A profile of Jim DeMint, the loneliest wingnut in Washington. Filibuster 2.0: A look at how 41 senators control the country without actually filibustering. While pushing the president’s agenda through a nearly dysfunctional Senate, Harry Reid is trying to keep his job. The Great Unalignment: How long can a Democratic majority last in our fast-paced, high-tech political culture? Surveying the wreckage of “Yes, We Can” promise, Todd Purdum argues that it’s still far too early to count Obama out. The failing messenger: John Lloyd on the media's role in Obama's (un)popularity. Blame cable TV: Michael Lind on how hack party consultants came to replace real liberals and conservatives in the 24/7 media universe. An interview with Thomas Frank on how conservatives can get away with blaming Obama for the past decade of conservative failures. Theda Skocpol on how the original New Deal did not happen in the first year, but a prolonged set of struggles — so the Dems must step up to majority governance after the Massachusetts Mess (and more by Todd Gitlin). From Dissent, Eric Rauchway on New Deal denialism. Kevin Mattson reviews From the New Deal to the New Right: Race and the Southern Origins of Modern Conservatism by Joseph Lowndes. A review of The Silent Majority: Suburban Politics in the Sunbelt South by Matthew Lassiter. From New Geography, Joel Kotkin on the War Against Suburbia: Political movements ignore suburbanites at their peril. Independents are not a "vast middle ground": How many damn times must this be said before this most basic of findings — first explicated at length almost 20 years ago — sinks into the heads of pundits? (and more)

Terry Flew (QUT): The Cultural Economy Moment? From The Awl, Katie Baker on why it's okay to feel "preemptively irritated". From New Scientist, an article on five emotions you never knew you had. David O’Neill on how Emily Dickinson’s legendary silence has produced a discordant chorus of speculation and mythmaking. Iran singled out Harvard professor Gene Sharp as a key inspiration for protesters' "velvet coup"; Sharp's manual on nonviolent protest shaped opposition movements in Czechoslovakia and inspired activists in Burma. A Teachable Turnpike Moment: Why it's a good thing the idiots on Jersey Shore are complete and utter idiots. How can MTV follow up Jersey Shore? Massholes. The effects of cattle production: A review of Revolution on the Range: The Rise of a New Ranch in the American West by Courtney White and Beef: The Untold Story of How Milk, Meat, and Muscle Shaped the World by Andrew Rimas and Evan D.G. Fraser. The madness of crowds: Mass delusions and hysterical outbreaks have repeatedly occurred in history, and there's no reason to believe they won't again. A review of The Physiology of Truth: Neuroscience and Human Knowledge by Jean-Pierre Changeux. For the Society for Creative Anachronism, playing with swords is part of a lesson. Disputing taste: Carolyn Korsmeyer implores us to try a different flavour of thinking. From Page to Stage: Mark Chou on what emerges "in between" politics and art in George Packer’s Betrayed. A review of Up and Down Stairs: The History of the Country House Servant by Jeremy Musson.

From The New Yorker, what does the popularity of memoirs tell us about ourselves? A review of Ben Yagoda’s Memoir: A History (and more at Bookforum). It’s probably the case that there is an unconscious sexism afoot in our literary culture, which props up the work of men at the expense of equally worthy books by their female counterparts. The man who rediscovered Africa: How Chinua Achebe's novels captured the soul of a continent. Read 'em and weep: An article on the literary masters of misery who delight in desolation. The first woman to hold the Oxford chair in Poetry and the great-great-great-grand daughter of Charles Darwin, Ruth Padel knows a thing or two about survival. Austrian economics and literary criticism: The preface and first chapter from Literature and the Economics of Liberty: Spontaneous Order in Culture by Paul Cantor. From The Millions, Garth Risk Hallberg on the problem with prizes (or, who cares about the International Booker?). The Unstoppable Cult of Jane Eyre: Readers can't seem to get enough of their favorite Victorian heroine (and more). The first chapter from Jane Austen For Dummies by Joan Elizabeth Klingel Ray. For the first time, The Golden Calf by Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov, the saga of the irrepressible Ostap Bender, a trickster and individualist at odds with the stultifying collective atmosphere, is available in English. Edgar Allan Poe is 200: All you need to know about the macabre master, from The Baltimore Sun (and more). As Martin Amis and Ian McEwan bring out new books, Alex Clark asks: have the headline-grabbing novelists lived up to their early promise? (and more)

Seamus P. MacSuibhne (UC): What makes “a new mental illness”?: The cases of solastalgia and hubris syndrome. An article on how translators struggle to prove their academic bona fides. Eric Banks reviews Kermode's Concerning E.M. Forster (and more and more). What, if anything, do the philosophical and political uses of the term "pragmatism" have to do with one another? What makes a man take credit for a crime he didn’t commit? Peter Savodnik on the curious case of an American soldier who sent himself to a Russian prison. The stuff of nightmares: Sleep paralysis creates a very real waking nightmare — conjuring up images of aliens and evil entities — but it's all a trick of the mind. A review of The Sixties by Jenny Diski. From Cato Unbound, Timothy Sandefur on four problems with spontaneous order. Why we do the things we do: George Scialabba reviews The Predictioneer's Game: Using the Logic of Brazen Self-Interest to See and Shape the Future by Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Bozo Sapiens: Why to Err Is Human by Michael Kaplan and Ellen Kaplan, and The Perfect Swarm: The Science of Complexity in Everyday Life by Len Fisher. Could a remote African people have gained esoteric knowledge about the sky without having telescopes? PINK: A shockingly butch cultural history of the world's prissiest colour. Devin McKinney on Supernatural Nonfiction: A list of exemplary books that treat the otherworldly — ghosts, monsters, other fantastic phenomena — as truth. Crunch Time: Alexandra Penney and others sell downturn tales. Movie Misquotations: Famous cinematic lines that weren’t actually spoken.

The latest issue of World Policy Journal is free, including a special section on water wars. A review of Water by Steven Solomon (and more). From the Brown Journal of World Affairs, a special section on innovations in global health (reg. req.). A review of Bioterror in the 21st Century: Emerging Threats in a New Global Environment by Daniel Gerstein. A Lloyd's of Haradheere: Or, how Somali pirates are imitating the West through adventure capitalism. The return to the Other: A review essay in search of new ontologies of international relations. Jack Goldstone (George Mason): The New Population Bomb: The Four Mega Trends That Will Change the World. Can we talk about overpopulation? As numbers soar, scholars revisit a thorny debate. It might be better for the environment to divvy up territories in Antarctica rather than abide by the toothless Antarctic Treaty. Is the Arctic the next "hot spot" of international relations or a region of cooperation? (and more) Laugh if you want world peace: Framing international conflicts as comedies could help to resolve them. From MSF, a look at the top ten humanitarian crises of 2009. From Conflict & Communication, Xiufang Li and Naren Chitty (Macquarie): Reframing National Image. From Public Diplomacy, an article on nation "branding": Propaganda or statecraft? From Good, here are five lesser-known countries that changed the world in 2009. What is it like living on the tiny south Atlantic island of St Helena, one of the most isolated settlements on the planet? Limbo World: They start by acting like real countries, then hope to become them. A menagerie of monikers: Most labels are misleading, sometimes grossly so.