Saturday, February 29, 2020

Imran, Imran

Imran Khan is the leader Pakistan needs today: thoughtful and empathetic

Pakistan is trying to change. It won’t happen in two years, perhaps, not in five years. It may even take a decade...... Khan’s intentions are clear, coherent, and blemish-free. ..... I voted for Khan. I trust Khan. So far....... On December 10, 2019, Khan tweeted: “Inspired by the ideals preached by our Prophet PBUH, especially in his last sermon, and duties enshrined in our Constitution, my govt is committed to the protection of human rights for all its citizens without discrimination.” .... Not a very kind and just place at the moment but based on Khan’s words and actions it is a safe assumption that Pakistan may become the best of itself someday...... Khan sees those who thought their life didn’t matter.

Friday, February 28, 2020

The Pogrom In Delhi

The message from the BJP is clear: Elect whomever you like. We are still in power. Call the police; they work for us. Appeal to the courts; we’ll neutralize any judges who don’t toe our line. Continue to dissent, and we will set the mob on you.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

The Berning Question

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

A Mike Warren Ticket

Right now it is looking like it is going to be a Mike Bloomberg and Elizabeth Warren ticket, and it will be a fair ticket, fair in that Warren represents the Bernie wing of the party and Mike represents moderates like Pete and Klobuchar, and it is going to be a strong ticket because I trust Warren more than Mike on being able to go toe to toe to the inevitable pettiness of Donald Trump. With Mike Bloomberg clocking at 20% to Bernie's 30, for the first time I am breathing easy that Trump will be out. The fucker lacks basic decency. Get him out. (Robert De Niro on Trump has been one of the great comedies of the past four years.)

Right now the arithmetic is in Mike's favor. Even in the best-case scenario, even if he leads, Bernie is looking at 25% of the delegates at the convention. He is going to do worse this time than last time when he lost. And that is assuming Mike stays at 20 and Bernie at 30. That needle will move. It is easy to imagine a scenario where most of the non-Bernie delegates switch to Mike and he clinches the nomination.

I thank Bernie. Four years ago Mike Bloomberg was worried the country might not be ready for a "Jewish divorcee." Bernie put that to rest. His Einstein hairstyle gives away his Jewishness. And he is right up there on the Trump scale on divorces and remarriages. Bernie pushed Mike into the ring and I thank him for that.

I wrote a 20-page memo late in 2015 that I hand-delivered to the Bloomberg Foundation Offices urging Mike to run. He did not. He did the Elizabeth Warren thing of thinking that was Hillary's year. And so it would be fair to blame Mike for Trump. Will you please wipe away this mess you gave to us? The blame is on you.

The big news today is not climate change. The big news today is the Age Of Abundance that is right around the corner. 2,000 years ago (and every year since) Jews rejected Jesus because they had been waiting for a messiah who would sit on a throne like David and usher in an Age Of Abundance. Like a rabbi said recently about that abundance, "I look outside my window, I don't see it!" Instead they saw a guy helplessly dangling from a cross.

Mike deserves to win because he is the only Steve Jobs in the race. And I mean that literally. He is not as big as Steve Jobs, but he is like Steve Jobs. He is a tech entrepreneur. It was a West Coast East Coast thing like among rappers. The Bloomberg Terminal has a PC form, and the PC form while pedestrian today was cutting edge when it came out. To start from zero and take it to 50 billion is something.

Some people ask, how old is Mike? Well, how old is Donald? How old is Bernie? Moses had seniority, so does Mike.

Mike Bloomberg has been spending a lot of money. Is that a billionaire buying an election? If it is, it is at least a self-made billionaire. But this is not a billionaire buying an election. This is someone who believes in campaign finance reform so much he is taking zero special interest and lobbyist money.

Mayor Mike was a Republican. But before that he was a Democrat. He saw what a mess the Democratic primary was going to be, and so he ran as a Republican and served three terms: best business move he ever made. It is the power of branding that the market value of his company went up substantially when he was doing nothing at the company except being in news all day long. That brings me to why Warren needs to be on the ticket. She understands the power of branding. She has been speaking for some of the same things as Bernie, but nobody can call her a socialist. I don't know what it is about this country, but the word socialist is toxic. It is like the gun laws. People in other countries scratch their head.

Mike was a partner at a firm on Wall Street. And his partners kicked him out. The guy was a troublemaker, always coming up with new ideas, giving everyone headaches. So they kicked him out. He did not choose to launch Bloomberg. He was forced into it. But that is not my favorite Bloomberg story. My favorite story is, after he had managed to build the Bloomberg Terminal, he needed people to buy them. So he would show up. But you can't get into those tall buildings unless you work there. And so he would buy coffee. When some of the top guys came along, he would say, "I bought you coffee." And I guess free coffee is appreciated in all income brackets. He would sneak into those buildings with them to sell his Bloomberg Terminals.

When he was Mayor I was in the city. What was most perplexing to me was Al Sharpton never saw a white politician he did not suspect. But here was Al getting along just fine with Mike. What is going on, I thought.

Stop and frisk is controversial because racism is America's original sin. Okay, so I have been stopped and frisked. I speak from experience. This was in Ridgewood, Queens. It was not even that late. I was walking from a friend's apartment to mine. Just when I crossed the street, I heard the police car siren and saw the flashing light. I turned around on instinct before I could figure out what was going on. A young, good looking woman police officer came straight towards me and reached for my pant pocket. She pulled out the pen. "Oh, it is a pen?" She thought the flash was that of a knife. She gave it back to me and equally swiftly went back to the older male police officer waiting by the car.

Better stop and frisk than shoot and kill. Because before Bloomberg, there was a Giuliani, and it was shoot to kill. Giuliani's slogan was, "We own the night."

It has to be situational. Great effort has to be made to make sure the sting of racism is taken out of the equation. It has to be data based. Collect all crime data in the country. And go by the crime rate. At particular crime rates, stop and frisk would make sense. On the other hand, that same community, once the crime rate has gone down enough shoud no longer be seeing stop and frisk.

Not to say there were not excesses. But let that who has not sinned cast the first stone. Who would you rather have? A guy who will apologize? Or some dude who never once apologized for his relentless racist comments? And is in the White House. Donald Trump is racist. Mike Bloomberg is not racist. I went to school in the South. There racist meant you said bad things about people like Mike.

When you are Mayor, even of NYC, it is not about ideology. It is about management. Mike brought good management skills to the table. His first act was to rearrange the furniture. The setup he asked for was more like Mark Zuckerberg has at Facebook. Anyone can readily come over to the boss.

This country has become so divided and hyperpartisan that alone might be a big enough reason to elect Mike. This guy is officially bipartisan. He was a Republican Mayor. Now he is a Democratic candidate. What do you do after you have held the second most visible political office in the land? You go for the most visible one.

Who conducts foreign policy as Mayor? This guy has. He got together lots of Mayors around the world on climate.

Talking about climate, I think a big part of the solution is that we need 10 Elon Musks. When Trump heaped praise on Musk about how he was a great American entrepreneur, Musk shot back: "I am from South Africa, you idiot." Musk is likely to see a fellow entrepreneur in Bloom and respect him. Only Kanye thinks Donald Trump is some sort of an entrepreneur.

A country where the Chancellor of Trump University can become president is not a country that is doing well. The guy is a scam.

Full disclosure: I have applied for a job as a political strategist. I have met Mike in person.