The Weekly Wrap

Jun 22 2012 @ 11:04pm

Elephant

Today on the Dish, Andrew found Mitt's math lacking, parsed the polls to see whether Americans will really vote for a Mormon, and threw his hands in the air over Republicans who refused to name a single cut to reduce the deficit. Andrew applauded David Blankenhorn's defection in favor of gay marriage, and remembrances of the AIDS crisis continued. He defended the internet's "blogorrheic style" and debated readers on the merits of Prometheus.

On the national front, the Dish yearned for more political compromise, psychoanalyzed why we love the candidate who's ahead, and still feared Romney's Cheneyesque foreign policy. Republicans remained uncool, Hispanics Mormons weren't buying Romney's softened immigration stance, and Sister Gramick explained how even the Vatican couldn't silence her. Michael Lind lamented the financial industry's power in politics, Clay Shirky contemplated why social media hasn't been a big force in this year's campaigns, and Alec Macgillis proposed that Obama is lucky to have an inadequate candidate like Romney. 

Vice visited Pakistan's most violent city, HuffPo fired the first shot at Politico, and offered a gem of a correction, noting that unfortunatelythe large hadron collider is not a large "hardon" collider. Meditation helped soldiers cope with war, Pakistan struggled with sex selection of boys over girls, and the world needs better toilets. The phrase "inner-city" was doomed for oblivion as rich kids relished their urban lives, and our charitable giving is affected by how free to choose we think others are.

We got our hands greasy with deep-fried gadgets, jammed out to some Darwinian beats, and admired comedians as philosophers. Rube Goldbergs offer a philosophical take on contemporary life, and "The Wire" challenged our notions about what good TV looks like. Andrew dreamed of eating wheat again, mosquitos like heavy breathers, and Nigerian scammers make their emails bad on purpose to catch the easiest targets. Alone in New York people are bitten 10 times more each year by other people than worldwide by sharks. Ad war update here, VFYW here, MHB here, and FOTD here.

The rest of the week after the jump:

Ptown

Provincetown, Massachusetts, 10 am

Thursday on the Dish, Andrew addressed the question of the cultish qualities of Mormonism (a reader's thoughtshere), revisited his 1992 essay on the AIDS quilt, and celebrated the photography of Alon Reininger. Readersweighed in on Democratic strategy, Republicans shunned important empirical truths, and the GOPoverhyped young, under-qualified leaders. Jonah Goldberg issued a virtual endorsement of marriage equality, Sister Gramick tackled the HHS mandate, and 45 couples competed for free IVF. Obama is the boring choice, at this rate he'll be outspent 3-1, and November turnout will likely underwhelm. Readers filled us in on dressage,commented on the ultra-Orthodox Jewish warning, and the 33-page change-of-address form debate grew more complicated

We debated the radicalism of Bravediscussed the challenge of "writing the rich," and hashed the Jonah Lehrer self-plagiarism contretemps. Sorkin imitated the "sound" of intelligence, honeybees mastered risk, the Palinsembraced a desperate fate, and the media lamented the smallness of the media. Fossil fuel subsidies around the world remained firmly in tact, technology exerted moral power, and McDonald's styled food from scratch. Wewondered if it was possible to have it all as a parent and professional, and a congressman confronted DEA absurdity on marijuana. When it comes to FCC regulations, SCOTUS is more comfortable with violence than it is with bad language, capitalism has inherent limits, and low-skill immigration boosts the economy. 

Poem for Thursday here, cool ad watch here, end of gay culture watch here (and above), hathos alert here, poseur alert here, email of the day here, VFYW here, MHB here, and FOTD here

Quilt

Wednesday on the Dish, Andrew talked with readers about the AIDS plague, heard some harsh words from Larry Kramer, threw up his hands at Romney's entirely unworkable budget, discovered Mitt ruined your hit count, andcorrected himself on a certain 33 page form. We found the race "basically [still] tied," saw Romney position himself as a generic Republican, explained why the press started taking his stump style more seriously, took one of his positions literally, ignored the Pawlenty chatter, suggested Obama needed to get his advertising hands dirty,connected a vote for the President with a vote for the party, and projected the political implications of health care reform repeal by SCOTUS. The poor and unhealthy in America suffered, the mini-DREAM seemed pretty reasonable, Obama also shifted on immigration with respect to gay couples, the kill list may have become the new normal, and a horse stampeded into political conversation. Ad War Updates here and here.

Andrew also celebrated the mundaneness of the new Arab Spring protests, gave a theological take on Prometheus, and reupped the call to Ask Veronique De Rugy Anything. The gay reader whose mother sang Puccini wrote in and religious liberty got (questionably) redefined. We debated whether cyber weapons necessited a new ethical approach to war, wondered why policymakers failed to properly predict the future, and explained why people don't respond to tornado warnings. Writing apps failed, readers raked David Lowery over the coals for his arguments on file sharing, Microsoft's tablet heralded a new computing era, technology acted like "electric cocaine," and Girls succeeded. Ask Sister Gramick Anything here, Cool Ad here, Quotes for the Day here and here, Yglesias Award Nominee here, VFYW here, MHB here, and FOTD here.

Dogeyebrows
 

Tuesday on the Dish, Andrew recounted the horrifying reality of the AIDS plague and its role in galvanizing a powerful movement for equality, celebrated Chris Geidner's new high profile job covering gay stories, and documented yet another instance of Romney refusing to let facts get in the way of a good campaign. We warned you to ignore fake scandals, pinpointed the unemployment rates that mattered in November,debated the importance of Latino voters in November, reconceptualized Obama's immigration move as a turnout booster, tracked Obama's slide in the young whites demographic, assessed how open Obama has been with the press, placedbipartisanship on its death bed, isolated the "core conservatism" of the left, anddefended more open borders.

Andrew also parried Greenwald on drones, questioned the Administration's various tallies of civilians killed by the programs, lauded Max Boot's reasonableness about Egypt, figured China should pitch in more in Syria, gave a list of rules demarcating cults from religions, chuckled at Anderson Cooper's response to Twitter trolls, andasked you to Ask Veronique de Rugy Anything. We speculated that Merkel may have blinked and aired another broad view on Obama's foreign policy. Sorkinhelmed a lemon, Abed represented the autistic, words shortened over time, Microsoftchallenged Apple for tablet supremacy, band profits plummeted, and newspapersrelied on monopolies. We knew little of the brain, mind limited exercise more than matter, closure seemed more like an ongoing challenge, and a man made a mockery of kindness. Variable pricing helped all, meters may (or may not) have been better ran by private companies, shipping expanded, and loans remained after death. Ask Sister Gramick Anything here, Quotes for the Day here and here, Hathos here, VFYW Contest Winner here, VFYW here, MHB here, and FOTD here.

Monday on the Dish, Andrew explained his evolution on universal health care (update clarifying the change in headlines about the WaPo here), defended Romney against the absurdity that is Wawagate, blasted Mitt's most recent statements on Iran, rolled his eyes at the "Romneyite" attempt to distract from their candidates' lack of substance by disengenuously calling Obama's immigration move lawless, objected to referring to the policy as "amnesty," and worried about Obama's refusal to give press conferences. We found Obama "more boring" than previously imagined (despite the awesome picture above), discovered that Gallup's polling was underestimating Obama's strength by undercounting minorities, tracked a surge in Hispanic support, cast doubt on the idea that coming out for pot legalization would help in the presidential race, found yet another GOP anti-gay move, andcalled Palin out on charges of crony capitalism. SCOTUS kept us all waiting for a health care ruling (pay attention on remaining June Mondays and Thursdays), killing the mandate but leaving the law had historically killed insurance providers, and abortion providers became increasingly harder to access. Ad War Update here.

Andrew also introduced Sister Jeannine Gramick (our Ask Anything guest this week), put up another returning soldier greeted by beagle, and noted some accidental hilarity in the anti-equality campaign. Greece dodged a Grexit for the time being, Egyptian democracy took a major hit, pot profits fuelled cartels, medical marijuana didn'tcause crime, deportation budgets grew, images of war provoked some violent responses, and Americans loved themselves some Olympics. Americans opened with names, most countries gave grilling responsibilities to women, and the public sector required serious cash to operate. Billionaire philanthropists didn't have all the answers, inmates and the homeless helped dogs in need, intelligence failed to cure cognitive bias and (on one theory)helped principally with "evolutionary novel" problems, a penchant for Žižek attracted female poseurs, "good" TVwas determined by white male standards, and you contained multitudes. Ask Sister Gramick Anything here, Quotes for the Day here and here, Creepy Ad here, Hathos Alert here, Chart of the Day here, VFYW here, MHB (with commentary from Andrew), here, and video FOTD here.

–Z.P.