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OK Bloomberg – The American Prospect

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Is it just coincidence that the derisive millennial slang “OK boomer” has crested just as an old billionaire with the similar-sounding name Michael Bloomberg has decided to bigfoot into the presidential race? Yes, probably, but the moniker “OK Bloomberg” certainly fits.

It gives me no pleasure to have become a serial chronicler of Bloomberg’s absurd flirtations with the presidency: here, here, and here, all the way back in 2008. Each time my point is the same: This is someone with no constituency once you take the elevator down from an East 79th St. penthouse or step out of the Morning Joe greenroom. This Twitter thread describing a speech he gave less than a year ago—coming out against marijuana legalization, minimum-wage increases (!), and retraining workers for tech jobs (“they’re just not wired that way”)—highlights the inanity of the exercise.

If anything, this strengthens the hand of Sanders and Warren by putting another competitor on the moderate side to split votes. Bloomberg also reportedly won’t “seek or accept campaign contributions,” a genius move which means, under current DNC rules, that he won’t appear in any primary debates. But that’s not the only show of ignorance on display here.

Bloomberg, speaking for his class, is terrified that popular ideas like the wealth tax are getting traction. For about $50,000, he and his pals could get Kyrsten Sinema, Joe Manchin, Jon Tester, Chris Coons, and a handful of other Senate Democrats to block any legislation to that effect (actually they probably don’t have to spend a dime, these aren’t exactly bold progressive thinkers). They’ve bought the Congress for decades and they’re afraid that somebody talking about soaking the rich will penetrate the iron fortress they’ve built? Do they think their corruption of democracy is that fragile?

Actually, that’s a paradoxical ray of hope. The billionaires are convinced that they’re small men behind the curtain, and anyone pulling that curtain back will rob them of their power. They know this is a country founded in rebellion to aristocrats, that fights Gilded Ages, and they’re desperate to stifle those voices, lest they start a fire. Maybe democracy isn’t quite dead yet.


Progressives need to focus on Congress or all of their ambitions will die there.

CEOs promised to be kinder corporate actors, but that was a fig leaf for building fortresses around management decision making.

Joe Biden’s Obama reunion fundraiser featured all kinds of revolving-door types.

(UPDATE: An hour after I posted this, former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, an attendee of the Biden fundraiser, agreed to go run PR for Wells Fargo.)


Alex Sammon on the billionaire class’s wealth tax—the Giving Pledge—which utterly failed.

Marcia Brown from Toronto on a critical immigration lawsuit in Canada.

Jon Walker on the great “fairness versus disruption” debate in progressive policy.

Richard Eskow profiles John Larson, an old-school Democrat and the unlikely champion of expanding Social Security.

Harold Meyerson with a dispatch from the New Hampshire primary.


I’ll be on with Sam Seder on The Ring of Fire radio this weekend talking about a number of issues. Check your local listings.


In news of other billionaire candidates, Tom Steyer trying to buy endorsements. (Associated Press)

Amazon seller accuses the company of forcing sellers to use their expensive, frequently late shipping services. (Bloomberg)

Amazon also rigs its buy box algorithm. (ProMarket)

Representative Jim Jordan absolutely knew about sexual assault by the wrestling coach he worked under in the ’80s and ’90s. (NBC News)

AT&T throttled “unlimited” data plans. (The Verge)

It’s hard to find fresh groceries in farm country. (NY Times)

China dominating all the component parts for electric cars. (WSJ)

McDonald’s CEO fired for sex with a subordinate still eligible for six months of severance pay. (Reuters)

Dominion Energy could see its century of triumph in Virginia falter under its new Democratic legislature. (The Intercept)

Third-party data collectors know an insane amount about you. (NY Times)

Trump administration continues to privatize the national parks. (LA Times)

Alex Pareene on the death of the rude press. (New Republic)

502 copies sold in the first week of Mark Halperin’s book is about 500 too many. (Hollywood Reporter)

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