G.I. Killed Freeing Prisoners of ISIS in Iraq, First in 4 Years
BAGHDAD — An American soldier was killed on Thursday morning as American and Kurdish commandos raided an Islamic State outpost near the northern Iraqi town of Hawija, freeing prisoners there and capturing some of the militants themselves, Iraqi and American officials said. The commando became the first American soldier killed in action in Iraq since the withdrawal in 2011. American military officials declined to comment on the details of the classified operation, some of which remained unclear. But as described by Iraqi officials in the area, the mission appeared to be a significant joint strike against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, at a time when Iraqi and American officials are trying to mount a wider counteroffensive against the militants. Iraqi officials said the raid involved American helicopters, Kurdish and American Special Operations forces, and airstrikes. The officials said the objective had been a prison run by the militants at a village east of Hawija. According to these accounts, American helicopters flew the commandos to the site. Kurdish special forces were said to have been in the lead, but American commandos were also on the ground. American airstrikes were also carried out to cut the roads leading to the site. Senior militants from the Islamic State were captured, and some of their prisoners were said to have been freed, the officials said. “They cut off roads and raided the place successfully,” one of the officials who confirmed the raid, Najmaldin Karim, the governor of surrounding Kirkuk Province, said in a telephone interview. “They were able to take people with them.” In Washington, two senior United States military officials confirmed the broad outlines of the operation but refused to provide details.
For Bitcoin, EU Tax Ruling Was Right on the Money
As the bitcoin industry embarks on an outreach campaign with U.S. law enforcement authorities, a court ruling handed down in Europe on Thursday is a sign of how deep its inroads across the Atlantic have reached. Bitcoin should be treated like traditional currencies under tax law, ruled the the European Court of Justice, concluding that transactions involving the virtual currency qualify for the same consumption-levy exemption that euros get when they exchange hands. Bloomberg has more on the ruling: The lack of clarification from the EU on how bitcoin should be treated for tax purposes has been “a bit of a hindrance,” said Dixon. Bitcoin has “properties of a commodity, some of the properties of a currency and it’s also a technology,” he said by phone from London. The EU court said to exclude bitcoin exchanges from the tax exemptions given to traditional exchanges “would deprive it of part of its effects,” given that the exemption’s aim is to counter “the difficulties connected with determining the taxable amount and the amount of VAT deductible” in cases of taxation of financial transactions. The case came at the request of a Swedish national who planned to operate a Bitcoin exchange service but wasn’t sure if he would have to pay a consumption tax, known as a value-added tax or VAT, on purchases and sales of the virtual currency units. The money has to be used as legal tender to qualify for the tax exemption under EU law. The Court of Justice said it didn’t see why bitcoins, which they said “have no purpose other than to be a means of payment,” should fall under a different tax regime. The decision, hailed by bitcoin investors as an important vote of confidence for digital currency’s most promising experiment that would help ensure free-flowing exchanges. “It’s very good news,” bitcoin venture capitalist Simon Dixon, the founder of crowdfunding platform Bank to the Future, told Bloomberg. The EU ruling stands in contrast to bitcoin’s uncertain regulatory status in the United States. Just last month, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission asserted that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t currency but should be defined as commodities like gold and silver, falling under the agency’s jurisdiction. Last year, the Internal Revenue Service said bitcoin should be treated as property for federal tax purposes. As WSJ’s Paul Vigna observes over at Money Beat, the currency hasn’t quite shed its underworld reputation as a digital accessory to drug dealing and violent crime, an impression shaped by the collapse of the early bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox and the prosecution of its founder and the take-down of online drug bazaar Silk Road. But there’s some indication of a thaw. Bitcoiners recently weathered the scrutiny of the New York Department of Financial Services and its former superintendent Benjamin Lawsky, who unveiled a regulatory framework for digital-currency businesses that didn’t prove to be the industry-stifling crackdown they had feared. WSJ reports on Thursday how two bitcoin trade groups based in Washington, D.C., have launched a group called the Blockchain Alliance to foster an open-ended dialogue with law enforcement agencies and help them navigate the currency’s complexities. “The truth is,” said Kathryn Haun, an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Department of Justice’s San Francisco office, “these kinds of alliances exist whether formally or informally in numerous industries. Yes, we have different goals than they do, but sometimes those goals overlap, and that’s not different here with the Blockchain Alliance.”
Congress Dances With Default—Again
Republicans in Congress have finally, at long last, found a speaker of the House. Now, they have less than two weeks to find a way to raise the debt ceiling. The nation will exceed its borrowing limit by November 3, according to a series of increasingly urgent letters and public statements by Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew. And Speaker John Boehner has said he wants to deal with the debt ceiling before he leaves Congress on October 30, both to avert an unprecedented U.S. default and to dispense with an annual political headache before his successor is sworn in. Yet as is so often the case with the debt limit, the task is proving more difficult than it seemed. Nearly five years into their House majority, most Republicans still cannot stomach the thought of voting to raise the debt limit without significant concessions, in large part because their constituents have been led to believe that they would be voting to authorize huge amounts of new spending, rather than paying for bills Congress has previously incurred. At the very least, GOP lawmakers believe the debt-limit hike should be used as an opportunity to impose fiscal discipline, but President Obama and congressional Democrats have held firm in their refusal to negotiate on what they say is a routine congressional responsibility. The simplest way to handle it—as Democrats and moderate Republicans frequently point out—is for Boehner to bring up a clean bill extending the Treasury’s borrowing authority for at least another year. That’s what Boehner did the last time it came up, in February 2014, when he abandoned his previous demand that an increase in the debt ceiling be accompanied by equivalent cuts in spending. That measure passed narrowly, with just 28 Republicans joining all Democrats in support.
Clinton largely unscathed by GOP Benghazi hearing
The appearance was seen as a crucial moment for the former secretary of State, and the Republican panel lobbed dozens of questions at her about her personal email setup, her longtime associate Sidney Blumenthal, and Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya killed in the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi. But none of the lawmakers’ critiques throughout the course of the long day seemed to stick.
“I don’t know that she testified that much different today than she has in the past,” Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) conceded as the hearing wrapped up. If anything, the only serious political damage seemed to have been done to GOP leaders of the panel, who were repeatedly put on defense by harsh barbs from committee’s Democrats. “We’re better than using taxpayer dollars to try and destroy a campaign,” Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), the committee’s top Democrat, said as the 11-hour hearing was entering its final moments, it was part of a rousing speech that was cheered in the committee room. “That’s not what America is all about.” The stakes were high for both sides coming into Thursday. Clinton, a Democratic presidential candidate, needed to escape undamaged without losing her calm about the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks that killed four Americans. Gowdy and fellow committee Republicans needed to prove their worth after a month of allegations that the panel’s motivations were at least partly political. Clinton did her job, keeping her head down and staying cool under GOP pressure. During a previous appearance in Congress, Clinton lost her temper and pounded on the table to ask Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) “what difference, at this point, does it make” why the attack occurred. On Thursday, that tone was absent.
Instead, committee Democrats stepped in to offer an assist whenever Clinton needed it, to change the conversation back to Republicans and what Democrats characterized as the GOP’s partisan plan to sink her presidential campaign. Longtime Clinton allies were thrilled by her testimony, and they maintained that it only added to her recent momentum, beginning with her strong performance in last week’s initial Democratic presidential debate. “It was a textbook performance,” one longtime ally said. “I don’t think it could have gone any better,” another said. “She schooled them. I think she’s on a roll.” Tommy Vietor, the National Security Council spokesman during the 2012 attacks and a current Clinton supporter, said Republicans failed to rattle the former secretary of State. “She was completely calm and relaxed and professional,” Vietor said. “Gowdy was defensive and had to spend much of the time defending the existence of the committee. He looked angry and petty and political.” More:
5 Absurd Moments From the Hillary Clinton Benghazi Hearing
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before the House Select Committee on Benghazi Thursday. For those of you keeping track at home, the hearing marked the eighth Congressional investigation into the 2012 attacks in Libya that left four Americans dead, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. A CNN/ORC poll released the morning of the hearing found an overwhelming majority of Americans — 72 percent — believe the House committee is politically motivated. That impression was no doubt bolstered by remarks by two Republican Congressmen — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who proudly claimed the committee drove down Clinton’s poll numbers, and Rep. Richard Hanna, who said the committee was “designed to go after” Hillary Clinton — and one of the committee’s own ex-investigators, Major Bradley Podlisa, who described it as “a partisan investigation” earlier this month. Such comments prompted the chairman of the House committee, Rep. Trey Gowdy — whose ties to an anti-Clinton super PAC were reported by the Washington Post earlier this week — to tell fellow Republicans to “shut up talking about things that you don’t know anything about.” This is all to say: There remained little doubt in most Americans’ minds that the purpose of Thursday’s hearing was to do as much political damage possible to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. Riding high after a widely praised performance in the first Democratic debate and, no doubt, Vice President Joe Biden’s announcement that he would not challenge her in the Democratic primary, Clinton was ready for every question committee members lobbed her way. Here were some of the key moments from the marathon hearing.
Paul Ryan Seals Republican Support to Mount House Speaker Bid
Representative Paul Ryan declared that he will serve as U.S. House speaker to quell the turmoil that has left Congress’s Republican majority without a fiscal strategy just 13 days before the country could default on its debt. A full House vote on Oct. 29 is now essentially a formality. Ryan had said he would only enter the speaker’s race if he could lock up support from three wings of the fractious party, and in the space of 72 hours this week, he did. He is heeding the pleas of fellow Republicans who want him to unite the party after hard-liners drove Speaker John Boehner to resign. “I am ready and eager to be our speaker,” Ryan said in a letter to colleagues Thursday night. “We can show the country what a commonsense conservative agenda looks like.” Ryan is one of the Republican Party’s most recognizable figures after his failed 2012 vice presidential bid, and at 45, he stands to shape the party’s message and vision for years to come. He took a circuitous route toward the speaker’s chair, telling the party not once but twice that he wouldn’t run but emerging after a week at home in Wisconsin to say he’d take the job, with conditions. He wants to preserve time at home with his three children by avoiding much of the endless fundraising of past speakers. He also asked Republicans to make it harder to remove him from the job.
Obama vetoes defense bill
President Obama on Thursday took the rare step of vetoing a major defense policy bill, upping the stakes in a faceoff with Republicans over government spending. Obama used his veto pen on the National Defense Authorization Act during a photo-op in Oval Office. “I’m going to be vetoing this authorization bill. I’m going to be sending it back to Congress, and my message to them is very simple: Let’s do this right,” Obama said. It’s highly unusual for a president to veto the defense legislation, which typically becomes law with bipartisan support. The move amounts to a public rebuke of congressional Republicans, who warned that vetoing the $612 billion measure would put the nation’s security at risk. The veto was Obama’s third this year and the fifth of his presidency. The Defense authorization bill has been vetoed four times in the last half-decade. Obama argues the bill irresponsibly skirts spending caps adopted in 2011 by putting $38 billion into a war fund not subject to the limits, a move he called a “gimmick.” He has called on Congress to increase both defense and nondefense spending. “Let’s have a budget that properly funds our national security as well as economic security, let’s make sure that we’re able in a constructive way to reform our military spending to make it sustainable over the long term,” Obama said.
The president also objects to language in the bill that requires the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, military prison to remain open. Republican leaders expressed outrage with Obama’s decision to veto the bill, pointing out that it puts a scheduled pay raise for troops, among other policy changes, at risk. “By placing domestic politics ahead of our troops, President Obama has put America’s national security at risk,” Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement. “This indefensible veto blocks pay and vital tools for our troops while Iranian terrorists prepare to gain billions under the president’s nuclear deal.” The move forces Congress to revisit the bill and send it back to the president. The military will continue to operate under last year’s defense policy if lawmakers cannot reach an agreement. Republicans have pledged to attempt to override Obama’s veto, but it’s unlikely they have the votes to do so. The Senate voted 70-27 to pass the bill, and overriding the veto would require 67 votes. But Democratic leaders have said some members would switch their vote to avoid defying the president. The House vote count, 270-156, would not be enough to override a veto, which would take 290 votes. Asked how confident the White House is Obama’s veto will be sustained, White House spokesman Eric Schultz replied: “very.”
Here’s Why Donald Trump Really Could Be Elected President
From Brentwood mansions to Embassy Row in Washington, D.C., the idea that Donald Trump could become president has alternately set off fits of laughter and terror. While some political insiders, including a growing number of establishment Republicans, concede that Trump could win the nomination, few believe that Trump could actually become president. But a close analysis of the political climate and electoral path to the presidency shows that the possibility of a Donald in chief is less far-fetched than people imagine. The establishment argument goes something like this: first, Trump will implode, owing to some stupid thing he says or does (so far no sign of this). Then, maybe he could win the nomination but ultimately voters will see what “we” (the elites) all see: he is unfit to be president and they will vote for an alternative. That argument might work well if elections were won by a national vote taken the year before the election, when the majority of people paying attention are political elites, plus a small number of people in early primary states. However, elections are won by achieving a mathematical number: 270 electoral votes. In that formula, Trump is just as competitive—and perhaps more so—as either John McCain, in 2008, or Mitt Romney, in 2012. To be clear, at the moment Trump is the absolute and clear front-runner for the Republican nomination. Trump has been the front-runner longer and by a more significant margin than any of the many flameouts he is often compared to from past campaigns. Comments made by Trump, which would have tanked any other politician’s campaign, seem to bounce off him, and even make him more compelling to certain voters. Assuming Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, some inside the Beltway believe there is a possibility that she might win states like Indiana, North Carolina, Missouri, and Montana, which Obama won or only narrowly lost in 2008. But with Trump in the race, all of those states—which are more red than they were in ’08—are likely out for Democrats. Swing states like Colorado and Virginia are clear toss-ups. There are few states that Romney or McCain won where Trump, as the Republican nominee, wouldn’t be in the running, and an analysis of other key states shows that Trump’s in far better position than his detractors would like to admit. If Trump were to win every state that Romney won, Trump would stand today at 206 electoral votes, with 55 electoral votes up for grabs in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Nevada, Wisconsin, Iowa, and New Hampshire. Similarly, Trump does not necessarily lose in a single toss-up state versus Hillary Clinton and, in fact, is seemingly competitive in many. Virginia is trending blue, but could be a toss-up, particularly given the tale of Dave Brat, whose success in 2014 could be read as a harbinger of Trump. More:
Pro-Trump super PAC shuts down
The main super PAC backing Donald Trump is shutting down amidst increasing scrutiny of its ties to Trump’s campaign. Trump, who has made his independence from wealthy donors a cornerstone of his anti-establishment presidential campaign, never officially blessed the Make America Great super PAC. But Mike Ciletti, a Republican operative based in Colorado, reportedly used contact information obtained from a top Trump aide to reach out to prospective donors. Ciletti told POLITICO that his decision Thursday to shut down the organization, which he launched in July in an effort to boost Trump’s candidacy, is an attempt “to erase any questions as to whether he has a super PAC.” “Mr. Trump has said he doesn’t have a super PAC,” Ciletti continued. “So to honor his wishes, I’m shutting my organization down.” Ciletti declined to say how much money he was able to raise in roughly four months or whether anyone specifically asked him to shut the organization down. He plans to refund contributions after making sure existing contractual obligations to various vendors (mostly related to voter targeting and advertising) are met. Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s campaign manager, has insisted that Trump has never blessed or worked with a super PAC, although recent FEC filings revealed that the campaign directed hard dollars to two Colorado-based companies both affiliated with Ciletti.
U.S. Prosecutor to Drop Insider Trading Cases Against Seven
The impact of a landmark decision that made it harder to prosecute insider trading was amply demonstrated on Thursday as the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan moved to dismiss the charges and convictions of seven people. The 2013 conviction of Michael S. Steinberg — the highest-ranking employee at SAC Capital Advisors to stand trial for insider trading — would be dropped, as would the guilty pleas of six cooperating witnesses. The decision by Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, came just a little more than two weeks after the United States Supreme Court declined to review a ruling by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that tossed out two other insider trading convictions and made it harder for authorities to pursue certain kinds of wrongful trading cases. A dismissal of Mr. Steinberg’s conviction had been seen as a possibility in light of the appeals court ruling, which overturned the earlier convictions of two former hedge fund managers, Anthony Chiasson and Todd Newman, on similar evidence of improper trading in shares of two technology companies.
US regulator signals bid to curb high-speed trading
New York: A major US financial regulator has signalled the first serious effort to curb high-speed automated trading in the futures market, which increasingly influences benchmark assets such as equities, commodities and government bonds. The plans detailed by Timothy Massad, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, come with concern growing among regulators over the sudden large price movements that have plagued a number of markets in recent years. Such so-called “flash events” have become linked with the growing popularity of high-speed, computerised trading, which has been criticised by institutional investors for fuelling volatility. Massad made his comments on Wednesday at a conference examining the market for US Treasury bonds, a bedrock of the financial system which last October swung wildly in a 12-minute span, unnerving investors and regulators. A July report by the US Treasury and regulators into the so-called “flash event” found the growth of rapid electronic trading had played a central role in the abrupt price and yield swings. Automated traders account for about 67 per cent of 10-year Treasury futures listed on the Chicago Board of Trade, Massad said. They are on at least one side of half the trades in metals and energy futures, he added. More:
Court Rules That Student Loan Company Isn’t Above the Law
The scariest thing about the calls that Lee Pele started to get from debt collectors was not that they wanted $137,000. It was that he was sure he didn’t owe the money. The company servicing the student debt got him confused with someone else, he said, but it refused to correct the error when he offered evidence that the loans were not his. The alleged mistake ruined Pele’s credit, he said, just as he was trying to pay for an engagement ring for his fiancée and buy a house with her. On Wednesday, a federal court in Richmond, Va., gave Pele a shot a vindication. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals said Pele could proceed (PDF) with his lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, the company that serviced the debt. The court said the company does not have the right to “sovereign immunity,” as it had argued, which would have denied consumers the right to sue it in most circumstances. The ruling is significant. At stake was the right of borrowers to take one of the largest servicers in the country, and possibly others, to court if they believe it has broken the law. “This is a victory for corporate accountability,” said Scott Michelman, the attorney who represented Pele. “There are very few avenues for folks to challenge the actions of student lenders. This wasn’t just an attempt to shut off the few avenues remaining, this was an attempt to shut off all avenues remaining.” PHEAA, which also does business as American Education Services and FedLoan Servicing, services about $287 billion in debt. The company had urged the court to give it the type of immunity from lawsuits that the law grants federal and state governments, which cannot be sued unless they waive their immunity or Congress intervenes. The servicing giant has close ties to the State of Pennsylvania, which has some control over its business. The company argued that the close relationship to Pennsylvania made it an “arm of the state” and entitled to the government’s exemption from most lawsuits. A ruling in its favor would have immediately affected millions of borrowers it serves. It also could have affected Americans across the country who interact with several other state-based servicers because other federal courts may have been encouraged to give those companies immunity, too. “This was like a blanket, get-out-of-jail-free card that PHEAA asked for,” said Michelman. PHEAA did not respond to requests for comment.
Documents Raise New Questions About Valeant’s Pharmacy Relationships in California
Over the last week, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International, a large drug maker, has seen its stock price plunge amid allegations of questionable dealings with pharmacies. Now ProPublica has obtained documents showing how people affiliated with Valeant’s main pharmacy used a backdoor approach to gain an ownership stake in California after the pharmacy, Philidor Rx Services, was denied a permit to operate in the state. Philidor’s license application was denied in May 2014 after the California Board of Pharmacy accused the company and its representatives of making “false statements of fact.” Specifically, the board said Philidor lied when listing the pharmacy’s owners, its accountant and its authorized signatories for financial transactions. Several months later, a holding company whose chief executive identifies herself onlineas Philidor’s director of pharmacy operations purchased a 10 percent stake in West Wilshire Pharmacy in Los Angeles. Since last Friday, Valeant’s stock has plummeted almost 40 percent as investors have raised as-yet-unanswered questions about its accounting and business practices, particularly its relationship with so-called specialty pharmacies that generally charge patients lower co-payments than retail pharmacies. Disclosure of the West Wilshire transaction seems likely to intensify those questions. It’s unclear how it enables Philidor or Valeant to distribute drugs any more easily than a contractual relationship with a California pharmacy would. Calls to Philidor, Valeant and West Wilshire were not returned. Virginia Herold, the executive officer of California’s Board of Pharmacy, said it’s vital that pharmacies and their owners provide truthful information to the board. “The board spends a lot of time investigating applications to ensure the individuals are who they say they are,” Herold said, though she declined to discuss Philidor specifically because the pharmacy has appealed its license denial. “It is a concern to us when someone misrepresents that.” Valeant rose to prominence through acquisitions of drugs and companies, including Bausch & Lomb and skin-care company Medicis. It specializes in taking over companies with portfolios of small, sleepy drugs, slashing research and development spending, and raising drug prices aggressively. A bevy of high-profile hedge funds, most prominently Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square Capital Management, have taken big stakes in Valeant. Increasingly, Valeant and other drug companies are encouraging patients to use specialty pharmacies. They are essentially mail-order pharmacies that help patients and doctors navigate insurance company requirements. More:
FCC votes to slash cost of prison phone calls
The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted to slash what it called “excessive rates and egregious fees” that families have to pay to call their relatives in prison. Currently, calls to inmates can cost as much as $14 a minute. Under the new plan, calls will cost no more than $1.65 for 15 minutes. Rates will be slightly higher in jails that have less than 250 inmates, and free for inmates with disabilities. “While contact between inmates and their loved ones has been shown to reduce the rate of recidivism, high inmate calling rates have made that contact unaffordable for many families, who often live in poverty. Reducing the cost of these calls measurably increases the amount of contact between inmates and their loved ones, making an important contribution to the criminal justice reforms sweeping the nation,” the FCC said in a statement. The new rates will go into effect in 90 days, and the FCC has pledged to closely monitor the implementation of the new reform; communication providers will be asked to disclose rates and fees. The federal agency said it began implementing changes amid concerns about the high cost of calls in 2013, after Martha Wright, a grandmother from Washington, D.C., said she was paying about $1,000 a year to talk to her grandson. Lee Petero, a lawyer who represented Wright pro bono, said the agency’s reform effort will “lead to immediate relief to millions of families and specially the 2.7 million children who have at least one parent in jail and want to stay in touch,” NBC News reported. “Calls that used to cost a dollar a minute now could be as low as 11 cents,” said Aleks Kajstura, legal director at the Prison Policy Initiative, a criminal justice reform group that has been pushing to make prison calls more affordable. “Studies show keeping communication in between families members and incarcerated loved ones reduces recidivism, and that helps us all.” The FCC decision comes a week after Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders and 15 other Democrats wrote a letter to the agency’s chairman Thomas Wheeler in support of his reform effort. The lawmakers were critical of the existing system, which they said has profited from charging inmates “unreasonably” high call rates.
More than 100 former attorneys general ask US Supreme Court to review Siegelman sentence
More than 100 former state attorneys general are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review the sentence of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, who remains behind bars for his conviction in a government corruption case. The brief, filed Wednesday and signed by 116 former attorneys general, supported Siegelman’s latest appeal. Siegelman argues a judge wrongly gave him a longer sentence for pervasive corruption even though a jury acquitted him of those charges. While the Supreme Court has upheld the use of acquitted conduct in sentencing under certain conditions, the attorneys general said the practice violates both the U.S. Constitution and the public’s sense of justice. “People should not go to prison for conduct a jury finds them innocent of and finds that they did not commit,” the governor’s son, Joseph Siegelman, said Thursday. Former New York Attorney General Robert Abrams said it is an issue of “basic fairness.” “We think the Siegelman case cries out for justice from many vantage points,” Abrams said. The Alabama Democrat is serving a 6 ½-year sentence for bribery and obstruction of justice convictions. Siegelman, 69, has a projected release date of Aug. 8, 2017. The request for the review of the sentence is the latest appeal in Siegelman’s long-running and so far unsuccessful effort to overturn his conviction. The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in May upheld both Siegelman’s conviction and sentence. A federal jury in 2006 convicted Siegelman on charges that he sold a seat on a state regulatory board to HealthSouth founder Richard Scrushy in exchange for $500,000 in donations to his 1999 campaign to establish a state lottery. Siegelman also was convicted on a separate obstruction of justice charge. The Justice Department has argued Siegelman’s sentence enhancement was deserved because he eroded the public trust in government. Prosecutors also argued his ultimate sentence fell within accepted guidelines for his convictions. However, the former attorneys’ general said in their brief that the guidelines were calculated incorrectly and that Siegelman should have gotten a shorter sentence. Siegelman, who was governor from 2009 to 2013, also served as Alabama’s attorney general. This is not the first time he has gotten assistance from his former colleagues. Former attorneys general asked the Supreme Court to hear his appeal in 2009, saying the case raised free speech issues. Joseph Siegelman, who was a teen during his father’s 2006 trial but is now a part of his legal team, said his father has been in prison a long time but remains strong. “He is strong and will hopefully be able to complete his sentence and return to his family soon,” Joseph Siegelman said.
Republicans who voted for taxes: ‘We tried to act responsibly. I think that helps the Republican brand.’
Republican Party chair Terry Lathan recently told Gov. Robert Bentley the party’s brand had been damaged by his push for tax increases and the support for gambling by others in the party. Lathan made her comments in a closed door meeting of the governing body of the state GOP Bentley had called. A recording of the meeting was provided to Al.com. While Lathan has bemoaned the fact that someone in the room recorded the meeting and released it, it’s the sometimes sharp disagreements between some of those in the room over issues like taxes and gambling and Lathan’s admonition of Bentley that has generated a lot of reaction in GOP circles. There are any number of follow-up questions that Lathan’s comment about party brand raises, but one certainly is: If Bentley damaged the party brand by pushing for tax hike, how do Republican lawmakers who voted for them feel about what they did? Did their ‘yes’ votes to hike the tax on cigarettes by 25 cents a pack and smaller tax hikes in two other areas damage the GOP brand? “No. I don’t think my vote for taxes damaged the Republican brand,” said Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster. “First of all, these were reasonable tax increases. Now maybe had we voted hundreds of millions of dollars in increases it might have had an impact but I’m not so sure given that what the governor originally sought would have had no impact on income or property taxes. “It’s been over a month since the vote and I’ve heard no negative feedback from the people in my district and its one of the most Republican districts in the state,” added Ward. Rep. Steve Clouse is a Republican from Ozark and chairman of the House General Fund Committee. As such he played a leading role in guiding the tax increases that eventually passed the Legislature through the House. “No. Not at all,” said Clouse when asked if he thought his vote to increases taxes hurts the party. “I don’t think the party people understand,” said Clouse. “To say what we did somehow damaged the party brand is to fail to understand what our jobs as legislators are, what the job of the governor is. That job is to govern. That means making decisions, a lot of them centered around how we spend our tax dollars on the goods and services people need and so many depend on. “I think sometimes the party people get those of us in the Legislature confused with the guys and women in Washington. Unlike what happens in Washington, in Montgomery we can’t print money,” added Clouse. Clouse said the state faced a serious budget situation and had to make some hard decisions and that included raising some taxes. “We were trying to adequately fund some pretty important programs like Medicaid and public safety. We tried to act responsibly. I think that helps the Republican brand,” said Clouse. Sen. Jabo Waggoner, R-Vestavia Hills, has been in the Legislature over 40 years, first as a Democrat and for decades now as a Republican. He voted for the three tax increases and said it was a relatively easy call for him. “There were other proposed tax increases I opposed and some others I supported but the ones we approved were the ones that got a majority of the votes from Republicans, and some Democrats, and I don’t think we hurt our brand at all,” said Waggoner. More:
MONTGOMERY—In an attempt to prove prosecutorial misconduct during his indictment on 23 felony counts of public corruption, Speaker Mike Hubbard subpoenaed journalist John Archibald to testify in Lee County on October 26. Archibald filed a motion to quash the subpoena citing the Alabama Shield Statute, the Alabama Reporter’s Privilege, and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Archibald’s subpoena was later pulled when on Thursday he filed an affidavit which gave the defense nothing except a way out of an embarrassing situation. Hubbard, and his criminal defense team, led by J. Mark White, have repeatedly shown a blatant disregard for State law, even challenging the constitutionality of the ethics laws he championed and voted to pass. Hubbard had also demanded, “the production of documents sent to or received from an alleged source(s), drafts of articles and notes used in the editorial process, and text messages and emails relating to but not limited to two news articles” written by Archibald. To subpoena a working journalist sends a chilling message, not only to every reporter in the State, but to every freedom loving citizen in the entire country. Hubbard has shown a complete disrespect for State law, the judge’s orders, and made evident his willingness to sacrifice every principle on which our society is founded to save himself. If Judge Walker had permitted Hubbard to drag Archibald to the witness stand, then any effort to report on government and public corruption would have been compromised, and a death-spiral of honest, intrepid reporting would have been set in motion. In the motion to quash, Archibald argues, “The subpoena should be quashed because Alabama courts recognize a qualified privilege under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, which protects a reporter from testifying about anything obtained while in a news gathering capacity,” the motion reads. “There exists ‘an important societal interest in protecting the free flow of information to the public,’ and ‘[a]ny unwarranted restraints upon the process of news gathering and reporting could jeopardize [this interest].’” Judge Walker has ordered that the October 26 evidentiary hearing would be narrow in scope and evidence would be limited to prosecutorial misconduct as defined in the Bank of Nova Scotia, et al. v. United States, which states, “dismissal of the indictment is appropriate only ‘if it is established that the violation substantially influenced the grand jury’s decision to indict,’ or if there is ‘grave doubt’ that the decision to indict was free from the substantial influence of such violations….” Hubbard’s legal team in seeking information about Archibald’s columns, which were written after Hubbard was indicted would have fallen outside the standard set under the Nova Scotia ruling. White and Hubbard have repeatedly dismissed Judge Walker’s orders, acting as if they are above the law, or a law unto themselves. According to several House members, Hubbard has been boasting that many of the 23 charges against him will be dismissed after the October 26 hearing. Hubbard and White have bragged about how they will “expose” the prosecution on the 26th. Archibald’s motion to quash concludes, “…enforcement of subpoenas such as this one would render the reporter’s privilege effectively meaningless.” If Walker would have compelled Archibald to testify, the corruption charges surrounding Hubbard would have been just be a small manifestation of a much deeper cancer that effects Alabama politics.
Air taxi company expands to Birmingham
ImagineAir– an on-demand air taxi service – on Thursday announced its new partnership with the Bessemer Airport Authority. The company operates the largest fleet of on-demand Cirrus aircraft, and offers regional flights to hundreds of cities across the Southeast directly from Bessemer Airport, ImagineAir said in a release. Local and regional travelers will now have access to over 500 regional airports from Bessemer. The company said this will turn a three to eight-hour drive into a direct one or two-hour flight. Travelers will also be able to reserve and book departure times though a widget on the airport’s website. Flight times will be based on schedules instead of pre-set timetables by traditional airlines. “We are partnering with Bessemer Airport to provide access to those in the community that might not have otherwise even considered using their local airport as a travel gateway,” said Lynda Jo Norred, vice president of Business Development at ImagineAir. “Most travelers are surprised to learn that more than 80 percent of the population in the U.S. either lives or works within a 15-minute drive of a public use airport.” Flights may be quoted and reserved online through the Bessemer Airport Authority website.
Conservative pundits were not impressed with the GOP’s disastrous Benghazi hearing
Hillary Clinton is a top-tier politician who’s been the subject of nearly constant national media scrutiny for more than 20 years. She also happens to have worked at the House Judiciary Committee during the most famous and most influential congressional investigation into executive branch misconduct of all time. The Benghazi committee, by contrast, is led by a guy who can’t get a proper haircut and composed largely of random backbench Republicans, most of whom run in districts that aren’t remotely competitive. Consequently, it’s not so surprising that she ended up mopping the floor with her antagonists — a group that went in with no clear plan of what they were hoping to accomplish and little substantive understanding of any of the relevant policy issues. And, indeed, the best some conservative pundits could say about it is that the hearing exceeding their low expectations. See comments:
How payday lenders get their money’s worth in Alabama
A funny thing happened earlier this year when the payday lending bill came up in the Alabama House, but perhaps what was most peculiar was that the bill ever got to floor in the first place. There had been attempts before to regulate payday lenders but with little success. Bills usually died in committee. If they didn’t die there, they died with the Rules Committee, which sets the special order calendar, a sort of daily agenda for the House. They don’t make it to the floor. But suddenly, there it was — a payday lending bill — on the special order calendar. The bill’s sponsor Rep. Danny Garrett, R-Trussville, says it was probably a mistake. He had two bills before the Rules Committee that day and he thinks they put the wrong one on the calendar. Most payday loan borrowers have two weeks to repay their loans. Garrett’s bill would have extended that to three months. The effect would have been that, rather than 456 APR, payday loans would have dropped to 36 percent. “They had indicated that one of my other bills was going to be a priority bill, but it [the payday lending bill] was on the calendar,” Garrett said. “At that point, I said let’s go for it.” Before we get to what happened next with Garrett’s bill, let’s pause to talk about what happened more recently. For years the payday lending industry has fought the Alabama State Banking Department, which regulates financial institutions and had insisted that payday lenders enter their loans into a unified database. Already it was illegal for payday lenders collectively to loan more than $500 to one person, but without a unified database the lenders could plead ignorance if one customer had multiple $500 loans out at one time. The Alabama Supreme Court ruled against the payday loan industry, and on August 10, the database went live. Here is what that database has already told us. In the first 10 weeks, there were 462,209 transactions (loans). Of those, the average size was $317. The total loans plus fees was $172.1 million. The approximate gross profit was $25.4 million. If those numbers are typical for the rest of the year — which is being conservative considering what’s likely to happen around the holidays — then Alabamians are on track to take out about 2.4 million payday loans in a year, for more than $890 million. Obviously, many payday loan recipients are rolling over debt, but that’s one payday loan for every two people in the state. And the payday loan industry will bank $132 million. Looking at numbers like those, the $475,000 of campaign donations the industry gave Alabama lawmakers in the last election cycle looks almost insignificant. But it was enough. Which brings us back to what happened next with Garrett’s payday lending bill. Rep. Mike Hill, R-Columbiana, moved to carry the bill over, which is how bills are killed when they make it to the floor. Sometimes a bill comes back after being carried over, but rarely. It should be noted that back in 2002, when Hill was a Democrat, he sponsored the law that made payday lending and its 456 APR loans legal in Alabama. In the last election cycle, Hill got $14,250 from payday and title loan lenders. Rep. Mac McCutcheon, R-Huntsville, asked to carry the bill over, too. McCutcheon chairs the Rule Committee and is one of the most powerful members of the Alabama House after Speaker Mike Hubbard, R-Auburn. McCutcheon got $12,750 of donations from payday and title lenders. Hubbard, who received $37,835 from lenders, wasn’t serving as speaker at that moment. He had vacated his chair, but he was standing just a few feet away when Rep. Alan Boothe, R-Troy, stood in for him. More:
BUSH LAND MIND-MELD: WORRIED ABOUT CRUZ — A lot of Jeb Bush donors say they worry most about Marco Rubio (assuming Trump eventually implodes and the race returns to a more normal footing). But this is not a uniformly held view. Some donors are getting worried about Ted Cruz. One told M.M. on Thursday: “At first I thought the angry, frustrated vote would coalesce around Cruz or Rand Paul. …
“Instead it coalesced around Trump. Now we’ve seen Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina get a look. But if Trump does implode a lot of his support could easily shift to Cruz. He has a ton of cash on hand. He is in a very, very good position to make a move. Marco is kind of like Jeb-lite.” (And no, this is not the same person who referred to Rubio donors as “the JV squad”.)
DEBT LIMIT IMPASSE ALREADY CAUSING PROBLEMS — CNBC’s Reem Nasr: “The U.S. Treasury on Thursday postponed the 2-year note auction scheduled for Tuesday due to debt-ceiling constraints. It said it also may have to postpone the Nov. 2 auction of 2-year notes. Two other auctions scheduled for next week will continue as scheduled. ‘The current debt limit impasse is also now adversely affecting the operation of government financing, increasing federal government borrowing costs, reducing the Treasury bill supply, and increasing the operational risk associated with holding a lower cash balance,’ the department said.
“The Treasury has a limited borrowing authority available and said that ‘cash and nonmarketable debt forecasts are extremely volatile.’ In mid-October, Treasury Secretary Lew told Congress the department estimates it may have less than $30 billion by early November to meet all of the nation’s commitments.’ … Earlier this week, Lew told CNBC that he fears waiting until the last minute to raise the nation’s borrowing authority could result in an accident “that would be terrible.” http://cnb.cx/1MVTYKB
GOP SCRAMBLES — POLITICO’s John Bresnahan and Jake Sherman: “Congress has a debt-ceiling problem again. A big one. House GOP leaders initially planned to vote on a red-meat proposal Friday pitched by the Republican Study Committee to increase the debt ceiling while imposing new limits on executive-branch power. That measure stood no chance of passing the Senate, but would at least show effort. … Yet when House Majority Whip Steve Scalise’s (R-La.) team tested Republican support for the legislation, it fell far short of the needed 218 votes, and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) postponed any floor action.
“Now, the U.S. government is 12 days from reaching the debt limit without a clear plan of what to do. Boehner, McCarthy and other GOP leaders are refusing at this point to move ahead with a ‘clean’ debt ceiling bill insisted on by President Barack Obama. Senior leadership aides said they couldn’t find the 30 Republican votes needed to join with all 188 Democrats to pass that proposal — a bleak indication of the current state of play. …
“Obama is playing a strong hand and has refused to make any major concessions. Boehner, who wants to leave Congress next week, remains hopeful he can reach a budget agreement with the president, which would then allow him to put a clean debt bill up for a vote.” http://politi.co/1PJXtEG
REAL TALK — A budget deal in the next twelve days? Sounds completely impossible but perhaps there are back-channel talks that have yet to leak that could produce some kind of small agreement. Still seems like a last minute clean debt limit hike is the most likely scenario. Such a vote could wait until close to Halloween. Spooky.
RYAN IS READY — From Rep. Paul Ryan’s letter to House GOP colleagues formally announcing his speaker bid: “Instead of rising to the occasion, Washington is falling short — including the House of Representatives. We are not solving the country’s problems; we are only adding to them. But now, we have an opportunity to turn the page, to start with a clean slate, and to rebuild what has been lost. …
“That’s why I’m actually excited for this moment. I’ve spoken with many of you over the past few days, and I can sense the hunger in our conference to get to work. I know many of you want to show the country how to fix our tax code, how to rebuild our military … I never thought I’d be speaker. But I pledged to you that if I could be a unifying figure, then I would serve — I would go all in. … I believe we are ready to move forward as a one, united team. And I am ready and eager to be our speaker.”
OBAMA VETOES DEFENSE BILL — POLITICO’s Austin Wright and Jeremy Herb: “President Barack Obama issued the fifth veto of his seven-year presidency on Thursday, rejecting the sweeping $612 billion National Defense Authorization Act in a move designed to prevent Republicans from getting an edge in nascent budget negotiations. The expected veto of the defense policy bill — approved with wide, bipartisan support in both the House and Senate — shows a new level of resolve from a president who’s threatened in years past to veto the annual measure but had never followed through.
“The president’s action, before a small group of journalists summoned to the Oval Office, also disregards the warnings of Democratic defense hawks who backed the measure. And it demonstrates yet again that the president, emboldened in his second term, has few qualms about taking steps sure to provoke congressional Republicans — like his executive orders on immigration or his moves to limit the ability of Congress to stop his nuclear deal with Iran.”
GOOD FRIDAY MORNING — Hillary Clinton’s Benghazi testimony is now entering its 20th hour. Buffet breakfast now being served. Have a great weekend, all. Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and follow me on Twitter @morningmoneyben.
COOL MOVE OF THE DAY — FT’s Hannah Kuchler in San Francisco: “Jack Dorsey, the Twitter co-founder who was recently reinstalled as chief executive, is giving away a third of his shares in the messaging platform to employees, as part of his plan to boost morale and transform the company. Speaking at Twitter’s Teatime town hall event, Mr Dorsey said he was giving away about 1 per cent of the company — or $200m worth of stock — to employees. …
“The shares will go into the pool from which staff are rewarded with stock depending on performance and promotions. If it was distributed evenly, it would work out at about $55,000 worth of stock for each staff member.” http://on.ft.com/1W8leeB
CLINTON BATTLES BENGHAZI PANEL — POLITICO’s Rachel Bade: “Hillary Clinton fought off Republican accusations on Thursday that she was more interested in getting advice from Sidney Blumenthal than protecting diplomats — and offered an emotional account of the death of Ambassador Christopher Stevens, aiming to highlight the panel’s investigation as a misguided partisan attack. …
“Clinton, for her part, maintained a calm demeanor, although she couldn’t conceal her apparent enjoyment when Gowdy and ranking member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) broke into a shouting match over how much information should be made public from the panel’s closed-door interviews. … And with the panel members busy taking shots at each other, and lobbing accusations of partisanship, Clinton had space to remind lawmakers and viewers that she had “lost more sleep than all of you put together” over the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks that killed Stevens and three other Americans” http://politi.co/1W74apr
TAKEAWAY — POLITICO’s Glenn Thrush and Gabriel Debenedetti: Clinton “walked away from her long-awaited trial before the GOP-steered Benghazi committee with her eardrums battered and her candidacy mostly unscathed.” http://politi.co/1PKaiPh
WORD COUNT — The Benghazi hearing featured about 78,000 words, longer than The Catcher in the Rye and nearly as long as Harry Potter: Philosopher’s Stone.
CARSON UP IN IOWA — POLITICO’s Eliza Collins: “Ben Carson pulled ahead of Donald Trump in a new Quinnipiac poll of Iowa. “The retired neurosurgeon leads the Republican field with 28 percent, while Trump has fallen behind with 20 percent. A September survey had Trump at 27 percent, and Carson at 21 percent.”http://politi.co/1W7YMSI
ICAHN LAYS OUT PAC GOALS — Bloomberg: “Sure, Carl Icahn might make money — lots of money — on his $6 billion stake in Apple Inc. if a political campaign he announced Wednesday to cut taxes on companies’ foreign earnings succeeds. So what? Icahn says. ‘It’ll help Apple, but it will also help America.’
“The billionaire New York investor said this week that he plans to form a $150 million super-PAC to push Congress to deal with the tax issue, a move that would transform the 79-year-old political novice into one of the biggest donors in history. In a phone interview Thursday that he interrupted to field a call from a Republican senator, Icahn said those who questioned his motivations are probably just jealous of the money he stands to make.” http://bloom.bg/1W8jp19
HAPPY FRIDAY! SOLID ECON DATA FOR U.S. — Reuters: “U.S. home resales rebounded strongly in September and new applications for unemployment benefits hovered around 42-year lows last week, pointing at solid domestic fundamentals even as the global economy falters. … Thursday’s upbeat housing and labor market reports could keep the door open to an interest rate hike from the Federal Reserve by the end of the year.
“‘The market has been a little bit quick to price out a December Fed rate hike. What you are seeing in the data is that the domestic picture looks strong and I think that’s what the Fed is going to be looking at closely,’ said Thomas Costerg, a U.S. economist at Standard Chartered Bank in New York.”http://reut.rs/1PEyrru
U.S. DROPS SAC INSIDER TRADING CHARGES — WSJ’s Christopher M. Matthews and Aruna Viswanatha: “Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara will drop charges against seven people, dealing a blow to what had been one of the most successful insider-trading prosecutions and a marquee case in his tenure. Not long ago, Mr. Bharara boasted a near-perfect conviction rate in the dozens of insider-trading cases pursued by his office. But on Thursday he moved to dismiss charges against former SAC Capital Advisors LP portfolio manager Michael Steinberg and six analysts.
“Mr. Steinberg’s conviction stood out, because it brought prosecutors as close as they ever got to SAC founder Steven A. Cohen, the billionaire founder of the hedge fund, which prosecutors had been investigating for a decade hoping to prove it had relied on illegal insider tips to boost its trading results. Mr. Steinberg was a senior employee at the firm and a confidant of Mr. Cohen’s. Prosecutors have never accused Mr. Cohen of any wrongdoing. None of the defendants have been sentenced and all have remained free on bail since their convictions” http://on.wsj.com/1W890CD
AMAZON POPS ON SURPRISE PROFIT — NYT’s David Streitfeld: “Amazon showed Wall Street just what it was capable of in the third quarter, and investors roared their approval. Revenue at the Seattle-based retail, computing and entertainment company rose 23 percent to $25.4 billion in the third quarter, $500 million more than analysts were expecting. An expected loss turned into a profit. Net income was 17 cents a share. Analysts had expected a loss of 13 cents a share. In the third quarter of 2014, Amazon lost 95 cents.
“For the future, Amazon gave only very general guidelines. It said sales in the fourth quarter, its biggest, would rise in the range of 14 to 25 percent compared with the fourth quarter of 2014. Operating income could be as much as double last year’s fourth quarter, the company said, but it also could be so small as to be no more than the corporate equivalent of pocket change. None of that dented investors’ enthusiasm. Amazon shares, which moved up $8 during regular trading, powered ahead in after-hours trading. The stock quickly moved up more than $50, or about 10 percent.” http://nyti.ms/1GXPf4C
MICROSOFT SHARES ALSO SOAR — FT’s Tim Bradshaw in San Francisco: “Microsoft shares touched their highest point in 15 years in after-hours trading on Thursday, as it beat revenue and earnings forecasts in the quarter to September and posted its first ever profit in search. An 8.3 per cent jump in after-hours trading to $52.00, its highest level since 2000, saw Microsoft join a strong afternoon for Silicon Valley …
“Revenues at Microsoft were down 2 per cent to $21.7bn after adjusting for certain items and currency fluctuations, just ahead of Wall Street’s forecasts, with earnings up to 9 cents ahead of expectations at 67 cents. Net income was up 2 per cent to $4.6bn compared with the same quarter a year ago. Analysts said that a strong showing from the Windows business was responsible for the outperformance, as the company bounced back after reporting its worst net loss three months ago” http://on.ft.com/1PEvJ57
ALSO FOR YOUR RADAR —
WEISS ON PUERTO RICO — Treasury’s Antonio Weiss from Thursday’s hearing: “I would like to address the very fair comments made by Senators Hirono and Warren as well. Let me assure this committee that Treasury and the broader administration will apply of its efforts and all of our creativity and all our resources to the resolution of this financial crisis, just as we have in past crises, and we will leave no stone unturned.”http://nyti.ms/1RZUYgF
NO LOVE FOR PUERTO RICO HELP — NYT’s Mary Williams Walsh: “Officials from debt-plagued Puerto Rico, hoping for some comfort and sympathy — and even practical advice — from senators at a committee hearing in Washington on Thursday, got little of it. And the Obama administration’s proposal for helping the island out of its financial fix got no love either … There were glimmers of support from two prominent politicians: Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a Democrat, but they were just that — glimmers.
“Mr. Sanders said he had heard that some of the bonds the island is in danger of defaulting on might have been issued illegally and perhaps could be torn up. ‘Should debt be repaid if it was incurred in an unconstitutional way?’ he asked, harking back to an argument that changed the course of Detroit’s historic bankruptcy. Whether that was true in Puerto Rico’s case was unclear. And Ms. Warren said she would fight for a new debt restructuring framework for Puerto Rico but chastised the Treasury Department for offering a plan she found unimpressive. But mostly, the committee was critical of Puerto Rico officials, including Gov. Alejandro García Padilla, who testified at the hearing, for providing what it said were confusing and out-of-date numbers” http://nyti.ms/1W8j8vj
NASDAQ RELEASES Q3 EARNINGS — Per release: “Third quarter 2015 non-GAAP diluted EPS of $0.88, an increase of 13% compared to the third quarter of 2014. Record revenues and non-GAAP operating, pre-tax income, net income and diluted EPS. Third quarter 2015 GAAP diluted EPS was $0.80.” …
And announces an acquisition: “Nasdaq … has acquired SecondMarket Solutions, Inc., a recognized innovator in facilitating liquidity for private company securities. SecondMarket will be integrated into NASDAQ Private Market, serving customers worldwide with bicoastal headquarters in New York and San Francisco.”
10:30 am || Receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
4:15 pm || Delivers remarks at the DNC’s Women’s Leadership Forum; Washington
5:05pm || Attends a DNC fundraiser; Washington
All times Eastern
Live stream of White House briefing at 12:30 pm
The House returns at 9 a.m., with first and last votes of the week between 11:45 a.m. and 12:45 a.m. The Senate is out until Monday.