Photo: Ralph Alswang, Creative Commons license 2.0

Looks like Howard Schultz will remain the loneliest billionaire running for president, since former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg has decided not to run for the Democratic nomination. Bloomberg announced his decision in an op-ed for Bloomberg News, which right there is one of those things that certainly calls attention to his being obscenely rich, huh? There's no Elizabeth Warren News Agency, is there? (Yes there is, it is Yr Wonkette.)

Bloomberg said he believed he could beat Donald Trump, but that he was also "clear-eyed about the difficulty of winning the Democratic nomination in such a crowded field." He framed his decision not to run as a chance to get important stuff done before 2021:

Should I devote the next two years to talking about my ideas and record, knowing that I might never win the Democratic nomination? Or should I spend the next two years doubling down on the work that I am already leading and funding, and that I know can produce real and beneficial results for the country, right now?

And so, he says, he's "less interested in talking than doing," And what he'd like to do is get a two-year jump on whatever Democrats may be able to do about climate if they take the Senate and presidency in 2020. Bloomberg has been working with the Sierra Club on an initiative called "Beyond Coal," aimed at replacing coal-burning power plants with cleaner power (mostly natural gas, which still emits CO2, but it's a start). That program has "helped close more than half the nation's plants — 285 out of 530," he says, although if you want to get picky about it, lower natural gas prices did the heavy lifting.

In any case, Bloomberg wants to expand Beyond Coal, closing all coal power plants by 2030, and start a new initiative, "Beyond Carbon," to "begin moving America as quickly as possible away from oil and gas and toward a 100 percent clean energy economy." The New York Times reports details of that plan will be be released soon. Bloomberg's initiative will differ from the Green New Deal by focusing only on transforming energy, while the Green New Deal will also be a jobs program, boosting employment in green tech. But it doesn't sound incompatible either; Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, a sponsor of the Green New Deal, called Bloomberg's Beyond Carbon announcement "a huge infusion of energy into the movement."

The Times also says Bloomberg is likely to

keep intact the political operation he assembled for a presidential race, which includes a number of former top advisers to President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and to deploy it instead on a project to help build Democratic infrastructure for the party's eventual nominee.

Gosh, we can hear the usual jerkwads calling him "the new George Soros" already.

Bloomberg also writes that he'll continue pushing for reform of gun laws, improving public schools and access to college for low-income students, closing the racial disparities in education, and a bunch of other good liberal things, so hooray for him: Instead of being the poster boy for "Do we need another goddamn billionaire in the White House" (pfft, like there's one there now), Bloomberg can instead be working on good democracy stuff, and hooray for him deciding to stay out of the race and do something useful, the end.

[Bloomberg / NYT / Photo: Ralph Alswang, Creative Commons License 2.0]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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