The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: EPA Scott-Free

Embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned.

Alex Brandon / AP

-Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)

Today in 5 Lines

  • Embattled Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt resigned. “The unrelenting attacks on me personally, my family, are unprecedented and have taken a sizable toll on all of us,” Pruitt wrote in his resignation letter. Deputy Administrator Andrew Wheeler will take over as acting administrator of the agency.

  • The White House announced that Bill Shine, the former co-president of Fox News and Fox Business Network, will serve as an assistant to President Trump and deputy chief of staff for communications.

  • Trump has reportedly narrowed his search for a Supreme Court nominee to three federal appeals judges: Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, and Raymond Kethledge. He’s expected to announce his pick on Monday.

  • Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said that as many as 3,000 migrant children separated from their parents at the U.S. border are still in government custody. The agency is in the process of reuniting families to meet deadlines imposed by a court order last week.

  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo left for North Korea to discuss plans for denuclearization.

Today on The Atlantic

  • A Fork in the Road: Democrats are divided over which voters to prioritize in 2018. By 2020, they’ll need to make a decision, writes Ronald Brownstein.

  • The Problem With Generalizing: Politicians and policy makers often speak about the inadequacy of “America’s schools.” But the United States, unlike many other countries, doesn’t actually have a national education system. (Jack Schneider)

  • Not Special: Both parties have abandoned American exceptionalism, argues Peter Beinart: “Democrats don’t think America lives up to liberal democratic ideals. Republicans don’t think Americans need to.”


New York gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, second from right, meets a supporter after a press conference announcement of an endorsement from New York City Council Member Antonio Reynoso, far left. Bebeto Matthews / AP

What We’re Reading

Pretty Please?: Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer reportedly urged Trump in a phone call to nominate federal Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Garland was first nominated by former President Obama in 2016 but never received a hearing. (Seung Min Kim and Robert Costa, The Washington Post)

They’re Doing Fine: Democrats often appear to be in disarray when they actually aren’t, argues Michael Tomasky. That’s because they represent a more ideologically diverse sliver of America than Republicans. (The Daily Beast)

The Great Deliverer: Replacing Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy with an even more conservative justice would give President Trump a solid claim to a conservative legacy—and prove some of his Never-Trump detractors wrong, writes W. James Antle III. (The Week)

Just a Small Rebrand: Democratic candidates in the Midwest can run—and win—by embracing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s style of socialism. Here’s how. (Eric Levitz, New York)

‘The Right’s Straw Left’: In its obsession with “owning the libs,” the conservative right has inadvertently opened the door to a new kind of populism on the left. (Ben Judah, The American Interest)


Why Are Americans Having Fewer Children?: Here are a few reasons. (Claire Cain Miller, The New York Times)