Welcome to the final Slate Plus Digest of the Obama era. I’ll be doing that all week, probably: Here I am, taking out the trash for the last time during the Obama era. Fun stuff. Here’s a long weekend’s worth of reading for you.
In the world of politics:
- Donald Trump held a press conference. Jamelle Bouie points out that, rather than describing how he’s going to mitigate his conflicts of interest, Trump essentially advertised them. If everything around Trump is a show, Katy Waldman gives due attention to the production design.
- Donald Trump nominated some people to the Cabinet. Dahlia Lithwick identifies the moment in Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing that reveals why he’s so terrifying. Michelle Goldberg points out that Trump’s CIA pick, Mike Pompeo, is just as terrifying.
- Congressional Republicans started trying to repeal Obamacare. Will they succeed? Who knows. One viral video, of Paul Ryan talking to a cancer survivor, shows why it’s complicated.
- Barack Obama said goodbye. The faith in America that allowed him to win the presidency makes him inadequate to the moment, Bouie writes.
- There was good news too.
Meanwhile, in the world of culture:
- Waldman reads Siri Hustvedt’s huge new essay collection and finds mostly preening narcissism.
- The profession of fiction writing “resembles a pyramid scheme swathed in a dewy mist of romantic yearning.”
- Peter Berg’s Boston-bombing docu-drama Patriots Day offers “unintentional comedy underlying scenes of real tragedy.”
- Take a break from the world with the charmingly cozy Danish aesthetic of hygge, as long as you don’t mind associating yourself with xenophobic nationalism.
Not From Slate
- Jared Kushner’s rise to unimaginable power
- Obituary for Clare Hollingworth, the reporter who broke the scoop of the century
- Is Donald Trump the next Jimmy Carter?
- Esquire’s profile of Gawker fall guy A.J. Daulerio goes deep*
- This is just how it is now, I guess
- A message to the American media, from a Russian journalist
From the Archive
Reader and unofficial fact-checker RM “Auros” Harman thinks everyone should read Paul Krugman's “Baby-Sitting the Economy,” a parable about a baby-sitting co-op that explains the global economy. Krugman’s article “was the piece that really got me interested in reading about economics, and remains one I refer to in explaining basic Keynesian macro (both the problem of demand shortfalls, and how moderate inflation controlled by a central bank can be a good thing),” Harman writes. Some Republican policymakers could stand to read it.
What Slate article/podcast segment/video/T-shirt stands out in your memory? Email it to me here!
Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, and thank you for your membership, which helps make our journalism possible. See you during the Trump administration. Sorry.
Editorial director, Slate Plus
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*Correction, Jan. 14, 2017: This post originally misattributed the A.J. Daulerio profile to GQ. The piece was published in Esquire.