The Atlantic Daily: After the Storm

Trump’s campaign reached a watershed moment, social media became a tool of war, The Atlantic got a new editor in chief, and more.

Mike Segar / Reuters

What We’re Following

Dumping Trump: By far the biggest story of the weekend was the unfolding scandal over the tape released on Friday in which the Republican nominee bragged about his treatment of women in terms that sounded like sexual assault. The fallout was serious: High-profile Republicans withdrew their support, and even the highest-ranking one in government, Paul Ryan, said he’d no longer defend the nominee—though he didn’t withdraw his endorsement. Trump has responded with threats and intimidation against his own party members down the ballot. From a candidate who in Sunday’s debate threatened to jail his political opponent, this looks dangerous.

At the Polls: How are voters taking all this? A PRRI/The Atlantic poll released today shows Hillary Clinton with a double-digit lead over Trump, 49-38. But the effects of Trump’s campaign could run much deeper than Election Day, which is exactly a month away. As he continues to spread fears of a rigged election among his supporters—despite clear evidence that voter fraud is extremely rare—the loss of public trust in the political system could seriously damage U.S. democracy. And the latest episode from Samantha Bee demonstrates how deeply election-related outrage has permeated American culture.

Meanwhile, Off the Campaign Trail: In Germany, three Syrian refugees captured a suspected terrorist. Ahead of Yom Kippur, some animal-rights groups protested a Jewish ritual. And in the American Southwest, scientists predicted a drought “worse than anything seen during the last 2,000 years.”

Some Personnel News: The Atlantic has a new editor in chief. Longtime national correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg is succeeding James Bennet as the head of our print, digital, and video teams, and he plans to dive into the new role the same way he’d report a story: by interviewing his staff. We’re also looking to the future in our November issue, out today, which centers on how technology shapes the world we live in—and the one we’re about to. From a guide to the robot revolution to the cure for phone addiction, check out the whole issue here—starting with our new cover story, which looks at how social media has begun to play a key role in global warfare.


A building flooded by Hurricane Matthew is reflected in the water in Lumberton, North Carolina, on October 10, 2016. See more photos of the hurricane’s aftermath here. (Sean Rayford / Getty)


“We’d like to be the chicken’s choice. If I’m a chicken and I’m going to be raised by somebody, I want it to be Perdue.” Bruce Stewart-Brown, a senior vice president at Perdue Foods

“If you infected my Mac and recorded me all the time, you’d see me sitting at my desk, picking my nose, petting my dog, and occasionally swearing at my computer. However, when I jump on a Google Hangout … that’s when things get interesting.” Patrick Wardle, a cybersecurity researcher, on how hackers can eavesdrop on video calls

“Our power has been challenged, [but] really we are a very strong pillar of the community. The women are stronger than men sometimes.” Ghazala Khan, the Gold Star mother who stood up to Donald Trump, on the political power of Muslim women

Evening Read

Amanda Ripley on the state laws against “disturbing school”—which, in South Carolina, “is punishable by up to 90 days in jail or a $1,000 fine”:

When teenagers talk back, scream obscenities, or otherwise behave badly, adults must call them out and hold them accountable. That’s how kids learn. In time, most kids outgrow their delinquent ways. Police and policy makers who defend these laws say they make classrooms safer.

But the laws have also been used to punish behavior that few reasonable people would consider criminal. Defiance is a typical part of adolescence, so putting teenagers in jail for swearing or refusing to follow an order is akin to arresting a 2-year-old for having a meltdown at the grocery store. It essentially outlaws the human condition. And the vagueness of the laws means they are inevitably applied unevenly, depending on the moods and biases of the adults enforcing them. In South Carolina, black students … are nearly four times as likely as their white peers to be charged with disturbing school.

Keep reading here, as Ripley explores how America came to outlaw adolescence. And read more about how racial profiling can affect kids’ learning here.

What Do You Know?

1. In the Victorian era, the poisonous substance ____________ was used to make food coloring, wallpaper, nurses’ uniforms, fertilizer, and a libido pill.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

2. Almost ____________ species of plants and animals are known to have gone extinct since 1500.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

3. In Maine, one high school boosted its graduation rate from 58 percent to 91 percent by adding a curriculum based on ____________ .

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

Political Theater

Megan Garber introduces the next film in our election-themed movie club:

Tracy Flick is, in one sense, a kind of comic-book villain in a plaid skirt. She’s obsessed with winning. She will stop at nothing to achieve that goal. And she’s also that most fraught of things for a woman to be: openly ambitious.

Because of all that, Tracy is an extremely relevant character for the era that is still (still!) grappling with the political ascendancy of Hillary Clinton. So let’s talk about Ms. Flick! And about the movie she stars in! Our next installment of Political Theater will be … 1999’s Election.

We’ll be watching Election tomorrow, October 12, at 6:30 p.m. ET, and discussing it in the coming days.

Reader Response

A Jewish reader, Charles, describes a major turning point in his religious life:

From 2005 to 2009 I lived and worked in a Jewish community where I was bullied, emotionally and verbally abused, and had my Judaism silenced, negated, and denied. Teaching a secular subject was proof, I was constantly told, that I was a “secular” Jew. Scandal ensued when I dared teach “Song of Songs” as literature in my senior AP Lit class.  Whenever I attempted to contribute to discussion about the Jewish direction of our community, I was told I knew nothing about Judaism and please shut up or go away.

I left that community a few years ago, but I have yet to find my comfort level in my new community.  It was not that I felt a void where my Judaism was (as I mentioned, my Judaism never left me). I felt more like my presence in synagogue created a void in that holy place and time.

Then I attended my first Wild Goose Festival.

Continued here, and write to us at if you’d like to share a profound experience you had worshipping with people of a different religion.


Graphite biographied, football falls, pot proposals tick up, phone goes bust.

The Atlantic Daily is written by Rosa Inocencio Smith. To contact us, email