The Atlantic Daily: Common Ground

Bernie Sanders tried to cooperate with Trump, Obama began his farewell world tour, death tolls rose in Aleppo, and more.

Lucas Jackson / Reuters

What We’re Following

Party Lines: There may be a number of deep divisions between President-elect Trump and the Democrats, but Senator Bernie Sanders said in a speech on Wednesday night that there is still plenty of room for common ground if Trump sticks to the promises he made on the campaign trail. Investing in infrastructure, raising the minimum wage, and putting limits on Wall Street are just some of the areas Trump and Democrats might be able to agree on if they work together. With polarization at historic levels, such collaboration may be easier said than done. But according to one scholar of the U.S. presidency, Democrats would be politically smart to pursue it.

Around the World: In Athens on Wednesday, Barack Obama kicked off his final overseas trip as U.S. president by speaking about the importance of the democratic system that much of the world inherited from the Greeks 2,500 years ago. Obama praised democracy for producing more just, stable, and successful governments, and he urged people to resist severing the connections that globalization helped create. Atlantic readers in the U.K. and Germany note that a Trump presidency could prompt Europe to start looking inward as more nationalist, anti-globalization sentiments gain momentum in both countries.

All Eyes on Aleppo: Trump will face another major challenge in Syria, where at least 25 people have been killed since Syrian and Russian forces renewed their offensive this week, destroying several buildings, including a children’s hospital and a blood-donation bank. Eastern Aleppo remains one of the last major strongholds of Syrian rebels, some of whom are supported by the U.S. Though the U.S. and Russia have stood on opposite sides of the Syrian conflict, that may change with Trump’s presidency: a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said the two leaders share a “phenomenally similar” foreign policy outlook.


President Obama greets a 9-month-old citizen on July 17, 2016. See more photos by White House photographer Pete Souza here.

Who We’re Talking To

Dave Alciatore, a mechanical engineering professor, discusses the geometry of trick pool shots with champion shooters such as The Dragon and The Gentleman.

Lisa Kaltenegger, an astronomer, describes how advances in telescope technology could help scientists discover a second Earth. Watch here.

Donna King shares her grief at watching her brother cycle in and out of prison. (If you’ve been incarcerated and left a sibling behind, how did it affect your relationship? We’d like to hear your story:

Evening Read

Thomas Maffai revisits a September morning in Boston, 1974:

“At no point did I expect what I experienced the first day of school,” [Imogene] Drummer recalled. “As we drove up to the school, we were greeted by thousands of people in the streets. They were yelling profanity, things like ‘n-----, go home,’ holding bananas up at the buses. That particular day, there was nothing thrown at buses, but as time went on they started breaking windows.”

Drummer, a black woman from Roxbury, quickly befriended Mary Linehan, a white woman from South Boston. Both had been hired by the school system as transitional aides to implement a federal court order desegregating Boston’s scho­ols by means of busing. Each morning, Drummer rode the bus with black students while Linehan waited in the school’s parking lot to de-escalate any conflicts. As racial tensions mounted around them, Drummer and Linehan developed a close connection—one that bridged their own racial differences and has endured more than four decades of evolving racial dynamics within Boston’s schools. Their friendship als­o served as a public symbol of racial solidarity at a time when their students desperately needed one.

Keep reading here, as Maffai recounts the progress and setbacks that Drummer and Linehan have seen over their 40-year friendship.

What Do You Know?

1. The most common job in the U.S. is ____________.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

2. Guests at a British auction house are expected to pay up to £500,000 next week for the skeleton of a ____________.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

3. In 2014, families in ____________ spent $18 billion on their children’s test prep for the national college-entrance exam.

Scroll down for the answer, or find it here.

Reader Response

Melissa reflects on political backlash against “liberal elites”:

I am one of those elites. Elite doesn’t mean born with a silver spoon. I’ve had a tough childhood, maybe tougher than some of those complaining about people like me. My relatives in more rural areas (aunts and uncles and cousins) seem proud of me. They tell their kids to stay in school so they can be like cousin Melissa. When they have legal problems, they will give me a call.

Yet, they are also the ones posting about how we need to drain the swamp and get the elites out of government. They voted for a man with no experience to the highest office in the land. They seem to not understand why someone would need some specialization to know how to govern. It makes me feel like my life’s work is useless to them.

Read more here. As Melissa mentions, there can be a broad mix of political views in every extended family, and for many Americans, this year’s divisive campaign has exacerbated family tensions—or made family ties feel more needed than ever. (For my part, election stress was the final straw that prompted me to buy a last-minute plane ticket to Portland, Oregon, where my parents have mandated that we not talk about politics, but find peace and solace in pie.)

How far are you traveling to see your family or friends this Thanksgiving, and how are you feeling as you look ahead to the holiday? Take our short survey here; we’ll be publishing the results in a graphic early next week. And if you have a longer reflection to share about what’s making you nervous or hopeful about seeing family this Thanksgiving, please tell us about it:

What You’re Working At: Getting Ahead

“I’ve always believed that if you work hard, you will earn what you make. It’ll be better than sitting at home and taking handouts.” Chuck Carlson, a logger in South Dakota

“My generation had to earn [a place at the top]. But now, people don’t think that way and I see that as a problem. … You have to put your time in to be good at anything.”Angel Veloz, a trash collector in Florida

“I almost have to ask myself, ‘Are today’s companies really hiring for long-term employees?’ For the second time in two years, I find myself [laid off and] out of work again.” Lanier Spriggs, a construction manager in Tennessee

We’ve heard these stories as part of our ongoing series of interviews with American workers. Now, we’d like to hear about your own working life. What have you discovered about the value of hard work in your industry? Have you started at the bottom and worked your way up to the top—or do you struggle to get ahead no matter how much time you put in? Please send us a brief note via, and we’ll post some of the responses as part of an upcoming project.


Pyramids nested, authors honored, progress developed, fantastic beasts found.

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