From The New York Times Magazine, can the GOP be a party of ideas? Sam Tanenhaus on “reformicons” and their attempt to reconnect Republicans to middle-class voters (and more and more and more). Is Paul Ryan breaking up with his wonk buddies? Danny Vinik on the coming fight among conservative intellectuals. Jonathan Chait on 7 ways Paul Ryan revealed his love for Ayn Rand. The Reformicons: We all wonder if the reform conservatives can change their movement — but first, we ought to wonder if they really want to. Scott Lemieux proposes that Republican “reformers” be called “Taco Bell conservatives”. Is “reform conservatism” anything new, or just more of W.’s “compassionate conservatism”? Bob and Barbara Dreyfuss wonder (and part 2 and part 3). Republican reformism is such an obvious con job that the real problem is understanding those who fall for it. Don't knock the reform conservatives: David Frum on how skeptics are right that the new crop of thinkers offer a bigger change in tone than substance — that change is reason enough for optimism. Patrick Fisher on the tea party gap within the GOP. Peter Berkowitz on how to bring conservatives together: Raise the banner of individual liberty and govern under it. The two kinds of Republicans: Ben Smith on new words for a new political era. Daniel Drezner on the mother of all tests for liberty conservatives: How will libertarians handle pleas of poverty from the service branches? Molly Ball on the rise of the fusion Republicans: In primaries across the country, the war between the GOP establishment and the Tea Party ended not in a surrender but a truce. How long can the GOP last as the cranky oldster party? Matthew Yglesias wonders. David Leonhardt on why teenagers today may grow up conservative. From the Scholars Strategy Network, a forum on the future of the Republican Party.

Rafael Bittencourt (PUC Minas): Is There a BRICS Model of Development? Steven J. Brams (NYU) and D. Marc Kilgour (Wilfrid Laurier): Voting Power in the Electoral College: The Noncompetitive States Count, Too. Mary Whisner (Washington): There Oughta Be a Law: A Model Law. David Jancsics (CUNY): Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Corruption. Mariano Mosquera (Harvard): Negotiation Games in the Fight Against Corruption. From The Ethics Forum, a special issue on corruption and democracy. Dylan Matthews on 7 times militaries have shot down civilian planes. Think before you act: Steven Poole is against the modern cult of spontaneity. The Global Agenda Council on the Arctic has highlighted five particularly pervasive myths about the region. SooJin Lee reviews Pink Globalisation: Hello Kitty's Trek across the Pacific by Christine R. Yano. Matt O'Brien on the intellectual cesspool of the inflation truthers. From the Journal of Cognition and Neuroethics, Nick Ergodos on the enigma of probability. Sarah Dry on the secret writings of Isaac Newton: The physicist's private religious and alchemical musings have tantalised scholars for centuries. Nigel Smith on his book A Collection of Ranter Writings: Spiritual Liberty and Sexual Freedom in the English Revolution. Former Vice President Dick Cheney seems reinvigorated as he takes on President Obama, the Clintons, radical Islam, Rand Paul, his own party and history — but to many, he is a punch line. Lee Fang on the real reason pot is still illegal: Opponents of marijuana-law reform insist that legalization is dangerous — but the biggest threat is to their own bottom line. The great pot experiment: Legalising a drug is harder than it looks. Jacob Heilbrunn on the Ukraine plane disaster: If Russia connivance at destroying the airplane is proven, then this could become a new Lusitania moment for the U.S. (and more)

From TLS, a review essay on Syria by Gerald Butt. Why Bashar Assad is still in charge: Rivalry between insurgents is helping him now — but may eventually undermine him by encouraging the West to bolster the more moderate rebels. Meet the Jordanian cleric who's sending young men to fight and die in Syria's civil war. Kevin Drum on why it may finally be time for an independent Kurdistan. Jessica T. Mathews on Iraq illusions. Iraq’s fears for the future: Dexter Filkins on what we left behind. Like it or not, what’s happening in Iraq right now is part of a rational process. Jeffrey Goldberg on the new map of the Middle East: Why should we fight the inevitable break-up of Iraq? David Faris on how Westphalia unravels in the “new” Middle East. Malise Ruthven on the map ISIS hates (and more) How should we think about the Caliphate? Owen Bennett-Jones wonders. Maged Mandour on the collapse of the Arab political order. The tragedy of the Arabs: A civilisation that used to lead the world is in ruins — and only the locals can rebuild it. A survey finds Arab world losing patience with Hamas. Bruce Stokes on how new polls show the Middle East has thrown in the towel on making peace with Israel. Facing an Israeli blockade, the people of Gaza must look to the blackmarket for even their most basic needs; photojournalist Ahmed Deeb takes us through the smuggling tunnels running between Egypt and Gaza. Mona Christophersen and Akram Atallah Alayasa on how Fatah-Hamas reconciliation is complicated by war. On Israel and Gaza: When and how will it end? Bibi's First War: Hussein Ibish on why Benjamin Netanyahu has never liked military conflict. Fred Kaplan on Israel’s deadly gambits: The Israeli government has lost the ability to think strategically. Between the settlers and the unsettlers, the one-state solution is on our doorstep. Karen Yourish and Josh Keller on the toll in Gaza and Israel, day by day. Zack Beauchamp on 11 crucial facts to understand the Israel-Gaza crisis.