The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: ‘We Cannot Allow This to Continue’

President Trump declared the opioid crisis a national public-health emergency.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

Today in 5 Lines

President Trump declared the opioid crisis a national public-health emergency, saying in a speech that “as Americans, we cannot allow this to continue.” The House passed the Senate’s version of the 2018 budget resolution, setting in motion Republicans’ tax-reform plan. MSNBC said political reporter Mark Halperin would leave his role as a contributor at the network, after five women accused him of sexual harassment. The National Archives is expected to release more than 3,000 files related to the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy. The Trump administration has agreed to a settlement with tea party groups who filed a lawsuit over what they saw as unnecessary IRS scrutiny during the 2012 presidential election.

Today on The Atlantic

  • Will the Wall Work?: In the coming days, the administration will assess eight border-wall prototypes. But both the purpose and effectiveness of a barrier are still very much in question. (Priscilla Alvarez)

  • ‘Guilty Mind’: Congress plans to take up criminal-justice reform next year, but two Democratic senators say they’ll fight against it if the bill includes changes to the mens rea requirement. (Matt Ford)

  • The Future Is Nurses and Nerds: A 10-year forecast from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that by 2026, the fastest-growing jobs will be in health care, computers, and clean energy. (Derek Thompson)

  • Joe Arpaio Wants His Gun Back: The former Maricopa County sheriff is relishing the limelight—and daydreaming about leading the United States Marshals Service. (Jeremy Raff)

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President Trump touches the portrait of an opioids victim while greeting family members after he declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency in the East Room of the White House. Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

What We’re Reading

What Does He Really Think?: Chief of Staff John Kelly, pitched as a calming force, is more aligned with President Trump’s views than officials had predicted. (Peter Baker, The New York Times)

Addressing an Epidemic: President Trump declared the opioid crisis in the United States a public-health emergency. Here’s what that will do. (German Lopez, Vox)

You’re the Puppet: Unable to defend Donald Trump against allegations of collusion with Russia, Jonathan Chait argues that Republicans have developed a theory of alt-collusion. (New York)

Testing His Beliefs: Ben Carson once said federal spending was a form of oppression. Now, as the director of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, he’s being forced to rethink the role of government in helping the needy. (Tessa Berenson, Time)

A Careful Dance: Ed Gillespie, the Republican candidate for Virginia governor, has been “tiptoeing across the treacherous terrain of Trumpian Republican politics.” If he can manage a win on November 7, it’ll be a double victory for Republicans. (George Will, National Review)

Staff Pick

This deep dive does a great job of putting the current political situation in Myanmar into historical context, and explaining how efforts to transition to democracy can be derailed. Fisher’s reporting and analysis sheds light on the big picture trends underlying the country’s persecution of Rohingya Muslims, which the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has labeled ethnic cleansing.

—Associate editor Clare Foran


Teeball Questions: Fox News and its affiliates have interviewed President Trump more than any other network. Here’s a breakdown of what they’ve asked him. (Philip Bump, The Washington Post)

‘Men Behaving Badly’: Since Democratic donor and film mogul Harvey Weinstein was accused of sexual assault in early October, at least seven men in positions of power have been accused of misconduct. (Haley Britzky and Lazaro Gamio, Axios)

Question of the Week

In her story on Monday, The Atlantic’s Molly Ball reports that some researchers attempting to understand how Americans were feeling after the 2016 presidential election didn’t seem to be listening to their focus groups: “I heard all the optimism they did, but I also heard its opposite: that one side was right and that the other was the enemy; that other Americans, not just the government, were to blame for the country’s problems.”

So this week, we want to know: Do you think it’s important to move past political partisanship? Why or why not?

Share your response here, and we'll feature a few in Friday’s Politics & Policy Daily.

-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)