Stephen B. Cohen (Georgetown): Inequality and the Deficit. Scott Colesanti (Hofstra): In Favor of a "Bail-In": How a Trillion Dollars Might Be Better Used to Start a Recovery. Glenn R. Follette and Byron F. Lutz (Federal Reserve): Fiscal Policy in the United States: Automatic Stabilizers, Discretionary Fiscal Policy Actions, and the Economy. Political divisions in Congress have all but immobilized the levers of fiscal policy, raising pressure on the Federal Reserve to address the nation’s economic lethargy. A review of Inside the Fed: Monetary Policy and Its Management, Martin through Greenspan to Bernanke by Stephen Axilrod. Jeff Madrick on how Wall Street won and America lost (and more and more on Age of Greed). How it went so wrong in America: In the U.S., unemployment rose much quicker and higher than in most European nations — and it was a self-inflicted. Kenneth Rogoff on the Second Great Contraction. Aditya (Adi) Habbu (Fordham): The Neoliberal Legitimation Crisis of 2008. Mark Thoma on how a great divide holds back the relevance of economists (and responses by Ashwin Parameswaran, James Hamilton, Dean Baker, Lawrence Summers, and Paul Krugman). From the IMF's Finance and Development, rethinking economics in a changed world: Nobel laureates Michael Spence, Joseph Stiglitz, and Robert Solow discuss what the crisis has taught us; and the human face of economics: Prakash Loungani profiles George Akerlof. From the Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, an interview with Daniel Hausman on the inexact and separate philosophy of economics; a review of The Puzzle of Modern Economics: Science or Ideology? by Roger E. Backhouse; a review of Economic Pluralism by Robert Garnett, Erik Olsen, and Martha Starr; and a review of Why Some Things Should Not Be for Sale by Debra Satz.

From M/C Journal, a special issue on Diaspora. The New Default: A sad history of the debt limit fight. From TNR, the mother of all policy battles: Jonathan Cohn on how the new debt ceiling agreement could lead to one, massive fight in late 2012 — with taxes, spending, and the size of government at stake; and Jonathan Chait on how the debt committee could turn Republican against Republican. Top Right: Slate's list of the 25 Americans who combine inventiveness and practicality: our best real-world problem-solvers. For Shanay Venicia their femme identity is a purposeful reclamation of femininity from the white supremacist, classist, heteronormative cis-patriarchy — indeed it is a form of resistance. Ha-Joon Chang on how the washing machine has changed society more than the Internet. A review of The Statues that Walked: Unraveling the Mystery of Easter Island by Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo. The man behind the window: Allan Seager was a student at Oxford when he contracted tuberculosis; what happened next made him one of America’s greatest writers — declared the heir to Anderson and Hemingway — ever to be forgotten. David Graeber on his book Debt: The First 5,000 Years (and more and more and more). An interview with Tim Harford, author of Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure (and more and more). An interview with Stuart Hall on race, relativism and revolution. Artificial illumination at night takes its toll on the natural world — we need to find a way to curb its effects. Burned by the courts: The new documentary Hot Coffee explains how a lawsuit that was mocked by comedians had serious implications. Ten famous intellectual property disputes: From Barbie to cereal to a tattoo, a copyright lawsuit can get contentious; some have even reached the Supreme Court.

From THE, a review of The Reason Why: The Miracle of Life on Earth by John Gribbin (and more). Here are 7 theories on the origin of life. A man discovers a new life-form at a South African truck stop. An interview with Frans de Waal on political apes and building a cooperative society. A review of Born in Africa: The Quest for the Origins of Human Life by Martin Meredith. Human history recorded in a single genome: It seems every one of us carries in our genes a million-year record of past human population size. Making sense of the genomic revolution: A review essay. Richard C. Francis' Epigenetics shows how a new field has changed the way we think about genes (and more and more). Being human: A review of Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity by Raymond Tallis, Naked Genes: Reinventing the Human in the Molecular Age by Helga Nowotny and Giuseppe Testa, and The Most Human Human: A Defence of Humanity in the Age of the Computer by Brian Christian (and more). An interview with Eddie Germino, author of More Than Human. What does it mean to be human? Julian Baggini meets with scientists who aspire to take evolution into their own hands. When will we be transhuman? Seven conditions for attaining transhumanism. Genetic engineering on fast forward: Automated genetic tinkering is just the start — the Evolution Machine could be used to rewrite the language of life and create new species of humans. Francesca Randazzo (Santiago de Compostela) and Juan R. Coca and Jesus A. Valero Matas (Valladolid): A Social Constructed Human Being: A (Bio)Technological Approach. "Perfection is not a useful concept": An interview with Nick Bostrom on existential risks, genetic enhancements and the importance of ethical discourses about technological progress.

From the Journal of Power Institutions in Post-Soviet Societies, a special issue on Security and Defense Reform in Central Asia. The discourse of danger: A common Western geopolitical vision of Central Asia distorts policy towards the region. Playing with Fire: Shades of gray envelop political Islam in autocratic Central Asia. From Diplomatic Courier, the modern story of Central Asia is one where Central Asian states and local elites are increasing integration with the rest of the continent and beyond; and the 21st century will see the revival of the Silk Road that ages ago connected Asia to Europe, and this will be a windfall for landlocked-Central Asian countries whose access to regional and world markets rests on an efficient road system. Elvira Kurmanalieva and Ziyodullo Parpiev on geography and trade in Central Asia. Soviet Stepchildren: Communism fell, but liberty has yet to arrive in Central Asia. Stung by Amnesty International: It shouldn't take a high profile cancellation by Sting to draw attention to the human rights abuses happening in Central Asia. Unlike governments of the Middle East that have failed to deliver what the people need, Kazakhstan remains on a dynamic path of development that is widely supported in society. News for make benefit glorious nation of Kazakhstan: Ethan Wilensky-Lanford on the Washington Times and the foreign newswire that wasn’t. Philip Shishkin on the enemy we need: Washington courts a repressive Uzbekistan — again.J. Berkshire Miller on Tajikistan’s security curse. Watching soap operas in Kabul: In post-Taliban Afghanistan, television is back and hugely popular. In Afghanistan, the wisdom of the powerful has resulted in decades of endless violence — what might we learn from ordinary people? The Door to Hell is actually located in Turkmenistan.

The latest issue of Kenneth Burke Journal is out. From Arts and Opinion, George Scialabba on Chomsky, Hitchens and 9/11; and David Solway deconstructs Noam Chomsky. From Stanford Social Innovation Review, an article on the problem with fair trade coffee. From, a special issue on neuro-, cognitive, and evolutionary aesthetics, including an interview with Walter Benn Michaels on photography and politics. Your commute is killing you: Long commutes cause obesity, neck pain, loneliness, divorce, stress, and insomnia. A profile of David Yerushalmi, the man behind the anti-Shariah movement. Wired, pyjama communism drives ethical hackers: In the face of growing intolerance, hactivists continue to expose erring corporates and governments. Ariel Levy on the rush to lose her virginity at fourteen: “Nobody would gasp if they heard a fifteen- or sixteen-year-old had lost her virginity. The clock was ticking”. From Cabinet, the birth of modern cryptanalysis: William Sherman on how to make anything signify anything. As researchers explore using psychedelic drugs to treat mental illness, a powerful Amazonian hallucinogen is gaining the most devoted followers of all. It’s an imperative with a millennia-long history, but why is it important to develop a thorough knowledge of the self? Raise your weapons: An interview with Mickey Z. Josef H. Reichholf's The Origin of Beauty: Darwin's Greatest Dilemma is a declaration of love for a nature that is not simply utilitarian but also wasteful and theatrical. Maria Bustillos on Marshall McLuhan, Superstar. The rise of the macro-nationalists: The manifesto of Anders Behring Breivik reveals a new doctrine of civilizational war that represents the closest thing yet to a Christian version of Al Qaeda. Dear Angry Lunatic: Sam Harris responds to Chris Hedges.

From the latest issue of Policy Review, Andrew Stark on Conservative Humility, Liberal Irony: Getting to the bottom of two temperaments. How will President Obama and his party justify the spending cuts in the debt deal? Ezra Kelin on winners and losers, policy edition. Did the president surrender, or did he do the best he could? Paul Krugman says the president surrendered — Democrats should kill the bill. Brian Beutler on the four big problems with — and four silver linings around — the debt limit deal. Jay Newton-Small on five things for liberals to like in the debt ceiling deal. What exactly is wrong with this deal? If Democrats read the fine print on the debt deal struck by President Obama and Congressional leaders, Nate Silver says, they’ll find that it’s a little better than it appears at first glance. Jonathan Chait says the deal isn't so bad, but the rationale for it is. Jared Bernstein says lousy negotiating skills are not the problem — in fact, public opinion is everything, and liberals haven't persuaded the public to support their vision of government. A lot of what's hitting liberals over the last couple of weeks is a delayed reaction to the severity of the Republican landslide of 2010. Democrats will lose now — but they can win later. Andrew Sullivan on Obama's Pyrrhic defeat. What we’ve arrived at is a thinly veiled Grand Bargain (judging by the numbers, the triggers, and the political positioning) — and that adds up to a victory for the President and Democrats. The mindless hysteria of right-wing sheep: Hey, Dittoheads — you're being played for suckers! Polls show the importance of the Tea Party to the GOP base. The GOP Feedback Loop: How presidential candidates and Congressmen are moving each other to the right. Stanley Greenberg on why voters tune out Democrats. Worst Congress Ever: Americans have complained for years that their government is broken — this time they're right.

From New Internationalist, is animal testing necessary to advance medical research? (and a response) Two of the central philosophical issues that emerge in discussions of human imprisonment prove instructive in thinking through the ethical issues raised by captivity for non-humans — autonomy and dignity. What distinguishes humans from other animals? The animal you are: Paul Snowdon examines our intuitions about minds, persons and animals. The intelligence of beasts: Cognition researchers move past "chimpocentric" theories, raising new questions about human uniqueness. Translation technology may let humans speak with dolphins. The owners of exotic or unconventional pets in Alex Arzt’s “Human-Animal” photographs range from nurturing to obsessive. The pet industry has proved remarkably resilient to the downturn, as humans buy gourmet meals and bottled water for dogs. Can dogs read our minds? USPS-canine relations still troubled: Yep, dogs do occasionally bite, and there are plenty of mail carriers who can attest to it, according to new U.S. Postal Service rankings. A review of In Defence of Dogs by John Bradshaw. Hounded out: Why dogs are struggling to fit into modern life. Are cats bad for the environment? The new Journal of Animal Ethics throws cat among pigeons. A look at the 7 sleaziest mating rituals in the animal kingdom. The authors of a study called High Frequency of Postcoital Penis Cleaning in Budongo Chimpanzees do not beat about the bush. How to have fun like monkeys, whales and foxes: An interview with Jonathan Balcombe, author of The Exultant Ark: A Pictorial Tour of Animal Pleasure. Has the “animal gimmick” flick finally lost its way? A suit of armour is a bear necessity: Ig Nobel prize winner has a new book out about his research into bear-proof suits.

Martha Nussbaum (Chicago): Teaching Patriotism: Love and Critical Freedom. Joseph Isenbergh (Chicago): Last Chance, America ("The most urgent step to be taken is to raise federal taxes, despite the possible dampening effect on short-term growth") (and more on taxes). Can Obama extend the debt ceiling on his own? Ronald Dworkin investigates (and more by Jeffrey Rosen). The U.S. won't "default" after Aug. 2 — something much weirder will happen. Welcome to the normalization of extortion politics: Steve Benen on a new form of governing. From NYRB, Michael Massing on why it’s time to scrutinize Fox. Ooga Booga: Rightbloggers warn America of a non-existent black crime wave. The crisis of legitimacy: Anne Applebaum on what the Norwegian murderer and American "birthers" have in common. Andrew Potter on justice, vengeance, and the exculpation of Anders Breivik. Does contemporary capitalism tend toward fascism? Bitch magazine presents Feminism for Real: Deconstructing the Academic Industrial Complex of Feminism. In the paradise of too many books: An interview with Sean Dockray — if the appetite to read comes with reading, then open text archive is a great place to stimulate and sate your hunger. Heaven for Atheists: Behind the urge to cryopreserve — one’s body or just the head. From NBER, do differences in management practices cause differences in firm performance? From First Principles, Paul Crawford on four myths about the Crusades. Everyone’s a freak: A look at what fetishes can teach us about male sexuality. From New Scientist, a special section on Existence: Cosmic mysteries, human questions. Shankar Vedantam on the key to disaster survival: Friends and neighbors. (From Forbes's Tradigital blog, a short Q&A with Alfredo Perez, editor of Bookforum's Omnivore blog.)

Gerald R. Faulhaber (Penn): Economics of Net Neutrality: A Review. Angela Daly (EUI): Recent Issues for Competition on the Internet: Google's Search and Advertising, the Apple App Store, and the AOL Huffington Post Merger. How Google dominates us: James Gleick reviews In the Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives by Steven Levy; The Googlization of Everything (and Why We Should Worry) by Siva Vaidhyanathan (and more by Evgeny Morozov); Search and Destroy: Why You Can’t Trust Google Inc. by Scott Cleland with Ira Brodsky; and I’m Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 by Douglas Edwards (and more and more and more and more and more). Is Google ruining your memory? (and more and more) It's like the difference between public and private school: Facebook and Google have very different vibes. The Blogfather: MetaFilter founder Matt Haughey put the blog in blogosphere — now he looks to the future. From Prospect, two decades of the web, a utopia no longer: Evgeny Morozov traces the development of the web from the laboratories of the Cold War to the world of venture capital and big money; and is the Internet a free-for-all? The Internet's breakneck expansion poses questions for its future. Web 3.0: An article on the "social wave" and how it disrupts the Internet. The Internet is filling up with dead people and there's nothing we can do about it. Don't let the trolls get you down: Internet trolls are maddening, but a lecturer has set up a guide to interacting with them (and more on the rise of the meta-troll). Can anyone create a hacker-proof cyberspace? The Autistic Hacker: Gary McKinnon hacked thousands of government computers. Marissa Mayer on the day she "broke" the Internet.