Pondering the Pundits

Pondering the Pundits” is an Open Thread. It is a selection of editorials and opinions from> around the news medium and the internet blogs. The intent is to provide a forum for your reactions and opinions, not just to the opinions presented, but to what ever you find important.

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Charles M. Blow: You Must Never Vote for Bloomberg

His expansion of the notoriously racist stop-and-frisk program is a complete and nonnegotiable deal breaker.

With his filing of paperwork on Friday to put his name on the ballot for the Democratic primary in Alabama, the billionaire businessman and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg inched closer to declaring a run for the Democratic nomination for president.

According to The New York Times, his advisers say he hasn’t made up his mind yet. But I have.

Let me plant the stake now: No black person — or Hispanic person or ally of people of color — should ever even consider voting for Michael Bloomberg in the primary. His expansion of the notoriously racist stop-and-frisk program in New York, which swept up millions of innocent New Yorkers, primarily young black and Hispanic men, is a complete and nonnegotiable deal killer.

Stop-and-frisk, pushed as a way to get guns and other contraband off the streets, became nothing short of a massive, enduring, city-sanctioned system of racial terror.

This system of terror exploded under Bloomberg, with his full advocacy and support.

Michelle Goldberg: The Cure for Democrats’ 2020 Terror

Voters who fear a Trump re-election can start rebuilding the blue wall now.

Pundits sometimes address Democratic primary voters as if they were complacent about the chances of another Trump term and need a harsh dose of reality. The primary campaign, New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait wrote recently, “has proceeded in blissful unawareness of the extremely high chance that Trump will win again.” But if there are Democrats out there who think beating Trump is going to be easy, I’ve yet to meet them. I’m deeply scared, and so are most progressives I speak to.

According to the polls we’re not alone; in one recent survey, 67 percent of Democrats said they feel anxious about the election. Reports from Iowa suggest that Democratic primary voters, desperate to find a silver bullet against Trump, are wracked with indecision. “Nobody knows what to do,” one member of a county Democratic committee told The Associated Press. “They’re all afraid.” [..]

Those shaken by the possibility of a second Trump term, however, can take concrete steps to make that prospect less likely, even if they don’t live in swing states. Doing so isn’t only useful — it’s therapeutic. “The best answer to despair is recognizing that you’re not helpless,” said Ezra Levin, co-founder of the progressive group Indivisible and co-author of the new book “We Are Indivisible: A Blueprint for Democracy After Trump.”

Robert Reich: Billionaires fear Warren and Sanders – but they should fear us all

Wealth tax plans make sense but proper regulation could also cut Bezos, Dimon, Cohen and Neumann down to size

Billionaires are wailing that wealth tax proposals by Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are attacks on free-market capitalism.

Warren “vilifies successful people”, says Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase.

Rubbish. There are basically only five ways to accumulate a billion dollars, and none of them has to do with being successful in a genuinely free market. [..]

Capitalism doesn’t work well with monopolies, insider-trading, political payoffs, fraud and large amounts of inherited wealth. Billionaires who don’t like Sanders and Warren’s wealth tax plans should at least support reforms that end these anti-capitalist advantages.

Greg Sargent: An epic ‘Meet the Press’ rant unmasks the real goal of Trump’s lies

The public phase of the impeachment inquiry is set to begin this week, and it will shock you to learn that House Republicans are pushing for it to include testimony from numerous people who are not in a position to shed any light whatsoever on President Trump’s conduct.

Republicans want to question Joe Biden’s son Hunter and other figures at the center of a nexus of conspiracy theories and lies that Trump and his propagandists have long employed to misdirect Americans away from Trump’s own bottomless corruption.

A remarkable and important series of exchanges on “Meet the Press” — including an epic rant from a Democrat about our media’s both-sidesing tendencies — demonstrates the true nature of the game plan we’re about to see from Trump and Republicans.

Karen Tumulty: Bloomberg has a narrow path to winning. But he’ll sure get under Trump’s skin.

Is it possible for news to seem both startling and inevitable at the same time?

For years, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has been playing with the idea of running for president. But he always backed off after crunching the data and deciding he didn’t have a realistic chance of winning.

It appeared Bloomberg had finally shut the door on that possibility last March. “I believe I would defeat Donald Trump in a general election,” he wrote. “But I am clear-eyed about the difficulty of winning the Democratic nomination in such a crowded field.”

Now comes this: Bloomberg is running after all. Almost certainly. Probably making it official within days.

But who looks at this race and thinks that what it needs is yet another septuagenarian in the mix? Or for that matter, another billionaire? Is the right standard-bearer for an increasingly liberal party a man whose most brilliant business idea was marketing computer terminals to Wall Street traders so that they could make rich people even richer? [..]

In an election season that has already seen more than its share of surprises, Bloomberg’s probable late entry into a crowded Democratic primary has delivered what is perhaps the biggest one yet.

On Friday, Trump said that Bloomberg “doesn’t have the magic to do well.” But that comment was surely wishful thinking, coming as it did from someone who measures everyone else by their wealth and success. But Bloomberg starts the campaign in a position that is enviable in at least one sense. He is the candidate most likely to get under Trump’s paper-thin skin.