The TIME 100 is the magazine’s yearly compilation of the “people who most affect our world,” as determined by people at Time. Now in its seventh year, the issue includes comforting standbys (Oprah makes an appearance every year), and Web 2.0 wizardry, for which the magazine recruited Nate Silver to do that thing he does (take Twitter followers, multiply by two, add Facebook connections, average the result, and… uh…)

The issue also represents a chance for relative newcomers to bust into magazine writing. Ted Nugent, for example, makes his long-awaited foray into journalism with a short meditation on Sarah Palin that concludes: “I’d be proud to share a moose-barbecue campfire with the Palin family anytime, so long as I can shoot the moose.” Palin herself takes a turn as author, celebrating Glenn Beck in her manifestly imitable syntax:

Glenn’s like the high school government teacher so many wish they’d had, charting and connecting ideas with chalk-dusted fingers — kicking it old school — instead of becoming just another talking-heads show host. Self-taught, he’s become America’s professor of common sense, sharing earnestly sought knowledge with an audience hungry for truth.

Stay tuned for Toby Keith’s upcoming think piece on the geopolitical implications of the boot as tactical anti-ass weapon.

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Kathy Gilsinan is the associate editor at World Politics Review