ATTACKS ON DEMOCRACY
While the likes of Joe Hockey and his mates at Sky News would prefer you to think voter fraud is a problem on the Democrat side of politics in the US, the Republicans are the most ferocious assailants of democracy in that polity. The fallout from the recent, successful effort by the Georgia legislature to suppress minority voting is continuing, with corporations under pressure to respond. Some revisionists have suggested the Georgia law isn’t that bad, but Zack Beauchamp at Vox isn’t having it. What has Trump done to the GOP’s capacity to raise money? He’s empowered extremists and conspiracy theorists and clobbered moderates or even traditional conservative Republicans. And nearly 20 years on in the War on Terror, where has it got us?
EUROPE AND ENVIRONS
Seeking to shake up the insular French bureaucracy, Emmanuel Macron has shuttered the École Nationale d’Administration, with a new placement system to end what he calls the “deep state” in French government. The European Union’s relations with the vile Erdogan regime in Turkey are at crisis point again but the autocrat has his pressure points, just as Europe does. As part of Mario Draghi’s return to neoliberalism in Italy, he has hired the appalling McKinsey to advise his government. Yanis Varoufakis correctly compares them to the mafia.
STRUCTURES OF THOUGHT
“The spirit of exploitation in brewed form”: The rich, full-flavoured history of abuse and destruction that is coffee. The myths and absurdities of meritocracy, and why the Left struggles with the idea of talent. Dolphins, aliens and the fears of a technological future — how we projected our neuroses onto cetaceans. Why reducing food waste and stopping eating meat are the biggest contributions you can make to emissions abatement. And today’s Democrats are the successors of yesteryear’s Republicans: a fascinating exploration of why FDR and LBJ were agents of Jacksonian populism.