The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: A Sign of the Times

President Trump signed an executive order authorizing sanctions against countries or individuals that interfere in U.S. elections.

Leah Millis / Reuters

Written by Olivia Paschal (@oliviacpaschal), Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey), and Madeleine Carlisle (@maddiecarlisle2)

Today in 5 Lines

  • Forecasters expect Hurricane Florence to make landfall around the North and South Carolina border and then stall in the region, which could produce catastrophic flooding and widespread power outages.

  • President Trump signed an executive order authorizing sanctions against countries or individuals that interfere in U.S. elections.

  • Pope Francis has summoned bishops from around the world to a meeting in February to address the sexual abuse of minors.

  • Just days after CEO Les Moonves left CBS amid allegations of sexual assault, Jeff Fager, the executive producer of 60 Minutes, is also leaving the network due to violations of company policy, CBS said.

  • The U.S. Census Bureau reported that median household income increased in 2017 to $61,372, up 1.8 percent from the previous year.

The Race We’re Watching

Voters are headed to the polls in Rhode Island, where incumbent Gina Raimondo is running against former Rhode Island Secretary of State Matt Brown for the Democratic nomination. Brown has positioned himself as to the left of Raimondo, who is one of only two female Democratic governors in the country.

Polls close at 8 p.m. E.T.

Today on The Atlantic

  • Economy Up, Trump Down: A strong August jobs report didn’t help President Trump’s approval rating, which dropped below 40 percent in three polls this week. (Olivia Paschal)

  • When The Polls Are Wrong: From Andrew Gillum to Ayanna Pressley, pollsters have failed to predict a slew of upsets in Democratic primaries. Here’s why. (Elaine Godfrey)

  • A Moral Catastrophe: A lawsuit filed against Michigan State University alleges that the university knew more about former sports doctor Larry Nassar’s sexual abuse of athletes than they let on. (Caroline Kitchener and Alia Wong)

  • James Madison’s Nightmare: The factionalized, mob-driven political society we live in would have been abhorrent to the Founding Father, writes Jeffrey Rosen.

  • At the Heart of Gastropolitics: Cynthia Nixon’s bagel order is the latest in a storied history of the political spectacle of food. (Kelly Alexander)


Sand bags surround homes on North Topsail Beach, NC, as Hurricane Florence threatens the coast. (Chuck Burton / AP)

What We’re Reading

An Appalachian Democrat: In Virginia’s conservative 9th congressional district, Anthony Flaccavento, an organic farmer, is mounting a left-wing challenge against the Tea Party incumbent. Can he win? (Sarah Jones, The New Republic)

The Senate Could Flip: Democrats now have a serious, if surprising, shot at gaining control of the upper chamber, argues Stuart Rothenberg. (Roll Call)

Catalyst for Change: Sohrab Ahmari argues that the fatal shooting of Botham Shem Jean last week should spur conservatives to rethink their attitudes toward race and policing in America: “[C]onservatives should be a little less quick to insist that we don’t have systemic problems,” he writes. (Commentary)

No Quick Fix: Americans like to think that jobs are the solution to poverty. But what if those jobs don’t pay enough to live on? (Matthew Desmond, The New York Times)


One Year Later: Watch what Puerto Ricans have to say about the government’s response to Hurricane Maria in this video from The Washington Post. Spoiler: it’s not good.