By Rich Lam/Getty Images
Today on the Dish, the GOP finally stepped up to restrict the president's unchecked power with signing statements, and Amy Davidson belittled Obama's vision for one-way war. PM Carpenter compared Andrew's true conservatism to his own conservative progressivism, and Razib Khan analyzed how genetics impacts whether we lean liberal or conservative. Perry's Texas relied on the minimum wage, and his outlandish threats to have Texas secede won't help his election bid. Educated women select male children over females more than their poor counterparts, and talk radio took money from GOP think tanks to promote their world view. Palin wondered what her next big announcment will be, and Weiner's penis wasn't too big to fail his brain.
Rationing isn't a dirty word, and Andrew's broken pinky opened his eyes to the archaic systems of private sector healthcare. One reader's story gave us hope for marriage equality in New York, but delays kept it from happening today. Obama doesn't bully Israel, women got behind the wheel in Saudi Arabia, and we welcomed dropping "Internet in a Suitcase" to aid the Arab Spring, rather than bombs. Solar edged ahead of steel, but that all depends on how you count the employment numbers. Badges endanger off-duty cops, tomatoes are the new blood diamonds, and don't worry, Google didn't ruin the VFYW contest. Better biofuels could make for better fuel and algae icecream, technology helped create jobs, and science invented poop meat.
Andrew treasured how magic mushrooms enhanced his faith, and we toured the best church floats in America. TNC enlightened Louis C.K. about why Tracy Morgan's comments actually did damage, and a hard knock to the head could jolt the brain out of depression. Fiction appealed to our sense of possibility, working hard pays off until it doesn't, and this man's act of forgiveness and love saved us all. Santorumism of the day here, poseur alert generator here, cool ad watch here, quote for the day here, VFYW here, MHB here, and FOTD here.
Thursday on the Dish, Andrew reiterated the truths that conservatism used to stand for, and feared Obama's illegal drone wars. Huntsman paved the way for a Republican isolationist, readers picked on Perry's successful Texas and compared it to Massachusetts, and Nate Silver measured governors' advantage. Romney appealed to voters for being electable, Gore embraced him, but his jokes still fell flat. Bachmann struggled to secure the elites' support, Cain remained blind to his islamophobia, al Qaeda found a new boss, and Joe Klein got misanthropic.
Weiner resigned for not having sex, but he wasn't the first and Cardiff Garcia reminded us that cracking down on all immigration isn't good. Bush's CIA went after academics, Obama was still running against Bush, and readers argued swiftboating is when we became Rome. Art schooled history as a more practical career, willpower comes easy after a good night's rest, and the internet allowed all of us to disappear into our fantasies. Photographs tracked the past, and readers remained suspicious of a universal, happy Facebook. ATMs didn't steal our jobs, a eunuch shared Andrew's vision of masculinity and testosterone, and Timberlake exited the cannabis closet. Readers counseled our depressed reader (some with tough love), and Douthat still feared a prescription for suicide.
Beardage watch here, app of the day here, quote for the day here, modernized book quotes here, correction here, home news here, creepy ad watch here, MHB here, FOTD here, VFYW here and the view from your airplane window here.
Monknash, South Wales, 12 pm
Wednesday on the Dish, Andrew weighed in on Tracy Morgan's homophobic rant and Romney's inability to say Afghans, while Republicans may have turned the page for peace. Bjorn Lomborg still believed innovation could solve climate change, Andrew challenged Pareene on why we shouldn't always out gay politicians, and we unpacked the Judge Vaughn Walker ruling, which showed that everyone benefits from equal treatment under the law.
Texas offered Rick Perry a success story, Michelle Goldberg exposed Bachmann's extreme, religious roots, and Romney offered a reliable empty shell candidacy. Bush's tax cuts paled in comparison to Pawlenty's, America failed miserably in global healthcare ratings, and retirement funds and social security remained the third rail of American politics. Robert Gates called out NATO, Stephen Walt and Joyner picked sides, and Coburn bested Norquist on tax cuts and we looked for a trend. Marc Lynch advised Obama to exercise prudence in Syria, whistleblowers won, and drones bucked oversight under the CIA.
Facebook peaked, only those without internet remained, and Mike Masnick promoted letting old companies expire. Tea Party kids learned the meaning of liberty at summer camp, Google threatened the VFYW contest, and not all sex offenders are created equal. A journalist tried to tell a joke to the Dalai Lama, readers comforted the troubled author of a depressed confession and shared stories of their own. Map of the day here, quotes for the day here and here, Ygesias award here, VFYW here, MHB here, and FOTD here.
By Donald Weber
Tuesday on the Dish, Douthat corralled Weiner in with Spitzer and Schwarzenegger, Andrew argued that nude photos don't constitute a fringe activity or a crime, and explained why play (even silly or unsafe play) is essential to human civilization. Andrew responded to readers on Palin's prescient pregnancy, and even Trignostic Joe McGinniss wavered.
The GOP candidates still couldn't acknowledge gays (or immigrants) as part of the American family, and outed themselves as more of a church than a party. We sized up the Bachmann bubble, dusted off the crystal ball for 2012, channeled the donor mindset, and remembered the beginning of the end with the Terri Schiavo case. A better budget deficit helps the investment market, tort reform couldn't solve the healthcare conundrum, and you can calculate the cost of your vacation (in money, time and carbon) here. Chuck Klosterman disapproved of DVR'd sports, The Voice welcomed the gays more than American Idol, headline news gave us headaches, Conan advised the graduates, and this post on suicide and depression broke our hearts.
The male "gay girl in Damascus" flirted with another male posing as a lesbian online, the US couldn't do much more for Syria, and accountability may be on the horizon for war crimes at Abu Ghraib. Americans supported Obama's take on Israel, but his unchecked use of drone warfare in Yemen doesn't bode well for curbing future war powers. Afghanistan's economy remained vulnerable as we prepare to pull out, the US stood tall as the only country still armed for the Cold War, and Don Gomez urged us to reserve the title "Hero" for those who actually earn it.
Maras, Peru, 12 pm
Monday on the Dish, we live-blogged the first GOP debate, with the full web reax here. Andrew scrutinized the super-relaxed emails Palin sent on the day Trig was born, and decoded the divine prescience of Sarah Palin, who wrote in the voice of God. A Palin loyalist abandoned ship, a reader nominated her as the defining moment our politics became decadent, and Michelle Bachmann schooled her in political maneuvering. Herman Cain appeased white tea partiers on race, Pawlenty's (economics) and jokes bombed, the GOP excluded Gary Johnson from the debate, and Romney as the frontrunner still lagged behind.
Readers reacted to the bearded man behind the "gay" "girl" in "Damascus," and we parsed the implications for real gay bloggers in the Middle East. Libyan revolutionaries just wanted bureaucracy, Egypt didn't want elections, and as troops come home, the number of contractors will likely increase.
Laura Kipnis psychoanalyzed Weiner, we loved to kick the powerful when they're down, and Andrew chalked it up to "texting while male." We crossed our fingers for marriage equality in New York, Virginia Postrel tackled the lightbulb ban, and Ezra Klein asked what it would take to end the war on drugs. We pondered how keeping bodies alive has become the default mode of end of life care in America, and assessed the power of preschool. David Sirota popped the Groupon bubble, over-fishing messed with the oceans beyond repair, and old people hijacked jobs from young people. We took a bad trip down memory lane, and a star was born.
Chart of the day here, hathos alert here, email of the day here, Matt and Trey bait here, Malkin award here, Yglesias award here, quotes for the day here, here and here, VFYW here, MHB here, and FOTD here.