Stan Oklobdzija (UCSD): Dark Parties: Citizens United, Independent-Expenditure Networks and the Evolution of Political Parties. Politicians are increasingly using nonprofits capable of accepting unlimited dark money funds to advance their agendas. I.R.S. will no longer force Kochs and other groups to disclose donors. Eliza Newlin Carney on Trump’s and the Koch Brothers’ war on disclosure. Ian MacDougall on why the IRS’ recent dark money decision may be less dire than it seems. Bob Bauer on how Trump exposes the holes in campaign-finance laws. Michael Cohen plea agreement: Possible meanings of the campaign finance counts. Lee Drutman on the case for cautious optimism on campaign finance reform.

The first chapter from Unequal and Unrepresented: Political Inequality and the People’s Voice in the New Gilded Age by Kay Lehman Schlozman, Henry E. Brady, and Sidney Verba.


Samuel Moyn (Yale): Before — and Beyond — the Liberalism of Fear. From Political Theology, Sarah Pessin on America’s love problem: How Oprah’s Call to Friendship Feeds Bannon’s Call to Racism (or: On Three Strains of Liberal Lovesickness); and can neoliberalism allow for love? Bret Kavanaugh is a first rate hypocrite and political judge. U.N. nuclear watchdog confirms Trump’s critics were right. Mollie Tibbetts’s tragic death shouldn’t confuse the truth about immigrant crime. American conservatives played a secret role in the Macedonian fake news boom ahead of 2016. It’s too late to protect the 2018 elections — but here’s how the U.S. can prepare for 2020. World’s largest shipping company heads into Arctic as global warming opens the way.

Has Bezos become more powerful in D.C. than Trump? The deal for an obscure $10 billion Pentagon contract suggests the extent to which Jeff Bezos is gobbling up the swamp — without the guy in the White House even batting an eye. Theodore Schleifer on ten big Silicon Valley money players behind this November’s U.S. midterm elections. Social media companies aren’t liberal or conservative, they’re capitalist — and their real biases are against labor costs and controversy.


What’s next for Mueller’s investigation after Manafort’s conviction? New York prosecutors can go after Trump now, even if Mueller won’t. The only reason that Trump hasn’t been indicted is that he’s the president: The debate over indicting presidents, explained. Trump is an illegitimate president whose election is tainted by fraud. A pair of high-profile convictions implicate Donald Trump — but also serve as a reminder that only some people pay the consequences for systemic corruption in America. Trump’s chickens may be coming home to roost — but the system has already failed. Elizabeth Warren is right: Corruption is rotting the U.S. from within.

Washington is turning into Moscow: What upsets the Putin regime isn’t research into its military strength, but anything exploring its illicit finances — something similar might now be said of the White House. The president is getting away with blatant crimes — that’s normal. Benjamin Wittes on the most damaging thing that’s happened to Trump. Is this finally the President’s accountability moment? Every single House Republican is actively covering up Trump’s guilt. As bad news piles up, Senate Republicans hardly flinch. The reckoning is here for Donald Trump and the Republican Party, and it will only get worse for them. In Trump’s right-wing media universe, it was a day like any other.

Hooray for Mueller — but American democracy is still in danger. Will Donald Trump distract from his troubles with foreign policy? “If you think the wounded, cornered Trump won’t choose some version of this nuclear option, you haven’t been paying attention”: With Cohen and Manafort going to jail, the president could choose to burn the system down. In case of Mueller firing, break glass: Democrats prep an emergency plan.

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