From NYRB, Donald Trump’s brains: Jacob Heilbrunn reviews The Political Theory of the American Founding: Natural Rights, Public Policy, and the Moral Conditions of Freedom by Thomas G. West; American Greatness: How Conservatism Inc. Missed the 2016 Election and What the D.C. Establishment Needs to Learn by Chris Buskirk and Seth Leibsohn; Billionaire at the Barricades: The Populist Revolution from Reagan to Trump by Laura Ingraham; How the Right Lost Its Mind by Charles J. Sykes; and The Spirit of Liberty: At Home, In the World by Thomas O. Melia and Peter Wehner.

Jeet Heer on Art Laffer and the intellectual rot of the Republican Party. Can conservative journalism survive? The Right’s old guard faces an existential threat in populism — but it isn’t yet clear that they understand the stakes or possess the confidence to fight back. Conservatism can’t survive Donald Trump intact: As reflexive support for the president redefines their movement, most conservative commentators have caved to pressure, following along. Divorce conservatism from the Republican Party: In the Trump era, many commentators on the Right have subsumed intellectual principles to partisan politics (and more and more).

In 2016, a group of Republicans broke ranks with their party to try to stop Donald Trump from winning the presidency; now they’re rallying once more to keep him from destroying the country — Sam Tanenhaus reports on the Never Trumpers. We can’t wait around for the GOP to implode. Facts have a well-known liberal bias: Trying to pretend that the parties are the same is deeply destructive.

Sarah Kendzior: Russia hacked Lindsey Graham’s personal emails so Trump may be blackmailing him. Putin’s man in the White House? Real Trump Russia scandal is not mere collusion, U.S. counterspies say. The open secret about Trump’s collusion with Russia: Why the president’s comments on the campaign trail may be more damaging than the findings of the Mueller investigation. The four threats to Robert Mueller: Trump may be holding off from firing the special counsel — that doesn’t mean he’s safe. The fate of the Trump-Russia probe may depend on one man, and it’s not Mueller — meet Rod Rosenstein. If Trump fires Mueller: It is anybody’s guess who will win the next round in the death match between the president and the American republic.

Jean Bacon and Jatinder Singh (Cambridge) and Johan David Michels and Christopher Millard (Queen Mary): Blockchain Demystified. Jatinder Singh (Cambridge) and Johan David Michels (Queen Mary): Blockchain as a Service: Providers and Trust. Matthew Ratcliffe (Vienna): Existential Feelings. “I have power”: Is Steve Bannon running for president? Luke Winkie on the sad saps of neoliberal Reddit trying to make globalism cool again. Can China replace the United States as the world’s top arms dealer? Trump is trying to corrupt the United Nations. What is Kirsten Gillibrand up to? Puerto Rico gets coal, diesel, and debris for Christmas. Puerto Rico exposes the true nature of Trump administration’s energy agenda.

Why Trump’s cabinet meetings have a cult-like quality. Fifty shades of orange: Maybe Republicans like submitting to Trump. Sarah Kendzior: “Thread on GOP sycophants, bribes and threats”. Trapped in an abusive relationship with the United States of America: Scott Esposito on lies, bullying and gaslighting on a national scale.

From New York, Nick Tabor on 55 ways Donald Trump structurally changed America in 2017: These are the concrete actions his administration has taken to alter how the country works. These are the obscure Trump staffers who are systematically dismantling the federal government. The end of the Obama era: How Republicans undid so many of his accomplishments in a single year. Donald Trump has already carved a lasting legacy: The tax reform bill crowns a year’s worth of policies that will be difficult, perhaps even impossible, to reverse. The Trump presidency as a success story: Trump has the opportunity to solidify his position as the most successful president ever in his first year. Trump’s biggest win in 2017? His judicial confirmations.

Trump can’t believe no one’s thrown a parade in his honor. Republicans warn Trump of 2018 bloodbath. Is Trump the worst president of all time? The presidency survived the Watergate, Iran-contra and Clinton scandals — Trump will exact a higher toll.

Michael J. Higdon (Tennessee): Constitutional Parenthood. Haim Abraham (Toronto): A Family Is What You Make It? Legal Recognition and Regulation of Multiple Parents. Katharine K. Baker (Chicago-Kent): Quacking Like a Duck? Functional Parenthood Doctrine and Same-Sex Parents. Michelle Renee Gros (Southern): Since You Brought It Up: Is Legally Separating a Child from a Nonbiological Third Party Who Has Essentially Become the Child’s Psychological Parent Really in the Best Interest of the Child? June Carbone (Minnesota) and Naomi Cahn (George Washington): Jane the Virgin and Other Stories of Unintentional Parenthood. What did Wittgenstein know about babies? Rebecca Schuma on parenting philosophy. Just like at work, it’s possible to burn out on parenting.

Lambrianos Nikiforidis (SUNY-Oneonta), Kristina M. Durante (Rutgers), and Joseph P. Redden and Vladas Griskevicius (Minnesota): Do Mothers Spend More on Daughters While Fathers Spend More on Sons? Fathers, here’s why your children should have their mom’s last name.