Herman Cain welcomed us to the "Hermanator Experience," the 9-9-9 plan may have been lifted from SimCity even as it represents an amplification of Republican orthodoxy, and PM Carpenter refused to take Cain's candidacy seriously. Ron Paul connected life and liberty in an Iowa-centric appeal, Christianists deployed an ex-Mormon to expose Mitt's "true beliefs," but evangelicals still aren't flocking to Perry. There's no conclusive evidence that negative campaign ads work, but we wrote Perry's next attack ad for him anyway (his campaign "cheer" just isn't going to cut it). Byron York predicted that the Texas governor's fate would follow the Harriet Miers trajectory, the GOP candidates can't be bothered to make sense on foreign policy, among other issues, and next year's election isn't for sale. As a group GOP elites are a bit too uneasy to stick their necks out for the establishment candidate, and we continued our discussion of Corey Robin's revisionist account of intellectual conservatism. In our AAA video feature, Andrew reflected on the best of Shakespeare.
Post-war recovery accelerated in Libya, we assessed this week's trade deals with South Korea, Colombia and Panama, and an Israeli reader speculated about Netanyahu's reasons for negotiating the Shalit deal now. Kori Schake challenged the notion that spending equals "commitment to defense," and ending DADT hasn't wreaked apocalyptic havoc on our military.
New Hampshire Republicans defied the reality of marriage equality in their state, HIV+ life expectancies climbed, and vitamins are unreliable. A Catholic writer accused the Church of "obsessing" over immigration for the wrong reasons, we pondered the steep rise of the unwed, and Yglesias wants to see male writers take on "women's issues." Our cities are defenseless against the Drug War and rising sea levels, a reader detailed the intensive process of egg donation, and we delved into the history and gender politics of hot flight attendants. Easy access animates our affinity for YouTube kitsch, Snoop shared some "not tobacco" with an accomplished Welsh farmer, we appraised an image campaign on behalf of sex workers, and word clouds are misleading and terrible.
Thursday on the Dish, Herman Cain surged in the polls, his 9-9-9 campaign slogan fell flat, and readers weighed in on his interview with Moore Award nominee Lawrence O'Donnell. Romney is already looking past the primary as he somehow dodges the healthcare bullet, but endorsements aren't pouring in, Limbaugh is freely airing his suspicions, and Chait insists that Perry might rebound. If Romney is elected it's because his supporters are convinced he's a liar, and undoing Obamacare is much easier promised than done. D.R. Tucker suggested that Mitt and the Tea Party are engaged a zero-sum contest, the former probably isn't hiding a secret plan to save the economy, and the latter never followed through on its crony capitalism attack. Meanwhile, a testier Obama raked in $70 million, and we scouted his likely offense for 2012. In our video feature, Andrew previewed his next book, and we marked Lenny Bruce's birthday.
The European press puzzled over the Iranian "plot," Madison Schramm cautioned against freaking out, and we wondered what Iran was thinking here and here. Netanyahu made a significant trade, the Pentagon will be downsized no matter what, and military coups aren't exactly back in vogue. We caught up on Slovak domestic politics, Charles Stimson defended the Obama administration's decision to try Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab in federal court, and human rights groups lobbied Canada to arrest Bush for torture when he visits the country next week.
Matt Taibbi outlined some solid demands for OWS, Nicole Gelinas clarified the movement's notion of "capitalism," and it was largely the incompetent private sector that plunged us into the financial crisis. The war on medical marijuana raged on, Americans are getting more skittish about religion in presidential politics, and a cultural sense of retribution seems to perpetuate capital punishment. We tested the new iPhone's virtual assistant feature, the performing arts entered a depression, and travelers aren't willing to pay more for better-looking flight attendants. We appreciated the scratchwork in classroom porn, women should be compensated for sharing their eggs, and Michele Yulo came to terms with her parents' separate lives by default. Raymond Tallis knocked neuroscience research that tries to explain too much, and Steve Jobs wasn't, in fact, perfect.
Wednesday on the Dish, Andrew celebrated the life of Frank Kameny, and readers eulogized the great pioneer of gay equality. We corralled more Bloomberg debate reax: Gingrich really belongs on Dancing With The Stars, Huntsman may belong in the State Department, and Perry, the candidate without a plan, doesn't belong in the debates. A reader decried Cain's civil rights cowardice, and the other "Rich Lowry" happens to be a Wells Fargo branch employee who designed the 9-9-9 plan in his spare time.
We assessed new developments in the alleged Iranian assassination plot here, here, and here. The Middle East is splitting along sectarian lines, Scott Charney skewered Bono's hollow approach to philanthropy in Africa, torture reigned in Afghan detention facilities, and we peeked at Qaddafi porn.
Elizabeth Warren won Burke's support (fun parody of her announcement video here), rank-and-file Republican voters endorsed Obama-style "class warfare," Juan Willians berated congressional Republicans, and Douthat made excuses for them. Occupy Wall Street is not Burning Man, it actually has more in common with the Tea Party than either movement would like to admit, and we did the OWS math here and here. Obama took up the fight against medical marijuana as psilocybin came to the aid of the dying, and Tyler Cowen took issue with Steven Pinker's methodology on violence.
The English language can claim global dominance, a straight guy built a cruiser app with insights he extracted from gays, and heterosexual boys forged physical and emotional bonds in the U.K. Drunk driving is sobering up, development drives urban efficiency, and the fantasy genre could be falling out of favor. In our video feature, Andrew reminisced about the scarf-clad Doctor Who.
Colorado Springs, Colorado, 1.59 pm
Tuesday on the Dish, Andrew vicodin-live-blogged the Bloomberg debate, and we compiled reax here. Andrew endorsed a big, serious program of infrastructure spending and tax reform, he elaborated on his interpretation of Biblical truths, and he wanted the executive branch to be more transparent about the execution of al-Awlaki. In our video feature, he explained how Oakeshott made a conservatism of the present possible.
As Chris Christie and the GOP establishment coalesced around Mitt Romney, more proof emerged that Mittens godfathered Obamacare. Bruce Bartlett fisked the 9-9-9 plan as Cain grabbed the lead in Iowa, the pizza tycoon tried to sell his ignorance of foreign policy as a political asset, and Larison, Yglesias, and a reader in Uzbekistan cringed. While we wondered if Perry could mount a comeback, TNC was more interested in what the Texas governor's constituents had to say. Ezra Klein stood by the Obama administration's approach to the economic crisis, and David Frum stuck with the party of less government.
The NYPD’s crackdown of Occupy Wall Street egged the protests on, a reader echoed Gregory Djerejian's sympathy for Occupy Wall Street as a movement to re-balance society, but analogies to Tahrir Square go too far. It does matter what Wall Street does, and the top one percent dominates total assets. #OccupySesameStreet caught on, Freddie deBoer condemned the entitled grievances of some of the occupiers, and Pete Wehner had the gall to advise Democrats to run from the OWS "tiger."
Burma is liberalizing "by imposition," Netanyahu has institutionalized right-wing ideology in Israel along neoconservative lines, and the Libya intervention will prove instructive when it comes to R2P and regime change. Readers defended the sanctity of Steve Jobs, and we lingered on his advice to do only what we love. Unorthodox accounting tricks obscure the fact that the USPS actually makes money, Jeff Deeney took us back to his old cracked-out stomping grounds, and we relished autumn. A beagle made the perfect landing, sterilizing your pet may induce depression, and successful marriages require extramarital passion and purpose. We marveled at the extreme curiosity of a physicist, Beyoncé danced a fine line between sampling and stealing, and "giant prehistoric Krakens may have sculpted self-portraits using Ichthyosaur bones."
Monday on the Dish, Andrew remained sympathetic to Occupy Wall Street and bullish about Obama at a time of extreme inequality, he began to dismantle Romney’s oblivious foreign policy address, and he reflected on the miracle of married life. Tony Blair defended Obama against the absurdity of the liberal critique, David French brought evangelical voters back to earth, and Jackson Diehl revised the history of the Iraq War once more. We compiled reports from the fighting in Egypt, a computer virus infected the cockpits of American drones, and IED blasts target the genitalia of soldiers.
Perry unleashed a sweeping attack on Obamneycare, Lawrence O’Donnell assailed Herman Cain over civil rights and Vietnam, and Jennifer Rubin was somehow surprised by right-wing bigotry towards Mormons, among other groups. John Gray pushed back against Steven Pinker’s thesis on pacifism, Kevin Drum refused to heed Peter Thiel’s warning that American innovation is halting, and Felix Salmon ushered in an era of high unemployment. We mapped same-sex households in America, and Noah Millman brainstormed solutions to our healthcare spending crisis.
The standard-setting American kilogram is better protected than the president, HPV now exceeds tobacco as a common cause of oral cancer, a new film celebrates citymaking, and “the storm and stress” of adolescence is rockier than the much-maligned midlife crisis. We visualized dinner and flavor patterns, readers mulled over Steve Jobs’ unique role in American job-creation (and destruction), and one reader has had enough of all the Jobs eulogizing. We uncovered the history of “Keep Calm And Carry On,” hitchhiking could combat our transportation and environment woes, and a Pennsylvania town has been going up in flames since 1962. Both painters and bankers benefit from conspicuous consumption, psychological bribery drives the economy of influence, and regulations stifle crowdfunding.