From time to time, I'm going to pass along articles that the networked cognoscenti care about and take to Twitter to debate and comment. It's a useful way for me to get in a bit of curated reading at the end of the day, and I hope it does the same for you.
* Scientology is either a religion ascending (their own contention, bolstered by advertorials in places like the Atlantic), or a religion about to implode from a "real estate scam" and a new sure-to-be best-seller by Lawrence Wright. (BuzzFeed)
* Obama to Bibi: Buzz off. Haaretz analyzes the personal relationship between the two leaders on the eve of the Israeli elections. Their conclusion: Obama is committed to Israel; Netanyahu.. he may just as well ignore.
* Did the Syrian government use chemical weapons against its people? A Syrian NGO says yes, and the U.S. is investigating. Wired has the best coverage.
* This is an incredibly handy pocket guide to the inauguration. (Washington Post)
* If (when) Hillary Clinton runs for president, Philippe Reines is one of the people America will get to know very well. (New York Times)
* "How would the Democratic Party behave if it could diminish its dependence on conservative white voters?" That's Ron Brownstein's answer to the question of what Barack Obama's second term strategy seems to be. (Quartz)
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
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- Don't worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen
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