The Weekly Wrap

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Today on the Dish, Andrew detailed Obama's substantive and conservative accomplishments, and recalled how he and Bruce Bartlett were tea-partiers avant la lettre. The unemployment hole remained deep and the economy in trouble, and so naturally Roger Simon called for Obama's resignation. The right's economic theories contradicted basic macroeconomics, Fareed stuck to his guns on defense cuts, and Andrew sided with Frum and Krauthammer on radical tax reform. Douthat advised Democrats to hold the GOP hostage on tax cuts, Andrew likened Obama to a one-nation Tory, refitted for the austerity era while Limbaugh compared Obama and all liberals to burglars. Congress' approval continued to disintegrate as did Rick Perry's "federalism," "prayer meeting" and his remorse over executing what was probably an innocent man. Lewis Black could afford to ignore Palin, but Andrew couldn't.

We found out the British government knew of America's torture policy and Andrew could only hope for the moral rectitude that Thatcher displayed. US troops trained the world's forces, and Eric Martin mapped how the US moves from condemning conflicts to straight up war. Alexis Okeowo remembered Black Hawk helicopters when considering Somalia's famine, and we remembered the last gay concentration camp survivor who passed away this week. Goldblog feared the Israeli cause was about to jump the shark with Glenn Beck's help, and Livni was down with Obama. A major influence on Breivik vowed never to write under his blogging name again, Christianists struggled to support democracy in the Middle East, Mormons struggled to defend their blackness to the Church, and some were just trying to fight the good fight.

Hollywood beefed up without really considering the ethics of physical enhancement, Paul McCartney refused membership in Piers Morgan's fan club, and one man lost his hair in reverse. Martha Stewart's empire crumbled, science explained the economic reasons for gang colors, and TNC prescribed a panacea for gentrification. Meghan O’Rourke and Leeat Granek explored what we want when we grieve, and women in Columbia declared a sex strike. The Southern belle got a modern makeover, Dish Facebook users mastered the art of cognitive dissonance, and Patrick's getting married!

Chart of the day here, VFYW here, MHB here, and FOTD here.

EAT from Rick Mereki on Vimeo.

Thursday on the Dish, Andrew squared up to the new American reality that we've hit an economic wall, but he wasn't concerned about other countries gaining world domination. Frum refuted the right's ridiculous claim that Obama has made the economy worse, Chait pwned McArdle on Bush tax cuts and the American people agreed, and Andrew would prefer a return to Clinton-era tax rates instead of cutting important programs. Frum gave credit to Krugman for knowing this crisis was coming, Krugman requited, and Andrew praised Don Peck's foresight. We mapped the dissolution of our functioning democracy as the GOP took radical steps and took on serious risks, and Obama came out on top. Andrew defended the existence of independents and Obama's appeal to them, Freddie de Boer rooted for the left, Jonathan Cohn begged politicians to focus on unemployment, and McConnell was a party pooper.

Romney pledged to break up Andrew's marriage and Andrew recalled how real Christians would treat politics if they were following Jesus' lead. Santorum believed early start programs wanted to indoctrinate children, constitutional lawyers defended Obama's healthcare reform on the basis of the Commerce Clause, and you can examine all Romney's flip-flops side by side. 

Andrew wondered when the last time there was a left-wing secular mass murder or assassination, Nikki Stern contemplated being a symbol of 9/11, and Goldberg skewered Pamela Geller's most recent Islamophobic venture. Donald Rumsfeld may be actually tried as a war criminal, Michael Joseph Gross sounded the alarm about Operation Shady rat, and we questioned the reporting in the New Yorker's Abbottabad piece. Syria's uprising could reinvigorate the Green movement in Iran, Mubarak's trial could vindicate the struggles of Arab Spring, and Steve Cook remained cautious about Erdogan's power in Turkey. Egypt tried and convicted its bloggers and activists, Qaddafi's son compared Libya to a delicious piece of cake, the world's tallest building was brought to you by the Bin Laden group, and the Likudnik beat goes on.

A new documentary remembers the purge of gay people from government in the 1950s, and complex HBO programs may be making us smarter. We don't need horses in our cities like we used to, bioart raised new ethical issues for how it gets disposed, and bees can respond to stress. Dish readers marveled at each others faces on our Facebook page, and the Dish app was around the corner!

Hathos alert here, chart of the day here, FOTD here, MHB here, VFYW here, and the view from your airplane window here.

Face
By Themba Lewis/MCT via Getty Images.

Wednesday on the Dish, Andrew assessed the trauma the GOP left in its wake of all the debt ceiling drama but realized that the American people recognize Obama's stable character. He caught George Will trying to make Obama into a commie when he's really a Tory, and readers saw an out for Obama in all the election game-playing. We feared emergency spending could cut through any defense cuts anyways, Bradford Plumer still had high hopes, but Benjamin H. Friedman feared the defense cuts may be imaginary. Palin sunk to all new lows with charges of Obama still pallin' around with terrorists, we may have solved her "food baby" mystery, Palin's hairdresser was rewarded with a reality show, and a reader expanded on Andrew's claim Palin could eat Romney for breakfast.

In international affairs, Andrew demanded a war crimes trial for John Yoo's "enhanced interrogation" so we could let history be his judge. Assad's forces aimed and fired tanks directly at civilians, we wondered what the international community does if the violence continues through Ramadan, and we parsed why Damascus and Aleppo remain quiet. Larison wanted us to cut the crap with Libya, Goldblog predicted what terrorist attacks scare him most, Muslims most disapprove of violence targeting civilians, Frank Gaffney went off the deep end about Breivik's "false flag Sharia" operation, and Chris Christie stood by his appointment of a Muslim-American judge. 

In national news, Native Americans displayed the democratic process in action better than we could for marriage equality, and capital punishment isn't effective in drawing down murder rates. James Poulos pulled for practical libertarianism as a new GOP foundation, Rick Perry kept pandering, and Douthat singled out liberals' adherence to protecting entitlements at any cost. The Dish's new and improved Twitter feeds and Facebook page went live, a DSK lover didn't think he was too violent with sex, and American politicians were forced to resign over a consensual nudie pic, but not abandoning their children. Doctors navigated American parents selecting the sex of their children, Rebekah Brooks was exposed as the bully she is, and our fantasies may one day outgrow our budget. Elle Herman confronted the limitations of teachers, readers expanded our bilingual vocabularies, and online dating doesn't always match our political proclivities. TNC pondered the deification of civil rights leaders, and Rod Dreher reminded us of our disastrous failure of prudence.

Chart of the day here, FOTD here, MHB here, VFYW here, and VFYW contest winner news here.

Tuesday on the Dish, the dust settled and Andrew stood by his support of the stop-gap deal, especially since it would finally force the GOP to make tough defense cuts. Readers reacted to Obama's pyrrhic defeat, some heard a liberal screech and rose to defend Obama while putting it in perspective (read: he also got bin Laden). Andrew revisited the white conservative South's deathgrip on American politics, we kept an eye on the super committee to the rescue, and McConnell insisted it's never personal. Congressional Republicans appeared to bear the brunt of it, Josh Barro deflated Republicans' anti-tax ideology, Frum tried to talk some sense into Republicans, and the right grew outraged when Biden called them terrorists even though they embraced it first. Chait looked on the bright side for liberals, but Kevin Drum admitted that liberals have largely lost the public opinion battle on high government spending. Scott Galupo missed the conservative George Will of yore and Will Wilkinson wasn't impressed with the results of whole debt ceiling charade since spending was still on the up. Andrew Exum didn't believe less military spending would mean less war, and even with defense cuts our spending blows the Cold War figures out of the water. Seth Masket raised concerns over Obama's reelection due to the economy, but as both sides attacked, with readers dissenting, Obama remained the best man to support.

On the foreign policy front, Breivik's bad Christianity made at least one man realize that the 9/11 guys don't represent all Muslims. The US still wasn't accepting our Iraqi allies as immigrants into the US, China could be positioned to be al Qaeda's next target, and those chanting for sharia law in Egypt couldn't agree on what that means. An Israel-Hezbollah war may be heating up, Goldblog cringed at the Judeo-Christianist alliance in the US, and Netanyahu followed Obama's lead on the 1967 lines which made us wonder what all the original fuss was about.

In national affairs, readers refuted Andrew's claim that real ex-gays don't exist, and Miley Cyrus tweeted her support of marriage equality to 1.8 million tween followers. New photos of Palin's one-month pregnancy emerged, and we parsed the politics of "free" birth control. Nate Silver wasn't your average academic, the slow bike movement could democratize biking beyond hipsters, and enforcing patents for streaming music doesn't make sense. Smart phones could let us make purchases with our faces, mammals can't mess with our big brains, and meat moves after it's dead when you add salt.

FOTD here, MHB here, VFYW here and VFYW contest winner #61 here.

Wyoming
Node, Wyoming, 7 pm

Monday on the Dish, Andrew welcomed the right's concession to defense cuts, and assessed Obama's pyrrhic defeat. Philip Klein predicted the end of the love affair between hawks and tax cut ideologues, and the military industrial complex could be forced to help the government raise taxes. We gathered the web's smartest debt deal reax, were shocked by Romney's ridiculous position, struggled through much of the right's reactions, and understood the debt ceiling with the help of nifty charts and jokes. Joe Klein praised Obama for not resorting to the 14th Amendment, Nate Silver looked on the bright side for the Democrats, and Bernstein calmed upset liberals. We remembered the reasoned debate of Milton Friedman, and the GOP clung to self-regulation of markets.

In international news, the Turkish president demanded a reprieve for protesters in Syria, Hugo Dixon explored the Syrians' non-violent approach, and military resignations in Turkey may have cemented Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's power. Marat Terterov stayed skeptical about the Arab Spring because of the army's influence, we approached a drone zeitgeist, a reader confronted the paranoia about multiculturalism in England, and Nicholas Schmidle recounted Obama's reaction to the Abbottabad raid. Pamela Geller backed Breivik's distorted views and Andrew mourned the bizarre mix of pro-Israel and neo-fasicst European ideologies we're confronted with today.

In national affairs, Andrew didn't believe that real ex-gays exist but defended their right to try and live that way, while a Texan decried cowboy boots worn with shorts but not the gay pride. Peter Hitchens sounded silly trying to defend drug warriors, and readers connected the molten coffee case to tort reform. Dwight Simon wondered if children have to be taught history around war, the cubicle isn't the problem with workplace happiness, and skipping out on subway tickets pays off. Americans could stop overachieving if they only had universal healthcare, readers taught us words with no English equivalents, and more college graduates won't lower unemployment. One typographer tried to solve dyslexia with a new font, ums help humanize people, and withstanding desire may make us better people. Beagles glowed green, MTV was the internet before the internet, and dogs roll in weird shit to beef up their social status.

Chart of the day here, VFYW here, MHB here, and FOTD here.

–Z.P.