Monday, December 31

ByKevin Sheekey

Mike Bloomberg on NBC’s Meet the Press: ‘This World Is In Trouble’ on Climate. Any 2020 Candidate ‘Better Darn Well Have a Plan’ on Climate Change (NBC News)
Voters are growing tired of the “same platitudes” on climate change, Mike Bloomberg said in an exclusive interview on Sunday’s Meet the Press.

“Any candidate for federal office better darn well have a plan to deal with the problem that the Trump science advisers say could basically end this world… The truth of the matter is this country and this world is in trouble,” he said.

“I don’t know if I will run or not, but I will be out there demanding that anyone that’s running has a plan. I will want to hear the plan, and I want everybody to look at it and say whether or not it’s doable.”

Bloomberg has made climate change a central piece of his post-mayoral political portfolio, along with gun safety. Through various philanthropic endeavors, he’s donated hundreds of millions of dollars towards projects including replacing coal power plants and investing in job retraining in areas that are reliant on the coal industry.

Watch the full interview here, read the transcript here, and watch the full episode which was dedicated to climate change here.

Mike Bloomberg Slams Trump Over Climate Change: ‘He Has No Right to his Own Facts’ (The Guardian)

‘President Bloomberg’ Could Actually Happen (New York Post)
Bloomberg is a singular presence: He is worth a breathtaking $51 billion going into the latest stock-market gyrations, and when it comes to spending on ­behalf of his perceived best interests, Scrooge he isn’t.

He dropped an estimated $110 million dollars trying to elect a Democratic Congress last month which couldn’t help but soften the intra-party ground for a Bloomberg presidential run. If he spends a proportional amount to what he spent on his mayoral campaign, that could amount to $4 billion, give or take, which would dwarf the estimated $2.9 billion spent on the entire 2016 campaign. And it isn’t likely to stop there. Bloomberg just laid $1.8 billion on his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University, to subsidize ­tuition-assistance programs.

In an American presidential race, $4 billion or $5 billion would be the functional equivalent of a multi-warhead intercontinental ballistic missile, if Bloomberg decides to deploy it. And it seems he already has.

Mike Bloomberg Prepared to Spend at Least $100 Million on 2020 Campaign for President If He Decides to Run (CNBC)
If Bloomberg contributes that much to his own campaign, he will have one of the largest 2020 war chests and a stark advantage over the other Democratic presidential candidates.

Today in Climate News:
-New Trump Administration Plan Will Free Coal Plants to Release More Mercury Into the Air (New York Times)
-Nancy Pelosi Announces New House Committee Aimed at Climate Crisis (Axios)

The Year in Climate Progress – Good News For People Who Need Good News:
-U.S. Kept Moving Beyond Coal in 2018 (Sierra Club’s Mary Anne Hitt)
U.S. coal consumption is at the lowest level in four decades, coal plant closings doubled in Trump’s second year in office, and 2018 is on track to be a record year for coal retirements. Meanwhile, clean energy continues to skyrocket, as demonstrated by Xcel Energy, which became the first major US utility to commit to going 100% carbon-free by 2050 (and 80% carbon free by 2030).

-Michael Bloomberg Takes on the Coal Industry (The New Yorker)
-Bloomberg Flies U.S. Flag for Climate Change Action as Unofficial Ambassador After Trump Snubbed Paris Accord (Financial Times)

Economy Today: U.S. Consumer Confidence Tumbles in December (Associated Press)

Government Shutdowns Today: U.S. Government Letter Suggesting Furloughed Workers Do Chores to Cover Rent Was Posted by Accident (Washington Post)

Women’s Voices: Bloomberg Reporter Increases Women Quoted in Stories to 50 percent (Talking Biz News)

The Year of Gun Safety: 2018 Brought A ‘Tectonic Shift’ In The Gun Control Movement (NPR)
More than half the states passed dozens of gun control measures in 2018, including what are known as “red flag” laws. Another benchmark: In this election cycle, gun control groups outspent gun rights groups for the first time.

Travel Section: Longer Hauls, Nicer Planes, And Other Ways Travel Changed in 2018 (Bloomberg)

New Year’s Eve Spotlight: Snoop Dogg, Ninja – Bloomberg’s Karen Toulon – and a Free Press (New York Times)
Kelly Clarkson. Snoop Dogg. Dua Lipa. And Lester Holt? Television viewers on New Year’s Eve tune in for performances by the latest hitmakers and nostalgia acts. This time around, 11 journalists — ranging from familiar faces like Martha Raddatz of ABC to behind-the-scenes editors like Karen Toulon of Bloomberg News — will share the Times Square limelight, part of an effort by organizers to recognize the erosion of press freedoms at home and abroad.

Best of late night.

Jimmy Kimmel gave a detailed critique of the Amazon gift bag department’s choice of wrapping paper:

“Whoever runs the gift-bag department at Amazon, you’re doing a terrible job, O.K.? It’s like a combination of cardboard, velvet, wallpaper and mosquito netting. Amazon wraps gifts just like your dad did the first Christmas after the divorce.”
— Jimmy Kimmel

“Amazon should not be wrapping presents in the same packaging El Chapo used to send the heads of his enemies to the local police.”
— Jimmy Kimmel

On the holiday season:

“You guys, it’s the holiday season and everyone is in the giving spirit. In fact, Facebook just gave away all of your private information. Isn’t that nice?”
— Jimmy Fallon

For more Best of Late Night from the New York Times, click here.

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