Kamala Harris and Michael Bloomberg

Grind for December 4th
“Insanity in individuals is something rare – but in groups, parties, nations, and epochs, it is the rule.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche

I Quit!

The Headline

Campaign aide delivers blistering resignation letter to Kamala Harris

The Grind

“This is my third presidential campaign and I have never seen an organization treat its staff so poorly,” wrote Kamala Harris’s state operations director, Kelly Mehlenbacher, in her resignation letter.

“While I still believe that Senator Harris is the strongest candidate to win in the general election in 2020, I no longer have confidence in our campaign or its leadership,” continued Mehlenbacher. “Our campaign For the People is made up of diverse talent which is being squandered by indecision and a lack of leaders who will lead.”

Interviews with other campaign staff revealed complaints about weak leadership from campaign chairwoman Maya Harris (Kamala’s sister) and campaign manager Juan Rodriguez, as well as a lack of direction from Harris herself.

Harris “left voters with questions about who she is, what she believes, and what her priorities and convictions would be as president,” wrote Washington Post journalist Chelsea Janes.

The Details

Kamala Harris pulled out of New Hampshire in early November, firing all non-volunteer staff in the state and canceling planned rallies there to focus on Iowa. Many staffers throughout the country were asked to work in other states, only to be laid off weeks later when the campaign failed to raise enough money to pay them.

“It is not acceptable to me that we encouraged people to move from Washington, DC to Baltimore only to lay them off with no plan for the campaign, and without thoughtful consideration of the personal consequences to them or the consequences that their absence would have on the remaining staff,” wrote Mehlenbacher, who now works for Michael Bloomberg as deputy chief operating officer.

“It is unacceptable that with less than 90 days until Iowa, we still do not have a real plan to win.”

Tuesday, Harris dropped out of the presidential race.

What Do You Think?

The Headline

Michael Bloomberg supports regressive taxes

The Grind

The minute Michael Bloomberg announced his presidential bid in November, critics and rivals began scouring the Internet for anything controversial he ever said or did.

One of the first things they found was his opinion on regressive taxes: they benefit the poor by forcing them to make healthier decisions.

A regressive tax is a tax that takes a larger percentage of income from people who earn less. It is the opposite of a progressive tax, which pulls in a larger percentage from people who earn more. In this case, Bloomberg is talking about taxes on sugary drinks and cigarettes:

“That’s the good thing about them because the problem is in people who don’t have a lot of money. And so higher taxes should have a bigger impact on their behavior and how they deal with themselves,” said Bloomberg last year at the International Monetary Fund’s 2018 spring meeting.

“I listen to people saying, ‘Oh, we don’t want to tax the poor.’ Well, we want the poor to live longer so that they can get an education and enjoy life and that’s why you do want to do exactly what a lot of people say you don’t want to do,” he continued. “The question is do you want to pander to those people or do you want them to live longer?”

The Details

When Bloomberg was Mayor of New York City, he unsuccessfully tried to ban large-size sodas like 7-Eleven’s Big Gulp. He argued the ban would protect poor people from gaining weight and claimed that not raising taxes on unhealthy behavior would be like using coal just to keep coal miners employed.

“There is just no question. If you raise taxes on full sugary drinks, for example, they will drink less and there is just no question that full sugar drinks are one of the major contributors to obesity and obesity is one of the major contributors to heart disease and cancer and a variety of other things,” said Bloomberg, whose net worth is nearly $55 billion.

Voters in New York City rejected the proposal, saying Bloomberg had no business controlling what they ate or drank. Voters who learned of Bloomberg’s opinion this month on Twitter described him as an “elitist” and “wannabe dictator.”

Did you know… The only country where cannabis is completely legal and du jure is North Korea.