Speaking at a Texas barbecue restaurant on Saturday, Bloomberg said that if he’s knocked out of the race, he’ll direct future funds toward attacking Trump, supporting whoever wins the nomination—even if that person happens to be Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, whom he basically regards as Communists. “I really don’t agree with them,” he said, of the progressive candidates, “but I’d still support them, yes, because compared to Donald Trump that’s easy.” He said that he has no plans to run any negative ads against any Democratic candidates, focusing all of his energy on trolling 45. In addition to funneling cash to whoever goes head-to-head with the president, Bloomberg would seemingly donate much of the gigantic, more-than-800-person team he’s assembled to the nominee, along with other resources:
The thing that makes Bloomberg different is he can knock on all doors at once. Bloomberg is running aggressively to win the Democratic nomination but he is simultaneously building out a general election machine to defeat President Trump, with a new structure—data, field organizing, advertising, and policy—that aims to elect Democrats up and down the ballot even if the party’s voters reject the former New York mayor this spring…. Bloomberg’s data operation, cryptically called Hawkfish, aims to incorporate expensive demographic and targeting data, parts of which can later be fed back into the party’s databases or repurposed for the broader fight against Trump and Republicans. The fact that he is a candidate gives him greater access to party data than he would otherwise have, and as a candidate he also benefits from lower television ad rates in swing states before their primary contests than he would if he simply advertised against Trump as a regular citizen.
The massive campaign staffs he has been bringing on in swing states—60 in Arizona and over 80 in North Carolina, for example, at a time when most candidates are focused in Iowa—have been promised jobs through the July convention or November election, long after his primary campaign closes up shop.
Meanwhile, Operation Keep Trump Up at Night—which has its merits!—is proceeding nicely, per the Washington Post:
Bloomberg’s aides…have delighted in trying to find ways to get Trump’s attention and increase his anxiety, such as the recent purchase of an $11 million Super Bowl ad that will run against a similar spot purchased by Trump’s campaign. When Trump tweeted an attack on Bloomberg Monday, the former mayor’s team was delighted. “Glad to see you’re watching our ads,” Bloomberg tweeted in response.
New health care spots that began airing Monday focus nearly as much on attacking Trump as introducing Bloomberg. “America is sick of Donald Trump, and America is getting sicker,” begins one ad voiceover, as the screen shows unflattering photos of the president. “There are 1 million more uninsured Americans every year under Trump.”
In response, Trump tweeted on Monday, “Mini Mike Bloomberg is spending a lot of money on False Advertising. I was the person who saved Pre-Existing Conditions in your Healthcare, you have it now, while at the same time winning the fight to rid you of the expensive, unfair and very unpopular Individual Mandate and, if Republicans win in court and take back the House of Represenatives, your healthcare, that I have now brought to the best place in many years, will become the best ever, by far. I will always protect your Pre-Existing Conditions, the Dems will not!”
While Trump’s lies about health care—and literally everything—are nothing new, the bold claim that he saved the pre-existing conditions provision in Obamacare when he literally tried to get rid of the law wholesale, and that Democrats want to scrap it, is a significant escalation in his war on reality.
In a heartfelt Instagram post on Sunday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced that the company would donate 1 million Australian dollars, or about $690,000, to the Australian wildfire recovery effort. That’s less than he made every five minutes in 2018, according to Business Insider’s estimate, based on Forbes’ calculation of Bezos’s net worth at the start and end of 2018.
Wildfires have devastated Australia since late July, killing at least 28 people and burning more than 2,000 homes. In a blog post, Amazon said it would channel the money to relief agencies helping victims and restoring wildlife. The internet was quick to criticize the size of Amazon's donation, noting that it represented a tiny fraction of Amazon's $936 billion market cap.
This isn‘t the first time Bezos has come under fire for his seemingly stingy ways. In 2018, amidst reportsthat Amazon employees relieve themselves in bottles or forego bathroom breaks for fear “of being disciplined for idling and losing their jobs as a result,” allegations the company denied, Bezos said in an interview that he couldn’t possibly come up with ways to spend his vast fortune besides funding his for-profit rocket ship company Blue Origin. (“The only way that I can see to deploy this much financial resource is by converting my Amazon winnings into space travel,” he told Axel Springer CEO Mathias Döpfner. “That is basically it…. I am currently liquidating about $1 billion a year of Amazon stock to fund Blue Origin. And I plan to continue to do that for a long time. Because you’re right, you’re not going to spend it on a second dinner out.”) Later that year, Amazon killed a proposed $275-per-employee tax for large Seattle-based businesses that would have helped alleviate the city’s serious homelessness problem—caused by companies like Amazon. Last year, after the New York Times started asking questions about his cheapness re: charity, Bezos announced that he would donate $2 billion to philanthropic ventures. At the time, the amount represented 1.3% of his net worth.
Luggage start-up cofounder—yes, that’s a thing—Steph Korey has decided she was too rash in giving up her management position after the publication of a report detailing her penchant for humiliating employees and emotionally tearing them to shreds. See y’all around the water cooler!
She apologized for her management style and stepped down as chief executive. Now, she says it was a mistake to fall on her sword and is taking her job back. Former employees of Away luggage, one of the fastest-growing retail start-ups in recent years, accused the company’s chief executive, Steph Korey, of creating a toxic culture within the company in an article published by the technology website The Verge that went viral last month. The article included text messages that a Verge editor described on Twitter as showing Ms. Korey using the workplace messaging application Slack “as a tool to stalk and bully junior and minority employees.”
Within hours of its publication, the article had created a social media firestorm around the company, which is worth more than $1 billion in the private market with plans to go public. For a company focused on a millennial audience and a brand that seeks to evoke a sense of community, the story was viewed internally as existential. Within 24 hours, Ms. Korey had issued a lengthy apology. “I am sincerely sorry for what I said and how I said it. It was wrong, plain and simple,” she said. “I can imagine how people felt reading those messages from the past, because I was appalled to read them myself,” she wrote. Days later, the company said that it was hiring a new chief executive and that Ms. Korey would become executive chairwoman.
Anyway, she’s thought about it and decided she didn’t deserve to lose her CEO gig and is not going anywhere, which will presumably make things awkward for the employees who thought they would no longer have to deal with her unique management style, not to mention new chief executive who was recruited form Lululemon to helm the company. Away now says it disputes the Verge’s reporting and has hired lawyer Elizabeth M. Locke to defend itself. In a statement, the Verge said, “Steph Korey responding to our reporting by saying her behavior and comments were ‘wrong, plain and simple’ and then choosing to step down as CEO speaks for itself.”
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— On the eve of impeachment vote, Giuliani called up New York Times to incriminate Trump— Melania Trump believes Greta Thunberg had POTUS attack coming— Inside Roger Ailes’s twisted game of mind control— Why the White House belongs to Jared Kushner now— Kamala Harris’ next act is destroying Stephen Miller— From the Archive: Inside Jeffrey Wigand’s epic multibillion-dollar struggle
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