Attack ads, circa 1800: Have this year's negative political ads really "taken dirty to a whole new level"? Er, not exactly. Divisive election-season politics is again stirring fantasies about a new, sensible party, but third parties don’t catch on in the U.S. John Dean on why the tea party elections on November 2, 2010 will ultimately make no difference. Where are the peasants with pitchforks? Republicans embrace populism but fight statism, while Democrats champion statism but fear populism. It's not fascism yet; but if the Tea Party manages to get its hands on the levers of power, it will be. Barack Obama, Fabian Socialist: Who needs Molotov when we've got Alinski? How not to understand Obama: A review of The Roots of Obama’s Rage by Dinesh D’Souza. An interview with Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, authors of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America. The latest issue of Perspectives on Politics includes a series of articles on the Obama Presidency. Education of a President: As a candidate, Barack Obama promised to change Washington — two years in, he may have to change his approach to his job. To James T. Kloppenberg, author of Reading Obama: Dreams, Hopes, and the American Political Tradition, the philosophy that has guided President Obama most consistently is pragmatism. Recession Election: Hendrik Hertzberg on why voters will blame Obama. The Case for Obama: The charges are familiar — he's a compromiser who hasn't stood up to the GOP or Wall Street, but a look at his record reveals something even more startling, a truly historic presidency. A look at why divided government is bad for Obama. What is the probability that Barack Obama will be re-elected? Jonathan Chait on the coming impeachment of Barack Hussein Obama (and more). Joel Hirschhorn on why Americans elect awful presidents. A review of The Discretionary President: The Promise and Peril of Executive Power by Benjamin Kleinerman. A review of "Ready to Lead on Day One: Predicting Presidential Greatness from Political Experience" by John Balz.

Peter J. Boettke (GMU): Is the Only Form of "Reasonable Regulation" Self Regulation?: Lessons from Lin Ostrom on Regulating the Commons and Cultivating Citizens. Susan Daicoff (Florida Coastal): On Butlers, Architects, and Lawyers: The Professionalism of "The Remains of the Day" and of "The Fountainhead". William Drenttel and Jessica Helfand on an introduction to graphic design. From The Caravan, Britain’s libel laws, the harshest in the democratic world, have increasingly been deployed to suppress freedom of expression — can a diverse new coalition of scientists and writers make the United Kingdom safe for free speech? A review of A Story Waiting to Pierce You: Mongolia, Tibet and the Destiny of the Western World by Peter Kingsley. How do you write a Very Short Introduction to English Literature? We feel instinctively that real work has to be physically demanding, based on manufacturing, agriculture and mining, but perhaps it is time for manufacturing fetishists to move beyond categories set by Stone Age man’s requirements for food and shelter. How do beauty product ads affect consumer self esteem and purchasing? An interview with Wayne Robb, co-founder of NORM (National Organisation of Restoring Men), an international group set up to promote the benefits of foreskins. Lies, damned lies, and medical science: John Ioannidis has proved that much of what gets published in medical journals is wrong — does your doctor know? Drew Dernavich on the Baseball Card Hall of Infamy. Despite all our attempts to find big meaning in Titanic, the ship offers just one simple lesson: mistakes happen. Unlocking the conservative closet: From Ken Mehlman to Ted Olson, a short list of GOP icons now taking a stand for gay rights primes the next generation of Republicans to come out.

Dirk Matten (York): The Impact of the Risk Society Thesis on Environmental Politics and Management in a Globalizing Economy. Svitlana Kravchenko (Oregon): Procedural Rights as a Crucial Tool to Combat Climate Change. Andrea Kollmann and Friedrich Schneider (Linz): Why Does Environmental Policy in Representative Democracies Tend to Be Inadequate? Shanna Gong (UCLA): What Can the Environmental Movement Learn From Feminism? An interview with Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International and author of Boiling Point: Can Citizen Action Save the World? The death of cap and trade doesn’t have to mean the death of climate policy — the alternative revolves around much more, and much better organized, financing for clean energy research. Hot Mess: Why are conservatives so radical about the climate? The new climate-change denialism: Who promotes it, and how to answer it. A handful of US scientists have made names for themselves by casting doubt on global warming research; in the past, the same people have also downplayed the dangers of passive smoking, acid rain and the ozone hole — in all cases, the tactics are the same: Spread doubt and claim it's too soon to take action. Can one climate change scientist change the minds of a roomful of climate change sceptics? Beware the fierce climate hawk: Keep your eyes peeled — there's a bold new raptor in the sky, eager to pounce on weaselly warming skeptics. The Miracle Seeker: Bill Gates is investing millions to halt global warming by creating an inexhaustible supply of carbon-free energy. The Doomsday Machine and the race to save the world: Geoengineering emerges as Plan B at the 11th hour. It’s amazing what can happen in five years: Not only has the idea of geoengineering become a mainstream topic, it’s being taken as a deadly serious possibility.

The inaugural issue of Mythological Studies Journal is now out. John D. Inazu (Duke): Liberty's Refuge: The Forgotten Freedom of Assembly. Elizabeth F. Emens (Columbia): Intimate Discrimination: The State's Role in the Accidents of Sex and Love. Funerals for medical cadavers have become increasingly common of late. If you were desperate and hopeless enough to log on to a suicide chat room in recent years, there was a good chance a mysterious woman named Li Dao would find you, befriend you, and gently urge you to take your own life. David Cay Johnston on measuring the public benefits from taxes. Bruce Bartlett on taxing sin: A win-win for everyone? Overoptimism and overpessimism sells, but let’s face reality: Here are 10 things we won’t have by 2030. Stories vs. Statistics: How do the worlds of storytelling and scientific probability differ? John Allen Paulos counts the ways. Looking at the world's tattoos: Photographer Chris Rainier travels the globe in search of tattoos and other examples of the urge to embellish our skin. Gizmodo takes a look at the Nokia 1100, the most popular phone in the world. Russia and Kazakhstan share an endless border, a language and many mutual interests; there should be no relationship crisis, yet the young central Asian republic is increasingly trying to assert its independence. Humour is their rubber sword: Welcome to the world of Indian-American stand-up comedy. Fascism as an ideology grounded in global notions of history and politics: Federico Finchelstein on his book Transatlantic Fascism: Ideology, Violence, and the Sacred in Argentina and Italy, 1919-1945. A review of The Professional Guinea Pig: Big Pharma and the Risky World of Human Subjects by Roberto Abadie. Is "modern culture" bad for our health and well-being?

A review of The Glamour of Grammar: A Guide to the Magic and Mystery of Practical English by Roy Peter Clark (and more). Why do exclamation points get a bad rap? The pause that annoys: Jan Freeman on when a comma makes life needlessly hard. A look at words that don’t exist in the English language. My BFF just told me “TTYL” is in the dictionary — LMAO: A look at new words, senses, and phrases have been added to the New Oxford American Dictionary. An interview with Bernard Lamb, author of The Queen’s English: And How to Use It. Pesky pedant, moi? If Jane Austen can flout the rules of grammar so can Sally Feldman. A most noticeable thing is the paucity of Indo-European words for “right hand”, as opposed to the abundance of names coined for its opposite. A review of Word Catcher: An Odyssey Into The World of Weird and Wonderful Words by Phil Cousineau. The English language, which arose from humble Anglo-Saxon roots to become the lingua franca of 600 million people worldwide and the dominant lexicon of international discourse, is dead. UCLA's Emanuel Schegloff on the many meaning(s) of “Uh(m)”s. World's largest English-Chinese dictionary: After five years of work undertaken by 60 editors, the new Oxford University Press Chinese Dictionary is finally complete. OMG, etc: When did we start speaking in sets of capital letters? Lane Greene looks into the rise of the acronym and its sibling the initialism (and part 2 and more). A look at the history of the word “Rum”. A literal paradox: “Literally” generally means "figuratively". A review of OK: The Improbable Story of America's Greatest Word by Allan Metcalf (and more).