Issue 1: Aug 5–11, 2017


Incendiary Alliteration: The president warned that “fire and fury” would be unleashed against North Korea if it makes “any more threats” against the US–a line aides reportedly said was improvised. North Korea responded in threatening terms, saying it was “examining” a plan to use ballistic missiles to create an “an enveloping fire…around” the US territory of Guam. Trump tweeted in reply that “military solutions” are now “locked and loaded.”

McConnell Dustup: After Mitch McConnell said Trump suffered from “excessive expectations” about the ease of passing legislation, Trump was asked if McConnell should step aside as Senate Majority Leader. “Well I tell you what, if he doesn’t get repeal and replace done and if he doesn’t get taxes done, meaning cuts and reform, and if he doesn’t get a very easy one to get done, infrastructure, if he doesn’t get them done, then you can ask me that question.” Trump later tweeted “Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn’t get it done…”

Unmentioned Mosque: Trump was criticized for not denouncing a bomb attack on a mosque in Minnesota. Controversial White House aide Sebastian Gorka suggested the attack may have been “propagated by the left.”
Lord Not Thanked: Tireless Trump defender Jeffrey Lord was fired by CNN for tweeting “Sieg Heil” to a liberal he had accused of having fascist tendencies. Explaining the firing, CNN said “Nazi salutes are indefensible.”



Journalist Molly Ball, writing in the Atlantic, asked a Trump supporter at the president’s West Virginia rally why he came to “a campaign rally for an election that’s already over.” He replied: “It’s like a ballgame. It makes you feel good to hear the things you agree with and be with like-minded people. It’s like a ballgame, but I guess here you only have one team.”

Laurence Tribe, a professor at Harvard Law School, retweeted a tweet derogating Trump aide Stephen Miller, adding the comment, “There should be a law barring the payment of federal funds to non-humans. No further filters needed to expel Miller from the federal payroll.” Tribe later deleted the tweet.


“Inside the Partisan Fight for Your Newsfeed” —Buzzfeed
An analysis of 667 websites and 452 associated Facebook pages reveals “the extent to which American online political discourse is powered by a mix of money and outrage.”

“War, Trade or Inequality” —Axios
A pithy summary of different academic views on the roots of the right-wing populism that has emerged in the United States and other western nations.

“The Ideological Conflict Hypothesis” —Current Directions in Psychological Science
A 2014 study questioned the well-known finding that conservatives are less tolerant toward a variety of groups than liberals. The study found that this finding was partly a function of which groups (typically liberal) social scientists had chosen to ask liberals and conservatives about.

—By Aryeh Cohen-Wade and Robert Wright with contributions from Philip Menchaca and Brian Degenhart