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64° Good Evening

Smoke and mirrors

Good afternoon. Today’s points:

  • Colin Powell tells LIA to ditch emails
  • For whom the Wall Street bell tolls
  • The scariest county of them all

Daily Point

Powell’s powerful visit

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell spoke to the Long Island Association’s luncheon Tuesday, and he could have been teaching a course called “Advanced Statesmanship.” The former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was candid on a variety of subjects, including race, fighting the Islamic State, leadership and the mistakes, including his, that led to the declaration that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction after 9/11 and the subsequent invasion, war and destabilization.

Powell, a Republican, made his most memorable statements about the 2016 presidential race. His praise of the Democratic candidate was firm. Powell said, “I’m going to vote for Hillary Clinton,” whom he praised as smart, experienced and possessing the appropriate temperament.

As for Donald Trump, Powell was brutal, saying, “The other candidate is not qualified to be the president of the United States of America. I don’t know Donald Trump as well as Secretary Clinton, but he insults us every day. He has insulted African-Americans, Latinos, women, veterans, leaders of his own party, and the people he has insulted the most are those who support him, by making promises he can’t fulfill.

“He says, ‘Believe me, trust me,’ but I don’t trust him, and I don’t believe. He says he wants to make America great again, what does again mean? You want to take me back to 50 years ago? No thanks!”

But Powell’s practical advice was even more blunt.

Email security is now a new area of expertise since some of his communications, embarrassingly so, came out via WikiLeaks. Powell said he’s been hacked twice: the first time he hadn’t taken any special precautions, but afterward he brought every possible security measure to bear, real high-tech stuff, and it didn’t help at all.

Now, he doesn’t think it’s possible to secure email, ever.

“We only use email for the most mundane things now,” Powell said. “For everything else, we’ve gone back to using telephones and fax machines.”

Lane Filler

Talking Point

A ringer is ringing the bell

It’s a bit of ceremony that draws executives and celebrities from across the globe: ringing Wall Street’s closing bell. One doesn’t usually see the Street’s critics at the bell . . . but Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, closed trading at the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

The high-profile federal prosecutor has been more sheriff than sweetheart when it comes to Wall Street. His crackdown on insider trading came to an abrupt halt in late 2014 when a federal appeals court made it more difficult to bring such cases. Bharara was forced to toss more than a dozen convictions.

Is he now making nice with Wall Street donors in anticipation of a further political career?

Anne Michaud

Pencil Point

Mirror, mirror on the wall

More cartoons on the election

Bonus Point

A spooky county

New York City ranks second on the list of Best Cities for Halloween by the personal-finance website WalletHub. The rating was determined by a variety of metrics, including the number of candy and chocolate stores per capita and the Halloween weather forecast.

Had the website considered counties, Nassau would have been in the running as a Halloween location, given that two top politicians recently were accused of tricking residents and treating themselves to favors from a businessman and contributor.

Michael Dobie


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