The Atlantic Daily: Campaign Questions

Gary Johnson’s gaffe put Aleppo in the spotlight, Apple asked for customers’ trust, Hillary Clinton received disturbing backlash, and more.

George Ourfalian / AFP / Getty

What We’re Following

“What Is Aleppo?” That’s what Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson said when asked what he would do about the besieged city at the center of Syria’s civil war. Johnson is being ridiculed for his lack of foreign-policy knowledge, but his question is important: It’s drawing attention to a humanitarian crisis that could have far-reaching consequences. Here’s what you should know.

Talking Tough: Johnson isn’t the only one getting criticized for his questions: NBC’s Matt Lauer is being accused of going too easy on Donald Trump after the candidate appeared at a Commander in Chief Forum opposite Hillary Clinton last night. But while Lauer should be critiqued for not pushing back, writes David Graham, tougher moderators and fact-checkers aren’t going to stop Trump’s rise—his campaign, and his support, are not about the truth.

The Revolution Will Not Be Plugged In: “When it comes to killing off old technologies,” writes Kaveh Waddell, “no one does it better than Apple.” This week, the company announced it was removing headphone jacks from its phones—a none-too-popular move with consumers, but one that marketers touted as courage. In the past, Apple caused similar outcry by getting rid of floppy disk and CD drives, choices that now seem like innovative—and inevitable—steps toward the future. Yet as Ian Bogost writes, Apple’s choices exert a subtle form of control over its customers, asking people to simply have faith in the company’s vision. Should we trust it?


The site of a bombing in Aleppo on March 7, 2014. See more photos here. (Hosam Katan / Reuters)


“It’s like a game of bacterial whack-a-mole. We hit them with bigger and bigger hammers, and they wear better and better hats.” Michael Baym, a biologist, on how bacteria evolve to resist antibiotics

“As surgeons, there’s instant gratification: Oftentimes, you can fix what’s wrong.” Sareh Parangi, a surgeon who specializes in treating thyroid cancer

“I think this should serve as a really loud wake up call to the Republican Party. They could lose Texas.Celia Morgan, president of the Texas Young Democrats, on a poll showing Hillary Clinton has a one-point lead in the state

Evening Read

Peter Beinart on the sexist merchandise at the Republican National Convention:

Black pin reading Don’t be a pussy. Vote for Trump in 2016. Black-and-red pin reading Trump 2016: Finally someone with balls. White T-shirt reading Trump that bitch. White T‑shirt reading Hillary sucks but not like Monica. Red pin reading Life’s a bitch: Don’t vote for one. White pin depicting a boy urinating on the word Hillary. Black T-shirt depicting Trump as a biker and Clinton falling off the motorcycle’s back alongside the words If you can read this, the bitch fell off. Black T-shirt depicting Trump as a boxer having just knocked Clinton to the floor of the ring, where she lies faceup in a clingy tank top. White pin advertising KFC Hillary Special. 2 fat thighs. 2 small breasts … Left wing.

Standard commentary about Clinton’s candidacy—which focuses on her email server, the Benghazi attack, her oratorical deficiencies, her struggles with “authenticity”—doesn’t explain the intensity of this opposition. But the academic literature about how men respond to women who assume traditionally male roles does. And it is highly disturbing.

Read more here, as Beinart reviews the psychology behind sexist backlash against female leaders—and what it foreshadows for the U.S.

What Do You Know?

1. The New England slang term “to be on one’s beanwater” means “to feel ____________.”

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

2. Between 1975 and 2008, the number of administrators in the California state university system increased from 3,000 to ____________.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

3 A new study suggests that eating ____________ is crucial to fighting viral infections.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

Reader Response

What’s your favorite music to work to? One reader writes:

The champion long-running compositions for working, for me, are the J.S. Bach Cello Suites, performed by Mstislav Rostropovich. (These do require a quiet environment or headphones that limit competing noise). The notes push onward inevitably, flowing and cascading, for a couple of hours if I play all six suites.

It’s like going into a large, high-ceilinged room that has minimal furniture, but very rich textures—bookcases with leather-bound volumes, silk oriental rugs, deep-cushioned velvet upholstery, satin pillows, a lacquered chest, taffeta draperies, window seats with brocade cushions, and glazed plaster walls, all in aquamarine, emerald, sapphire, ruby, pearl, and silver tones, with one or two cloisonne tchotchkes, an arrangement of tulips or apple blossom or pussy willows, and a marble fireplace with an enormous mirror above it.

Listen here, and send your own recommendations to


Cash dropped, swimmer suspended, brands debranded, flag found.

Answers: frisky, 12,183, sugar