What We’re Following Today
It’s Friday, February 1. As a bipartisan group of lawmakers works to reach a deal on border security before February 15, President Donald Trump told reporters that there’s a “good chance” he’ll declare a national emergency to secure funding for a border wall. The president also celebrated the U.S. economy adding 304,000 jobs in January.
Meanwhile, in foreign-affairs news, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that he’s withdrawing the U.S. from its nuclear-arms-control treaty with Russia. "For years, Russia has violated the terms of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty without remorse," he said. "Russia's violations put millions of Europeans and Americans at greater risk."
He’s Running: Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey spent Thursday night at a secret church service in Newark, where he was anointed by the church’s reverend. Twelve hours later, he announced his bid for the presidency in 2020. Edward-Isaac Dovere was there to watch it all go down. Meanwhile, as Howard Schultz, the billionaire ex-CEO of Starbucks, ponders whether he’ll launch his own presidential campaign, his many similarities to Donald Trump have become clear. The problem, argues David A. Graham, is that “neither Schultz nor any of his billionaire peers is going to be able to match Trump, because they don’t have the right views.”
The Test Is Yet to Come: In a review of The Chief, the first biography of Chief Justice John Roberts, Michael O’Donnell imagines how Roberts—who writes fierce conservative opinions, but believes strongly in the Supreme Court’s political independence—would respond to a constitutional crisis.
Ideas From The Atlantic
The Covington Story Was a Collective American Nightmare (George Packer)
“It seems to act out a drama in which we’re all caught, but in grotesque exaggeration. As if we are already moving through an empty plaza where our individual identities dissolve and a tribal identity is suddenly fixed for us, whether we will it or not; where we are assigned a name that is absurd but can’t be escaped—Gad, Esau, Ephraim.” → Read on.
The White Flight From Football (Alana Semuels)
“Football at the high-school level is growing in popularity in states with the highest shares of black people, while it’s declining in majority-white states. Other recent studies suggest that more black adults support youth tackle football than white adults.” → Read on.
How Long Can the Super Bowl Be the Super Bowl? (Derek Thompson)
“Unlike concussion fears or the decline of traditional television, this might not spell the end of football as we remember it. But it would be the end of the Super Bowl as we know it.” → Read on.
What Else We’re Reading
◆ Kamala Harris’s Crusade Against ‘Revenge Porn’ (Nancy Scola, Politico Magazine)
◆ Booker Is Running. I’ve Watched Him for 20 Years. Here’s What I’ve Learned. (Tom Moran, nj.com)
◆ Attack of the Fanatical Centrists (Paul Krugman, The New York Times)
◆Abortion Maximalists Claim the Moral Low Ground (Jonah Goldberg, National Review)
◆The Robert Mueller Fan Club (Katherine Miller, BuzzFeed News)