Johann Hari on how the corruption in Washington is smothering America's future. An aggregation of nincompoops: Viewed from across the pond, the U.S. government seems at best incompetent and at worst a joke. Why is the United States resembling more and more Italy, the fiscal basketcase of Europe? America the Ungovernable: Three forces have conspired to prevent President Obama from running the country effectively: congressional Republicans, congressional Democrats, and the American people. Jeffery Sachs on fixing the broken government policy process. How to stop complaining and start improving government: The new Technology for Transparency Network is trying to bridge the gap between bloggers and civil society and fostering collaboration among disparate civic-engagement and good-governance projects. A review of If We Can Put a Man on the Moon: Getting Big Things Done in Government by William Eggers and John O'Leary. The Quiet Revolution: John Judis on how Obama has reinvented the state in more ways than you can imagine. The return of childish things: The smallness of Washington and the natural nervousness of the electorate proved too much for Obama's original vision — but there's still hope. Tyranny of the Majorities: Why losing a few Democrats in Congress could be good news for the president. Jonathan Cohn on the bipartisan trap and how Democrats fell into it. James Fallows on why bipartisanship can't work: the expert view (and part 2). Norman Ornstein on how this has been a very productive Congress, despite what the approval ratings say.

From Things, it says a lot for our disconnection with the world around us that walking can be considered a creative, even subversive act. Can Auschwitz be saved? Liberated 65 years ago, the Nazi concentration camp is one of Eastern Europe's most visited sites — and most fragile. Is a happy anthropologist a good anthropologist? Katherine L. Smith investigates. A review of The Tyranny of Guilt: An Essay on Western Masochism by Pascal Bruckner. A review of Performing Dark Arts: A Cultural History of Conjuring by Michael Mangan. Our daughters should not be cut: Female genital mutilation isn't just a problem in other countries — it's happening here, and we need to face it. A review of Cranioklepty: Grave Robbing and the Search for Genius by Colin Dickey. From Arts and Opinion, Robert J. Lewis on the evolutionary significance of the imagination and on the origins of love and hate; do we need a law that tells us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us? The Law of Life says otherwise; and Geoff Olson on the seven deadly spins: No one ever choked to death swallowing his pride. Ed Park on Comic Novels: "Nabokov urged us to read with our spines, to savor the tingle that the best writing brings. I tell the students in my comic-novel seminar to read with their funny bones". From Telos, Maurizio Meloni on biopolitics in a neurobiological era. From Details, here's the amazing tale of the high school quarterback turned lesbian filmmaker. Speech Therapy: Is TV like Jersey Shore helping to preserve regional accents? Obama’s Bank Job: The Volcker rules are a great political idea — even though the real problems may lie elsewhere.

Chris Fleming (UWS) and John O'Carroll (Charles Sturt): Originary Economics and the Genesis of Advertising. From the latest issue of Business and Economic History On-Line, Stefan Schwarzkopf (QMUL): What Was Advertising? The Invention, Rise, Demise, and Disappearance of Advertising Concepts in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-century Europe and America; Eldon Bernstein (Lynn) and Fred Carstensen (UConn): An American Success Story — Keep it Simple: The Wiffle Ball, Inc.; Bryant Simon (Temple): Up-Close in the Flat World: Learning about the Global at a Local Starbucks in Singapore; and Corine Maitte (Paris): Labels, Brands, and Market Integration in the Modern Era. A review of The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture by Terry O’Reilly and Mike Tennant. Trying to ward off regulators, the ad industry has agreed on a standard icon to tell consumers what is happening. Like Kremlin censors, Starbucks regulates choice — and the distinction between the role of government and brands gets fuzzier all the time. Post-Advertising Advertising: The sacred membrane separating advertising and content has been torn apart. Is shopping all bad?: A review of Neal Lawson's All Consuming. In its practical effects, consumerism is a totalitarian system: it permeates every aspect of our lives. Have consumerism, suburbanization and a malevolent corporate-government partnership so beaten us down that we no longer have the will to save ourselves? Switching away from a capitalist ethic of consumerism continues to be easier said than done: It's our consumer-driven economy, stupid — oh, and the advertisers. Does expanded consumer consciousness signal the end of the traditional shopping mall?

From First Things, Mary Eberstadt on Christianity Lite; Paul J. Griffiths on the nature of desire; Mary Ann Glendon on Cicero Superstar; and Tiger Woods and Plato: Paradoxically, from this most contemporary downfall we learn that our civilization’s most ancient wisdom is still worthy of our careful consideration. From Gelf, an interview with Malcolm Gladwell and Chuck Klosterman on sports (and Michael Sandlin reviews Klosterman's Eating the Dinosaur). Jurgen Habermas seemed to have started tweeting, but the account wasn't all it appeared to be. From Real World Economics, voting is now open for the Ignoble Prize for Economics, to be awarded to the three economists who contributed most to enabling the Global Financial Collapse. A review of Permeable Walls: Historical Perspectives on Hospital and Asylum Visiting. From Imprimis, Victor Davis Hanson on the future of Western war. Edwin Heathcote on why it’s time we took design seriously: A review essay. Christopher Phelps says Howard Zinn's approach to his craft and calling was, at root, existentialist. From Brevity, interest in experimental forms of the essay and odd uses of new media for an essay platform leads to Amazon customer comments. From HBR, Dan Ariely on the long-term effects of short-term emotions. A review of Hannah Arendt and the Uses of History: Imperialism, Nationalism, Race and Genocide. The Book Liberator: Theo Schell-Lambert on taking a page from every book, literally. Keyboards, codes and the search for optimality: In biology, as in technology, we should not confuse persistence with perfection.

Elizabeth Holmes (PUHC): Reforming Ireland? An Inquiry from the Standpoint afforded by Rival Traditions. What measures need to be taken to ensure Ireland recovers from the economic crisis? From Irish Left Review, an article on the decline of militant Irish republicanism. John McGahern in his place: He showed how art replaces religion, and how writing reveals the spirituality of a lost Ireland. The philosopher’s Dublin: Gerald Flynn guides us on an alternative tour of Ireland’s capital city. A review of Vanishing Ireland: Further Chronicles of a Disappearing World by Turtle Bunbury and James Fennell. Terry Eagleton reviews Ship of Fools: How Stupidity and Corruption Sank the Celtic Tiger by Fintan O'Toole (and more and more and more). Form the Dublin Review of Books, a review of The Quest for Modern Ireland: The Battle of Ideas 1912-1986 by Bryan Fanning; and as both Bertie Ahern and Albert Reynolds demonstrate, political careers always end in failure, even the successful ones. A review of The Celtic Revolution: In Search of 2000 Forgotten Years that Changed Our World by Simon Young (and more). What does well in a downturn? Security systems, fast food, medical supplies — it has taken Ireland more than two years to get real. Robert McHenry on Ireland’s new civil right to be outraged. The first chapter from Irish History For Dummies by Mike Cronin. A map from the August 1940 issue of the Irish satirical magazine Dublin Opinion purports to portray Ireland in as unappealing a perspective as possible. A review of Tinkers: Synge and the Cultural History of the Irish Traveller by Mary Burke. Erin Go Blog: Is Ireland a case study in the death of blogging, or has it created the perfect blog? A review of The Long March: The Political Strategy of Sinn Fein, 1981-2007 by Martyn Frampton.