No one’s talking about the new tax law: Republicans hoped to make their $1.5 trillion overhaul the centerpiece of the 2018 midterm elections — but Americans, including President Trump, have lost interest. The Trump tax cuts’ unpopularity is a crisis for the GOP. Paul Ryan suggests trillion-dollar deficits were inevitable. On the deficit, GOP has been playing us all for suckers. The Gospel According to Paul: Chris Lehmann on how a cynical Randian hustler played a myopic D.C. press corps for suckers. Donald Trump sold out to Paul Ryan, not the other way around: As president, Trump has embraced Ryan’s chilling policy agenda. Will Wilkinson on the self-destruction of Paul Ryan and the G.O.P.

Katherine Goktepe (Edinburgh): “Sometimes I Mean Things So Much I Have To Act”: Theatrical Acting and Democracy. How long will world leaders last? A billionaire and a nurse shouldn’t pay the same fine for speeding. Are conspiracy theories a force for the good? Paul J. Griffiths writes a letter to an aspiring intellectual. Trump has lost the confidence of investors: Equities, bonds and the dollar are showing anything but trust in the president’s stewardship. Barista’s burden: Chris Woolston on the dark side of “service with a smile”. Lithuanian, the most conservative of all Indo-European languages, is riddled with references to bees. You can download The Global Encyclopaedia of Informality, Volume 1 by Alena Ledeneva (and Volume 2).

Smearing Robert Mueller: Sean Hannity and others are blaming the special counsel for one of the F.B.I.’s worst scandals — but there is no evidence to back up their charges.

“I’m not familiar with that”: The five most dishonest answers Mark Zuckerberg gave to Congress. Why dictators love Facebook: The social media network lives according to double standards. Facebook doesn’t need to listen through your microphone to serve you creepy ads. Facebook uses artificial intelligence to predict your future actions for advertisers, says confidential document. We may own our data, but Facebook has a duty to protect it. Why Facebook’s data scandal has not become a wider crisis: Zuckerberg grilling shows it is hard to spell out specific harms of data collection. Brian Feldman on how Facebook is too big to explain.

Kate Losse: “I was Zuckerberg’s speechwriter. ‘Companies over countries’ was his early motto”. Democracy vs. the algorithm: As it turns out, self-government and social connection are not the same thing. Facebook hides behind Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook’s motto to connect the world is failing, and Zuckerberg isn’t helping. Unexpected consequences: If the law is an ass, what does that make Mark Zuckerberg? How Russian Facebook ads divided and targeted US voters before the 2016 election. Your Facebook friends could be leaving you vulnerable to major privacy invasions.

What comes after the social media empires: The intense political battles over Facebook and the other giant social media companies mark the end of the empire-building phase of those companies’ history. Facebook is creepy — and valuable: To protect the public without overreacting, the issue for legislators and regulators to weigh is how much the data-driven ecosystem is worth to us. We don’t have elections: How tech companies merge with the nation-state.