ESSENTIAL #1: “HOW THE GEOGRAPHY OF CLIMATE CHANGE COULD MAKE THE POLITICS LESS POLARIZING” MARK MURO, DAVID G. VICTOR AND JACOB WHITON, BROOKINGS INSTITUTION
From the article: “The standard story is that the high-tech “blue” states are pushing a green wave of massive investment to cut emissions of gases that cause climate change. Meanwhile, the GOP-leaning “red” states are assumed to be part of what Ron Brownstein calls a “brown blockade” of fossil-fuel producers that are drilling and burning and don’t want to stop. The upshot: Emissions divides appear to guarantee a future of climate policy gridlock, even as scientific consensus signals an emergency and new data shows the rate of planetary warming is accelerating.
And yet, what if we look at the geography of climate change from a different angle? Specifically, what if we flip the frame from emissions to impacts? From that perspective, the current gridlock might not be as permanent as it now seems, as many of the jurisdictions that have selected political leaders opposed to climate policy are the most exposed to the harms of climate change.”
ESSENTIAL #2: “IN POLARIZED WASHINGTON, A DEMOCRAT ANCHORS BIPARTISAN FRIENDSHIPS IN FAITH” JACK JENKINS, RELIGION NEWS SERVICE
From the article: “Part of his secret, it seems, is religion. Over the course of multiple interviews with Religion News Service, Coons, who grew up attending Red Clay Creek Presbyterian Church in Hockessin, Del., explained that his faith has not only provided grounding for his own life but has also emerged as a point of connection with Republicans, with whom he has forged lasting relationships — and legislation.
The fusion of service and faith has long fascinated Coons, who in the 1980s workedwith the South African Council of Churches and Archbishop Desmond Tutu to support the anti-apartheid movement. Coons went on to earn a master’s in ethics from Yale Divinity School in the early 1990s, while getting a law degree from Yale Law School.
‘This is what interests me more than almost anything that I’ve done in public life,’ Coons said, referring to the intersection of religion and politics.”
ESSENTIAL #3: “STACEY ABRAMS TO DELIVER DEMOCRATS’ STATE OF THE UNION RESPONSE” TAMAR HALLERMAN AND GREG BLUESTEIN, THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
From the article: “Stacey Abrams will deliver the response to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address next week, giving the state’s top Democrat one of the nation’s most prominent pulpits as she considers whether to run for U.S. Senate in 2020.”
ESSENTIAL #4: “THE TRUMP DOCTRINE” ROSS DOUTHAT, THE NEW YORK TIMES
From the article: “Two years into his presidency Donald Trump has no clear legislative strategy, no policy agenda, no plan for remedying his persistent unpopularity and a path to re-election sufficiently bleak that he’s trying to bait a political naïf, the Starbucks billionaire Howard Schultz, into running as a third-party spoiler. Also, he might be impeached.
Yet at the same time, amid all the domestic chaos and incompetence and political malpractice, this administration continues to act in foreign policy — not tweet obnoxiously, not rage behind the scenes, but act— as though it’s following a serious grand strategy, one sufficiently coherent and plausible and forward-looking that future presidents might reasonably imitate it.”