2020 visions: Ben Mathis-Lilley charts the startling path Pete Buttigieg took from seemingly progressive champion to hardcore centrist and asks: What is Mayor Pete going for? Meanwhile, as “Medicare for All” has entered the national discourse, candidates’ health care plans have come under increasing scrutiny for their funding mechanisms. Jordan Weissmann looks at the studies and puzzles out the advantages—and inconveniences—of Bernie Sanders’ and Elizabeth Warren’s plans.
I heart oil: After abandoning the Kurds in northern Syria, President Donald Trump is now keeping troops in the country to supposedly protect its oil fields, in addition to dispatching soldiers to Saudi Arabia. This makes no sense as a rationale, and Fred Kaplan thinks Trump’s decisions are the result of some behind-the-scenes hoodwinking by his friends.
Enduring legacy: We have a new series called the Trump Bench, which focuses on the work of Trump’s unusually numerous (and far-right) appointments to the federal bench. In the first entry, Mark Joseph Stern scrutinizes Judge James Ho of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, whose goal seems to be to troll progressives: On the bench, he’s argued that rich people must buy elections and that the way to prevent mass shootings is to shield police officers who kill innocent people.
Days of future past: Slate has a new podcast! What Next: TBD, a spinoff of our daily news show, will focus on the tech industry and the future it’s shaping for us. Listen to the first episode here, and read host Lizzie O’Leary’s conversation with a former Facebook insider on why it’s so difficult for the social media giant to play an ethical role in our elections.
Pup coming up,