The Atlantic Daily: Hateful Acts

Two cops were fatally ambushed in Iowa, a Mississippi church was burned and painted with Trump graffiti, a Dutch politician stood trial for hate speech, and more.

Brian Frank / Reuters

What We’re Following

Slain in Iowa: Two police officers in the Des Moines area were shot in their patrol cars this morning in separate “ambush-style” attacks 20 minutes apart. The suspect in custody is Scott Michael Greene, a 46-year-old white man. Though the shootings come at a time of racially charged tension between police and communities throughout the U.S., both of the officers were also white, and the shooter’s motives are unclear. Our news team is live-blogging the latest.

Actions and Words: Authorities in Greenville, Mississippi, are investigating as a hate crime the burning of a black church defaced with graffiti reading “Vote Trump.” Though it’s not clear yet that the fire and graffiti were related or that the fire was arson—a crime that’s very difficult to prove—the burning of black churches has historically been an act of terrorism. Meanwhile in the Netherlands, the far-right politician Geert Wilders is being tried for hate speech after he called for “fewer Moroccans” in the country during a political rally. The trial is intended to define a boundary between hate speech and free speech for politicians.

Health and Safety: Back in the U.S., Donald Trump yesterday convened a “meeting talking about health care,” at which medical professionals spoke in support of the nominee’s health plan. But the specifics of that plan aren’t very clear. Despite his promise of a solution for “repealing and replacing Obamacare,” Trump’s plan seems to boil down to people simply paying their own medical bills outright. That’s not to say the current system is perfect—far from it. For example, though one of Obamacare’s biggest achievements has been expanding access to birth control, gaps in insurance coverage and states’ failure to expand Medicaid mean millions of low-income women still aren’t able to get it.


Brett Monroe Garner photographed this green sea turtle off the coast of Oahu, Hawaii, for the 2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year contest. See more entries here.

Who We’re Talking To

John Brennan, director of the CIA, and other CIA officials discuss whether the U.S. is ready for the age of cyberwar.

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the UN, shares what it’s like to represent a global superpower while balancing diplomacy and motherhood.

Terry Spraitz Ciszek, a stay-at-home mom, reflects on the job of parenting and how she’s seen perceptions of homemakers change. If you’re a stay-at-home dad, how did you approach the decision to parent full-time? Has your experience varied from what many women say about homemaking? We’d like to hear from you:

Evening Read

John Paul Rollert on Donald Trump’s “sociopathic capitalism”:

“I beat people,” the candidate explained to Fox News’s Sean Hannity shortly after he announced that he was running for president last year. “I win.” Hannity had inquired into Trump’s credentials to be commander in chief, but he might just as well have asked him about his strategic mindset for business negotiations. “We don’t have victories anymore,” Trump declared in his announcement speech the day before. “We used to have victories, but we don’t have them. When was the last time anybody saw us beating, let’s say, China in a trade deal? They kill us.”

[But] capitalism as zero-sum combat was certainly not the way many of the most prominent economists of the past half-century preferred to think about commercial exchange.

Keep reading here, as Rollert reviews how economists from Adam Smith onward envisioned harmony between commerce and civility—but how the zero-sum style of capitalism came to dominate.

What Do You Know?

1. One day a year, Chick-fil-A offers a free sandwich to each customer who dresses as a ____________.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

2. In 2014, a nuclear-waste storage site in New Mexico was shut down for cleanup after an explosion caused by ____________.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

3. Children tend to start displaying empathy most clearly around the age of ____________.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

Want more tricky questions? Check out our interactive quiz based on the November 2016 issue.

Answers: cow, cat litter, 8

Reader Response

In our ongoing discussion on infertility, a reader shares her experience with embryo adoption:

Success factors: (1) Embryo adoption/frozen embryo transfer is much less expensive than full IVF because the embryos already exist. (2) Neither my husband nor I are genetically related to our son, so it feels like “equal footing.” (3) We got to experience pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding like genetic parents. (4) It aligned with our ethical beliefs that embryos are humans; we didn’t create more to be discarded. (5) We are not overly enchanted with our own genes; we were happy to adopt others.

Read more from readers on struggling with infertility. If you’ve been on the other side of the issue—donating embryos, eggs, or sperm, or acting as a surrogate for people who can’t have kids on their own—we’d like to hear your stories. How did you decide to donate, and what was your experience like? Let us know:

Look Back

James K. Polk, the 11th U.S. president, was born on this day in 1795. When his diary was published a hundred years later, James Schouler—noting that President John Quincy Adams had left a similar journal—reflected in our August 1895 issue:

No two Presidents could have been more at the antipodes than were Polk and John Quincy Adams in political affiliations and designs. Yet each, after his peculiar fashion, was honest, inflexible in purpose, and pursuant of the country’s good; and both have revealed views singularly alike—the one as a scholar, the other as a sage and sensible observer—of the selfish, ignoble, and antagonistic influences which surge about the citadel of national patronage, and beset each supreme occupant of the White House.

Striking words for partisan times. Read a PDF of the full review here. And if you, like me, now have the They Might Be Giants song about James K. Polk stuck in your head, you can listen here.


Groceries rejected, sashimi Trump sculpted, diets decoded, daiquiris drunk.

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