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Trump’s Plan for Putin: Politics Daily

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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.

Olivia Paschal and Madeleine Carlisle


Snapshot

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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