The Weekly Wrap

Jun 8 2012 @ 10:29pm

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By Brian Hillegas/Flickr

Friday on the Dish, Andrew assessed "Obama's brutal week" in the context of the long game, gave voice to his visceral anger at Romney's shameless dishonesty, grumped at Obama's use of celebrity surrogates, and dove into some cases suggesting Catholic church politicized to the point of threatening its tax exemption (here, here, and here). We sighed at Rand Paul's endorsement of Romney, worried about Romney's cash advantage, lowered our estimate of Scott Walker's advantage, and wondered if unions should give up on Democrats. Ad War Update here.

Andrew also tracked a revolt against the Catholic hierarchy, responded to some readers' thoughts on the matter, did the same on the question of banning abortions, and investigated a stoney critique of national law. Obama embraced drones for their precision-strike capability, Damascus burned, Egypt's election divided observers, and America lacked good cyber defense.

We confronted the terrible reality of military rape and found the flood of immigrants to America slackening. A reader strongly dissented on "Big Football," others weighed in on pooping, and Bloomberg's soda ban found a champion. The Netflix of porn never took off, online porn created a new avenue for prostitution advertisement in hard times, a sexist YouTube commenter got his comeuppance, the obsessed manned the internet, unpaid internships mostly weren't worth it, home rental was dubiously legal, and hasids resembled hipsters. Quote for the Day here, Poseur Alert here, Yglesias Award Nominee here, Cool Ad here, VFYW here, MHB here, and FOTD here.

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Thursday on the Dish, Andrew called Romney out on the Big Lie that Obama slowed the economy on purpose (follow-up here), noticed a fifth Big Lie about supermajorities (its follow-up here), called attention to Romney's "vigilance against non-comformance," wondered whether supporting pot legalization could help Obama, and responded to a critique of his position on Wisconsin. We checked on Nate Silver's new election model (60% odds Obama comes out on top), bet on Romney appointing hard-right judges, figured money didn't decide Wisconsin, and ridiculed the idea that Obama told a blowjob joke. Everyone still remembered Bush, the Cabinet mattered little, DOMA moved one step closer to the edge, readers debated Bloomberg nannyism here and here, and unions declined just as libertarians learned to embrace them. Ad War Update here.

Andrew also confessed his difficulties during recent battles with HIV and testosterone, gave a pro-life argument for legal abortion, sounded a death knell for Big Football, reupped the call to Ask Scott Horton Anything, told a story about poop, and chuckled at a bear headline. We wrapped our brains around the grim logic of massacre in Syria, called the notion that Libya was a failed state "a myth," and gaped at parliamentary craziness in Greece. A statistic on healthcare misled (sort of), connected the overdiagnosis problem to broader issues with US health care, and put the spotlight on face transplants. Marriage equality debates continued, marijauna arrests were (arguably) not racist, and humans are DESTROYING THE PLANET. Long copyrights saved business money, tech firm bosses had some strange minds, daily newspapers weakened, and Americans moved everywhere. Humans hated being cut in line, Tarantino muddled race politics, and beards proliferated. Ask Bruce Bartlett Anything here, Quotes for the Day here and here, Chart of the Day here, VFYW here, MHB here, and FOTD here.

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Miami, Florida, 9.53 am

Wednesday on the Dish, Andrew mulled over the damage done to democracy by the Scott Walker fight (follow-up here), called out another Romney Big Lie, and marvelled at Obama's success in counterterrorism. We grabbed reax to the Wisconsin election, gave one explanation for Walker's victory, flagged a Romney official's post-victory overreach, Obama's lead widened, his marriage equality evolution helped the cause, Colorado's pot initiative challenged the candidates, and Texas shaped the country. Edmund Burke weighed in on Bloomberg's soda ban and the Mayor was (hot dog!) a hypocrite. Ad War Update here.

Andrew also predicted more would come of Peter Beinart's book than what we now see and gaped at GOP support for Netanyahu. Readers defended the Qu'ran against Sam Harris, Obameron battled Merkel, "leadership" wasn't a Eurozone silver bullet, the European crisis made the 1930s comprehensible, China essentially censored American films, and more work went in to understanding sovereign territory sales.

Finally, Andrew highlighted one of our most entertaining correspondents, implored you to Ask Scott Horton Anything, and shared beagle happiness. We watched the HuffPo descend into self-parody territory, worried about the male invention of the internet, and blasted the vertical video epidemic. A talent for "rescue" marked good hospitals, readers sounded off on the pscyhology of poop (follow-up here), others distinguished nicotine from poison, drugs didn't explain the rash of crazy zombie incidents (on one view), socially constructed racial categories altered your biology, and breastfeeding lowered obesity rates. Luck determined success, a theocon tipped his hand, the private sectory failed to provide subways, and Ray Bradbury lived an extraordinary life. Ask Eli Lake Anything here, Quotes for the Day here and here, Cool Ad here, VFYW Contest follow-up here, VFYW here, MHB here, and FOTD here.

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By Jean-Christophe Verhaegen/AFP/Getty Images

Tuesday on the Dish, Andrew weighed Obama's variant of Keynesianism against Romney's, parsed a reader's extraordinary analysis of Politifact data on lying politicians, compared Romney to Don Draper, and sent Prop 8 to the Supreme Court. We marvelled at the difference between the Democratic and GOP campaign ads, explained why Obama was going to lean on Bain, bet the last sixth months of the election were what really counted, wondered if recall elections were really necessary, projected about a future where Obama supported legal pot, and speculated about the current two-party system's durability. Weather shifted employment, Obamacare made colleges give more comprehensive health insurance, "class warfare" was implicit in the GOP's argument on inequality and taxes, and religiosity negatively correlated with economic mobility. Ad War Update here.

Andrew also updated St. Paul's views of homosexuality, picked out an illiberal strand in Richard Dawkins' views on faith, and welcomed Megan McArdle to Newsweek/Daily Beast. We examined obesity among the homeless, debated the necessity of doctors, raged against pill addiction as a consequence of sports injury, defended anti-depressants, explored the "psychology of pooping," and set social expectations for therapists. People thought they were stars of their very own Truman Shows and Hollywood misportrayed disability. Running backwards helped one man, evolution gave us potato chips, and Nicotine poisoned. Eurozone countries shared little in common and states stopped selling territory. Ask Bruce Bartlett Anything here, Chart of the Day here, Email of the Day here, Quotes for the Day here and here, Yglesias Award Nominee here, Moore Award Nominee here, VFYW Contest Winner here, VFYW here, MHB here, and FOTD here.

Monday on the Dish, Andrew compared Obama and Romney's records on jobs, rolled his eyes at Mitt's turnout strategy, discovered a "humbler American exceptionalism," found the apple of Fox Nation's eyes, and chuckled at Jonah Goldberg's new meme debut. We checked with the Presidential and Wisconsin Governor's races, figured an actual economic plan would be a political liability for Romney, explained why the recall Scott Walker drive appeared to be fizzling out, did the same for the Occupy movement, and theorized about why gay reporters got all the scoops. Ad War Update here.

Andrew also blasted Cardinal Dolan's reaction to the airing of evidence of his malfeasance, found a book the Vatican couldn't stand, called the Pope a poseur, and discovered the open embrace of bigotry by the North Carolina GOP. He further explained the morning's RSS weirdness and mined some good emails out of it. We learned about the Jewish origins of the trinity, noted an extraordinary Mormon gay solidarity march, and were impressed by Jason Alexander's apology for insensitive gay jokes. Reader ripped Matt Labash's response to the first round of criticisms on his anti-meme screed, YouTube made two young girls stars, curation appeared to be blogging, the great headphone debate carried on, and POV photography changed the way we retrospectively saw the world. Anesthesia lengthened surgery, overdiagnosis burdened the healthcare system, the military buckled under the financial weight of its own Tricare program, and Canada's move to single-payer levelled the social playing field.

Finally, Andrew enjoyed the snark surrounding the diamond jubilee and picked out a claim about America's alliances not-oft heard in officialdom. We worried about Russia's role in Syria, analyzed the Peter Beinart backlash, and gamed out the seriously terrible global economic scenarios we might be facing. One writer knew hope for the economic future and another connected food stamps to the economic difficulties of being a 20-something today. Cities bred mosquitos, living in good walking areas cost a pretty penny, cars had a place in NYC, GasPods saved gas money, and Starbucks played a critical "Third Place" urban role. Optimal cereal required precise engineering and researchers studied tomato hatred. Airline fashion evolved and unique creators fell into self-parody traps. Ask Eli Lake Anything here, Yglesias Award Nominee here, VFYW here, MHB here, and (really cute) FOTD here.

- Z.B.