Carlo Allegri / Reuters

What We’re Following

Newly empowered progressive legislators and activists have set their sights on a Green New Deal to fight climate change and decarbonize the economy. But the devil is in the details, and a plan released late last week by some 600 environmental groups includes opposition to nuclear power and carbon capture—two tools without which it will be virtually impossible to meet any of the mid-century climate goals.

President Trump allegedly directed his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to lie in front of Congress in order to hide his pursuit of a real-estate project in Moscow, according to a report by BuzzFeed News. Adam Serwer writes that the news, if true, is different from past charges: “The only defense of Trump’s conduct is an imperial, Nixonian conception of the presidency—that nothing the president could do is illegal.” Democrats in Congress seem to be taking that message to heart, as the report looks to be an inflection point that could lead them to push forward with impeachment proceedings even before the end of the Russia investigation.

Last week, the Broadway blockbuster Hamilton premiered in Puerto Rico, the ancestral home of the show’s creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda. But the drama surrounding the long-anticipated opening rivaled that of the musical itself. In the wake of Hurricane Maria, Hamilton in Puerto Rico became a fundraising venture to help support the island. But Miranda’s past support of budget-reducing measures on the island led to threats of a mass protest at the planned theater at the University of Puerto Rico, so the show was moved to another location.

Saahil Desai


Evening Read

Life with a corn allergy

(Illustration: Pete Ryan)

What is life like with a severe corn allergy? It isn’t just popcorn or corn tortillas that become forbidden: It’s everything from some salts (table salt has dextrose, a sugar derived from corn) to milk (added vitamins processed with corn derivatives) to any of the vast varieties of foods that contain corn derivatives. → Read the story.


Unthinkable

Donald Trump's 50 Most Unthinkable Moments

(Patrick Semansky / AP)

Unthinkable is The Atlantic’s catalog of 50 incidents from the first two years of President Trump’s first term in office, ranked—highly subjectively!—according to both their outlandishness and their importance.

At No. 1: Children are taken from their parents and incarcerated.

Join the conversation: Which moments from the Trump presidency would you add to this list? Email us at letters@theatlantic.com with the subject line “Unthinkable,” and include your full name, city, and state. Or tweet using the hashtag #TrumpUnthinkable.

Dr. Brian P. H. Green of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, writes: “Reading Jeffrey Goldberg’s piece, and then the subsequent 50 unthinkable moments, it becomes clear that it is not the bending of norms that should have us alarmed—it is our incremental desensitization to what constitutes a norm at all.”

→ Read more reader-suggested moments here.


Poem of the Week

The beloved poet Mary Oliver died this week at age 83. Here is one of our favorite Oliver poems, “The Loon on Oak-Head Pond,” from our July 1988 issue, a year in which our magazine—and the U.S.—was focused on a presidential election. Tap here to read the full poem.

See more of the July 1988 issue in which the poem appears, here.


Urban Developments

Our partner site CityLab explores the cities of the future and investigates the biggest ideas and issues facing city dwellers around the world. Gracie McKenzie shares their top stories:

Millions of Americans rely on tax refunds through the Earned Income Tax Credit. Those families are the first to file. And they spend their refunds right away—often on food or overdue bills (like heat). This year, those refunds might be very late.

Like Confederate monuments, President Trump’s vision of a massive wall along the Mexican border is about propaganda and racial oppression, designer Brian Lee Jr. writes: not national security.

Cities could get more people walking, biking, and riding transit, according to a new report, if they just know where to look for improvement. Here's what they're currently getting wrong.

For more updates like these from the urban world, subscribe to CityLab’s Daily newsletter.


Looking for our daily mini crossword? Try your hand at it here—the puzzle gets more difficult through the week.

Concerns, comments, questions, typos? Email Shan Wang at swang@theatlantic.com.

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