FROM Randall Balmer
The role of Christianity in Trump's White House Pastor Ralph Drollinger runs a weekly bible study in the White House. About a dozen Cabinet members attend, as well as CIA Director Mike Pompeo and Attorney General Jeff Sessions. President Trump doesn’t make it, but he receives a copy of the Pastor’s teachings every week.
The Academics of Textbooks Get Political School boards often toil outside the spotlight, but that has not been case recently for the Texas State Board of Education . Almost half of the elected group are conservative Christians, who, along with the rest of their colleagues take an active role in determining the contents of textbooks used in schools across the state and, by extension, many of the books that end up in schools across the country. How much control should elected officials have over what’s taught in class? Is this breaking down the barrier between Church and State? What part should scientists, historians, and other experts play in the debate over curriculum? Do public schools too often ignore the role of religion in American history?
Why is Trump so behind on filling staff jobs, establishing concrete policies? Yesterday Donald Trump signed a “decision memo” to revamp the air traffic control system. But there was little legislative detail in the plan. There’s not much to other splashy announcements from the White House, including tax cuts and the arms deal with Saudi Arabia. And hundreds of positions are unfilled in federal agencies.
George Saunders: Lincoln in the Bardo (Part I) Lincoln in the Bardo dramatizes a grieving President Lincoln as he visits the grave of his beloved son Willie, who died at age eleven. In the novel, the buried dead believe they're not dead -- "they're sick and refer to their coffins as "sick boxes."