David A. Graham
David A. Graham
David A. Graham is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers U.S. politics and global news. More +
  • Aaron Josefczyk / AP

    Could the World Series Help Clinton (or Trump) Win Ohio?

    Probably not—but in a close race, a Cleveland Indians defeat could help Donald Trump, while a Tribe triumph might buoy Hillary Clinton.

  • Gary Cameron / Reuters

    Clinton's Careful Courtship of Muslim Voters

    It’s a political constituency just coming into its own—and although many Muslims are scornful of Donald Trump, they remain skeptical of the Democratic nominee.

  • Brendan McDermid / Reuters

    Clinton Still Hasn't Faced Questions About Pay-to-Play Head On

    Donald Trump didn’t press his rival on accusations that Clinton Foundation donors enjoyed special access, but that doesn’t mean they’ll go away.

  • Carlos Barria / Reuters

    The Most Irresponsible Thing Ever Said in a Presidential Debate

    Donald Trump refuses to accept the legitimacy of the election he’s trying to win.

  • Trump's '5-Point Plan to Defeat Islam'

    The candidate: Donald Trump

    The gaffe: Speaking on MSNBC, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway ticked off some of her candidate’s proposals: “a ten-point Veterans Administration reform plan, five-point plan to defeat Islam...” Wait, hold on a second.

    The defense: She’s presumably referring to shahada, salat, zakat, sawm, and hajj. Wait, no, those are the five pillars of Islam.

    Why it matters (or doesn’t): Conway had a slip of the tongue, and she presumably meant ISIS, but because Trump has repeatedly demonized Muslims—calling for a ban on Muslim immigration, for example—it looks like a Kinsley gaffe, that treasured tradition where a candidate, or in this case an aide, accidentally tells the truth.

    The lesson: Kellyanne Conway is the friendly public face of the Trump campaign, but Shia can’t mosque his policy toward Islam with a Sunni disposition.

  • Carlo Allegri / Reuters

    Even Trump's Supporters Are Wary of 'Rigged' Rhetoric

    Why has his latest fixation elicited a level of condemnation that his prior personal attacks did not?

  • Joe Raedle / Getty

    Will Democrats Lash Congressional Republicans to a Sinking Trump?

    The Clinton campaign seems unsure whether or not to try to win Congress by tying Republicans to their foundering nominee.

  • Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

    Republicans Have Been 'Rigging' Elections for Years

    Allegations of voter fraud have long been used to delegitimize balloting—and especially black votes.

  • Mike Segar / Reuters

    A Tale of Two Trumps

    At a rally in North Carolina, an optimistic audience doubted the media but hoped for a circumspect performance from the Republican nominee. Results were mixed.

  • Track of the Day: 'Tangled Up in Blue' by Bob Dylan

    How should one aurally mark the occasion of Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize in Literature? One could, if one was foolish, ask a Dylanologist to name his or her favorite Dylan tune; to do so is to open a Pandora’s box full of hot air. Still, a few nominations would float to the top of the list: the sublime “I’m Not There,” a semi-lost track from The Basement Tapes; a mid-career masterpiece like “Blind Willie McTell”; one of the early landmarks, “Blowin’ in the Wind.”

    I’m not sure what my favorite Dylan tune is, but my pick for the best would probably be the most conventional one: “Tangled Up in Blue.” (Fittingly for Dylan, an artist inseparable from the great American folk tradition, it’s an opinion I inherited from my parents.) It might, in fact, be the greatest song in popular music.

  • Jamie Fine / Reuters

    How Trump's Abuse of Women Hid in Plain Sight

    The Republicans’ defenders argue that the timing of accusations of sexual assault are questionable. That’s only because they weren’t paying attention before.

  • Mike Segar / Reuters

    Trump Faces a Slew of New Allegations of Sexual Assault

    The Republican presidential nominee categorically denied any past incidents, but several women have come forward to report unwanted attention from him.

  • What Day Is Election Day?

    The candidate: Donald Trump

    The gaffe: “Make sure you get out and vote November 28,” the Republican nominee told voters in Panama City, Florida, on Tuesday. Small problem: Election Day is November 8, 20 days earlier. Hundreds of political reporters’ hearts stopped for a moment as they considered the idea there were three extra weeks of this to go.

    The defense: Two words: 57 states.

    Why it matters (or doesn’t): Hey, it’s an old-school, slip-of-the-tongue gaffe for Trump, who has been more prone to the unwise or outrageous than the simply mistaken! It doesn’t matter at all, though it’s hard not to think about Trump’s get-out-the-vote operation, which by all indications is much smaller and more challenged than Hillary Clinton’s. Given that, it’s all the more important that he give supporters the right date.

    The lesson: If you can’t count days, you can’t count on votes.

  • Carlos Barria / Reuters

    The Joshua Generation: Did Barack Obama Fulfill His Promise?

    In 2007, he saw himself as part of a movement that would take African Americans to the Promised Land. Nine years later, his role in the lineage is less certain.

  • Mike Segar / Reuters

    Donald Trump's Bitter Barrage Against Republicans

    Four weeks before Election Day, the GOP’s nominee is attacking not Hillary Clinton but his own party and its most senior office-holder.

  • Shannon Stapleton / Reuters

    Independents and Women Bail on Trump, Giving Clinton a Double-Digit Lead

    The latest PRRI/The Atlantic poll shows Hillary Clinton building a double-digit advantage—after being locked in a dead heat two weeks ago.

  • Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

    Donald Trump's Disastrous Debate

    The Republican nominee needed to turn around his campaign. Instead, he threatened to jail his opponent.

  • Facebook / screengrab

    Trump Apologizes for Groping Video, Calling It a 'Distraction'

    With a midnight statement, the Republican presidential nominee said he was not “a perfect person” but insisted that his opponent and her husband had done even worse.

  • The Washington Post

    Trump Brags About Groping Women

    The Republican nominee faces the biggest crisis of his candidacy after the release of a 2005 recording in which he boasts that stars like him can “grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”

  • Track of the Day: 'Heart Like a Levee' by Hiss Golden Messenger

    I’m the type of music fan that likes to immerse myself in an artist or an album, listening over and over again. But seldom do I find myself listening to the same song over and over, back to back. That’s how I’ve been consuming “Heart Like a Levee,” the title track from Hiss Golden Messenger’s new album, which comes out today:

    I’ve been trying to figure out why I keep listening to it. One reason is that enigmatic title: What does it mean to have a heart like a levee? Another is the tension between the gently rolling music and its bittersweet lyrics. Hiss Golden Messenger’s M.C. Taylor has always been a highly personal songwriter, but the latest album grew out of a commission by Duke Performances, which paired Taylor up with the late photographer William Gedney, some of whose photographs reside in the university’s archives. In contrast to Taylor’s confessional style, Gedney was a private, nearly reclusive figure, barely known when he died of AIDS in 1989.

    Taylor worked with a series of photos that Gedney took in Kentucky in the 1970s; one adorns the cover of Heart Like a Levee, and it’s on the video above. Trying at first to write songs about the photos, he eventually gave up and switched tacks, writing songs about his own life but inspired by the images. One striking line here: “Do you hate me, honey, as much as I hate myself?” Taylor sings the song over a hypnotic, circular chord pattern, with a catchy, chiming guitar riff.

    This is folk-inflected music, but it’s not rudimentary or primitive. Hiss Golden Messenger has traded some of the thump of previous albums for a sound that’s almost proggy at times. (The album’s co-producer, Bradley Cook, was also responsible for another of my favorite albums this year, which I wrote about here in June.) Amid the rich texture, you can pick out Ryan Gustafson’s banjo, Phil Cook’s pealing guitar, and Tift Merritt’s backing vocals.

    Gedney’s photographs from rural Kentucky are striking for what they are not: Though they depict people without much money, this is no Walker Evans-style catalog of destitution. The Cornett family he captured was homey but not simplistic, earthy but not unintelligent, vulnerable but open. They are photographs of real people, and this is a song about real people. “Heart Like a Levee” is a fitting counterpart.

    As a bonus, here’s a live performance, showing Gedney’s photographs, as arranged by Jim Findlay, projected behind the band:

    (Submit a song via hello@. Track of the Day archive here. Pre-Notes archive here.)