Cass Sunstein (Harvard): Freedom: The Holberg Lecture, 2018. How Elizabeth Warren is dominating the Democratic presidential race. Eric Levitz on the case for Michael Avenatti 2020. Designing Women creator Linda Bloodworth Thomason goes public with Les Moonves war: Not all harassment is sexual. Les Moonves’s resignation is the most significant #MeToo moment yet. Anna North on Les Moonves and the myth of uncontrollable male desire. Trump’s executive order on elections is a sham. The Trump administration’s new idea for Israeli-Palestinian peace is actually an old, failed idea. Jessica Goldstein interviews Kim Kierkegaardashian, author of My Beautiful Despair: The Philosophy of Kim Kierkegaardashian.

Fatos Selita and Yulia Kovas (Tomsk State): Genes and Gini: What Inequality Means for Heritability. The International Criminal Court is no threat to America, but John Bolton is (and more). C.I.A. drone mission, curtailed by Obama, is expanded in Africa under Trump. Richard Marshall interviews Martha C. Nussbaum, author of The Monarchy of Fear: A Philosopher Looks at Our Political Crisis. 6 years ago, North Carolina chose to ignore rising sea levels — this week it braces for disaster. Incarcerated people will be left behind to face Hurricane Florence despite mass evacuations. Trump diverts millions from FEMA for ICE detentions, calls Puerto Rico “unsung success”. How Florida’s Puerto Rican vote is changing post-Hurricane Maria. “Perfect Trump tweet”.


Kevin Bersett interviews Andrew Hartman, author of A War for the Soul of America: A History of the Culture Wars. Trump is harming the dream of America more than any foreign adversary ever could. Thread: “9/11 did not bring out the best in America. It brought out the worst”. George W. Bush is not a resistance leader — he’s part of the problem (and more). “This should keep the black vote down considerably”. Thread: “I sometimes see journalists saying that their big error was failing to understand white working-class grievance. But if you ask me, their biggest sin has been failure to understand the GOP’s complete bad faith and cynicism”. “The deficits being run up now aren’t an accident, or some unfortunate byproduct, they are the point. They politically constrain the other party when and if it takes power”.

The tyranny of the majority isn’t a problem in America today — tyranny of the minority is.


Beware rich people who say they want to change the world: Society’s winners can seem so generous, until you consider what they’re really selling. The win-win fallacy: Entrepreneurs say they’re trying to help others while also helping themselves — but that claim may be hope masquerading as description. Chris Lehmann on the philanthropy racket: Philanthropy is how the global elite cast themselves as do-gooders — the people destroying the world are posing as its saviors. Why philanthropy is bad for democracy: Nick Tabor interviews Anand Giridharadas, author of Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, on how well-meaning liberals paved the way for Trump.

Linda Sugin (Fordham): Competitive Philanthropy: Charitable Naming Rights, Inequality, and Social Norms. Jonathan Berman (LBS), Alixandra Barasch (NYU), Emma Levine (Chicago), and Deborah A. Small (Penn): Impediments to Effective Altruism: The Role of Subjective Preferences in Charitable Giving. Ted Lechterman (Stanford): The Effective Altruist’s Political Problem.


Stanislav Hristov Ivanov (VUM): Tourism Beyond Humans: Robots, Pets and Teddy Bears. From the Congressional Research Service, a report on the decision to stop U.S. funding of UNRWA (for Palestinian refugees). Tucker Carlson asks “Why is diversity a strength?” — let’s assume he is genuinely clueless. Lyz Lenz on the mystery of Tucker Carlson. Steven Bannon is wrong: The White House “resistance” is the opposite of a coup. Judging by the cover: Alyssa Bereznak on how the magazine industry’s identity crisis is playing out on its front page. 17 years after 9/11: Robert Chesney on the declining visibility of terrorism and counterterrorism. Trump’s long history of lying about 9/11 and exploiting it for personal gain.

US officials suspect Russia in mystery “attacks” on diplomats in Cuba, China. Brett Kavanaugh said he would kill Roe v. Wade last week and almost no one noticed. Brian Beutler on Brett Kavanaugh’s disqualifying bad faith. Ken Starr reminded us Brett Kavanaugh is a political hack — just like him. How Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation allows Corker, Flake, and Sasse to constrain Trump. Umair Irfan on 2 gonzo ideas for slowing down a hurricane. Rights groups warn against US flouting international court over alleged war crimes. After migrants drowned at sea, debate over who should have saved them. Geoffrey Wheatcroft on how Brexit became a political circus. Jeff Bezos is funding a bunch of pro-gun, anti-abortion Republican congressional campaigns.


Sam Peltzman (Chicago): Polarizing Currents within Purple America. Can the GOP get its ideas mojo back? With Paul Ryan leaving and a backward-looking president in charge, the “party of ideas” faces an innovation crisis. The GOP has no new ideas because elderly billionaires own its brain. Daniel Nexon on mapping the American progressive movement. “Fetishizing centrism is a disease”: There are no centrists — there are only scared idealists. Jane Coaston on why conservatives love to hate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Republicans remain white, male as Democrats shatter diversity records ahead of 2018 midterm elections. Trump supporter on MSNBC: Facts don’t matter. Democrats don’t care about policy compromise anymore — just like Republicans.

Eitan Sapiro-Gheiler (Princeton): “Read My Lips”: Using Automatic Text Analysis to Classify Politicians by Party and Ideology. Are Trump supporters evil, or just wrong? A battle between two arcane-sounding theories about ideology actually wrestles with profound moral questions. Nathan Robinson on how to reply to a patronizing Wall Street Journal reader, and on how to build an effective Left alternative. Do conservatives know much about conservative history? This 1950 political science report keeps popping up in the news — here’s the story behind it. Are we beginning to see signs that the parties might one day split? Tana Ganeva on what Julia Salazar’s topsy-turvy summer may mean for future insurgent candidates on the far Left.

Thread: “Because if the Trump Era has shown us anything, it's that neither conservative voters nor conservative politicians give a SINGLE SOLITARY SHIT about those principles — moral, fiscal, procedural, any of them. They never did. It's all laid bare now, plain as day”.


Dan McQuillan (Goldsmiths): Manifesto on Algorithmic Humanitarianism. Just how transparent can a criminal justice algorithm be? Imprisoned by algorithms: The dark side of California ending cash bail. Franken-algorithms: Andrew Smith on the deadly consequences of unpredictable code. When is it important for an algorithm to explain itself? Weeding our algorithmic gardens: Hallam Stevens reviews Weapons of Math Destruction: How Big Data Increases Inequality and Threatens Democracy by Cathy O’Neil; Machine Learners: Archaeology of a Data Practice by Adrian Mackenzie; and The Black Box Society: The Secret Algorithms That Control Money and Information by Frank Pasquale. Odd Numbers: Frank Pasquale on how algorithms alone can’t meaningfully hold other algorithms accountable. God is in the machine: The terrifying, hidden reality of Ridiculously Complicated Algorithms.


Sarah Roache and Lawrence O. Gostin (Georgetown), Charles Platkin (Hunter), and Cara Kaplan (Fordham): Big Food and Soda Versus Public Health: Industry Litigation Against Local Government Regulations to Promote Healthy Diets. U.S. officials reportedly met with dissident Venezuelan military officers, and Maduro’s regime is putting the news to use. Kim Kelly on anarchy: What it is and why pop culture loves it. Consortium of the largest science funders in Europe announce that they’ll only fund open access research. China is detaining Muslims in vast numbers — the goal is “transformation”. Cosma Shalizi reviews The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters by Tom Nichols.

Giacomo Bonan (Bologna): Confronting Hardin: Trends and Approaches to the Commons in Historiography. How the Left lost Brazil: This October, the far Right may take over South America’s largest economy. From Vox, what so many men are missing about #MeToo: Sexual discrimination and abuse constitute a crisis — Louis C.K. will be fine; CBS gave Les Moonves a graceful exit he didn’t deserve; and why did it take so long for Les Moonves to leave CBS? Davey Alba on how Duterte used Facebook to fuel the Philippine drug war. Academic publishing is a mess and it makes culture wars dumber. Why a far-right party with white supremacist roots is on the rise in Sweden. Did scientists discover a new shape? Well, first we have to define “shape” — also, “new”.


From TPM, Democrats need voters’ help to fix gerrymandering — will they get it? On the sidelines of democracy: Asma Khalid, Don Gonyea, and Leila Fadel on why so many Americans don’t vote. America’s biggest conspiracy theory is real: The racist truth behind the myth of voter fraud. Carol Anderson on the Republican approach to voter fraud: Lie. Jon Green (OSU) and Sean McElwee (Columbia): The Differential Effects of Economic Conditions and Racial Attitudes in the Election of Donald Trump. President Trump and the fantasy of a race war against white people. Joanne B. Freeman on the violence at the heart of our politics.

Trump, symptom or cause? Paul Campos on tomorrow's historical revisionism today. OK, Trump’s not a fascist leader — but does his fascist rhetoric mean he’s on the way to being one? True patriots would thwart the GOP agenda Trump pushes — it’s just as scary as his “worst inclinations”. We’re doomed: Isaac Chotiner reviews Fear: Trump in the White House by Bob Woodward. Donald Trump makes the case for his own impeachment: Ezra Klein on why America can’t trust Trump’s presidency. Jerry Nadler is appropriately cautious about impeachment. The empire of disorientation: Hans Sluga on politics in the age of Trump.


Victor L. Shammas (Oslo): Burying Mont Pelerin: Milton Friedman and Neoliberal Vanguardism. Charlie T. Blunden (Utrecht): Libertarianism and Collective Action: Is There a Libertarian Case for Mandatory Vaccination? Adam Gurri on finding liberty between vulnerability and coercion. Must we have cultural commitments as well as political ones? Stephanie Slade and Matt Zwolinski debate whether libertarianism is about more than the state. The “classical liberal” pivot: A new big tent for the clown show — from Paul Ryan to the YouTube right. For fancy racists, classical liberalism offers respect, intrigue. From Current Affairs, here are some puzzles for libertarians; and a review of Capitalism vs. Freedom: The Toll Road to Serfdom by Rob Larson.

Why should we care, then, about a discredited goofball ideology from deep within the last century? Because Ayn Rand–style libertarianism has probably never been more assertive in American politics than it is today.


Jeremy Pollack (CSUDH), Colin Holbrook (UC-Merced), Daniel M. T. Fessler and Adam Maxwell Sparks (UCLA), and James G. Zerbe (ASU): May God Guide Our Guns: Visualizing Supernatural Aid Heightens Team Confidence in a Paintball Battle Simulation. From the Journal of Humanistic Mathematics, a special issue on Mathematics and Motherhood. India and Pakistan fight together for the first time thanks to Russia and China. Kavanaugh’s refusal to recuse disqualifies him. Judge Brett Kavanaugh should be impeached for lying during his confirmation hearings. At U.S. Open, power of Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka is overshadowed by an umpire’s power play (and more). Trump administration discussed coup plans with rebel Venezuelan officers.

If our opposition to terrorism is principled rather than performative, we might usefully focus our energies on exposing and ending our own complicity in these disciplinary forms of violence. The dominant political institutions for black and women candidates are struggling with the new wave of black and women candidates. A witch hunt or a quest for justice: An insider’s perspective on disgraced academic Avital Ronell. Avital Ronell’s new book, Complaint, is not really about the recent harassment case, writes Scott McLemee — at the same time, it’s not exactly not about it. We finally know why former GOP presidential nominee Bob Dole joined the most crooked bank in Central Asia.

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