book royalties, and he earned a mere three dollars in ordinary dividends. I'm not an accountant so maybe I am missing something. Maybe he is racking up unrealized capital gains in non-dividend paying stocks that he plans to sell when he is out of office and no longer has to disclose his returns. But it takes some effort to have as many assets as Mr. Obama is reported to have and to have so little in taxable investment income.

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Harvard Faculty Divest

April 10, 2014 at 4:00 pm

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About 90 Harvard faculty members, including the "Lloyd C. Blankfein professor of history," have signed a letter to Harvard's president and governing Corporation calling for divestment from fossil fuel companies. The signatories include some of Harvard's usual leftist suspects — Everett Mendelsohn, Duncan Kennedy,Marshall Ganz. The Crimson has coverage.

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Shlaes on Piketty

April 10, 2014 at 2:20 pm

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Amity Shlaes has a column about the new book by French economist Thomas Piketty: "A book like Piketty's may be called Capital. A more accurate title might be Expropriation."

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Ron Paul Publishes 9/11 Conspiracy Theory

April 10, 2014 at 1:48 pm

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The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, whose chairman is former Republican congressman Ron Paul and on whose advisory board sit two U.S. Congressmen and the senior judicial analyst of the Fox News Channel, has published an article by Paul Craig Roberts asserting, "The conclusion is increasingly difficult to avoid that elements of the US government blew up three New York skyscrapers in order to destroy Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah and to launch the US on the neoconservatives agenda of US world hegemony."

Somehow, that is a conclusion that I have managed to avoid despite the "difficulty."

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