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The Anti-Ideologue

The Anti-Ideologue

John Marshall Mantel/AP Photo Bloomberg, then mayor of New York, performs a comedy routine with the cast of the Broadway musical ‘Chicago’ in 2004. Are Democratic voters willing to nominate a completely non-ideological candidate for president? Because if Michael Bloomberg should win their nomination, that’s what they’re going to get.As he slowly but surely rises in the polls on the back of absolutely gobsmacking spending on advertising ($400 million and counting), Bloomberg is being forced to contend with pointed questions about his past policies and statements. While some of what’s...

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Paul Waldman
February 17, 2020
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Bloomberg: The ‘Democrat’ Who Treated Minorities as Inherently Criminal

Bloomberg: The ‘Democrat’ Who Treated Minorities as Inherently Criminal

Esteban Whiteside There’s a sad, unfunny because it’s too true, that has circulated steadily since it was published in 2016. In it, two sheep are looking at a campaign-style billboard of a wolf, with the slogan, “I am going to eat you.” One sheep says to another, “He tells it like it is.”The cartoon gets to a weird duality about President Donald Trump. On one hand, he’s a liar: News organizations tracking his false claims reached a count of . On the other, Trump can be uncomfortably truthful, as that he fired James Comey from the FBI because of the Russia investigation, or because they...

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Monica Potts
February 17, 2020
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When Nurses Strike—and Get Locked Out

When Nurses Strike—and Get Locked Out

Gene Johnson/AP Photo Swedish Medical Center nurses and other workers picket outside the hospital’s campus in Seattle, January 2020. On January 28, a group of nearly 8,000 nurses, technicians, and other employees of Swedish Hospital in Seattle, Washington, went on strike for the first time in the hospital’s history. Their union, SEIU Healthcare 1199NW, it’s the largest healthcare strike in at least five years.When the workers returned three days later to resume their work, however, many were turned away. Standing in cold, heavy rain, they were told they wouldn’t be let inside. Instead, the...

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Bryce Covert
February 17, 2020
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USAA Grabs Coronavirus Checks From Military Families

USAA Grabs Coronavirus Checks From Military Families

Jake May/The Flint Journal via AP USAA, which primarily serves active-duty military members and veterans, has prevented some customers from accessing coronavirus stimulus payments sent to their bank accounts. UPDATE: USAA has changed its policy and will return the stimulus funds. Read   for more information.USAA, the veteran-serving financial institution, took $3,400 in CARES Act payments from the family of a disabled veteran to offset an existing debt, denying the family emergency funds during a time of personal economic stress. Text messages from USAA customers show that this is not an...

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David Dayen
April 16, 2020
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Turning Worker Anger Into Worker Power

Turning Worker Anger Into Worker Power

Damian Dovarganes/AP Photo Protesters at a McDonald’s drive-through in Los Angeles earlier this monthMillions of workers—grocery clerks, bus drivers, fast-food cooks, delivery workers, and many others—felt newly appreciated when society suddenly deemed them essential. But for many of these essential workers, COVID-19 soon trained a spotlight on the many ways they were being shafted.The coronavirus crisis made them see many things all too clearly. They lacked paid sick days. Their employers often paid little heed to whether they were adequately protected from the pandemic. OSHA was doing...

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Steven Greenhouse
April 29, 2020
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Trump Helps Health Insurers Swell Their Profits

Trump Helps Health Insurers Swell Their Profits

Evan Vucci/AP Photo UnitedHealth Group CEO David Wichmann, far right, takes part in a meeting on the coronavirus with President Trump and other health care company leaders at the White House, March 10, 2020. Few industries have escaped the squeeze of the coronavirus crisis. That’s true of obvious sectors like restaurants and hotels, of places where mandatory shutdowns have led to mass layoffs, as well as of reopened regions where supply now exists but demand still doesn’t. It’s also true of industries where demand remains high, like health care. Hospitals, of course, have been strained to a...

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Alexander Sammon
April 30, 2020
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Those Unrepresentative Guys With Guns

Those Unrepresentative Guys With Guns

Paul Sancya/AP Photo Armed protesters returned to the Michigan State Capitol on Thursday to oppose the governor’s stay-at-home orders. When a passel of far-right nutjobs stomps through the halls of state capitols brandishing loaded assault weapons, well, yes—it’s news, it merits a lot of coverage.At the same time, that coverage shouldn’t leave viewers or readers with the impression that this tribe of Trumpistas, anti-vaxxers, and flat-earthers are giving voice to a silent majority that’s had it with sheltering in place and social distancing and wants nothing so much as to open everything...

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Harold Meyerson
May 14, 2020
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One Part Humor, Two Parts Rage

One Part Humor, Two Parts Rage

W.W. Norton It’s hard to be funny and even harder to parody Donald Trump, who is so prone to self-parody that many Trump jokes fall flat. But in a whopping five columns a week for The Washington Post, Alexandria Petri finds new ways to capture the daily barrage of corrupt and outrageous behavior emerging from the White House. A recent favorite: “.”In a pandemic, humor can reveal the absurdity of policy choices and bad governance in a way that serious writing cannot. Petri takes the words of the administration, of Congress, and of presidential candidates to their logical conclusions, and the...

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Jonathan Guyer
May 15, 2020
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The Dawn of the BlackRock Era

The Dawn of the BlackRock Era

Mark Lennihan/AP Photo BlackRock is the world’s biggest asset manager, handling $7.4 trillion in customer assets. Our government—its administration, its policymakers, and the policy itself—has long been beholden to various financial firms with massive balance sheets and influence, in both good times and bad. But the occurrence of destabilizing economic events, going back at least a century, has often resulted in one particular entity taking the reins. In 1907, for instance, a financial panic led to John Pierpont Morgan , a reflection of his and his bank’s underlying power as almost a...

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Alexander Sammon
May 15, 2020
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Missing Union Activist in Mexico Threatens NAFTA Sign-Off

Missing Union Activist in Mexico Threatens NAFTA Sign-Off

Eduardo Verdugo/ AP Photo Workers take a break at an open-pit mine owned by a Canadian-based mining consortium in San Pedro, Mexico, 2008. Republicans have desperately attempted to drum into the public consciousness that an impeachment inquiry would poison the well for any legislation advancing through Congress. You’d be correct at this point to ask, “What legislation?”But in at least one key area, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been bitten by the “yes, we can [legislate]!” bug, attempting to preempt criticism that her party has short-circuited government. Last week, Pelosi described talks...

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David Dayen
October 13, 2019
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