The Weekly Wrap

May 11 2012 @ 10:45pm

Friday on the Dish, Andrew flagged a remarkable pro-gay GOP internal memo, recounted his own attempt to date a woman, compared his school pranks to Romney's, and tracked some right-wing panic over Mitt's bullying incident. We kept up with the discussion of the hair-cutting attack, figured running on foreign policy wasn't Romney's best move, opened up an "empathy" gap between Mitt and Barack, bet marriage equality would help Obama in the fall, placed Obama in the gay rights pantheon, speculated on the future of gay politics, checked on the downticket races, lauded an impressive move towards filibuster reform, knocked Jonah Goldberg down a peg, and brought out the popcorn for a Barney Frank smackdown.

Video games prepared the next generation of warriors, TSA profiling seemed wrong, and an alien invasion of New York (a la The Avengers) would cost $160 billion. We predicted digital brains were impossible, taught you how to fight robots, wondered if parrots understood language, prioritized statistics in the modern economy, examined online scams, spotlighted the live-tweeting of brain surgery, and debated attachment parenting. The top .5% took all the cash, the recession sucked away trillions, and visiting America was too hard. Fish stocks were depleted and America went gluten-free. Ask Maggie Gallagher Anything here, Malkin Nominee here, Hathos here and here, Quotes for the Day here and here, Tweet of the Day here, Chart of the Day here, VFYW here, MHB here, and FOTD here.

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Halong Bay, Vietnam, 12 pm

Thursday on the Dish, Andrew reflected further on the evolution of the president (yesterday's NPR segment here, third round of blogger reax here), while gay GOP activists somehow reverted to partisanship and disdain. We sorted through the politics of Obama's historic shift, Andrew owned up to a Von Hoffman nomination, and Bristol Palin stood by traditional marriage. The president sent a signal to the courts and to the Democratic leadership, readers could relate to his "evolution," and the fight for marriage equality is deeply-rooted. It turns out that the pre-election announcement was probably predetermined, and North Carolina was worse than we thought. 

We checked in on the civil unions bill in Colorado, were confronted by sunflowers, and remembered those who didn't live to see the day. Romney exuded caution in response, and his actual position became increasingly unclear. As a high school bully, the presumptive Republican nominee targeted the weak and marginalized, he had a hard time apologizing, and a clear choice emerged between the future or the past. Those on the wrong side of history huddled around an NRO symposium, marriage has been "redefined" before, and in reality marriage equality strengthens marriage. 

Meanwhile, the shrinking of the public sector dampened the recovery, ordinary Americans were fine with deep cuts to defense, the UN mission in Syria didn't stand a chance, and Islamism lost steam in Egypt. It might be a good time for house-hunting, silents are wondrously demanding, occupational licenses are unnecessary, and the obesity epidemic is going to make us pay

Ad War Update here, Ask Maggie Anything here, VFYW here, FOTD here, and MHB here

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By Getty Images

Wednesday on the Dish, Andrew broke down over Obama's public evolution on gay marriage, recanted his claim that Obama's shift wouldn't matter, took stock of the thinking that motivated anti-equality crusaders (follow-up here), looked in vain for Democratic hit men, and gagged at the Obama campaign's emails. We grabbed reax to Obama's big shift here and here, picked out the Christian heart in Obama's defense of equality, discovered a GIF tumblr about the event, tackled some terrible arguments against the President's position, picked out an apt historical comparison to North Carolina's retrograde vote, assessed whether Obama was sticking his political neck out, and looked at the tough position Romney was stuck in now. Romney was trapped on immigration as well, Ron Paul crept up on the GOP, the election wasn't over, and the radical right ate Lugar. Ad War Update here.

Andrew also compared the US and European approaches to recessions and austerity, defended a pundit's right to mock black studies and not get fired (critical follow-up here), and reissued the call for Dishterns: The Next Generation. We discovered the best gene, worried about the growing need for geoengineering, debunked the notion that dinosaurs farted there way to runaway climate change and extinction, and weighed the evidence that e-readers were good for the climate. Slideshows killed websites, Mark Zuckerberg delayed gratification ad infinitum, people bought (more or less) cardboard furniture, TSA profiling produced complex feelings for one reader, and raccoons boned. Ask Maggie Gallagher Anything here, Quotes for the Day here and here, Headlines of the Day here and here, Yglesias Nominee here, VFYW here, MHB here, and FOTD here.

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By Soe Than Win/AFP/Getty Images

Tuesday on the Dish, Andrew read the polling evidence that the heinous Amendment 1 would pass in North Carolina (as it did), laid bare the bigoted view that underpins the Amendment, explained why those who support its ban on civil equality are out of step with America, gave an explanation for what made them tick, and compared Obama's record on gay issues to Romney's awful one. A despairing gay reader planned to leave North Carolina if the Amendment passed (responses offering support poured in here and here), Romney might have gained more supporters than current polling suggested, business experience (debatably) helped Mitt, minority voter registration dropped off (follow up here), and Obama embodied an optimistic sort of populism. The Julia Obama ad met with mixed reviews, Wall Streeters disliked the Administration, and Mormonism embraced Zionism. Ad War Update here.

Andrew also defended himself against an attack in Jonah Goldberg's new book and castigated an old-new Israeli policy. We grabbed reax to Netanyahu's spectacular new coalition deal, dug deeper on the implications of a leftist government in Greece, and sampled the exquisitely inauthentic adaptations of "American food" abroad. A reader spoke up for a more moderate atheism, our brains treated God like a person, we all believed in magic, and daydreams popped up all the time. We linked marriage to class, explored the truth about emergency care in the US, cast our iPhone contracts in an (unfavorable) international light, and learned about the nation's biggest company, ExxonMobile. Cities inspired and chairs killed. Ask Maggie Gallagher Anything (with reader comment) here, Hewitt Nominee here, Quote for the Day here, VFYW here, VFYW Contest Winner here, MHB here, and FOTD here.

Monday on the Dish, Andrew assessed the implications of Sarko's loss and the rise of the European left and explored a deeply disturbing proposal for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from Rep. Joe Walsh. We compiled reax to Hollande's victory, delved into Greek coalition negotiations, psychoanalyzed Britain's Foreign Secretary, noticed the guarantee of marriage equality in the UK by 2015, profiled Salaam Fayyad,  listened to an insider account of the Chen Guangcheng affair, compared the European labor force to its American equivalent, debated the ethics of foreign adoption, reminded ourselves that we were still at war, and aired a poignant message to KSM.

Andrew also apportioned some blame to the states for our marijuana debacle and mocked Mark Levin's wafer-thin understanding of the history of political philosophy. We also pooh-poohed the idea that swing state polls mattered, guessed about the kind of job creation Obama needed to keep his own job, figured Obama couldn't be swift-boated, noted Obama's problem with Wall Street, counted Ron Paul's delegate gains, bet Romney would push for some kind of stimulus, and debunked "Big Government Obama." An Obama official clearly endorsed marriage equality and put up a debate on TSA profiling. Ad War Update here.

We also called for a challenge to college football, examined the links between American diet and health, opened up to the idea of giving addicts a place to shoot up, and worried about social jet lag. An argument about Jesus' existance was weak and agnosticism was compatible with atheism. The internet rewired your brain (like everything), an app replaced greeting cards, figured AI beings would really be our children, recycling incentivized consumption, and the internet created new image copyright images. Pregancy resulted in carrying cells for years, psychology explained argument, and the Scrooge dive required an extraordinary amount of gold. Ask Maggie Gallagher Anything here, Hewitt Nominee here, Quotes for the Day here, here, here, here, and here, VFYW here, MHB here, and FOTD here.

- Z.B. (Thursday by M.A.)