Warren Buffett says he likes to invest in, and acquire, companies which have durable competitive advantages over entities providing comparable products or services.
In fact, Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Web site has a letter from the 79-year-old Oracle of Omaha himself, explaining why three Berkshire subsidiaries – one offers auto insurance, another sells jewelry, and the last one annuities contracts sold over the Internet – offer such great deals to consumers. The durable competitive advantages for these businesses are innovative underwriting (auto insurance), economies of scale (jewelry), and low overhead (annuities), Buffett explains.
Joy Watson, a former Nassau County assistant district attorney (DA), is the Republican nominee for Nassau DA in November’s election but that might be news to you.
Long Island’s dominant media outlets have seemingly decided that the record of Nassau DA Kathleen Rice, a Democrat, needs no scrutiny, even though she holds the county’s most powerful law enforcement post. Part of the reason for this is that the editorial side of Cablevision-owned Newsday and News 12 Long Island prefers it when Republicans back Democrats, which is what Suffolk’s GOP did in 2005 and again this year when cross-endorsing DA Thomas Spota, a Democrat. One-party rule results in better government, many journalists believe, so long as Democrats are completely running things. Look how well it’s working out in Albany.
The press corps cheered last week as state attorney general (AG) Andrew Cuomo, the son of a former governor, threatened to investigate nepotism in state government.
The case in question was the state Senate’s hiring of Pedro G. Espada, the 35-year-old son of Senate majority leader Pedro Espada Jr. (D-Bronx). Before any formal proceedings were launched by the AG’s office, the younger Espada resigned from his $120,000-a-year post, less than a week after landing on the state’s payroll.
President Obama and Senator Schumer got where they are today after winning hard-fought, wildly-expensive Democratic primary contests.
But the two of them have seemingly played a pivotal role in making sure there is no viable Democratic challenger to U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand in September 2010’s party primary. The conventional wisdom holds that, if Gillibrand faces only nominal Democratic opposition, she’ll be in a better position to win the general election in November 2010.
Hofstra University was the site of the New York Jets’ summer camp and training facility from 1968 to 2008 but the team moved its camp this year to the State University of New York at Cortland, the result of a 2005 Albany legislative decision which blocked construction of a new Jets’ home in Manhattan.
Mary Jo Connery fell in love with a young man while attending Massapequa High School in the 1970s. She married him in 1977. More than two decades later, they divorced.
This storyline wouldn’t sound like a promising book proposal. But if your ex-husband is Joey Buttafuoco, there’s amazing material on which to draw and that’s what makes Mary Jo Buttafuoco’s just-published Getting It Through My Thick Skull (HCI Books) such a surprisingly enjoyable read. Buttafuoco’s tell-all, built around her conclusion that she was married to a sociopath, is aimed at helping readers determine if they know one, too.
The Lighthouse Development Group’s (LDG) website (www.lighthouseli.com) has a ‘countdown clock’ ticking atop its home page, listing the days, hours, minutes and seconds until Tuesday, Aug. 4 at 9:30 a.m.
The reason: that’s when the Hempstead town board is convening for an all-day public hearing on the draft generic environmental impact statement (DGEIS) filed in connection with the LDG’s Lighthouse at Long Island proposal, a project aimed at revitalizing almost 150 acres near the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale. The Aug. 4 gathering will be held in the John Cranford Adams Playhouse on Hofstra University’s south campus, Hempstead Turnpike, Hempstead.
Some former adversaries shouldn’t be invited to play on your team, no matter how good the deal looks at first glance. That’s a lesson the New York Mets front office and the state Senate’s Republican leadership may someday learn.
Atlanta Braves pitcher Tom Glavine, a longtime Mets foe, signed with the New York Mets as a free agent in 2002. Glavine compiled a mediocre record during his five years here and Mets fans never really warmed up to him. Having fulfilled the terms of his contract, Glavine returned to Atlanta and has since been cut by the Braves. Fast forward to last week, the Mets looked again to the Atlanta Braves for a new player, securing the services of outfielder Jeff Francoeur in exchange for Ryan Church. I hope I’m wrong but when the Braves send anyone to a division rival like the Mets, it usually means the Braves have given up on him, for good reason.
Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate start on Monday, July 13 and, for the first time since 2005, Frank Scaturro of New Hyde Park won’t be at the center of the action as a president fills an opening on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Scaturro, who will soon turn 37, was Counsel for the Constitution on the staff of the Senate Judiciary committee and lived in Washington, D.C. for the past four years. He has returned to Long Island, having been appointed a visiting professor at Hofstra University’s School of Law. Scaturro begins that job next month, and his prospective students will certainly gain from hearing an insider’s perspective on how the U.S. Senate scrutinizes high court nominees.
Lawmakers who switch from one political party to another, while in the middle of their terms, rarely see their legislative careers end happily.
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Mike Barry, a corporate communications consultant, has worked in government and journalism. Email: MFBARRY@optonline.net