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.

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