From TNR, should Obama try to create more jobs or lower the deficit? An exclusive account of the White House debate. From Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi on Obama's Big Sellout: The president has packed his economic team with Wall Street insiders intent on turning the bailout into an all-out giveaway (and three responses; is Robert Rubin more important than the U.S. Congress? Ezra Klein wants to know; and Chris Lehmann on the (partial) vindication of Matt Taibbi). The world’s greatest dysfunctional body: Why the U.S. Senate can’t govern. The Gatekeeper: How a little bureaucratic office became the biggest impediment to Barack Obama’s health care plans. Deal or die on health care: Why progressives should support a Democratic compromise (and more). Progressives vs. Democracy: The health care debate reveals a nasty tendency within liberal politics. From FireDogLake, a book salon on Authoritarianism and Polarization in American Politics by Marc Hetherington and Jonathan Weiler (and more at TPM Cafe). A look at how the only thing evangelicals will never forgive is not hating the “Other”. Long-feared by US intelligence, Muslim radicalization is gaining momentum in the United States. How to empty Guantanamo: As one Washington diplomat oversees the closing of Guantanamo Bay — one prisoner at a time — Michelle Shephard tracks his progress. From Slate, Obama's War and Peace: Fred Kaplan on how the president accepted the Nobel while sending more troops to fight in Afghanistan; and with his Nobel speech, Obama shows an idealistic tough-mindedness. How well does our embattled president grasp just war theory? Michael Walzer investigates.

A review of You've Come a Long Way, Maybe: Sarah, Michelle, Hillary, and the Shaping of the New American by Leslie Sanchez and When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1960 to the Present by Gail Collins (and more). Don't just swallow it: Linda Hirschman on what women could learn from how the gay rights movement plays politics. Naomi Wolf on the achievement myth. From The Atlantic, not just chick flicks, the movies of Nora Ephron and Nancy Meyers defy categorization and provide a sentimental education for everyone (and a look at 7 popular "chick flicks" that secretly hate women). Pick your poison: Two recent studies find more Xena than imperiled Penelope among stereotype-busting women. Average Janes: To save feminism, get rid of the lady blogs. Why are so many women connecting on social networks, but not as involved in social news sites like Digg and Reddit? When mean girls go digital: Tips for handling social tech, from Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes. Steven Schlozman on when your daughter does the hair-flip. Feminist books for five-year-olds: Can you radicalise young children in a few easy reads? Viv Groskop gives it her best shot. A review of Feminism, Inc.: Coming of Age in Girl Power Media Culture by Emilie Zaslow. A review of The Modern Girl around the World: Consumption, Modernity, and Globalization. A review of The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines by Mike Madrid. Why do girls love unicorns? It’s more than just the horn (and here are 20 pictures of badass unicorns).

From ResetDOC, the “dream” of Helem: Beirut’s gay community has "come out" and started to make its voice heard; the West and the Orientalism of sexuality: An interview with Joseph Massad, author of Desiring Arabs; an article on Lot’s sin and that “extreme solitude”; and an interview with Hossein Alizadeh, spokesman for the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. From FP, an article on Uganda's outrageous new sex law, which outlaws homosexuality and prescribes the death penalty for having sex while HIV positive. From Public Eye, a special report on the U.S. Christian Right and the attack on gays in Africa. Michelle Goldberg on Uganda’s radical anti-gay measure and the American religious right. An interview with Lisa Darden, who helped to alert Pastor Rick Warren to the dangers of remaining silent. From Episcopal Life, what will it take for the cries of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender folks in Uganda to be heard? From Christianity Today, is Handel another gay Anglican?: Why the question matters. A review of When Gay People Get Married: What Happens When Societies Legalize Same-Sex Marriage by M.V. Lee Badgett. A review of The Greeks and Greek Love: A Bold New Exploration of the Ancient World by James Davidson (and more and more). Queer Theory's heist of our history: Larry Kramer on historians and academics, including many gay ones, who refuse to believe that homosexuality has been pretty much the same since the beginning of human history. From New Scientist, an article on homosexual selection and the power of same-sex liaisons.

Frank Schipper (TUE): Unravelling hieroglyphs: Urban traffic signs and the League of Nations. An article on Bob Ross, teacher, painter, optimist. An interview with Martha Nussbaum on Gross National Politics. The Dominion of Cute: Singh, Deng and Gromyko manage to combine cuteness with a gentle power. What makes a must read?: A "zeitgeist" book isn't necessarily a good book — few essential bestsellers stand the test of time. George Scialabba reviews Facing Unpleasant Facts: Narrative Essays and All Art is Propaganda: Critical Essays by George Orwell. That’s so aughties: What will the decade that began with Y2K panic and ended with recessionistas yield in terms of funny and embarrassing nostalgia? Nobody ever asks the real question that lurks behind all the scandals: If marriage is so great, why doesn't it work better? Flintoff and friends: How this year's Ashes have exposed the differences between cricketers and journalists. New Scientist goes in depth into psychiatry's civil war. From Forbes, a special report on the world's most powerful people. An interview with David Pan, translator of Carl Schmitt's Hamlet or Hecuba: The Intrusion of the Time into the Play. Here's the latest The New York Times Magazine annual Ideas issue. The joys of print publishing: From the cover story on Tiger Woods and Obama in the just-released January issue of Golf Digest — “Woods is a good role model... Woods never does anything that would make himself look ridiculous.” The Missing: Where have all the Sakharovs gone? Moises Naim wants to know. Berlin's history res-erected: Giant penis sparks bizarre media war.

From The Nation, a review of The Poetry of Rilke: Bilingual Edition. From LRB, a review of The Letters of T.S. Eliot, Vol. II: 1923-25. Who killed John Keats? A letter by Keats's old friend makes clear how much "sensative-bitterness" the poet felt after attacks on him by critics. Why do poets die young? They do, you know — younger than most other people, and significantly younger than other writers. Dr. Jacopo Annese and his compatriots are, in effect, plunging into the greatest poetic mystery of all time. From Poetry, a review of Names by Marilyn Hacker and Upgraded to Serious by Heather McHugh. Unacknowledged Legislators Impeached: Why isn’t the United States doing more for its poets laureate? True romantics wore horns: Robert Ferguson on the softer, poetic side of Vikings. Always with the complaining: Meet Ben Jonson and Robert Herrick, poetry's most artful kvetches. After his death at age 67, the late poems of Mahmoud Darwish have found new life in translation. Oxford University to reform voting rules for poetry professor post. The rise of poetry in advertising: More companies, including McDonald's, are being moved to verse to advertise their products. Why I never became a poet: As a Welshman, poetry was in Jonathan Jones's soul - until the editor of a poetry magazine poured cold water on his efforts. Goodbye, sweet Calliope, farewell Erato?: In a consumerist world where speed and image rule, poetry's emotional meanings are being lost. Flarf, the poetry of Googled search terms: Professors debate value of Internet's raw material.

Nicole Rogers (SCU): Law and Liberty in a Time of Climate Change. From The Economist, a special report on climate change and the carbon economy. From Slate, an interview with Al Gore (and more). The physics of Copenhagen: Bill McKibben on why politics-as-usual may mean the end of civilization. Second-order procrastination: Another inconvenient truth related to climate change. As the US and other nations negotiate a climate deal, they're also positioning to avoid fault if the talks fail. What would success look like?: There won't be a binding treaty, but here's what the climate summit could achieve. Martin Wolf on why Copenhagen must be the end of the beginning. From New Scientist, an article on the research that might save us after Copenhagen. One hot mess: Hesitance from the United States to join the rest of the world in the fight against climate change could have far-reaching consequences. Prescriptions for saving the planet: How to halt the catastrophe. What’s the best way to handle future climate change? Ronald Bailey investigates. You don’t need to ask what you need to do for the world, you already know: Stop having children (and part 2). The real inconvenient truth: The whole world needs to adopt China's one-child policy. Do our children deserve to live?: Copenhagen won’t be enough — only a "human movement" can save civilization from the climate crisis. The last refuge of prejudice: Discounting the interests of future people is the one remaining prejudice. From Red Pepper, there is no environmental crisis: the crisis is democracy. This is our choice: We can make history — or we can commit suicide.

From The Economist, a special report on the art market. From The New Criterion, an article on the art world vs. the world of art; and the art market explained: Why the bubble won't pop for Pop. A look at how Warhol is soooo overrated. J. C. Gabel reviews Pop: The Genius of Andy Warhol by Tony Scherman and David Dalton (and more and more). Whether making work with moldy bread, melting wax, or Froot Loops screenprinted on massive mirrored boxes, Urs Fischer probes the inner workings of embodied experience and cultural production — reframing both process art and kitsch in turn. It is only through the experience of working that answers may be discovered within the inner logic of an invented reality such as the art of painting. America is re-discovering one of its most underappreciated and misunderstood artists: Norman Rockwell (and more). From The Believer, a special issue on Art 2009, including an article on the disappearance of Ford Beckman. Like a cross between a Dan Brown novel and an Indiana Jones adventure: Italian palace fresco may hide Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece. How do they name Leonardo da Vinci paintings like the Mona Lisa? Mexico is restoring the murals of Diego Rivera, admirer of Lenin, friend of Trotsky and lover of Frida Kahlo. A review of Provenance: How a Con Man and a Forger Rewrote the History of Modern Art by Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo. From TNR, Jed Perl on Bauhaus 1919–1933: Workshops for Modernity, at the MoMA. In preparing a biography of Braque, Alex Danchev explored the meaning of art and its makers, but upon finishing, he faced a much more personal question.

A new issue of h+ Magazine is out. James V. Schall, S.J. on Last Things: How evil is evil? How good is good? The Cult of Chuck Norris: Sean Macaulay analyzes the strange afterlife of the worst actor in action. Why putting Khalid Sheikh Mohammed on trial downtown is the right thing for the U.S. — and the city (and if Rudy were still U.S. prosecutor, he’d agree). Why the critics of the KSM trial are wrong: The critics of the KSM trial can't ask for more law and less law at the same time. Lives of the Saints’ blood and gore gave Joyce Gemperlein a love of obits — and an interest in sex. From Esquire, an interview with Alberto Gonzales on the value of torture and Karl Rove's role in the US attorney firings. A review of The Red Book: Liber Novus by C. G. Jung. "My plight is not unique": A roundtable discussion on sexual violence in conflict zones. Chris Lehmann on the tragic tale of Bunky and Barbara Hearst. An interview with Spanish author Javier Marias, the most important intellectual figure that you’ve probably never heard of. Is fanaticism always wrong, or does the cause sometime justify the means? Girls Just Wanna Have Fangs: A look at the unwarranted backlash against fans of the world's most popular vampire-romance series. Who's afraid of world government? Lawrence Wittner investigates. On a scale of 1 to 10 for how dangerous a book is to have on your desk if you have other work to get done, David McCandless's The Visual Miscellaneum would rate about a 9. An interview with Paul Butler, author of Let's Get Free: A Hip Hop Theory of Justice. Notre Dame is betting Brian Kelly is the man who can finally win it all for the Irish.

From Harper's, the intelligence factory: Petra Bartosiewicz on how America makes its enemies disappear. The spending wars: How did military spending become sacrosanct? From Dissent, Michael Signer on the neoconservative pere et fils. James Carroll on the five characteristics that make Dick Cheney the Quintessential American. Howard Fineman on how Ron Paul can save the GOP. Christopher Hitchens on how Sarah Palin's brand of populism is dangerous and deceptive. The poll heard round the world: Could a Tea Party candidate actually win an election? How Ayn Rand would have hated the Tea Partiers. The Existential Martin Eisenstadt: Harding Institute senior fellow and GOP attack dog fights Liberal media claims that he’s not real (and more). Can’t stand a member of Congress and desperately want him or her out of office? There’s a blog for that. From Doublethink, open source democracy: Are bloggers the new government watchdog?; and Jacob Raskin on the rise of the muckraking Right: How conservative bloggers are scooping The New York Times. Washington Times, RIP: The paper’s demise will place a new importance on the conservative blogosphere. Is Politico really "new media"? Just because it’s online doesn’t mean it’s not old-fashioned. Robert Niles on two things the government can do to help journalism. And then came Obama: Snopes’ 25 hottest urban legends gets remarkably political. How can the American electorate be post-racial when even the shading of skin affects decision-making? Jim Sleeper on how time and odds are not on the side of the republic Obama swore to preserve, protect, and defend.

From New English Review, Ibn Warraq on Mozart and Orientalism. Hip-hop, as a culture and a musical genre, moves at lightning speed; keeping up requires an awareness of our expectations and a willingness to revisit our assumptions. A review of Understanding Music: Philosophy and Interpretation by Roger Scruton. A review of Jazz by Gary Giddins and Scott DeVeaux. Sure, it's violent, but can you dance to it?: A British scholar examines abuse narratives in pop music. Placing songs in advertising remains a touchy subject; PopMatters spoke with a few artists whose music has appeared in advertising to find out what motivates them to do what some people claim is “selling out”. John Rockwell reviews Hold On to Your Dreams: Arthur Russell and the Downtown Music Scene, 1973-1992 by Tim Lawrence. Composer Jean Sibelius's ties to Nazi Germany come under new scrutiny. Rango, the ancient Sudanese music of healing, is under threat from religious orthodoxy — but the musicians are fighting back. A review of Linthead Stomp: The Creation of Country Music in the Piedmont South by Patrick Huber. A review of Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong by Terry Teachout. What you hear is not a chorus: A look at the truly original thing about "Rapper’s Delight". Rock ‘n’ roll, it seems, does middle-age awfully well; and not just from the gray-haired set who have been there, and who now look back upon it fondly. A review of The Gilded Stage: A Social History of Opera by Daniel Snowman. Nature's Rejects: Jan Swafford on the music of the castrati. Re-Meet the Beatles: A series on the still Fab Four. Why doesn’t listening to modern classical music matter any more?