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What We’re Following Today

It’s Wednesday, September 4.

‣ Defense Secretary Mark Esper agreed to free up $3.6 billion from the Pentagon budget for the president’s proposed border wall by essentially defunding 127 military construction projects.

‣ A jury found Greg Craig, the former White House attorney, not guilty of making false statements to the Justice Department about his work for the Ukrainian government. Craig was commissioned for the work by another familiar name: Paul Manafort.

Here’s what else we’re watching.

Another One Bites the Dust: Representative Bill Flores of Texas became the fifth Texas member of Congress—and 12th GOP member of Congress in total—to announce that he will not seek reelection in 2020. The recent spate of announcements may indicate that Republican members have little faith in their party’s ability to recapture the House, Russell Berman reports. We’re tracking all of these moves on both sides of the aisle here.

‘I’m Just Not There Yet’: If progressive activists want to pursue impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, they’ll have to persuade Democrats in tough districts to go there. And many of them, including Representative Susan Wild of Pennsylvania, just aren’t ready.

Climate Town Hall: You can watch the seven-hour forum with 10 of the Democratic presidential candidates tonight on CNN, or you can just read about some of their recent plans here, at your leisure:

+ Joe Biden’s climate plan: “Almost Bernie Sanders–esque in its ambition,” advocating for a “100% clean energy economy” by 2050.

+ Beto O’Rourke’s plan: He was the first of the candidates to come out with a comprehensive one. It’s surprisingly detailed.

+ Elizabeth Warren’s plan: Inslee dropped out of the race last month, but the senator from Massachusetts is embracing his policies.


Snapshot

(Jonathan Ernst / Reuters)

President Donald Trump looks at a tracking forecast map on Hurricane Dorian as he receives a status report on the storm in the Oval Office. It’s unclear whether Trump added the black line on the map himself, as meteorologists have said the hurricane would not affect Alabama.


Ideas From The Atlantic

Seventeen Questions Every College Should Be Asking (Ben Sasse)
“Higher education is in the middle of multiple, massive disruptions—and it isn’t clear that the leaders of the sector grasp the magnitude of the waves of change breaking on their ivy-covered gates.” → Read on.

Where Are America’s ‘Rebel Tories’? (James Fallows)
“American politicians can seem paralyzed by the mere threat of being ‘primaried,’ or of losing a funding source, or of becoming the object of Donald Trump’s angry tweets … Why can’t members of our governing party, the 53 Republicans who control the Senate, stand up to their party’s leader the way these Tories stood up to Boris Johnson?” → Read on.


What Else We’re Reading

Walmart’s retreat on guns means woke capitalism is here to stay (David French, National Review)

Part-time mayor: Bill de Blasio is hardly working (Editorial Board, New York Daily News)

Trump’s rollback of climate change regulations will be felt far beyond his presidency (Drew Kann, CNN)

Four things that are not white nationalism (Ross Douthat, The New York Times) (🔒Paywall)


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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