A warning, a gun sale and tragic consequences: Despite a mother’s plea, her mentally ill daughter was sold a firearm — here’s why she sued. Husbands are deadlier than terrorists: Trump is raging about a risk from refugees that seems manageable, even as he talks about relaxing rules on another threat, guns, that is infinitely more lethal. Domestic violence and guns: Lois Beckett on the hidden American crisis ending women’s lives. America’s domestic violence problem is closely tied to its gun problem. In San Bernardino, a tragically ordinary tale. “Our moment to go on offense”: NRA makes big plans for Trump presidency. The NRA appoints itself leader of the Trump “counter resistance”. Trump is the NRA’s agent of chaos.
Samuel Knafo and Benno Teschke (Sussex): The Rules of Reproduction of Capitalism: A Historicist Critique. Christian Lotz (Michigan State): Fiction without Fantasy: Capital Fetishism as Objective Forgetting. Contemporary capitalism has definitely become the religion of capital’s self-valorization, which, as stated by Marx, is at the origin of primitive accumulation in the form of debt. Benjamin Noys (Chichester): Futures of Accelerationism. Visions of the future from the Left: Greg Afinogenov reviews Four Futures: Life After Capitalism by Peter Frase (and more and more) and How Will Capitalism End? Essays on a Failing System by Wolfgang Streeck (and more). Unless it changes, capitalism will starve humanity by 2050.
Derek R. Ford (DePauw): Studying like a Communist: Affect, the Party, and the Educational Limits to Capitalism. On collectives, communicative capitalism, and suspension of the individual ego: Luke Mergner reviews Crowds and Parties by Jodi Dean (and more). You can download Idiotism: Capitalism and the Privatization of Life by Neal Curtis (2013).
Ines Valdez (OSU): Punishment, Race, and the Organization of U.S. Immigration Exclusion. Kari E. Hong (BC): The Ten Parts of “Illegal” in “Illegal Immigration” that I Do Not Understand. Locking up families is inhumane and unconstitutional: The United States is imprisoning more and more asylum-seekers from Central America — including mothers and children — in detention centers, perpetuating a culture of fear and hatred toward immigrants. Alan J. Aja and Alejandra Marchevsky on how immigrants became criminals. Prosecutor: Jeff Sessions’s new immigration plan is “fucking horrifying”. Trump administration moving quickly to build up nationwide deportation force. Where will the government look for thousands of new border agents? On college campuses.
Luvell Anderson (Memphis): Hermeneutical Impasses. Out of 47 major editorials on Trump’s Syria strikes, only one opposed. Why the press consistently covers war uncritically: Sean Illing interviews Eric Alterman, author of What Liberal Media: The Truth About Bias and the News. Sarika Chawla on how anti-choice lawmakers are getting around Roe v. Wade. Just when you thought asbestos was going away forever: EPA may ease regulations on the carcinogen banned in more than 50 countries. Why flying in America keeps getting more miserable, explained. Graham Vyse on the government’s fraught, overdue effort to redefine “healthy” food. The introduction to Face and Mask: A Double History by Hans Belting.
From PUP, the introduction to Hitler’s American Model: The United States and the Making of Nazi Race Law by James Q. Whitman (and more). James Whitman on why the Nazis loved America (and more). “In early 2017 it is impossible for an American to read the newly published English translation of this book outside the shadow cast by our new president”: Christopher R. Browning reviews Hitler: Ascent 1889–1939 by Volker Ullrich. Corey Robin on how Eichmann in Jerusalem is a better guide to Trump time than is Origins of Totalitarianism. A brief history of the Trump administration’s flirtation with Holocaust denial.
What is the Kushner Doctrine? The president’s son-in-law is reportedly trying to micromanage America’s foreign policy — and we have almost no idea what he believes in. New front in White House civil war as Kushner asserts authority at NSC. Is Stephen Bannon getting pushed out? The latest signs point to Yes. “Within the White House, Team Corrupt (Jared) seems to be winning out over Team Inept (Preibus/Spicer) and Team Evil (Bannon). But outside the White House, the most evil Cabinet secretary, Jeff Sessions, is just getting started”.
Trump would fail even worse with Kushner’s centrism: Steve Bannon is right about one thing — Trump’s son-in-law is incompatible with the president’s ethnonationalist base. The GOP almost lost in Kansas because even Republicans hate their party’s agenda. Trump budget director Mick Mulvaney admits their goal is high inequality, not low deficits. Donald Trump ruined everything by hiring a bunch of movement conservatives who think he’s a sucker.
President Donald Trump reversed course on his view of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, saying it is “no longer obsolete”. Trump says he will not label China currency manipulator, reversing campaign promise. Donald Trump flips on NATO, China, Russia and Syria. Here are all of Trump’s rollbacks, reversals, and flip-flops that happened (and more). “Who knew healthcare/Syria/China/NATO/the universe could be so complicated”. The curious case of Dr. Donald and Mr. Trump: FFS, does Trump have any idea at all what he wants to do? Don’t normalize Trump’s policy incoherence.
The Great Gazoo advises Trump: “Bomb Syria, dumb-dumb”.
From the Congressional Research Service, a report on “Statutory, Average, and Effective Marginal Tax Rates in the Federal Individual Income Tax: Background and Analysis”. Alexia Fernandez Campbell interviews Jeffrey Birnbaum, an expert on the 1986 tax reform, on why this time it’s going to be harder. A tax overhaul would be great in theory — here’s why it’s so hard in practice. Republicans are floating a tax reform plan that could threaten Social Security. Susan C. Morse (Texas): Taxing the $2.5 Trillion. This loophole will let hedge fund managers dodge $18 billion in taxes this year. Nick Buffie on how the U.S. tax code actually doesn’t “soak the rich”. Democrats have a new strategy to keep up the pressure on Trump — it might work.
Growing up with the war tax resisters: In an era of extremist government, there may be something to be learned from an extreme devotion to political beliefs. The introduction to Read My Lips: Why Americans Are Proud to Pay Taxes by Vanessa S. Williamson. These 4 questions could change your views on tax fairness — here’s how pliable our tax attitudes are. Sorry America, your taxes aren’t high. Dylan Matthews on the myth of the 70,000-page federal tax code. Filing taxes could be free and simple — but H&R Block and Intuit are still lobbying against it.
Insurance regulators are panicked about Obamacare’s future. This is how Obamacare might actually explode. No “death spiral”: Insurers may soon profit from Obamacare plans, analysis finds. How Democrats can save Obamacare and Trump can save his presidency. Obamacare is doing well, but Trump and Ryan can change that if they want. The Trump administration is waffling on key Obamacare subsidies. Trump moves away from “Obamacare” sabotage (for now). Trump administration may be holding Obamacare hostage (and more). The watchdog group American Oversight is keeping an eye on HHS and Obamacare. House Republican quietly hammers last nail in Trumpcare’s coffin.
Daniel Bessner (Washington) and Stephen Wertheim (Cambridge): Democratizing U.S. Foreign Policy: Bringing Experts and the Public Back Together. “It's just weird”: A former employee on Rex Tillerson’s empty State Department. The silence of Rex Tillerson: Sooner or later, someone needs to explain what Trump’s foreign policy is — but the secretary of state does not seem to understand his job. Trump promised an “unpredictable” foreign policy — to allies, it looks incoherent. Trump aide admits there actually isn’t a “Trump doctrine”. Who is a better ally for the United States, China or Russia? President Trump may have to choose. Robert Farley on 5 big reasons U.S.-China ties could go up in flames (and on a path to war).
Donald Trump and Paul Ryan are the problem — a staff shake-up won’t fix anything. Ed Kilgore on why Trump may push to kill the legislative filibuster. Republicans have huge ambitions for this Congress — they’re already running short on time. The McConnell Era: In many ways, the failures we’re experiencing in governance and politics today are bound up in the way Mitch McConnell has chosen political gamesmanship over policy (and more). The Jeff Sessions agenda: The attorney general is undermining the Department of Justice’s core mission from within. The sanctuary-cities executive order is Trump’s next legal train wreck. How Obama’s legacy impacts the battle between pragmatism and the ideologues.
Carmen G. Gonzalez (Seattle): Global Justice in the Anthropocene. Helen Kopnina (Leiden): Nobody Likes Dichotomies (But Sometimes You Need Them). Kyle Whyte (Michigan State): Is it Colonial DeJa Vu? Indigenous Peoples and Climate Injustice. The women on the front lines of climate change: Women around the globe are disproportionately affected by climate change, but this gives them an edge in preparing for an uncertain future. Black lives should matter more to the environmental movement: Trump’s attacks on EPA regulations don’t just worsen climate change — they harm vulnerable communities, too. Here’s how environmental justice leaders are pushing forward in the Trump era.