Vox’s guide to the 2020 presidential candidates

The 2020 presidential race is officially underway, and several Democrats are hoping to take their shot at unseating President Trump. Former VP Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg have emerged as early frontrunners in the crowded field, but there are still a total of eight Democrats vying for their shot.

Now that the primaries have begun, the candidates are touring the nation and raising money as they attempt to establish frontrunner status and build momentum through early primary state wins.

Here, you’ll find everything you need to know about the

Why Congress and the Pentagon are tussling over US troops in West Africa

The Trump administration might want US troops who have been fighting for years in Western Africa to get out. But a testy argument between the Pentagon and members of Congress over the weekend shows that doing so could be politically difficult for the president.

Back in December, multiple reports indicated Defense Secretary Mark Esper was weighing options for a reduction — or even a complete withdrawal — of US service personnel in West Africa. According to a US Africa Command spokesperson, there are currently approximately 1,200 US personnel (including military personnel, civilians, and contractors) in all of West Africa, the …

Ring is finally requiring a basic security feature to help prevent hacks

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Following a spate of customer complaints and lawsuits that claimed Amazon’s Ring home surveillance system left customers vulnerable to hacks, the company announced Tuesday that it’s finally making two-factor authentication mandatory for its devices. Also, following reports that the company’s apps shared personal information with third parties, Ring said it was suspending third-party analytics services and giving customers the ability to opt out of data sharing with advertisers.

Now that Ring is rolling out two-factor authentication for all its apps and web services (including its social media platform Neighbors), customers trying to log into their accounts will get a six-digit …

Ta-Nehisi Coates on why political power isn’t enough for the right

This episode of The Ezra Klein Show was a pleasure. Ta-Nehisi Coates joined me in Brooklyn for part of the Why We’re Polarized tour. His description of the book may be my favorite yet. It is, he says, “a cold, atheist book.”

We talk about what that means, and from there go into some of the harder questions raised not so much by the book but by American history itself. Then Coates asked me a question I never expected to hear from him: Is there anything I could say to leave him with some hope? Don’t miss this one.

A …

Why liberals are bad at politics

If you spend a lot of time consuming news, there’s a good chance you’re doing politics wrong.

And you’re not only doing it wrong, you probably also think you’re doing it right, which means you’re almost certainly making things worse.

This is the thesis of a new book called Politics Is for Power by Eitan Hersh, a political scientist at Tufts University. His book is half lament, half rallying cry. A self-identified liberal, Hersh tries to understand why the left stopped pursuing power and instead started treating politics more and more like a spectator sport.

He coins the term “political …