The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Kerry Leaves Israel Unsettled

The secretary of state said Israel is moving in “the opposite direction” of a two-state solution.

Andrew Harnik / AP

Today in 5 Lines

During a speech, Secretary of State John Kerry defended the United States’ abstention from the recent UN Security Council vote condemning Israeli settlements, and warned that Israel is moving in “the opposite direction” of a two-state solution. On Twitter, President-elect Donald Trump accused President Obama of putting up “inflammatory” roadblocks during the transfer of power, adding, “Thought it was going to be a smooth transition—NOT!” Later, Trump told pool reporters the transition is going “very, very smoothly.” Dylann Roof, who was convicted of killing nine black parishioners in South Carolina in 2015, told a judge that he won’t call any witnesses or present evidence during his federal death penalty trial. Chicago Police Department Commander Marc Buslik announced that all city police officers will wear body cameras by the end of 2017, a year ahead of schedule. Russian investigators reportedly believe that faulty wing flaps caused the crash of the Russian military plane carrying 92 people on Sunday.

Today on The Atlantic

  • It Was a Busy Year: A lot happened in America between the start of primary season and the election of the country’s 45th president. Here are a few of the best stories The Atlantic told along the way. (Elaine Godfrey)

  • ‘The Coming Exodus’: A new study shows that senior-level federal employees tend to leave en masse during administration transitions—especially when they don’t support the incoming president. What will happen to the leadership of America’s federal agencies next year? (Andrew McGill)

  • Time for a Showdown: Many conflicts over religious liberty and discrimination are going to come up under the Trump administration, Emma Green writes, and “religious liberty will not just be an issue for the white, conservative Christians who voted Trump into office.”

Follow stories throughout the day with our Politics & Policy portal.


An Israeli grocery store owner in Sderot, near the Israel and Gaza border, watches U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech at the State Department. Tsafrir Abayov / AP

What We’re Reading

The Future Might Not Be Female: 2016 was supposed to be the year that feminism won, writes Slate’s Michelle Goldberg, but instead, “a woman who was the most qualified person ever to run for president lost to a man who was the least. That can’t help but reverberate through the culture, changing our sense of what is possible for women.”

Trump Doesn’t Speak for Us: In an op-ed for The New York Times, Richard Trumka explains that working-class Americans don’t want the president-elect to be their voice; rather, they want him to listen to and collaborate with labor unions.

Back to Business: Across the country, home prices are rising and the number of investors flipping houses has reached a 10-year high. It seems that “Wall Street, which was nearly felled by real-estate forays almost a decade ago, is getting back into the action.” (Kirsten Grind and Peter Rudegeair, The Wall Street Journal)

‘A Rockette Speaks Out’: Even though dancing at Donald Trump’s inauguration is said to be voluntary, some members of The Rockettes feel pressured to perform—and at least one dancer is worried the performance might tarnish the brand. (Kaitlin Menza, Marie Claire)

The Rich Are Getting Richer: In a year chock-full of populist rhetoric, the Bloomberg Billionaires Index shows that the world’s wealthiest people more than weathered the volatility, ending up with $237 billion more than they had in 2015. (Tom Metcalf and Jack Witzig, Bloomberg)


Mapping the Cultural Divide: In Burlington, Iowa, people watch Pawn Stars, while in Brooklyn, New York, people prefer Game of Thrones. Check out these 50 maps to see how Americans cluster into “cultural bubbles.” (Josh Katz, The New York Times)

A Year in Cartoons: The New Yorker presents a gallery of its cartoonists’ best commentary on the state of American culture and politics in 2016. (Colin Stokes)

Question of the Week

This year has been a wild ride—both in and outside the world of politics. But a new one will begin on January 1, and we’d like to know: What are your resolutions for 2017? In your response, please tell us your name, age, and what you do.

Send your answers to, and our favorites will be featured in Friday’s Politics & Policy Daily.

-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey) and Candice Norwood (@cjnorwoodwrites)