The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Half Staff

After public pressure, President Trump issued a proclamation ordering flags lowered “as a mark of respect for the memory and longstanding service of Senator John Sidney McCain III.”

Alex Brandon / AP

Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey), Madeleine Carlisle (@maddiecarlisle2), and Olivia Paschal (@oliviacpaschal)

Today in 5 Lines

  • In a posthumous letter, Senator John McCain urged Americans to unite and asked Americans to tear down walls: “We weaken our greatness when we confuse our patriotism with tribal rivalries that have sown resentment and hatred and violence in all the corners of the globe,” he wrote. The Arizona Republican died on Saturday of brain cancer.

  • McCain's body will lie in state at the Arizona State Capitol on Wednesday and at the U.S. Capitol rotunda on Friday. After public pressure, President Trump issued a proclamation ordering flags lowered “as a mark of respect for the memory and longstanding service of Senator John Sidney McCain III.”

  • Trump announced that the United States and Mexico reached a trade agreement that is a first step towards replacing NAFTA.

  • Two men—Taylor Robertson, 27, and Eli Clayton, 22—were identified as the victims in a shooting at a gaming tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, on Sunday.

  • Trump welcomed Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta to the White House, where the two leaders talked trade and regional security.

Today on The Atlantic

  • Great Power, Great Responsibility: With the death of Arizona Senator John McCain, only 50 Republicans are available to vote, leaving the GOP with a slim majority that could flip at any moment. These are the senators who could make that happen. (James Fallows)

  • Catholics in Crisis: A letter alleging that Pope Francis knew about accusations of sexual abuse against a top cardinal for years is starting to turn rank-and-file Catholics against the pontiff. (Emma Green)

  • The End of Idealism: David French and his wife adopted their daughter from Ethiopia in 2010. The harassment they’ve faced from both the left and the right has left them fearful for America’s future.

Remembering John McCain

  • The Road Not Taken: McCain’s run for the presidency in 2000 showcased a reform-oriented, Roosevelt-style conservatism that’s since been lost, writes Ronald Brownstein.

  • He Would Ask Us To Do Better: McCain was an imperfect leader, a committed public servant, and a brave man who attempted to make the world a better place, reflects Kori Schake, senior policy adviser for McCain’s 2008 campaign.

  • Defending the Powerless: Because McCain despised men who abused their power, Jeffrey Goldberg writes that he’d pass the Anne Frank test.


Flags frame David Carrasco, a member of the POW-MIA-KIA Honor Guard, as he stands watch in honor of the late Arizona Republican Senator John McCain at a local mortuary where McCain is being kept in Phoenix.  (Ross D. Franklin / AP)

What We’re Reading

Child Abuse in a Catholic Orphanage: Former residents of St. Joseph’s Catholic Orphanage say they were abused by the nuns over four decades—an accusation that has been leveled against many Catholic orphanages. (Christine Kenneally, BuzzFeed News)

Preparing for the Worst: Leaked internal documents show Republicans compiling an extensive list of probes the Democrats might launch if they flip the House. (Jonathan Swan, Axios)

What’s Happening with Bill? Democrats worry that Florida Senator Bill Nelson’s fundraising deficit and relaxed attitude will hand the seat over to Republican Rick Scott, and cost them any chance of winning back the Senate. (Burgess Everett and Marc Caputo, Politico)

#ByeBob: St. Louis progressives used brunches and a hashtag to campaign against Bob McCulloch, the prosecutor who declined to charge the Ferguson police officer who shot Michael Brown in 2014. It worked. (Jacqui Germain, The Nation)


‘The System Is Broken’: In many U.S. jails, having a mental illness can be a death sentence. (Gary A. Harki, The Virginian-Pilot)