Amazon also keeps a running list of the most highlighted Kindle passages of all time. Instead of a cozy tete-a-tete with the idiosyncratic mind of a stranger, you get the reading equivalent of a giant rave, a warehouse pulsing with usually private emotions turned into shared public expressions. It’s a glimpse into our collective, most interior, and most embarrassing preoccupations. — Truths Universally Acknowledged by Noreen Malone
Line Sublime: The Artist Who Raised Printmaking to Its Heights by Jed Perl
Jacques Callot, The Fan, 1620
The White House didn’t address the IRS audit until now because no one forced them to. And therein lies the real scandal. It’s not that the IRS’s Cincinnati office took an ill-advised shortcut to catch organizations abusing 501(c)(4) tax status, or that certain White House officials knew about the audit and didn’t volunteer that information to the press. It’s that Republicans took so long to politicize it! Here was the government agency tasked with collecting America’s hard-earned money—money that, surely, would be frittered away by a profligate liberal administration—being accused of targeting conservative groups, and all Republicans could manage was a lousy subcommittee hearing? — What Did Republicans Know, and When Did They Know It? by Marc Tracy
When you take a step back from the IRS scandal, there does appear to be something slightly sinister going on. Except that the scheming is on the right and not the left. Since the Republican House takeover in 2010, conservatives have laid the groundwork for a cynical two-step: First, squeeze funding for government programs, making it harder for civil servants to do their jobs. Then, when the inevitable screw-up comes, use it as further justification for cuts. Against this backdrop, the IRS scandal looks like only the latest step in the conservative long-game. — Hunger Games by Noam Scheiber
The means by which JPMorgan shareholders kept Jamie Dimon in charge reveal real weaknesses at the bank, with no fallback plan should Dimon ever leave. That doesn’t represent the stability of its corporate governance; it represents a crisis. — Jamie Dimon Blackmailed His Own Bank—And Won by David Dayen
The ampersand from our current issue.
By Visakh Menon
If Krugman means by “lack of compassion” that I don’t devote nearly as much of myself as I should to helping others directly, he’s absolutely right. I assume from the way he writes that he is out there most Sunday mornings painting poor people’s houses, serving up soup and making sandwiches. And I congratulate him for it. — I’m Not a Sadist, You Sadists! by Michael Kinsley
By the time Hurricane Sandy hit, in late 2012, earlier disasters had depleted the disaster contingency fund. Getting relief to the stricken Northeast meant appropriating new money, and that sparked the memorable debate over whether Congress needed to find offsetting cuts to pay for relief funds in the Northeast. Among those conservatives making the case for offsets were Oklahoma senators Tom Coburn and James Inhofe. — Building a Better Disaster-Funding System by Jonathan Cohn
The cover of our current issue.