The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Schiffting Gears

The Mueller report took a bit of wind out of Adam Schiff's sails. This week, the House Intelligence Committee chairman's back in the spotlight. Plus: Puerto Rico protests.

Democratic U.S. House committee chairmen Representative Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Adam Schiff and Rep. Eliot Engel participate in a news conference to discuss their investigations into the Trump administration on Capitol Hill on June 11. (Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)
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What We’re Following Today

It’s Monday, July 22.

‣ As protests continue into their tenth consecutive day, Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló said he will not run for reelection amid backlash over leaked, offensive private messages; the handling of Hurricane Maria recovery efforts; and government corruption.

‣ The White House and congressional leaders reached an agreement for a two-year budget deal and an increase in the government’s debt ceiling.

Here’s what else we’re watching:

(Patrick Semansky / AP / Katie Martin / The Atlantic)

Adam Schiff Is Back for Seconds: As Washington prepares for Robert Mueller’s testimony before Congress on Wednesday, a familiar face of the Russia investigation is prepared for a return to the spotlight. “I think we need to set expectations at a realistic level,” Schiff told Todd Purdum. “Public attitudes are very hardened on this subject.”

Elizabeth Warren’s Moment: Plenty of eyes will be on the senator from Massachusetts at the next set of Democratic debates, and with good reason: She wants to turn her 2020 campaign into a movement to change American politics, Edward-Isaac Dovere writes. “Some people think small change, incremental change, is how we will move America in a better direction; I think big change is easier,” Warren told him.

The Brains Behind ‘Maximum Pressure’: While John Bolton and Mike Pompeo are the Trump administration’s hawkish public faces for pressure on Iran, this Treasury Department official is the person with her hands on the lever. “Bad actors need money to do bad things,” Sigal Mandelker has said, and her role in economic warfare is one to watch, Kathy Gilsinan writes.

A Case Study in Inequity: At the height of the AIDS crisis, the Whitman-Walker clinic in Washington, D.C., was a leading provider of care for LGBTQ people while also on the front lines of a battle over funding for federal HIV-prevention programs. Its history sheds light on the dark truth that not all people with HIV were treated equally.


(Ilana Panich-Linsman / Reuters)

Former Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, who rose to prominence after a marathon 13-hour filibuster in 2013, announced today that she plans to run for Congress, after a failed gubernatorial bid in 2014. (Above: Davis speaking during a Planned Parenthood rally outside the Texas Capitol back in 2017.)

Ideas From The Atlantic

The Stuff of Dystopian Nightmare (Garrett Epps)
“Commercial airliners are not usually restful environments, but February 2017 was a particularly fraught time for domestic air passengers. Donald Trump had become president a month earlier and had quickly issued his “travel ban” executive order, sparking chaos at the nation’s airports.” → Read on.

They Tried to Start a Church Without God. For a While, It Worked. (Faith Hill)
“[Twenty-five] percent of Americans today are religiously unaffiliated, up from single digits in the 1990s. Among young people, that number is 39 percent. Those numbers describe not just a retreat from organized religion, but also an erosion of community.” → Read on.

The Stock-Buyback Swindle (Jerry Useem)
“American corporations are spending trillions of dollars to repurchase their own stock. The practice is enriching CEOs—at the expense of everyone else.” → Read on.

What Else We’re Reading

A close look at the accusations against former Senator Al Franken (Jane Mayer, The New Yorker) (🔒Paywall)

Behind the scenes of the House Democrats’ Twitter war (Joan Walsh, The Nation)

19 questions for Mueller ahead of his testimony before Congress (Sharon LaFraniere, The New York Times) (🔒Paywall)

Behind Pence’s Air Force Two cancellation: A drug dealer (Trent Spiner, Politico)

About us: This newsletter is a daily effort from The Atlantic’s politics writer Elaine Godfrey, with help from Christian Paz. It’s edited by Shan Wang.

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