Today's Liberal News

Elaine Godfrey

Ladies and Gentlemen, the State of Things

Updated on Friday, May 17 at 3:27 pm
Three high-profile women in Congress got into it last night during a meeting of the House Oversight Committee, in what some outlets have described as a “heated exchange.” But that label feels too dignified. Instead, the whole scene played out like a Saturday Night Live sketch: a cringeworthy five-minute commentary on the miserable state of American politics.
Unless you are perpetually online, you may have missed the drama.

A Courtroom Parade of Trump’s Allies

This is an edition of The Atlantic Daily, a newsletter that guides you through the biggest stories of the day, helps you discover new ideas, and recommends the best in culture. Sign up for it here.
It’s common, in criminal court, for a defendant’s friends and family to join them in the courtroom as a show of love and support. That’s not exactly what’s happening in Manhattan this week. More, after these three stories from The Atlantic:
Michael Schuman: China has gotten the trade war it deserves.

The Cicadas Are Here

This is an edition of The Atlantic Daily, a newsletter that guides you through the biggest stories of the day, helps you discover new ideas, and recommends the best in culture. Sign up for it here.
For the first time in 221 years, two different groups of cicadas are emerging simultaneously and screaming from the treetops. More after these three stories from The Atlantic:
This is the next smartphone evolution.
Russell Berman: Attack a Democrat charged with corruption? Republicans wouldn’t dare.

The Book You’re Reading Might Be Wrong

This is an edition of The Atlantic Daily, a newsletter that guides you through the biggest stories of the day, helps you discover new ideas, and recommends the best in culture. Sign up for it here.
If Kristi Noem never actually met the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, then how did that anecdote make it into her memoir? The answer, after these three stories from The Atlantic:
It’s not a rap beef. It’s a cultural reckoning.
Trump flaunts his corruption.

The Woman Keeping the ‘Special Relationship’ Special

The guardian of the special relationship—the historical but possibly mythical bond between the United States and the United Kingdom—is a short woman with discerning blue eyes and a penchant for glittering headbands.
The role of an ambassador has always been strange. They’re expected to be fun—to flit around comfortably at galas and cocktail parties, charming guests and making inroads with important people while waiters weave around with platters of deviled eggs.

Trump’s VP Search Is Different This Time

This is an edition of The Atlantic Daily, a newsletter that guides you through the biggest stories of the day, helps you discover new ideas, and recommends the best in culture. Sign up for it here.
By killing her dog, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem may have also killed her chances of becoming Donald Trump’s vice president.

Florida Is Preparing for Midnight

This is an edition of The Atlantic Daily, a newsletter that guides you through the biggest stories of the day, helps you discover new ideas, and recommends the best in culture. Sign up for it here.
A new abortion ban in Florida has providers scrambling—and pregnant women reassessing their options. But the law has implications well beyond the Sunshine State. More after these four new stories from The Atlantic:
Trump’s contempt knows no bounds.

The Real Youth-Vote Shift to Watch

This is an edition of The Atlantic Daily, a newsletter that guides you through the biggest stories of the day, helps you discover new ideas, and recommends the best in culture. Sign up for it here.
Are young people turning away from the Democratic Party in 2024? Will turnout be as high as it was last time around? What about the gender gap? Today I’ll do my best to address some pressing questions about how young folks will behave in November.

The Unrelenting Shame of the Dentist

This is an edition of The Atlantic Daily, a newsletter that guides you through the biggest stories of the day, helps you discover new ideas, and recommends the best in culture. Sign up for it here.
My dentist is my enemy. But first, here are three new stories from The Atlantic:
The truth about organic milk
Britain is leaving the U.S. gender-medicine debate behind.
Trump has transformed the GOP all the way down.

Go Ahead, Get a Pet Rat

This is an edition of The Atlantic Daily, a newsletter that guides you through the biggest stories of the day, helps you discover new ideas, and recommends the best in culture. Sign up for it here.
Strap in, folks. Today, we’re talking about rats: why you should love them, and why you should consider obtaining one for yourself. But first, here are three new stories from The Atlantic.

The Bird That Took a Human Mate

The early 2000s were an excellent time for romance. J. Lo married Marc Anthony. Vanessa Carlton vowed to walk a thousand miles for love. Ryan Gosling kissed Rachel McAdams in the pouring rain. And in Front Royal, Virginia, Chris Crowe flapped his arms to woo Walnut, a five-foot-tall white-naped crane.
Walnut was a graceful, strong-willed bird, if a tad antisocial.

‘The Most Entertaining Dead-Cat Bounce in History’

Not very long ago, the harshest thing Nikki Haley would say about Donald Trump was that “chaos follows him”—a sort of benign jab that creatively avoids causation and suggests mere correlation, like noting that scorched trees tend to appear after a forest fire.
For most of the Republican-primary campaign to date, Haley adopted a carefully modulated approach toward the former president, and reserved most of her barbs for her other primary rivals.

Taylor Swift and the Era of the Girl

This is an edition of The Atlantic Daily, a newsletter that guides you through the biggest stories of the day, helps you discover new ideas, and recommends the best in culture. Sign up for it here.’Tis the season of Taylor Swift. Maybe you’re sick of her, or maybe you’re obsessed. Either way, you are likely finding yourself in the middle of a Girl Culture moment.

Calls for a Cease-Fire—But Then What?

The protest began with a prayer. Several thousand Muslims knelt in rows before the Capitol building yesterday afternoon, their knees resting on the woven rugs they’d brought from home. Women here and men over there, with onlookers to the side. Seen from the Speaker’s Balcony, this ranked congregation would have looked like colorful stripes spanning the grassy width of the National Mall.

A Quieter, Gentler Music Festival

This is an edition of The Atlantic Daily, a newsletter that guides you through the biggest stories of the day, helps you discover new ideas, and recommends the best in culture. Sign up for it here.I was skeptical of music festivals. Then I went to Newport.

Are We There Yet?

This is an edition of The Atlantic Daily, a newsletter that guides you through the biggest stories of the day, helps you discover new ideas, and recommends the best in culture. Sign up for it here.A child’s job is to be oblivious to their parents’ stress. On a recent trip, our roles were reversed.First, here are four new stories from The Atlantic:
Russia has a new gulag.
Is a glass of wine harmless? Wrong question.
Climate change feels more real now than ever.

The Court Is Conservative—But Not MAGA

This is an edition of The Atlantic Daily, a newsletter that guides you through the biggest stories of the day, helps you discover new ideas, and recommends the best in culture. Sign up for it here.The Supreme Court released a somewhat surprising—and pretty important—decision yesterday.

Trump Begins the ‘Retribution’ Tour

You’d think that, by now, Donald Trump’s fans would be tired of all this. The long lines and the self-indulgent speeches and the relentless blasting of Laura Branigan’s “Gloria” as they stand outside exposed to the elements. But they aren’t. Not at all.After six years, the former president’s rallies still have summer-camp vibes—at least at first.

The Kari Lake Effect

Kari Lake, who’s still trying to overturn her November election loss in Arizona, is one of four women Trump is considering for VP, according to a new report from Axios. Lake is flirting with another possibility too.But first, here are three new stories from The Atlantic.
A view of American history that leads to one conclusion
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s last act
Prepare for the textpocalypse.

Never Mind Marjorie Taylor Greene’s ‘National Divorce’

Is it news that people are angry with Marjorie Taylor Greene?This week, the Georgia Republican took advantage of Twitter’s newly liberalized character restrictions to do what she does best: suggest something unhinged, and sit back while her political opponents’ heads explode in white-hot rage.“We need a national divorce,” she tweeted. “We need to separate by red states and blue states and shrink the federal government. Everyone I talk to says this.

What Winning Did to the Anti-abortion Movement

In a normal year, the March for Life would begin somewhere along the National Mall. The cavalcade of anti-abortion activists in Washington, D.C., would wind around museums and past monuments, concluding at the foot of the Supreme Court, a physical representation of the movement’s objective: to overturn Roe v. Wade. The march happens in January of each year to coincide with the anniversary of the Roe decision.But this is not a normal year.

Sudden Russian Death Syndrome

Here is a list of people you should not currently want to be: a Russian sausage tycoon, a Russian gas-industry executive, the editor in chief of a Russian tabloid, a Russian shipyard director, the head of a Russian ski resort, a Russian aviation official, or a Russian rail magnate. Anyone answering to such a description probably ought not stand near open windows, in almost any country, on almost every continent.

11 Times This Year When Politics Was Funny

This is an edition of The Atlantic Daily, a newsletter that guides you through the biggest stories of the day, helps you discover new ideas, and recommends the best in culture. Sign up for it here.Some very serious and unfunny things happened this year in American politics. Today, though, we are not going to talk about those things. Instead, we will examine a few of the times our elected leaders made us laugh—with them or at them.But first, here are three new stories from The Atlantic.

Against Skiing

This is an edition of The Atlantic Daily, a newsletter that guides you through the biggest stories of the day, helps you discover new ideas, and recommends the best in culture. Sign up for it here.I’ll be back tomorrow to tell you about some of the funniest things that happened in politics this year. Today, though, I would like to offer a break from current events. Sorry in advance, skiers. I hope you are too busy skiing to read this newsletter.

In Arizona, Shouts of ‘Fraud’ Again

PHOENIX, Ariz.—The Watchers tend to show up at sundown—or so I’d heard. And yesterday evening, I went looking for them. Around 7 p.m., at a ballot drop-off site next to a juvenile-detention center in Mesa, just east of Phoenix, I sat on a concrete bench and waited under the parking lot’s bright lights. A steady stream of cars drove through, and people hopped out to slip their green mail-in-ballot envelopes into the big metal box.

The Obama Nostalgia Show

PHILADELPHIA—Outside the basketball arena at Temple University, a long line of anxious Democrats contemplated their party’s possibly bleak political future, as a brass band played Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.”That strange juxtaposition of dread and joy seemed to be the theme of Saturday afternoon’s rally at the Liacouras Center.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Republican House

This is an edition of The Atlantic Daily, a newsletter that guides you through the biggest stories of the day, helps you discover new ideas, and recommends the best in culture. Sign up for it here.Earlier today, I posed a question to my colleague Russell Berman on Slack: What should we expect if—or is it when?—Republicans retake the House in the midterms? Here is the spirited chat that followed.But first, here are three new stories from The Atlantic.

The Survivor Vote

This is an edition of The Atlantic Daily, a newsletter that guides you through the biggest stories of the day, helps you discover new ideas, and recommends the best in culture. Sign up for it here.John Fetterman wants voters to see his stroke as an asset, not a liability. Some of them absolutely do.But first, here are three new stories from The Atlantic.
Herschel Walker is the perfect candidate for a fallen party.

Do Voters Care About John Fetterman’s Stroke?

Every second of every day, oxygen-rich blood is coursing through your brain. Your heart pumps it up through your chest and neck, along tinier and tinier arterial tubes, twisting and turning among the grooves and lobes of gray matter until it reaches the brain cells it’s meant to nourish. But this journey can be interrupted. An artery can get clogged—often by a free-floating, gelatinous clot—which halts the flow of blood. The clog will starve your brain’s cells of oxygen.

Trumpism Has Found Its Leading Lady

As election returns rolled in on the evening of November 3, 2020, a local news host in Phoenix was starring in an intensely awkward broadcast. The Fox 10 anchor Kari Lake was refusing to call Arizona for Joe Biden—even though her network had already done so. “If [voters] wake up tomorrow or two days later and it flips,” she insisted, her pendant earrings swinging, “there’s distrust in the system.” Lake’s co-anchor, John Hook, lost patience.