From The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin on campaign tips from the man who has done it all; and Hendrik Hertzberg writes in defense of Chris Matthews. William Saletan on the normalization of oral sex. From Rolling Stone, Democrats regained control of Congress by promising to stand up to Bush — so why does the Senate leadership keep rolling over without a fight? Paul Johnson on how the importance of the hand is the real link between the workman, the artist and the intellectual. The smog of academic consensus: A "conservative studies" professor is exactly what calcified universities need. From Der Spiegel, a special report on why NATO troops can't deliver peace in Afghanistan. Hegel and the chicken suit: A Lacanian analysis of comedy that trips up on a few Real and Symbolic banana skins. Can Europe have world-class universities as well as social justice in education? Tracing humanity's path: Modeling study suggests modern humans peopled the world in nine phases. Business Week finds US schools are not that bad. Asserting his authenticity and his integrity as far as the right is concerned, Plinio Correa de Oliveira questions the authenticity and integrity of the little man and his like as far as the center is concerned. A review of On Empire: America, War, and Global Supremacy by Eric Hobsbawm. When it comes to foreign policy, John McCain is more of a neocon than President Bush. 

The introduction to When I'm Sixty-Four: The Plot Against Pensions and the Plan to Save Them by Teresa Ghilarducci. Once, "international" sounded saintly; now it means bureaucracy and waste. Might is always right: A review of A History of Political Trials from Charles I to Saddam Hussein by John Laughland. A review of The Brute Within: Appetitive Desire in Plato and Aristotle by Hendrik Lorenz. From The Spectator, a look at how De Gaulle understood that only nations are real. Highways, Hamlet, and Pancakes: An interview with Stephen Shore on A Road Trip Journal, a limited-edition facsimile of Shore’s documentation, photographic and otherwise. From TNR, Michelle Cottle on Nancy Pelosi, Badass. Does one of every four American teenagers really have a sexually transmitted disease? No, despite headlines given to a recent federal study. Maybe identity is the real problem: Quebec's Bouchard-Taylor commission said xenophobia is bad; anglophobia, not so much. A triumph of astroturf? How a consumer protection law may be defeated by a faux consumer watchdog campaign. The Autism Rights Movement: A new wave of activists wants to celebrate atypical brain function as a positive identity, not a disability — opponents call them dangerously deluded. A review of Alpha Dogs: The Americans Who Turned Political Spin into a Global Business by James Harding.

From Scientific American, an article on how to unleash your creativity: Experts discuss tips and tricks to let loose your inner ingenuity. Science is a language of hope and inspiration, providing discoveries that fire the imagination and instill a sense of connection to our lives and our world. From The Nation, Larry Lessig, the visionary professor who inspired the "free culture" movement, takes on money in politics. Imagining the east: Once dismissed as imperialist fantasies about the Muslim world, British orientalist paintings are once again becoming popular. More and more and more on Nixonland by Rick Perlstein (and an excerpt at Bookforum). Absolute Hot: Is there an opposite to absolute zero? From Prospect, liberalise or die: Labour is in deep trouble; to survive, it must turn its back on its centralising tradition and embrace liberalism; and the claim that there is no such thing as race is understandable but wrong: A review of Strange Fruit: Why Both Sides are Wrong in the Race Debate by Kenan Malik and Trust: Self-interest and the Common Good by Marek Kohn. More and more on Patrick Cockburn's Muqtada. Contrary to popular opinion, book blurbing is not simply an insider's game of back scratching and industry favor. Scott McClellan tells how he lost respect for one of the finest public servants he's ever known. A review of Nobility of Spirit: A Forgotten Ideal by Rob Riemen.