People still paid $6,600 to go to the Mooch’s Vegas Money Ball, in case anybody asks about Trump ruining careers today.
— Schooley (@Rschooley) May 11, 2019
“It’s a big club, and you ain’t in it.” — George Carlin
In the Washington Post (which should know better by now), “Anthony Scaramucci was fired from the Trump White House after 11 days. Now, he’s convening A-listers for bipartisan healing”:
… Scaramucci, fired from the White House in 2017 after a disastrous 11-day tenure, convened a parade of other jettisoned Trump administration figures, including Chris Christie, Jeff Sessions, Corey Lewandowski and, most remarkably, Gen. John F. Kelly, the former White House chief of staff who axed him.
They mingled in the Bellagio meeting rooms with Obama-era figures such as Jarrett, former national security adviser Susan E. Rice, former CIA director David Petraeus and Adm. William McRaven, the former Special Operations chief who orchestrated the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
Scaramucci appeared onstage with Kelly, in their first public appearance together since the firing, to talk about their newfound friendship. Then he sat beside Jarrett for another panel, in which they discussed topics including climate change and gun control and agreed as much as they disagreed.
“I think what they are trying to tell us is that it’s okay to be together,” said Robert Wolf, the Fox News commentator who moderated the discussion. “It’s okay to respectfully disagree. And it’s okay to agree on things we should agree on.”
Many in the crowd of nearly 2,000 investors, hedge fund managers and entrepreneurs applauded that kind of political diversity…
Discussions ranged from the future of private equity to business opportunities in the cannabis industry to how artificial intelligence is changing investing.
But permeating much of the conference was the lament that political dysfunction in Washington was bogging down economic opportunities in the real world…
The Daily Beast, which has a better nose for the difference between business and bullshit — “The Mooch’s Hedge-Fund Festival Where MAGA Has-Beens Are Great Again”:
… In the past, SALT has drawn big names on both political and cultural planes, counting Joe Biden, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, as well as Al Pacino, Kobe Bryant and will.i.am among its guests. One night over drinks, a 10-year SALT veteran whose chest hair burst from his Hawaiian shirt, boasted it had been “the greatest hedge fund conference in the country.”
But the line-up this year reflected the degree to which Donald Trump has become the center of the cultural solar system, around which everything and everyone else orbits. Instead of titans of finance and bigwigs of industry, the conference was dominated by former Trump officials—fired and resigned: #MAGA hangers-on like TPUSA founder Charlie Kirk and almost-Federal Reserve Board appointee Stephen Moore; and an assortment of other miscellaneous politicos, like former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele and Democratic presidential contender Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI). The whole thing was MC’d, of course, by the archetypal ex-Trump official: The Mooch…
The three day MoochFest took place at the Bellagio Hotel, a sprawling, gilded complex on the strip, whose famous fountain bounces in sync with music ranging from show tunes to Tiësto. It’s a fitting venue for an event—part networking platform, part press gaggle—that embraced cartoonish signifiers of wealth and stale pop culture references, even down to the musical guest: John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival. In the mornings, attendees in head-to-toe Brooks Brothers shuffled between half-attended panels with names like “REVISITING THE 60/40 MINDSET IN A MULTI-ASSET WORLD.” Others picked at the spread of pastries or checked email by the pool, declining to trade their Brooks Brothers suits for the bathing variety. In the evening, guests munched on hamburgers at a BBQ called “An All American Affair.” …
At SALT, Mooch was the maître d’, not the poster child of public disembowelment (his wife filed for divorce during his White House ordeal while nine months pregnant with their child; they later reconciled). Moore was a respected economist, not a failed Fed nominee fresh from a tirade calling his critics “stupid and evil.” Christie was a tough-talking former governor, not a neutered Trump cast-off, and Sessions was an elder statesman pondering his next move. “I haven’t decided about the Senate race,” Sessions told the Wednesday crowd, grinning.
Moore—a man who had recently called for a “statute of limitations on saying stupid things,” after losing his nomination to the Federal Reserve Board over his past writings about women, among other things—even found time in his 15-minute panel to make a racist joke. America, he quipped, would economically crush China because, “our Chinese are smarter than their Chinese.” No one laughed…
… but Jesus wept.