The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Paul Out Boy

House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that he will not seek reelection in November.

Jacquelyn Martin / AP

Today in 5 Lines

  • House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that he will not seek reelection in November. During a meeting with GOP lawmakers, Ryan explained that he has “become a Sunday Dad” and wants to spend more time with his family. President Trump praised Ryan’s “legacy of achievement” on Twitter.

  • Republican Representative Dennis Ross of Florida announced that he’s retiring at the end of his term.

  • Former House Speaker John Boehner announced that he has joined the board of advisers at Acreage Holdings, a marijuana corporation, because his “thinking on cannabis has evolved.”

  • Trump tweeted that “nice and new and ‘smart’” missiles will be fired toward Syria, surprising many of his personal aides and allies.

  • The Trump administration is reportedly considering a proposal that would allow states to require drug testing for some food stamp recipients.

Today on The Atlantic

  • Making Things Worse: While President Trump is considering igniting a new constitutional crisis by firing the special counsel, in threatening Russia, he’s perpetuating another, writes Peter Beinart.

  • ‘Bartleby the Speaker’: Paul Ryan’s decision to retire from Congress shows that he simply would prefer not to have to deal with President Trump. (David A. Graham)

  • A Dramatic Reversal: Under President Obama, House Speaker Paul Ryan was known as a deficit hawk. But under his leadership, deficits have increased by more than $1.2 trillion. (Derek Thompson)

  • Two Days of Hearings: This week, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg fielded questions from lawmakers on Capitol Hill. Rachel Gutman compiled the 13 strangest moments from Zuckerberg's testimony on Tuesday. And Alexis C. Madrigal dove into the most important exchange between the CEO and House members on Wednesday.


Gun rights activists and bill supporters hold signs as Vermont Republican Governor Phil Scott speaks before signing the first significant gun restrictions bills in the state's history. Cheryl Senter / AP

What We’re Reading

Going Nuclear: If President Trump fires the special counsel, Robert Mueller has an option of last resort: releasing all the information he’s uncovered. (Matt Ford, The New Republic)

‘Why Not Mike Pence?’: For Evangelicals concerned that their election fortunes are linked with a president who doesn’t exactly adhere to their values, it might be a good time to contemplate impeaching President Trump, argues Ross Douthat. (The New York Times)

D.C.’s Trumpiest Congressman: Florida Republican Matt Gaetz has a suggestion for young politicians in Trump’s Washington: embrace controversy and don’t shy away from media attention. (Ben Schreckinger, GQ)


Sound Familiar?: Here’s a guide to all the times Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has apologized. (Geoffrey A. Fowler and Chiqui Esteban, The Washington Post)

-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)