President Trump’s description of what’s “fake” is expanding. What a baby: Only a man who is deeply worried about his own strength would talk as much as Donald Trump does about the danger of appearing weak. Is Donald Trump a fascist? Peter Beinart reviews How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them by Jason Stanley. Michael Moore plays his Trump card: A new movie, modern fascism and a 2020 prediction. A look inside the cursed world of Trump administration fan art. Trump didn’t drain the swamp — supporters are starting to notice. President Trump is a national security crisis — and voters know it.

Trump’s ties to the Russian mafia go back 3 decades: Sean Illing interviews Craig Unger, author of House of Trump, House of Putin. Trump really hates apologizing for misogyny and racism — new reporting explains why. It takes more than “adults in the room” to control a petulant leader like Trump. “Trump believes there’s a coup”: Freaked by the Times op-ed, the president is seeing enemies everywhere. Stephen Miller may be the only staffer Trump trusts now.

Bannon says right must support RINOs: “One of the things we have to convince people of is, it doesn’t matter that Pete Sessions is a RINO. He’s a vote for Donald Trump and that’s all you have to think about. And not just, you have to vote for him — you’re going to have to go out and work a precinct, and ring doorbells, and do a phone bank for him”. The threat to democracy isn’t coming from its people. Responses to the demagogue: Bob Bauer on “unsung heroes” and the impeachment process.

Marcy Wheeler on Rudy’s (and John Dowd’s) apparent desperation to stave off a mass prisoner’s dilemma: “Trump needs his fellow Republicans to believe that Paul Manafort isn’t providing evidence that incriminates him. Because if they start to believe that, their calculations behind support for him may change, and change quickly”.


Tomer Shadmy (Tel Aviv): The New Social Contract: Facebook’s Community and Our Rights. Why can’t Facebook and Twitter be more transparent about free speech? Natalie Martinez on how the Facebook right-wing propaganda machine works. Why Facebook will never be free of fakes. Can Mark Zuckerberg fix Facebook before it breaks democracy? The most famous entrepreneur of his generation is facing a public reckoning with the power of Big Tech. It’s time to break up Facebook: Nilay Patel interviews Tim Wu, author of The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age. Tim Wu (Columbia): Blind Spot: The Attention Economy and the Law. Russell Brandom on the monopoly-busting case against Google, Amazon, Uber, and Facebook.

“Free market” conservatives, aghast at Big Tech’s hostility, become overnight Roosevelt-style trustbusters. Why some conservatives want to regulate Facebook and Twitter. For Big Tech, a comeuppance we’ve seen before: On Wall Street. We can do better than constitutional monarchies. Artificial intelligence is transforming social media — can American democracy survive? Why technology favors tyranny: Artificial intelligence could erase many practical advantages of democracy, and erode the ideals of liberty and equality — it will further concentrate power among a small elite if we don’t take steps to stop it.

Silicon Valley techies still think they’re the good guys — they’re not. Stop treating tech jerks like gods. The super rich of Silicon Valley have a doomsday escape plan in New Zealand.


Gianna Cresto (GWU): A Design of its Own: How to Protect the Fashion Industry. Scott Ingram (High Point): President, Politics and Pardons: Washington’s Original (Mis?)Use of the Pardon Power. From the Baffler, give me liberty or something else: The prickly problem of a New England secessionist utopia; and a Yukon town looks for a reason to survive. From the forthcoming International Law’s Objects, here is the entry on the “Jolly Roger” (Pirate Flag) by Ziv Bohrer. A sexual-misconduct allegation against the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh stirs tension among Democrats in Congress. The radical moral implications of luck in human life: David Roberts on how acknowledging the role of luck is the secular equivalent of religious awakening. Nancy Lindisfarne and Jonathan Neale reveal why elites use violence to encourage the idea of fundamental differences between men and women.

Xavier Marquez (Victoria): Two Models of Political Leader Cults: Propaganda and Ritual. Andrea Long Chu is the cult writer changing gender theory. Jamelle Bouie on the limits of Obama’s legacy: The former president’s message still has power — but his ideas are no longer sufficient. Trump ready to help the white people facing Hurricane Florence. Trump’s Puerto Rico tweets are the purest expression of his presidency. Will Storr on the metamorphosis of the western soul: Humans want to get along and get ahead — and they will become whoever they need to be in order to do so. C.J. Polychroniou interviews Noam Chomsky on the resurgence of political authoritarianism. “I refuse to believe that this is the best we can do”.


Steven Andrew Jacobs (Chicago): Biologists’ Consensus on “When Life Begins”. Nathan Nobis (Morehouse): Early and Later Abortions: Ethics and Law. “I’m doing it for the babies”’: Elizabeth Dias goes inside the ground game to reverse Roe v. Wade. Abortion and the Left: Brianna Rennix and Nathan Robinson on why we can’t compromise. Democrats don’t have to compromise on abortion rights to win the “heartland”. Science does not support claims that contraceptives are “abortion-inducing” (and more). “Politicians sometimes say that they are personally opposed to abortion, but believe it should be legal. Trump and some of his enablers reverse that formulation”. Here are five things you can do right now for abortion rights.


David Livingstone Smith (New England): How Media Makes, Ignites, and Breaks Ideology. David Dubois, Jeehye Christine Kim, and Brian Park on the marketing message that works with Republicans but not Democrats. Diversity isn’t what divides us — division is what divides us. The political Left has produced countless classic works of analysis, memoir, and fiction. Why the Left is failing to produce media figureheads and losing the culture war. One reason we lose: Nathan Robinson on how to compete against right-wing media. These anonymous Twitter accounts are the real Intellectual Dark Web, and they’re calling out right-wing media. Tracing the rise of Christian media in American political discourse. Magazine funding skews left — what can conservatives do about it?


Cass Sunstein (Harvard): Freedom: The Holberg Lecture, 2018. How Elizabeth Warren is dominating the Democratic presidential race. Eric Levitz on the case for Michael Avenatti 2020. Designing Women creator Linda Bloodworth Thomason goes public with Les Moonves war: Not all harassment is sexual. Les Moonves’s resignation is the most significant #MeToo moment yet. Anna North on Les Moonves and the myth of uncontrollable male desire. Trump’s executive order on elections is a sham. The Trump administration’s new idea for Israeli-Palestinian peace is actually an old, failed idea. Jessica Goldstein interviews Kim Kierkegaardashian, author of My Beautiful Despair: The Philosophy of Kim Kierkegaardashian.

Fatos Selita and Yulia Kovas (Tomsk State): Genes and Gini: What Inequality Means for Heritability. The International Criminal Court is no threat to America, but John Bolton is (and more). C.I.A. drone mission, curtailed by Obama, is expanded in Africa under Trump. Richard Marshall interviews Martha C. Nussbaum, author of The Monarchy of Fear: A Philosopher Looks at Our Political Crisis. 6 years ago, North Carolina chose to ignore rising sea levels — this week it braces for disaster. Incarcerated people will be left behind to face Hurricane Florence despite mass evacuations. Trump diverts millions from FEMA for ICE detentions, calls Puerto Rico “unsung success”. How Florida’s Puerto Rican vote is changing post-Hurricane Maria. “Perfect Trump tweet”.


Kevin Bersett interviews Andrew Hartman, author of A War for the Soul of America: A History of the Culture Wars. Trump is harming the dream of America more than any foreign adversary ever could. Thread: “9/11 did not bring out the best in America. It brought out the worst”. George W. Bush is not a resistance leader — he’s part of the problem (and more). “This should keep the black vote down considerably”. Thread: “I sometimes see journalists saying that their big error was failing to understand white working-class grievance. But if you ask me, their biggest sin has been failure to understand the GOP’s complete bad faith and cynicism”. “The deficits being run up now aren’t an accident, or some unfortunate byproduct, they are the point. They politically constrain the other party when and if it takes power”.

The tyranny of the majority isn’t a problem in America today — tyranny of the minority is.


Beware rich people who say they want to change the world: Society’s winners can seem so generous, until you consider what they’re really selling. The win-win fallacy: Entrepreneurs say they’re trying to help others while also helping themselves — but that claim may be hope masquerading as description. Chris Lehmann on the philanthropy racket: Philanthropy is how the global elite cast themselves as do-gooders — the people destroying the world are posing as its saviors. Why philanthropy is bad for democracy: Nick Tabor interviews Anand Giridharadas, author of Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, on how well-meaning liberals paved the way for Trump.

Linda Sugin (Fordham): Competitive Philanthropy: Charitable Naming Rights, Inequality, and Social Norms. Jonathan Berman (LBS), Alixandra Barasch (NYU), Emma Levine (Chicago), and Deborah A. Small (Penn): Impediments to Effective Altruism: The Role of Subjective Preferences in Charitable Giving. Ted Lechterman (Stanford): The Effective Altruist’s Political Problem.


Stanislav Hristov Ivanov (VUM): Tourism Beyond Humans: Robots, Pets and Teddy Bears. From the Congressional Research Service, a report on the decision to stop U.S. funding of UNRWA (for Palestinian refugees). Tucker Carlson asks “Why is diversity a strength?” — let’s assume he is genuinely clueless. Lyz Lenz on the mystery of Tucker Carlson. Steven Bannon is wrong: The White House “resistance” is the opposite of a coup. Judging by the cover: Alyssa Bereznak on how the magazine industry’s identity crisis is playing out on its front page. 17 years after 9/11: Robert Chesney on the declining visibility of terrorism and counterterrorism. Trump’s long history of lying about 9/11 and exploiting it for personal gain.

US officials suspect Russia in mystery “attacks” on diplomats in Cuba, China. Brett Kavanaugh said he would kill Roe v. Wade last week and almost no one noticed. Brian Beutler on Brett Kavanaugh’s disqualifying bad faith. Ken Starr reminded us Brett Kavanaugh is a political hack — just like him. How Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation allows Corker, Flake, and Sasse to constrain Trump. Umair Irfan on 2 gonzo ideas for slowing down a hurricane. Rights groups warn against US flouting international court over alleged war crimes. After migrants drowned at sea, debate over who should have saved them. Geoffrey Wheatcroft on how Brexit became a political circus. Jeff Bezos is funding a bunch of pro-gun, anti-abortion Republican congressional campaigns.


Sam Peltzman (Chicago): Polarizing Currents within Purple America. Can the GOP get its ideas mojo back? With Paul Ryan leaving and a backward-looking president in charge, the “party of ideas” faces an innovation crisis. The GOP has no new ideas because elderly billionaires own its brain. Daniel Nexon on mapping the American progressive movement. “Fetishizing centrism is a disease”: There are no centrists — there are only scared idealists. Jane Coaston on why conservatives love to hate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Republicans remain white, male as Democrats shatter diversity records ahead of 2018 midterm elections. Trump supporter on MSNBC: Facts don’t matter. Democrats don’t care about policy compromise anymore — just like Republicans.

Eitan Sapiro-Gheiler (Princeton): “Read My Lips”: Using Automatic Text Analysis to Classify Politicians by Party and Ideology. Are Trump supporters evil, or just wrong? A battle between two arcane-sounding theories about ideology actually wrestles with profound moral questions. Nathan Robinson on how to reply to a patronizing Wall Street Journal reader, and on how to build an effective Left alternative. Do conservatives know much about conservative history? This 1950 political science report keeps popping up in the news — here’s the story behind it. Are we beginning to see signs that the parties might one day split? Tana Ganeva on what Julia Salazar’s topsy-turvy summer may mean for future insurgent candidates on the far Left.

Thread: “Because if the Trump Era has shown us anything, it's that neither conservative voters nor conservative politicians give a SINGLE SOLITARY SHIT about those principles — moral, fiscal, procedural, any of them. They never did. It's all laid bare now, plain as day”.

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