The inaugural issue of Behavioural Public Policy is free online. Donald Paul Sullins (Catholic): “No Wedding’s a Wedding Without a Cake”: The History and Significance of the Wedding Cake. Katherine Miller on Donald Trump, #MeToo, Facebook, and the breakdown of institutional power. The CDC is about to fall off a funding cliff: It’s already planning to pull back on work that protects the world from pandemics. Sarah Jones reviews Kids These Days: Human Capital and the Making of Millennials by Malcolm Harris. Social organicism in the service of power: Assad Asil Companioni and Kurtis Brade on the sinister side of unity discourse. Pennsylvania’s gerrymandered House map was struck down — with huge implications for 2018.

Allegations and counter-allegations: The propagation of allegations is now taking place under the pretense of official congressional business, and without apology. “I hope this is an instance of fake news”: FBI messages show the Bureau’s real reaction to Trump firing James Comey. Sessions silent as Trump attacks his department, risking independence and morale. Nunes memo gets Rightbloggers even more convinced FBI is a liberal plot. Is the Nunes memo backfiring? Republicans sold their credibility to defend an obvious Russian agent. Bob Mueller’s investigation is larger — and further along — than you think.


From LARB, Martijn Konings, author of Capital and Time: For a New Critique of Neoliberal Reason, on the time of finance. The finance industry gambles with human lives: Laura Flanders interviews Ivan Ascher, author of Portfolio Society: On the Capitalist Mode of Prediction. Stuart Banner on his book Speculation: A History of the Fine Line between Gambling and Investing. “The markets have pretty much put on blinders”: Emily Stewart on how Wall Street learned to stop worrying and love Trump. Has Trumphoria finally hit a wall? The market isn’t the economy; still, it looks as if reality is breaking in. Why it’s going to take another financial catastrophe to fix Wall Street. Republicans gearing up for third financial crash in 3 tries. Who is to blame for the 2008 financial crisis?

From State of Nature, are we heading for another economic crash? Leading thinkers to give a brief answer to a single question. Pardon James Galbraith if he sits out the celebration of Dow 25,000 — Galbraith used his latest book The End of Normal to lay out his case that the 2007-08 financial crisis wasn’t just a brief interruption in the life of an otherwise healthy economy but instead the latest crisis for an economy that lost its footing back in the 1980s. If we are racing to the pre-crisis bubble, here are 12 charts to watch.

The Dow is tumbling as wages rise — good.


Andrew Whitehead (Clemson), Samuel Perry (Oklahoma), and Joseph Baker (East Tennessee State): Make America Christian Again: Christian Nationalism and Voting for Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election. Millions of Americans believe God made Trump president: Amy Sullivan reviews God and Donald Trump by Stephen Strang. Why Christian conservatives supported Trump — and why they might regret it: Sean Illing interviews Stephen Mansfield, author of Choosing Donald Trump: God, Anger, Hope, and Why Christian Conservatives Supported Him. The Christian Right’s willful faith in Trump: Ed Kilgore reviews The Faith of Donald J. Trump: A Spiritual Biography by David Brody and Scott Lamb.

Marc O. DeGirolami (St. John’s): On the Uses of Anti-Christian Identity Politics. Adrian Vermeule on a Christian strategy: The problem is the relentless aggression of liberalism, driven by an internal mechanism that causes ever more radical demands for political conformism, particularly targeting the Church. No, Christians do not face looming persecution in America. Christianity is political — but America’s politically active Christians seem to be forgetting that. White Christianity is in big trouble — and it’s its own biggest threat. Scott McLemee reviews Paranoid Science: The Christian Right’s War on Reality by Antony Alumkal.

The introduction to Bible Nation: The United States of Hobby Lobby by Candida R. Moss and Joel S. Baden. The prosperity gospel, explained: Why Joel Osteen believes that prayer can make you rich. Understanding David Barton, the fake historian behind America’s religious right. Fox isn’t the only White House cable news ally: Meet the Christian Broadcasting Network. Is your god dead? Building walls, banning refugees and ignoring the poor are the social expressions of bankrupt theologies. “We’re not the ‘nice’ faith people”: Faith leaders are battling white supremacy, Trump.


The NFL is America’s socialist utopia: The Super Bowl might be a capitalist bonanza — but its creation was the ultimate socialist act. Is the mind-blowing cost of a Super Bowl ad actually worth the price tag? Trump’s reaction to the NFL protests shows how he fights the culture war. Republicans are souring on the N.F.L. again. How football stopped being fun: Completion percentage is at an all-time high, but watchability is trending in the other direction. What a lifetime of playing football can do to the human brain: Brian Resnick on six things to know about the NFL, concussions, and CTE. Ted Jackson on the search for Jackie Wallace.

Dom Cosentino on how the 1987 NFL players strike created the modern NFL. Are we entering the end times for the NFL? Professional basketball offers the NFL a blueprint for success: Embrace the black culture of the majority of your players. Is this the end of the NFL?


Arcangelo Dimico (QUB), Alessia Isopi (Manchester), and Ola Olsson (Gothenburg): Origins of the Sicilian Mafia: The Market for Lemons. Julie Beck on why we forget most of the books we read and the movies and TV shows we watch. Pentagon confirms it’s developing nuclear cruise missile to counter a similar Russian one. Trump might test a nuke “for political purposes”. Russia probe lawyers think Mueller could indict Trump. Scott Pruitt predicted Trump would act unconstitutionally as president. Caitlin Dewey on the surprising argument for extending food stamps to pets. The U.S. government is set to borrow nearly $1 trillion this year, an 84 percent jump from last year. Let them eat French fries.


A close reading of the Nunes memo shows how sketchy it is (and more). Even if you take the Nunes memo seriously, it makes no sense. Jonathan Chait on the backward logic of the Nunes memo. Jeva Lange on 6 major criticisms of the Nunes memo. 5 points on how the Nunes memo is basically one big self-own. The only thing the Nunes memo proves is that it was massively overhyped. “Nothingburger” doesn’t do this memo justice. The Nunes memo is a dud. Thoughts on the Nunes memo: We need to talk about Devin. Marcy Wheeler on the Nunes-Ryan civil liberties sham. Chas Danner on the real damage of the Nunes memo. The Nunes memo doesn’t reveal an abuse of power — it is one.

Trump just shot himself in the foot: By approving the release of the Nunes memo, the president undermined his own defense against allegations in the Russia investigation. Survival at all costs: By releasing the Nunes memo, Trump betrayed the intelligence community to save his own skin. The memo doesn’t vindicate Trump — it’s more proof of obstruction. Donald Trump said 4 things that aren’t true in a single 47-word tweet. #YoMemoJokes trends nationwide, adding to Trump’s humiliation over memo failure.

Nunes memo accidentally confirms the legitimacy of the FBI’s investigation. Devin Nunes tried to discredit the FBI — instead, he proved it’s onto something. Trump’s unparalleled war on a pillar of society: Law enforcement. Trump’s brazen war on the FBI defies history: The president is attacking one of the government’s most conservative institutions — and the Republicans have his back. Inside the FBI: Anger, worry, work — and fears of lasting damage. Josh Campbell: Why I am leaving the F.B.I. — it is time to speak out against the unfair partisan attacks against the bureau. Mike Allen on James Comey, America’s most surprising new pundit.

Once the party of law and order, Republicans are now challenging it. How conservatives learned to hate the FBI: The GOP has almost always supported the FBI, but Republicans have recently unleashed a furious firestorm of criticism against the bureau. This is the week that the GOP truly became the party of Trump. Trump’s blood sport politics: The president understands how American voters have abandoned the Jeffersonian ideal of compromise in favor of the zero-sum game. Newt wrote the playbook 25 years ago — Republicans finally have a quarterback who can follow it. “It’s almost as if we really are living in a perfect Schmittian moment”: A constitutional crisis, or partisans without purpose?

Trump bashes FBI and doesn’t impose sanctions against Russia — but he’s racist, so Middle America still loves him. Putin’s Saturday Night Massacre: He got Trump and the GOP to sell out America.


The worst of the worst: Michael Tomasky reviews Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House by Michael Wolff (and more) and Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic by David Frum (and more). Nine questions about President Trump’s businesses and possible conflicts of interest. Here are 4 new Trump corruption stories from one day alone. Can laws fix what Trump is breaking? Preet Bharara’s latest mission is to turn presidential norms into law. Elizabeth Drew on holding a president accountable: Why it might be impossible in the age of Trump. David Atkins on some reasons for optimism in a time of darkness.


David Clingingsmith (Case Western): Are the World’s Languages Consolidating? The Dynamics and Distribution of Language Populations. Why do cartoon villains speak in foreign accents? Children’s shows often use non-standard dialects to voice the “bad guys”, sending a dangerous message to kids about diversity. “Stunning news that the directors of all three Russian spy agencies (FSB, GRU, SVR) visited Washington last week. These are the very people who planned and executed the attack on our election. So why were they invited?” Navy doctor’s comment raises concerns about Trump’s behavior. White House officials see Trump as “a real-life Superman”. Improving ourselves to death: Alexandra Schwartz on what the self-help gurus and their critics reveal about our times.

From Vox, 9 historians on why Trump’s war with the FBI is so stunning. No, the GOP’s public war with the FBI is not normal. Nunes’s memo is a stunt — but surveillance does need more scrutiny. Did Donald Trump read the memo, or could he read it? “The question is not what’s in the memo. The question is whether people fall for the next cooked-up, hash-tagged, fake controversy, or if at some point folks decide they don’t want to look like a hack in this historic moment”.


Richard A. Leo (San Francisco): Police Interrogation and Suspect Confessions: Social Science, Law and Public Policy. Baltimore cops kept toy guns to plant just in case they shot an unarmed person. Study: Pretrial detention makes poor people plead guilty. Albert W. Alschuler (Chicago): A Nearly Perfect System for Convicting the Innocent. Why does our justice system fight so hard to keep innocent people behind bars? Innocence is irrelevant: This is the age of the plea bargain — and millions of Americans are suffering the consequences. Innocent but still guilty: Inmates are sometimes offered freedom in exchange for pleading guilty to a crime they probably didn’t commit — it’s a bad deal. David Alan Sklansky (Stanford): The Problems with Prosecutors. David Alan Sklansky (Stanford): The Progressive Prosecutor’s Handbook.


Amanda Carpenter: “I’m a Republican. Why is my party gaslighting America?” Wall Street Journal columnist Holman Jenkins Jr. discovers Trump defense to end all Trump defenses. Poof — there goes Republicans’ favorite conspiracy theory about the FBI. The real aim of the Nunes memo is the Mueller investigation. The “law and order” party has unleashed an extraordinary attack on law enforcement. Trump’s Saturday Night Massacre is happening right before our eyes. Nancy LeTourneau on Trump’s latest strategy for dealing with the Mueller investigation. If Robert Mueller is fired, the Russia probe could continue. What living in a dictatorship feels like, and why it may be too late by the time you notice it.

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