Xavier Marquez (Victoria): Two Models of Political Leader Cults: Propaganda and Ritual. Facebook grapples with a maturing adversary in election meddling. Facebook is the world’s biggest right-wing media company. Facebook security chief Alex Stamos quits, joins Stanford “Information Warfare” group. Apple hits $1 trillion, but it’s still not the most valuable company in the world. Vanessa Friedman on Jeff Bezos, style icon. Donald Trump vs. Charles Koch is a custody battle over Congress. The battle over 3D-printed guns is getting serious. State lawmakers surviving allegations in #MeToo age. The tax cuts have put stock buybacks in the spotlight; here’s what they are — and why you should care. Style is an algorithm: No one is original anymore, not even you.


Rory Van Loo (BU): Regulatory Monitors. Jedediah S. Purdy (Duke): Beyond the Bosses’ Constitution: Toward a Democratic First Amendment (“A jurisprudence that aims at government neutrality by tying the distributional hands of the state cannot achieve neutrality, but instead implicitly sides with market inequality over distinctively democratic forms of equality”.) Patrick Newman (Florida Southern): The Big Meat: The Beef Trust, Regulatory Capture, and Government Intervention. GOP maneuver could roll back decades of regulation. The new Republican plan to deregulate America, explained: A novel use of the Congressional Review Act is a powerful tool in the conservative war on the administrative state. Jodi L. Short (UC-Hastings): The Trouble with Counting: Cutting through the Rhetoric of Red Tape Cutting. Republicans can’t even cut red tape correctly.


Joshua Hart and Molly Graether (Union): Something’s Going on Here: Psychological Predictors of Belief in Conspiracy Theories. Conspiracy theories are for losers — QAnon is no exception (and more). What goes on outside Trump rallies is an American nightmare. Alexander Nazaryan on Dinesh D’Souza’s tireless quest to “own the libs”. Encouraging towns to pass unconstitutional, racist legislation and making lots of money precisely because of the illegality — that is the ultimate Republican long con. Trump’s nativism is transforming the physical landscape: From the wilderness of the west to the mountaintops of Appalachia, the president’s nationalism is remaking America. The case against Ryan Zinke: With EPA chief Scott Pruitt gone, liberals are setting their sights on another Trump cabinet member whose scandals are mounting.


New emails show Michigan Republicans plotting to gerrymander maps. Michigan case illustrates the overlap between racial and partisan gerrymandering. Elected officials in many states draw districts; this often benefits politicians and parties — where do you draw the lines? With anti-gerrymandering efforts gaining steam, Republicans in some states are mobilizing to protect their ability to continue rigging election maps. Ratfucked again: The party that wins the right to draw the legislative maps of the 2020s will have enormous power to shape future Congresses and state legislatures. The best way to fix gerrymandering is to make it useless.


Rebecca White (Georgia): Title VII and the #MeToo Movement. Vicki Schultz (Yale): Reconceptualizing Sexual Harassment, Again. Tristin K. Green (San Francisco): Was Sexual Harassment Law a Mistake? The Stories We Tell. How saying #MeToo changed their lives. Men like Bill O’Reilly get to make a comeback — women who speak up about harassment lose their jobs. Inhuman resources: Mike Picarella wanted to protect a co-worker from humiliating sexual harassment — he didn’t expect his own life to be destroyed in the process. When the private becomes political: Grabbing power might feel good in the moment, but it is not going to change the status quo.

#churchtoo: Christian women are calling out sexual assault and coercion, too. The Religious Right’s #MeToo reckoning is coming. Emily M.D. Scott on the Bible’s #MeToo problem. Photojournalism is having a long overdue #MeToo moment. Alissa Quart and Barbara Ehrenreich review In a Day’s Work: The Fight to End Sexual Violence Against America’s Most Vulnerable Workers by Bernice Yeung. A #MeToo movement for the global fashion industry: The women who keep the global garment supply chain running are facing their own gender-based abuse. South Korea is in the middle of its own #MeToo movement. #MeToo is growing in China — despite government efforts to stop it.

Edmund Waldstein on #MeToo in light of Aristotelian virtue ethics. Elisabeth Lebovici and Giovanna Zapperi on Maso and Miso in the land of men’s rights. Power alone does not explain the predations of Harvey Weinstein, Bill Cosby, Larry Nasar, Charlie Rose and the other famous men toppled by Me Too. Is the male libido really to blame? Andy Lamey on sex, power, and #MeToo. Why can’t we hate men? You have done us wrong, #BecausePatriarchy — it is long past time to play hard for Team Feminism and win.


From Vox, Emily Stewart on the $120-billion reason we can’t expect Facebook to police itself. Facebook could disappear and the web wouldn’t change much: If we’re thinking about monopoly power, Google is an almost infinitely bigger deal than Facebook. A long-overdue blueprint for regulating Big Tech: Senator Mark Warner has 20 ideas for fixing the problems with Facebook and other Silicon Valley giants — will Congress listen? K. Sabeel Rahman on artificial sovereigns: A quasi-constitutional moment for tech? Mark Fenwick (Kyushu), Wulf A. Kaal (St. Thomas), and Erik P.M. Vermeulen (Tilburg): Regulation Tomorrow: What Happens When Technology is Faster Than the Law? The tech backlash we really need: Silicon Valley will only be strengthened by its present scandals unless we ask deeper questions.


Vanessa Saalfeld, Zeina Ramadan, Vaughan Bell, and Nichola J. Raihani (UCL): Experimentally Induced Social Threat Increases Paranoid Thinking. Have a cryptocurrency company? Bermuda, Malta or Gibraltar wants you. It isn’t every day that the U.S. Department of Justice acknowledges formally that the President of the United States lied in a speech to Congress. What would happen if the Earth turned into blueberries? Thanks to a new paper, now we know. Liberals, don’t lose faith in the First Amendment. Kirsten Gillibrand pays the price for speaking out against Al Franken. Kirsten Gillibrand helped end Al Franken’s career; that could end hers — or make her president. As Trump claims power to pick federal agency judges, skeptics fear court-packing. The sudden end of the Ethiopia-Eritrea war, explained.

Some Republicans find Russian help in midterms “appropriate”. Collusion is worse than a crime: To debate whether Trump acted criminally is to miss the greater point — he’s a national-security threat. Trump’s pardon power is almost useless.


Philip Cohen (Maryland): How Conservatism Makes Peace with Trump. The rise of the snowflake conservative: When did conservatives get so sensitive to criticism? Great White Hype: A rising pundit class makes Bannonism sound respectable. How the Republican Party became the party of racism. Why hopelessness is conservative: Those who defend the established order want you to believe that you’re stupid and can’t change anything. Can the Republican Party survive Trump? Four Never-Trump conservatives discuss. Adam Liptak on how conservatives weaponized the First Amendment. Donald Trump is embracing a traditional strain of conservatism — just not the one you think.

The destruction of the Republican Party: The Republicans may be sealing their party’s fate as the manifestation of Trumpism, rather than traditional conservatism. Two ways of responding to conservatives: Instead of criticizing them for poor character, we should show why their “ideas” are shallow, incoherent, and will make people miserable. The new Know-Nothings: Trump’s G.O.P. is not the party of Reagan and Bush, but of a much older, darker American political tradition. Conservatism on paper: Right-wing banalities about tradition and culture sound pleasant until we discuss what they actually imply. Is Anglo-American conservatism enough? Republicans are now conceding their core values.

How social science might be misunderstanding conservatives. “Constitutional conservatives” lose interest in holding Trump accountable: As on war and spending, the constitutional conservative approach to oversight is best demonstrated when the president is a Democrat. Roger Scruton on what Trump doesn’t get about conservatism. Conservatives are scared, even under Trump: Liberals decry the forward march of a right-wing agenda — but people on the right believe they’re on the defensive.

Thread: “But it's not only the elected officials who, by surrendering to Trump out of expedience, have now tied themselves to his catastrophe. Trump voters are also trapped by the enormity of his awfulness”. Jacob Hamburger reviews Conservatives Against Capitalism: From the Industrial Revolution to Globalization by Peter Kolozi. You can download A Companion to Michael Oakeshott, ed. Leslie Marsh and Paul Franco (2012).


David Hess (Michigan): Corruption and the Multinational Corporation. Emanuela Ceva (Pavia) and Maria Paola Ferretti (Frankfurt): The Ethics of Anti-Corruption Policies. The yearly Corruption Perceptions Index came out — who got the gold medal? This is what helps stop big corporations from bribing politicians. Michael D. Gilbert (Virginia): Transparency and Corruption: A General Analysis. David Y Kwok (Houston): The Private Partners in Public Corruption. Eugene Temchenko (Cornell): A First Amendment Right to Corrupt Your Politician. David Jancsics (SDSU): Shell Companies and Government Corruption. Trump cannot keep his corruption hidden forever — here’s what’s coming. This is so much bigger than Paul Manafort: With Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman on trial, America is reckoning with its very serious kleptocracy problem.


From TPM, Josh Marshall on the curiously weak right to vote and on how the battle for the right to vote has never been won; and Gregory Downs on how today’s voter suppression tactics have a 150 year history: Rebels in the post-Civil War South perfected the art of excluding voters, but it was yankees in the North who developed the script. Voter purges are on the rise in states with a history of racial discrimination: The increase coincides with a Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act (and more and more). If Kavanaugh is confirmed, you can kiss the right to vote goodbye.

What’s good for democracy is also good for Democrats: America is at its best when it turns the disenfranchised into the enfranchised. Voter registration won’t save the Democrats: Progressives need to target the large pool of citizens who are registered but don’t bother to vote. A group of “patriotic millionaires” thinks Democrats can run — and win — on taxes. Swing voters are extremely real: There aren’t that many of them, but they matter a lot. A changing U.S. electorate will sweep away Trumpism: Sam Fulwood interviews Bill Frey, author of Diversity Explosion: How New Racial Demographics are Remaking America.

The messy reality of Donald Trump’s poll numbers: He’s playing a strong hand, poorly. Trump’s reelection slogan, “Keep America Great”, belies how much trouble he’s in. All that’s left is the vote: The midterm elections are the last obstacle to Trump’s consolidation of power — and the greatest obstacle to voting is the feeling that it doesn’t matter.

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