Author Topic: Trump’s advisers are working hard to plan their own futures  (Read 1032 times)

Offline imchills

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Trump’s advisers are working hard to plan their own futures
« on: November 01, 2016, 04:27:27 pm »
“I’m on the battlefield right now, which is amazing,” Donald Trump said as he surveyed the Gettysburg National Military Park. “When you talk about historic, this is the whole ballgame.” It was the afternoon of October 22, and Trump was speaking by phone shortly after delivering a speech at the place where Lincoln pledged to unite a divided country. Trump had used the same location to pledge lawsuits against the women accusing him of grabbing them by the pussy. “I feel really good,” Trump continued, making his way to the motorcade to leave for the campaign’s next rally, in Virginia. “We had three polls this week that came out where we’re No. 1. I think we’re going to have a very big surprise in store for a lot of people.”

Even given the October surprise of the FBI’s reviewing a new batch of emails that may be related to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server, Trump still faces difficult odds. But he is ending the race much as he got into it: not worrying too much about the future and not listening to any of the advisers around him. In recent weeks, I spoke with more than two dozen current and former Trump advisers, friends, and senior Republican officials, many of whom would speak only off the record given that the campaign is not yet over. What they described was an unmanageable candidate who still does not fully understand the power of the movement he has tapped into, who can’t see that it is larger than himself.

“I got really mad at him the other day,” Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told me. “He said, ‘I think we’ll win, and if not, that’s okay too. And I said, ‘It’s not okay! You can’t say that! Your dry-cleaning bill is like the annual salaries of the people who came to your rallies, and they believe in you!’ ”

Trump may not be all that focused on what happens to the masses of white, nativist, working-class voters who have coalesced around him, but there are people in the campaign who recognize how valuable those Trump believers could be long after the election is over. As Bloomberg Businessweek recently reported, Trump’s son-in-law–cum–de facto campaign manager Jared Kushner is building a proprietary database of some 14 million email addresses and credit-card numbers of Trump supporters. That list could form the foundation of a new Trump media company. According to one Republican briefed on the talks, Kushner has approached Wall Street bankers and pitched ideas for media start-ups. “How do we monetize this?” he’s asked. (Through a spokesperson, Kushner denied having such meetings.)

Campaign CEO Stephen Bannon, who is taking a leave of absence from his role as executive chairman of Breitbart News to work with the Trump team, has an even bigger ambition for all those voters: reshaping the GOP and future elections. “The main goal for Steve was dealing a devastating blow to the permanent political class,” Breitbart editor-in-chief Alex Marlow told me. “It’s pretty clear he’s upended the Republican Establishment, so it’s a huge win for Steve’s ideas and for Breitbart’s ideas.” If the Republican Party of the past was full of rich fiscal conservatives who benefited from free trade, low taxes, low regulation, and low-wage immigrant labor, Bannon envisions a new party that is home to working-class whites, grassroots conservatives, libertarians, populists, and disaffected millennials who had gravitated toward the Bernie Sanders campaign — in other words, Trump supporters.

It’s clear that this until-now-­underserved group has tremendous potential, both commercially and politically. But Trump doesn’t seem to know what to do with them beyond stoking their anger. In terms of the future, he is falling back on what he knows, bolstering the businesses that have suffered during the campaign. In recent days, Trump has dragged the national press corps to his new Washington hotel and his Miami-Dade golf course, essentially turning the campaign into a giant infomercial for his luxury properties. “Our bookings are doing great!” he told me. “The political involvement has made my clubs hotter because of this avalanche of earned media.”

The paradox is that Trump’s political brand and his commercial brand are very much at odds. “The people who are passionate about his brand can’t afford it right now,” a real-estate executive who knows Trump told me. And those who can afford it are less likely to want to be associated with his name. “He might have to go into multifamily rentals. Maybe he could put gold fixtures in a trailer park,” said the executive.

In the end, whether he figures out how to change his business model and capitalize on his followers hardly matters. “Trump is the vehicle,” Marlow said. Now there is momentum, with or without him.


Offline Battle

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Re: Trump’s advisers are working hard to plan their own futures
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2020, 01:11:21 pm »
Thursday, 9th January 2020
Bloomberg won’t release women who sued him from secrecy agreements

by Sasha Pezenik, Tonya Simpson, Matthew Mosk & Cheyenne Haslett

Democratic presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg told ABC News this week he will not take any steps to release women who have signed confidentiality agreements with his company to speak publicly about past allegations that the former New York City mayor fostered a hostile work environment for some female employees.

“You can't just walk away from it,” Bloomberg said.

“They're legal agreements, and for all I know the other side wouldn't want to get out of it.”

Last month, ABC News reported on several lawsuits in which Bloomberg was accused of making crude remarks in the 1990s and of allegedly fostering an uncomfortable environment for women to work -- allegations Bloomberg has denied.

Three cases against the company remain active.
ABC News has spoken with several women who expressed interest in telling their stories who were subject to confidentiality agreements, but said they feared the prospect of facing retribution from the company for speaking out.

The report prompted Senator Elizabeth Warren, (D)Massachussetts, a rival presidential candidate, last month to criticize the billionaire media mogul's use of non-disclosure agreements as

“a way for people to hide bad things they've done.”

Warren told reporters in Iowa “women should be able to speak" and said

"when women raise concerns like this, we have to pay attention. We have to listen to them, and if Michael Bloomberg has made comments like this, then he has to answer for them."

Bloomberg offered a terse reply when asked about Warren’s remarks by reporters Wednesday night:

“Maybe the senator should worry about herself and I'll worry about myself.”

Bloomberg has stepped away from his role at the helm of his company, but maintains a large ownership stake.

He said his company has built an enviable record of gender equity.

“We're not perfect,” he told a small gathering or reporters Wednesday.

“But we have very low attrition and I think we treat our employees -- no matter what their gender or age or ethnicity is -- as well as any company. We can always do better -- but we keep looking for better ways to make our employees get better benefits because that's the way you attract good people and I can parade out a whole bunch of any group that you want that will tell you it's a great place to work.”

Since his late entry into the campaign for the Democratic nomination, Bloomberg has been touting his record as a self-made business success.

On the campaign trail this week, Bloomberg touted his company’s progressive record, consistently saying he has fostered the growth and promotion of everyone within his company.

He has drawn on that record to build his 2020 platform, recently unveiling a plan to tackle the issue of maternal health.

It was in the midst of a three-state jobs creation tour that he addressed the question of the non-disclosure agreement.

It is a touchy subject.

Amidst a #MeToo movement that questioned the practice of silencing victims, critics say Bloomberg owes his former employees the opportunity to share their stories.

"If Mr. Bloomberg is running for president, I think the public needs to know what actually happened in this business," said Bonnie Josephs, a lawyer whose former client, Sekiko Sakai, filed a lawsuit against Bloomberg's company in the 1990s.

Sakai accused Bloomberg of making sexually explicit and derogatory statements to and about women in the workplace.

In December, a company spokesman told ABC News that the company rarely settles disputes, preferring to take them to court.

But Sakai’s case is one of at least five the company has settled in the past 25 years.

She is now bound by a confidentiality agreement.

There are mixed views on whether the agreements help or hinder accusers.

Prominent harassment and discrimination attorney Gloria Allred says confidentiality agreements generally are in the best interest of victims, not perpetrators.

Allred has represented women in several high-profile sexual assault and harassment cases.

She told ABC News confidentiality agreements are a negotiation and can be accepted or declined.

“It’s a voluntary process,” Allred said.

“It’s up to the victim whether she wants to try to have a confidential settlement or not. Nobody silences her, nobody forces her to do it.”

But with Bloomberg’s bid to become president, some who served as senior executives at his company have said they would have more to say if released from their agreements.

They told ABC News they did not want to see this part of his record hidden.

Attorney Donna Clancy represents clients in the three current cases against the Bloomberg company alleging sexual harassment, wrongful termination, and age and gender discrimination – all mentioning within their claims a culture that stemmed from past allegations about the candidate’s own conduct.

The Bloomberg firm has denied the allegation in court filings.

Clancy says the company is using the agreements to protect its reputation.
"I think keeping secrecy is a value to them and I think that goes against what we are trying to do to create awareness of the changes that need to be made so that there isn't sexual harassment," Clancy said.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2020, 10:47:45 am by Battle »

Offline Battle

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Re: Trump’s advisers are working hard to plan their own futures
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2020, 01:47:11 pm »
Thursday, 16th January 2020
THAT was "the BIG Plan?"
by Pam Keith

The explosive revelations from Lev Parnas on the Rachel Maddow show corroborate what many of us already suspected.

What made his revelations so extraordinary is that they gave the interstitial detail that turns a puzzle into a full picture; in this case, into a Netflix high drama motion picture of mafia-style criminal intrigue.   

The Executive Mansion tells us that we should disbelieve Parnas because he’s a criminal co-conspirator who is lying.

That position misses two important points: 

(1) that Parnas is THEIR co-conspirator.  He was drumphf and Giuliani’s guy. They picked him, not us.

~ And ~

(2) HE BROUGHT THE RECEIPTS!  We don’t have to take his word for it.  There are texts, letters, emails, pictures, voicemails, hand written notes etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, and we have only seen a small sample of the whole trove.

(There’s also the fact that drumphf is a serial pathological liar and the Executive Mansion is a perpetual peddler of “alternative facts”). 

But let’s put all of that aside for a moment.

What’s really fascinating is … THE UKRAINE ESCAPADE WAS “THE BIG PLAN!” 

I want to explore that for a bit.

Feeling some serious worry about Joe Biden’s electoral prowess, drumphf concocted a plan to try to make Joe look bad; to undermine his credibility; to create a fog of suspicion around him; to smear his good name.

And what drumphf came up with was “let’s make it look like he abused his power as VP.” 

THAT was “the big smear.”

Make it look like Joe overstepped his bounds. 

Now I want you to contemplate that. 

After 40 years in public service, and a bottomless pit of money resources, the GOP had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE on Joe Biden. 




Stone cold ZERO. 

And so they were left with having to fabricate something.

And what they chose to fabricate—and what they knew would receive equal coverage in the media as drumphf’s many many scandals (see e.g., Hillary Clinton’s emails)—was a loose, nondescript allegation of abuse of power, tinged with nepotism.

Let’s first ponder that they weren’t even contemplating trying to frame Joe for something in the ballpark of what drumphf has done.

They didn’t send a honey pot to falsely accuse Joe of rape.

They didn’t create a fake bank account to accuse Joe of money laundering or tax evasion. 

They didn’t gin-up some phony emails so they could claim Joe defrauded his business associates or took bribes.

They didn’t create a fake charity to claim Joe stole from it, or some fake university they could call a fraud machine.

They couldn’t even convince a porn star to claim she slept with Joe while he was married.

Those kinds of schemes would be equivalent to what drumphf has been up to, but let’s be honest…no one would believe those kinds of things about Joe. 

Too out of character. 

So the frame-up had to be something in the realm of the possible to be believable.

That’s when they landed on “abuse of power” as their ticket to mucking-up the election.

The gop was counting on the cooperation of the media to whip up righteous indignation and outrage over the notion of Biden overstepping his bounds while he was Vice President, and I have no doubt that had the scheme worked, the media would have gladly obliged.

The media undoubtedly would have jumped on the whiff of impropriety around Joe’s actions, while ignoring the first-of-its-kind rank nepotism of Ivanka, Jared, Jr. etc, and the many many things drumphf has done to advance his and their personal interests.

It’s a sad state of our political journalism and discourse that false equivalencies and “balance” take the place of “truth” and “facts,” but even THAT is not what I want you to focus on. 

No…. what I want to highlight is the ABSURDITY of trying to extort a foreign nation with the help of …THAT GROUP OF WANNA BE LOSERS!

International extortion is serious business. 

And they sent RUDY & HIS GOONS to do that?


I mean…. That’s just WILD.

And what’s wilder is that they got the whole team to sign off and participate in this IDIOTIC scheme. 

Pence, Pompeo, Perry, Barr, Nunez the list goes on and on. 

They all thought that using THOSE GUYS (Giuliani, Parnas, Fruman, Firstash, Toensing, DiGenova & Robert Hyde (for crying out loud)) to strong arm a country at war with Russia, using THAT scheme to try to frame, defame and malign a presidential candidate, was going to work, and that all those CLOWNS would pull it off without misstep or, more importantly, without implicating them?

They seriously bought that?

Sadly, shockingly, horrifyingly…. but - for the whistleblower… they would have been right.

Would You Like To Know More?
« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 02:00:06 am by Battle »

Offline Battle

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Re: Trump’s advisers are working hard to plan their own futures
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2020, 07:52:00 am »
Thursday, 13th February 2o2o
Unfair Weather Friend
by Alexandra Jaffe and Kathleen Ronayne

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — At the height of the 2008 economic collapse, then-New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the elimination of a discriminatory housing practice known as “redlining” was responsible for instigating the meltdown.

“It all started back when there was a lot of pressure on banks to make loans to everyone,” Bloomberg said at a forum that was hosted by Georgetown University in September 2008.

“Redlining, if you remember, was the term where banks took whole neighborhoods and said, ‘People in these neighborhoods are poor, they’re not going to be able to pay off their mortgages, tell your salesmen don’t go into those areas.'”

He continued:

“And then Congress got involved — local elected officials, as well — and said, ‘Oh that’s not fair, these people should be able to get credit.’ And once you started pushing in that direction, banks started making more and more loans where the credit of the person buying the house wasn’t as good as you would like.”

Bloomberg, a billionaire who built a media and financial services empire before turning to electoral politics, was correct that the financial crisis was triggered in part by banks extending loans to borrowers who were ill-suited to repay them.

But by attributing the meltdown to the elimination of redlining, a practice used by banks to discriminate against minority borrowers, Bloomberg appears to be blaming policies intended to bring equality to the housing market.

The term redlining comes from the “red lines” those in the financial industry would draw on a map to denote areas deemed ineligible for credit, frequently based on race.

“It’s been well documented that the 2008 crash was caused by unethical, predatory lending that deliberately targeted communities of color,” said Debra Gore-Mann, president and CEO of the Greenlining Institute, a nonprofit that works for racial and economic justice.

“People of color were sold trick loans with exploding interest rates designed to push them into foreclosure. Our communities of color and low income communities were the victims of the crash, not the cause.”

Campaign spokesman Stu Loeser did not directly address Bloomberg’s past comments on the practice.

Instead, he said Bloomberg “attacked predatory lending” as mayor and, if elected president, has a plan to “help a million more Black families buy a house, and counteract the effects of redlining and the subprime mortgage crisis.”

The campaign also pointed to efforts by Bloomberg’s private philanthropy to help other cities craft policies that will help reduce evictions.

He promised in a January speech to do a version of the very thing he criticized in 2008:

Ask lenders to update their credit-scoring models,

“because millions of black households don’t have a credit score which is needed to get a mortgage.”

His 2008 remarks stand in contrast with the decadeslong positions some of his rivals have held.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren’s work as a professor and attorney has been devoted to the study of bankruptcy and the disastrous impact it has on the financial well-being of families.

As a young Delaware senator, Joe Biden held hearings on unfair lending practices and sponsored legislation to ban discrimination in lending and crack down on industry figures who did.

The remarks are the latest instance of past comments by Bloomberg that have resurfaced in recent days that make him appear racially insensitive.

On Tuesday, an audio recording ricocheted around social media of the then-mayor defending his police department’s use of the controversial “stop-and-frisk” tactic during a 2015 appearance at the Aspen Institute.

Under the program, New York City police officers made it a routine practice to stop and search multitudes of mostly black and Hispanic men to see if they were carrying weapons.

Although he has since apologized for his support for the policy, in the recording Bloomberg said that “95%” of murders and murder victims are young male minorities and that “you can just take the description, Xerox it and pass it out to all the cops.”

To combat crime, he said,

“put a lot of cops where the crime is, which means in minority neighborhoods.”

Bloomberg’s resurfaced comments about redlining come as he’s in the midst of a two-day tour of the South that in part is focused on building relationships with black voters who are the backbone of the Democratic Party.

On Thursday, he plans to launch “Mike for Black America.”

Bloomberg has apologized for his oversight of the stop-and-frisk program.

But speaking to reporters in Tennessee on Wednesday, he refused to directly apologize for the 2015 comments.

In response to repeated questions, he said,

“I don’t think those words reflect how I led the most diverse city in the nation.”

“I apologized for the practice and the pain that it caused,” he said Wednesday.

“It was five years ago. And, you know, it’s just not the way that I think, and it doesn’t reflect what I do every day.”

Introducing Bloomberg at an event in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Dr. Elenora Woods, president of the city’s NAACP chapter, said he would be a tireless fighter for economic justice for black Americans.

“Look, I know what racism looks like. I know what it looks like, and that’s not Mike Bloomberg,” she said.

Would You Like To Know More?

Offline Battle

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Re: Trump’s advisers are working hard to plan their own futures
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2020, 10:49:57 am »
Thursday, 13th February 2o2o
‘I’d Do Her’
by Megan Garber

If you find yourself seeking, in these turbulent times, evidence of steadiness among the chaos—proof that even as the seas rise and the winds whip and the world that was gives way to the world that will be, some things will remain the same—here is a fact that seems always to be true:

Mike Bloomberg is considering a run for president.

The newest version of the old truth comes from an article published this week in The New York Times:

The billionaire former mayor, the paper announces, validating the rumors, is again considering a presidential run—this time, however, as a Democrat.

It would not be an easy candidacy.

“Mr. Bloomberg,” the Times points out,

“is plainly an uncomfortable match for a progressive coalition passionately animated by concern for economic inequality and the civil rights of women and minorities.”


(Not a depiction of Democratic politicians but law enforcement as actual jackasses)

In an interview with the paper, Bloomberg defends stop-and-frisk.

And, voicing “doubt” about some of the revelations that have been made in the course of #MeToo, Bloomberg mentions as an example Charlie Rose, who had broadcast his show from a space in Bloomberg’s corporate offices.

He declined to say, specifically, whether he believed the many allegations against Rose.

“Let the court system decide,” the former mayor said.

What is not fully addressed in the Times article, however—and what is not fully explored in the many similar pieces that consider the current iteration of Mike Bloomberg’s presidential ambitions—is a series of stories about him, accumulated over decades, that suggests in the aggregate a distinct pattern when it comes to his treatment of women:

reports of disparaging comments made about women’s bodies and appearances.

Allegations of a deeply sexist work environment at the company that Bloomberg founded and, for many years, ran.

Stories that linger like exhaust in the air every time Mike Bloomberg is mentioned as, potentially, the next president of the United States.

This is a time in America of accountabilities that are—this is the most generous way to put it—unevenly distributed.

Some people bear the heaviest and cruelest of burdens; others move through the world with easy indemnity.

Christine Blasey Ford makes an allegation of sexual violence against the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh; she is attacked as a victimizer.

The man who last sought the presidency of the United States admitted to—bragged about—his own history of assaulting women; he won the office nonetheless.

Exhaust, exhausting:

The impunities form their own kind of fog.

The stories about Mike Bloomberg, though—stories, told through lawsuits and journalistic accounts, that involve allegations not of physical abuse but of more insidious manifestations of misogyny—ask broader questions about the ways electoral politics and basic morality will continue to tangle with each other as #MeToo marches onward.

Will the stories (many of which Bloomberg has publicly denied as the inventions of money-hungry opportunists) have any bearing on his potential presidential candidacy?

Will the Americans (and specifically now, apparently, the Democrats) of the current moment consider allegations involving casual misogyny, on the personal level and at the institutional, to be politically disqualifying?

Will they consider those claims, indeed, to be worth discussing at all?

Or will they dismiss them as the predicable collateral of the thing Americans are conditioned, still, to value above all:

the successful accumulation of power and wealth?

From 1996 to 1997, four women filed sexual-harassment or discrimination suits against Bloomberg the company.

One of the suits included the following allegation:

When Sekiko Sakai Garrison, a sales representative at the company, told Mike Bloomberg she was pregnant, he replied,

“Kill it!”

(Bloomberg went on, she alleged, to mutter, “Great, No. 16”—a reference, her complaint said, to the 16 women at the company who were then pregnant.)

To these allegations, Garrison added another one:

Even prior to her pregnancy, she claimed, Bloomberg had antagonized her by making disparaging comments about her appearance and sexual desirability.

“What, is the guy dumb and blind?” he is alleged to have said upon seeing her wearing an engagement ring.

“What the hell is he marrying you for?”

Bloomberg denied having made those comments, claiming that he passed a lie-detector test validating the denial but declining to release the results.

(He also reportedly left Garrison a voicemail upon hearing that she’d been upset by the comments about her pregnancy: “I didn’t say it, but if I said it, I didn’t mean it.”)

What Bloomberg reportedly did concede is that he had said of Garrison and other women,

“I’d do her.”

In making the concession, however, he insisted that he had believed that to “do” someone meant merely “to have a personal relationship” with them.

That suit was settled in 2000; its terms were not disclosed.

Other suits made similar claims.

In a 1998 filing, Mary Ann Olszewski reported that “male employees from Mr. Bloomberg on down” routinely belittled women at the company—a pattern of harassment, she said, that culminated in her being raped in a Chicago hotel room by a Bloomberg executive who was also her direct superior.

The case was dismissed (not, apparently, on its merits, but rather because Olszewski’s attorney had missed the deadlines to respond to a motion to end the case).

Before it was, though, in a deposition relating to the suit, Bloomberg testified that he wouldn’t consider Olszewski’s rape allegation to be genuine unless there were “an unimpeachable third-party witness” to corroborate her claims.

(Asked by a lawyer how such a person might happen to witness a rape, Bloomberg replied, “There are times when three people are together.”)

“Bloomberg’s Sexual Blind Spot” is how The Village Voice summed it up in 2001.

“Anti-woman obnoxiousness,” Cord Jefferson, then at Gawker, called it in 2013.

Part of that obnoxiousness involves the many reports related to what Bloomberg once told a reporter:

“I like theater, dining, and chasing women.”

(He elaborated: “Let me put it this way: I am a single, straight billionaire in Manhattan. What do you think? It’s a wet dream.”)

In his 1997 autobiography, Bloomberg by Bloomberg, the mogul bragged about keeping “a girlfriend in every city” during his years working as a Wall Street stock trader in the 1960s and ’70s.

He is reported to have said, of the computer terminal that made his fortune,

“It will do everything, including give you [oral sex]. I guess that puts a lot of you girls out of business.”

There’s more: Bloomberg reportedly saying to a journalist and the journalist’s friend, as he gazed at a woman at a holiday party,

“Look at the ass on her.”

(He denied having made that comment.)

Bloomberg, according to a top aide, seeing attractive women and reflexively remarking,

“Nice tits.”

Bloomberg, mocking Christine Quinn, the then-speaker of New York’s City Council, for going too long between hair colorings.

(“The couple of days a week before I need to get my hair colored,” Quinn once said, “he’ll say, ‘Do you pay a lot to make your hair be two colors? Because now it’s three with the gray.’”)

Bloomberg mocking Quinn again, she said, for failing to wear heels at public events.

(“I was at a parade with him once and he said, ‘What are those?’ and I said, ‘They’re comfortable,’ and he said, ‘I never want to hear those words out of your mouth again.’”)

Bloomberg, quoted by colleagues as saying,

“If women wanted to be appreciated for their brains, they’d go to the library instead of to Bloomingdale’s.”

Bloomberg being asked in a deposition,

“Have you ever made a comment to the effect that you would like to ‘do that piece of meat,’ or I’d ‘do her in a second’?”

Bloomberg replying, “I don’t recall ever using the term meat at all.”

These reports suggest the extent of the blind spot.

They also suggest, however, the expansive underbelly of #MeToo: the easy entitlements by which men come to see women as existing in part for their pleasure.

The stories told of Bloomberg paint a picture of self-centric power, of moral tautologies, of limited empathies.

(Joyce Purnick, in her 2009 biography, Mike Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics, describes a man who is “curt, profane, cranky, and willful,” and, relatedly, “allergic to introspection.”)

And, set as they are in the towers of the American corporation, places where power is assumed to justify itself, they suggest precisely the kind of trickle-down inequalities that politicians in particular might be in a position to combat.

Sexism, for one, converted into a system:

There is so much that is summoned—of hateful history, of the way that the past insinuates itself on the present—when a powerful man sizes up a less powerful woman in his employ and says,

“I’d do her.”

Earlier this month, another suit involving Mike Bloomberg was (very briefly) in the news.

The mogul was reinstated as a defendant in a 2016 civil suit brought against Bloomberg the company by a former employee:

She claims that in addition to the hostile work environment and sexual discrimination she experienced at the company, she was raped by a manager at Bloomberg when she was 22.

(Lawyers for Bloomberg and the now-terminated manager deny her allegations.)

The suit also holds the majority owner of Bloomberg liable for the woman’s claims.

The judge in the case, who had previously ruled that Mike Bloomberg had no immediate connection to the woman’s claims, reconsidered his ruling; the case will move forward with Bloomberg listed as a defendant.

Bloomberg has traditionally dismissed the lawsuits filed against him and his company as publicity stunts and money grabs and, in the fullest sense, nuisances.

(“What’s happening,” he explained of one such case, “is that because I’m so visible, that obviously I’m a target.”)

To run for office, however, is to make oneself a different kind of target; that is the exchange that is made when a person seeks such direct power over other people’s lives.

The story published in the Times this week is a trial balloon for a potential presidential candidacy; it is also testing, however, another thing.

What are voters willing to tolerate, at this point, in those who propose to lead them?

What are they willing to ignore?

What has changed since the last time Mike Bloomberg ran for public office?

And what—the world being, in the end, full of truths that remain so stubbornly true—hasn’t changed at all?

Would You Like To Know More?
« Last Edit: February 13, 2020, 03:33:10 pm by Battle »

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Re: Trump’s advisers are working hard to plan their own futures
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2020, 06:04:43 pm »
Thursday, 13th February 2o2o
Michael Bloomberg Should Take His Billions & GTFO!
by Adriana Cohen

Just when you thought the Democratic presidential field couldn’t get anymore pathetic, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg enters the race representing everything the Democratic Party supposedly stands against.

Billionaire capitalist?


A white elitist using his HEFty bank account to buy his way into a presidential election?


Someone who engaged in racial profiling while NYC mayor?


But that’s not all.

A newly leaked audio tape surfaced this week of Bloomberg speaking at a 2015 event in Aspen where he admitted to targeting young black men and people of color while mayor.

Trigger warning — what you’re about to read is extremely disturbing and should disqualify Bloomberg from running for president.

“Ninety-five percent of murders, murderers and murder victims fit one M.O. You can just take a description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops,” Bloomberg told the Aspen Institute.

“They are male, minorities, 16 to 25. That’s true in New York, that’s true in virtually every city (inaudible).”

He continued,

“One of the unintended consequences is people say, ‘Oh my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana that are all minorities.’ Yes, that’s true. Why? Because we put all the cops in minority neighborhoods. Why do we do it? Because that’s where all the crime is.”

It’s no wonder U.S. prisons are disproportionately overpopulated with minorities — it’s due in part to troubling policies deployed by politicians like Michael Bloomberg and others.

This includes Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who voted for the passage of the 1994 Crime Bill under former President Bill Clinton which contributed to the mass incarceration of a generation of black men.

Sanders has since said he regrets voting for the controversial bill.

Bloomberg has also apologized for not curtailing “Stop and Frisk” sooner than he did while mayor.

Too little, too late for all the young black men and their families whose lives were destroyed by both.

At the Aspen Institute event, Bloomberg said,

“You’ve got to get the guns out of the hands of people that are getting killed. And the way you get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them up against the wall and frisk them …”

Not surprisingly, the billionaire businessman’s representatives tried to stop the tape from being released.

It triggered cringeworthy headlines this week and the hashtag #BloombergIsARacist that went viral on social media with many calling for his withdrawal from the presidential race.

Not a minute too soon.

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Re: Trump’s advisers are working hard to plan their own futures
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2020, 08:11:30 am »
Monday, 17th February 2o2o
New tapes remind us he was just as dogged about stopping and frisking black folks
by Jamil Smith

Mike Bloomberg is finally being vetted as a presidential candidate.

It took years-old audio tweeted by a journalist, not attack ads released by his feckless Democratic competitors, to make it happen.

But it’s long overdue.

Podcast host Benjamin Dixon released previously obscure audio on Monday from a Bloomberg speaking engagement at The Aspen Institute in 2015.

During a question-and-answer session, the former New York City mayor and current über-billionaire spouted the kind of bigoted language that one might expect to hear from the man he is now running to replace in the Oval Office.

“Ninety-five percent of your murders and murderers and murder victims, every one of them, you can just take the description and xerox it and pass it out to all the cops. They are male, minorities, 15-25. That’s true in New York. It’s true in virtually every city,” Bloomberg said, falsely.

(Just more than 90 percent of those arrested for murder and non-negligent manslaughter in 2015, per the NYPD’s 2015 Crime and Enforcement Report, were black and Hispanic — but there is no accounting for age and gender. Plus, the odds that he knew the statistics for every city are slim to none.)

That was just a taste of the wrong in Bloomberg’s Aspen rant.

His solution to this problem that he misunderstood was to “put a lot of cops in the street, put those cops where the crime is, which means in minority neighborhoods. So this is one of the unintended consequences is people saying, ‘Oh my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana, they’re all minorities.’ Yes, that’s true. Why? Because we put all the cops in the minority neighborhoods. Yes that’s true. Why do we do it? Because that’s where all the crime is.”

This is one of the reasons why black folks like myself who lived in New York while Bloomberg was mayor already knew to be terrified at the possibility of him becoming president.

He is trying to spend his way into a new image.

We should not only remember that he has done that before in New York City — the former Democrat turned independent who suddenly was Republican when the time was right — but we cannot let him slip by and do it again.

drumphf is the ultimate threat, but he isn’t Bloomberg’s opponent yet.

“Stop-and-frisk,” first popularized in the 1990s, relies solely upon the discretion of the police officer: If he or she has reasonable belief that a person has been involved in a crime, then the cop can detain that person.

If there is a suspicion of a weapon, a non-invasive search can be conducted.

It sounds very by-the-book when you read it, and I’ve never had it happen to me as of yet.

But I watched it nearly every night coming home on the A or the C, getting off at Utica Avenue.

Another young black man getting physically accosted, sometimes handcuffed.

I’d often stay and watch to ensure that he was being treated safely.

I had no hope for his dignity, typically.

Heads were hung low and shoulders sunk into their torsos, even as nearly all of them walked away without any kinds of charges.

It is an utterly humiliating and unnecessary experience.

Why would I want a president who, at any level of his or her experience in public office, thought this was the best way to handle crime?

For 12 years, he thought this discredited strategy was the way to go.

Yes, that’s an appropriate descriptor.

Even if it doesn’t matter to you that the practice of “stop-and-frisk” was racist, the practice was ineffective.

The New York Civil Liberties Union found that only 14 of every 10,000 stops produced a gun and only 1,200 of those 10,000 were offenses that resulted in fines.

However, we live in a “tough on crime” political world, where men like Bloomberg have to appear like they’re doing something to solve the problem — even if they haven’t the first clue what they’re doing.

As mayor, he pushed for an increase in stops.

In 2009, when 575,000 stops were made, black and Latino people were nine times as likely to be interrogated and searched as white people, with the stop rate particularly intense in areas heavily black and Latino areas like Brooklyn’s Brownsville neighborhood.

“Stop-and-frisk” didn’t work.

It terrorized black and Latino New Yorkers for the sake of white feelings of security and some headlines, not tangible results.

But singing the praises of this rubbish gets people like Bloomberg invited to fancy places like the Aspen Institute to speak.

Then, he manages to effectively bury that speech without consequences.

But thanks to Bloomberg’s $300 million and more spent in ad buys on black radio and other purchased media, he had managed to convince audiences less familiar with his history that his singular focus on defeating drumphf was what mattered most.

And despite all this, it still might.

Bloomberg did finally apologize for his destructive role in “stop-and-frisk” last November, shortly after he bought his way into the Democratic primary like one might a poker game in Casino Royale.

His campaign released a statement Tuesday morning responding to the video’s release which addressed drumphf’s since-deleted tweet labeling the former mayor a “racist” than it did the video Dixon posted.

“drumphf’s deleted tweet is the latest example of his endless efforts to divide Americans,” Bloomberg said through his campaign.

(Note where this goes next. Italics mine.)

“I inherited the police practice of stop-and-frisk, and as part of our effort to stop gun violence it was overused. By the time I left office, I cut it back by 95%, but I should’ve done it faster and sooner. I regret that and I have apologized — and I have taken responsibility for taking too long to understand the impact it had on Black and Latino communities.”

I spotlighted those points because the former mayor is trying to deflect blame for the damage done even as he fails to directly address his remarks.

Also, Bloomberg’s statement would have us believe the sudden drop in stops — from an all-time high of more than 685,000 in 2011 to fewer than 192,000 two years later, in the final year that he was mayor — was due to his sudden change of heart.

The city changed its policy right around the time that the Center for Constitutional Rights was suing successfully in federal court.

It was eventually declared unconstitutional in August of 2013.

Though the city got the judge removed from the case, the ruling was upheld that November.

Bloomberg’s statement went on to say that “this issue and my comments about it do not reflect my commitment to criminal justice reform and racial equity” and that he wants to “end mass incarceration.”

After citing positive figures of de-carceration from his administration, Bloomberg then seems to take credit for the eventual creation of former President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative (a request for comment to MBK has not yet been returned).

He concluded with the kind of macho rhetoric that has become Bloomberg’s staple in retorts to drumphf:

“Make no mistake Mr. acting-president: I am not afraid of you and I will not let you bully me or anyone else in America. Between now and November, I will do everything I can to defeat you whether I am on the ballot or not.”

It is pathetic that drumphf has driven our politics so far into the trough that we mistake such kindergarten playground rhetoric for strength

I would never make the gross error of mistaking Bloomberg for drumphf, but toxic masculinity is a shapeshifter.

The two men may spar publicly now, but they share quite a bit of commonality.

That isn’t encouraging.

It is an odd notion that we need a white man to defeat a white man, and an even stranger argument that we need to have the same kind of brusque masculinity on the opposite dais.

Moreover, we need someone who hasn’t previously called drumphf a “New York icon,” hasn’t tried to deflect the birther issue off of drumphf at the height of the controversy, and has agreed with him until very recently on “stop-and-frisk.”

Aside from his brief apology tour, Bloomberg has steadily avoided any and all real vetting — and voters for that matter.

He hasn’t had any public town halls broadcast on television and he isn’t participating in debates.

It hasn’t mattered much: he is steadily rising in the overall polling and a Quinnipiac survey released Monday placed him second at 22 percent with African Americans nationwide.

That’s only five points behind Joe Biden, who previously held what seemed like an insurmountable lead with the party’s most loyal electorate.

Bloomberg is not responsible for ensuring that Americans learn more about his record.

That’s on us in the press, along with his competitors and even DNC chair Tom Perez — who chairs a party that is, almost by default, representing the most marginalized populations in the United States.

One would think that he would like to ensure they nominate someone who doesn’t just know how to target black and Hispanic voters with ads on the radio, but who will actually address their policy interests and goals.

It is difficult, if not impossible, to trust someone who put into practice the kinds of policies that Bloomberg did as mayor and then backed them up with the kind of bilious rhetoric that we have heard to date.

Bloomberg clearly thinks he’ll get by with the conventional race politics.

The campaign later followed up with a separate email detailing Bloomberg’s urgent meeting Tuesday with black faith leaders not seemingly regarding the “stop-and-frisk” remarks, but about drumphf calling him a racist.

“None of us believe that Mike Bloomberg is a racist,” the statement reads, as if that’s the damned point of it all.

How about the policy he pushed for 12 years?

Black voters, in particular, have a long and sadly necessary tradition of pragmatism.

We don’t often get to choose who we want at the polls; we choose the least worst option.

There are enough candidates still available, and enough solid policy choices to choose from, to make that a moot point without having to settle for a billionaire obscuring his history of debasing our humanity for more than a decade in the largest city in the nation.

Thanks to good journalism, the truth of that legacy is seeping out.

We all have good sense and would vote for Bloomberg if drumphf is the other option.

We’re not suicidal.

But the Democratic primary just began and there are better choices, ones who don’t think our memories have a price.

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Re: Trump’s advisers are working hard to plan their own futures
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2020, 04:20:37 pm »
Wednesday, 19th February 2o2o
by Ezra Klein

Since entering the presidential race in November, Mike Bloomberg has spent more than $400 million of his own money on ads.

If you ignore Tom Steyer, the other self-funding billionaire chasing the Democratic nomination, Bloomberg has spent more than three times as much as all the other Democratic candidates combined.

Nor is it just the ad spending that has greased Bloomberg’s rise.

He’s spent a decade as a generous and effective donor to progressive causes, friendly politicians, cash-strapped cities, and worthy nonprofits.

Journalist Blake Zeff has a sharp Twitter thread showing how Bloomberg has used his largesse to quiet criticism and win allies.

Bloomberg’s vast resources have unlocked a campaign strategy no other candidate could sustain.

Because presidential candidates typically operate under a constant threat of running out of cash, they concentrate spending in the early primary states.

Bloomberg ignored those states entirely and is blanketing the bigger, more expensive states that vote later in the primary with ads.

As a result, he’s shot up in the polls and is challenging Joe Biden for second place.

But here’s the kicker: $417 million is minuscule as a percentage of Bloomberg’s $64 billion net worth.

It’s a bit more than six-tenths of 1 percent — the equivalent of someone worth $100,000 spending $650.

So far, Bloomberg is throwing pocket change at this election.

The torrent of spending he would likely unleash in the general is orders of magnitude beyond anything we’ve seen before.

For many frightened Democrats, that is, literally, the case for Bloomberg:

Whatever his faults, he carries a deep war chest he could use to defeat drumphf and elect congressional Democrats.

That’s particularly persuasive to moderates who think Bernie Sanders’s socialism will prove politically toxic or fear Joe Biden simply isn’t up to the job.

For them, Bloomberg offers an answer — a grim one, but an answer nevertheless.

“Winning the presidential election is starting to look hard,” quipped Jonathan Chait in New York magazine.

“How about buying it instead?”

It is easy enough to see the appeal of this argument: drumphf has been a cruel and erratic president, and to his critics, defeating him is of paramount moral importance.

Most Democrats believe money corrupts American politics and it’d be better if Bloomberg’s fortune were irrelevant, but the system is what it is, and winning, right now, is more important than passing some abstract purity test.
This is how bad systems corrupt good individuals — they do it by enlisting our self-interest to convince us to betray our values.

And make no mistake: America’s campaign finance system is a disaster.

Most candidates can’t self-finance their campaigns, so they spend a disproportionate amount of time asking the rich to donate to their campaigns.

Those donations are limited to $2,800 per individual, but the Supreme Court believes political spending is a protected form of free speech, so the rich can spend as much as they want on their own campaigns, or on Super PACs to push their political agendas.
Populists like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and, in his complicated and contradictory ways, even drumphf, have risen in part because Americans loathe seeing their political system bought by the rich.

Bloomberg isn’t so much a defense against those critiques as he is a confirmation of them.

The populists say that politics is rigged, elections are bought by those with enough money to spend, modern liberalism is mere lipstick on perpetual corporatism.

Bloomberg is here to test whether they’re right.

He may pitch himself to centrists as an answer to the populists, but in leveraging his fortune to fight them, he offers the country the (hopefully) false choice between populism and oligarchy.

In response to Bloomberg’s rise, critics have filled Twitter with clips of Bloomberg blaming the financial crisis on government loans to nonwhite homebuyers (which is flatly wrong), making cruelly transphobic comments, presiding over an allegedly sexually hostile workplace, and praising the racist stop-and-frisk policies he later disowned.

But Bloomberg’s candidacy would be dangerous even if every word he’d ever uttered was enlightened and his past policy record was pure.

Bloomberg is a test of what exactly it is that Democrats so feared in drumphf’s dismissal of democratic restraints and liberal norms.

He isn’t a class traitor or a good-government reformer who uses his fortune to pass policies that would politically neuter fortunes like his.

He’s a canny politician who uses his money to secure, amass, and retain political power for him, personally.

As Ross Douthat writes in the New York Times:

drumphf’s authoritarian tendencies are naked on his Twitter feed, but Bloomberg’s imperial instincts, his indifference to limits on his power, are a conspicuous feature of his career. drumphf jokes about running for a third term; Bloomberg actually managed it, bulldozing through the necessary legal changes. drumphf tries to bully the F.B.I. and undermine civil liberties; Bloomberg ran New York as a miniature surveillance state. drumphf has cowed the Republican Party with celebrity and bombast; Bloomberg has spent his political career buying organizations and politicians that might otherwise impede him. drumphf blusters and bullies the press; Bloomberg literally owns a major media organization. drumphf has Putin envy; Bloomberg hearts Xi Jinping.

If Democrats embrace Bloomberg’s presidential candidacy, it will be evidence that the problem with drumphf wasn’t that he was a billionaire with illiberal tendencies, but that he was the wrong kind of billionaire with illiberal tendencies.

“We can have democracy in this country,” Louis Brandeis famously said,

“or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”
Bloomberg’s candidacy is a reminder of why.

His campaign isn’t a betrayal of the political and economic system we have now but its logical extension:

If we are going to allow this much wealth concentration, and if the Supreme Court holds that the rich can spend as much money pursuing their political ambitions as they want, then eventually American politics will simply become a competition between billionaires of the left and billionaires of the right, and no one will be able to stop it because it’ll feel dangerous and even immoral to unilaterally disarm and let the other side spend you into oblivion.
The good news is that this is a false choice, at least for now:

There is, in truth, no evidence that Bloomberg is more electable than Sanders, Biden, or any other Democrat.

The history of self-funding millionaires and billionaires is mostly a history of losing candidates, though, admittedly, no one has tried it at the scale Bloomberg seems to be envisioning.

But even if it could work, this isn’t a deal Democrats should take.

There are plenty of Democrats who are as likely, or likelier, to beat drumphf without further corrupting American politics.

Billionaires should be able to run for president like anyone else, but they shouldn’t be allowed to buy their way to the presidency.

That is a message Democrats could send by rejecting Bloomberg’s bid.

If, however, they rally around him, it will be a message to every other billionaire who holds political ambitions, and America will be well on its way to becoming a true oligarchy.

Even if Bloomberg would be a good president, he’d be a terrible precedent.

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Re: Trump’s advisers are working hard to plan their own futures
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2020, 09:59:49 am »