Katherine M. Gehl and Michael E. Porter (Harvard): Why Competition in the Politics Industry is Failing America. Money, power, and deer urine: How regulators start to serve special interests. Bernard Avishai on democracy and facts in the age of Trump. American politics is swamped with “bad faith” actors. How to reverse the degradation of our politics: To fix democracy globally, we must first address toxic partisanship and polarization here at home — a promising electoral experiment in Maine might show the way. Why American democracy is broken, and how to fix it: The presidential system isn’t working — a parliamentary one might. There is no separation of powers without divided government: Partisan loyalty has triumphed over institutional loyalty. Daniel Stid on the hidden powers of the people’s branch: Passing legislation isn’t the only way Congress can check an unruly president. Cory Gardner showed how Senate Republicans could check Trump if they wanted to.

America’s own cultural revolution: Cults of personality, banned words, calls for purges — sound familiar? Trump could use military to launch his own coup, warns former White House ethics lawyer. Trump has created dangers we haven’t even imagined yet. Kevin Drum: I’m just a big ol’ optimist about the future of America under Donald Trump. Andrew Prokop on 5 ways the 2018 midterms could change American politics. 2018 will be a battle of “power with” versus “power over”. 2018 will be a fight to save democracy. 2018, the year we fight back: Yascha Mounk on why this new year calls for cautious optimism. 2018 is the year that will decide if Trumpocracy replaces American democracy.

Mark Coeckelbergh (Vienna): Can Machines Create Art? Ana Ramalho (Maastricht): Will Robots Rule the (Artistic) World? A Proposed Model for the Legal Status of Creations by Artificial Intelligence Systems. Could a robot be president? Yes, it sounds nuts, but some techno-optimists really believe a computer could make better decisions for the country — without the drama and shortsightedness we accept from our human leaders. Computers and populism: Frank S. Levy on whether job losses induced by artificial intelligence (AI) will increase the appeal of populist politics. The robots are coming, and Sweden is fine: In a world full of anxiety about the potential job-destroying rise of automation, Sweden is well placed to embrace technology while limiting human costs.

The year the robots came for our jobs: Public anxiety over the automation of the workplace reached new heights in 2017, making clear that humanity isn't ready for the coming revolution.

Rex Tillerson and the unraveling of the State Department: With an isolated leader, a demoralized diplomatic corps and a president dismantling international relations one tweet at a time, American foreign policy is adrift in the world. Trump doesn’t hate Tillerson — he hates diplomacy itself. Trump and Tillerson are gutting the State Department for no good reason. New data shows how the Trump administration is destroying the State Department. Rex Tillerson hired a CEO to overhaul the State Department — she quit 3 months into the job. U.S. diplomat’s resignation signals wider exodus from State Department. The worst Secretary of State in living memory: Rex Tillerson’s successor will inherit the monumental task of cleaning up the mess he’s made of the State Department.

Andrew Moon (VCU): How to Use Cognitive Faculties You Never Knew You Had. Trump’s voter fraud commission is dead — but the GOP voter suppression effort is just getting started (and more). Oh my fucking god, the DOJ is investigating Hillary’s goddamn emails again. FBI launches new Clinton Foundation investigation. The Trump administration’s new war on marijuana, explained. Smoked out: June Thunderstorm on the great enclosure of the marijuana commons. Obstruction inquiry shows Trump’s struggle to keep grip on Russia investigation. House Republicans have a new tactic to discredit, distract, and disrupt the Mueller probe. Kevin Liptak and Dana Bash go inside Trump’s two days of fury. Michael Grynbaum on Michael Wolff, from local media scourge to national newsmaker.

What was Steve Bannon thinking? Six theories to explain his scorched-earth break with the president that seems to have left him utterly isolated. Steve Bannon was never that smart: As a political strategist, he’s a danger only to himself. We’re about to find out if Bannonism is a thing. Trump spoke to Rebekah Mercer on the phone — then she knifed Steve Bannon. Steve Bannon’s billionaire benefactor cuts him off (and more). Led by the Mercers, Bannon’s allies abandon him.

From Rorotoko, Ralph Armbruster-Sandoval on his book Starving for Justice: Hunger Strikes, Spectacular Speech, and the Struggle for Dignity. Scott McLemee reviews We Demand: The University and Student Protests by Roderick A. Ferguson. The decline of debate on college campuses: The real intellectual crisis in higher education is not over free speech, but the quality of speech. The importance of dumb mistakes in college: Students deserve the chance to try out ideas without incurring the wrath of the entire Internet. Education in the age of outrage: When pain and suffering are equated with moral authority, the mission of higher education becomes an impossible one. Susan D. Blum on her book “I Love Learning; I Hate School”: An Anthropology of College. Let’s waste college on the old: Elite campuses have too few grown-up students.

Catherine Ross Dunham (Elon): Third Generation Discrimination: The Ripple Effects of Gender Bias in the Workplace. Sarah Kliff on the truth about the gender wage gap. Help wanted —female: The sexist job ads of the 60s are gone, but female-dominated jobs are still vastly undervalued today. Being a woman is work: Judith Elster on how capitalist society (de) values “female” labor. How to win the battle of the sexes over pay (hint: It isn’t simple). Why women aren’t C.E.O.s, according to women who almost were: It’s not a pipeline problem — it’s about loneliness, competition and deeply rooted barriers. The lack of women leaders is a national emergency: Men run everything, and it’s enough already. What happens when women reach a critical mass of influence.

The task ahead for feminism: The campaign for workplace justice has made stunning strides in a matter of weeks — but at what cost for gender politics? Marthine Satris reviews A Uterus is a Feature, Not a Bug: The Working Woman’s Guide to Overthrowing the Patriarchy by Sarah Lacy.

Trump got Wolffed: The president should have known better — Michael Wolff does not mess around. The controversy around Michael Wolff’s gossipy new Trump book, explained. Michael Wolff’s revelations: What do we learn about Donald Trump from a scandalous new tell-all? It's been an open secret all along: The scandal of Michael Wolff’s new book isn’t its salacious details — it’s that everyone in Washington has known its key themes, and refused to act. How Donald Trump’s White House team handles his giant ego. Everyone in Trumpworld knows he’s an idiot. The president is mentally unwell — and everyone around him knows it. No matter how many times we hear it, we just can’t believe that any human being outside a mental institution could be so delusional and oblivious — but Trump is.