Sen. Tom Udall will call on the Senate to exercise its constitutional right to adopt its rules of procedure by a simple majority vote. Let the Majority Rule: Why the filibuster is OK for Democrats but not for Republicans. Thomas Geoghegan on the case for busting the filibuster. The belief that the filibuster is okay, but minority parties should just use it less often and start acting nicer is the equivalent of the belief that the financial system was totally fine, there just needs to be less greed and more caution. Daniel Franklin on getting rid of the U.S. Senate, a dangerous (and undemocratic) institution (and more). From The Nation, Lawrence Lessig on how to get our democracy back: There will be no change until we change Congress. A study in paralysis: The fate of health-care reform is a test-case in how initiatives fail — is it also a sign of much deeper trouble in America’s political system? (and more) The curse of one-party government: Neither party, even if it holds a congressional majority, can by itself command a governing majority. Cenk Uygur on how bipartisanship hurts the country. Nice guys finish last: What Obama could learn from Bush about bipartisanship. Why Democrats and Republicans can't agree on what bipartisanship means. Steven Pearlstein on the myth of Washington bipartisanship and the art of true compromise. A review of No Middle Ground: How Informal Party Organizations Control Nominations and Polarize Legislatures by Seth E. Masket. A review of "Partisanship, Political Control, and Economic Assessments" by Alan Gerber and Gregory Huber. Why politics is stuck in the middle: Economists view politics through the ”median voter theorem”, which holds that candidates can’t stray far from the center if they want to be elected. America says it wants a third party — why not the Modern Whigs?

From Publishers Weekly, where have all the flowers gone? Gardeners aren't only eating their veggies, they're planting them, too. The real secret of the intelligence community is that these people aren’t Machiavellian geniuses; they’re bumbling shitheads, just like most government functionaries — or, for that matter, most people. From IEET, an article on Stefano Vaj and the complicated politics of Italian transhumanism (and a response). An interview with Peter Thiel: Utopian pessimist calls on radical tech to save economy. Management Secrets of the Grateful Dead: Why business professors, ethnomusicologists, sociologists, and (of all things) management theorists are suddenly taking the Grateful Dead very seriously. Tom Engelhardt on Fear Inc.: Hold onto your underwear — this is not a national emergency. From Vanity Fair, the most audacious burglary gang in recent Hollywood history — accused of stealing more than $3 million in clothing and jewelry from Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and other stars — appears to be a bunch of club-hopping Valley kids, motivated by vanity and celebrity-worship; and long wary of the very idea of audiobooks, Christopher Hitchens has been seduced by the artistry of Martin Jarvis, who reads a canon that includes The Wind in the Willows, A Tale of Two Cities, and (acid test here) the novels of P. G. Wodehouse. From TNR, a review of Is Diss A System?: The Milt Gross Comic Reader (and from Bookforum, Karin L. Kross reviews Douglas Wolk’s Reading Comics: How Graphic Novels Work and What They Mean). From TNR, Abbas Milani on how Iran found its Nelson Mandela in Mir Hossein Mousavi. A look at how a $100 DIY shelter could help homeless Haitians.

Patriarchy and historical materialism: Why does the world have the pattern of patriarchy it currently possesses? Here's an interesting trend in South America: Increased female participation in the halls of power. A review of On Civic Friendship: Including Women in the State by Sibyl A. Schwarzenbach. A review of Notes from the Cracked Ceiling: Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, and What It Will Take for a Woman to Win by Anne E. Kornblut (and more and more). The Hillary Effect: Women secretaries of state are changing the gender makeup of the world's ambassadors — so why are we talking about it in the Style section? An excerpt from The Woman in the Zoot Suit:  Gender, Nationalism, and the Cultural Politics of Memory by Catherine S. Ramirez. A review of The Aftermath of Feminism: Gender, Culture and Social Change by Angela McRobbie. From Bitch, veiled threat: An article on the guerrilla graffiti of Princess Hijab. Exile from Grrrlville: What happened to all the angry, powerful women in '90s rock? (and an interview with Kathleen Hanna, three-dimensional role model) From grrrls to womyn: A review of Girl Power: The Nineties Revolution in Music by Marisa Meltzer. A review of Girl Zines: Making Media, Doing Feminism by Alison Piepmeier. An interview with Jennifer Stuller, author of Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology. Female celebrities inevitably turn into role models for young women — what needs to change is our expectation that they be perfect. A review of Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism by Natasha Walter. Free markets, freed bodies: The fashion industry's beauty standards are horrifying; it's time to stop buying in — literally — to that culture. The shrinking woman: Mona Awad on how fad diets conquer our dignity, not our fat. A review of Cosmetic Surgery: A Feminist Primer. Who knew? Facial hair is, apparently, a feminist issue. Can dating books be feminist?

From Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi on Wall Street's Bailout Hustle: Goldman Sachs and other big banks aren't just pocketing the trillions we gave them to rescue the economy — they're re-creating the conditions for another crash. How the Frisbee took flight: It began with two sweethearts tossing a tin lid in 1937 and ended up a testament to the American Dream. Don't touch that dial: Vaughan Bell on a history of media technology scares, from the printing press to Facebook. A review of The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr by Ken Gormley (and more and more and more). Ken Starr, ivory tower elitist: Bill Clinton's tormentor is only the latest right-wing icon to find a home in academia. From Forbes, a special report on the Web Celeb 25. Celebrating Candomble in Bahia: Henry Louis Gates Jr. investigates the African roots of Brazil’s Carnival. The Holy See’s official newspaper, L’ Osservatore Romano, publishes what it called “a semiserious guide” to the top ten rock and pop albums of all time. From TNR, a review of Voting Rights — And Wrongs: The Elusive Quest for Racially Fair Elections by Abigail Thernstrom; and Rochelle Gurstein on a rational plan for redistributing babies. From Le Monde, Alain Badiou on the courage of the present. A look at what Sen. Evan Bayh and Joe the Plumber have in common. Get politically engaged, get happy?: Political activists — even the angry ones, but not the daring ones — are happier than the average person. Slate introduces The Hive, seeking your best new ideas to solve the world's trickiest problems. The Boys from Brazil: Why American rodeos are taking on a Latin flair.

A review of How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It by James Wesley Rawles. From ACME, James Lewis (Datum) and Ilan Kelman (CICER): Places, People and Perpetuity: Community Capacities in Ecologies of Catastrophe. A review of The End is Nigh: A History of Natural Disasters by Henrik Svensen. An interview with Susan Hough, author of Predicting the Unpredictable: The Tumultuous Science of Earthquake Prediction (and more and more). From the San Andreas fault to southern Ontario, signs of earthquakes — past and future — are everywhere. David Sirota on our addiction to disaster porn. What happens when disaster goes viral? A look at how disasters are not rare, so prepare. From Popular Mechanics, self reliance can get you through any disaster: Our complex world is more disaster-prone than ever — but there’s plenty we can do about it; an article on The New Homesteaders: Off-the-grid and self-reliant; a history of self-reliance timeline; an article on 4 people who faced disaster, and how they made it out alive; and here are 5 unexpected survival kit essentials. A look at 7 common survival tactics (that will get you killed). Read this in case of emergency: Can a book teach you how to survive? Legacy of the Stone-Age Mind: Research suggests we remember better when we’re in survival mode. Lisa Darms on how stories of survival and cruelty are often set on an island; the following books take the island as a narrative constraint, a limited setting that unleashes the authors' and characters' imaginations. Could you survive without money?: In Utah, a modern-day caveman has lived for the better part of a decade on zero dollars a day (and more). The New Do-It-Yourselfers: Today’s economy is forcing just about everyone to pinch pennies in increasingly creative ways. Rick Newman on 21 things we're learning to live without.

From ARPA, a review of Australia: The State of Democracy by Marian Sawer, Norman Abjorensen, and Philip Larkin; a symposium on protecting human rights in Australia; a review of Losing My Religion: Unbelief in Australia by Tom Frame; and is Australia the new economic and social model for the world? Over the past few months, Australia has shown the world how not to manage asylum seekers. A review essay on cricket: Analogy for Australian values, or tool of hegemony? From AHR, a review of Russel Ward: Reflections on a Legend. A review of Forgetting Aborigines by Chris Healy (and more). A review of The Sins of the Nation and the Ritual of Apologies by Danielle Celermajer. From Arena, contracting out indigenous futures: Geoff Sharp on how Noel Pearson and Peter Sutton both take an assimilationist turn; Roland Boer traces the use of "pietism and sacrimentalism" in Peter Sutton’s writing on White Australia and Aboriginal reconciliation; and John Hinkson on the dangers of promoting neo-liberalism as the basis of Aboriginal culture. From FT, an article on Adelaide, Australia’s driest capital. From ABR, a review of books on climate quarrels. From Green Left Weekly, a review of There’s a Riot Going On: Revolutionaries, Rock Stars and the Rise and Fall of ‘60s Counter-Culture by Peter Doggett; and a review of How to Make Trouble and Influence People by Iain McIntyre. A review of The Men Who Killed Qantas: Greed, Lies and Crashes and How They Destroyed the Reputation of the World’s Safest Airline by Matthew Benns. From New Matilda, it's often claimed that most journalists are lefties at heart, but opinions from the far left are much less visible than those from the far right; and is 24-hour news good news?

Maria Malatesta (Bologna): The Legal Profession and Social Activism: The Italian "Long 1968". From ACME: An International E-Journal for Critical Geographies, a special issue on Friedrich Nietzsche and geography. Chet of Arabia: Kayt Sukel writes in defense of exotic travel with young children. A review of Mirrors to One Another: Emotion and Value in Jane Austen and David Hume by E. M. Dadlez. An interview with Daniel Rigney, author of The Matthew Effect: How Advantage Begets Further Advantage. The real cause of the recession? Not enough babies. Philly is now the place to stretch out with a laptop and soak up hours of cafe time — what happened to New York? French President Nicolas Sarkozy declares that capitalism can be made kinder and more humane — good luck with that! Research finds coverage of Islam-related issues on Al Jazeera English (the "Broadcaster of the Year") differs very little from that on other international news channels such as CNN or BBC (and more). An interview with Adam Foulds on books on the Mau Mau Uprising and the fading empire. Is the government in charge, or is it the shadow elite?: A review of Shadow Elite: How the World's New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government and the Free Market by Janine Wedel (and more and more and more and more). Upright Hubris: Ingrid Rowland on a short tale of skyscrapers. Dan Ariely on how bonuses boost activity, not quality. From Miller-McCune, why have women magicians vanished? A review of Disturbances of the Mind by Douwe Draaisma. An interview with Matt Labash, author of Fly Fishing with Darth Vader.

A review of Health, Luck, and Justice by Shlomi Segall. From Rationality, Markets, and Morals, Friedrich Breyer (Konstanz): Health Care Rationing and Distributive Justice; Gundolf Gubernatis (Wilhelmshaven): Rationing in Medicine: A Presupposition for Humanity and Justice; and Eduardo Rivera-Lopez (UTDT): Rationing Health Care and the Role of the Acute Principle. Jeremy D. Graham (UW): Medical Care Prices in the United States: Private Dominion and the Relative-Value Scale. David W. Brady and Daniel P. Kessler (Stanford): Who Supports Health Reform? From NYRB, is there life in health care reform? Christopher Beam on what game theory can teach us about the fate of health care reform. Health reform and moral hazard: Would health reform boost frivolous doctor visits? A look at how individualism shapes the US healthcare debate. Jonathan Chait on the Obama Method and the health care summit. Fairness Doctrine: Yes, let's talk about those Republican ideas for health care. Ezra Klein on the six Republican ideas already in the health-care reform bill. How insurers reject you: A look at BlueCross BlueShield of Texas' blueprint for denying health policies. The evidence that insurance and the access to care it facilitates improves health, particularly for vulnerable populations (due to age or chronic illness, or both) is as close to an incontrovertible truth as one can find in social science (and more and more and more). On health care, who knows "best"? Everyday Miracles: Can we live without the advances of modern medicine? A review of Cheating Death: The Doctors and Medical Miracles that Are Saving Lives Against All Odds by Sanjay Gupta. More and more on Atul Gawande's The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right.

From NYRB, a review essay on rape and American prisoners. Going back to the future with steampunk: Speculating on the possible futures of bygone ages is both easier than predicting what's coming tomorrow, and more fun. From Fortune, a special report on the top 100 employers to work for. Stanley Crouch on how the real power of looking back at Soul Train is seeing what black culture has lost. Top Down vs. Bottom Up: What do grassroots organizers actually do when they organize? From New Scientist, a look at how our world may be a giant hologram. Fool’s Gold: How the Olympics and other international competitions breed conflict and bring out the worst in human nature. Chris Clarke on how to write an incendiary blog post. Immanuel Wallerstein on chaos as an everyday thing. Here are ten things you need to know to live on the streets: Learn the best bathroom options and soup kitchen schedules, carry a blanket, squat and more. From WSJ, even in a recovery, some jobs won't return. Pac Rat: Clay Risen on the fight to preserve old video games from bit rot, obsolescence, and cultural oblivion. From New Left Project, Horatio Morpurgo on how not to do an MA on George Orwell. Tasmania’s clear skies are made for eavesdropping on the stars; Nicholas Shakespeare went to live there and found some interesting links to the rest of this planet too. In a contemporary political scene characterized by disruptive, shallow, and contempt-laden vitriol, Robert Goldwin’s approach to civilized discourse will be sorely missed.

From THES, a review of The Historical Novel by Jerome de Groot. The Renunciation Artist: William Deresiewicz on The Death of Ivan Ilyich and Other Stories by Leo Tolstoy. At the dawn of the 1960s, the modest tradition of novels depicting men and women active in Marxist movements morphed abruptly from a comparatively marginal to a mainstream phenomenon. Mark Piggott explores why state-of-the-nation novels are in vogue but rarely win the big prizes. From NYRB, Tim Parks on the dull new global novel. Emily Williams on the translation gap: Why more foreign writers aren’t published in America. A review of Gabriel Garcia Marquez: A Life by Gerald Martin. Daniel Balderston (Pittsburgh): Interpellation, Inversion, Identification: The Making of Sexual Diversity in Latin American Literature; and a review of Fictions of Totality: The Mexican Novel, 1968, and the National-Popular State by Ryan Long. From The Believer, a roundtable discussion with Daniel Alarcon, Eduardo Halfon, and Santiago Vaquera-Vasquez, prizewinning Latino novelists living in the US, on the implications of writing in Spanish, English, and elsewhere. A review of Manly Love: Romantic Friendship in American Fiction by Axel Nissen. Winter of his discontent: Before On the Road, Jack Kerouac drank, wrote, loved and lost in Detroit (and David L. Ulin on the fiftieth anniversary of On the Road). Is the Great American Novel destroying novelists? Masters of American literature: With the death of JD Salinger, a remarkable era in US literature came to its end. Does Salinger's Catcher in the Rye resonate with teenagers in the digital age? Coming of Age: An interview with Meg Rosoff on novels for young adults. From's "Omnivoracious", Heidi Broadhead on the YA Decade: No other genre (except maybe graphic novels) has grown and changed as much during the last decade as young adult fiction.