From Lawfare, can President Trump fund the wall by declaring a national emergency? How Trump could use a national emergency to get his border wall, explained (and more). It’s not a national emergency — it’s also not the dawn of dictatorship. Trump’s emergency powers threat could end shutdown crisis, but at what cost? If the shutdown lasts two more weeks, the cost to the economy will exceed price of Trump’s wall. The cascade of shutdown problems grows each week (and more). The “doomsday” scenario: Here's what happens if the shutdown drags on. The government shutdown is hurting America’s diplomats — and diplomacy. ICE might be violating federal law by keeping immigrants detained during the shutdown. Farm country stood by Trump — but the shutdown is pushing it to breaking point. The shutdown is reminding everyone of the good things government does.

Dems eye legal challenge as Trump threatens national emergency. Trump’s advisers push for emergency declaration — while assuming it’ll be stopped in court. Thread: “Let's take a look at the 1879 shutdown, shall we?”

Eric Boot (Leiden): Obligatory Whistleblowing: Civil Servants and the Complicity-Based Obligation to Disclose Government Wrongdoing. Video game addiction is real, rare, and poorly understood. Campaign journalism needs an overhaul — here’s one radical idea. Why horse-race political journalism is awesome: Telling voters who’s winning and who’s losing the 2020 campaign isn’t trivial — it’s a crucially important job for the media. Easter Island statues: Mystery behind their location revealed. Costica Bradatan contemplates the blind cruelty of power and the gifts of humility. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s critique of fact-checking is valid. AOC takes the Democrats back to the future: Isaac Chotiner interviews Rick Perlstein.

From the Congressional Research Service, a report on the failed coup attempt in Gabon. Melting snowballs and the winter of debt: The policy obsession that took over Washington now looks even worse (and more). The chaos of Brexit has led John Dunn, one of Britain’s foremost political theorists, to appreciate the Queen for the first time in his life. Why Elizabeth Warren turned out to be so likable, after all. American extremism has always flowed from the border. Why the world should be paying attention to Putin’s plans for Belarus. Is the Aeneid a celebration of empire — or a critique? By mythologizing the Romans’ Trojan origins, Virgil turned a story about losers into an epic about winners. Oxford students call for emeritus professor John Finnis’s removal over alleged homophobia.