The Atlantic Daily: Punting on the Obstruction Question

A case for the Mueller report as an impeachment referral. Plus: Georgetown students vote on reparations, the pleasure of repeating activities, and more

What We’re Following

Robert Mueller

(Katie Martin / The Atlantic)

The Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report was finally released publicly. Was there collusion? Was there obstruction of justice? On the first, the 448-page report found that there was no collusion, but mentioned “multiple links” between Trump campaign officials and Russian contacts. On the second, whether Trump broke any laws by trying to thwart the investigation, the special counsel examined multiple concerning incidents, but in the end neither cleared nor charged the president. Mueller’s punt on the obstruction question is effectively a referral for Congress to take up the matter, argues Yoni Appelbaum, which means one thing: impeachment proceedings.

Georgetown students voted recently to pay reparations to the descendants of slaves, a first for an American college. In the 1800s, the university averted financial ruin by profiting off the sale of hundreds of enslaved laborers. Students last week voted overwhelmingly to tax themselves to benefit the progeny of those laborers. The tax would raise around $400,000 per year, a considerable sum, but one that’s tiny for a university that has nearly $2 billion in the bank and pays its basketball coach millions per year. Why are students shouldering the burden for an institution’s misdeeds?


Mars in the Gobi Desert

Evening Read

Reading things twice

(Miguel Vidal / Reuters)

Doing things for the second time—rewatching a movie, revisiting the same museum—might be more pleasant than one would expect, research suggests:

In another experiment, O’Brien’s team had research subjects watch a movie on Netflix that they hadn’t seen before and thought they’d enjoy. Then, on the following night, the researchers had some of them watch the same movie again. The group that didn’t watch it a second night in a row rated the enjoyment they would have had rewatching it at an average of roughly 3.5 on a seven-point scale, which was lower than the 5.3 they gave to watching the movie the first time. But the group that did watch the movie a second time gave the experience a 4.5 on average.

These discrepancies illustrate O’Brien’s finding well. It’s not that watching a movie for the second time in 24 hours is just as enjoyable as the first time—it probably won’t be. But it does seem likely to be more pleasant than one would predict.

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Today in History

'On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five' Paul Revere set out for his midnight ride

“On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five,” Paul Revere embarked on a ride to warn of the British troops’ arrival during the Revolutionary War. Revere’s ride is memorialized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s most famous poem, first published in the pages of The Atlantic’s January 1861 issue, as America verged on civil war.

Listen, my children, and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-Five:
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

Do you remember the rest?

Urban Developments

What D.C.’s Go-Go Showdown Reveals About Gentrification

(Tanvi Misra/CityLab)

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

In D.C. this week, a neighborhood debate over music swiftly became something bigger, and louder. Tanvi Misra asks: What does the reaction reveal about the way we talk about gentrification? Here’s another piece to get you thinking: What do we really mean when we say that the “soul of the city” is under threat?

Do we take advantage of online dating sites to search far and wide for love? Not really. That's what a big-data analysis of interactions on one dating site revealed. Here’s what else researchers learned.

In February, Amazon pulled out of its New York HQ2. Now it’s pulling a division out of Seattle. Is its pivot to smaller communities a way to avoid messy politics?

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