The Monday Morning Teaser

So I appear to have gotten away with taking Christmas and New Year’s off. For two weeks, the breakneck speed of news during the Trump Era slowed down. For example, Trump did not fire Robert Mueller, in spite of all the rumors predicting that he would as soon as Congress started its holiday break.

Then after New Year’s, it all started up again. Tuesday, in a weirdly hermaphroditic hybrid of implicit sexual imagery, Trump taunted Kim Jong Un by tweeting about the size and functionality of his nuclear button. Wednesday, the first excerpts of Michael Wolff’s new book Fire and Fury hit the internet. The full book came out Friday, and since then the whole administration has been consumed by the need to reassure Trump’s base that in fact they don’t all secretly believe that Trump is a moron and they aren’t all constantly working to corral him as if he were a hyperactive child. (Trump himself announced that he is in fact a “stable genius”, which is something that I can’t imagine an actually stable genius ever saying. The very statement is evidence against itself.)

New evidence that Trump obstructed justice came out, the founders of Fusion GPS shot down the Republican conspiracy theories about the Steele dossier (while daring Senator Grassley to release their sworn testimony to the Judiciary Committee; he didn’t, and instead sent a letter to the Justice Department recommending that they investigate Steele for possible crimes), and congressional Republicans doubled down on the strategy of undermining all the investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Meanwhile, Congress is on the clock to avoid a bunch of self-inflicted disasters, like a government shutdown or the deportation of the Dreamers.

So there’s all that to cover, but I’m going to leave it (and a few other things) for the weekly summary. The featured post steps back to take a longer view. Over the break, I read Cory Doctorow’s recent novel Walkway, which envisions a future economy based on giving rather than competing for scarce resources. That sounds crazy, but little niches of the current economy are already based on gifts, and technological trends make their expansion sound somewhat less crazy. As we settle in for the capitalism/socialism death match, it’s worth remembering that those aren’t the only two possibilities.

So “Visions of a Future Gift Economy” should post around 8 EST. I’m less sure about the scheduling of the weekly summary, but I think it will be out before 11.

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  • cgordon  On January 8, 2018 at 9:43 am

    I firmly believe the only reason Trump didn’t fire Mueller is that so many people predicted he would do it, and he didn’t want to do what everyone predicted.

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