The Weekly Wrap

Apr 27 2012 @ 10:31pm

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Friday on the Dish, Andrew explained why conservatism must reconcile itself to marriage equality, flagged a hopeful moment reminiscent of the gay soldier proposal ad, listened to a reader's psychoanalysis, and called Paul Ryan out for lying on Ayn Rand. Romney faced Scylla and Charybdis on the Veep choice while immigration appeared no better, readers responded to Andrew's "Mormon Card," independents blamed Bush over Obama for the economy, young voters cared about the election, Arizona wasn't meaningfully in play, debate continued on the lack of Democratic moral argumentation, Tucker Carlson got skewered, and Beltway culture found its champion. We worried military steps would backfire in Syria, took stock of the situation in Bahrain, forecasted the Balkanization of the Middle East, compared Burmese and Arab paths to democracy, figured Africa journalism could benefit from more African journalists, and aired more reader views on Tarek Mehanna.

Andrew also raked Obama over the coals on medical marijuana. We grabbed reax to the GDP numbers, checked in on the high price of cures, got angry about medically unnecessary ultrasounds, learned that the morning after pill wasn't an abortifacient, questioned science's move towards perfect fetuses, and examined medicalized pessimism. The death penalty required the killing of innocents and the police slaughtered dogs. Americans didn't sleep enough, readers chimed in on "random racial humor," a psychoanalyst interviewed real-life superheroes, programmers bro'd out, a Britishism got explained, and two guys perfected the Craigslist ad. Ask Spencer Ackerman Anything here, Malkin Nominee here, Quote for the Day here, FOTD here, MHB here, and VFYW here.

Thursday on the Dish, Andrew delved into Romney's family tree, hammered Rubio's foreign policy speech, rolled his eyes at Romney's attempt to go after Obama for being cool, wondered why Democrats were so terrible at moral persuasion, and heartily recommended Spencer Ackerman's Ask Anything rant about DC (which you can find here).  We looked at some very preliminary projections for November, heard from a reader who thought Obama already had it in the bag, figured the GOP was likely to keep the House, met "Romney's balls," and said goodbye to Gingrich. Biden egged The Onion on, Obama's "balls" quote was sadly corrected, Romney's team obsessed over Russia, Steve Doocy received a lesson on non-apologies, and Australia fined non-voters. Ad War Update here.

Andrew also took a closer look at the UK spending cuts, watched Murdoch's semi-confession, gaped at a proposed bill legalizing necrophilia in Egypt  (that readers demonstrated is likely a fabrication), was repulsed by the (possibly fake) live burial of a Syrian protestor, and shared his Larkin reading. We looked back to when roads were used for walking, asteroids mining seemed to be a reality, and tiny houses helped the environment. Donating to the government didn't solve tax unfairness, interest on student loans mattered, a questionnaire prevented domestic violence, working from home headed off CO2 emissions, stay at home dads felt stigmatized, and postal problems weren't yet a thing of the past. Game of Thrones got torture right and extended warranties got finances wrong. Eye tricks made snakes slither, Provincetown in 1937 appeared via photograph, YouTube delivered racial humor, and a kangaroo spoon lady performed the Black Keys. Yglesias Nominee here, Chart of the Day here, VFYW here, MHB here, and FOTD here.

Wednesday on the Dish, Andrew debuted his new theories of Palin, tracked the "anti-abortion frenzy" in the state legislatures, found the ad he'd been waiting for, discovered Obama was a dishead, and waited for the VFYWhite House. We ran down Romney's poor primary showings, debated Romney and Obama on foreign policy, pointed to an area of agreement between the two candidates, and listened to Obama slow jam the news. Ad War Update here.

Andrew also reexplained his position on stimulus and debt in light of the UK's double-dip, watched the fighting surrounding the Murdoch scandal in Britain, compared the IDF's Chief of Staff to neoconservatives on Iran, and defended his claim that (right now) more violence was comitted in the name of Islam than the other monotheistic religions. We read a polemic on misogyny in the Arab world (follow-up here), delved into the history of negotiations with Iran, learned about Chinese "forumers," watched Germany attempt to neuter Mein Kampf by republishing it, and saw foreign bureaus dwindle away. Genesis didn't support anti-gay interpretations and the Vatican reembraced ant-Semites.

We also debated the importance of inequality, wondered if California would nix the death penalty, celebrated trial and error policymaking in America, understood Netflix as a utility, and examined whether lunch breaks were good for workers. Dogs altered our evolution, fertility mattered to animals, and humans created new baby rituals. Twitter ruined TV, title sequences impressed, and catchphrases didn't. Physics beat a ticket, "trashcam" photos wowed, and a Russian copyrighted his beard. Ask Spencer Ackerman Anything here, Quote for the Day here, Von Hoffman Nominee here, Yglesias Nominee here, VFYW here, MHB here, and FOTD here.

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Tuesday on the Dish, Andrew went for Ross' (and the Church's) jugular on homophobia, blasted the Catholic hierarchy's out-and-out hostility towards Obama, shared stories about the pain caused by DOMA and immigration inequality, punctured Slavoj Zizek's inflated reputation by airing his thoughts on religious violence, decided it was unfair to call an overturn of the mandate "judicial tyranny," and critiqued a Romney proposal on tax reform. We discovered Democratic dislike of Mormons, broke down Mitt's problem with college educated white voters, explained why a Rubio VP choice wouldn't mucy change the race, picked out the things that mattered from tonight's (yes, tonight's) primaries, and laughed at Gingrich's Delaware strategy. Veep captured a nasty sort of Washington denizen, traditional political cartoons were pronounced dead, America's institutions fell apart, manufacturing subsidies weren't the answer, and there was a way Obamacare could increase the deficit. Ad War Updates here and here.

Andrew also revised his position on Tarek Mehanna somewhat, debated Europe with Noah Millman, delved into the latest details in the Murdoch case, noticed the paucity of corrections on Fox Newsawarded Von Hoffmans to everyone for primary coverage, got excited about reading Larkin's "The Whitsun Weddings" tonight at Cooper Union, and implored you to Ask Manzi Anything. The AP received a fisking on Afghanistan, the "donate to the US government" debate continued, factories moved back to the First World, and readers discussed the least walkable cities. It wasn't clear how many women raped men, men's bathrooms had rules, Tina Fey explained pregnancy hiding, more evidence embarrassed Big Football, and readers defended video games as art. Ask Ackerman Anything here, Creepy Ad here, Chart of the Day here, VFYW Contest Winner here, VFYW here, MHB here, and FOTD here

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Longhu, China, 10 am

Monday on the Dish, Andrew decried European austerity as counterproductive (follow-ups here and here), compared Sarkozy to Romney, blasted the international rot created by American torture, saw a sort-of hopeful sign on the NYT's coverage of the subject, defended his position on Tarek Mehanna and Anwar al-Awlaki, blasted the reaction to Peter Beinart in America, and put Arizona in play for Obama. We learned the press didn't really love Obama, delved into the real voting gaps the polling suggested exist, and set Romney's approach to his religion against Obama's. Soldiers got married (a lot), the draft likely wasn't a barrier to war, and drones were the future of airwar.

Andrew also celebrated Philip Larkin's poetry, worried about the effect of aggregation on young journalists, pushed back against search engine optimization, recounted a friend's story of "being a complete ass" (reader responses here), and reupped the poll for Ask Maggie Gallagher Anything. We debated donating to the US government, discovered a place without minimum wage, explored one idea for employing the young, and wondered how long we'd live for. Pesticides killed bees, the weather affected our views on climate change but probably didn't change our decision to bike, certain personalities might be more inclined to use drugs, music likely wasn't innate, and fingerprinting failed. Readers continued pondering the makeup of consciousness and discussed the Resurrection. Love bore fruit, women liked eye candy too, Napoloen wasn't short, and the outhouse moved indoors. Ask Spencer Ackerman Anything here, Quote for the Day here, VFYW here, MHB here, and FOTD here.

- Z.B.