From Neiman Reports, a special issue on 21st Century Muckrakers: Who are they? How do they do their work? Open tab: Gabriel Sherman on the dark art of the National Enquirer. The Hot New Celeb? Sarah!: The tabloids have discovered the appeal of politics. Why be partisan if it's all just strategy? Cynical reporting could be a tonic for red-blue disease. Illness has forced Robert Novak’s official resignation, but don’t believe it: He won’t stop writing until he dies. From Survey Practice, an article on understanding the meaning of the “mood of the country”. From Monitor on Psychology, a special section on why we vote. From PUP, the introduction to Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State: Why Americans Vote the Way They Do by Andrew Gelman. From The Economic Times, an article on Britain as a benevolent totalitarian state. From Adbusters, a designer moment: Why commercials can’t spark change. From Multinational Monitor, no escape: An article on marketing to kids in the digital age; an interview with Susan Linn, author of The Case for Make Believe: Saving Play in a Commercialized World; and an interview with Reverend Billy of the Church of Stop Shopping. A review of Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are by Rob Walker and Does Ethics Have a Chance in a World of Consumers? by Zygmunt Bauman.

From The National Interest, Joshua Muravchik and Stephen Walt debate the Neocons vs. the Realists. From FP, an interview with Thomas Friedman on his plan for a hot, flat, and crowded world (and a review). From Mute, the computer inspired a wave of post-war "imaginary futures", from ecstatic fantasies of time and space travel to fears of mankind's extinction — Iain Boal brings three critical histories of modernity's futuramas back down to earth; declaring the economic off-limits to politics, the art world’s favourite philosopher, Jacques Ranciere, does have something to hide; and is a rabble run media becoming a possibility, and are artists in the vanguard or blocking the way? From Maisonneuve, an article on Obama’s Ludacris problem: Guess what song you won't find on Obama's iPod? Meet Jane Doe: By selecting Sarah Palin as his running mate, John McCain plunged his campaign deep into Capra country. Seeking offence, as Christians have done in the case of Terence Koh’s Jesus statue, is the tactic of the vindictive and the bullying (and more). From Boston Review, poets and the people: Robert von Hallberg on reflections on solidarity during wartime. New literary art form discovered! In praise of the praise of poetry. The introduction to The Patron's Payoff: Conspicuous Commissions in Italian Renaissance Art by Jonathan K. Nelson and Richard J. Zeckhauser.

A new issue of The New Leader is out. From Mother Jones, exit strategy: A series of articles on how to fix a post-Bush nation. If an outsider's persona is good for getting elected, sometimes an insider's knowledge is necessary for succeeding once in office. Rick Shenkman on 5 myths about those civic-minded, deeply informed voters. John Judis on what Barack Obama won't tell you about his community organizing past. From The Neo-Independent, is this the rainbow we’ve been waiting for? Jacqueline Salit wants to know.  From The New York Observer, Righties scoff at Gustav, plan big Caribbean cruise, euphoric Hawaiian hobbles in: National Review essentials party like it was 2008; and hurts so Good: The unlikely magazine for "earnest young things" is a success; now, expansion and a new CEO threaten to make it (gulp!) a business. From New Politics, a special section on the Gay Movement and the Left; and an article on neoliberalism, teachers, and teaching: Understanding the assault (and more on stealing our schools). From Technology Review, "I just called to say I love you": Jonathan Franzen on cell phones, sentimentality, and the decline of public space. From NYRB, a review of The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century by Alex Ross; and an exchange on the question of global warming. From Cracked, a look at the 8 most obnoxious Internet commenters.