Thoughts on Putin and Trump: Jeffrey C. Isaac on democratic “interference” and the transnational contest for “democracy”. Hate makes us weak: How Russia exploits American racism and xenophobia for its own gain. Is Trump Russia’s useful idiot, or has he been irreparably compromised? The Trump-Russia allegations sound incriminating — but would any of them be illegal? The only thing Trump’s team is revealing on Russia is that they have something to hide. The big Russia questions loom even larger. How ex-spy Christopher Steele compiled his explosive Trump-Russia doss. The “grand bargain” at risk: Jack Goldsmith and Benjamin Wittes on what’s at stake when the president alleges politics in intelligence.

Matt Taibbi’s skepticism of the Russian hacking coverage is all wrong. Russia isn’t an excuse to avoid introspection.

Daniel Drezner on looking for calm while living with the Trump administration. From the Los Angeles Times, a special series on Our Dishonest President. Pro-Trump media has a new obsession: The White House Briefing Room. Like Middle East wars? You’re gonna love President Trump — with zero public debate, the new president has thrown America back into the Mideast quagmire. Elagabalus Antoninus on UChicago: Bannon’s Bannon’s Bannon? Never mind the Russians, meet the bot king who helps Trump win Twitter. The Republican identity crisis: A conservative by any other name would still be confused about where they fall on the ideological spectrum in the Trump era. Libby Nelson on 5 big takeaways from the White House financial disclosures. Trump just defended Bill O’Reilly — in the middle of Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. American oligarchs: Isaac Chotiner interviews Jane Mayer on the billionaires supporting — and opposing — President Trump. Donald Trump’s ignorance extends to foreign affairs — that’s a big problem. Roger Stone says Kushner is leaking intel to Scarborough. Trump lawyer confirms president can pull money from his businesses whenever he wants. Trump’s latest New York Times interview is a perfect example of his phony war with the press. Sebastian Gorka spoke out in support of a racist and anti-Semitic Hungarian militia. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago ethics mess gets worse ahead of Xi Jinping visit. No one can even find a photograph of Donald Trump’s favorite NSC deputy Ezra Cohen-Watnick. The scary power of nepotism in Trump’s White House: Jared Kushner’s rise as the president’s right-hand man shows that Trumpism isn’t a coherent ideology — it’s a personality cult. Zombie Trumpcare is dead again. Trump is failing for same reason that Boehner failed. Stephen King on Donald Trump: “How do such men rise? First as a joke”. How the Queens of Trump’s youth became the diverse “antithesis” of his policies. Meet the everyday people who have sued Trump — so far, they’ve won. Trump’s TV obsession is a first: No president has consumed as much television as the current one, or reacted as quickly or directly to what they were seeing. “TFW when the president of the United States has vastly more time for TV watching and recreational activities than you do”. In epic letter, investment fund fires law firm for enabling the Trump kleptocracy. Why top brands don’t want to “Make America Great Again”: It has become “nearly impossible to effectively build a cool urban lifestyle brand” without distancing your company from Donald Trump. Bit by bit, Trump methodically undoing Obama policies. The real reasons Trump can’t work with Democrats: He’s too ignorant, dishonest, and ethically compromised. Mike Pence and the temptresses: How can he possibly serve as vice president when he is constantly battling such a horrible weakness? Trump barely even pretending any more not to be a kleptocrat. Why Trump will find it hard to pivot from bigotry to bipartisanship. Donald Trump’s race war: His message of tribalism is his most successful and dangerous accomplishment. The sexism of Trump and Pence are two sides of the same coin. Jonathan Bernstein on what Trump has lost so far in Washington. Erik Prince in the hot seat: Blackwater’s founder is under investigation for money laundering, ties to Chinese intel, and brokering mercenary services. Ivanka doesn’t get to decide what “complicit” means. Here’s how the White House is legitimizing the pro-Trump media: Donald Trump is the nation’s most powerful assignment editor. Bird flu is a big deal — of course Trump wants to defund the best way to contain it. Trump has set the US up to botch a global health crisis. Here is the universal Trump headline. Norm Ornstein on rewriting the rules of presidential succession: A project begun after 9/11 assumes new urgency after the 2016 election — creating a more sensible plan for what happens when a chief executive steps aside. At Kushners’ flagship building, mounting debt and a foundered deal. Don’t let Trump get away with his latest deception: The White House says Obama adviser Susan Rice spied on Trump aides — we will all regret taking the claim at face value (and more and more). In pushing the Susan Rice story, did the Trump administration just out themselves? Don't dismiss President Trump’s attacks on the media as mere stupidity. Cities sick of Trump kleptocracy push for impeachment: Cambridge, Massachusetts is the latest city to take up a vote. Trump says Syria gas attack crossed a “red line”, but he doesn’t have any ideas on what to do next. Donald Trump will never get what he wants. Before this is over, Republicans are going to wish Hillary Clinton won.

J. Adam Carter and S. Orestis (Edinburgh): Is Having Your Computer Compromised a Personal Assault? The Ethics of Extended Cognition. Hungary’s authoritarian leader is trying to shutter a university founded to promote democracy. From the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics, here is the entry on Discrimination by Frej Klem Thomsen. Civil rights act protects gay workers, court rules (and more). Are zines dead or alive-er than ever? Heather Havrilesky on why beautiful women date average-looking men: Substance is not overrated. Elly Vintiadis on the irrationality within us: Why we are not as rational as we think, and why that matters. The future agency: Kyle Chayka goes inside the big business of imagining the future.

Matt Stoller on what Gorsuch means: Behind the gee golly goshes. J. Paul Kelleher on how Judge Gorsuch’s views on “natural law” could shape his opinions on the Supreme Court. In practice, Republicans abolished the Supreme Court filibuster in 2005 — and Mitch McConnell’s historically unprecedented and constitutionally illegitimate decision to block President Obama from nominating anyone a year before he left office was the real nuclear option.

The economics of the immigration debate: Nikita Lalwani and Sam Winter-Levy review We Wanted Workers: Unraveling the Immigration Narrative by George J. Borjas. The truth about undocumented immigrants and taxes: They’re contributing billions of dollars a year to Social Security, but may never reap any retirement benefits from it. Joe Nocera on how Trump’s deportation plan is economic suicide. Immigrants are keeping America young — and the economy growing. Illegal immigrants help fuel U.S. farms — does affordable produce depend on them? The deportees taking our calls: Jonathan Blitzer on how American immigration policy has fuelled an unlikely industry in El Salvador.

From the Washington Monthly, Martin Longman on Trump’s foreign policy mess. Language matters: How a minor mistranslation can affect US-China relations. Graham Allison on how Trump and China’s Xi could stumble into war: When a rising power threatens to displace a ruling power, it rarely ends well. A vision of Trump at war: Philip Gordon on how the president could stumble into conflict. How China’s leader is playing Donald Trump: Xi Jinping has quickly figured out that the U.S. president’s bluster and bravado offer strategic opportunity. Can Trump match Xi Jinping’s game? The looming strategic disaster at Mar-a-Lago: China will try to buy off the Trump administration — it may very well succeed.

Trump just warned China to rein in North Korea or the US would go it alone. The Trump White House’s rhetoric on North Korea is aggressive — their policy isn’t. A senior North Korean defector says the country’s “desperate” dictator is prepared to use nuclear weapons to strike the United States and its allies. Why the sudden collapse of North Korea would be hell on Earth.