From The New Yorker, does the wrangling of interest groups corrupt politics — or constitute it? Laws for Sale: Why politicians, and not the lobbyists who influence them, are the problem in Washington. Notes on a Scandal: Why pledges to "clean up Washington" never work. Michael Weiss on the five varieties of bad political thinking: Understanding what's wrong with politics today. The word "partisanship" is typically accompanied by the word "mindless" — that's not simply insulting to partisans; it's also untrue. The GOP's Dirty War: How Republicans have risen from the dead by distorting Obama's agenda and shutting down the government. Weapon in Unity: Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has found some success in his strategy to contain Democrats. Why Republicans want gridlock: Groups in decline, such as the white working class that controls the GOP, tend to focus on blocking change. Hail on the Chief: Crackpot! Socialist! Tyrant! Oh, how we Americans love to pillory our presidents. Research hints that the roots of political judgments may lie in fundamental personality types and in the hard-wiring of our brains. John Protevi explains his book Political Affect: Connecting the Social and the Somatic. What can policymakers learn from happiness research? Elizabeth Kolbert reviews The Politics of Happiness: What Government Can Learn from the New Research on Well-Being by Derek Bok (and more and more). From Boston Review, Eliot Spitzer on government’s proper role in the market (and responses). All power to the choice architects: Alan Wolfe offers up a liberal critique of libertarian paternalism (and a response by Mark Schmitt, and a reply by Wolfe). From TNR, it's you, not me: Liberals and libertarians finally break up (and a response).