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Jeffrey Epstein wasn’t even a competent investor: report

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There can be no doubt that high-powered hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein would rather the public know him for his prominence and success as an investor than for the allegations of child sex trafficking, for which he has now been indicted and faces life in prison. And there has for years been mystique surrounding Epstein’s business — his wealth fund is so exclusive that it reportedly requires a billion dollars up front from clients.

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But according to the Dow Jones’ periodical Barron’s, Epstein may not even be good at that.

Barron’s looked at the tax returns of one of Epstein’s foundation, which generated investment income for its charitable causes through day-trading and flipping of initial public offerings, and found that the foundation enjoyed a return of only 14 percent in the 21-month period they looked at. To put that in perspective, the stock market itself rose 34 percent in that time.

Questions have swirled about Epstein’s finances, including how exactly he makes his money and whether he is even really a billionaire. Regardless, it seems likely that much of whatever fortune he does have will be stripped away by prosecutors, victims, and his own defense lawyers.


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2020 Election

State Department retaliated against NPR by kicking reporter off Mike Pompeo’s plane: report

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The U.S. State Department appears to be retaliating against National Public Radio (NPR) after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suffered a caught-on-tape meltdown following an interview with NPR "All Things Considered" co-host Mary Louise Kelly.

According to PBS "Newshour" reporter Nick Schifrin, the State Department kicked NPR diplomatic correspondent Michele Kelemen off of Pompeo's jet.

"State Department removes NPR’s Michele Kelemen from Sec. Pompeo plane--where she was scheduled for a pool radio rotation--during upcoming trip to London, Kiev," Schifrin reported.

AFP State Department correspondent Shaun Tandon blasted the move on behalf of the State Department Correspondent's Association.

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Trump lawyers ripped for pushing ‘conspiracy theories written by Russia’ to distract from impeachment trial facts

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President Donald Trump's impeachment defense team was harshly criticized for pushing debunked conspiracy theories to distract from the facts.

Pam Bondi and Eric Herschmann pushed the conspiracy theory, which originated from Russian intelligence, on Monday.

The pair were harshly criticized for the distraction.

Here's some of what people were saying:

https://twitter.com/CharlesPPierce/status/1221919362220724226

https://twitter.com/CharlesPPierce/status/1221916896632745989

https://twitter.com/chrislhayes/status/1221914655376859137

https://twitter.com/WajahatAli/status/1221920598558957569

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CNN’s Jake Tapper demolishes Rudy Giuliani’s denials by confronting him with his own words

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On Monday, while the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump dragged on, Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani took to Twitter to assert that he never, in fact, was looking for "dirt" on former Vice President Joe Biden and his family:

Jane Raskin is doing a masterful job defending me in my role as defense counsel. As she pointed out, I did not dig up dirt on Joe Biden. The information RE his outrageous criminal conduct was handed to me, along with a video tape, 4 witnesses &...

— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) January 27, 2020

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