Republican Party Declares Moral Bankruptcy | The New Yorker


Harland Dorrinson, a Washington attorney who specializes in moral bankruptcies, said that, by making its moral vacuum official, the G.O.P. could theoretically break itself up and sell off the parts, but, he warned, “There are no buyers.”

Source: Republican Party Declares Moral Bankruptcy | The New Yorker

World’s wealthiest eye more private equity after bumper 2017 | Reuters


Some 311 family offices – set up to manage the wealth of one or more rich families – took part in the survey, conducted by Swiss bank UBS, whose wealth management arm manages around $2.5 trillion in assets, and Campden Wealth.

The strong gains in 2017 followed an average return of 7 percent in 2016 and were driven by developed and developing market listed equities, which returned 23 percent and 38 percent, respectively, and private equity, which returned 18 percent, the survey showed.

Source: World’s wealthiest eye more private equity after bumper 2017 | Reuters

UK’s Labor set to vote against Brexit deal, open to second referendum | Reuters


With just over six months until Britain leaves the EU, May has yet to reach a deal on the terms of the divorce, and her plan for future trade ties has been rebuffed by both the EU and many lawmakers in her own Conservative Party.

Source: UK’s Labor set to vote against Brexit deal, open to second referendum | Reuters

Echoes of Anita Hill in Kavanaugh hearings | Reuters


Republicans were, however, far from the only bad actors during this fiasco.

The Democratic Party was, after all, the majority party in the Senate, and future vice president Joe Biden was in charge of the Judiciary Committee. He could have ensured that Hill’s charges received a full and fair investigation but did not.

Eleven Democrats ultimately voted for Thomas despite the lack of a full investigation into Hill’s charges, and despite the fact that the shift from Thurgood Marshall to Thomas would be one of the largest ideological swings in the history of the Court.

(Thomas was ultimately confirmed 52-48, the smallest margin ever for a successful nominee.)

Source: Commentary: Echoes of Anita Hill in Kavanaugh hearings | Reuters

Military worship hurts US democracy


The gap in civilian and military experiences in the United States over the 17 years since 9/11 has led to persuasive, persistent, and unrealistic myths that have eroded faith in civilian leadership of defense policy.

Among these myths are the superior virtue of military over other kinds of public service; that battlefield experience is the most authoritative source of military policy expertise; and that an exclusively civilian background is inadequate for strategic defense leadership.

In the United States, these myths are nurtured and perpetuated by both military and civilian communities and affect general public opinion as well as the attitudes of national security professionals.

These myths are also corrosive. Unless they are acknowledged, addressed, and challenged, future civilian leaders may struggle to control the use of force—a profound problem for a democratic system.

Downgrading civilian leadership will weaken U.S. national security and the military itself.

Source: Military worship hurts US democracy

What to expect from the 2018 midterm elections


For the most part, there are two historical truths about the midterm elections: they consistently have a lower voter turnout than the general election and the president’s party loses congressional seats (especially if the president is unpopular).

Source: What to expect from the 2018 midterm elections

Sovereignty: A False Friend In The Defence Of National Identity | Social Europe

In the international context, the word has been a focus of the formation of the modern international system of so-called ‘states’ existing in what the UN Charter calls ‘sovereign equality’, each seen as an island entire of itself (to echo John Donne for the first time, but not for the last).

The disentanglement of France and Britain in the later Middle Ages and the rescue of Europe from the disaster of the Thirty Years War in the 17th century were key moments in the eventual conceptualizing, in the 18th century, of the current international system, which was powerfully affirmed in the 20th century by the claims of colonies to become duly recognized states, full members of the international system – claims which US President Woodrow Wilson, in his Fourteen Points speech on Allied war aims and peace terms (1918), referred to as a question of ‘sovereignty’.

However, in both contexts, the word has been the focus of disabling paradoxes.

Source: Sovereignty: A False Friend In The Defence Of National Identity • Social Europe

The Rise, Fall And Future Of Socialism (1) | Social Europe

Capitalism, as it is acknowledged unreservedly in the Communist Manifesto, brought about economic growth, technical progress and unprecedented prosperity to the world. However, it also generated unemployment, fluctuations and crises, frequently and on an increasingly large scale, thus creating over time an ever-increasing inequality, especially in the last post-War period. The rise of socialism is rooted in these drawbacks of capitalism.

Meanwhile, the Soviet system was incapable of adapting to the challenges raised by its own successes, reform attempts failed, and eventually it was brought down by its inefficiency, instability, internal and external imbalances, shortages and a crushing debt, and by loss of popular support.

Source: The Rise, Fall And Future Of Socialism (1) • Social Europe

When it comes to burnout, YouTube is failing its creators | The Verge


In short, the platform’s lifeblood is suffering, and YouTube’s response to the crisis has been terrible.

Making a living as a YouTuber isn’t easy: videos are a time-consuming endeavor, and many creators like to handle every aspect of production by themselves. And because the product isn’t simply footage, but a personality, as well, it is not enough to simply create a compelling video.

YouTubers have to create a sense of upbeat intimacy that makes viewers feel like their friends, and the emotional labor of always having to be “on” makes creators feel like they have to flatten their humanity to make it on the platform.

Source: When it comes to burnout, YouTube is failing its creators – The Verge

Time for Brett Kavanaugh to withdraw | Chicago Tribune


All these make it hard for his supporters to insist on moving quickly to put him on the court. Truthful or not, the new allegations have to be investigated, a process that will take time. The additional delay may encourage other women to step up with information that could be damaging. There is no guarantee Kavanaugh will get a vote on his nomination before the November elections – or that, whenever it happens, he will be approved.

It’s more likely at this point that he or the president will decide the cost of this fight is too high. Republican Senate candidates don’t want to spend the next six weeks defending a nominee accused of criminal sexual behavior, an exercise that could place GOP control of the chamber in jeopardy.

Source: Time for Brett Kavanaugh to withdraw – Chicago Tribune