From the New Yorker, the music Donald Trump can't hear: Adam Gopnik writes about Donald Trump's disconnection from American cultural life, and what people must do to resist him; and how do you fight an enemy who's just kidding? Emily Nussbaum on how jokes won the election. When politics invades the personal: Joan Golden-Alexis on a new mandate for psychoanalysis in the Trump era. Trump, a Resister's Guide: As a once-unthinkable Trump presidency gets under way, it is time to recognize that we are not as impotent as we may have felt — that even if we cannot destroy Trump, we can resist his primitive vision to the best of our abilities. Democrats prepare for Trump with one of the earliest resistance movements ever to greet a new president. Sammy Leonard on how the nihilistic purity of the far Left will kill us all.

We are the last defense against Trump: America's institutions weren't designed to resist a modern strongman — that leaves civil society. The return of civil disobedience: The sixties produced a conviction that "democracy is in the streets" — the Trump era may echo that. The history and future of activism in America: Sarah Jaffe reviews Direct Action: Protest and the Reinvention of American Radicalism by L. A. Kauffman and Hegemony How-To: A Roadmap for Radicals by Jonathan Matthew Smucker. Interviews for resistance: Sarah Jaffe interviews Legba Carrefour of DisruptJ20. Lawyers are descending on Washington to help protesters.


From 538, Nate Silver on the real story of 2016: What reporters — and lots of data geeks, too — missed about the election, and what they're still getting wrong. Did God choose Trump? Lauren Markoe on what it means to believe in divine intervention. "Thank You Lord Jesus for President Trump": Jonathan Cole on apostolic theology and the evangelical vote. John Paul Rollert on the moral improbability of the Trump campaign. Masha Gessen on the threat of moral authority. Ronald Klain on 5 new rules from the Trump scandal playbook. John Mikhail on the original meaning of "emolument". It's not a post-fact world after all: Jane Chong on why Kompromat can't touch Trump yet. Amanda Taub on "kompromat" and the danger of doubt and confusion in a democracy.

Yes, Trump will face a backlash if he doesn't deliver on his promises — but which promises are his supporters counting on? What President Trump actually plans to do on Day One: He's made impossible promises for his first day, but he's expected to start by tackling health care, immigration, and terrorism. Donald Trump is ready to take an ax to government spending. Congress moves to give away national lands, discounting billions in revenue. "America will soon be thrust into cultural and societal deterioration, a new Dark Ages". Jonathan Chait on 6 books that explain how the GOP went crazy.

President Trump could mean economic policy via presidential decree. Why the Trump economic boom will never come: Yes, the markets are looking good (for now) — but subsidized deal-making and tax cuts for the rich are the surest sign of a bubble. Trump is putting the wolves of Wall Street in charge of America's economy. Luigi Zingales on Donald Trump's economic policies: Pro-business, not pro-market ("Trump is eliminating lobbyists by putting them in charge of all departments"). The Trump lobbying purge that wasn't: The transition made a big show of sidelining lobbyists, but they found ways to stay involved anyway.

Well before his inauguration, Trump's incoming administration and Cabinet picks were breaking down definitions of conflict of interest and stretching the bounds of normalcy — far from "draining the swamp," Trump has added to it. GOP unmoved by controversies surrounding Trump's cabinet picks. Yes, Trump's Cabinet is super rich — that's not why we should be worried. Donald Trump has assembled the worst Cabinet in American history. The GOP is sabotaging itself by confirming weak Cabinet nominees like Betsy DeVos. Trump is setting up the government in a way that promises chaos: Empowering the Cabinet sounds good in theory, but it hasn't worked out for past presidents.

Scott McLemee reviews Robert E. Denton Jr.'s scholarship on the American presidency, which highlights how immediately coping with the lack of any guidebook is one of the most urgent demands of the office. Matthew Yglesias on 7 big questions about the Trump administration: The known unknowns. Is the Trump team ready to run the government? Trump should probably get around to filling these 662 jobs (and more). The first great natural experiment of the Trump administration: The Trump administration will test many assumptions about public administration, policymaking, and politics — here's the first one.

Putin is using spy tactics to split NATO from the inside. Russians are trying to figure out Donald Trump too. Is North Korea about to welcome Donald Trump into office with its first-ever ICBM flight test? Trump's nuclear wake-up call: "It's a sobering moment", Bush's chief of staff says about the classified nuclear briefing before a president's swearing-in. Thread: "Tonight, every major geopolitical and non-state adversary the US has is reviewing their post-Jan. 20 notes and nodding approvingly".


Trump entering White House unbent and unpopular. Donald Trump thinks approval ratings are rigged — that's scarier than you think: Ignoring approval ratings removes a major check on Trump’s power. “He has this deep fear that he is not a legitimate president”: On the eve of the inauguration, Trump’s biographers ponder his refusal to bend his ego to his new office. Donald Trump is so scared to come out of his house and be president. Pissologies: Sam Kriss on the psychoses that animate the most powerful man in the world. Sapna Maheshwari on 10 times Trump spread fake news. Truth in the age of Trump: No one who backed Trump has any excuse for being surprised by what he does — we all know who and what he is. Stop waiting for Trump to start making sense — or his lackeys, or the deplorables.

Donald the Unready: The new president will be corrupt and crazy, but he’ll also be incompetent. Eric Posner posts The Dictator’s Handbook, U.S. edition. Welcome to the Trump Dark Age: Either his presidency is an aberration or the dawn of a intolerant, regressive era (and more).


Crispin Thurlow (Bern) and Jamie Moshin (Michigan): What the F#@$: Policing and Performing the Unmentionable in the News. From Three Percent, are we living in a backward world? Chad W. Post on reader selection and market acceleration and on the structural inequality of comp titles. Esther Franke on the meaning of Michelle: First black First Lady as outsider within and agent of change. Which Michelle Obama will we get when she leaves the White House? The “mom in chief” charmed late-night hosts and hula-hooped with kids, but she wasn’t her full self in public. The introduction to Ernst Kantorowicz: A Life by Robert E. Lerner. Andrew Scull on his book Madness in Civilization: A Cultural History of Insanity, from the Bible to Freud, from the Madhouse to Modern Medicine.

The Left’s divisions will be on display at the inauguration. Elijah Cummings: “If the public knew what Congress knows” they would boycott the inauguration too. How performing at Trump’s inauguration — or not — became a political statement.


Carlos Lozada reviews Audacity: How Barack Obama Defied his Critics and Created a Legacy that Will Prevail by Jonathan Chait and A Consequential President: The Legacy of Barack Obama by Michael D'Antonio (and more). Mike Konczal on the austerity of the Obama years. David Leonhardt on the most successful Democrat since F.D.R. Obama hoped to be a transformational president — he failed: He got a lot done, but still left us living in Ronald Reagan's America. Obama's hidden legacy: Behind the headlines, he rebuilt American policies in ways the Trump team will have hard time undoing — and may not even want to. Trump is not Obama's legacy — he's the legacy of anti-Obamaism.

Ashley Deeks (Virginia): The Obama Administration, International Law, and Executive Minimalism. Obama hoped to transform the world — it transformed him: The president entered office with a vision for a cosmopolitan foreign policy; then he encountered drones, Syria and a growing wave of illiberalism. Obama and the limits of "fact-based" foreign policy: How America's best and brightest once again steered the country to failure. Barney Frank says Obama should change our approach to the world: After he leaves office, he'll be one of the only voices of reason and experience about America's role as the world's policeman. Obama leaves behind a mixed record on technology and surveillance.

From n+1, Aziz Rana on decolonizing Obama: What happened to the third-world Left? Obama's legacy as a historian: Historians discuss and debate the president's use of the bully pulpit as a history lectern. Obama out: As a great orator leaves office, we have reached peak speech. Where does Obama rank in American oratory? Rembert Browne on how Barack Obama is not cool. Ai-jen Poo on how Obama should become Organizer-in-Chief: After he leaves office, he should use his life of experience to help the organizations that serve people who are overlooked.

Obama shouldn’t go quietly: Trump presents an unprecedented threat to American values — Obama should stand up for them.


Alexander Anievas (UConn) and Kerem Nisancioglu (SOAS): Why Europe? Anti-Eurocentric Theory, History, and the Rise of Capitalism. The case against the collapse of capitalism: Martin Wolf reviews How Will Capitalism End? Essays on a Failing System by Wolfgang Streeck (and more and more); and on capitalism and democracy: The strain is showing (“To maintain legitimacy, economic policy must seek to promote the interests of the many not the few”). Labor and capital in the global economy: Kimberly Clausing on how three decades of technological change, globalization, and government policy made workers more at the mercy of concentrated capital.

Brad DeLong on missing the economic big picture: While it is important that we determine the best way to manage the global trade system, doing so cannot substitute for the much larger challenge of managing market capitalism itself. Led by a class of omnipotent central bankers, experts have gained extraordinary political power — will a populist backlash shatter their technocratic dream? While lack of sufficient national identity may play a role in the dislike of the meritocrats, there is a much simpler explanation: They have done a horrible job.

From Wonkblog, Max Ehrenfreund on what it would take to really rethink capitalism: Economists at the World Economic Forum in Davos are concerned that global economic progress has left some behind; and on the most awkward thing to talk about at a forum for global elites. Mark Thoma on what the Davos crowd needs to understand. CEOs: Worried about nationalism, less worried about their ability to make money.


John P. Jackson (William and Mary): Cross-cultural Research, Evolutionary Psychology, and Racialism: Problems and Prospects. Quayshawn Spencer (Penn): In Defense of the Actual Metaphysics of Race. Constructing race: Richard Marshall interviews Ron Mallon on the philosophy of race and social construction. Philip Cohen (Maryland): How Troubling is Our Inheritance: A Review of Genetics and Race in the Social Sciences. Who decides who counts as Native American? Four years ago, the Nooksack in Washington State announced that they were expelling hundreds of members, setting off a bitter debate over tribal identity.

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