From LRB, what works doesn’t work: Ross McKibbin on politics without ideas. From LRC, Andrew Ng goes beyond entrenched divisions in the United States and Canada; progressivism’s end: In Obama, both Americans and Canadians can see the promise of something new; and more on American distractions. From FP, here's a list of Obama’s 10 worst ideas. From Monthly Review, Edward S. Herman and David Peterson on Jeremiah Wright in the Propaganda System. From ITT, Slavoj Zizek on the Audacity of Rhetoric. From n+1, Aziz Rana on Obama and the Closing of the American Dream. From The Root, an article on Obama and the Suicidal Left: Why the black intelligentsia needs to stop hating on the Democratic nominee; and from Clarence Thomas to Sarah Palin, nobody plays cynical identity politics like the GOP. From TAS, Morning in America: With one bold masterstroke, everything that was so wrong with American politics has been made right. Emily Bazelon and Dahlia Lithwick on the complicated business of judging Sarah Palin. The Second Vermont Republic is a network that aims to dissolve the United States and, in particular, return Vermont to an independent republic. From Radar, Lynn Harris charts the origins of cougar mania. From IL, Richard Dawkins on freedoms lost and gained. From Standpoint, Cynthia Ozick on writers, visible and invisible; and what do we mean by "art"?