The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Once Upon a Mattress

Carlos Barria / Reuters

-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)

Today in 5 Lines

  • President Trump said on Twitter that he has the “absolute right” to pardon himself and attacked the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller as “totally UNCONSTITUTIONAL!”

  • The Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Colorado baker who refused to sell a cake to a same-sex couple.

  • In a series of interviews promoting his new book, former President Bill Clinton defended his handling of the affair with Monica Lewinsky and discussed his own impeachment.

  • Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt reportedly instructed an aide to perform several personal tasks, including purchasing a used mattress from the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C.

  • The White House said Trump’s meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is set for 9 a.m. on June 12 in Singapore, which is 9 p.m. on June 11 on the East Coast.

Today on The Atlantic

  • ‘Just Say It’s Racist’: The framing of a recent New York Times piece comparing President Trump and his predecessor, Barack Obama, shows that “the American discourse concerning racism remains largely about hurt feelings, rather than discriminatory policy,” argues Adam Serwer.

  • Hmmm: In defending a president’s limitless pardoning power, Trump and his defenders are actually making the case for impeachment. (David A. Graham)

  • Not So Great Expectations: Since 2016, the gap between Republicans’ and Democrats’ assessments of the economy’s direction has widened to an unprecedented level. (Annie Lowrey)

  • ‘Bill Clinton Feels His Own Pain’: The former president boasted that he has used his career to elevate women, but that doesn’t change the facts, writes Megan Garber: “Working on behalf of women in general does not spare a person of accountability for his treatment of women in particular.”

Recommended Reading


Baker Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, speaks on the phone after the Supreme Court ruled that he could refuse to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because of his religious beliefs. David Zalubowski / AP

What We’re Reading

The Left’s Blind Spot: On social issues, like gay marriage, police brutality, and transgender rights, Democrats have more or less reached a consensus. But when it comes to economics, there doesn’t appear to be a party doctrine. (Ryan Cooper, The Week)

L'état, C'est Moi: President Trump’s lawyers’ sweeping assertion of his presidential authority shows that a constitutional crisis has already begun, argues Jonathan Chait. (New York)

Not Much of a Resolution: Gay Americans are worried that the Supreme Court’s decision in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case could undermine their rights. Here’s why they shouldn’t be. (Mark Joseph Stern, Slate)

A Real Impact on Religious Freedom: In its Masterpiece Cakeshop decision, the Supreme Court “reminded state authorities that people of faith have the exact same rights—and are entitled to the exact same treatment—as people of different faith or no faith at all,” writes David French. (National Review)


Why Are Teachers So Mad?: See which states saw the largest decreases in education spending from 2009 to 2016. (Robert Gebeloff, The New York Times)