Trump doesn’t get the “best people”, he gets the worst — here’s why. Trump just taught a master class in manipulating language to excuse abuse: The president’s statement on Rob Porter erased his accusers. Jacey Fortin on Trump’s history of defending men accused of hurting women. The White House had to protect Rob Porter to save Donald Trump. The core mission of the GOP is now to defend abusers. Domestic violence survivor: Rob Porter shows how far we’ll go to silence victims. A reckoning with women awaits Trump. Rob Porter is a national security scandal, too. “If you make the ‘choice’ to be gay, Christian Conservative @BryanJFischer will call for your torture. But if you make the choice to molest underage girls (Roy Moore), beat your wives (Rob Porter), or sexually assault women (Donald Trump), he will sing your praises. #FamilyValues”.


The Internet will power the next music revolution: Katherine Rye Jewell on why musical innovation will continue, even as local radio disappears. Too much music: A failed experiment in dedicated listening. Networked listening: How the way we listen helps delineate the public-private divide. James Cook reviews The New Analog: Listening and Reconnecting in a Digital World by Damon Krukowski. Is the shift from owning songs to streaming them eroding listener loyalty and reducing the cultural impact of music? People in their thirties can’t stop hoarding CDs: It’s so hard to say goodbye to outdated physical media. Not dead yet: Record executives fight for compact disc’s future.


From the New Republic, how sexual harassment shapes politics in Washington: Eight essays on sexual discrimination and harassment in D.C., across politics, policy and the media. #MeToo is coming for the U.S. military. The government is finally cracking down on sexual harassers in science. Sex, lies, and human resources: If you think the #MeToo reckoning is over because the Weinsteins of the world have been toppled, you’ve missed the point. Why might a woman not come forward sooner? Here are some feasible possibilities. There’s no such thing as Twitter feminism: Sarah Jones on what #MeToo’s critics get wrong about the role social media plays in fighting sexual harassment.

Go ahead, criticize #MeToo: It doesn’t take bravery to join the backlash. Is Gloria Steinem worried about backlash? No — “Fuck them”, the feminist icon said during a conference on women’s empowerment.


Matthew Lindauer (Brooklyn): Immigration Policy and Identification Across Borders. Bryan Caplan (George Mason) and Zach Weinersmith (SMBC): All Roads Lead to Open Borders: The Ethics and Social Science of Immigration. Hasia Diner (NYU), Sonia Hernandez (Texas A&M), Benjamin H. Johnson (Loyola), Julian Lim (ASU), Maddalena Marinari (Gustavus), and Elliott Young (Lweis and Clark): A Shadow on the Past: Teaching and Studying Migration and Borders in the Age of Trump. From Vox, a special report on borders by Johnny Harris. There is a massive movement of refugees globally — international community shuts down its borders in response.

Michael Huemer (Colorado): The Right to Move versus the Right to Exclude: A Principled Defense of Open Borders. Inconvenient truths about migration: Poking large holes in economic and political liberals' arguments for open national borders. Peter Hitchens writes in praise of borders. Borders, open borders, or no borders: If freedom of movement is a human right, is Brexit good or bad? “No borders” politics needs no defending — it’s common sense.


Sarah Rudolph Cole (OSU): The Lost Promise of Arbitration. Here’s what war with North Korea would look like: A full-blown war with North Korea wouldn’t be as bad as you think — it would be much, much worse. Jia Tolentino on the mesmerizing spectacle of North Korea’s “army of beauties” at the Winter Olympics. Rob Porter’s history of domestic abuse wasn’t a secret — it’s just that no one cared. Trump Team tends to defend alleged abusers, unless they’re Democrats. Former Cato employees describe years of harassment by ex-Cato President Ed Crane. Trump’s military parade would not be “un-American”: We are a country that worships the military, wages forever wars, and gives our leader the unilateral authority to end all human life. Roughly a quarter of the planet is slowly turning into a perpetual desert. Is Germany’s grand coalition the beginning of the end for Angela Merkel?

“If you can’t be bothered to read a daily summary of the biggest threats facing the country, you shouldn’t be President”. “There’s a tweet for EVERYTHING. It’s uncanny”.


Can investigative journalism overcome the rational ignorance of voters? Guy Rolnik interviews James Hamilton, author of Democracy’s Detectives: The Economics of Investigative Journalism (and more and more and more). Where are the investigative journalists challenging patriarchy? Glenn C. Altschuler on investigating investigative journalism. The Washington Post’s Marty Baron on the importance of investigative journalism. In the trenches of Trump’s leak war: How the administration has changed the game between investigative reporters and their government sources. ProPublica and WNYC are launching an investigative Trump podcast that pulls in the crowd.


From PostEverything, we’re embarking on an unusual fiscal experiment: High deficit spending at low unemployment. From Forbes, Stan Collender on the real reason the GOP doesn’t want to do a budget this year; and on the Trump budget legacy: A permanent $1 trillion federal deficit. In shocker, deficit explodes yet again under Republican rule. Republicans stopped sabotaging the economy because they have the White House now: Their policy is simply to support fiscal contraction under Democratic presidents and fiscal expansion under Republican ones. “There is tactical method to the GOP’s apparent deficit madness. It is absolutely necessary that unified GOP governments run enormous deficits so that they can use those deficits to block Democrat’s from expansions of social welfare programs”.

Fellow progressives, let us shed our fiscal handcuffs. Why the debate over the budget deficit is so confusing and frustrating.


Arno Tausch (Innsbruck): Are Practicing Catholics More Tolerant of Other Religions than the Rest of the World? Comparative Analyses Based on World Values Survey Data. Why a 150-year-old kidnapping case has Catholics arguing today: The Edgardo Mortara case is as relevant now as it was in 1858. Adrian Vermeule on constitutionalism from a Catholic perspective. Antonio Spadaro and Marcelo Figueroa on evangelical fundamentalism and Catholic integralism: A surprising ecumenism. A Catholic blogger says Christians shouldn’t do yoga — does he have a point? Suzanne O’Malley reviews In Rome We Trust: The Rise of Catholics in American Political Life by Manlio Graziano.

The war against Pope Francis: His modesty and humility have made him a popular figure around the world — but inside the church, his reforms have infuriated conservatives and sparked a revolt. Pope Francis’s failure to address abuse allegations jeopardizes his papacy. Ariel Dorfman on the guilty soul of Pope Francis. What a debate about Pope Francis’s supposed liberalism says about the future of Catholicism.


From the Atlantic, Adam Serwer on the Trumping of the FBI: The president and his allies don’t want to protect the bureau’s political independence — they want to subvert it. Trump built his own “deep state” — now he needs the GOP to save him from it: Trump hired the people he now believes are out to get him. The Democrats are right to defend the FBI: The bureau’s history of abuses shows what could happen if Trump’s campaign against it succeeds. The menace of Trump is not McCarthyism, but Hooverism: Trump will become truly frightening if he moves beyond name-calling and starts abusing the powers of the state. What happens if Trump refuses to be interviewed by Mueller?


Helen Daly (CC): Modelling Sex/Gender. Holning Lau (UNC): Gender Recognition as a Human Right. More teenagers are identifying as trans and gender non-conforming than previously thought, according to new research. Gender as art: Jason Kuznicki on a liberal and individualist account of gender. On gender differences, no consensus on nature vs. nurture. Why do you call us ladies? Jessica Halem and Jen Manion on history, gender, and manners in public life. Jacob Lau reviews Beyond Trans: Does Gender Matter? by Heath Fogg Davis. Court rules Germany must recognize third gender. Ryan Anderson’s book on transgender people is creating an uproar. Robin Dembroff on the nonbinary gender trap. Study finds children think flexibly about gender identity.

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