The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Greenhouse Pass

The climate candidate drops out of the 2020 Democratic race; the DNC drops the idea of a climate debate. When will Democrats seriously tackle climate change?

Scott Morgan / Reuters
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What We’re Following Today

It’s Thursday, August 22. Here’s what we’re watching.

Out of Sight: The changes the Trump administration is seeking to make to a 22-year-old agreement known as the Flores settlement could do more than just allow the government to detain migrant children indefinitely. The changes would also scrap rules allowing monitors —such as lawyers and advocates who frequently visit detention and border-patrol facilities to document conditions—to pay visits to detained migrant children, Barbara Bradley Hagerty reports.

2020 Moves: The last 24 hours were a flurry of 2020 news: Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced that he was dropping out of the Democratic presidential primary and said he would run for reelection in his state instead. Had the climate-change candidate hung on one more day, he still wouldn’t have gotten a climate-crisis-focused debate—the DNC voted down a climate debate. Do Democrats really, truly care about climate change? Robinson Meyer wonders.

+Meanwhile, former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper announced he would run for Senate, a week after dropping out of the 2020 Democratic presidential-primary race.

Bust the Filibuster: Much of the attention placed on Democrats sweeping Congress and the White House ignores the fact that the Senate is still crippled by a decades-old rule: the filibuster. That leaves Democrats with an imperative to abolish the rule, Ronald Brownstein writes.

Skating Past ICE: North Carolina’s governor vetoed a state bill that would have required local sheriffs to work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It’s a triumph for reform-minded sheriffs across the state who are battling conservatives in the state legislature. David A. Graham reports on how North Carolina has become a crucible for partisan conflict.


(Mike Segar / Reuters)

People walk through Empty Sky, the official September 11 memorial in Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Ideas From The Atlantic

Don’t Use These Free Speech Arguments Ever Again (Ken White)
‘This speech isn’t protected, because you can’t shout “Fire!” in a crowded theater.’ This line, though ubiquitous, is just another way to convey that ‘not all speech is protected by the First Amendment.’ As an argument, it is just as useless. But the phrase is not just empty. It’s also a historically ignorant way to convey the point.” → Read on.

Denmark Learns What It’s Like to Be at the Center of Trump’s Attention (Lisa Abend)
“Danish experts also note that the United States wants other concessions from Denmark—which it may not get. Some members of [Prime Minister Mette] Frederiksen’s coalition government have indicated that they would reject U.S. requests for increased support in the Middle East.” → Read on.

Would You Rather a Recession, or Trump? (Derek Thompson)
“Some of the president’s opponents are greeting economic jitters with a surprising response: Bring on the recession! ”→ Read on.

What Else We’re Reading

Democrats’ small-dollar fundraising tool starts to attract big donors too (Bill Allison, Bloomberg) (🔒Paywall)

Stephanie Grisham’s turbulent ascent to a top White House role (Elizabeth Williamson, The New York Times) (🔒Paywall)

Donald Trump’s not talking to Jews when he talks about Jews (Miriam Elder, BuzzFeed News)

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

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