Compiled by Ana Ramic
On Tuesday, President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union address to Congress, following the teleprompter while calling out MS-13, NFL protesters, and the FBI. Meanwhile across the aisle, the Democrats chose Representative Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts (yes, that Kennedy), to deliver the official response to the SOTU. In a twist of irony, the President and the Representative – both legacies of the American upper class – vied for the affections of ordinary “coal miners and single moms”…
The Republicans have also been busy waging war on the FBI and the Justice Department, in the form of a memo. On Monday, the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee voted to release the so-called Nunes Memo which alleges misconduct by FBI officials investigating Trump’s ties with Russia. As if that was not enough, the American government shutdown and reopened (for three weeks); the world’s elites gathered in Davos; and the annual Women’s March drew record crowds. Despite no mention of North Korea, Iran, or Russia in the SOTU, the past week saw several developments, including the almost ambassadorship of Victor Cha, the Trump administration’s refusal to impose new sanctions on Russia, and should we go on??
POLICY & SECURITY
- The difference between what the President says and does—rising China and Russia are top of the list in the recently released national security strategy, but there was no mention of either at Tuesday’s State of the Union address. So what to pay attention to, and what to ignore?
Link to the article on ft.com
- After the SPD voted yes (barely) for forming a coalition with CDU/CSU, some criticize the ruling elites for making the same mistake as the American left—being out of touch with the voters and emphasizing identity politics.
Link to the article on foreignpolicy.com
- Young Leader Alum Francis Fukuyama on why the populists pose a threat to the global liberal order.
Link to the analysis on theglobeandmail.com
- A year into the presidency, how do small-town Trump voters feel? Gary Younge from Muncie, Indiana.
Link to the report on theguardian.com
- James Comey’s decision to disclose the Clinton emails has always been questioned by some. Why exactly did he do it? This answer may be becoming clearer with the investigation into Andrew McCabe, the FBI deputy director who resigned last Monday.
Link to the article on washingtonpost.com
- What exactly is going on with the government shutdown plan? All’s quiet on that front this week, but the Congress now has to put together a deal on government spending and immigration before it goes to the White House for approval.
Link to the article on vox.com
- The White House has no plans to close the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, as we learned this week following the signing of an executive order to that end. There are 41 detainees still at the facility, compared to 214 in 2009, the year President Obama ordered its closure.
Link to the article on theguardian.com
- On Wednesday, three American billionaires announced a plan to try to solve the mess that is the country’s healthcare system. There are not many details yet but we know from an inside tip this week that this will more or less be an experiment at first. But hey, how much worse could it get?
Link to the article on theweek.com
- As the tech giants continue to grow, so does the discussion on what is appropriate amount of regulation.
Link to the article on economist.com
- It is no secret that technology is pervasive, reaching into almost every aspect of our lives, sometimes helpfully and sometimes not. But how do we categorize its many aspects and deal with it equitably and democratically?
Link to the article on newrepublic.com
- Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has called on Congress to lift the US debt limit and avoid a government default.
Link to the article on cnbc.com
- At Davos, President Donald Trump said he would be willing to reopen the door to the TPP with substantially better terms.
Link to the article on politico.com
…and in his full pre-Davos interview with CNBC.
Link to the interview on cnbc.com
- Janet Yellen, Chairwoman of the Federal Reserve, ended her term this Wednesday. Her successor, scheduled to be sworn in on Monday, is Jerome Powell, governor of the Federal Reserve Board and former Carlyle Group executive.
Link to the article on wsj.com
CULTURE & MEDIA
- There have been 11 school shootings in the US in 2018 already. The 11th occurred one week ago in Kentucky.
Link to the article on nytimes.com
….and not so fun fact: anytime a cop wants to find a gun owner, their request does not involve any computer, because that’s illegal. Instead, it ends up at the National Tracing Center where only microfilm is allowed.
Link to the story on gq.com
- On January 20 and 21 the second annual Women’s March occurred with record numbers. According to a Harvard study, participation in mass protests impact political participation in all sorts of ways. Does the Women’s March have the potential to alter the political scene like the Tea Party movement did in 2009?
Link to the article on theguardian.com
- The 24 hour news cycle is additive. But as we try to grasp the endless stream of breaking news and twitter feeds, some experience overload and eventual apathy.
Link to the article on wired.com
…could this be why increasingly facts no longer seem to matter? More on the diminishing role of facts in Rand Corporation’s latest study “Truth Decay”.
Link to the study on rand.org