How Alaska Became America's Marijuana Capital
An illustrated history of legalization on the Last Frontier
An illustrated history of legalization on the Last Frontier
Trump and other practitioners may reap short-term gains, but history suggests they will provoke a fearsome backlash.
Anger has a peculiar power in democracies. Skillfully deployed before the right audience, it cuts straight to the heart of popular politics. It is attention-getting, drowning out the buzz of news cycles. It is inherently personal and thereby hard to refute with arguments of principle; it makes the political personal and the personal political. It feeds on raw emotions with a primal power: fear, pride, hate, humiliation. And it is contagious, investing the like-minded with a sense of holy cause.
In recent weeks, it has grown increasingly ubiquitous in American politics. In Montana this past Thursday, President Trump praised Republican Representative Greg Gianforte, who pleaded guilty to assaulting Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs, saying, “Any guy who can do a body slam ... he’s my guy.”
People who have had sex with fewer people seem to be more satisfied after they tie the knot. Is there hope for promiscuous romantics?
If you are on the proverbial market, as you rack up phone swipes, first dates, and—likely—new sexual partners, you might start to ask yourself, Is all this dating going to make me happier with whomever I end up with?
In other words, are you actually getting any closer to finding “the one”? Or are you simply stuck on a hedonic treadmill of potential lovers, doomed like some sort of sexual Sisyphus to be perpetually close to finding your soul mate, only to realize—far, far too late—that they are deal-breakingly disappointing?
Well, sociology has some unfortunate news!
Over at the Institute for Family Studies, Nicholas Wolfinger, a sociologist at the University of Utah, has found that Americans who have only ever slept with their spouses are most likely to report being in a “very happy” marriage. Meanwhile, the lowest odds of marital happiness—about 13 percentage points lower than the one-partner women—belong to women who have had six to 10 sexual partners in their lives. For men, there’s still a dip in marital satisfaction after one partner, but it’s never as low as it gets for women, as Wolfinger’s graph shows:
Senator Lindsey Graham says he believes Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was behind the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Television plays an outsize role in President Trump’s decision making. Cable pundits drive his tweets and policy directives on Fox News, where Sean Hannity reigns supreme as something close to an official adviser and Maria Bartiromo isn’t far behind in the president’s pantheon of Fox favorites. In a tweet last month, Trump called her work “MANDATORY watching.”
So, less than two days after Saudi Arabia changed its story yet again and claimed its agents had killed dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi after all in a fistfight gone awry in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Senator Lindsey Graham sat down with Bartiromo on Sunday morning, playing directly to the network’s No. 1 fan. The South Carolina Republican has gone from calling Trump “the world’s biggest jackass” and “unfit to be president” during the 2016 campaign to becoming one of his staunchest defenders and a golfing buddy—as John McCormack wrote in The Weekly Standard, the Never Trumper has evolved into a neo-Trumper. Now Graham wants to convince the president that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman should be punished for Khashoggi’s death.
A report that the Trump administration plans to define gender based on the appearance of infants runs counter to developmental biology and individual privacy.
Life might be more orderly and easy to understand if biology worked just like this:
People come in one of two sexes, male or female. This is determined by chromosomes, and XX means female, and XY means male. Males have penises and testicles—which are all similar in appearance and curvature and size—that secrete testosterone in similar proportions. This testosterone is metabolized and functions similarly in all men and causes them to have similar amounts of musculature and deep voices and certain amounts of facial and back hair, and to act in particular ways due to this hormone. It causes their brains to develop and make them behave in ways that are “manly.”
These men are attracted to women, specifically women who look normal, which is a result of the fact that they definitionally have exactly and only two XX chromosomes that cause them to develop clitori and uteri and breasts and ovaries that produce estrogen and other hormones that cause cycles of growth and shedding of the uterine lining, and who predictably bear children when sperm meets egg. All of these features develop and function the same way in all women who are normal—whose amounts of hormones make their bodies look and feel more or less the same, and whose brains develop and function in a way that is female, and which consigns them to certain roles in social hierarchies.
Will Trump’s statements on Russia come back to haunt him?
President Trump is a committed liar, as even his most dependable supporters openly concede. The Washington Post columnist and former George W. Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen recently wrote that “the president lies all the time,” and he included this candid assertion in a piece favorable to the president. A serious question is whether Trump’s lies have put him at risk of impeachment.
Of course, politicians are not generally celebrated for their scrupulous adherence to fact or avoidance of hyperbole. Presidents before Trump have had troubled histories with the truth. But the scale of Trump’s lying—his resort to the lie as a central feature of leadership style—sets him apart from his predecessors.
She had her whole future mapped out when she met Ted Cruz, starting with her dream job in Washington. This is the story of what came after.
A whole new world—that is what Ted Cruz wanted to give her.
It was the spring of 2001, and Heidi Nelson was planning her nuptials to the man she’d met just over a year earlier. On Christmas break from Harvard Business School, she’d encountered the cocky and cerebral Cruz in Austin, Texas, where they were both working on George W. Bush’s presidential campaign. He was “super-smart” and “really fun” and looked like a “1950s movie star.” “It was love at first sight,” she told me.
They filled those three weeks with movies and dinners and drives. Then he took her to the airport, where she’d get on a plane back to Boston. Call me every day when your day is done, she instructed him. And he did call her, every day that spring, at about 3 or 4 a.m. Later that summer, Ted gave her a strand of pearls. Probably fake, she still thinks, but they were from Bergdorf Goodman. And this was special: She’d mentioned once that she liked to go to Bergdorf’s, to look at the china and other delicate things behind glass, and he’d listened.
With one dietary change, the U.S. could almost meet greenhouse-gas emission goals.
Ecoanxiety is an emerging condition. Named in 2011, the American Psychological Association recently described it as the dread and helplessness that come with “watching the slow and seemingly irrevocable impacts of climate change unfold, and worrying about the future for oneself, children, and later generations.”
It’s not a formal diagnosis. Anxiety is traditionally defined by an outsized stress response to a given stimulus. In this case, the stimulus is real, as are the deleterious effects of stress on the body.
This sort of disposition toward ecological-based distress does not pair well with a president who has denied the reality of the basis for this anxiety. Donald Trump has called climate change a fabrication on the part of “the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” He has also led the United States to become the only G20 country that will not honor the Paris Climate Accord, and who has appointed fossil-fuel advocates to lead the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency.
The one thing you probably understand about quantum physics is actually a poor metaphor for the modern state of the field.
I have suggested before that the one thing “everyone knows” about quantum mechanics is that the quantum world is fuzzy and uncertain. Actually, there’s another thing, too. “Everyone” has heard of Schrödinger’s cat.
That’s why there are so many jokes about it. Schrödinger is driving along when he is pulled over by a policeman. The officer looks the car over and asks Schrödinger if he has anything in the boot.
“A cat,” Schrödinger replies.
The policeman opens the boot and yells, “Hey! This cat is dead!”
Schrödinger replies angrily, “Well, he is now.”
As physics jokes go, it’s not so bad. At the least, it illustrates what a good job Schrödinger did in finding an image catchy enough to become a cultural meme.
The president has built his approach around a simple proposition: Republicans will always come home.
President Trump has a coherent theory about American politics that can be summed up in one sentence: Republicans will always come home. Despite the craziness coming from the Oval Office on a daily basis, the president’s decisions and rhetoric have been remarkably consistent, tuned to appeal to his supporters.
Until now, that strategy has worked relatively well—allowing him to retain much of his support, even as he has pushed the envelope rhetorically and with policy. Trump has survived a multitude of scandals and crises by holding the support of the congressional majority and much of the Republican electorate. And this weekend, a Wall Street Journal / NBC poll found that Trump’s approval ratings are up to 47 percent—the best of his term.
On the midterm campaign trail, the vice president is assuring voters that Republicans will implement stricter work requirements for food-stamp recipients. He’s probably wrong.
At a rally last week in Wichita, Kansas, as Vice President Mike Pence kicked off a swing of campaign appearances across the Midwest, he unveiled a new GOP talking point. “We’re gonna stand firm and get a farm bill that includes work requirements for people—able-bodied Americans—on food stamps so we get people back into the workforce and back enjoying the dignity of work,” Pence told the crowd gathered at an old hangar near McConnell Air Force Base. “We’re going to do it.”
He’s probably wrong. The evidence that the new work requirements will hurt more than they help is mounting. And the fight over their inclusion in the farm bill isn’t a partisan one; it’s a fight between the House and the Senate. Facing opposition from within their party, House Republicans can’t muscle the bill through on their own. Even if Republicans keep control of the House after the midterms—a possibility looking more unlikely by the day—it’s likely they’ll end up caving to the Senate and cut the stricter provisions entirely.
A video essay unpacks the vividly violent sonnet.
The Atlantic Argument series returns with a provocative video about the gun debate in America.
Identical twins convene for an annual festival in Ohio.