Daniel J. Hemel (Chicago): The President’s Power to Tax. Alice G. Abreu and Richard K. Greenstein (Temple): The U.S. Taxpayer Bill of Rights: Window Dressing or Expression of Justice? Raul Carrillo and Jesse Myerson on the dangerous myth of “taxpayer money”. Is taxation theft? The assumption that you own the contents of your pay-packet, although almost universal, is demonstrably confused. Felicia Wong on why half a century of anti-tax orthodoxy is wrong. Joshua Cutler (Houston): The Religious Roots of the Progressive Income Tax in America. Why are Democrats so afraid of taxes? Most people are fine with paying them. Billionaire Bill Gates says he should pay “significantly higher” taxes.

Edward D. Kleinbard (USC): What’s a Government Good for? Fiscal Policy in an Age of Inequality. Taxpayers, you’ve been scammed: The tax cuts may look like a gift, but the middle class will end up paying the bill. Washington’s fight over taxes is only beginning: Never mind that “once in a generation” tax bill that passed last year — Congress is headed for years more of battles over taxes, particularly those for individuals.

Kimberly Houser (Washington State): The Use of Big Data Analytics by the IRS: What Tax Practitioners Need to Know. The I.R.S. really doesn’t want to hear from you. Elizabeth Warren has a great idea for making Tax Day less painful: You shouldn’t have to file your taxes — the government should do it for you.


Arolda Elbasani (EUI): Governing Islam in Plural Societies: Religious Freedom, State Neutrality and Traditional Heritage. How Islam shaped the Enlightenment: Jacob Soll reviews The Republic of Arabic Letters: Islam and the European Enlightenment by Alexander Bevilacqua. Beyond liberal Islam: Western liberalism is not the apex and terminus of human history, and it ought not to serve as the measure of Islam. Elizabeth Shakman Hurd on The Idea of the Muslim World and the global politics of religion. The new western racism: Enzo Traverso on significant similarities between today’s Islamophobia and the older anti-Semitism. Prashant Waikar on what journalists get wrong about Islam.


Aziz Z. Huq (Chicago): Separation of Powers Metatheory. Kidnapped as schoolgirls by Boko Haram: Here they are now. Farmers’ anger at Trump tariffs puts Republican candidates in a bind. Michael Ignatieff, president and rector of CEU, writes an open letter regarding “Soros mercenaries” at CEU. Catalonia is just the most recent referendum on sovereignty — why are they proliferating? “The genius to glue them together”: Cynthia Haven on Rene Girard and his ideas. The class system: The best thing about purchasing luxury air travel is the sensation of knowing you’ve purchased it. Hype for the best: Samuel Moyn reviews Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker. You can download Karl Popper, Science and Enlightenment by Nicholas Maxwell.

Carlos Lozada reviews A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership by James B. Comey. Comey talks Trump-Russia “pee tape” allegation (“The Pee Tape Is Real”). Why James Comey isn’t the hero you think he is. James Comey is no hero: The former FBI director has a low opinion of the president who fired him, but his disregard for Justice Department rules helped put Trump in the White House to begin with. James Comey is no hero: The ex-FBI director is a self-reverential careerist who should be marked lousy by history.


If you sue a billionaire president, can crowdfunding level the legal playing field? More than one-fifth of the Trump campaign’s spending this year has been on legal fees. Trump pardoned Libby to protect himself from Mueller. Democrats are kind of freaking out about Trump’s Scooter Libby pardon and what it means. Who is Michael Cohen? Meet the most sketchiness-adjacent man alive. Adam Davidson on Michael Cohen and the end stage of the Trump presidency. Robert Mueller may or may not go, but his work won’t go anywhere. Trump is so angry about Mueller, he mostly just eats and watches TV.

“The Mueller investigation keeps revealing, first with Manafort and now with Cohen and I think ultimately with Trump, that there is a ton of un-prosecuted white collar crime in America”.


From Vox, Alex Ward on the US bombing of Syria, explained in 400 words; and what happens next? The U.S. just bombed 3 sites in Syria — here’s what we know about why nations choose airstrikes (and more). “The reaction to the Syria strike shows that the American foreign policy establishment loves war more than they hate Trump”. Jack Goldsmith and Oona Hathaway on bad legal arguments for the Syria airstrikes. Why does international law even matter? The U.S. has accepted only 11 Syrian refugees this year. Justin Weinberg on Syria and misconceptions about philosophy.

Was Trump “wagging the dog” with strikes in Syria? Neither precise nor proportionate: Trump’s attack on Syria was unserious but intended to relieve emotional pressure — and in many ways, worse than doing nothing at all. Unfit to command: With the president in an agitated state, preoccupied with his legal troubles, this is no time for war. Donald Trump cannot do his job as commander-in-chief — he must resign. Jonathan Spyer on the great distraction of punitive airstrikes. John Bolton: Syria is a “sideshow” — the real threat comes from Iran. If we’re on the brink of war, the fault is ours, not Trump’s or Bolton’s.

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