Biden the Phony

October 24, 2020 at 9:00 pm

Joe Biden's plagiarism scandal wasn't so much about stealing words as it was about faking his own background to make it seem more blue-collar than it was, I wrote in a recent column. Please check out the full column at the New Boston Post ("Biden Is a Phony") and New York Sun ("Biden Plagiarism Involved More than the Words"). The column also was picked up by the New York Post.

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Where Is Bill Clinton?

October 23, 2020 at 9:11 am

With Democrats from Bernie Sanders to Barack Obama to Elizabeth Warren out on the campaign trail for Joe Biden's campaign, one unanswered question is where is Bill Clinton? President Clinton made a brief video appearance at the Democratic National Convention, but aside from that he's been publicly invisible in the closing stretch of the 2020 presidential campaign.

There's got to be somewhere that Clinton could be helpful. Florida? North Carolina? Texas? Georgia? New Hampshire? Maybe Biden has asked and Clinton has declined for pandemic-related or other reasons. Or maybe the Biden camp is afraid that Clinton will usurp the spotlight somehow and derail a campaign that the Biden people think has been going pretty well.

Whatever the reason, the absence is glaring. If Biden winds up losing the electoral vote because of close defeats in some of the states listed above, not enlisting Bill Clinton to help close the deal is going to look in retrospect like Hillary not visiting Wisconsin in 2016. After such an election loss, Clinton himself would not be shy, I predict, about letting this be known.

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Elliott Moves to Florida

October 22, 2020 at 7:15 pm

Hedge fund Elliott Associates, led by Paul Singer, is moving its headquarters to Florida from New York City, Bloomberg News reports.

FutureOfCapitalism earlier covered Carl Icahn to Florida (2019, from New York); Paul Tudor Jones to Florida (2017, from Connecticut), Leon Cooperman's move to Florida (reported in 2016, from N.J. or N.Y.), and David Tepper's move to Florida (reported in 2016, from New Jersey, though Tepper personally reportedly returned to New Jersey later). And a 2017 post was headlined "Florida Financial Boom." It looks like a pattern.

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Questions for Tonight's Debate

October 22, 2020 at 4:56 pm

Possible debate questions were the topic of my column this week. Please check out the full column at Newsmax ("Questions for the Next Debate") and the New York Sun ("Will You Take Down the Wall?" and Other Posers for the Last Debate).

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October 22, 2020 at 4:46 pm

Using the website, businessman Billy Walters today announced he had filed suit against former federal prosecutors and FBI officials.

The civil complaint in federal district court in the Southern District of New York says, "the primary relief Walters seeks here is a definitive judicial declaration that the individual Defendants conspired to rob him of due process.This pattern of misconduct not only damaged Walters but undermined the constitutional assurance of the fundamental fairness of the federal criminal investigative apparatus. Citizens suspected of crimes by federal officials have a constitutional right to be treated fairly."

From the complaint:

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Jill Lepore on Post-Trump

October 18, 2020 at 11:29 am

Harvard historian Jill Lepore brings some useful and much-needed perspective in a Washington Post article arguing that "a post-Trump truth and reconciliation commission," which is a hot and newly popular suggestion on the left, would be "a terrible idea."

She writes, "In democracies, a peaceful transfer of power has two elements: The loser concedes without violence, and the winner accepts without vengeance."

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Wall Street Week for the Biden-Harris Campaign

October 17, 2020 at 11:14 pm

Joe Biden's October 14 phone call with Warren Buffett and Biden's October 14 fundraiser with Park Avenue resident Jane Hartley, Blair Effron of Centerview Partners, Deven Parekh of Insight Partners, and Roger Altman of Evercore were covered here earlier.

In addition, on October 15, Kamala Harris had a fundraiser with Tom Steyer, a billionaire former hedge fund manager turned climate-change-activist and unsuccessful presidential candidate. A host of that event was Carol Sutton Lewis, whose husband, William M. Lewis Jr., is co-chairman of investment banking at Lazard.

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Pfizer Vaccine Timeline

October 17, 2020 at 8:49 pm

"Pfizer Says It Won't Apply for Vaccine Authorization Before Mid-November" is the headline the New York Times put over its news article in print editions about the latest news from a pharmaceutical company testing a Covid-19 vaccine.

"Pfizer's Timetable for Vaccine Signals Availability This Year," is the headline the Wall Street Journal put over similar news in Journal print editions.

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Biden's Manhattan Fundraiser

October 14, 2020 at 10:13 pm

While Biden is going around Pennsylvania and Ohio describing the election as a choice between Park Avenue and Scranton, on Wednesday he had a virtual fundraiser with Manhattan rich people, including one who lives on Park Avenue. A pool report distributed by the campaign said Biden was introduced at the event by Jane Hartley, a former ambassador to France and to Monaco. Press reports and campaign finance filings indicate she lives on Park Avenue. The other hosts of the event were Blair Effron of Centerview Partners, Deven Parekh of Insight Partners, and Roger Altman of Evercore. At the event Biden said he "just got off the phone with Warren Buffett." Buffett lives in Omaha, not Park Avenue, but he is not exactly some Scranton coal miner or out-of-work union laborer.

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Obesity and Covid-19

October 14, 2020 at 9:12 am

A New York Times news article reports:

Obese Americans are more likely to become dangerously ill if they are infected with the new coronavirus. Now public health officials are warning that a much broader segment of the population also may be at risk: even moderately excess weight may increase the odds of severe disease.

The warning, reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week, may have serious implications for Americans. While about 40 percent of U.S. adults are obese, another 32 percent are simply overweight, among the highest rates of obesity and overweight in the world.

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Pence Harris Debate

October 9, 2020 at 5:25 pm

Radio Boston, a program of NPR affiliate WBUR, invited me on to discuss the vice presidential debate. If you are interested, you can have a listen here.

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Biden Takes Campaign to Country Club, But May End Up in Sand Trap

October 9, 2020 at 5:18 pm

Joe Biden's attack on President Trump for being "the same guy who lets you earn a couple bucks parking cars at his country club, but even if you had the money, he wouldn't allow you to join," is the topic of my column this week. Please check out the full column at the New Boston Post ("Biden Takes Campaign to Country Club, But May End Up in Sand Trap"), Newsmax ("Biden Takes Campaign to Country Club, But May End Up in Sand Trap"), and the New York Sun ("Biden Emerges as Country Club Snob, Hypocrite.")

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Europe Versus U.S. on Coronavirus

October 8, 2020 at 8:57 am

From a news article in the Wall Street Journal:

The most recent data for the more accurate PCR tests showed 14 out of 31 European countries reported that the rate of tests coming back positive was above 3%, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. A higher percentage of positive results suggests other cases remain undiagnosed in the population and more tests are needed to locate and isolate infected individuals to halt the virus's spread, the agency said.

By this measure, France (9.22%), Spain (10.18%) and the Netherlands (8.36%) are struggling—while Italy (1.76%), Germany (1.10%) and the U.K. (1.39%) are posting rates below the 3% threshold.

Recent data from the U.S.—though not strictly comparable because other types of tests are included—suggest some 4%-5% of tests are positive.

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Goldman's China Profit

October 7, 2020 at 10:33 am

Midway through a Wall Street Journal news article about a new crop of partners at Goldman Sachs and an attempt to pay them carried interest comes this passage: "Goldman's success always has been wrapped up in its reputation as a wealth-creation machine, drumming up deals for the financial benefit of its executives as well as its clients. (Today's crop of partners lament having missed out on a wildly profitable investment in the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China that was offered to Goldman partners in 2006.)"

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New York Times Faults Trump for Using Sulzberger-Style Tax Tactics

October 4, 2020 at 10:11 pm

The New York Times investigation of President Trump's taxes faults Trump for doing things that the Times Company and the family that control it have been doing for years. That's the topic of my latest column. Please check out the full column at the New Boston Post ("The New York Times Faults Trump for Tax Tactics Used by Sulzbergers Who Own the Paper") and at the New York Sun ("Guess How The Times Knows So Much About Tax Losses Trump Uses.") The column also was picked up in the New York Post ("The NY Times knows tax avoidance...") and in the American Thinker ("New York Times caught naked in bed with Trump's tax strategy..." ).

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