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Omnivore

Trump declares a national emergency

From Vox, Li Zhou on why Trump is signing a border security deal and declaring a national emergency at the same time. Mitch McConnell just set a hugely dangerous precedent on national emergencies (and more and more and more and more). Trump’s face-saving way out of crisis raises fears over rule of law (and more and more). Let’s say Trump declares a national emergency — what happens next? If Trump declares a national emergency, Pelosi can jam Republicans — here’s how. Trump’s emergency powers


Paper Trail

The Swedish ambassador to China is under investigation after “she was accused of arranging unauthorized, secret talks” between imprisoned publisher Gui Minhai’s daughter and “two Chinese men who had offered to help free him, but instead pressured her to keep silent,” the New York Times reports. At the New York Times, Alexandra Alter explains why

Syllabi

Love Letters

I’m not the first, and certainly won’t be the last, person to unhelpfully ask, “Why doesn’t anyone write letters anymore?” Some of the best and most interesting writing has been done for an audience

Daily Review

Mothers

The fiction writer who is also a critic is cursed with the predicament of having strewn about the very tools for his own dismemberment. Hold up the analytic knives to a purely creative output, and the fruits of artistic labor too readily slacken and yield. Susan Sontag

Interviews

Sam Lipsyte

Anyone familiar with Sam Lipsyte's work knows to expect somersaults of sentences, language twisted line after line into laugh-inducing poses. In his new novel, Hark, those poses have names: “Ithaka, Persian Rain, Moonlight Diana Number Three, Wheel of Tartars.” But this isn't pilates—it’s a form of self-actualization called “mental archery,” propagated by a man named Hark Morner.

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Greg Grandin

With his eye on the longer game, Ronald Reagan hedged against the nativists then filling Republican ranks. Even as his administration was carrying out workplace raids that critics were comparing to Operation Wetback in the 1950s, he bet the party’s fortunes on courting the Latino vote. “Hispanics are Republicans,” Reagan once said, on the idea that they were inherently conservative, “they just don’t know it."

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