The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Up in the Air

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill.Andrew Harnik / AP

Written by Madeleine Carlisle (@maddiecarlisle2) and Olivia Paschal (@oliviacpaschal)

Today in 5 Lines

  • President Trump visited North and South Carolina to survey the damage caused by Hurricane Florence. The death toll from the storm stands at 37.

  • Trump told reporters that it's “hard for me to imagine” that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh assaulted a woman, but said Republicans will ultimately “have to make a decision” if Kavanaugh's accuser testifies.

  • Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said he was focused on “doing everything we can” to get Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexual assault, to testify. In a letter to the committee, Ford's attorneys said an FBI investigation should be the first step.

  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un offered to take a series of steps towards denuclearization, including dismantling his country’s main nuclear site.

  • In an interview with Hill.TV, Trump again attacked Attorney General Jeff Sessions, saying “I don’t have an attorney general.”

Today on The Atlantic

  • An Unlikely Hero: President Trump and his allies once worked hard to distance themselves from former campaign adviser Carter Page. But now that the FBI suspects him of acting as a foreign agent for Russia, House Republicans have embraced him as a martyr. (Natasha Bertrand)

  • The Paradox of Today’s Economy: Employers argue there aren’t enough workers, and yet, workers’ wages have remained stagnant. Economists warn the tension signals deeper problems. (Annie Lowrey)

  • The Wrong Questions: We shouldn’t just be asking whether or not Brett Kavanaugh did it, argues Quinta Jurecic. Deeper questions about morality and culture are at stake.

  • Not Mike Bloomberg’s Moment: The former New York City mayor is reportedly exploring a presidential run—but his history of making disparaging comments about women could hurt his chances. (Megan Garber)

Recommended Reading


President Donald Trump hugs a young man while handing out prepackaged meals at Temple Baptist Church in New Bern, North Carolina, an area impacted by Hurricane Florence. (Evan Vucci / AP)

What We’re Reading

‘The Violence Is Always There’: Hate crimes against American Sikhs have surged since the election of Donald Trump—but the religion and its adherents have faced discrimination for much longer. (Andrew Gumbel, The Guardian)

What Do We Owe Her?: After a high school party in Arlington, Texas, in the summer of 2006, Amber Wyatt said she was raped. Elizabeth Bruenig investigates why, despite considerable evidence that Wyatt was telling the truth, the whole town turned against her. (Washington Post)

McDonalds Meets #MeToo: Employees are going on strike across 10 cities to protest the fast-food company’s response to sexual-harassment complaints. (Alex Press, Vox)

Winning Them Over: Rebecca Onion explains why Caitlin Flanagan’s recent Atlantic piece, “I Believe Her,” was able to convince #MeToo skeptics, and what that reveals about the skeptics themselves. (Slate)


The Big Five: Here are the five battlegrounds that will determine which party takes the House. (The New York Times)

The Green Chasm: Many of Trump’s efforts to roll back environmental regulations have trickled down to only a few states—see how yours stacks up. (Alex Guillen, Beatrice Jin, and Eric Wolff, Politico)