Who will rid me of this meddlesome Stormy? Josh Marshall on the Michael Cohen story. Nancy Cook on Michael Roman, the mysterious oppo researcher working in the White House lawyer’s office. Riding an untamed horse: Priebus opens up on serving Trump. Thread: “First Trump promised us, expressly, that his kids wouldn’t work in government. Then he promised us, expressly, they wouldn’t have clearances. The he promised us they would be treated the same as any other staffer. Those were all lies”. As Kelly twists, a chaotic search for a new chief of staff engulfs the West Wing. How not to run the White House: Elizabeth Drew on what Trump and his chief of staff failed to learn from their predecessors. Why there’s so much chaos in the Trump administration: Dysfunction at the top, inexperience below.


Ann Taves (UCSB) and Egil Asprem (Stockholm): Explanation and the Study of Religion. Timothy Alexander Smith (Otago): Science and Religion: A Conflict of Methods. The introduction to Religion: What It Is, How It Works, and Why It Matters by Christian Smith. E. Fuller Torrey on his book Evolving Brains, Emerging Gods: Early Humans and the Origins of Religion. Caitlin E. Barrett (Cornell): Archaeology of Ancient Religions. Ideas were not enough: Locke, Spinoza and Voltaire were all brilliant, but religious freedom in Europe was driven by statecraft not philosophy. Lea Ypi (LSE): From Revelation to Revolution: The Critique of Religion in Kant and Marx. Landon Schnabel (Indiana): Opiate of the Masses? Social Inequality, Religion, and Politics.

Peter Jonkers (Tilburg): Religion as a Source of Evil. Does religion cause violence?: Chris Fleming on the end of politics. What religious beliefs reveal about post-truth politics. Fuck it: Let’s rank the religions.


Eldar Sarajlic (BMCC): The Ethics and Politics of Child Naming. Marcus Banks on the hashtag of the Right: Overusing capital letters. The feminist case for single payer: It’s time to take health care away from the power of bosses and spouses. Gene Sharp has passed away — but his ideas will go on inspiring activists around the world. Trump wants to replace food stamps with food boxes, for some reason: It’s like Blue Apron, but terrible (and more). Trump doesn’t give a dam: His infrastructure “plan” is an obvious scam — but why didn’t he offer something legit? Trump’s defense of alleged wife-beaters stirs unchivalrous right-wing responses. Jill Gentile on Trump, Freud, and the puzzle of femininity.

Trump’s words will leave a lasting mark: History proves that presidential rhetoric impacts policy, sometimes long after the president himself has left office. “It’s like every up-and-coming wingnut is, in the manner of Trump advisor Stephen Miller, that one friend everyone had in high school who made outrageously vicious statements and, when he didn’t get laughs, told everyone to lighten up — only expanded into a movement with millions of followers”.


Carl T. Bogus (Roger Williams): The Hard, Simple Truth About Gun Control. New York Times publishes column from the world’s least reliable gun researcher: John Lott is back to his old tricks. What have we learned about “gun violence”, as a phenomenon and as a political cause, over the last five years? Armed and unaccountable: Daniel Pope on why the gun debate cannot ignore police shootings. Alexandra Filindra and Noah J. Kaplan (UIC): What about Fear of Crime? White Americans’ Gun Control Preferences and the Role of (Racialized) Crime Considerations. Kara Fox on how US gun culture compares with the world.


Facundo Abraham and Sergio L. Schmukler (World Bank): Financial Globalization: A Glass Half Empty? The first chapter from The Paradox of Vulnerability: States, Nationalism, and the Financial Crisis by John L. Campbell and John A. Hall. The economics of the global “bankster” crime wave: The system for prosecuting transnational white-collar financial crimes has broken down almost completely — the good news is that this problem does not require elegant or especially complex solutions. The U.S. never had the will and the ability to hold the most powerful to account: Guy Rolnik interviews Eliot Spitzer on financial regulation, regulatory capture, and antitrust (and part 2). Anat Admati on mythbusting four popular excuses for failed financial regulations.

Andrew F. Tuch (WASTL): The Remaking of Wall Street. Insider trading has been rife on Wall Street, academics conclude: One study suggests insiders profited even from the global financial crisis; another that the whole share-trading system is rigged. How the banks won over Washington again: A decade out from a cataclysmic Wall Street meltdown, banks are winning again in Washington. Lords of misrule: Matt Stoller on how the legal profession became Wall Street’s helpmeet. How a misfit group of computer geeks and English majors transformed Wall Street: In the 1980s, a quiet hedge fund located above a Marxist bookstore launched a revolution that would change finance (and give us Amazon). Robots are coming for these Wall Street jobs.

Shyam Sunder (Yale): Financial Regulation for a Better Society. William MacAskill (Oxford): Banking: The Ethical Career Choice. Juha Joenvaara (Oulu) and Cristian Ioan Tiu (SUNY-Buffalo): Hedge Fund Flows and Name Gravitas. Yan Lu (UCF) and Melvyn Teo (SMU): Do Alpha Males Deliver Alpha? Testosterone and Hedge Funds. A study finds women in finance are punished more severely — especially when their boss is a man. How the finance industry is trying to cash in on #MeToo.


Sam Director (Colorado): The Inhumanity of Cards Against Humanity. Administration imposes sweeping limits on federal actions against companies. Congress introduces record number of bills to prevent people from taking industry to court. JK Rowling created an army of liberals — now they are turning against her. Faster, higher, stronger, more harmonious: Building a more peaceful world, on a luge. The anti-Asian racism of US Empire: Like US violence in Asia, the symbolic infantilization of Asians has a long history. The white darkness: David Grann on a solitary journey across Antarctica. Julia Heinkel on the buzz behind BuzzFeed Books. Republicans in Congress are still waging their war on the CBO.

From Vox, Dylan Matthews on Trump’s 2019 budget: What he cuts, how much he cuts, and why it matters; and Matthew Yglesias on Trump’s infrastructure proposal, explained (and more and more). The era of fiscal austerity is over — here’s what big deficits mean for the economy. Republicans look for somebody to blame for their deficit mess — guess who they found.


Samuel Issacharoff and Alexandra Bursak (NYU, Russell Rennie (9th Cir.), and Alec Webley (Covington and Burling): What is Puerto Rico? Umair Irfan on Puerto Rico’s blackout, the largest in American history, explained. What Puerto Rico is, and isn’t, getting in disaster relief. Eva Llorens Velez on Puerto Rico economic outlook 2018: The climb begins. Hedge fund-driven austerity could come back to bite the hedge funds driving it in Puerto Rico. Making a crypto utopia in Puerto Rico: Dozens of entrepreneurs, made newly wealthy by virtual currencies, have moved to the island to avoid taxes on their fortunes — and to build a society that runs on blockchain. Book sales weather the storms in Puerto Rico.


State of the resistance: Trump’s opponents understand themselves not simply as defenders of particular policy positions but as stalwarts of democracy. How Joy Reid of MSNBC became a heroine of the resistance. Lessons for #TheResistance: How to rebuild a republic without abandoning the constitutional order. America is resisting Trump’s onslaught — just don’t get cocky. Democrats’ “resistance” to Trump is eroding, and so are their poll numbers. Democrats need to win 28 seats to control the Senate — Republicans need only 8. Robert Paul Wolff on Samuel Lubell’s The Future of American Politics and a strategy for the Democratic Party for the November elections.

The Democrats’ secret weapon to take back statehouses: The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee is pumping money and infrastructure into an array of legislative races — special election results suggest it’s paying off.


Steven J. Heyman (Chicago-Kent): The Light of Nature: John Locke, Natural Rights, and the Origins of American Religious Liberty. Rachel Gordan reviews Religious Freedom: The Contested History of an American Ideal by Tisa Wenger. Steven G. Calabresi (Northwestern): The Free Exercise of Religion. Douglas NeJaime and Reva Siegel (Yale): Religious Accommodation, and Its Limits, in a Pluralist Society. Noa Ben-Asher (Pace): Faith-Based Emergency Powers. Marc O. DeGirolami (St. John’s): The Two Separations. Engy Abdelkader (Rutgers): The Muslim Ban and Separation of Powers Doctrine in Trump’s America. Does religious liberty apply to all religions?


Three theories of the rise of Trump: Paul Berman on on how a cultural collapse — of civility, civic education, and decorum — brought us “the Mussolinian con man of our own moment”. The weight of the words: Jacob T. Levy on how Trump’s speech becomes part of political reality, as he and the media outlets that serve as his megaphone address the world, the US government, and the people. The unacceptable cost of “taming” Trump: If the Republicans have contained the president at all, it's because they agreed to shield him from investigation. Of course Republicans will keep letting Trump slide: They’ll line up and salute when the time comes.

Boycotting Republicans isn’t enough: What’s needed after Trump is an asymmetric fight to render the Republicans’ style of politics toxic. “Those who call for compromise and reasonable bi-partisanship fail to acknowledge that Republican politics have become entirely untethered from reality”.

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