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Box Office Bombs

The Slate Plus Digest for April 7.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Bodza2/Thinkstock.

Photo illustration by Slate. Photo by Bodza2/Thinkstock.

So President Donald Trump is now making use of the U.S. military, as we knew he would eventually. Joshua Keating points out that, given the president’s policies, one has to wonder about his professed concern for the children of Syria. Fred Kaplan wonders what comes next. And Isaac Chotiner takes the media to task for its giddy celebration of Trump’s sudden about-face on the Assad regime.

Wait, I thought Trump was in the tank for Russia? Guess not. Not that that should make you feel better.

There’s a new Supreme Court justice—and a new filibuster-proof confirmation process. Dahlia Lithwick and Mark Joseph Stern write that the nuclear option won’t change the court’s makeup. Jamelle Bouie brings the #slatepitch: The end of the filibuster leaves Democrats better off.

Dan Canon, a civil rights lawyer in Kentucky tried to represent an undocumented immigrant in deportation proceedings. He couldn’t find him. This story brought home the Kafka-esque bureaucratic nightmare that is America’s immigration system more powerfully than anything else I can remember.

Racist anthropomorphic ham hock Steve Bannon is off the National Security Council, which is nice although we don’t know why. Trump hated the jokes about “President Bannon,” predictably enough, so Ben Mathis-Lilley came up with some more nicknames for him to hate.

Pepsi made a terrible ad because the ad industry is going insane.

Not from Slate

Stories about “real people” in “difficult circumstances” are hard to pull off but this, from the Washington Post, is calm and meticulous and appalling.

I loved Jia Tolentino’s New Yorker piece about the strange fetishization of women’s ambition.

What happens when prisoners attempt suicide? One, in upstate New York, had his sentence extended by six years.

Alex Pareene points out that Donald Trump is the culmination of decades of lucrative work by right-wing hucksters:

A media apparatus that was built to fleece gullible, generally older people now holds sway over much of Congress and the president himself. It turns out gerontocracy is an even bigger disaster in a nation with a giant media industry dedicated to scaring and lying to old people.

It’s cheering that high school journalists are still challenging authority. It’s less cheering that this Kansas school board apparently didn’t Google their new principal before hiring her.

Thanks for your Slate Plus membership, which makes our work possible.

Gabriel Roth
Editorial director, Slate Plus

P.S. This week, we’ve added Trumpcast to the list of podcasts producing weekly bonus segments for Slate Plus members. In the first, Jacob Weisberg follows up with reporter Gabriel Sherman about Fox News and the Bill O’Reilly scandal. Hear it on Slate or in your Plus podcast feed.