The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Subpoena-na-na-na

Hey, hey, hey, I won’t comply, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin wrote the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee about its subpoena for Trump’s tax records.

What We’re Following Today

It’s Friday, May 17.

‣ Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will not comply with a subpoena from the Democrat-led House Ways and Means Committee to turn over six years of President Trump’s federal tax returns.

Kamala Harris

(Ed Jones / Getty)

Changes to a broken system: This week, Donald Trump’s administration announced a plan to prioritize immigration for “skilled” workers, such as those on the H-1B visa. In past decades, people on H-1B visas filled a crucial gap in the labor market for high-skilled jobs, but critics say it depresses wages and keeps immigrants tied down to a certain employer for years while navigating the citizenship process.

Generation gap: Joe Biden’s centrist record over his 36-year Senate career could be a liability when it comes to attracting younger, more progressive voters in the party who are more closely aligned with new representatives such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. But among older voters, who still form a substantial voting bloc in the party—and who are more concerned with beating Trump than enacting specific progressive policies—he has a clear lead over his many rivals.

The push for progressive judges: In Philadelphia, racial-justice and anti-mass-incarceration activists helped elect one of the country’s most progressive district attorneys a few years ago, only to realize that the victory was incomplete without a similar push to elect progressive local judges. Is this the new frontier for criminal-justice reform?

A forgotten mass shooting in a small town: A year ago, the small Texas town of Santa Fe was rocked by a school shooting that left 10 students dead. By and large, the town has faded from the public consciousness—and that’s how most residents say they prefer it.

A bipartisan friendship: When Norman Mineta, now 87, was imprisoned in a Japanese internment camp during World War II, he ended up befriending a local Boy Scout named Alan Simpson, also now 87. Decades later, the two of them worked across the political aisle—and across both houses of Congress—to pass the Civil Liberties Act of 1988, which formally apologized for Japanese internment.

Cover Story

Abolish the priesthood, argues James Carroll

(Oliver Munday)

James Carroll has a stunning proposition for the future of the Catholic Church: Abolish the priesthood.

My five years in the priesthood, even in its most liberal wing, gave me a fetid taste of this caste system. Clericalism, with its cult of secrecy, its theological misogyny, its sexual repressiveness, and its hierarchical power based on threats of a doom-laden afterlife, is at the root of Roman Catholic dysfunction. The clerical system’s obsession with status thwarts even the merits of otherwise good priests and distorts the Gospels’ message of selfless love, which the Church was established to proclaim. Clericalism is both the underlying cause and the ongoing enabler of the present Catholic catastrophe. I left the priesthood 45 years ago, before knowing fully what had soured me, but clericalism was the reason.

→ Read the rest


(Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)

A security guard walks the atrium of the East Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., designed by the renowned architect I. M. Pei, who died Thursday at age 102.

Ideas From The Atlantic

Can Trump Call In the Troops to Deport Immigrants? (Stephen I. Vladeck)
“Lawsuits will certainly challenge Trump’s invocation of the Insurrection Act to assist in immigration enforcement … But the text of the statute would seem to be on the president’s side—underscoring just how broad the power is that Congress has delegated to the president.” → Read on.

The Legacy of ‘Broken Windows’ Lives on in Infamy (Annika Neklason)
“‘Consider a building with a few broken windows,’ wrote James Q. Wilson, a government professor at Harvard University, and George L. Kelling, a criminal-justice professor at Rutgers University, in a 1982 article for The Atlantic … Kelling died this week; Wilson, in 2012.” → Read on.

The Case for a Permanent Anti-war Movement (Conor Friedersdorf)
“The best insurance against a catastrophic war of choice, now and going forward, is a permanent anti-war movement that opposes all illegal or imprudent wars, insisting on public debates and congressional votes, no matter how small the conflict.” → Read on.

About us: Today’s newsletter was written by Amal Ahmed. This newsletter is a daily effort from The Atlantic’s politics writers: Elaine Godfrey, Madeleine Carlisle, and Olivia Paschal. It’s edited by Shan Wang.

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