Today on the Dish, Michael Crowley shrugged over the Afghanistan presser, NRO rejoiced, Scoblete observed our vicious cycle in that country, Ackerman wrung his hands over drones, and Drum and Kaplan were at their wits' end. Mike Luckovich said a thousand words on DADT, a gay soldier spoke out against the injustice, and Senator Corker dishonored him and every other soldier. Obama reality check here. Krauthammer and Will gave the president some credit. Andrew took a long look at Obama's long game and Israel.
On the domestic front, Paul Ryan defended his support for the tax deal, Kaus talked tax rates, and Ezra sounded off on Orszag. Much more on the individual mandate debate here, here, here, here, and here. Romney got punched around some more. Palin presidential watch here and here. Hunters took aim at her and even neocons joined in. Andrew featured further evidence that FNC is propagandist – and highly effective.
Hitchens pilloried Kissinger for his vile anti-Semitism while Peretz excused it. Reason held a forum on free speech, Bernstein talked talking points, Tracy Clark-Flory looked at legalizing incest, and Reihan pondered leisure. Readers rebelled against the English professors here and here, a few more sounded off on the Assange rape case, and others continued to giggle at accents.
(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
On other political fronts, Steve Benen debunked the GOP mandate, Bill Connelly alerted us to a wave of Republicanism in state legislatures, Hugh Hewitt struggled to explain the consistency of GOP promises and the tax deal, Steinglass rolled his eyes at McCain's song and dance over earmarks, and Ezra Klein called out deficit frauds. Douthat tried to give Romney's pandering the benefit of the doubt while Larison shattered any doubt. Bloggers and readers debated at length the healthcare mandate.
Looking abroad, Ackerman thumbed through the Afghanistan review, more bad news here, and Exum recommended cutting down the flow of cash to the country. Reza Aslan suggested a certain alliance between the US and Iran while Joel Wing had trouble seeing one between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Greenwald highlighted the horrible prison conditions of the alleged Wiki Leaker, Serwer responded to the American charges against Assange, and a reader pointed out a likely reason why Sweden wants him back.
In assorted coverage, Britain's former drugs minister called BS on the Drug War, a reader explained why a lot of teens smoke pot over cigarettes, Bruce Schneier envisioned the future of cyber security, and Tom Friedman sparked a history lesson. Fallows questioned the Orszag row and Chait added two cents. As Palin's poll numbers continued to weaken, her ratings continued to soar – and captivate Andrew's attention.
Feministe had advice on dealing with racist relatives over the holidays, a reader took offense to some un-PC Dish humor, another dissented over the portrayal of Assange's alleged rapes, and another wanted a clearer picture of what actually happened (BBC clarified the charges).
Andrew got creeped out over Glenn Reynolds' take on communist sympathizers. Malkin awards for Louie Gohmert and Limbaugh and an especially strong Yglesias for John Nolte. The Dish spotlighted crusty punks and awkward pregnancy portraits. Readers both vented over awful tropes in English 101 and illuminated more toys with bodily fluids. An especially amazing VFYW here, FOTD here, and MHB here.
Wednesday on the Dish, as polling showed unprecedented support for gays in the military, the House voted to repeal DADT. Sargent and a Dish reader helped Commandant Amos eat his Malkin-esque words over gay servicemembers. Choi buckled under the intense pressure of it all. DeMint threatened to torpedo the lame-duck session as the tax deal split the field of GOP presidential hopefuls. Douthat and Andrew took a long look at the Tea Party's place in these tough times. Reality checks on Obama's performance here and here.
Palin's polarization deepened even further, Seth Masket saw a silver lining in knee-jerk partisanship, Chris Beam clarified what bipartisanship really is, FNC was further exposed for its propaganda, and Breitbart's Big Government kept its blinders on. More on Orszag's government gravy train here and here. Ron Paul appeared prescient about the Fed and a reader responded to Megan's question about government force.
In assorted commentary, Josh Green spotlighted gay-rights champion Tim Gill, Jeremy Lott showed both sides of William F. Buckley, Avent pushed high-speed rail, Reihan tackled Diane Ravitch, two Ordinary Gentlemen talked slippery slopes, Tyler Cowen sparked a deep debate on inequality, Mike Meno explained why cigarettes are harder to get for teens than joints, and Jack Shafer delved into the intoxicating world of nutmeg.
The Pope enjoyed a purely heterosexual display of half-naked male gymnastics, HuffPo joined the Atlantic in turning a profit, Kevin Spacey cried foul for being recognized as gay, and Ben Crair investigated Holocaust games. Vagazzled hathos here and a video Malkin here. Zombie massacre here. VFYW here, FOTD here, and a particularly entertaining MHB here.
Havana, Cuba, 1 pm
Tuesday on the Dish, George Packer, Leon Wieseltier, and Rick Hertzberg remembered Richard Holbrooke, as the man's last words took on a life of their own. Critical DADT developments here, here, and here. Assange fought Sweden over bail, Berlusconi survived a no-confidence vote, and an HIV case was cured. As bitterness among Palestinians grew, Andrew took a long look at Israel's intransigence over a two-state solution. A reader sounded off.
A reax of the unconstitutional ruling for Obamacare here and here. Mitt came out against the tax deal, thus joining the awakened opposition on the Tea Party right, and Chait heard a dog whistle. Douthat predicted a Dem revolt stemming from tax deal, Seth Masket downplayed liberal handwringing, Sprung mulled Obama's strategy, and Ezra talked unemployment rates. Ron Paul tipped his hat toward 2012. Kevin Drum and Andrew reflected on the risk-averse decade of the '00s. Andrew also went another round with Pejman over presidential legitimacy.
Bush basked in his lack of self-awareness while Limbaugh displayed a shocking dose of cognitive dissonance – in sharp contrast to the sane conservatism of Jim Manzi and Adam Ozimek. A RedStater called for invading Mexico and ACLU critics engaged in epistemic closure. Get your Palin fix here, here, and here.
In assorted commentary, Julian Sanchez cautioned celebration over Holder's reform of the Patriot Act, Avent reassured us over a bubble bursting in China, Adam Ozimek gave investment advice, Bjørn Lomborg showed how household energy efficiency hasn't gone anywhere, Stephen Budiansky charted consumption, and Adam Serwer observed downward mobility among blacks. A reader questioned Beam's article on legalizing online gambling.
More on O'Reilly's conflict with Christianity here, here, and here. More on Chicago pubs here and a new installment from Boston here. Andrew reminded us to watch the powerful documentary Restrepo. Hathos here and here. VFYW here, FOTD here, and MHB here. The latest VFYW Contest here. Get your Dish merch here and "The Cannabis Closet" with shipping discounts here.
Monday on the Dish, Manchin lost his spine over DADT, Peter Orszag shamelessly cashed in on his government stint, RINO hunting season opened in Minnesota, a judge in Virginia declared the healthcare mandate unconstitutional, and Ezra explained a silver lining. Palin got her hair primped in Haiti, palled around with Kate Gosselin, elicited a hilarious quote, and continued to play the media. Andrew went toe-to-toe with Pejman Yousefzdeh over Bush and Obama Derangement Syndromes.
Drum analyzed new polling on the tax deal, Chait talked future tax reform, Continetti gave Obama credit for compromising over fiscal matters, Kristol cackled over the same, Larison chimed in, a reader defended lefty whiners, another criticized whiny Dem pols, Kaus discussed the estate tax, and P.M. Carpenter vented over Krugman's fundamentalism.
Bill O'Reilly's fundamental misunderstanding of Jesus was picked apart here, here, here, and here. Andrew disagreed with Sprung over the "doctrine of the fall". Jonathan Schanzer warned Palestinians against unilaterally declaring statehood, the Israeli far right was at it again over illegal settlements – which credit card companies were willing to support over the legal Wikileaks. Yglesias engaged Exum over local governance in Afghanistan and Joel Wing doubted a military coup in Iraq.
Stephen Walt added to the discussion over American exceptionalism, Ryan Avent had a foreboding feeling about Britain, Reihan joined the marriage debate, and Tyler Cowen commented on wedding expectations. Shirky cheered the death of news wires, Frederick Hess scrutinized school choice, and Chris Beam backed the legalization of online gambling. Frum practically begged Rich Lowry make NRO intellectually honest.
Andrew highly recommended a video on being and time. Idiotic hiking shoes here and more on Chicago pubs here. Chart of the day here. Creepy ads here and here. VFYW here, FOTD here, and MHB here. A Dishmas card from the whole crew here. And we're still selling T-shirts, totes, and the new Cannabis Closet book!