A digital billboard displays a sign reading "TRUMP" in Copenhagen.Reuters Staff
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What We’re Following Today

It’s Wednesday, August 21.

‣ President Donald Trump canceled a scheduled meeting with the prime minister of Denmark next month, calling her “nasty” after she rejected his interest in purchasing Greenland.

‣ The Trump administration said it will end a federal court agreement that limits how long migrant families can be detained.

Here’s what else we’re watching:

The Great Winnowing: As the August 28 deadline approaches for the 2020 Democratic candidates to qualify for the September 12 debate in Houston, more than half the current field could be left out. As of today, only 10 candidates have registered 2 percent support in four qualifying polls and hit the 130,000 individual donor mark required by the Democratic National Committee—and two more campaigns are on the verge of making the cut, Russell Berman reports.

Changing Their Minds on College: In the early 2010s, nearly 60 percent of Republicans in the United States believed that colleges and universities had a positive impact on the country, according to the Pew Research Center. Today, that number has dropped to 33 percent. What happened?


Snapshot

(Reuters TV)

A sign reading “Extraterrestrial Highway” stands along the road in Rachel, Nevada.


Ideas From The Atlantic

Only the Right Can Defeat White Nationalism (Adam Serwer)
“White nationalism is a far greater threat to American democracy than jihadism, and always has been. But there are actually two challenges posed by white nationalism: One is the threat posed to American communities by attacks like the one in El Paso, which law enforcement can and should prevent. The other is the threat the ideology the attackers support poses to American democracy, which can be defeated only through politics, and only by the American people themselves.” → Read on.

They Just Wanted to Entertain (Brian Rosenwald)
“No one set out to turn the airwaves into a political weapon—much less deputize talk-radio hosts as the ideological enforcers of a major American political party. Instead the story of how the GOP establishment lost its power over the Republican message—and eventually the party itself—begins with frantic AM radio executives and a former Top 40 disc jockey, Rush Limbaugh.” → Read on.

The Most Powerful Member of the Ruling Class (Conor Friedersdorf)
“The greatest trick the president and elites who support him ever pulled was convincing a large swath of the American public that they aren’t members of the ruling class.” → Read on.

No More Corporate Lawyers on the Federal Bench (Brian Fallon and Christopher Kang)
“If Democrats hope to reverse Trump’s success in seeding the federal judiciary with extreme ideologues, they need to do more than nominate and confirm judges swiftly. They need to start nominating a whole different kind of judge.” → Read on.


What Else We’re Reading

Sean Spicer to compete on ‘Dancing With the Stars’ (Quint Forgey, Politico)

The summer of Elizabeth Warren (Julia Ioffe, GQ) (🔒Paywall)

Bernie Sanders wanted to play softball with the press. But his campaign got in the way. (Ruby Cramer, 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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