The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Jair Ally

President Trump said during a joint press conference with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro that he intends to designate Brazil as a "major non-NATO ally."

President Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro walk away together after a news conference in the Rose Garden of the White House. (Evan Vucci / AP)

What We’re Following Today

It’s Tuesday, March 19.

‣ Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro met with President Donald Trump and held a joint press conference in the White House Rose Garden. Trump said that he will designate Brazil as a major non-NATO ally.

‣ The scale of devastation is still emerging after Cyclone Idai swept across Mozambique and multiple other countries in southern Africa. It’s one of the deadliest tropical cyclones to ever hit the Southern Hemisphere.

Here’s what else we’re watching:

It’s Hard to Be a Farmer: American agriculture was facing a tough economic outlook even before the Trump administration’s trade war with China began last summer. But now farmers are caught in the crosshairs of tariffs on crops they’re trying to export, as well as tariffs on imported steel that have increased the cost of equipment they use, reports Olivia Paschal. Farmers “can’t push pause on their crops to try to wait out the trade war—they’re at the beck and call of the planting and harvesting seasons.”

Let’s Talk About Climate Change: For the first time since at least 2016, climate advocates are influencing the national conversation—and they just might be moving the needle on policy to counteract the looming threat. “They make a ragtag group,” Robinson Meyer writes. “United by little more than common concern, they don’t agree on an ideal federal policy or even how to talk about the problem. They do not always coordinate or communicate with one another.” But the shift is clear: Climate change is becoming a top national issue again.

Take a Sick Day: In 2014, five Kansas families were quarantined for a measles outbreak. For many, missing work proved costly: They struggled to eat, and one family missed so many paychecks that they were evicted. The U.S. doesn’t require companies to provide mandated paid sick leave, and this problem is “especially pronounced among low-income workers, many of whom work in service jobs,” writes Olga Khazan. Meaning many restaurant workers have to handle food while they’re sick to make a living.

You’re Hired: Bernie Sanders’s newest hire has been informally working for Sanders for months—and attacking other Democratic candidates on Twitter and in columns elsewhere, without disclosing he was working with Sanders. The campaign announced Tuesday that David Sirota would join as a senior adviser and speechwriter, after Edward-Isaac Dovere contacted it about Sirota’s role.

‘Stop Tweeting’: It’s no secret that the president loves to tweet. But Trumpland is divided into two camps, Peter Nicholas reports: those who want the president to rein in his tweeting and appear “presidential,” and those who want him to follow the unscripted impulses that he deployed in 2016.


Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro shakes hands with President Trump at a joint news conference in the Rose Garden. (Kevin Lamarque / Reuters)

Ideas From The Atlantic

NFL Players Are Dictating Their Own Terms. Good. (Jemele Hill)
“NFL players are expected to sacrifice everything—from their body to their mental health—for the game and for their team. Yet there are more and more signs that players are starting to understand their leverage.”→ Read on.

Why Sandra Day O’Connor Saved Affirmative Action (Evan Thomas)
“Once, during the Court’s weekly private conference, when Justice Antonin Scalia was declaiming against racial and gender preference, O’Connor drily remarked, ‘Why Nino, how do you think I got my job?’ O’Connor was a realist and pragmatist, in life and in her jurisprudence.”→ Read on.

The U.S. National Women’s Soccer Team Makes a Really Good Case for Equal Pay (Maggie Mertens)
“Their position as athletes, workers in a very physical and male-dominated profession, makes their experience similar to the type of discrimination that women in other physical, male-dominated professions frequently face … Take, for example, World War II, when women were filling jobs on factory floors in record numbers to replace the men who were off at war. These women, previously told that they couldn’t possibly do ‘men’s work,’ were, in fact, doing it. But they were usually paid much less than the men they were replacing.”→ Read on.

What Else We’re Reading

Are Beto and Amy O’Rourke the Future of Politics or the Past? (Ben Terris, The Washington Post) (🔒 Paywall)
The White Supremacy of Elizabeth Warren (Twila Barnes, Indian Country Today)
How California’s Biggest Utility Ignored Wildfire Risks (The New York Times) (🔒 Paywall)
SC Sheriffs Fly First Class, Bully Employees and Line Their Pockets With Taxpayer Money (Tony Bartelme and Joseph Cranney, The Post and Courier) (🔒 Paywall)

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