Rachel Jessen
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What We’re Following Today

It’s Thursday, July 18.

‣ The House passed legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour—though there’s little chance the measure will be taken up by the Senate.

Here’s what else we’re watching:

A crowd of Trump supporters at his Greenville, North Carolina, rally. (Rachel Jessen)

About Last Night: President Donald Trump’s latest rally, in Greenville, North Carolina, was one of the darkest the president has ever held, with the crowd chanting “Send her back!” about Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota. But the chants at the rally, as well as Trump’s prior racist tweets, have done nothing to deter his loyal supporters. Peter Nicholas spoke with a handful of the roughly 8,000 people in attendance, hoping to get to the heart of their support. Here’s what they said.

+ This is something that America has never seen before, Adam Serwer writes: “This is not about Omar anymore, or the other women of color who have been told by this president to ‘go back’ to their supposed countries of origin. It is about defending the idea that America should be a country for all its people.”

In response to the chants, Omar accused the president of using “fascist” rhetoric. Trump tried to disavow his supporters’ chants, telling reporters today that he “was not happy with it.”

About Iran: Trump told reporters that a U.S. Navy ship shot down an Iranian drone that had gotten too close. Trump has thus far shown some reluctance toward getting dragged into more serious conflict.  

About North Korea: The U.S. is running out of time to denuclearize North Korea, and realistically, a deal to scale back the country’s weapons is getting less and less likely, Uri Friedman reports.

What About Ivanka?: The first daughter’s silence on the humanitarian crisis at the border and her father’s recent racist tweets demonstrates that she’s abandoned her role as the supposed “conscience-check” on this administration.

Elaine Godfrey


Ideas From The Atlantic

Members of the Franciscan Action Network and immigration rights activists are arrested on Capitol Hill during a demonstration calling for the end of immigrant detention. (Joshua Roberts / Reuters)

Trump’s Useful Idiots (David A. Graham)
“It’s strange to see politicians criticizing their own voters, for obvious reasons. [Senator Thom] Tillis at least had a score to settle with the crowd, some of whom had booed him. But if politicians had no control over the way audiences reacted to their speeches, they wouldn’t hold rallies. That’s the point of rallies.” → Read on

‘Send Her Back’: The Bigoted Rallying Cry of Trump 2020 (Conor Friedersdorf)
“Already, the civic poison of the chant has been televised and celebrated on social media by Trump supporters. Naturalized immigrants must have heard it and felt anxious. Racists must have heard it and felt glad.” → Read on

The Case That Changed John Paul Stevens’s Life (Garret Epps)
“The most important thing this remarkable jurist saw, I suspect, was the arrest of his father, Ernest Stevens, on charges that he and two other family members had embezzled funds to cover losses at their downtown-Chicago hotel.” → Read on

The Future of the City Is Childless (Derek Thompson)
“There are many reasons New York might be shrinking, but most of them come down to the same unavoidable fact: Raising a family in the city is just too hard. And the same could be said of pretty much every other dense and expensive urban area in the country.” → Read on


What Else We’re Reading

Progressives won the minimum-wage fight—now they think they can do it again with Medicare for All and the Green New Deal (Addy Baird, BuzzFeed News)

House Dems warn Omar in ‘imminent danger’ after Trump-rally chants (Sarah Ferris, Heather Caygle, and John Bresnahan, Politico)

I thought, wow, rich people are weird’: Two women who flew with Epstein reveal secrets of his private world (Vanessa Grigoriadis, Vanity Fair)


About us: This newsletter is a daily effort from The Atlantic’s politics writer Elaine Godfrey, with help from Christian Paz. It’s edited by Shan Wang.

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