The Angle

The Angle: Outsize Fears Edition

Slate’s daily newsletter on measles, high-speed rail, consensual sex work, and Democrats’ names.

Outsize concerns: The measles outbreak with at least 53 confirmed cases in Clark County, Washington, is a horrible and disturbing story, but it does not mean the childhood disease is making a comeback. Daniel Engber is exceedingly clear: “Attempts to link it to a dawning crisis in America are, at best, a waste of readers’ time and trust. At worst, they might provide a boost to the anti-vaxxer movement, by exaggerating its extent and influence; or else they could distract us from other, more important obstacles to vaccination, such as health care inequality.”

If you build it: The future of high-speed rail in America looks bleaker than ever, now that California has scuttled its ambitious plan to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco. But Henry Grabar says that doesn’t mean high-speed rail can’t work here: “What makes the failure in California so frustrating is not that it was crazy to suggest the train could sharply curtail California’s intercity air travel—but that it might have, if we’d done it right.”

Back to the shadows: Last spring, two major anti–sex trafficking bills were signed into law in the hopes that fewer minors would be forced to engage in illegal sex work, which led to the widely publicized shutdowns of Craigslist’s personals section as well as Backpage. But these bills had a devastating effect on consensual sex work in the U.S. Ten months later, according to April Glaser, the market for consensual sex workers is even worse off than before because nothing has effectively replaced those resources.

A Dem by any other name: Aaron Mak has your pronunciation guide for Democratic 2020 candidates, a diverse field with equally diverse names. It’s extremely informative. I mean, really: Buttigieg is pronounced BOOT-edge-edge.

For fun: Congratulations to President Trump on his new, expensive “golf simulator.”

Golf-clapping with polite disinterest,

Dawnthea