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Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

In Sunday's Post ... "Seven in 10 Americans say the nation's political divisions are at least as big as during the Vietnam War, according to a [Washington Post-University of Maryland] poll, which also finds nearly 6 in 10 saying Donald Trump's presidency is making the U.S. political system more dysfunctional," the WashPost's John Wagner and Scott Clement write:

  • Nine months into Trump's presidency, the poll "reveals a starkly pessimistic view of U.S. politics, widespread distrust of the nation's political leaders and their ability to compromise, and an erosion of pride in the way democracy works in America."
  • Why it matters: "Seven in 10 Americans say the nation's politics have reached a dangerous low point, and a majority of those believe the situation is a 'new normal' rather than temporary."
  • This is big: "Americans are feeling frustrated not only with the country's politics but their ability to talk about politics in a civil way."
  • Go deeper.

Go deeper

The modern way to hire a big-city police chief

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

When it comes to picking a city's top cop, closed-door selection processes have been replaced by highly public exercises where everyone gets to vet the candidates — who must have better community-relations skills than ever.

Why it matters: In the post-George-Floyd era, with policing under utmost scrutiny, the choosing of a police chief has become something akin to an election, with the need to build consensus around a candidate. And the candidate pool has gotten smaller.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
56 mins ago - Economy & Business

Speculative crypto art market takes off

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Move over, GameStop. The newest speculative game in town is NFTs — digital files that can be owned and traded on a plethora of new online platforms.

Why it matters: Most NFTs include some kind of still or moving image, which makes them similar to many physical art objects. Some of them, including a gif of Nyan Cat flying through the sky with a pop-tart body and rainbow trail, can be worth more than your house.

New coronavirus cases fall by 20%

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

New coronavirus infections continued their sharp decline over the past week, and are now back down to pre-Thanksgiving levels.

The big picture: Given the U.S.’ experience over the past year, it can be hard to trust anything that looks like good news, without fearing that another shoe is about to drop. But the U.S. really is doing something right lately. Cases are way down, vaccinations are way up, and that’s going to save a lot of lives.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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