The prospect of democratic collapse is not remote

Barton Gellman writes: Technically, the next attempt to overthrow a national election may not qualify as a coup. It will rely on subversion more than violence, although each will have its place. If the plot succeeds, the ballots cast by American voters will not decide the presidency in 2024. Thousands of votes will be thrown… Read More »

Trump social-media SPAC deal being investigated by SEC

The Wall Street Journal reports: Regulators are investigating a deal between Donald Trump’s new social-media venture and a special-purpose acquisition company that would take the former president’s company public, according to a Monday securities filing. The Securities and Exchange Commission is probing a potential merger between Trump Media & Technology Group and the SPAC Digital… Read More »

Omicron is fast moving, but perhaps less severe, early reports suggest

The New York Times reports: The Covid-19 virus is spreading faster than ever in South Africa, the country’s president said Monday, an indication of how the new Omicron variant is driving the pandemic, but there are early indications that Omicron may cause less serious illness than other forms of the virus. Researchers at a major… Read More »

What helped Biden get elected is now harming his ability to be heard

Lili Loofbourow writes: How many speeches would you guess that President Joe Biden has made—since Nov. 1, say—on the landmark infrastructure bill that just got passed in Congress? How many have you heard or caught snippets of or had someone mention to you? If your answer to the former is nowhere near the correct number… Read More »

Justice Department sues Texas over Republican-approved redistricting maps

CNN reports: The Justice Department filed a lawsuit Monday challenging legislative maps adopted by Texas Republicans in recent weeks that it says fail to recognize growth in the Latino population. The lawsuit alleges that the redistricting plan drawn by Texas lawmakers violates the Voting Rights Act. “The Legislature refused to recognize the State’s growing minority… Read More »

New brain maps can predict behaviors

Monique Brouillette writes: Last summer a group of Harvard University neuroscientists and Google engineers released the first wiring diagram of a piece of the human brain. The tissue, about the size of a pinhead, had been preserved, stained with heavy metals, cut into 5,000 slices and imaged under an electron microscope. This cubic millimeter of… Read More »

Facing economic collapse, Afghanistan is gripped by starvation

The New York Times reports: One by one, women poured into the mud brick clinic, the frames of famished children peeking out beneath the folds of their pale gray, blue and pink burqas. Many had walked for more than an hour across this drab stretch of southern Afghanistan, where parched earth meets a washed-out sky,… Read More »

Carbon inheritance

James Balog writes: Do any of us really have a right to be angry or frustrated about the climate- and-energy crisis without considering how we ourselves have contributed to it? Honestly? Truly? With eyes wide open? I don’t think so. We all play a role in producing the problem. No one inhabits a righteous, pure-and-holy… Read More »

Why I stopped writing about Syria

Asser Khattab writes: When the war broke out in 2011 and many of us quickly grew accustomed to its horrors, programming my days around the possibility of rockets or mortar shells falling around me became increasingly ordinary, like picking clothes appropriate for the weather. And when I had to escape, it was just another thing… Read More »

What happened to the ideal of multi-religious Arab modernity?

Ussama Makdisi writes: By the time I was born in 1968, my grandfather was an emeritus professor and a pillar of Ras Beirut’s small and highly educated Protestant community. But by then, as well, the optimism of the first half of the 20th century had receded dramatically. European empires had long since cynically partitioned the… Read More »