Trump’s Plan for Putin: Politics Daily
The Root of a Conspiracy Theory: There’s a program that’s paid out about $229 million a year from 2013 to 2017 to people who claim they’ve been injured by vaccines. This federal-government initiative has “long percolated at the heart of misinformation and misunderstanding” over the safety of vaccines, writes James Hamblin. He looks at how the program came to be; why the government, not drug companies, is making payouts to alleged victims; and how the program became a flash point for conspiracy theorists.
Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser shows the president his Trump socks in Lake Charles, Louisiana. (Leah Millis / Reuters)
Ideas From The Atlantic
The Supreme Court’s Worst Decision of My Tenure (John Paul Stevens)
“District of Columbia v. Heller, which recognized an individual right to possess a firearm under the Constitution, is unquestionably the most clearly incorrect decision that the Supreme Court announced during my tenure on the bench.” → Read on.
Revisionism Is Winning in American Politics (Megan Garber)
“Amnesia is a powerful force in part because it can be deeply preferable to the alternative: Remembering—recognizing—reckoning—is hard. It is so much easier to look around and give a shrug and conclude that, all things considered, it’s time to move on.” → Read on.
Rashida Tlaib Has Her History Wrong (Benny Morris)
“But the historical reality was quite different from what Tlaib described: The Palestinians indirectly, and in some ways directly, aided in the destruction of European Jewry.” → Read on.
Russia Has Americans’ Weaknesses All Figured Out (Jim Sciutto)
“U.S. military commanders, national-security officials, and intelligence analysts have a definitive answer: Russia is an enemy … But the public has been slow to catch on, polls suggest, and Trump has given Americans little reason to believe that their president recognizes Russia’s recent actions as a threat.” → Read on.
Democrats Need to Place China at the Center of Their Foreign Policy (Thomas Wright)
“There is an incentive to think about new approaches that draw a stark contrast with Trump but also depart from the Obama administration. Democrats need a powerful foreign-policy message that connects with domestic politics. Competing responsibly and effectively with China is the best one they have.” → Read on.
What Else We’re Reading
‣ We Must Restore the Dignity of Work. All Work. (Avi Woolf, The Bulwark)
‣ How Democrats Who Beat Republicans Last Year Plan to Keep Their Seats (Jennifer Steinhauer, The New York Times) (🔒 Paywall)
‣ Restrictive Abortion Bill Weighs on Alabama Republicans (Emily Wax-Thibodeaux, The Washington Post) (🔒 Paywall)
About us: This newsletter is a daily effort from The Atlantic’s politics writers: Elaine Godfrey, Madeleine Carlisle, and Olivia Paschal. It’s edited by Shan Wang.
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