The Atlantic Daily: Impeachment Still Sends a Powerful Public Message

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Former President Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial begins tomorrow afternoon. Here are two things to expect:

1. The Senate seems likely to acquit.

Republicans have signaled they’ll break in the former president’s favor, leaving the two-thirds majority needed for conviction out of reach.

But for those who think impeachment is broken, David Frum offers a “case against despair.” “Trump has three main post-presidential goals, and the forthcoming trial will do severe and possibly lethal damage to all three.”

2. The president’s defense may center the First Amendment.

Specifically, his team may argue that to disqualify Trump from holding future office “would essentially amount to punishing him for speaking his mind.”

“That is wrong,” Peter D. Keisler, a former acting attorney general of the United States, and Richard D. Bernstein, an appellate lawyer, argue.


One question, answered: This one comes via our Politics editor, Nick Baumann: “If I want to buy some better masks so I can start double-masking, what should I look for?”

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Our staff writer Amanda Mull responds:

While viral transmission is still high, you should heed experts’ recent advice to adjust your mask strategy, either by buying a supply of higher-quality masks, or by “double-masking”—layering two kinds of masks on top of each other.

If you want to go the single-mask route, you should look for an N95 or its Asian equivalent, the KN95. Currently, much of the country’s supply of N95s is going to health-care workers, which means KN95s are generally easier to find; to help you parse the effectiveness of brands you’re probably not familiar with, the CDC has released the results of its KN95 testing. These types of masks are highly dependent on fit, so you might end up trying a few options before you find the best one for you.

If you’re currently using cloth or surgical masks, you don’t need to switch completely to get a significant boost in protection. To do so, layer a surgical mask first, with a cloth mask on top of it. That combination forces more of your breath through the surgical mask by holding it more firmly to your face, and it gives you a couple more layers of filtration on top of it. It’s a DIY option that mimics the advantages of N95s—a tight fit and enhanced filtration—with supplies that are readily available.

Have a pandemic-related question you’d like to see answered? Tell us.


Tonight’s Atlantic-approved isolation activity:

So, how about that Super Bowl? Let’s revisit.

Tom Brady’s perfection felt annoyingly tone-deaf for the moment, Michael Weinreb argues. On the contrary, The Weeknd’s spooky aesthetic seemed like a perfect fit, but his halftime performance “ultimately offered a shrug,” our critic Spencer Kornhaber writes. And, when it came to ads, a GM commercial made electric cars in America seem normal, topping off a decades-long push by activists to do so.


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