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Vann R. Newkirk II

Vann R. Newkirk II is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers politics and policy.
Results 1-10 of 52

Analysis: The Weaponized Census

March 28, 2018 So far, 2018 has been the time for passionate fights about strange things. Facebook quizzes, self-driving cars, expensive dinner tables, and porn stars have all become critical pieces of the political landscape. The weird has become the mundane, and even the most obscure and arcane pieces of political machinery have...

The People Trump's War on Drugs Will Actually Punish

March 26, 2018 The War on Drugs 3.0 began in earnest just last week. And it could have the same devastating effect on communities of color as the ones that came before. In Manchester, New Hampshire—the hardest-hit city in a state that’s become the epicenter of America’s opioid crisis—President Trump announced a new...

The Troubled Future for State Medicaid Expansion

March 13, 2018 In 2012, the Supreme Court’s decision in the NFIB v. Sebelius case sent shockwaves through the health-policy community, with Chief Justice John Roberts’s majority opinion causing much teeth-gnashing all around. Among many conservatives, the preservation of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate constituted “one of the worst Supreme Court decisions...

Trump's EPA Concludes Environmental Racism Is Real

March 1, 2018 “Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south and east.” Marvin Gaye wasn’t an environmental scientist, but his 1971 single “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” provides a stark and useful environmental analysis, complete with warnings of overcrowding and climate change. The song doesn’t explicitly mention race, but...

Trump's EPA Concludes Environmental Racism Is Real

March 1, 2018 “Poison is the wind that blows from the north and south and east.” Marvin Gaye wasn’t an environmental scientist, but his 1971 single “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)” provides a stark and useful environmental analysis, complete with warnings of overcrowding and climate change. The song doesn’t explicitly mention race, but...

An End to Gerrymandering in Ohio?

February 6, 2018 On Monday night, the Ohio state Senate did something truly unprecedented: With near-unanimous support from both Republicans and Democrats, the chamber approved Senate Resolution 5, a measure that would for the first time require bipartisan input and approval for federal congressional maps. The measure is expected to pass the state...

Is the CDC Losing Control?

February 5, 2018 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was created, quite literally, to drain the swamp. In the not-so-far-off past, much of the southeastern United States was a malarial mess, with disease-carrying mosquitoes multiplying in the heat and moisture of the agricultural lowlands and wetlands that dominate the region. Before America...

The Peril of Privatizing Puerto Rico's Power Company

January 24, 2018 The plan for the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (Prepa) has been contested hotly for months now, in a power struggle that started even before Hurricane Maria plunged the island into darkness for months. But the ultimate fate for the commonwealth-owned power company has always trended in one direction: privatization....

Virginia Is for Second Chances

January 8, 2018 Richmond is hot in the summer. August days in Virginia’s capital feature the kind of heat that shimmers in waves from the pavement and even in the evenings plasters suit shirts to skin like wet towels. On one such evening last year, that heat did a little extra sticking, even...

Puerto Rico’s Power Struggle

December 28, 2017 It’s been three months since Hurricane Maria changed everything in Puerto Rico. FEMA has declared it’s transitioning from disaster response to recovery, but humanitarian issues continue to mount. The territorial government has vastly undercounted deaths from the storm and its aftermath, with the true tally likely topping 1,000. The threat...