Ciara Torres-Spelliscy (Stetson): Time Suck: How the Fundraising Treadmill Diminishes Effective Governance. This is not how the Senate is supposed to work: Paralyzed by the filibuster, the Senate has found a terrible way to legislate. Eric Holder: Gerrymandering has broken our democracy — the Supreme Court should help fix it (and more and more and more and more and more and more and more and more). There’s a reason Congress leaves everything to the last minute: Over time, the Democratic and Republican parties have become more ideologically coherent, making politics more competitive and legislation harder to pass. Congress is broken — bring back pork: Earmarks were controversial, but eliminating them got Washington into this dysfunctional mess.

Restoring Congress’s role in the modern administrative state: Christopher J. Walker reviews Congress’s Constitution: Legislative Authority and the Separation of Powers by Josh Chafetz.


Anthony Hayes (ANU): How the Situationist International Became What It Was. Trump is revoking 260,000 Salvadoran immigrants’ permission to live in the United States. Donald Trump doesn’t care about Puerto Ricans. Roy Edroso: I have a soft spot for lunatics and whackadoodles, and Acculturated’s Bizarro analyses often came close to appealing to that part of my nature. Bannon group shopped anti-Trump document in 2015. Pakistan has all the leverage over Trump: Why Islamabad isn’t worried about threats to cut off U.S. aid (and more). 2017 set a record for losses from natural disasters — it could get worse. 9 ways the world got a lot better in 2017: It seemed awful — but overall, it was a great year for humanity.

Trump can read perfectly well off teleprompters, so quit calling him stupid, stupids. Is Trump certifiable? Lisa Appignanesi reviews The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President by Bandy X. Lee. The president who doesn’t read: Trump’s allergy to the written word and his reliance on oral communication have proven liabilities in office. Trump is no genius, but he’s smart at playing dumb. Fire and Fury is the first book of the post-truth social media era.


Michael Makovi (Texas Tech): Consent to Be Governed: A Libertarian Defense of Hierarchy and Authority. David Ellerman (UC-Riverside): Rethinking Libertarianism: A Review/Essay on Elizabeth Anderson’s Private Government. From the Volokh Conspiracy, a symposium on the Routledge Handbook of Libertarianism. Will Wilkinson on libertarian origins, libertarian influence, and the ruling American Right. Are free minds and free markets compatible with Christianity? A baker’s dozen Christian libertarians weigh in. Millennials don’t like conservatism: Libertarians won the CATO-Heritage intern debate. Matt Kibbe and the liberteens: The former president of FreedomWorks looks to the youth.

“I used to be a libertarian when I was 12”: An interview with Martha Nussbaum. Noam Cohen on Peter Thiel’s libertarian logic. The Trump administration is a libertarian’s worst nightmare. Pining for murderous dictators is not the path to liberty. The short, unhappy life of a libertarian paradise: The residents of Colorado Springs undertook a radical experiment in government — here’s what they got. This Texas town went full libertarian and hilarity ensued. Bitcoin is teaching libertarians everything they don’t know about economics. What’s left of libertarianism? John Quiggin on liberaltarianism.

John Jackson on Harvey Weinstein: If the freedom to sexually harass, or refuse to hire racial minorities seems like something society should actively fight, then be thankful your morals are not those of Milton Friedman.


Adriaan van Klinken (Leeds): Masculinities and the Male God. Anke Becker (Harvard): Herding and Male Dominance. Scott Kiesling (Pitt): Masculine Stances and the Linguistics of Affect: On Masculine Ease. Scott Burnett and Tommaso M. Milani (Witwatersrand): Fatal Masculinities: A Queer Look at Green Violence. The “rules” of being a man are bullshit: Redefining manhood in a culture of toxic masculinity. Lili Loofbourow on the myth of the male bumbler. Carol Cohn on the perils of mixing masculinity and missiles. Men, maybe it’s time to man up and accept some help from yourselves. Conservatives find out that women are studying toxic masculinity, meltdowns ensue.

The prologue to Mean Men: The Perversion of America’s Self-Made Man by Mark Lipton. This one quote shows what angry white guys mean when they talk about government overreach. Here’s what a clown learned about male violence by face-painting kids at a picnic. “Forget about the stigma”: Male nurses explain why nursing is a job of the future for men. Olivia Campbell on the men taking classes to unlearn toxic masculinity.

Re-defining manhood: Harvey Weinstein and how his toxic manhood is our toxic manhood, too. Shenila Khoja-Moolji on Trump’s manipulation of Muslim masculinity. After the Texas shooting, we need to talk about masculinity and domestic violence. How to keep Donald Trump from spreading his toxic masculinity to future generations.


Donald Trump goes full Fredo — but unlike the Godfather character, the president of the United States is backed by powerful people enabling him. GOP leaders happily stand by Trump as he becomes increasingly unhinged. 25th Amendment unlikely to be invoked over Trump’s mental health. How Donald Trump came between Mike Pence and Jeff Flake: They used to be brothers in arms, now one is being driven off the battlefield, and the other is the president’s right-hand man — how one relationship explains the fractured GOP. Republicans are weaponizing law enforcement against Trump’s enemies. The Grand Obstruction Party: The central organizing principle of the Republican Party, at this point, is helping Trump cover up his crimes.

Voters are starting to see Trump as a garden-variety conservative. America hates the Republicans, and they don’t know why. The GOP’s dilemma: Avoiding disaster in midterms will just embolden Trump to run again. Faust on the Potomac: Republicans are tying themselves even more tightly to Trump, because they can’t escape their deal with the devil. The Republican Party is in full-on panic mode, and we get to watch. Trumpism is a long term failure for Republicans — but short term it could destroy democracy. EJ Dionne on how the dam of denial has broken. Why Republican leaders will stand by Trump no matter what.

The United States of America is decadent and depraved: The problem isn’t Donald Trump — it’s the Donald Trump in all of us.


A short history of American empire: Jeff Faux reviews The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire by Stephen Kinzer. The introduction to Safeguarding Democratic Capitalism: U.S. Foreign Policy and National Security, 1920-2015 by Melvyn P. Leffler. Writing the untold history of American imperial power: An excerpt from In the Shadows of the American Century by Alfred W. McCoy. Globally, more people see U.S. power and influence as a major threat. Malign intervention: An unpopular hegemon retreats. Americas imperial unraveling: Could Trump’s repudiation of the Iran Deal be the beginning of the end of U.S. hegemony abroad? Why the fall of the American empire will come by 2030.


Nancy Fraser on progressive neoliberalism to Trump and beyond. Nancy LeTourneau on the crucial role of history in understanding Trumpism. Forgotten men: Lawrence B. Glickman on the long road from FDR to Trump. The media is blinded by its obsession with rural white Trump voters. Does the white working class really vote against its own interests? Trump’s first year in office revived an age-old debate about why some people choose race over class — and how far they will go to protect the system. Words fail Trump but for supporters his message is loud and clear. To beat President Trump, you have to learn to think like his supporters: Scandals will never defeat a populist.

The death of “Trumpism without Trump”: Steve Bannon was trying to build a movement larger than the president himself — the bitter split between the two men may spell the end of that effort. Republicans turn on Bannon for telling the truth about Trump. “Steve can be kind of delusional”: Did Steve Bannon talk himself out of his own movement? The afterlife of Steve Bannon: Reports of his political death have been greatly exaggerated. Bannon tries to make amends as aides defend Trump’s fitness.


Cecil J. Hunt (John Marshall): The Jim Crow Effect: Denial, Dignity, Human Rights, and Racialized Mass Incarceration. Walter Enders, Paul Pecorino, and Anne-Charlotte Souto (Alabama): Racial Disparity in U.S. Imprisonment Across States and Over Time. John J. Clegg (NYU) and Adaner Usmani (Brown): The Racial Politics of Mass Incarceration. Black men sentenced to more time for committing the exact same crime as a white person, study finds. Triangulation is the not-so-new black: Daniel Kato on party coalitions, racial scapegoating and the carceral state. Michael Cholbi (Cal Poly Pomona): Black Lives Matter and the Call for Death Penalty Abolition. Banning black liberation: Michigan prisoners are barred from reading Frantz Fanon.

Raff Donelson (LSU): Blacks, Cops, and the State of Nature. Mark A. Cohen (Vanderbilt): The Social Cost of a Racially Targeted Police Encounter. Jeffrey Fagan (Columbia): Race and the New Policing. If you’re a black man, expect police brutality under U.S. law and policy. From NYRB, Bryan Stevenson on a presumption of guilt. A common talking point about African Americans’ views on crime has been debunked. With their doomsday scenario in ruins, what’s the play for law-and-order conservatives now? Why we never talk about black-on-black crime: An answer to white America’s most pressing question.


Brendan Markey‐Towler (Queensland): Anarchy, Blockchain and Utopia: A Theory of Political-Socioeconomic Systems Organised using Blockchain. If James Bond practiced law, it would be international arbitration. New Republic, AlterNet, and Nation Institute had no real HR when abuses occurred. For Democrats, winning more votes isn’t always enough. Trump’s voter fraud crusade is just beginning: The president’s “election integrity” commission has died, but the threat of large-scale voter purges is growing (and more and more). “Fake news”: Wide reach but little impact, study suggests (and more). India’s national ID database with private information of nearly 1.2 billion people was reportedly breached.


Carsten Herrmann-Pillath (Erfurt): Deliberative Trade Policy: Rethinking Global Governance of International Trade. Old ideas about foreign trade are being retired: New research shows that countries don’t necessarily do best when they specialize in making a few things. The first chapter from Straight Talk on Trade: Ideas for a Sane World Economy by Dani Rodrik. Americans’ views of trade aren’t just about economics — they’re also about race. Erik Loomis on a Left vision for trade. How Trump gives protection a bad name: Trump’s brand of protectionism is a menace, but not for the reasons many people think.

George Shuster on the political economy of Trump on trade. Oona A. Hathaway and Scott J. Shapiro on Trump, trade, and war. Empty threats: Why Trump’s protectionist policies would mean disaster for the US. White House preparing for trade crackdown. Robert Lighthizer may be the most powerful Trump official you’ve never heard of: Trump’s US trade representative thinks like him — and he also knows what he’s doing.

Farmers voted heavily for Trump — but his trade policies are terrible for them. Trump’s bitter harvest for American farmers: The president’s protectionist policies and bad trade moves may spell agricultural disaster. Farmers move to defy Trump on NAFTA: After trusting that the president would have their backs, many agricultural advocates now feel a sense of betrayal. Amid resistance, Trump backs away from controversial trade plan.

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