Meet the Trumpverstehers: We know about the president’s most vocal supporters — but what about his more discreet following? How tycoon and Pence friend Forrest Lucas helped two ranchers get pardons. You have to understand that this is all an investment: The Republican party is, in essence, a firm wholly owned by and run for the benefit of the rich. “I think it’s more that Republicans have concluded that the best course of action, at all times, is to close ranks no matter what. If no Republican criticizes the offender, it is by definition a partisan he-said-she-said, and will fizzle. Any internal GOP criticism makes it real”. This is the world Mitch McConnell gave us.

House GOP refuses to renew election security funding as Democrats fume over Russian interference. Russiagate is far wider than Trump and his inner circle: It isn’t just the story of a few corrupt officials, or even a corrupt president — it’s the story of a corrupt Republican Party. Yes, normal Republican elites are a threat to democracy.


Dipesh Chakrabarty (Chicago): Anthropocene Time. Chris Cuomo (Georgia): The “Anthropocene”: Foregone or Premature Conclusion? Simon Dalby (Wilfrid Laurier): Anthropocene Geopolitics: Practicalities of the Geological Turn. Justin McBrien (Virginia): Accumulating Extinction: Planetary Catastrophism in the Necrocene. Tim Stephens (Sydney): The Antarctic Treaty System and the Anthropocene. Dan McQuillan (Goldsmiths): The Anthropocene, Resilience and Post-Colonial Computation. The Anthropocene feels different depending on where you are — too often, the “we” of the world is white and Western.


Hussein A H Omar (Oxford): Arabic Thought in the Liberal Cage. Arabic intellectual history between the postwar and the postcolonial: The introduction to Arabic Thought against the Authoritarian Age: Towards an Intellectual History of the Present, ed. Jens Hanssen and Max Weiss. Nourhan Tewfik reviews The Unmaking of the Arab Intellectual: Prophecy, Exile and the Nation by Zeina G.Halabi. Orly Minazad reviews Revolution for Dummies: Laughing Through the Arab Spring by Bassem Youssef. The introduction to The Arabic Freud: Psychoanalysis and Islam in Modern Egypt by Omnia El Shakry. Mohamed Ismail Sabry (Bremen City UAS): Fascism and Nasserism: Ideological Influence or Alternative Explanations? Scott McLemee reviews Ibn Khaldun: An Intellectual Biography by Robert Irwin.

Khaled Moustafa on promoting an academic culture in the Arab world. Hannah Johnson on publishing Arabic literature in translation: Specialists cite rising interest despite challenges. The rise and fall of Egyptian Arabic: Once the lingua franca of the Arab world, Egypt’s dialect is in decline along with the country’s cultural and political leadership.


Justina Diaz Legaspe (UNLP): Normalizing Slurs and Out-group Slurs: The Case of Referential Restriction. Alfredo Gonzalez-Ruibal, Pablo Alonso Gonzalez, and Felipe Criado-Boado (Incipit): Against Reactionary Populism: Towards a New Public Archaeology. The government is making it easier for “dark money” donors to go unnamed. Top voting machine vendor admits it installed remote-access software on systems sold to states. Alleged Russian spy Maria Butina was working to infiltrate Religious Right as well as gun groups. Trump doesn’t get why U.S. has to defend NATO allies (and more). Why the US is obligated to defend Montenegro. Sean Illing interviews Ellen Hendriksen, author of How to Be Yourself: Quiet Your Inner Critic and Rise Above Social Anxiety.


Andreas Musolff (East Anglia): Factual Narrative and Truth in Political Discourse. Sarah C. Haan (Washington and Lee): The Post-Truth First Amendment. RAND is studying “truth decay”, the diminishing role of facts and analysis in American public life. From Informal Logic, a special issue on Reason and Rhetoric in the Time of Alternative Facts, including Lars J. Kristiansen and Bernd Kaussler (James Madison): The Bullshit Doctrine: Fabrications, Lies, and Nonsense in the Age of Trump. Can truth survive this president? An honest investigation. It’s perfectly possible to live in a post-truth era. Propoganda isn’t about trying to fool you: Katherine Murray reviews Post-Truth by Lee McIntyre. Truth, disrupted: False news spreads online faster, farther, and deeper than truth does, but it can be contained — here’s how.


Walter Veit (Bayreuth): Procreative Beneficence and Genetic Enhancement. Christopher Gyngell and Thomas Douglas (Oxford): Selecting Against Disability: The Liberal Eugenic Challenge and the Argument from Cognitive Diversity. Jonathan Anomaly (Arizona) and Christopher Gyngell and Julian Savulescu (Oxford): Great Minds Think Different: Preserving Cognitive Diversity in an Age of Gene Editing. Parker Crutchfield (Western Michigan): Moral Enhancement Can Kill; and Compulsory Moral Bioenhancement Should be Covert. Douglas Walton (Windsor): The Slippery Slope Argument in the Ethical Debate on Genetic Engineering of Humans. Marcus Schultz-Bergin (Cleveland State): Is CRISPR an Ethical Game Changer? The dread and the awe: Crispr’s inventor assesses her creation (and more). Sean Illing interviews Michael Bess, author of Our Grandchildren Redesigned: Life in a Bioengineered Society.


Ex-CIA director: Russia will have recorded Trump’s meeting with Putin and will use it against him. Now we all know what Putin has on Trump. U.S. officials “at a fucking loss” over latest Russia sellout: The White House’s refusal to rule out turning over former U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul to the Russians has current and former State Department officials seeing red (and more). Senators are slamming Trump’s Putin meeting, but they aren’t going to do anything about it. Why won’t Republicans finally demand Trump release his tax returns? Martin Longman on why the GOP really needs Mueller’s report. Trump’s crisis of legitimacy: The president understands the stakes of the Russia story more clearly than most of his followers.

Trump’s actions in Helsinki don’t have to be treasonous to be impeachable. Putin’s attack on the U.S. is our Pearl Harbor: Hacking the 2016 election was an act of war — it’s time we responded accordingly.


Majority of Republicans think tech companies are censoring them. The new gatekeepers of Silicon Valley are getting played by conservatives. Maya Kosoff on why Jack Dorsey will never appease conservatives. How conservatives are hoodwinking Big Tech. Silicon Valley has a problem with conservatives — but not the political kind. Publishing executives argue Facebook is overly deferential to conservatives. Facebook’s $6,000 donation to Nunes throws its self-proclaimed neutrality into question. Study of 463 leading Facebook pages shows that partisan pages have roughly equal engagement, but right-wing pages drastically outnumber left-wing pages.

Facebook, Alphabet Inc, and Twitter told a U.S. House panel that the social media companies are not discriminating against content for political reasons. Facebook won’t get better until it stops genuflecting for the right wing and starts thinking about politics in context. Facebook donates a shit-ton of money to Republicans.


Sarah C. Goff (LSE): Fair Trade: Global Problems and Individual Responsibilities. Gerald Poscheschnik (Innsbruck): Game of Thrones: A Psychoanalytic Interpretation Including Some Remarks on the Psychosocial Function of Modern TV Series. Katrina Wyman (NYU): The New Essentialism in Property. World Cup 2018: Why the tournament in Russia was statistically the best. What’s going on with Elon Musk? How the happy billionaire rocket scientist became a cautionary tale. James Stephenson and Nick Cohen on the BBC and Brexit: An exchange. “No gods, no masters”: Judith Suissa on anti-Semitic tropes and utopian ideals in imagining and resisting capitalism. If Taco Bell is the peak of our civilization, get me another civilization.

Cambridge Analytica’s Facebook data was accessed from Russia, MP says. Here are all the Republican leaders and conservative activists Maria Butina met. The Russians played the long game with the NRA.


Here’s what political science can tell us about that Trump-Putin press conference. “This was the nightmare scenario”: The West Wing revolts after Trump embraces Putin. Thread: “A brief history of the idea of an American/Russian alliance to preserve global white supremacy”. How Russians saw the Helsinki summit: Beneath the widespread jubilation over Putin’s triumph, a few folks worry Trump capitulated so spectacularly that it’s almost certain to provoke backlash. Trump is fighting the entire Republican Party to defend Putin. Trump’s allies in Congress are blaming the press for Trump’s performance in Helsinki. The “legitimacy” excuse for Trump’s Russia coverup is a crock. Trump resorts to his usual maneuver when he screws up big time. Trump gave congressional Republicans the deniability they crave. This was “not” what Trump meant to say.

Donald Trump is fulfilling all of those Obama conspiracy theories. Trump is not Putin’s puppet: There’s a better explanation for his fondness for the Russian president. Trump’s stance toward Russia isn’t appeasement — it may be even worse. So Trump is a traitor — what difference does that make to black folks? Stop saying Trump committed “treason” — you’re playing into his hands. Stop calling it “meddling” — it’s actually information warfare. Donald Trump is a danger to us all — Congress, do something. Standards for impeachment: Bob Bauer on Trump’s defense of Putin in the face of Russia’s electoral attacks.

For Republicans, “the dam has broken” — but for how long? When it comes to Trump, “there is no such thing as a last straw” for Republicans. All the times that everyone said Republicans must now stand up to Donald Trump. Why not much will come of Republicans’ outrage at Trump on Russia. Trump didn’t flout GOP norms — he epitomized them. The real problem we face is a Republican Party that’s nearly unanimous in its cultlike attachment to a man who’s an obvious fraud — and possibly far worse.

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