Friday, November 22

ByKevin Sheekey

Fighting Big Tobacco: Mike Bloomberg Says Trump Administration ‘Lacks Courage’ to Stand Up to Tobacco Industry, Urges Massachusetts Governor to Sign Flavored Tobacco Bill (Boston Globe)

Mike Bloomberg, who has long waged a fight against tobacco, is urging Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to sign a newly passed ban on sales of flavored tobacco and vaping products, calling it a “model for the U.S.”

“With the Trump Admin lacking the courage to stand up to the tobacco industry, it’s critical for cities and states to step up,” Bloomberg wrote Thursday in a tweet in which he also tagged Baker’s official Twitter account.

Global Impact: Indonesia, World’s Second Largest Tobacco Market, May Join Growing Vaping Ban as Illness Hits Asia (Bloomberg)


2020 Watch.


Global Headlines.


Today in Hubris.

RNC Donor Alert: Republican National Committee Spent Nearly $100,000 on Copies of Donald Trump Jr.’s Book to Help on Best Seller Lists (New York Times)

Profiting off of the Presidency: Secret Service Spent Quarter of a Million Dollars at Trump Properties in First Five Months of Term (Washington Post)

No shame: After impeachment hearings concluded on Tuesday, @EricTrump tweeted a pitch for Trump Wine: “It is a perfect day for a nice bottle of this…. @TrumpWinery”


Arts Section.

Would Michael Bloomberg Be the Most Pro-Art President Ever? We Took a Look at His Record (ArtNet News)

Mike Bloomberg’s generosity with arts organizations is legendary. Bloomberg Philanthropies has for years invested many millions of dollars into arts initiatives throughout the country, in cities big and small, including cities in upstate New York (Albany, Troy, Schenectady), Spartanburg, South Carolina; Los Angeles; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Gary, Indiana and more.

Economic Impact of the Arts: Previous mayors had blocked Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s ‘The Gates’ project in Central Park since it had been conceived in 1979. Bloomberg greenlighted the project, and in 2005, it brought some four million tourists to the city in the typically slow month of February, generating an estimated $254 million in economic activity. Bloomberg had personally pushed for the project for nearly a decade, according to the New York Times.

Bloomberg is determined to end up penniless: He says he is “a big believer in giving it all away,” and that “the best financial planning ends with bouncing the check to the undertaker.”

That attitude could make Bloomberg the most pro-art president in recent memory.

Unity Today: Is There Anything We Can All Agree On? Yes: Dolly Parton (New York Times)

At 73, the enigmatic country star is captivating a whole new generation and riding high as the subject of a podcast and the inspiration behind a Netflix series.

Opening Weekend: Mr. Rogers’ Message of Kindness and Empathy Needed Now More than Ever (NBC News)


Best of late night.

On a key witness in the impeachment calling the Ukraine investigations effort by acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney and U.S. Ambassador to the EU Gordon Sondland “a drug deal”:

“Yes, Mulvaney and Sondland were cooking up a drug deal. And it’s all featured on the new drama ‘Breaking Bald.’”
— Stephen Colbert

On a neighborhood in Jacksonville, Florida that is upset because one resident has an ’emotional support rooster’ that wakes everyone up at 3 in the morning:

“Here’s the thing, the resident claims that it’s his ’emotional support rooster.’ The entire community has rallied against that one neighbor. And it’s gotten so bad, that in order to deal with the stress, the rooster has had to get an emotional support dog.”
— James Corden

“Finally, here in New York the MTA purposefully flooded a New York City subway station to test out its anti-flood system. When they saw that, New Yorkers said: ‘Well at least it’s water this time!’”
— Jimmy Fallon