From the Congressional Research Service, a report on Iran: Politics, Human Rights, and U.S. Policy. “The more time I spend on Iran, the less I think this is about religion”: Naheed Mustafa interviews Laura Secor, author of Children of Paradise: The Struggle for the Soul of Iran (and more). Mohamad Bazzi on why Trump’s tough talk on Iran will backfire. Karim Sadjadpour on how America could stumble into war with Iran. Trump administration risks war with Iran over nothing. The introduction to The Love of Strangers: What Six Muslim Students Learned in Jane Austen’s London by Nile Green. You can download Iran After the Deal: The Road Ahead, ed. Paolo Magri and Annalisa Perteghella (2015).

Wendy Lynne Lee (Bloomsburg): The Commodification of Endangered Species and the Pathologies of Capital: Lowland Gorillas, Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles, Purple Pig-Nosed Frogs, Sumatran Elephants, and Male Baby Chicks. Yes, the Endangered Species Act should be reformed. Christopher Cox reviews Imagining Extinction: The Cultural Meanings of Endangered Species by Ursula K. Heise. World's mammals being eaten into extinction: First global assessment finds 301 species are primarily at risk from human hunting for the bushmeat trade. Biologists say half of all species could be extinct by end of century. Scientists: We shouldn't bring back extinct species. Killing animals at the zoo: At Danish zoos, surplus animals are euthanized — and dissected before the public.

Democracy in the United States is strong, but showing some cracks — that is the conclusion of a new survey of 1,571 political scientists. Yes, our "flawed" democracy just got downgraded — here's why. Democracy can unravel around us, without any grand announcements of its death; recognising the epistemological obstacles to acknowledging this unraveling can help us appreciate the urgency of the situation we are beginning to face. Thread: "1. Democratic norms die slow deaths when citizens accept them as the new normal; it's important to catalog their erosion in the past month". Aziz Huq and Tom Ginsburg on how to lose a constitutional democracy.

Where we are now: George W. Bush defends the Constitution to rebuke Trump (and more). Trump embraces "enemy of the people", a phrase with a fraught history. Carlos Lozada reviews On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder.

Michael Harry Sinanian (Michigan): Jailbreak: What Happens When Autonomous Vehicle Owners Hack into Their Own Cars. Josh Blackman (South Texas): Self-Plagiarism. A bigger problem than ISIS: The Mosul Dam is failing — a breach would cause a colossal wave that could kill as many as a million and a half people. David Cay Johnston on another cabinet pick with secret ties to Putin and oligarchs. Udall floats plan to confirm Gorsuch, Garland to SCOTUS together. Steve Benen on why Trump’s falsehoods about autism matter. A transgender boy just won the Texas girls’ state wrestling championship, and people are not happy. Ryan Felton on why Uber is doomed. Old school: Scott Beauchamp on the bold new franchise of adulting.

Ishaan Tharoor on an act of American terror in Trump’s heartland. “This President has blood on his hands”: Anger at Indian’s shooting in Kansas. Pressure builds for Indian engineer's Kansas shooting death to be called hate crime. Supriya Kelkar on Donald Trump’s silence.

What is philosophy's point? It’s not discovering truth (in 5 parts, and philosophers push back) Adam Briggle and Robert Frodeman on why policy needs philosophers as much as it needs science. Philosophy used to be a staple of television and the newspapers; not any longer — so where did all the philosophers go? Carole Cadwalladr interviews Daniel Dennett: “I begrudge every hour I have to spend worrying about politics”. Skye Cleary interviews Olivia Goldhill on writing popular philosophy. Charlotte Blease on how philosophy can teach children what Google can’t. Brent Silby on teaching philosophy in schools: A Socratic dialogue. Robert Sinnerbrink reviews Teaching Plato in Palestine: Philosophy in a Divided World by Carlos Fraenkel.

Trump and Paul Ryan head for a clash over the budget, and ideology. Will the Trump era finally kill Paul Ryan’s wonkish cred? As Republicans gingerly begin to dismantle Obamacare, his reputation as an earnest number-cruncher is showing serious cracks. How Trump split conservatives three ways: A guide to the new intellectual camps that could reshape American politics. The crisis of conservative convictions: Many of the Never Trump opinion writers who pushed Trumpian policies in the Obama years are quiet now. Our Forger in Chief: Trump’s attacks on the press and science aim to prevent us from knowing the world as it truly is. Trump shock factor fading in Washington: Republicans, once unnerved, are now shrugging off many of Trump’s more audacious statements.

Elizabeth Popp Berman (Albany) and Catherine Paradeise (Paris-Est): The University under Pressure. Charlie Eaton, Jacob Habinek, Adam Goldstein, Cyrus Dioun, Daniela Garcia Santibanez Godoy, and Robert Osley-Thomas (UC-Berkeley): The Financialization of US Higher Education. Sandra Delgado and E. Wayne Ross (UBC): Students in Revolt: The Pedagogical Potential of Student Collective Action in the Age of the Corporate University. From NYRB, a review essay on college financing by Rana Foroohar. Molly Hensley-Clancy on how America’s student loan giant dropped the ball. What a $2-billion loss really means for Harvard and its endowment. Don’t donate to your alma mater — give to students in debt. The first chapter from Game of Loans: The Rhetoric and Reality of Student Debt by Beth Akers and Matthew M. Chingos.

Michael Nunez on how ITT Tech screwed students and made millions. How to stop for-profit colleges: Lawmakers are cracking down on them for shady business practices — but Tressie McMillan Cottom says bigger forces are at play. An excerpt from Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy by Tressie McMillan Cottom. Lynn Pasquerella on how higher education should be a public good, not a private commodity.