Newt and other conservatives are obsessed with tying Obama to Saul Alinsky — here's where their hatred comes from. Richard Eskow on why Obama's the least socialistic president in modern history (and that's a shame). Have you met Barack X? He's the candidate that the political right has invented in a bid to win back the White House. Pam Martens on Ayn Rand, the Tea Party’s miscast matriarch. Ayn Rand worshippers should face facts: Blue states are the providers, red states are the parasites. The Los Angeles Times' Op-Ed Page and finds common ground: Liberals are pricks. Who's left? The New Statesman profiles the leading American progressives who are keeping the cause alive. Reviving progressive activism: Anja Rudiger on how a human rights movement won the country’s first universal health care law. David Rothkopf on a dictionary of American politics — GOP Speak and Demspeak. Ruy Teixeira reviews The Swing Vote: The Untapped Power of Independents by Linda Killian: "I suppose we should be grateful to Linda Killian. Her new book collects in one place every cliched and suspect empirical generalization about political independents. So in that sense—and only in that sense—it is a useful volume."

From the Journal of Intercultural Communication, Moniza Waheed, Andreas Schuck, Claes deVreese, and Peter Neijens (ASCoR): More Different Than Similar: Values in Political Speeches of Leaders from Developed and Developing Countries; Sonja Modesti (CSU): Looking at You Looking at Me: An Autoethnographic Account of a Tattooed Female and (Re)appropriation of the Tourist Gaze; and Alan Dale Hansen (Carroll) and Kelly Miller Quintanilla (Texas A&M): It’s like a Mexican Bingo. From Crisis, William Fahey on Rick Santorum and the Kingship of Christ (and part 2 and part 3). Irin Carmon debunks the right’s contraception myths: Access to contraception would reduce abortions and unintended pregnancies — here are the simple facts. Does Mark Zuckerberg really deserve all that money? From The Brooklyn Rail, Litia Perta on why Cooper Union matters. The WikiHouse Revolution: Will open-source DIY architecture usher in a new age of architectural innovation? A review of Seeds of Change: The Story of ACORN by John Atlas. What does Unesco recognition mean, exactly?

Katherine M. Franke (Columbia): Dating the State: The Moral Hazards of Winning Gay Rights. Charles J. Ten Brink (Michigan State): Gayborhoods: Intersections of Land Use Regulation, Sexual Minorities, and the Creative Class. Eric Julian Manalastas (UP Diliman): Unrequited Love among Young Filipino Gay Men: Subjective Experiences of Unreciprocated Lovers. An interview with Eric Stanley, author of "Near Life, Queer Death: Overkill and Ontological Capture". A review of After Sex? On Writing since Queer Theory, ed. by Janet Halley and Andrew Parker. In the fight for marriage equality, it's Edith Windsor vs. the United States of America. Stephanie Pappas on why gay parents may be the best parents. Justin E. H. Smith on how the rise of gay marriage has played an important role in reinforcing naturalism about marriage, and thus in buttressing the conservative cause. Same-sex science: Stanton L. Jones on how the social sciences cannot settle the moral status of homosexuality. From International Socialism, Colin Wilson on queer theory and politics. First openly gay U.S. Ambassador James Hormel reflects on being "fit to serve".

From the Journal of Social Structure, Dean Lusher (Melbourne) and Robert Ackland (ANU): A Relational Hyperlink Analysis of an Online Social Movement. Chad Wellmon (Virginia): Why Google Isn't Making Us Stupid or Smart. Internet makes us smarter and dumber: Future humans will be both multitaskers and screen-bound hermits — is this a good thing? Here's what Google (plus Microsoft and Amazon) will sell at their stores. I'm being followed: How Google — and 104 other companies — are tracking you on the Web (and more and more). Me want cookies: Apple’s pro-privacy, anti-cookie strategy for mobile Web browsing hurts Google, but it doesn’t help users. Rex Hammond likes Apple — and he likes that the US Justice Dept. is preparing to sue them. From, David Brake so wishes we could uninvent Twitter. Streaming Dream: YouTube takes on traditional television. The Internet makes magic disappear: YouTube has killed the magician's art, and threatens the stores where tricks have been passed down for generations. The "visible web" is what you can find using general web search engines — the "invisible web" is what you cannot find using these types of tools.

Alberto Alemanno (HEC Paris): Nudging Smokers: The Behavioural Turn of Tobacco Risk Regulation. From Situations, a special issue on cinema, globalization and uneven development. From The Awl, when exactly did it get cool to be a geek? An interview with Mark Sisson on the paleo/primal lifestyle. David Ropeik on the irrational risk of thinking we can be rational about risk. The politics of shit and semen: From gay marriage to Occupy, why is it that ideological disagreements are so often expressed as revulsion? A Hipstamatic Moment: Kodak is bankrupt, but we still crave the instant nostalgia that was once the company’s hallmark. A review of Society Against Itself: Political Correctness and Organizational Self-Destruction by Howard S. Schwartz. Energetic Libertarian Nuts sounds like a diabetes-inducing breakfast cereal — the mascot should a mischievous leprechaun, but instead of charms, the sugar would be in the shape of gold coins; each box would contain one of twelve Ron Paul miniatures. There is never, and cannot ever be, peak wingnut — this is just the beginning.

From New Geography, John L. Gann on rethinking college towns. From The Chronicle, Milton Greenberg on tenure's dirty little secret. From Academe, an interview with Ross Perlin, author of Intern Nation; a review of Affirmative Action for the Rich: Legacy Preferences in College Admissions; and Matthew Woessner on rethinking the plight of conservatives in higher education: Findings that run against the grain of assumptions. From The Weekly Standard, innocence abroad: Edith Wharton, at 150, is introduced to Cultural Studies; and Yale’s kiss-in protest and the clash between Sex Week and True Love Week are indicative of a larger ideological struggle going on at many colleges and universities. When did college become so pornographic? Brown Bares is the latest in a trend of anonymous, user uploaded websites where students share pictures of their privates on campus. Robert Weissberg on the white male shortage on campus. Adam Davidson on the dwindling power of a college degree. A question of honor: Cheating on campus undermines the reputation of our universities and the value of their degrees — now is the time for students themselves to stop it.

From City Journal, Sol Stern on Hannah Arendt and the Origins of Israelophobia: The great antitotalitarian thinker was no friend to the Jewish state. Gabriel Piterberg on works of scholarship that have challenged the Zionist Israeli narrative of modern history. With Washington, D.C., talking Israeli politics, National Review Online asked experts: “Going into a presidential-election year, what’s a sane, responsible Israel policy?” From Moment, what does it mean to be pro-Israel today? John J. Mearsheimer, Martin Peretz, Peter Beinart, Amos Oz, Benny Morris, Caroline Glick and others share their opinions; and Gershom Gorenberg on how Israel’s democracy needs your help. The "Peace Process", a short history: Chronicling Israel and Palestine's path to becoming a catchphrase. The leftist Israeli magazine +972 wants to sound the alarm on a Jewish state it believes is destroying itself (and more). Abortions in Israel: Lilith reporters Elana Maryles Sztokman and L. Ariella Zeller demonstrate how a society's pro-natalist assumptions undercut women's control over their own bodies.

Wouter De Been and Sanne Taekema (EUR): What Piece of Work is Man? Frans De Waal and Pragmatist Naturalism. From Mythological Studies Journal, Emma Tresemer (PGI): The Underworld at the End of the Maze: Re-entering Pan’s Labyrinth. Why do governments routinely spend more on arms than on education and health? Dinyar Godrej on the influence of the arms trade and a sorry tendency to keep up with the Joneses (and more). Jonah Lehrer on the forgetting pill that erases painful memories forever. From Doublethink, Tate Watkins writes in praise of the bow tie. When libertarians go to work: When the Kochs wield their money at Cato, that’s hegemony — but when they do it in Wisconsin, that’s democracy. Barry Ritholtz on how lobbyists run Washington. Plug In Better — A Manifesto: The trick isn't to unplug from our devices, but to unplug from the distractions, information overload, and trash that make us unhappy. A look at the US military’s tests, conducted at their laboratories in Natick, Massachusetts, during the 1970s and 1980s, on fruitcake, the time-honored holiday comestible (and more).

The latest issue of the Journal of Applied Philosophy is free online. Bridging the analytic-continental divide: Disputes between the two camps of philosophy can turn ugly, but do they have something to gain from each other? Stuart Kauffman on the inadequacy of the empiricist tradition in Western philosophy. From IHE, is it time for the American Philosophical Association to be euthanized? Cheating death: Alex Byrne on philosophers pondering the afterlife. Philosophy is sometimes assumed to be a dry, academic subject but, in reality, is anything but. Colin McGinn on philosophy by another name: It might have made sense in the age of Pythagoras, but the word "philosophy" no longer applies — we need a new one. Schools of thought: Kids can astonish with the philosophical ideas they spontaneously have, but are they really able to follow through their implications systematically and logically? "It's a pretty obscure scandal, you probably haven't heard of it": Faux Philosophy News remixes stories from Leiter Reports and New APPS in the Horatian style popularized by the Onion.

From Sojo (re. req.), America the Exceptional: What kind of nation are we called to be, arrogantly superior or humbly exemplary? The Greatest Country on Earth: What the United States can learn from the tiny island nation of Mauritius. Is the United States too big to succeed? Roman Skaskiw investigates. A review of The World America Made by Robert Kagan (and Kagan on why the world needs America). Colum Lynch on reflections from the far reaches of the American empire. How empires fall (including the American one): An interview with Jonathan Schell, author of The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence, and the Will of the People. Andrew J. Bacevich on why the American Century is over — good riddance. “Losing” the world: Noam Chomsky on American decline in perspective (and part 2). From Foreign Policy, the rise or fall of the American Empire: Daniel Drezner, Gideon Rachman and Robert Kagan tackle the great decline debate; and the debate over American decline is missing the point — all this talk about projecting U.S. power abroad means nothing if we can't fix our severe problems at home. America is the best country in the world at being last — how can we change that?