Today on the Dish, Andrew envisioned the end, where infighting could occur if Qaddafi leaves, but trusted in Obama. Andrew sized up King Barack's reign, and kept digging into Gandhi's gay past. Douthat parsed the defections (we wondered about Bob Gates' resignation), Steve Coll advised us not to arm the rebels, and David Brooks toed the Obama line. Serwer wasn't letting Brooks get away with his Niebuhr Libyan war theory, Paul Woodward asked which revolutions we can trust, and the lines between civilians, rebels, and Qaddafi's forces all blurred. Bahrain quietly stamped out its own protests, Packer compared Ivory Coast rebels to Libyan rebels, and we still needed to get out of Afghanistan. An American in Syria disappeared and reappeared, while protests there continued despite government crackdowns.
Government shutdown loomed, and Andrew called out Obama birthers while still asking for Trig's birth certificate. We gathered the blogosphere's job reax, Mataconis signalled some sort of recovery, and Americans remained uninformed about our debt. Andrew Gelman tracked the Tea Party's work in Washington, Bachmann beat Romney in raising money, and Andrew contemplated demographics change. The dirt-eating continued, Alexis wanted to harness our failures, hockey was for homos too, and 2007 wanted its rickroll joke back. Andrew got punked by Arianna, readers cheered on the fat goalie thread, butterflies attacked, and Andrew wobbled on his Santa beard.
Ubud, Bali, 12 pm
Thursday on the Dish, Andrew ripped apart Obama's blatant disregard for the War Powers Act, and then Obama accepted his transparency award. Andrew wasn't patting Hitch on the back for Iraq, resisted thinking of warfare as good welfare, and urged the boots to stay off the ground. Frum considered BP's stake, cracks appeared in Qaddafi's regime, and Ackerman mocked Qaddafi for resorting to mines on his own people. Koussa's defection could yield new revelations about the Lockerbie bombing, Paul D. Miller differentiated Libya from Rwanda, women in foreign policy wanted war, and Freddie considered the news cycle. Assad's car got rushed, Christopher A. Preble wasn't optimistic about defense spending cuts, and the anti-war movement was way too partisan. Rand Paul believed in Congress and Bob Gates spoke truth.
Ezra Klein blamed Congress for Obama's weak energy policy, jobs remained dismal, and Uncle Sam subsidized sugar. Reihan debated Rob Horning on capitalism, Fox followed Trump down the birther rabbit hole, cap and trade used to be right wing, and Giffords got shuffled towards candidacy in an uneasy way. Gays schooled Newt in respect for marriage, and service in the military, and beefy lady superheroes could scare little boys. TNC discovered King Lear, the Dish challenged VFYW maniacs to an encryption test, Tim Lee stood up for serious web journalism, and Dish readers gave us the dirt on eating Kenya's good soil.
Charts of the day here and here, fear the beard here, quotes for the day here and here, cool ad watch here, VFYW here, Yglesias award here, dissent of the day here, MHB here, FOTD here, and adventures in Arabic here.
Meanwhile Qaddafi's regime may be collapsing in on him. Andrew recalled the Constitution that tried to make war hard to declare, Larison questioned a war based on Al Jazeera's coverage, and Benjamin H. Friedman encouraged the Pentagon to find the funding for wars in its own budget. We debated arming the rebels, tracked their ties to Al Qaeda, and they continued to suffer setbacks. Greg Scoblete wondered if we could walk away, Erik Voeten examined how foreign intervention increases chances of civil war, and Doug Mataconis likened the "right to protect" crowd to the new neoconservatives. Arab Spring arrived for Angry Birds, and belt buckles tested our fashion knowledge.
The dashed DOMA news crushed Andrew, and he battled deniers that Gandhi was gay. Bernstein looked forward to crowning 2012's King Crazy, while a sane Mitch Daniels would lose it either way. Frum frowned on the GOP's climate change stance, and Christians don't consider Mormons Christian. Richard Florida exposed the conservative states of America, Ezra Klein calculated the economic cost of a government shutdown, and we tracked the reax to Obama's half-assed energy policy.
Michelle Rhee pulled a Nixon on the test scores scandal, urban legends lived on, nuclear power is a Frankenstein for our time. David Brooks taught us the Pareto Principle for everyday use, Lux Alptraum feared the fate of famous boys, and more kids applied to colleges. Julian Sanchez considered how much we deserve from the un-copyrighted inheritance we've gotten, and international media piracy persisted. Readers tried out squirmish, loved the firehose, pregnant women eat dirt, and wedding dresses could be bought in bulk. Yann Arthus Bertrand captured the world from above while Matt Stopera compiled pictures from the world beyond.
Tuesday on the Dish, Andrew asked conservativism to consider raising income tax rates, and bemoaned the slim pickings for 2012 since the GOP has gone fringe. Newt feared a secular socialist Islamist America, Romney's phoniness trumped all, and the Tea Party still tilted towards unbearably white. Andrew and Dan Savage gave the Obamaites credit for changing course on gay rights, TNC considered Ferraro's white populism, and Philip Greenspun questioned a $40 million paywall. Herman Cain played the black conservative victim card, Ezra Klein wanted to tweak Social Security to save them, and Alexis tracked the death of the first electric car (in 1900).
Rebel forces hadn't quite overtaken Qaddafi's hometown, bodies piled up, and recents victories were reversed. Douthat didn't think Obama owned up to his real choice in Libya, but the American public approved of the Goldilocks war. Exum and feared a stalemate, Marc Lynch put Arab opinion with Obama, Roger Cohen urged ruthlessness, and Andrew wondered if our intervention would ruin nascent rebellions in other countries. Freddie dismantled the metaphor of Libya as an old woman, Israel yawned, and Palin named the war a squirmish. Nick Kimbrell compiled a soundtrack the the Arab revolutions, Crowley stood by his disapproval of Manning's treatment, and the US challenged authoritarian regimes for who could kill the most prisoners. Matt Alt contrasted the Japanese coverage of the crisis, and Goldman Sachs ordered its employees to stay in Japan.
Andrew filtered his belief in God through his Catholicism, Linton Weeks assessed our kibbles and bits society, and readers got blasted by the Dish firehose. South Park seeped into Andrew's subconscious, a reader re-invented the Kinsey Gaffe, and beardage was still trending. Social networking could end bullying, love could save architecture, and sometimes incentives corrupt. Top teenage dirty words here, ultimate spoiler here, quotes for the day here, here and here, MHB here, FOTD here, VFYW here, and VFYW contest winner #43 here.
By Aris Messinis/AFP/Getty Images
Monday on the Dish, Andrew parsed Obama's speech on Libya and his undeniable belief in American exceptionalism, and we rounded up the rest of the reax. Andrew requested a budget for Libya, debated war without vital national interests at stake, and likened Obama to Angelina with an air force. Per Freddie's request, Andrew expressed relief at the massacre averted by the war, Goldblog questioned the vacuum being created, and Exum explored what winning in Libya would mean. Steve Negus decoded America's abstract mission in Libya, and Peter Feaver outlined advice for Obama. A statue fell in Dara'a, a woman protested her own rape by Qaddafi's forces, and we checked in on Benghazi. Some bristled at NATO's involvement, the pro-Qaddafi rhetoric fizzled, and John Lee Anderson still couldn't figure out who exactly leads the rebels. Demonstrations stirred in Iraq, Jackson Diehl shilled for Israel, and Greg Scoblete examined two bad options following Somalia's model.
More disturbing footage poured in from Japan, a kid from Wasilla pled guilty, and religion created political order in the world. A homosexual was stoned in Pennsylvania, while gay marriage in Holland celebrated ten years and a fraction of the divorce rate as their straight counterparts. Gingrich's favorables plummeted, Mark Blumenthal tracked the GOP's House, Nate Silver believed Romney could win, and Bachmann eyed Iowa. A Mormon seconded Andrew's review of "The Book Of Mormon," Andrew gaped at looniness on the right and Trump birthed it up with a false birth certificate of his own.
The Boomers kept trucking, goodwill wages don't last long, and the law school bubble burst. The slush pile sells well, royal weddings hurt tourism, and Roger Ebert peddled fares on Amazon. America had to get bigger buses, viruses represent a fourth domain of life, and the New York Times ignored DC's female bloggers (again). American teenagers were invented after war, information had a new lease on life, and the wall went up. Angry Birds went Hollywood, the future web on tablets beckoned, and a reader nominated TNC to replace Bob Herbert. Malkin award here, Yglesias award here, dissents of the day here, bucketload of creepy here, quotes for the day here, beard of the day here, VFYW here, MHB here, and FOTD here.