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Bloomberg Inner Circle

The buzz around New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's potential independent presidential candidacy continues to grow. Talk of a Bloomberg bid was rife on the Sunday talk shows, kicking off another week of speculation about his future plans.

As always at The Fix, we aim to bring you inside the political game -- pulling back the curtain so you can see the machinery behind the public pronouncements. And what better way to do that than to detail the men and women Bloomberg depends on most.

Like most Inner Circles, Bloomberg's is comprised of a mixture of longtime loyalists and political professionals. Unlike most Inner Circles, the Bloomberg team relies heavily on lifelong Democrats -- despite the fact that Bloomberg was elected twice as the Republican mayor of the Big Apple.

Without further ado, the Bloomberg Inner Circle:

* Patti Harris: Harris is a first among equals in Bloomberg's world, a status reflected in her title: first deputy mayor. She has long been at Bloomberg's side, playing a major role in the communications and charitable departments of his media empire. Like many of those close to Bloomberg, Harris has Democratic ties -- she once worked for former New York City Mayor Ed Koch.

* Kevin Sheekey: Sheekey, who first came into contact with Bloomberg a decade ago as a lobbyist for his media company, is widely recognized as the chief political strategist in the Inner Circle. After managing Bloomberg's 2005 re-election race, Sheekey was made deputy mayor for governmental affairs in 2006.

* Ed Skyler: Sklyer ran Bloomberg's press shop during the first term, and was elevated to deputy mayor for administration in 2006.

* Bill Knapp: Knapp, a partner in a leading Democratic media consulting firm, was the lead ad maker for Bloomberg in each of his mayoral races. He's also done work for the past two Democratic presidential nominees: He was part of the general election team for Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) in 2004 and was involved in the primary and general election campaign for Al Gore in 2000.

* Doug Schoen: Schoen is a longtime Democratic pollster and was, until recently, a partner with Mark Penn -- the pollster of choice for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.). Schoen was the lead number cruncher in Bloomberg's 2001 mayoral victory.

One interesting sidenote: Two men in Bloomberg's inner orbit -- if not Inner Circle -- have close ties to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). Josh Isay, a former chief of staff to Schumer, was involved in crafting the ads for Bloomberg's mayoral campaigns, and Stu Loeser, a former press aide to Schumer, is now Bloomberg's official spokesman. But wait, there's more. Schumer's wife, Iris Weinshall, served as Commissioner of Transportation in the Bloomberg Administration for most of the past seven years.

By Chris Cillizza  |  June 24, 2007; 9:14 AM ET
Categories:  Inner Circle  
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Comments

Murdoch and his china ties, from ny times. For those who care about the destruction of the media:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/26/world/asia/26murdoch.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

Posted by: rufus1133 | June 26, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Bloomberg is conservative on fiscal issues and liberal on social issues. He will likely not take foreign policy as a conservative vs. liberal position. He will likely view it from a pracmist's approach, as in "this is where we are, and this is where we need to be." Anyone who sincerely researches where we are in the Iraq war, the benefits of getting out vs. the consequences of withdrawl before the Iraqi gov't. is ready will likely look for a different solution than getting out or staying the course rather than saying "hey, I'm wrong." direction. I think Bloomberg will try different solution's to help make things better. It will likely be a mix of cracking down on insurgents, building up our own military spending, sponsoring more training of Iraqi forces, taking steps to help the Iraqi gov't. work through it's problems more forcefully, closing down Guantanamo Bay, sticking to the Geneva code, looking for more help with the EU and UN (which, I find it hard to believe we will get) and putting more money into stabilizing Iraq's infrastructure. I suspect Bloomberg will never reveal whether we should have went to Iraq. He will simply say were in Iraq, and we have to succeed now whether we should be there or not.

Posted by: reason | June 25, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse

I've probably seen a dozen articles on Bloomberg running for president and a dozen TV segments and I still haven't heard where he's been on the Iraq War. I know he campaigned for Lieberman last year so I'm thinking he's pro Iraq War.

Posted by: Karen | June 25, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

"Many big companies have sought to break into the China market over the past two decades, but few of them have been as ardent and unrelenting as Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. Murdoch has flattered Communist Party leaders and done business with their children," reports the NYT's Joseph Kahn.

Newsroom sources tell DRUDGE, the paper will detail: "His FOX NEWS network helped China's leading state broadcaster develop a news web site. He joined hands with the Communist Youth League, a power base in the ruling party, in a risky television venture, his China managers and advisers say. Murdoch's third wife, Wendi, is a mainland Chinese native who once worked for his Hong Kong-based satellite broadcaster Star TV. Her role managing investments and honing elite connections in China has underscored uncertainties about how family-controlled NEWS CORP. will be run after Murdoch, 76, retires or dies."


That's from drudge. That's you boy GOP/Razor. UTT OHHH

Posted by: rufus1133 | June 25, 2007 7:30 PM | Report abuse

"** EXCLUSIVE ** Late Monday, NEW YORK TIMES Executive Editor Bill Keller upped the ante and set a Tuesday Page One placement for a controversial examination of Rupert Murdoch's ties to Communist China, newsroom sources tell the DRUDGE REPORT... MORE...
"

The beginning of the end

Posted by: rufus | June 25, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin: Bloomburg is very well informed on most issues of the day. Business and media are his strong points, and I don't have a clue as to who his enemies are. I have heard he is pretty close to Sen. Shumer, but have no confirmation.

Posted by: lylepink | June 25, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Mark in Austin, Cabalist isn't a play on words, I mean someone who is a member of a cabal, i.e., a clique or scheming group of people.

Posted by: Truth Hunter | June 25, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

trying to be the anti zouk or anti-o'reilly will only help them. Then O'Reilly can point and say" See the liberal media."

Rather than doing that, we need to point them out. We need to ask them why they are doing this to our country. Doing the previous will only keep them around. Without that they are done. O'REilly/zouk needs that.

Posted by: rufus1133 | June 25, 2007 2:52 PM | Report abuse

"Where has zouk gone? without someone to insult, I have nothing to say."

Then you are an anti-zouk. We don't need that. We don't need the anti-O'Reilly to balance him out. WE NEED HIM OfF THE AIR. We don't need a counter to zouk (sabotor of conversation). We need then off the air. Of in zouks case. Off the blog. I enjoy it, without the trolls. Now we can get to the bottom of real issues. When CC posts ONE, and stops with the bloomberg nonsense, that is

Posted by: rufus1133 | June 25, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please bookmark:

www.wsws.org
www.takingaimradio.info
otherside123.blogspot.com
www.onlinejournal.com
www.globalresearch.ca

Bush Directive for a "Catastrophic Emergency" in America: Building a Justification for Waging War on Iran?

by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, June 24, 2007

"Another [9/11 type terrorist] attack could create both a justification and an opportunity that is lacking today to retaliate against some known targets" (Statement by Pentagon official, leaked to the Washington Post, 23 April 2006)


The US media consensus is that "the United States faces its greatest threat of a terrorist assault since the September 11 attacks" (USA Today, 12 February 2006) The American Homeland is threatened by " Islamic terrorists", allegedly supported by Tehran and Damascus.

America is under attack" by an illusive "outside enemy".

Concepts are turned upside down. War becomes Peace. "Offense" becomes a legitimate means of "self-defense". In the words of President Bush:

"Against this kind of enemy, there is only one effective response: We must go on the offense, stay on the offense, and take the fight to them." (President George W. Bush, CENTCOM Coalition Conference, May 1, 2007)

The intent is to seek a pretext to wage a preemptive war.

A "terrorist attack on America" could be used to justify, in the eyes of an increasingly credulous public opinion, on "humanitarian grounds", the launching of a major theater war directed against Iran and Syria.

Allegedly supported by Iran, the terrorists are said to possess nuclear capabilities. They are supposedly planning to explode "radiological dispersion devices" (RDD) or "dirty bombs" in densely populated urban areas in the US. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell had already forewarned in 2003 that, "It would be easy for terrorists to cook up radioactive 'dirty' bombs to explode inside the U.S. ... How likely it is, I can't say..." (10 February 2003).

The sheer absurdity that Al Qaeda might have advanced capabilities to wage a nuclear attack on America is, nonetheless, pervasive in US media reports. Moreover, numerous drills and exercises, simulating a terrorist attack using nuclear devices, have been conducted in recent years, creating the illusion that "the threat is real":

"What we do know is that our enemies want to inflict massive casualties and that terrorists have the expertise to invent a wide range of attacks, including those involving the use of chemical, biological, radiological and even nuclear weapons. ... [E]xploding a small nuclear weapon in a major city could do incalculable harm to hundreds of thousands of people, as well as to businesses and the economy,...(US Congress, House Financial Services Committee, June 21, 2007).

History

Consistently since 911, the Bush administration has reminded Americans of the danger of a "Second 9/11":

"The near-term attacks ... will either rival or exceed the 9/11 attacks... And it's pretty clear that the nation's capital and New York city would be on any list..." (Former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge, December 2003)

"You ask, 'Is it serious?' Yes, you bet your life. People don't do that unless it's a serious situation." (Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, December 2003)

"... Credible reporting indicates that Al Qaeda is moving forward with its plans to carry out a large-scale attack in the United States in an effort to disrupt our democratic process... (Former DHS Secretary Tom Ridge, 8 July 2004)

"The enemy that struck on 9/11 is weakened and fractured yet it is still lethal and planning to hit us again." (Vice President Dick Cheney, 7 January 2006)

"We are still a nation at risk. Part of our strategy, of course, is to stay on the offense against terrorists who would do us harm. In other words, it is important to defeat them overseas so we never have to face them here. Nevertheless, we recognize that we've got to be fully prepared here at the homeland." (President George W. Bush February 8, 2006)

"Our main enemy is al Qaeda and its affiliates. Their allies choose their victims indiscriminately. They murder the innocent to advance a focused and clear ideology. They seek to establish a radical Islamic caliphate, so they can impose a brutal new order on unwilling people, much as Nazis and communists sought to do in the last century. This enemy will accept no compromise with the civilized world.... (President George W. Bush, CENTCOM Coalition Conference, May 1, 2007)

We're fighting a war on terror because the enemy attacked us first, and hit us hard. ... Al Qaeda's leadership has said they have the right to "kill four million Americans,... For nearly six years now, the United States has been able to defeat their attempts to attack us here at home. Nobody can guarantee that we won't be hit again. ... (Vice President Dick Cheney, United States Military Academy Commencement, West Point, New York, May 26, 2007)

In the immediate wake of the invasion of Iraq (April 2003), various national security procedures were put in place which focused on the eventuality of a "Second 911". These initiatives in the area of Homeland Security outlined the precise circumstances under which martial law could be declared in the case of a second major terrorist attack on America.

Under martial law, the military would take over several functions of civilian government including justice and law enforcement.

A terrorist attack on American soil of the size and nature of September 11, would lead ---according to former CENTCOM Commander, General Tommy Franks-- to the downfall of democracy in America. In an interview in December 2003, which was barely mentioned in the US media, General Franks outlined a scenario, which would result in the suspension of the Constitution and the installation of military rule in America:

"[A] terrorist, massive, casualty-producing event [will occur] somewhere in the Western world - it may be in the United States of America - that causes our population to question our own Constitution and to begin to militarize our country in order to avoid a repeat of another mass, casualty-producing event." (General Tommy Franks Interview, Cigar Aficionado, December 2003)

Franks was obliquely alluding to a "Second 9/11" terrorist attack, which could be used to galvanize US public opinion in support of a military government and police state.

The "terrorist massive casualty-producing event" was presented by General Franks as a crucial political turning point. The resulting crisis and social turmoil resulting from the civilian casualties, are intended to facilitate a major shift in US political, social and institutional structures, leading to the suspension of constitutional government.

It is important to understand that General Franks was not giving a personal opinion on the role of a "massive casuality producing event" in National Security doctirne. His statement very much reflects the dominant viewpoint both in the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security both on the concept of massive casualty producing event as well as how events might unfold in the case of a "Catastrophic Emergency".

The statement comes from a man who has been actively involved in military and intelligence planning at the highest levels. In other words, the "militarisation of our country" is an ongoing operational assumption. It is part of the broader "Washington consensus". It identifies the Bush administration's "roadmap" of war and Homeland defense.

The "Global War on Terrorism" which constitutes the cornerstone of Bush's National Security doctrine, provides the required justification for repealing the Rule of Law, ultimately with a view to "preserving civil liberties."

US Northern Command

The Administration's "Catastrophic Emergency" procedures are intimately related to military planning at the level of the Pentagon. In this regard, the formation of US Northern Command (NORTHCOM) in April 2002 (based at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado) constitutes an important landmark in the evolving relationship between the Military and Homeland Security.

US Northern Command was created as a new command structure with the explicit mandate to defend the Homeland against foreign terrorists.

This mandate is defined in the Pentagon's "Joint Doctrine for Homeland Security (JP-26)". Even in the case where the "outside enemy" is fabricated (and this is known at the highest levels of the military-intelligence apparatus), a military coup d'Etat characterized by detailed command military/ security provisions, would become operational almost immediately.

NORTHCOM's "Command Mission" encompasses a number of "non-military functions" including "crisis management" and "domestic civil support". Under Northcom jurisdiction, the latter imply a process of "military support to federal, state and local authorities in the event of a terror attack."

NORTHCOM has a mandate to "defend the homeland" against an illusive "outside enemy" (Al Qaeda), which is said to be threatening the security of America. According to Frank Morales, "the scenario of a military take-over of America is unfolding." And Northern Command is the core military entity in this takeover and militarization of civilian institutions.

Dick Cheney's "Contingency Plan"

For the rest please go to:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=6134

Posted by: che | June 25, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Where has zouk gone? without someone to insult, I have nothing to say.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 25, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I think that Blarg, Truth Hunter, and I were all among the posters who have been somewhat intrigued by Bloomberg, and we have all seen a "caution" flag in CC's post.

The Rollins op-ed cited by TH suggests that Bloomberg could focus the campaign on real issues even better than Perot did in 1992 [because Bloomberg is NOT Ross Perot]. He also suggests that Bloomberg could win, and David Broder said the same on Sunday.

So let us say that Bloomberg deserves wary watchfulness, but not a bandwagon.

TH - your new word, "calbalist", did it suggest both "cabal" and "Kabbalaist"?

Posted by: Mark in Austin | June 25, 2007 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine a NASCAR dad anywhere getting excited for Michael Bloomberg. Or a soccer mom. Or any one outside of NYC-LA-CHI .

He's a media-constructed soap opera, not a candidate -- stop treating him like he's real, CC.

Posted by: Independent Woman | June 25, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

CC - What your post highlights is that Bloomberg appoints his cronies to positions of trust.... a la The Decider.

That doesn't pass much of a smell test. I thought someone wrote that he surrounded himself with the best, now we find out he just another calbalist?

Ed Rollins wrote an insightful piece about Bloomberg's chances yesterday in WaPo. I have a link to this article on my blog:

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | June 25, 2007 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone know why Bloomberg didn't run for senator or governor in 2006? Just because he'd lose to a popular Democratic candidate? I find that suspicious, just like I find Giuliani's attempted jump from mayor to president suspicious.

Posted by: Blarg | June 25, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

"Trent Lott talked to Chris Wallace about his statements against right wing propaganda talk radio (it's ruining America) and their reaction to him as the immigration debate in the GOP is fracturing the Republican party. No matter what he may think, the RWNM will never...under any circumstances allow for an honest debate about immigration and will try to kill off anything that doesn't include mass deportations and prison cells. Sen. Feinstein surprisingly brought up the fairness doctrine...

Download (160) | Play (116) Download (102) | Play (65)

Feinstein: Do I believe their should be an opportunity to on talk radio to present that point of view? Yes I do. Particularly about the critical issues of the day.

Wallace: So would you revive the fairness doctrine?

Feinstein: Well, I'm looking at it as a matter of fact, Chris. Because I think there ought to be an opportunity to present the other side and unfortunately talk radio is overwhelmingly one way. I do believe in fairness. I remember when their was a fairness doctrine and I think there was much serious, correct reporting to people...

Wallace: Let, let me move on...

Hannity and his legion of Cabin boys will sure be fired up over this one...Ed Schultz voiced opposition to the notion that talk radio is only a product of the free market...

Filed Under: Fox News Sunday/Chris Wallace"

Posted by: crooksandliars.com | June 25, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

"Trent Lott talked to Chris Wallace about his statements against right wing propaganda talk radio (it's ruining America) and their reaction to him as the immigration debate in the GOP is fracturing the Republican party. No matter what he may think, the RWNM will never...under any circumstances allow for an honest debate about immigration and will try to kill off anything that doesn't include mass deportations and prison cells. Sen. Feinstein surprisingly brought up the fairness doctrine...

Download (160) | Play (116) Download (102) | Play (65)

Feinstein: Do I believe their should be an opportunity to on talk radio to present that point of view? Yes I do. Particularly about the critical issues of the day.

Wallace: So would you revive the fairness doctrine?

Feinstein: Well, I'm looking at it as a matter of fact, Chris. Because I think there ought to be an opportunity to present the other side and unfortunately talk radio is overwhelmingly one way. I do believe in fairness. I remember when their was a fairness doctrine and I think there was much serious, correct reporting to people...

Wallace: Let, let me move on...

Hannity and his legion of Cabin boys will sure be fired up over this one...Ed Schultz voiced opposition to the notion that talk radio is only a product of the free market...

Filed Under: Fox News Sunday/Chris Wallace"

Posted by: crooksandliars.com | June 25, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

The Micheal Bloomberg candidacy is a figment of the media's great imagination. It isn't real. 3rd party candidates- no matter how much money - and Ross Perot had plenty, just won't win. The statewide organizations of the two major parties really aren't beatable.

I happen to like Mike Bloomberg. But as he has said- a short jewish guy from New York- just won't get elected. In addition Mike Bloomberg has zero foreign policy experience, is generally thought to be a lousy speaker- there is no charisma there except what the press is trying to create- and as someone recently said- we are not electing a City Manager.

To win he would have to take half of the Democratic Base and half of the Republican base. It just won't happen in states like Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and the other big states with strong parties. There is too much at stake for them in the system to allow it to happen.

But again it gives the press something to write about when they just don't want to bother discussing the real issues in the campaign. Indepth studies on the candidates positions on health care-education- the war in Iraq- immigration. Its easier to write about Bloomberg and talk about something any gossip could do. Most of the press now sounds like they could be writing for People magazine or the Inquirer. And the talking heads on TV are worse.

But I give credit to Michael Bloomberg. Since he let his aides say he won't decide until next March- after the Republican and Democratic candidates have been in essence chosen, he keeps his name in the news for the next seven to eight months. Great for him bad for the public who will have to continue to listen to the blather of the columnists and talking heads who like to pretend they have something worthwhile to say while avoiding writing or talking about what really matters to the electorate.

Posted by: peter dc | June 25, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

From this we learn that Mayor Bloomberg has only D advisors - not a promising start for a national candidate who wants to be understood as post-partisan.

I suggest that it is necessary for mayors, generally, to put pragmatism above ideology, so that many mayors, regardless of their own personal leanings, will actually govern in a non-ideological way. That is one of the unpredictable elements when a big city mayor becomes a statewide or national candidate. Ideology, previously seconded to pragmatism, surfaces.

Even Kucinich, who was a popular mayor, could have been seen as pragmatic in that role. He may have always been an ideologue, but it shows, now.

I propose that a certain wariness of Bloomberg and Giuliani is warranted on this basis.


Posted by: Mark in Austin | June 25, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

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