The Weekly Wrap

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Today on the Dish, Andrew wondered if the GOP hasn't already thrown the election, we assembled reax to the new jobs report (more here), and evaluated Huntsman's campaign strategy. A reader offered a theory of Newt's appeal, the former speaker "fundamentallyembodies the party he helped create, and he quickly declared victory. Arianna Huffington championed Gingrich in 1995, Fox News may champion him in 2012, and GOP insiders mostly sneered. Cain approached his end, and we speculated about Newt's staying power as he prepared to legalize millions of immigrants. Gingrich reminded John Cassidy of George Wallce, Romney is smart and ignorant, and no one likes him. The Obama campaign updated its slogan, life trumped marriage on the right, and in our AAA video, Andrew got into the holiday spirit.

Andrew endorsed quantitative easing in Europe, we entertained European supranationalism, and our Cold War defense budget endured. We discussed the role of the US in Libya going forward, Syria teetered on the brink of civil war, and Saleh stayed in power in Yemen. 

We explored pilotless commercial flight, previewed The Iron Lady, and continued the thread on locker room nudity. A reader shared a personal story of sex addiction and mental illness, Google+ limits sharing, and the penny is useless

Text of the day here, Hewitt award nominee here, Yglesias award nominee here, MHB here, VFYW here, FOTD here, and the difference between Romney and a robot here

Vfyw 1
Upper Wright Valley, Antarctica, 4.15 pm

Thursday on the Dish, the US Senate prepared to gut due process (related Yglesias award nominee here), Andrew issued a final response to Ta-Nehisi on IQ and race, and TNC responded here. Ron Paul took aim at Gingrich, the GOP grappled with their new front-runner's many betrayals, and we wondered if social conservatives would get onboard. Romney underperformed the generic candidate Bob Forehead by 12 points, Gingrich surged to the largest national lead held by any candidate so far, and Romney's buttoned-up candidacy showed signs of fracture. We mapped Herman Cain's knowledge of the world, Ackerman assumed that Mitt is pretending to be stupid on foreign policy, and Perry may have a medical reason for his humiliating collapse. The GOP began to coalesce around Obama's commission on fiscal reform, antagonism toward Obamacare is frequently misplaced, and in our AAA video, Andrew discussed the JFK presidency.

The Islamist wave grew stronger in Egypt, sanctions and YouTube spurred on the Syrian opposition, and on top of everything else, Europe faced a jobs crisis. Goolsbee anticipated the disintegration of the euro zone, civilian casualties of war were discounted, and we debated Chinese containment policy. 

Don Taylor calculated the cost of end-of-life care, readers weighed in on locker room nudity, and a layperson toyed with Adderall-dealing. The crackdown on medical marijuana escalated in California, American Airlines reorganized, and Alyssa reimagined cable television. Researchers at Dartmouth developed a Photoshop-revealing tool, we revisited early marijuana laws, and caught up on canine PTSD. In home news, the Dish is now running ads.

Cain's "great new ad" here, meme of the day here, Hewitt award nominee here, tweet of the day here (follow-up here), VFYW here, FOTD here, MHB here, and the saddest book ever written here

Wednesday on the Dish, Andrew addressed the lessons of "the first conservative," he continued the conversation on race and IQ, and Der Spiegel offered a frank analysis of the Republican primary. The GOP doubled down on immigrationtorture, and taxes, and the public ran in the opposite direction. The Taxpayer Protection Pledge fails by its own standard, Newt's tax plan is less ambitious than Perry's, and Huntsman's salesmanship is sadly lacking. Romney struggled through a Fox News interview, Herman Cain threw his family under the bus, and in our AAA video, Andrew discussed Thatcher's particular power. 

Foreign policy is now a front in the culture war, the US is not a crusader state, and the DRC prepared for elections. Iraq squandered its oil economy, Netanyahu used Christmas as a scare tactic, and a hardcore gay leftist accused Israel of "pinkwashing." 

We wondered about the OWS movement's post-Zuccotti era, examined Elena Kagan's early voting record, and analyzed extremes in health care spending. Chris Christie took on the drug war, Alyssa Rosenberg advocated alternatives to sexist literature, and readers weighed in on the charitable donation deduction and guessed at reasons for the regulation of in-flight tech. We studied the obesity wage penalty, and tackled the sex addiction model. Old men let loose in the locker room, the market for legal services is shrinking, and the middle class is putting off retirement until after death. 

Hathos alert here, comment of the day here, correction of the day here, VFYW here, MHB here, and FOTD here

Tuesday on the Dish, Andrew discussed the foreign policy views of the next generation (more here), he went another round on race and IQ, and responded to readers on research and scientific truth. We reflected on Barney Frank's legacy (his quote for the day here), and Cain "got out in front" of on his own alleged affair. Andrew examined the implications of a possible Cain withdrawal for Newt and the GOP field (related quote for the day here), we braced for the "buyer's remorse primary," and took the Obama coalition's pulse. Andrew warned against Gingrich's nihilistic radicalism, Robert Paul Wolffgraded Newt's doctoral dissertation, and Tyler Cowen entertained tax hikes for the top 0.1 percent. In our AAA video, Andrew addressed the Dish's comments policy.

The UK embassy in Tehran came under attack, bailouts represent the cheaper path in Germany, and the fate of the fledgling euro is "fantastically difficult." Egypt held elections, we tracked events in Syria, evaluated Obama's strategy of offshore balancing, and wondered about the long-term consequences of America's "little wars."

Technology hurts pro sports, students should play a role in education reform, and science is a "great equalizer" of political power. We lingered on women and comedy, checked in on the search for extraterrestrial life, and revisited the cost of marijuana. Richard Chappell saw virtue in conspicuous giving, Noah Millman determined the best conditions for innovation, and The Economist orchestrated a resurgence. We questioned FAA regulations surrounding takeoff and landing, Marc Theissen blamed the supercommittee's failure on OWS, and readers weighed in on George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" and music plagiarism.

Quote for the day here, chart of the day here, FOTD here, MHB here, VFYW here, and VFYW contest winner #78 here

Monday on the Dish, Andrew detected Oakeshott in Kahneman's "experiencing self," he elaborated on intelligence research, and he's prepared to give up the charitable-donation deduction. We assessed Newt's chances in Iowa and New Hampshire, the public warmed to a familiar candidate, and the DNC went after Mitt. We evaluated Gingrich's immigration strategy after the "amnesty" debacle, the establishment receded, and a RINO self-identified. Some Republicans held out hope for a brokered convention, and global AIDS deaths dwindled. In our AAA video, Andrew explained why he's not a total legalizer, and he reconsidered premium support. 

The Arab League stood up to the Syrian regime, the Israeli settlements formed a "network of control" in the West Bank, and the Republican base stayed sane on Iran. We looked at social market housing in Singapore, wondered about the resilience of US-Pakistan relations, and turned our attention to Egypt's elections.

The financial industry doesn't create societal wealth, African Americans stayed away from OWS, and the new Catholic mass could be worse. For police departments, pot-smoking trumps violent crime, an "icicle of death" gripped the sea floor, and the straw was reinvented. We deconstructed DFW's lesson plans, revisited the details of the DSK scandal, and tracked the rise and fall of bitcoin. We tried to understand Black Friday, mapped the actual origins of food products, and charted the wage gap. American pop forgets American culture, George Harrison's "Sweet Lord" was Krishna, and "the backstory is the biggest one of all."

Yglesias Award nominee here, VFYW here, FOTD here, and MHB here

– M.A.