The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Peas and Thank You

Trump pardoned a 39-pound turkey named Peas during a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden.

Two turkeys from South Dakota get comfortable in their hotel room while waiting to be pardoned by President Donald Trump. (Jacquelyn Martin / AP)

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

Today in 5 Lines

  • President Donald Trump indicated in a statement that he will not take action against Saudi Arabia or Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi: “It could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic even—maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!"

  • House Democrats said they intend to investigate whether Ivanka Trump “complied with the law” after it was reported on Monday that the first daughter used a private email account to conduct government business throughout 2017.

  • Trump pardoned a 39-pound turkey named Peas during a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden.

  • Several major companies, including Walmart, requested that Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith return their campaign donations amid the controversy over the Mississippi Republican’s “public hanging” comments.

  • The National Weather Service announced that the smoky conditions in the Bay Area will soon dissipate, but warned of a high flooding risk in the areas ravaged by the Camp Fire. The fire has killed 79 people to date.

Today on The Atlantic

  • The Turkey Story You’ve Got to Read: After years of criticism from animal-rights activists, a small Arkansas town canceled its annual Thanksgiving tradition of throwing live turkeys out of a plane. But compared to the cruelties of the poultry industry, writes Annie Lowrey, “falling from a plane might be a reprieve for a turkey.”

  • Legal vs. Legitimate: Stacy Abrams declined to call Brian Kemp’s Georgia gubernatorial win “legitimate,” though she acknowledges it was “legal.” But any election where one side attempts to rig the rules to their advantage “deserve to bear the stigma of illegitimacy,” argues Adam Serwer.

  • When History Repeats Itself: Forty-five years ago, Congress concluded former President Richard Nixon had misused his executive power when attempting to gather information on the Watergate investigation. President Trump’s actions with regard to the Russia investigation look awfully similar. (Natasha Bertrand)

  • A Failing System: Opaque treatment rules and stigma around addiction have allowed many Americans to slip through the cracks in the fight against the opioid crisis. (Olga Khazan)

  • Who Owns Oklahoma?: An upcoming Supreme Court case will not only determine the fate of a convicted murderer, but also whether half of Oklahoma legally belongs to Native American tribes. (Garrett Epps)


President Donald Trump pardons the turkey "Peas" at a ceremony in the Rose Garden while First Lady Melania Trump looks on. Holding the turkey is Jeff Sveen, chairman of the National Turkey Federation. (Carolyn Kaster / AP)

What We’re Reading

A New Talking Head: Nancy Pelosi can be the speaker of the House, writes Matthew Yglesias, but Democrats should find someone else to be the party’s public spokesperson. (Vox)

Nine Figures: White, billionaire, Democratic men keep declaring they’re going to run for president. But they’re completely wrong about the direction the Democratic Party is headed. (Philip Bump, The Washington Post)

The Hand That Feeds: Progressive critics of Jeff Bezos and other big philanthropists are really just interested in giving the government more control, argue James Piereson and Naomi Schaefer Riley. (Commentary)

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