Slate Plus

Slow Boil

The Slate Plus Digest for Mar. 10.

Hi Slate Plus members! This is Leon, a reporter here at Slate. I’m filling in for Gabe, who is off today. As it happens, I’m not quite operating at full capacity because my glasses broke in half on the way to work and I had to put them back together with super glue. It turns out having super glue half an inch from your eyes is unpleasant, even when it’s dry. I’m getting used to it though and am just about ready to recommend you some stuff to read.

On Trump’s new immigration order:

  • Jamelle Bouie hopes the real motives behind Trump’s Muslim ban are not forgotten.
  • Dahlia Lithwick says the administration’s claim that 300 refugees are under FBI investigation can’t be trusted.
  • Mark Joseph Stern is skeptical that the revised executive order fixes the underlying constitutional problems with the first one.
  • Henry Grabar reports that undocumented immigrants around the country are making contingency plans in case they’re deported and separated from their kids.

On the GOP’s new health care proposal:

Grab bag:

  • Christina Cauterucci on the day without women.
  • Berlin-based Ben Miller on why “bitchy, mean gay culture” isn’t to blame for the “epidemic of low self-worth” among gay men described in this widely circulated HuffPo piece on gay loneliness.
  • Will Oremus goes behind the controls of Twitter’s new timeline algorithm, which is changing “both Twitter’s business and the way people experience it.”
  • Aymann Ismail writes about his Egyptian family’s experience assimilating to life in New Jersey—first-person proof that the Trump administration’s toxic beliefs about Muslim immigration are unfounded.
  • Katy Waldman asks, “Who can argue with the tears of a grieving widow?” in her piece on the propagandistic use of heartbreak and trauma by politicians.
  • Trump’s pick for solicitor general—the person who will serve as the government’s chief advocate in front of the Supreme Court—is a lawyer named Noel Francisco who thinks Congress is “constitutionally barred from subpoenaing communications between White House staffers.” Mark Joseph Stern explains why Francisco’s expansive vision of executive privilege is disconcerting, especially under Trump.
  • Sarah Carr, Francesca Berardi, Zoë Kirsch, and Stephen Smiley dig into allegations of corporal punishment at Camelot Education, a chain of “alternative” schools that take a tough approach to teaching the students who traditional public schools would rather not deal with. They find a disturbing pattern of alleged staff-on-student violence stretching across multiple schools, not to mention a system of oversight that is so flimsy as to render the schools—which serve vulnerable, mostly minority students from lower-income families—essentially unaccountable.

Not from Slate:

  • Did you know that a notorious KKK leader was shot dead recently in Missouri? Read all about it in this rollicking story from the Riverfront Times, which has too many crazy details to name, and begins with a truly bracing lead: “Frank Ancona, the imperial wizard of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, smelled like cat piss.”
  • A new Russian film about an affair between the country’s last tsar and a ballerina has sparked a fascinating controversy that’s pitting Russia’s religious nationalists against a government that has aggressively courted their support. At the center of the showdown: a 2013 Russian law that makes a crime out of insulting “religious feelings.”
  • “An apparently ordinary rabbit’s hole in a farmer’s field leads to an underground sanctuary said to have been used by devotees of a medieval religious order—but is everything what it seems?” If that’s not enough to entice you, this BBC piece about “mystery caves” in England also has some sick photos. (Disclaimer: Snopes says these caves were actually discovered years ago. But who cares?)
  • What does a 1,000-pound man do with his life after he loses more than 700 of them?

Thanks for reading and for your Slate Plus membership.

Leon Neyfakh
Staff writer