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Today’s read: 5 minutes.
Tangle is a Monday through Thursday newsletter, but I occasionally send out special Friday editions when a big story breaks, if there’s some stuff to catch up on or in order to do a deep dive. Today is a special edition to make sure you know about some of the stories that didn’t get a lot of attention this week.
Screenshot of the Wall Street Journal homepage today.
What you missed.
- CPAC. The Conservative Political Action Conference is taking place in Maryland right now. Once a home for diverse conservative opinions and debate, CPAC has been in the news a lot this year for turning into what amounts to a Trump rally with guests. Traditional Republicans like Mitt Romney were uninvited due to “physical threats” that he’d receive if he attended. A play was performed depicting the “FBI lovebirds” Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, who became villains in the Trump era. Rising stars in the conservative movement like Charlie Kirk gave impassioned talks, insisting the crowd boo every time Romney’s name was mentioned. It’s been a wild show so far. Click.
- Obama. Yesterday, The New York Times reported that Barack Obama plans to support whoever the Democratic nominee is, but is worried uniting the party behind Sanders “could be difficult.” Either way, Obama sounds prepared to jump in and join the fight whenever the nomination is settled and has no plans to step up or speak out until then. Click.
- Coronavirus stories. Two important stories broke about the coronavirus that seemed to get drowned out by a lot of other coronavirus news. First, a whistleblower told The Washington Post that U.S. workers without protective gear assisted coronavirus evacuees, a frightening piece of information that sheds light on some of the challenges U.S. officials face in containing the virus. Then, The New York Times reported that government health officials and scientists will have to coordinate all statements and appearances with the office of Vice President Mike Pence, a move decried by the left as an attempt to muzzle the science and keep important information from the public. Click for the whistleblower. Click for Pence.
- Sanctuary cities. In 2017, the Justice Department said it would withhold federal grant money from local governments that withheld information about undocumented immigrants. Seven states and New York City sued, and on Wednesday the Trump administration won the battle in court. That means the Trump administration can withhold $250 million in funding that goes towards things like improving 911 call systems or reducing violence in prison — unless the cities and states play ball. It’s a big win for Trump’s efforts to force cities and states into stricter enforcement of the immigration laws. Click.
- Land out West. Sometimes the courts rule in your favor, sometimes they don’t. Just 48 hours after the big immigration win above, an Idaho judge ruled that a Trump policy limiting public input on oil and gas leasing decisions was “arbitrary and capricious,” The Washington Post reported. The judge voided nearly 1 million acres of leases in the Western United States. For now, it’s a big win for environmentalists who want to slow down the review process for leases on land to be used for drilling. It will also protect endangered species who are at risk. Energy industry officials were irate, saying the plaintiffs intentionally chose to sue in Idaho because there is very little oil and gas development there and they knew they’d find a friendly judge. Click.
Here are some moments that made me do a double-take in the last 24 hours:
- $1 billion. The amount of money spent on ads in the Democratic primary so far, the most money ever spent this early in an election cycle in U.S. history.
- $538 million. The amount of that $1 billion that has been spent by Mike Bloomberg alone.
- 38%. The percentage of Americans who are apparently avoiding Corona beer, according to a new survey, inexplicably linking the alcoholic beverage to the coronavirus.
- 49% to 41%. Joe Biden’s head-to-head polling advantage against Donald Trump in a general election, according to a new Fox News poll.
- 49% to 42%. Bernie Sanders’ head-to-head polling advantage against Donald Trump in a general election, according to a new Fox News poll.
- 48% to 40%. Mike Bloomberg’s head-to-head polling advantage against Donald Trump in a general election, according to a new Fox News poll.
- 46% to 43%. Elizabeth Warren’s head-to-head polling advantage against Donald Trump in a general election, according to a new Fox News poll.
Have a great weekend.
Tangle will be back on Monday. In the meantime, you can enjoy this awesome story about how Luxembourg’s public transportation system will be entirely free starting next week: Click.