The Weekly Wrap

Feb 17 2012 @ 10:25pm

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Friday on the Dish, Andrew dissented from MSNBC's decision to fire Pat Buchanan, exhorted Obama supporters to take the President to task for his war on medical marijuana (follow-up here), reexplained his position on the birth control mandate, corrected misstep on the birth control panel, and declared it "increasingly clear" that Romney was a terrible politician. We found Mitt adrift without a cause, thought the recount in Maine could be brutal for him, and continued to speculate on Michigan's importance for the once (and future?) frontrunner. Santorum's Christianism took a Satanic turn, his interpretation of Catholicism appeared cafeteria-esque, Rick's longtime Iran obsession waxed, and readers proferred explanations of his 2006 shellacking. Newt bet everything on California, the race looked set to continue through April, a brokered convention seemed catastrophic, and Obama's data gathering operation was extraordinary. Ad War Update here and Reality Check here.

The Dish eulogized Anthony Shadid, asked pundits to give Libyans more time, chose its own adventure in Greece, noted American insularity, and spotlighted an interesting World Bank effort to stop AIDS. Deportations ripped families apart, readers continued exploring issues around women in combat, aspirin couldn't replace birth control even as a means of controlling women's pain, Virginia Republicans attacked women's liberty, the contraception compromise wasn't certain to be implemented, and criminalizing drugs didn't solve addiction. The GOP couldn't appeal to Asians, Jeremy Lin outclassed Tim Tebow, and Lin demonstrated our poor ability to predict talent. Foulness surrounded Chris Brown's Grammy appearance, electricity fought self-doubt, and warm winters were not so good. Correction of the Day here, Quote for the Day here, AAA here, Moore Nominee here, FOTD here, MHB here, and VFYW here.

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Spring City, Tennessee, 9.43 am

Thursday on the Dish, Andrew labelled the above all-male Congressional panel on birth control "political and p.r. malpractice" that explained how this issue would haunt the GOP candidate, credited part of Santorum's rise to the contremps, projected a 1964 landslide if Rick won, wondered why no one was talking about Bush, found the roots of the unfunny teleprompter in racism, and chuckled at Santorum's assigned color on the poll charts. We read Romney's ridiculous China op-ed, checked out where Mitt might win, felt his Michigan homecoing awkward, and paired Romney with Dole. Santorum ran a campaign that fit in a shoebox, was surprisingly meh on electability ratings, got killed in 2006 on Iraq,  and looked like the anti-libertarian. Paul snuck off with delegates, the Tea Party went lukewarm, and a mystery man challenged Mitt. Ad War Update here.

Andrew also blasted Richard Cohen as potentially the worst "MSM mediocrity," dug up a reasonable bishop, took heart from Charles Murray's turn towards marriage equality, was cheered by a hilarious Hollywood interview, and worried the Tories were heading for an economic iceberg. Scottish indepence looked to matter to Americans, Assad promised to leave…eventually, drones devastated Yemen, and the GOP blanched at paying for an Iran war. We thought the GOP could learn from Jeremy Lin but rubbished the idea that he was anything like Tim Tebow. The women in combat discussion continued, a reader pinpointed a real concern in the theocon case against the birth control mandate, and marriage equality appeared to be an issue for the legislature. Chris Brown's Grammy disgusted, abandoned children struck a powerful chord, and Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter baffled. Cool Ad here, AAA here, VFYW here, MHB here, and FOTD here.

Wednesday on the Dish, Andrew explained why Obama and Santorum were the winners of the birth control fight and Romney, the Vatican, and the GOP the losers in a three part series (here, here, and here). He also focused on the bishops' inability to get their own believers to follow the rules on birth control, saw Romney fail on the auto bailout, found Paul's appeal to the youth in his foreign policy, applied the conservatism of doubt to Iran, noted an irony on Greece and Germany, thought the internet helped promote marriage equality,  and spread the word on a marriage equality fundraiser in Soho. We noticed Romney taking water during the long campaign, counted his dwindling war chest, figured Santorum might be able to dodge Mitt's negative ad barrage, wondered whether the former was actually more electable than the latter (counterpoint here), dug up a damaging old Santorum video on contraception, and watched Bush's legacy bite the GOP in the collective behind. SuperPACs saved the day and dead men couldn't vote. Ad War Update here.

TNR hosted a roundtable with views sympathetic to intervention in Syria and 2012 felt like 2003 on Iran/q to some. Readers defended women in combat, kids learned about birth control, the GOP needed to come to terms with marriage equality, President Bartlet was a (*gasp*) moderate, and conservatives lost the (pop) culture war. Morality and poverty were interconnected, Congress required more scientists and less lawyers, the US suffered from a dearth of primary care physicians, and the career ladder became unicorn-esque. Moore Nominee here, Email of the Day here, Creepy Ad here, Quote for the Day here, Hathos Alerts here and here, AAA here, VFYW Contest follow-up here, VFYW proper here, MHB here, and FOTD here.

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by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Tuesday on the Dish, Andrew parried Howie Kurtz's attack on birth control, demolished the anti-liberal worldview of the Administration's theocon critics on the issue, was a bit wowed by alternative covers for his Newsweek piece, livechatted about "The Politics of Sex" and other issues, put up a Valentine for Aaron, and spotlighted Santorum's Iran obsession. We were surprised by Rick's tea party appeal, found more evidence that Romney couldn't Gingrich him into oblivion, were underwhelmed by Mitt's ground game, thought he needed to win Michigan to beat Santorum, caught him in an absurd moment of chutpah, and gave up on the idea of an "authentic" Mitt Romney. We also worried about voter surpression, saw the country (possibly) shifting right, and catalogued a heroic effort to save the RINO. Ad War Update here.

The punditry reacted to Obama's new budget, revenues needed to go up, the economy continued to be crowdsourced, and globalization was overrated. America couldn't save everyone and women already fought in combat. 98% of Catholic women might not have been using birth control, self-deportation was both mockable and deadly serious, the father-shooting-laptop child abuse debate got the Dish reader treatment, babysitting your grandchild of another race carried horrifying risks, and HBO documented the story behind Loving v. Virginia. Valentine's day began with a bloody shade of red, cuddling made us human, toxicology took time, and people misjudged buildings. Yglesias Nominee here, Malkin Nominee here, AAA here, Chart of the Day here, VFYW Contest Winner here, VFYW here, MHB here, and (an adorable) FOTD here.

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Monday on the Dish, Andrew defended his Newsweek cover-story on contraception, blasted the bishops' collected hypocrisies, noticed how the contremps was already serving as fodder for attacks on Romney, declared Santorum the greatest opponent of individual freedom in American politics, decided Gingrich was probably cooked, and demanded a fair assessment of the Maine primary (follow-up here). We wondered if Romney could lose Michigan, thought Santorum might not be as easy to destroy as Newt, aired National Review's thoughts on the matter, and worried Romney would govern as the right's "doormat." Readers pushed back against the idea of a third-party candidates, but no one was really excited about voting for the current slate. Election-relevant Reality Checks here and here.

Andrew also gave a heads-up about a livechat and blogging from England, compared Britain's economic future to the rest of Europe's, lamented the loss of Whitney Houston, got angry about JSOC's torture, and praised the Administration's decision to release some of its evidence about Awlaki. Greece lit on fire, Israeli might have worked with a terrorist group to assasinate Iranian scientists, and peacekeepers wouldn't have saved Syria. Marriage equality won in Washington, photos were worth a thousand Komens, the bishops attacked religious liberty on birth control, women in combat generated more debate, this viral video challenged our notions of child abuse, and the drug war may have killed Whitney. Prison phone bills were ridiculous, quality (or quantity?) attracted pageviews, the economy got crowd-sourced, it was cool to forget useless information learned for tests, and most smoke alarms didn't help that much. Animals domesticated themeselves, takeout became healthy, and cooking from 1904 (for "invalids") was totally weird. AAA here, VFYW here, MHB here, and FOTD here.

- Z.B.