Joseph Heath (Toronto): The Moral Status of Profit. How do we understand the contemporary conservative pride in political incorrectness? The only thing to do with the “intellectual dark web” is laugh at it. Is “ladies lingerie” a harmless joke or harassment? A dispute among international relations scholars puts the spotlight on a system that serves everyone poorly. White House aides are urging President Trump to fire Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. chief. Stassa Edwards on Gina Haspel and the conservative distortion of “empowerment”. Senate Intel: Russia waged “unprecedented” cyber campaign on U.S. voting systems. “Russian-backed terror group selects noted international arms smuggler as its new president”.

Schneiderman’s downfall is a sign of progress — of a certain kind. Replacing Schneiderman is a big job — some say it’s one for a woman. New York is the most politically toxic place in America.


The Trump administration has no Plan B on Iran beyond “not Plan A”. Conservatives very confident Trump has thought through next step of Iran strategy. Whatever happened to Donald Trump, the “ultimate dealmaker”? The withdrawal from the Iran deal signals a new power player in Washington: Christian Zionists. Remember when Jim Mattis was supposed to rein in Donald Trump? Trump has put the US on a path to bombing Iran. Tensions rise in Middle East after Trump withdraws U.S. from Iran deal — as if things needed to get any worse. It’s nearly unanimous: Foreign policy experts think Trump made the wrong choice on Iran.

The dark side of American exceptionalism: Donald Trump’s decision to leave the nuclear agreement reflects a view that America has unique rights in the world — but not unique responsibilities. How to torpedo U.S. credibility: One small step for Trump, and one giant blow to American diplomacy — the repercussions of reneging on the Iran deal may last for years. The “wholesale immolation” of U.S. diplomacy: Karl Vick interviews Ronan Farrow, author of War on Peace: The End of Diplomacy and the Decline of American Influence.


Philip Bump on how money flowed through Michael Cohen’s multi-purpose shell company. Russian oligarch-linked firm that paid Michael Cohen was also represented by Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz. Michael Cohen, Trump’s man of mystery: How serious are his ties to a Russian oligarch, and why was his case separated from Robert Mueller's investigation? Corporations are giving absurd explanations for why they hired Michael Cohen. “There’s a sense in which I sympathize with Novartis here. Trump has made it crystal clear that he’s a crudely transactional politician”. Michael Cohen is just a web of corruption. Pay for pay in the Trump era, to the soundtrack to Goodfellas. Besieged by the media and legal bills, and feeling abandoned by Washington, friends say Michael Cohen is in a “dangerous place”.

From New York, Jonathan Chait on how Trump says there’s no evidence of collusion — there is so much evidence already; how Russian leverage over Trump is not just a theory — it’s now fact; and why Mueller has to expose Trump’s crooked business empire. Robert Mueller is not done following the money: It’s the only thing that’s ever mattered to Donald Trump. The president is poised to test the extent of executive power — will Robert Mueller and the courts be able to hold him to account? Tierney Sneed on what a legal war between Mueller and Trump will look like. The Supreme Court will make Trump talk to Mueller if it has to.

Trump’s GOP “warriors” lead charge against Mueller. Paul Ryan is ok with Nunes doc demand that might risk lives. The “deep state” is real — but are its leaks against Trump justified? “Trump’s going to be forced to resign”: Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael Avenatti predicts a fall. The brilliant egomaniac who could bring down Donald Trump: In praise of Stormy Daniels’ lawyer, Michael Avenatti. Quinta Jurecic on a cheat sheet to the Trump circus.


Tammy Harel Ben-Shahar (Haifa): Positional Goods and the Size of Inequality. Mario Coccia (Arizona State): Economic Inequality Can Generate Unhappiness That Leads to Violent Crime in Society. Zonghuo Yu (JXNU) and Fei Wang (Tsinghua): Income Inequality and Happiness: An Inverted U-Shaped Curve. Livia Gershon on why equality matters more than income. Being rich wrecks your soul — we used to know that. It’s basically just immoral to be rich. David Leonhardt on when the rich said no to getting richer. Inequality is getting so bad it’s threatening the very foundation of economic growth. Martin Wolf on how inequality is a threat to our democracies. How inequality erodes the foundation of modern societies: Robert Reich reviews One Another’s Equals: The Basis of Human Equality by Jeremy Waldron. Nina Varsava (Stanford): Accounting for Equality.

Nate Breznau (MZES) and Carola Hommerich (Hokkaido): The Limits of Income Inequality: Public Support for Social Policy across Rich Democracies. How inequality persists: Increased inequality does not necessarily bring demands for redistribution. Why democracy fails to reduce inequality: A new paper by Thomas Piketty finds that major parties on both sides of the political spectrum have been captured by elites and warns of a future political system that pits “globalists” against “nativists”. How should governments address inequality? Melissa S. Kearney reviews After Piketty: The Agenda for Economics and Inequality, ed. Heather Boushey, J. Bradford DeLong, and Marshall Steinbaum.

Is violence the only way to end inequality? Isaac Chotiner interviews Walter Scheidel, author of The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century (and more). David Lay Williams on what Steven Pinker gets wrong about economic inequality — and the Enlightenment. The global top 1 percent earned twice as much as the bottom 50 percent in recent years. World’s richest 0.1% have boosted their wealth by as much as poorest half. Inequality and the coming storm: Rising inequality may be the greatest economic challenge of our time, but it’s not the first time human civilization has faced it.


Eric Schneiderman seems to think he’s Christian Grey — he’s wrong. A domestic-violence expert on Eric Schneiderman and “coercive control”. How Eric Schneiderman went from political golden boy to disgrace. Eric Schneiderman’s reputation: From “wouldn’t get a bawdy joke” to brute, overnight. Eric Schneiderman has always been a con man. Schneiderman has always been dispensable: The legal battle against Trump is better off without Eric Schneiderman. “Nothing changes”: NY AG will remain check on Trump without Schneiderman. The biggest #MeToo betrayal yet: Anna North on why the Eric Schneiderman allegations are so chilling. The Democrats need to reckon with the reckoning when choosing candidates. Rage, then hope, over Eric Schneiderman: #MeToo is working — at least on the Left.


Arto Laitinen (Tampere) and Arvi Sarkela (Lucerne): Four Conceptions of Social Pathology. Benjamin Abrams interviews John Dunn, author of Modern Revolutions: An Introduction to the Analysis of a Political Phenomenon. Jia Tolentino on the promise of vaping and the rise of Juul. Eric Hananoki on the Washington Post’s Hugh Hewitt problem. MSNBC under fire after host Hugh Hewitt helped broker meeting with EPA leader. Even amid scandal, Facebook is unstoppable. Scott R. Anderson and Susan Hennessey on 20 questions the Senate should ask Gina Haspel. Scott McLemee explores the connections between various books forthcoming from scholarly presses. Bitcoin is the greatest scam in history: It’s a colossal pump-and-dump scheme, the likes of which the world has never seen.


From Congressional Research Service, a report on Iran: U.S. Economic Sanctions and the Authority to Lift Restrictions. From Vox, Zack Beauchamp on the Iran deal, explained in 9 graphics. Trump withdraws from the Iran nuclear deal — what now? What happens after Trump pulls out of the Iran deal (and more). Matthew Fay on Trump’s Iran deal own goal (and more). Reneging on the nuclear deal is irrational and destructive. Anatomy of a lousy decision: Here’s exactly what the U.S. loses as Trump scraps the Iran nuclear deal. Trump wants to wring a “better deal” from Iran — here’s why that’s so unlikely. Iran to negotiate with Europeans, Russia and China about remaining in nuclear deal. Iran vows to stick with deal after “pesky” Trump’s departure (and more).

“It is a very, very dangerous move”: How withdrawal from the Iran deal will affect Iranians. Trump just accelerated Iran’s implosion — he won’t like the results. Say goodbye to the Iran deal and hello to a "polynuclear" Middle East. A roundup on reactions to Trump’s decision to violate JCPOA. Trump continues to rebrand America as weird and flaky. On the Iran deal, Trump started with the answer and worked backwards. Trump was asked the most basic question about his Iran deal decision — he had no answer. “The biggest thing to realize about Trumps decision about the Iran Deal is that he doesn’t actually know what is even in it. This is all about what he said on the campaign, ego vs Obama. He doesn’t even know what it’s in the deal or how it works”.


Meet the renegades of the Intellectual Dark Web: An alliance of heretics is making an end run around the mainstream conversation — should we be listening? Pretty loud for being so silenced: Critics of the Left aren’t oppressed and they don’t believe in “rational debate”. Thread: “We need a redistribution of intellectual respect. Idea Communism”. The whole thing is obviously contrarian cover for bigots who have heretofore been shy about asserting their obnoxious beliefs. Bo Winegard on “equalitarianism” and progressive bias. How and why conservatives embraced the dark side: Andrew O’Hehir interviews Amanda Marcotte, author of Troll Nation: How the Right Became Trump-Worshipping Monsters Set on Rat-Fucking Liberals, America, and Truth Itself.

When did far-right ideology seep into our public discourse? Mari Uyehara on how the most ardent defenders of free speech allowed fringe beliefs to go unchallenged “Debate me!”: Oliver Willis on one of the dumbest conservative tricks. Conservatives will never get the respect they crave — they don’t deserve it.


Michael J. Thompson (William Paterson): Axel Honneth and Critical Theory. Marco Angella (Pretoria): Bridging the Gap between Critical Theory and Critique of Power? Honneth’s Approach to “Social Negativity”. Douglas Giles (Essex): Rethinking Misrecognition and Struggles for Recognition: Critical Theory Beyond Honneth. The introduction to Feminism, Capitalism, and Critique: Essays in Honor of Nancy Fraser, ed. Banu Bargu and Chiara Bottici. From Berlin Journal of Critical Theory, a symposium on Amy Allen’s The End of Progress: Decolonizing the Normative Foundations of Critical Theory. Naveh Frumer (Tel Aviv): Two Pictures of Injustice: Rainer Forst and the Aporia of Discursive Deontology.

If you want to understand the age of Trump, read the Frankfurt School: Sean Illing interviews Stuart Jeffries, author of Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School. Jonathon Catlin reviews The Frankfurt School, Jewish Lives, and Antisemitism by Jack Jacobs. Against popular culture: For Adorno, popular culture is not just bad art — it enslaves us to repetition and robs us of our aesthetic freedom. Christopher Pollard on Herbert Marcuse, the philosopher who was too hot for Playboy. James J Chriss (Cleveland State): Rescuing the Enlightenment Project: Habermas and the Postmodern Challenge. Azar Dakwar reviews The Domestication of Critical Theory by Michael J. Thompson.


Helaine Olen on Trump’s creepy, autocratic obsession with loyalty. Trump’s narcissism sets him up to be manipulated. Stephanie Fairyington on the sham of Donald Trump’s straight talk. Peter Pagin on how Donald Trump’s bullshit earned him a place in the history of assertion. Put aside the law for a moment — Trump’s lying is just plain wrong. How the Trump show gets old: A big slump in season two is a hallmark of the president’s entire career — this time the “show” is the White House, and his response will affect the world. Trump spent years in reality TV — why doesn’t he have better stagecraft? Donald Trump is a pathogen evolved to thrive in an attention-maximization ecosystem.

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