I Would Vote For A Smart Slab Of Cement In 2020

Cement-Slabs

This week the political news that has made for many conversations is the possibility that Michael Bloomberg will enter the Democratic presidential contest.  Some think it a good idea since the former New York mayor will bring pragmatic ideas along with the perfect way to needle Donald Trump.  Others feel that the currently announced contenders are getting tested in the early states and from their ranks, a nominee will emerge from a forged consensus of voters.

From the perspective of my blogging desk, it would appear a Bloomberg entry would happen for two reasons.  One reason, should the candidacy of Joe Biden falter, and a sense grows among the party that he could not prevail in 2020, it then becomes vital to have someone with centrist capabilities to carry the party to victory.  Secondly, there would be a need, should Biden lose steam, to have a nominee that will speak to the middle-of-the-road voters which Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders can not do.

While I very much concur with the basic outlines of what Warren espouses I am aware that it will not sell in a general election.  Her trouble with messaging in the lead-up to the primary season where Democratic voters are being sought should alert all to the larger problems she would face when asking for support from a national audience.  Big and bold feels good, but pragmatism tells Democrats they must do everything in their power to stop the current reign of international chaos and illegal behavior from the Trump White House.  Making sure the fundamentals are restored to our republic is far more important than any policy push which excites progressives. 

On the flip side of the Bloomberg candidacy is the fact he is a billionaire–an actual one–as opposed to using bankruptcy laws for wealth-making purposes such as Trump has done.  I am not comfortable with someone who has such means to lead a nation.   I have always felt Bloomberg has a solid character and integrity.  But exceedingly wealthy people, in high office, tend to see the world in very different ways than the vast majority who struggle to make their way in it.  Therein lies the problem.

Perhaps the best outcome that Bloomberg can provide for the nation is to sharpen the focus of Democratic voters as we head to Iowa and New Hampshire.  We need to select a nominee that does far more than warm the hearts of certain factions of the party.   We need to select someone who can prevail in November 2020 and stop the abuse of power,  close the door on the Trump family, and work to return reason and logic to policymaking at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

If that meant I needed to vote for a smart slab of cement, then that is what I would do.  After all, it would have a higher IQ than what now sits in the Oval Office.

GOP Did Not Think Through Tax Cut For Rich

Michael Bloomberg nailed it in his column regarding the soon to-be-passed tax cut bill for the wealthy in the nation.

Corporations are sitting on a record amount of cash reserves: nearly $2.3 trillion. That figure has been climbing steadily since the recession ended in 2009, and it’s now double what it was in 2001. The reason CEOs aren’t investing more of their liquid assets has little to do with the tax rate.

CEOs aren’t waiting on a tax cut to “jump-start the economy” — a favorite phrase of politicians who have never run a company — or to hand out raises. It’s pure fantasy to think that the tax bill will lead to significantly higher wages and growth, as Republicans have promised. Had Congress actually listened to executives, or economists who study these issues carefully, it might have realized that.

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To what end? To hand corporations big tax cuts they don’t need, while lowering the tax rate paid by those of us in the top bracket, and allowing the wealthy to shelter more of their estates.

To be clear: I’m in favor of reducing the 35 percent corporate tax rate as part of a revenue-neutral tax reform effort. Right now, the corporate code is so convoluted, and rates so high relative to other nations (thereby creating an incentive to keep profits offshore), that the real rates companies pay can be wildly divergent. This is neither fair nor efficient. Eliminating loopholes and reining in the offshoring of profits can and should be done in a revenue-neutral overhaul of the tax code.

The tax bill is an economically indefensible blunder that will harm our future. The Republicans in Congress who must surely know it — and who have bucked party leaders before — should vote no.

Quote Of The Week

HOW TRUE!

“[Brexit] was the single stupidest thing any country has ever done, but then we Trumped it.”

— Media mogul and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg

More Proof Donald Trump Wrong On Climate Change–And What Cities Can Do To Fight Back

Marking another milestone for a changing planet, scientists reported today that the Earth reached its highest temperature on record in 2016 — trouncing a record set only a year earlier, which beat one set in 2014. It is the first time in the modern era of global warming data that temperatures have blown past the previous record three years in a row.

That idea that Donald Trump promotes about China creating a hoax–even a plot–about climate change is just one of the most stupid things that has ever been uttered by the orange man.  (And that is saying a great deal.)

The findings come two days before the inauguration of Trump who has and vowed to roll back President Obama’s efforts to cut emissions of heat-trapping gases.

As was noted in an article I read over the holidays in Time, Michael Bloomberg notes that cities are taking the lead in fighting back on climate change, and will continue the same when Trump sits in the White House.

No issue better highlights the difference between Washington and cities than climate change. Those in Washington see climate change as a partisan issue. Mayors, of both small towns and big cities, see it as a reason to clean the air, save money on energy, build modern infrastructure, protect themselves from extreme weather and attract new businesses. They recognize that reducing greenhouse-gas emissions can make their communities healthier places to live and work.

I don’t know what the Trump Administration will do on climate change. But I am confident that no matter how the EPA is run, and no matter what laws the next Congress passes, we will meet the pledges that the U.S. made as part of the international agreement signed in Paris last year. The reason is simple: cities, businesses and citizens will continue to reduce emissions, and they will not let Washington stand in their way. Fighting climate change has never been primarily dependent on Washington. Over the past decade, Congress has not passed a single bill that takes direct aim at climate change. Yet at the same time, the U.S. has led the world in reducing carbon-dioxide emissions.

That progress has been driven by cities, businesses and citizens, and each group is determined to keep pushing ahead. In fact, if the new Administration withdraws from the Paris Agreement, as the chair of the Global Covenant of Mayors, I will recommend that the 128 U.S. mayors who are part of the group seek to join in its place.

$1 Billion Dollar Question For Donald Trump

With the news stories about the considerations Michael Bloomberg is taking regarding a presidential run comes a question that I admit there is no answer to at this time.  But still it is a question that deserves to be asked.

Bloomberg says he would use $1 billion of his own money to run the race.  I have no doubt that he would should he actually make the commitment.

But the question I have is would Donald Trump be able to do the same?

It would seem to me–from what I have read–that while Trump has untold amount of assets he very well may not the have the liquid asserts needed to combat someone like Bloomberg, should such a competitive race emerge.  And we all know that Trump does not want to take any cash or be beholden to anyone–gag, gag, gag.

Bloomberg has let it be known should Trump seem able to actually capture the Republican nomination, or Bernie Sanders rise to the point of undoing Hillary Clinton he would likely enter the fray.

From this blogger’s perspective Clinton wins the Iowa caucuses while Bernie hits a solid wall in South Carolina and onwards as African-Americans and Hispanics strongly support Clinton.   Meanwhile there will be a concerted effort in the weeks to come to downsize the GOP candidates so a viable establishment contender can go on-one-on with Trump.

In the end Bloomberg will not run and Trump will not be the GOP nominee.

Still the $1 billion question is fun to ponder.

Legalizing Pot Remains Bad Idea

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg nails the answer.

When an audience member asked the 72-year-old Bloomberg about Colorado marijuana, he responded that it was a terrible idea, one that is hurting the developing minds of children. Though he admitted to smoking a joint in the 1960s, he said the drug is more accessible and more damaging today.

“What are we going to say in 10 years when we see all these kids whose IQs are 5 and 10 points lower than they would have been?” he asked. “I couldn’t feel more strongly about it, and my girlfriend says it’s no different than alcohol. It is different than alcohol. This is one of the stupider things that’s happening across our country.”

Is Michael Bloomberg Trying To Buy The New York Times?

Just most interesting.

For years now, it has been speculated in media circles that Mike Bloomberg could be a white knight and save The New York Times. Now it appears he may actually have tried to do it. FishbowlNY New York reported that Bloomberg tried to buy the company, but Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger rebuffed him. As with any rumor of this size, both sides deny this happened. A Times spokesperson told New York that Sulzberger “can’t remember the last time he spoke with Bloomberg.” New York Post The former mayor — who founded financial news agency Bloomberg News in 1990 — reportedly told Sulzberger near the end of his tenure that he wanted to buy the struggling paper. Bloomberg’s longtime political adviser Kevin Sheekey is said to be the driving force behind a potential deal. Re/code The Times may not be for sale today, but that could change soon. The company’s executives, including CEO Mark Thompson, have done a deft job of managing costs and paying down debt, but they still had to lay off staff after its app strategy wasn’t quite working.

$50 Million Challenge To The N.R.A.

I have long felt the debate in the nation about guns and gun violence is truly taking place, and not as lop-sided as the leading pro-gun lobbyists would like to have everyone think.  Akin to the way the Wisconsin Tavern League works to castrate state officials the NRA has done the same with our gun violence policy.   Though we do not have tough enough drunk driving laws does not mean there is not a strong constituency for more control of the issue.  The same goes for gun violence.

That is why today I am thrilled former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will spend $50 million this year building a nationwide grass-roots network to motivate voters who feel strongly about curbing gun violence.   Like others around the nation I know there is a welcoming of this news as there is indeed a social need to get a clear political message out to not only balance the falsehoods of the NRA, but to then lead to political changes to allow for gun control measures to be enacted into law.

While it is an uphill climb, every trek starts with a first step.   In this case a $50 million step!

Much of the money will be put into an unseen field operation, an idea I very much concur with as I know this to be effective.  Consider the way gay marriage has been moving forward in this nation, and know that much of the credit goes not to large billboards or flashy advertising, but the one-on-one field operations that puts conversations in play and allows for mobilizing like-minded citizens to act for the social good.

As an advocate of strict gun control I very much applaud the investment Bloomberg has put into this project.