#michael bloomberg

Michael Barbaro and Kitty Bennett:

An analysis by The New York Times shows that Mr. Bloomberg has doled out at least $650 million on a wide variety of perks and bonuses, political campaigns and advocacy work, charitable giving and social causes, not to mention travel and lodging, connected to his time and role as mayor. (His estimated tab for a multiday trip to China, with aides and security in tow: $500,000.)

In the process, he has entirely upended the financial dynamics surrounding New York’s top job.

In the past, the city paid its mayor; Mr. Bloomberg paid to be the city’s mayor.

This angle isn’t new, but it puts an actual number on what Bloomberg has done — which is pretty spectacular. As weird as it sounds, it’s more like a king spending to improve his kingdom than any modern political story we’re used to.

In many ways, it’s too bad that yesterday was his last day in office. It seems unlikely we’re going to see another politician like that in a long time simply because very few people on this planet have both the desire and the resources of Bloomberg. And fewer still would put them to good use.

Ken Auletta on the end of Michael Bloomberg’s tenure as mayor of New York City:

I asked Bloomberg if he could imagine joining the President’s Cabinet. In theory, he said, “it would be fascinating to be Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, jobs like that. Secretary of the Treasury, you want someone who’s a real economist”—and someone “who is maybe less opinionated.” Bloomberg thinks of himself as a team player, as long as it’s his team.

Bloomberg is a fascinating study of how someone with basically unlimited resources can become a major politician overnight. And how such a person can — quite literally — afford to do so without having to cozy up to special interest groups. And sometimes that can work out quite well if that person has reasonably good intentions.

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shortformblog:

Michael Bloomberg’s next potential regulatory victim? Foam-based packaging, such as trays, cups and bowls. The Soup Nazi would not approve, though the environment might dig the NYC mayor’s move. (photo by Philip Scott Andrews/The New York Times)

Point 1: What we know as “Styrofoam” is usually not actually Styrofoam, but rather polystyrene foam — which is what Bloomberg is talking about.

Point 2: As a person with a severe aversion to this type of material (no clue why, but touching it drives me insane), I’m all for this.

shortformblog:

Michael Bloomberg’s next potential regulatory victim? Foam-based packaging, such as trays, cups and bowls. The Soup Nazi would not approve, though the environment might dig the NYC mayor’s move. (photo by Philip Scott Andrews/The New York Times)

Point 1: What we know as “Styrofoam” is usually not actually Styrofoam, but rather polystyrene foam — which is what Bloomberg is talking about.

Point 2: As a person with a severe aversion to this type of material (no clue why, but touching it drives me insane), I’m all for this.

Raymond Hernandez for The New York Times covering NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s call for President Obama to do something about gun control in this country. Speaking to Peter King, a Republican Representative from New York (and the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee):

But Mr. King said he doubted that the shootings in Connecticut would alter the gun debate in Congress, saying that outside the Northeast a gun culture exists that is resistant to any kind of firearms regulation. “I hope I am wrong,” he said, “but I don’t think it will have a major impact on the debate in Congress. We’ve had a number of gun tragedies in recent years without any action being taken.”

A senior aide to a top Democrat in Congress echoed that sentiment, saying he was doubtful that there would be enough votes, even now, for passage of a ban on assault weapons.

Serious question: how many people have to die in the next inevitable tragedy before something actually gets done? Apparently, 27 — including 20 children — isn’t enough. So what will it take? 50? 100?

The pathetic reality is twofold. First, of course, there shouldn’t have to be a number — but at some point, with a high enough number, the political fall-out would be too great if something isn’t done. Second, I’m afraid that number is far higher than even 100 — and make no mistake, we will see a tragedy of that magnitude in our lifetimes. Probably sooner than any of us would like to acknowledge.

If a foreign terrorist killed 26 people in this country, we would invade their country in a heartbeat with few questions asked. When a domestic lunatic kills 26 people with little effort enabled in large part by our own laws dating back 200+ years, we do nothing. And we’ll keep doing nothing.