The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Crossing the Line

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What We’re Following Today

It’s Monday, July 1.

‣ Senior House Democrats called for the firing of several Customs and Border Protection agents who mocked dead immigrants and posted vulgar comments and images of Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a secret Facebook group.

Here’s what else we’re watching:

Mind If I Swing By?: President Donald Trump met North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, in the joint-security area of the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea today, becoming the first sitting president to cross the border into North Korea. But while Trump’s engagement with Kim has produced many unprecedented moments, “it has yet to yield any real progress on the core issue of North Korea’s nuclear-weapons program.”

+ Iran has now surpassed the limit on enriched uranium stockpiles set in the 2015 nuclear deal. The several kilograms extra doesn’t, practically speaking, lessen the amount of time Iran needs to build nuclear weapons; “what the breach does do, however, is stick a finger in the eye of Europe,” writes Kathy Gilsinan.

End of an Era?: The decades-old alliance between the United States and Saudi Arabia has grown more and more strained in recent months amid a host of political tensions, from Saudi Arabia’s role in Yemen’s civil war, to the murder of the columnist Jamal Khashoggi. A Democratic president might finally bring an end to the friendship, report Uri Friedman and Yara Bayoumy.

Recommended Reading

The World, Post-Trump: A small conservative magazine called First Things is laying out a potential path for the conservative movement to take after President Trump leaves office. Its goal: “for a nationalist movement to replace today’s progressive, globalized world order,” reports Emma Green.

Elaine Godfrey


A protester defaces the Hong Kong emblem after protesters broke into the government headquarters in Hong Kong on July 1 on the 22nd anniversary of the city’s handover from Britain to China. (Philip Fong / AFP / Getty)

Ideas From The Atlantic

Trump’s Lies Are Bad. What He Did in Osaka Was Worse. (David A. Graham)
“Of course, Trump is both the liar and the bullshitter, defying this binary. His lies have garnered a great deal of attention, even though voters are accustomed to the idea that politicians are dishonest, because of their brazenness and frequency. If Frankfurt is right, however, the greater peril comes not from Trump’s lies.” → Read on.

Why Bill Barr Is So Dangerous (Donald Ayer)
“In the Trump administration, Barr may have found the ideal setting in which to pursue his life’s work of creating an all-powerful president and frustrating the Founders’ vision of a government of checks and balances.” → Read on.

How the Supreme Court Messed Up the Census Case (Thomas Wolf and Brianna Cea)
“The Court thus sent the message that a citizenship question on the decennial census would be normal. The Court blocked the question because Ross lied about why he wanted it; but if he hadn’t lied, it would have been fine.” → Read on.

Democrats Don’t Want to Talk About the Economy (Annie Lowrey)
“The good economy has also allowed for a tremendous amount of progressive policy making and idea generation on the left: There’s oxygen in the room for big, wild proposals on prisoner reentry and student loans and child poverty and universal basic incomes, not just on health care and taxes.” → Read on.

What Else We’re Reading

Will Hunter Biden jeopardize his father’s campaign? (Adam Entous, The New Yorker) (🔒 Paywall)
Pete Buttigieg raised $24.8 million in second quarter, his campaign says (Thomas Kaplan, The New York Times) (🔒 Paywall)

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

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