The Atlantic Daily: Law and Orders

Judges upheld the block on Trump's travel ban, Kellyanne hawked Ivanka's wares, progressives paralleled the rise of the Tea Party, and more.

Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

What We’re Following

Crime and Embellishment: President Trump followed up today’s swearing-in of Attorney General Jeff Sessions by signing three more executive orders, this time focusing on crime. The orders create a task force for studying crime reduction, emphasize prosecution of international drug cartels, and seek to expand protections for police officers—all in line with Trump’s campaign rhetoric. But that rhetoric, as well as statements that Sessions repeated today, grossly exaggerates the country’s actual crime problem. More pressing: This evening, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the restraining order against Trump’s controversial travel ban. Here’s what happens next.

Trump on Twitter: Yesterday, the president of the United States lashed out at Nordstrom on Twitter for dropping his daughter’s clothing line, then moved on to continuing his attacks on the federal judges reviewing his travel ban. Then, this morning, Trump scolded Senator John McCain for describing the recent U.S. raid in Yemen as a “failure.” It all sounds petty, but there are greater implications: Trump’s highly personal and politicized attack on the judiciary is unprecedented even by Andrew Jackson, whose infamous clash with the Supreme Court had constitutional grounds. The attack on McCain frames public review of military action as disloyalty. And Kellyanne Conway took the Nordstrom affair a step further by telling TV viewers to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff”—almost certainly a violation of ethics laws, and a worrying enlistment of White House staff in Trump’s ever-growing web of conflicts of interest.

Political Science: Speaking of Trump’s businesses, his organization’s Florida resort Mar-a-Lago is set to host fundraising galas this month for two prestigious hospitals. Trump hasn’t shown evidence that he’s divested from the resort, and the hospitals’ patronage has led to backlash and even a sense of betrayal among physicians and patients, who see an ethical conflict contrary to the hospitals’ values of compassion and care. The medical and scientific community is widely opposed to Trump, thanks in part to his denial of climate change—a stance that one 11-year-old environmentalist didn’t expect to face when she joined a lawsuit against the government over climate change. But there are a few scientists standing with Trump: Here’s their case.


Fifty years ago, USC running back O.J. Simpson was carried off the field by fans after scoring two touchdowns to win a game against UCLA. See more photos from 1967 here, and read our coverage from that year here. And in case you missed it, here is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s October 2016 piece “What O.J. Simpson Means to Me.”

Evening Read

Molly Ball on why the progressive backlash to Trump could be the new Tea Party:

The parallels are striking: a massive grassroots movement, many of its members new to activism, that feeds primarily off fear and reaction. Misunderstood by the media and both parties, it wreaks havoc on its ostensible allies, even as it reenergizes their moribund political prospects; they can ride the wave, but they cannot control it, and they are often at the mercy of its most unreasonable fringe.

There’s no telling, in these early days, where the anti-Trump resistance will lead. But looking back at the Tea Party may hold a clue to what lies ahead, for both the president and his opponents. It burned hot and, in a few years, burned out, without leaving much in the way of lasting institutions—but not before it had reordered Washington and changed the DNA of the political party in its sights.

Keep reading here, as Molly looks back to the rise of the Tea Party—and ahead to what’s next for the left.

What Do You Know?

1. In a recent survey on political distractions in the workplace, ____________ percent of people said they’ve been less productive since the U.S. presidential election.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

2. ____________ is the number-one reason Americans go bankrupt.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

3. One researcher asks malaria patients to wear nylon socks so that he can collect samples of human ____________.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

Urban Developments

Our partner site CityLab explores the cities of the future and investigates the biggest ideas and issues facing city dwellers around the world. Gracie McKenzie shares three of today’s top stories:

Technology that allows police to listen in on calls in a crowd, collect data from 10,000 mobile devices at once, and even access deleted text messages from seized cellphones might sound like science fiction—but according to CityLab’s investigation, at least 39 of America’s 50 largest police departments likely already own these (or similar) devices.

“Nonprofits trying to tackle food insecurity don’t have a shortage of food—but it’s not in their business model to have trucks go pick up tons of food waste and then distribute it.” Sounds like a job for the infrastructure of the U.S. Postal Service.

Twenty years ago, Chicago uprooted thousands of low-income residents as a part of an ambitious—and controversial—plan to transform its troubled public housing system. Here’s what worked (and what failed).

For more updates from the urban world, subscribe to CityLab’s daily newsletter.

America by Air

A look at Chicago from longtime reader Adam Feiges:

An [interactive shadow map] in the New York Times came to mind with this view of the Lake Michigan coastline taken in the wan winter afternoon sunlight. Buildings cast long shadows.

See many more aerial photos here, and send us your own via (guidelines here).

Reader Response

David Frum joined the TAD discussion group today for an “Ask Me Anything.” Here’s one reader:

I just read Ezra Klein’s “How to Stop an Autocracy,” a response to your “How to Build an Autocracy,” and Ezra argues that the real problem is that the GOP Congress won’t stop Trump. I saw you RTed the article. What do you think of it?


Ezra makes sharp points, but I’d grant more agency to Trump himself. Ezra emphasizes Congressional Republicans ideological agenda as the main driver of their subordination to him. But political fear works too—and the fear exists because of Trump’s own connection with the party base and his [willingness to] ruthlessly exercise power to punish enemies, even when it seems self-destructive in the longer term to do so.

Read more questions from readers and Frum’s replies here. The TAD group followed up that AMA by discussing Ezra Klein’s piece.

The Renewal Awards

Twenty-five nonprofits from across the country have been chosen from nearly 500 nominations to compete for $100,000 in funding as part of The Renewal Awards, a project brought to you by The Atlantic and Allstate. The nationwide competition aims to recognize local organizations driving positive change in their communities and bringing progress to the country. Vote here by Friday, February 17, to choose the winners.


Censorship mapped, Apple overrated, bacteria persist, the Senate gets stranger.

The Atlantic Daily is written by Rosa Inocencio Smith. To contact us, email