What We’re Following Today
It’s Monday, February 25. It’s been 10 days since President Donald Trump announced that he was declaring a national emergency to access funds to build a border wall. More than 50 former national-security officials told the Trump administration in a letter on Monday that the president’s declaration is unjustified. In Congress, Democrats, led by Representative Joaquin Castro of Texas, have prepared a “resolution of disapproval” in an attempt to block the move, and the House will vote on the proposal on Tuesday.
Here’s what else we’re following:
Another Accuser: Alva Johnson, a staffer on Trump’s presidential campaign, alleges in a new lawsuit that Trump kissed her without her consent before a Florida rally in August 2016. The White House denied the allegation, calling it “absurd.” Johnson joins many other women who have publicly accused Trump of sexual misconduct, accusations ranging from unwanted touching to entering pageant dressing rooms, which now span several decades.
A President, Abroad: Trump is on his way to Hanoi, Vietnam, for a second summit with North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, on February 27 and 28. Trump is optimistic about reaching a denuclearization deal, but so far, his approach of “I alone can fix it” has undercut his own negotiators, writes Uri Friedman. The two sides are also still sorting out what “denuclearization” actually means.
Two Democrats, One State: Senators Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Kamala Harris of California are both performing well in early polling. But as the two campaign across Iowa, they’re making completely different cases for themselves: One is running as a Midwest pragmatist, while the other is emphasizing diverse, Left Coast progressivism.
What Mueller Didn’t Say: In the sentencing memo for Paul Manafort that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office released over the weekend, the most interesting pieces of information came in the omissions, writes Franklin Foer.
Venezuela's self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaido, Colombia's President Ivan Duque and Vice President Mike Pence, pose for a photo after a meeting of the Lima Group concerning Venezuela at the Foreign Ministry in Bogota, Colombia. Pence's appearance before the Lima Group comes two days after a U.S.-backed effort to deliver humanitarian across the border from Colombia ended in violence. (Martin Mejia / AP)
Ideas From The Atlantic
Workism Is Making Americans Miserable (Derek Thompson)
“Our desks were never meant to be our altars. The modern labor force evolved to serve the needs of consumers and capitalists, not to satisfy tens of millions of people seeking transcendence at the office. It’s hard to self-actualize on the job if you’re a cashier—one of the most common occupations in the U.S.—and even the best white-collar roles have long periods of stasis, boredom, or busywork.” → Read on.
Dianne Feinstein Doesn’t Need a Do-Over (Caitlin Flanagan)
“A group of jackbooted tots and aggrieved teenagers showed up at the local office of Dianne Feinstein—85 years old and holding—with the intention of teaching her about climate change and demanding that she vote for the Green New Deal. The resulting encounter was so gonzo that it made Gran Torino look like The Pajama Game.” → Read on.
The Two Amy Klobuchars (Graeme Wood)
“Whether her venom disqualifies her from higher office is, of course, another question. Politics ain’t beanbag, and it ain’t HR either. Many politicians’ demeanor in private life would, if widely identified with their public persona, render them unelectable.” → Read on.
Jussie Smollett and the Long History of Racial Hoaxes (Katheryn Russell-Brown)
“If the purported attack on the actor Jussie Smollett indeed turns out to be staged, it will be the latest in a long line of hoaxes grounded in racial stereotypes. By design, these hoaxes reinforce different groups’ worst suspicion of one another: Whites are racists. Blacks are criminals.” → Read on.
What Else We’re Reading
◆ The Secret Lives of Facebook Moderators in America (Casey Newton, The Verge)
◆ In Conservative Districts, Democrats Have to Answer for Party’s Left Wing (Catie Edmondson and Emily Cochrane, The New York Times)
◆ How Lindsey Graham Went From Trump Skeptic to Trump Sidekick (Mark Leibovich, The New York Times Magazine)