The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Obama to Louisiana—'You’re Not Alone in This, Even After the TV Cameras Leave’

The president spent the day visiting flood-ravaged neighborhoods in Louisiana.

Susan Walsh / AP

Today in 5 Lines

President Obama visited Louisiana to tour neighborhoods hit with historic flooding that displaced thousands of residents and claimed the lives of at least 17 people. A federal court said that Ohio has the right to get rid of “Golden Week,” a period of time during which people can register and vote early. The National Labor Relations Board ruled that graduate students working as research or teaching assistants at private universities can unionize. The FBI is reportedly investigating a possible Russian hack targeting several New York Times reporters and other news organizations. Firefighters are working to protect the historic Hearst Castle in California, which could suffer damage from the Chimney wildfire that has raged through thousands of acres for days.

Today on The Atlantic

  • ‘Take Me to Church’: A new survey from the Pew Research Center found that one of the reasons fewer Americans are going to church is due to the practicality of getting there, which suggests church services are no longer the focal point of social and cultural life. For many today, services are optional. (Emma Green)

  • Mission Impossible: It has been 20 years since Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda declared war on the U.S. After trillions of dollars spent and hundreds of thousands of lives lost, the extremist group met some of its goals. Ultimately, however, “neither side has won.” (Dominic Tierney)

  • Congress Is Not an Easy Fix: Women in Congress are more likely to cooperate across party lines, according to a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper. While there are caveats, it raises the question: Would electing more female representatives lead to more bipartisanship? (Andrew McGill)

Follow stories throughout the day with our Politics & Policy portal.


President Obama talks with Quincy ‎Snowden as he tours Castle Place, a flood-damaged area of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Tuesday. Susan Walsh / AP

What We’re Reading

The Liberal Takeover: If Hillary Clinton becomes president, then the U.S. Supreme Court would become majority liberal for the first time in nearly 50 years. Here’s how that shift in power could potentially reshape several controversial American policies. (Dylan Matthews, Vox)

The Election Is Mostly Trump’s to Lose: The American public is so dissatisfied with President Obama’s handling of national security and Hillary Clinton’s lies, argues National Review’s Victor Davis Hanson, that if Trump can focus on policy, he might still nab the presidency.

A Revolution on the Rocks: Bernie Sanders’s new political group is struggling with internal drama before it has even officially launched. Will the group succeed in pushing its progressive agenda, or will it succumb to “liberal infighting?” (Edward-Isaac Dovere and Gabriel Debenedetti, Politico)

The Rent Is Too Damn High: Now that Donald Trump is accepting donor contributions, he has “nearly quintupled” his campaign’s monthly rent for space at Trump Tower, located in Manhattan, according to a Huffington Post report, a move that stands to benefit him directly. (S.V. Date)

A Community Still in Mourning: Cleveland plans to remove the gazebo where 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by police nearly two years ago. The decision has sparked discussions between the city, activists, and historians over how to best preserve the memory of the child and the national movement the gazebo symbolizes. (Daniel McGraw, The Undefeated)


Feelin’ Hot, Hot, Hot: This year will mostly likely be the warmest on record, but if climate change continues at its current rate, it’s only going to get hotter. Check out these maps to see how many 100-degree-days your state will have by 2100. (Heidi Cullen, The New York Times)

Question of the Week

Hillary Clinton is reportedly struggling to find a Donald Trump stand-in to prepare for the upcoming presidential debates. Strategist James Carville, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, and even billionaire Mark Cuban have been suggested as possible sparring partners. But who do you think could artfully play Trump in a debate rehearsal?

Send your answers to or tweet us @TheAtlPolitics, and our favorites will be featured in Friday’s Politics & Policy Daily.

-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey) and Candice Norwood (@cjnorwoodwrites)