The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Honoring Giants

Mourners paid tribute to the late Arizona Senator John McCain and singer Aretha Franklin.

Morry Gash / AP

Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey)

Today in 5 Lines

  • Lawmakers and other officials paid tribute to the late Arizona Senator John McCain, who was brought to the U.S. Capitol Rotunda to lie in state. A memorial service will be held Saturday at the Washington National Cathedral.

  • A senior Justice Department lawyer reportedly told lawmakers that Christopher Steele, the ex-British spy who compiled the Trump-Russia dossier, told him Russian intelligence believed they had Donald Trump “over a barrel.”

  • Samuel Patten, an associate of former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, pleaded guilty to foreign lobbying violations. The case against Patten was referred by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

  • Trump announced on Twitter that he’s planning  a “major rally” this fall for Texas Senator Ted Cruz in the “biggest stadium” he can find. Cruz is being challenged by Democratic Representative Beto O’Rourke.

  • Former President Bill Clinton, former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, and Reverend Al Sharpton were among the speakers at the funeral of Aretha Franklin, who died this month of cancer.

Today on The Atlantic

  • Where Is Mike Pence?: The vice president has been conspicuously absent from the national conversation as headlines swirl about President Trump, Paul Manafort, and Michael Cohen. “He likes to be out,” as one longtime Pence aide put it. (Dick Polman)

  • The Vatican in Crisis: A letter accusing Pope Francis of covering up sexual abuse has caused chaos in the church. But the letter might be more of a power play than anything else. (Rachel Donadio)

  • At What Price?: A recent lawsuit, backed by the Justice Department, has aligned the interests of white and Asian American students. Does it foretell the “whitening” of Asians in the U.S.? (Iris Kuo)

  • Not Really Gone: Despite losing control of major Iraqi cities, ISIS still has a presence in Iraq. According to one expert: “You can say that almost all of Iraq has been liberated from ISIS during the day, but you can't say that at night.” (Krishnadev Calamur)


The flag-draped casket of Senator John McCain lies in state on the Lincoln Catafalque in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. Morry Gash / AP

What We’re Reading

AOC Can’t Hang: Critics of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez say she needs to brush up on economics and foreign policy. No one says that about her male counterparts, writes Laura McGann. (Vox)

Another Kind of Presidential Speech: The late Senator John McCain will be eulogized on Saturday by two former presidents, Barack Obama and George W. Bush. Here’s why that’s historic. (Steve Hendrix, The Washington Post)

Tough Decisions: With roughly 45 Republican seats at risk in the midterm elections, the GOP is preparing for political triage: Which lawmakers will they attempt to rescue? (Alex Isenstadt, Politico)

‘Principles of Basic Fairness’: Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been widely criticized over plans to change federal policies relating to sexual misconduct on campus. Her critics are wrong, argues Robby Soave. (Reason)


As the World Warms: See how much hotter your hometown is now than when you were born. (The New York Times)

Scenes of Remembrance: From Arizona to Washington, D.C., these photos illustrate how John McCain has been honored across the country. (Politico)

Note: We won’t be sending a newsletter on Monday, September 3, because of the Labor Day holiday. We’ll be back on Tuesday, September 4.