House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California speaks following a meeting on Capitol Hill for the House Republican leadership elections.Susan Walsh / AP

Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey) and Olivia Paschal (@oliviacpaschal)


Today in 5 Lines

  • House Republicans elected Representative Kevin McCarthy as minority leader. Senators Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer were each reelected to their respective positions as Senate majority leader and minority leader. House Democrats will vote for Speaker of the House later this month.

  • The Trump administration defended its choice to revoke CNN reporter Jim Acosta’s press pass in a court filing, asserting that it has “broad discretion” to limit reporter access to the White House.

  • The Justice Department issued a memo stating that the appointment of Matt Whitaker as acting attorney general is constitutional. President Donald Trump chose Whitaker to replace Jeff Sessions last week.

  • Democrat Andy Kim officially defeated Republican Representative Tom MacArthur in New Jersey’s third district. Democrats have brought their House gains to a net total of 34 seats, and that number could increase, since several more races are undecided.

  • Trump announced his support for The First Step Act, a criminal-justice reform bill that has already passed the House.


Today on The Atlantic

  • Meet Peter Navarro: He’s the madman behind President Trump’s “madman theory” approach to trade policy, and one of the most important generals in the U.S.’s trade war with China. (Annie Lowrey)

  • Who Booted Scott Walker?: Early data shows that increased black and Latino voter turnout might have helped defeat Scott Walker in last week’s midterm elections. (Vann R. Newkirk II)

  • Part of a Broader Pattern: On October 25, a super typhoon struck the Northern Mariana Islands and left thousands homeless. U.S. media outlets barely covered it. (Alia Wong and Lenika Cruz)

  • Not All White Women: After the midterms, many progressives held white women responsible for several high-profile Democratic losses. But the actual results were more nuanced, argues Conor Friedersdorf.

  • Still Waiting: A dramatic intervention by the Vatican at this week’s conference of American Catholic bishops highlighted the difference between Rome and the United States on how to address the Church’s ongoing sex-abuse crisis. (Olivia Paschal)

  • Who’s Responsible?: Americans are too quick to place moral blame for political violence on public figures, argues David French: “To hold anyone morally responsible for acts he did not condone, encourage, or seek...is to risk becoming what we hate.”


Snapshot

Jason Coffman, right, father of Cody Coffman, is comforted by Anthony Ganczewski at a funeral service for his son in Camarillo, California. Cody was among a dozen people killed in last week’s shooting at a country music bar in Thousand Oaks, California. (Jae C. Hong / AP)

What We’re Reading

The Vaporware Presidency: More than any president before him, Trump is an expert in saying he’ll do things that never end up happening. (Jonathan V. Last, The Weekly Standard)

Eyes on Miami-Dade: While an overall strong showing for Democrats, the midterms reveal several of the party’s weak spots going into 2020. (Nate Cohn, The New York Times)

A Conscious Uncoupling: Heading into 2018, the new Congress is more divided than ever. Is it time to split up the states? (Sasha Issenberg, New York)

An Activist Lineage: You can’t understand Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez without understanding the long history of Latino organizing in New York, writes Pedro Regalado. (The Washington Post)


Visualized

What’s Left?: These are the races that have yet to be called, over a week after the midterm elections. (Emily Stewart, Vox)


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