The Weekly Wrap

Today on the Dish, the 2011 Dish Award Winners were announced to fanfare and trumpets! Andrew refused to let Glenn Reynolds get away with lying about Obama's record, tangled with Ron Paul's more unsavory writings about gay rights (while reiterating his endorsement retraction), and wasn't buying denunciations of the congressman by either the Manchester Union-Leader or Mike Tomasky. Andrew also looked back at Margaret Thatcher's views on Israel, spotlighted the right's infighting on Santorum and Paul, slammed the Cardinal of Chicago's anti-gay bigotry, and suspected that history may see Romney's nomination as a foregone conclusion. We explained why Iowa always went first, noted that young Iowans liked Paul and old ones picked Romney,  and Gingrich did not "respond well to nonrecognition of his world-historical destiny." Todd Purdum recounted some good flip-flops and Hilary was not running for President or VP.

Readers criticized the Moore nomination for Gorbachev's Soviet pseudo-nostalgia, Obama dubiously decided to allow Yemen's dictator into the US for medical treatment, five hundred thousand Syrians took to the streets, and Andrew wasn't as confident as some analysts that Russia and China were moving towards democracy. Readers found Iran's threat to close the Straits of Hormuz implausible while the Washington Times saw an opportunity to never let a good crisis go to waste. 

We surveyed the year's top Chart and Headlines, London heated up, Julian Savulescu reevaluated the ethics of separating conjoined twins, ballshaving discussion continued, and a lazy dog explained the holidays. Creepy Ad here, QFTD here, MHB here, and VYFW here.

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Thursday on the Dish, Andrew placed Ron Paul's views on war firmly in the American mainstream and slammed Michael Medved for replacing discussion on this point with namecalling. Andrew also defended Paul's record on gay rights and racism, checked in on Paul's chances in Iowa and New Hampshire, heartily recommended Mark Lilla's critique of Corey Robin and assessment of modern conservatism, and kept on mocking the absurd headlines generated by Santorum's poll numbers. Larison pooh-poohed Santorum's chances, Ruy Teixeira warned Obama that he needed the youth vote, and Rick Perry drew a blank on yet another critical policy issue.

The US government came up with options for ending the massacre in Syria, Egyptians created hope for their revolution, Iran threatened to strangle the global oil trade, and Michael O'Hanlon threw out some projections for viable defense cuts. We took yet another look at Pinker's thesis on violence, paying teachers more worked, Paul Starr and Jonathan Cohn debated an alternative to the health care mandate, and the ban on electronics during takeoff found a champion.

The "Returning Soldiers' Dogs" video owned the MHB voting (though the others were great), straight dudes shaved their nethers, college students moved back in and Louis CK made a million bucks on the internet. QFTD here, Moore Award here, VYFY here, Airplane window view here, FOTD here, and MHB here.

Wednesday on the Dish, Andrew got angry at Netanyahu's refusal to consult with the US on Iran strikes, called Gingrich out for hyperbolic attacks on Ron Paul, chuckled at Santorum's unfortunate choice of words, and marveled at the blogosophere's inability to make the newsletters hurt Paul in Iowa. Bernstein wasn't as convinced on that last point, a reader kept up the debate on Paul and racism, Steve Kornacki credited a media blackout with Ron's rise, and the paleolibertarian continued to poll well in the Hawkeye state. Pundits grumbled about Iowa's outsized influence, Santorum (gag) surged, and Perry kept up his patented pattern of saying stupid things. Douthat tried to find the good in the GOP field while a 9-year-old grilled the candidates on the most important political issue of our time: superheroes.

Arab League monitors ineffectually surveyed the devastation in Syria, 38 North speculated about a world after Kim Jong-Il's bizarre funeral, and we worried that both India and China might both be heading towards serious economic problems. Chris Christie narrowly led the Yglesias Award voting, readers continued to discuss limiting work hours, and McCardle gave tips on saving money. We counted down the year in ridiculous comments from both Republicans and Democrats while Alyssa Rosenberg thought the Game Change movie should have been about the Edwards campaign. Wikipedia went global, touch was socially important everywhere, and broken Christmas lights got sent to China.

Tweet of the Day here, Moore Award here, Faces of the Day here, MHB here, and VYFW here.

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Victor, Idaho, 11.04 am

Tuesday on the Dish, Andrew read Ron Paul's fortune in the New Hampshire tea leaves while Mark Blumenthal cautioned against attempts to do the same in Iowa. Byron York chronicled Paul's appeal outside the GOP, Beinart hoped his support inside the party will be able to change it, Adam Ozimek situated Paul's portfolio in the broader context of his crazy beliefs, and Michael Cohen did the same with respect to the congressman's foreign policy views on issues other than war and peace. Paul's rivals also got some Dish play – we couldn't understand why Romney wasn't getting hit harder, thought through what happened if he flopped in Iowa, and wondered if the Gingrich flop was being oversold.

Dan Savage campaigned to win the Moore Award, the Israeli government's P.R. team screwed the pooch, and analysts had faith in the Arab Spring. The rich continued to run Congress while Robin Hanson couldn't understand why workers in prestigious industries were the only ones allowed to put in long hours.

Philosophers pondered food, birds adapted to cities, and athletes spawned a few little superathletes. Readers raked Tebow and Tom Junow over the coals and ingenious students found a way to repurpose low-value New York metrocards to good use. We also, nicely enough, gave you a belated musical present for Boxing Day. Hathos Alert here, VYFW contest winner here, VYFW here, MHB here, and FOTD here.

Monday on the Dish, we launched the annual Dish Awards poll (you kept voting early and often), which led to the tightest Malkin race evah and a showdown between Andrew vs. Jennifer Rubin in the Von Hoffman race. Jim Henley explained why Ron Paul couldn't produce the newsletters' authors, Nate Silver argued that Paul needed the race to be tight to have an impact on the GOP, and Jonathan Bernstein thought that the new delegate distribution rules weren't really going to help the good doctor – though his son might stand a better chance in 2020.

The Economist tracked the global work ethic while Yglesias worried about America's overlarge houses. Readers sounded off on that awesome Navy kiss and the Christmas gifts thread, Tebow's successes (while they lasted) bolstered a sort of American Christianity, and Teach For America caught some flak. Scientists couldn't figure out why nipples got hard, obsessed over correlations, and explained why people walk the way they do. Though Martin Luther demonstrated things could go viral before the internet, riots have gotten way more efficient in the age of cell phones.

Calvin and Hobbes fans got a belated Christmas gift (seen above), celebrities rode the subway, and KnowYourMeme ran through 2011's best. MHB here, VYFW here, and FOTD here.

– Z.B.