From Imprimis, Sarah Palin on Alaska’s promise for the nation. The Sarah Palin pity party: Everyone seems to be oozing sympathy for the fumbling vice-presidential nominee — please, cry me a freaking river. Paul Waldman on the coming conservative crack-up. An interview with Steven G. Calabresi, author of The Unitary Executive Presidential Power from Washington to Bush. By one reckoning, what politicians say in a debate accounts for only 10 per cent of their impact; it's the other 90 per cent that can secure or lose our vote. When all truth is relative: Conservatives play a dangerous game in attacking the media for bias. My Team vs. Your Team: The political arena lives up to its name. A new web site promises to answer "the only question that matters": Who's sexier — Democrats or Republicans? A look at three great social contractarians: Hobbes, Locke, and Blackbeard? Bailout marks Karl Marx's comeback: Marx’s Proposal Number Five seems to be the leading motivation for those backing the Wall Street bailout. From Dissent, who is really to blame for the financial troubles? Michael Walzer investigates; and whatever happened to the commonwealth? Robert Kuttner on Learning from 1929. Jose Stiglitz on a good day for democracy: Now Congress must draw up a proposal in which costs are borne by those who created the problem.

From Fortune, an article on the $55 trillion question: The financial crisis has put a spotlight on the obscure world of credit default swaps — which trade in a vast, unregulated market that most people haven't heard of and even fewer understand; will this be the next disaster? From Vanity Fair, who is Wall Street’s Queen B? Bankruptcies, fire sales, banks on the brink: These are dark days for Wall Street, but, for CNBC and Maria Bartiromo, things couldn’t be better. The economic meltdown: Should you be concerned? Find out with this handy chart. Paul Light on how to run a rescue: Success requires a smart, lean bureaucracy. How much will it cost and will it come soon enough? James K. Galbraith finds out. Bailing out banks seems unprecedented, but the government's form in subsidising big business is well established. Chalmers Johnson on how the American Empire's $650 billion bailout already passed Congress. The US has 761 military bases across the planet, and we simply never talk about it. There might be a financial crisis, but the world's arms dealers are doing just fine. From Der Spiegel, a special report on the end of arrogance: America loses its dominant economic role. From MR, an article on the United States and the world: Where are we headed? Far from Wall Street, Duncan Green from Oxfam looks at what the financial meltdown means for the poor countries during his visit to East Africa.