Trump’s Stalinist roots: Making personal loyalty the measure of all government, as Donald Trump does, was tried in the Soviet Union under Joseph Stalin. Many are worried about the return of the “Big Lie” — they’re worried about the wrong thing. Trump doesn’t respect the independence of any institution around him. There is only one Trump scandal: The myriad Trump scandals can obscure the fact that they’re all elements of one massive tale of corruption. “There’s a common New York root to all of it. But it’s also somehow a story about early 21st century plutocracy, media barons like Murdoch, foreign kleptocrats like the ones who seem to have bought into Trump and channeled his rise to power toward their goals”. Dana Milbank on the Banana States of America: We’re living in a tyranny of buffoonery.

Why it matters when the president calls people, even violent gang members, “animals” (and more). Trump has a selective criterion for calling people “animals” — one guess what it is. The Trump era is a renaissance of half-witted intolerance. “Foster care or whatever”: Cruelty is the defining characteristic of Donald Trump’s politics and policy. Roger Cohen on the moral rot that threatens America. Talia Lavin on credulity and barbarity in the age of Trump. Theorizing about the Trump administration has become our national pastime. How to survive Trump’s presidency without losing your mind.

Natasha Piano (Chicago): “Schumpeterianism” Revised: The Critique of Elites in Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy. Larry Diamond on Malaysia’s democratic breakthrough. The recent mass shootings in the US all have one thing in common: misogyny. The Supreme Court just made it a lot harder for you to sue your employer — and helping companies get away with sexual harassment. Stopping Americans for speaking Spanish: The latest evidence that Border Patrol agents have too much power. Millions of U.S. citizens don’t speak English to one another — that’s not a problem. Trump backs away from China trade war, while a Trump development gets a $500 million Chinese loan. China is winning Trump’s trade war. Who put up the communism billboard?

Michael Cohen has become a Trumpworld pariah: “Time to keep a distance”. This is how Trump is trying to buy the loyalty of key aides in the Russia investigation. Beyond Russia: Understanding the new Trump campaign collusion story. Why the new Times report on the Gulf meeting is freaking Trump out. How Trump’s new deep state conspiracy theory emerged from the fever swamps. Thread: “Why is it a problem that Trump is using his position as president to obtain FBI reports concerning the investigation into his campaign?” Mueller is investigating Trump’s wholesale corruption of America.

Iran told: Comply with US demands or face “strongest sanctions in history”. We’re back to regime change as Iran policy. Mike Pompeo just proved the Trump administration has no plan B for Iran (and more). Pompeo’s tough talk on Iran is “how wars start”. After Trump stab in back, will Iran withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty? The Iran deal is a done deal: Trump’s unilateral decision about the Iran deal has put the EU in a bind, from which it will likely prove hard to escape. Is this the dawn of a new era of nuclear proliferation? Trump is making clear that he only respects countries with the power to devastate the U.S. Will toughness on Iran help Trump with North Korea? Here are three reasons to doubt it.

Who’s to blame for the hiccup in North Korea talks? South Koreans say Bolton. Trump aides worry he doesn’t have a good grasp on the North Korea situation. Trump grappling with risks of proceeding with North Korea meeting. Trump begins to confront a difficult reality on North Korea. Kim Jong Un is the real artist of the deal, not Donald Trump. Thread: “Thoughts on Moon’s meeting with Trump”. Jeffrey D. Sachs on how denuclearization means the US, too.

Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei on Trump’s wars: The 3 most concerning possibilities. Trump’s need for instant gratification could have serious long-term consequences.