The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Baby Steps

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Today in 5 Lines

  • The Senate confirmed Jim Bridenstine, a Republican congressman from Oklahoma, to serve as the new NASA administrator. Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth, the first sitting senator to give birth while in office, brought her newborn baby to the floor to cast her “no” vote.

  • The Justice Department’s inspector general reportedly referred its findings on former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to the U.S. attorney’s office for possible criminal charges.

  • Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani told The Washington Post that he has joined Trump’s legal team dealing with the special counsel’s investigation.

  • Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s official portrait will cost taxpayers $85,000, which is more than his three predecessors combined.

  • Miguel Díaz-Canel will succeed longtime leader Raúl Castro as Cuba’s president.

Today on The Atlantic

  • The Buck Doesn’t Stop There: Dumping President Trump won’t actually get rid of the GOP’s problems. Here’s why. (Conor Friedersdorf)

  • Why Do Trump’s Defenders Assume He’s Guilty?: Allies of the president have made some peculiar comments over the past few days. (David A. Graham)

  • A Shared Problem: The focus on James Comey, Michael Cohen, and Stormy Daniels might pose a serious threat to Republicans in the midterms, but Trump’s personal dramas could hurt Democrats, too. (Ronald Brownstein)

Recommended Reading


Senator Tammy Duckworth arrives at the Capitol for a close vote with her new daughter, Maile, bundled against the wind. J. Scott Applewhite / AP

What We’re Reading

‘The Fatalist Conceit’: The frustration many liberals feel about President Trump is a byproduct of the left’s unreasonable expectations: They think they can change the country through politics. (Noah Rothman, Commentary)

What Trump Wants You To Know: The president’s public remarks often begin with the phrase “Most people don’t know…” Is he the educator in chief, or is he learning in real time? (Jenna Johnson, The Washington Post)

‘This Is Your Brain on Race’: The arrest of two black men at a Starbucks in Philadelphia has prompted protests and social-media backlash. Kyle Smith explains why everyone should calm down. (National Review)

Not a Good Strategy: Several nuclear power plants in the U.S. are about to be shut down in favor of natural gas and cheaper renewable energy. That’s a bad idea. (Ryan Cooper, The Week)


The Abortion Wars Are Heating Up: Republican lawmakers across the country are passing unusually strict abortion laws. Here are all the states that have passed abortion restrictions since 2011. (Mary Jordan, The Washington Post)

-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)