Your Wonky Week – Jan 9, 2020

This week in wonky news!


We’re complete policy wonks, and we own that.

We talk about politics and polls and studies and data all the time. And we have a hunch that you’re keen on knowing what’s going on “in the weeds.” So here are some things we think are interesting right now (in a blissfully SHORTnewsletter). Something to read, impeachment numbers for the week, and our new feature: What’s Up on Fox News.


Something Interesting to Read:

What’s Bloomberg Up To?

Michael Bloomberg is running for president. But is that really his first goal? A recent article in the New York Times raises really interesting questions.

Why do we say that? Well, because he’s spent $128 million in t.v. ads and $18 million on Google and Facebook. Most of them attacking Trump. He spent more on Google and YouTube in one month than Trump did in all of 2019. And Trump’s been spending a lot.

Attacking Trump might make sense in a general election, but not as much in a primary. So, why would he be running those ads?

Well, he’d no doubt tell you that it’s because he fancies himself the ultimate nominee, so he wants to get a head start on his competition and get ads out now.

But is that his primary reason?

Or is he more interested in running anti-Trump ads for the discounted ratethat a political candidate receives? 

Per federal law, media must give a candidate their lowest media rate. That means that because Bloomberg is a presidential candidate, he gets a cut rate in every single media market he buys in. 

So by running for President, Bloomberg gets a better media buy deal for anti-Trump ads than if he had created a federal PAC for the same purpose.

We don’t know if that’s his intention. But if it is, it’s pretty clever indeed.

He’s got the former Chief Marketing Officer for Facebook advising him, he’s already spending more online than the Trump campaign, and he’s estimated to spend $400 million before Super Tuesday in March.

He’s running anti-Trump ads in Wisconsin, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Texas and Arizona – the subjects of which are exactly what you might expect to see from any Democratic organization (chaos, lack of focus on infrastructure, healthcare, corruption, etc.).

Maybe now we know why Bloomberg News’s reporters have been banned from Trump rallies and news events.

Read more here: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/29/us/politics/michael-bloomberg-trump-advertising.html


Impeachment Numbers: Week of January 9, 2020: 

(Numbers taken from the aggregate polling at FiveThirtyEight.)

December 21:
Pro-impeachment: 47.6%
Anti-impeachment: 46%

Now:
Pro-impeachment: 50.2%
Anti-impeachment: 46.2%

That jump from 47.6% to 50.2% happened on January 2-3 and has remained since. Soleimani was assassinated on January 2, and might explain that jump.


What’s Up on Fox News?: 

Friends don’t let friends (or their parents) watch Fox News, so we’re taking one for the team and watching for you.

This week was particularly interesting (and frightening?), due to Fox’s vastly different take on the Soleimani strike.

Generally speaking, Fox News crowed about Trump’s “negotiation” skills, even while the rest of America and the world readied ourselves for WWIII. On Hannity, Senator Lindsey Graham even compared Trump’s slurred and sniff-filled speech Wednesday to Ronald Regan’s “Tear down this wall, Mr. Gorbachev” speech, claiming it will be remembered “long after [Trump’s] second term.”

There’s a clear disconnect between the Fox News set and … well … everyone else in the world regarding the implications of Soleimani’s death and the meaning of martyrdom in Iran.

Per K.T. McFarland on FoxNews.com:
Three weeks from now, the Iranian people will have moved on from Soleimani’s death and into the harsh realities of their day to day lives. … Iran’s leaders will probably face a renewal of nationwide demonstrations against their regime. They are unlikely to recover from the leadership void created by Soleimani’s death.”

(Reality check: Iran has already replaced Soleimani with a new General of the Quds Force, and for an administration so focused on “faith,” the Trump administration doesn’t seem to comprehend the significance of martyrdom in Shiite doctrine.)

As you may have seen, Republican Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee openly criticized the security briefing they were given on the justification for the strike on Soleimani (which Lee said was the worst he’s ever seen). Right in the middle of their remarks, Fox News promptly cut away to the anchor,who explained that Paul and Lee were the exception to the party line, and that all other Republicans are in “lock step.” (Part of what they cut was Lee saying he’s now voting for the War Powers Resolution introduced by Sen. Tim Kaine.)

Hannity displayed that “lock step” view during a Wednesday night interview with Senator Graham, when they simultaneously boasted about the significance of the killing – and downplayed the need to inform and consult Congress (which has the exclusive power to declare war).

Right.

They also ensured the Hannity-watching crowd would be good and scared, with Graham telling the audience that “The ayatollah has a plan and you’re not in it,” and Hannity making multiple references to the Holocaust, nuclear war, and radical Islamic Nazi extremists. You know, just another Wednesday. 

But we should all be relieved by Hannity’s assurances that “By the way, this will not be a ground war.” (Is Hannity truly a shadow president?)

The big, overarching point? That Dear Leader Trump is all-knowing and all-powerful and killing Soleimani was a great idea for which he will be richly rewarded. As McFarland penned: “Trump is neither weak, nor confused, nor preoccupied, nor is he likely to be leaving the White House anytime soon.”

Oh, really?

Well, not if we have anything to do with it.

If nothing else, this week’s events has shown that we absolutely cannot overstate the danger that Trump poses every single day he’s in office. 

Four more years of being on the bring of WWIII because he’s having a bad hair day is just … terrifying.  

So while Democrats are fighting a primary right now, we are focused like a laser on the end goal: making sure that Trump’s rein of terror ends this year.

That’s why our Dump Trump project is so important. (www.itstarts.today/dumptrump) It’s the only 2020 nominee fund that sends your support immediately to whichever candidate wins enough delegates to secure the nomination – right when it happens.

Others wait until the nominee has been officially named at the convention, which is usually weeks later. That means for a few weeks our nominee is a sitting duck waiting for party resources to kick in, while the GOP takes free shots at them with their over $300 million dollar slush fund. 

If you think that sounds crazy, you’re in good company.

We know you want to make sure our 2020 Democratic nominee has something to fight back with when they need it the most. Especially now – the stakes are just too high.

So join us and thousands of other people like you, and be a Democratic nominee defender. Join today at www.itstarts.today/dumptrump.

And stay wonky!