The Angle

The Angle: The Not Guilty Pleasures Edition

Slate’s daily newsletter on New Year’s vices, North Korea and Iran, rich Democrats, and selfies.

New year, same you: Resolution, shmesolution. Slate staff encourage you to embrace a vice in 2020—and maybe even accept it as good. From smoking and waking up to Twitter to using Q-tips in your ears, here are the bad habits we’re holding onto “joyfully, pragmatically, in spite of ourselves.”

Hot spots: Tensions are flaring again with North Korea, which is apparently ditching its self-imposed moratorium on nuclear missile tests, and Iran, which has been implicated in the New Year’s Eve attack on the U.S. Embassy in Iraq. And once again President Donald Trump has shown he has “no strategy on how to douse the flames,” Fred Kaplan writes.


On the defensive: Ben Mathis-Lilley links the debate over “billionaires in wine caves” to the death of the public option in 2009—and the role that wealthy political donors may have played in it. “If Trump is the candidate of white resentment, Buttigieg is the candidate for the wounded upper-class liberal,” he writes.

Face first: Justin Peters took nearly 2,500 selfies in the 2010s—with and without a beard, at home and on the road, at happy moments and completely forgettable ones. The project, far from an exercise in narcissism, became an opportunity for meaningful self-reflection. Read Peters’ look back on the decade in his own face.

For fun: The worst books, films, and plays from 1924 that just entered the public domain.

There may be others, but we have our doubts,