The Weekly Wrap


Friday on the Dish, Andrew clarified his position on Iran, defended himself against Jeffrey Goldberg on anti-Semitism and pointed out the potential impact of Jim Webb's stemwinder. Chait then conceded on the devastating effect of "47%," Bartlett explained why Romney's fundraising hasn't paid off and seniors flocked to Obama.

Meanwhile, Sam Wang stood fast on his Dems-take-the-House theory, Ezra Klein described the undecideds and Cottle thought Romney lost the debate expectations game. Worries about voting laws energized the Dem base, the horserace trampled Romney and Waldman argued the debates couldn't save him – something Romney's unfavorability might attest to. David J Lynch then criticized Obama's economic policies, Jim Tankersley feared upward mobility was a thing of the past and Lee Fang exposed the horrific connections of an anti-pot crusader. And as Erik Voeten reframed the drone debate, a soldier came home.

While bloggers sounded off on the Bibi bomb sketch, the Internet lampooned him. And as Ackerman said the surge failed, Mohammed Hanif reflected on life in Karachi and the Iranian press plagiarized the Onion – unironically.

In assorted commentary, sexism pervaded the sciences, Dylan Byers wondered if The Atlantic was closing down and Apple embarrassed itself. Peg Tyre considered how writing instruction has changed, Gideon Lewis-Kraus reviewed DFW's final collection and readers advised on pepping up pups. Charles Kaiser then summed up 40 years of being gay as Dina discussed the BLT community. And while Republicans liked light beer more than Dems did, Indians worked hardest to earn their brewskis. MHB here and VFYW here.

The rest of the week after the jump:


Thursday on the Dish, Andrew argued that neocons are running against Carter, claimed the inalienable right to medical marijuana, and thanked extremists for alienating the Catholic mainstream. He then explained Obama's lack of complacency, flagged Obama's "closing argument" ad, and, after declining to rule out a landslide, called attention to David Corn's unearthed Bain video.

As Dick Morris declared the race to be tied and the poll-doubting craze caught on even more, Tomasky asked Republicans to face reality. Meanwhile, as the Obama campaign rolled out another slew of high-impact ads, Chait analyzed the team's superior return on investment.

Mark Lilla then framed middle-roader Obama expectations, Dylan Matthews identified the lobbying boost for DC's economy and Weigel highlighted how redistricting locked in 2010 gains. Bloggers debated the upward jobs revision, almost everyone depended on the government, and as Jacob Sullum hailed a turning point in pot legalization, Shamus Khan longed for yesteryear's tax attitudes.

In coverage of global issues, Netanyahu drew a bomb at the UN, Steve Coll questioned Muslim rage and Alec MacGillis exposed Romney defense of free trade with China. And while Americans increasingly supported torture, Joshua Foust questioned the reliability of the Stanford drone report.

In assorted commentary, Andrew shared his struggles with doggie anxiety and relayed how Drudge cheered up the, uh, drudgery of moving. Parul Sehgal then reflected on the immigrant's relationship to books, academics offered more perspectives on the papyrus scroll mentioning Jesus' wife and the Mormon Church cracked down on a Mormon blogger. Dina admired Fatty Arbuckle, more readers speculated on whom weddings are for and James Bond voyaged in style. Brian Fung then wondered what to do when you can't fall asleep and Jackson Landers investigated chicken taste. New-fangled angling here and VFYW here.


By Win McNamee/Getty Images

Wednesday on the Dish, Andrew detailed why drone attacks aren't part of a "just war," analyzed Romney's late-in-the-game image reversal, and broke down election odds. He then took on the "intelligence briefing" smear and live-chatted about his latest cover story on Obama. Greenwald and readers reacted to Andrew's Obama-as-Reagan argument, Stan Collender laid out Boehner's dilemma, and Nyhan and Sprung debated whether the GOP will come to the table. Poll-doubting gained momentum, Nate Silver imagined a Romney victory without Ohio and Bob Wright wondered how that comeback line might sound.

Meanwhile, Erick Erickson blamed "elitists" for the Romney nomination, an unemployed Ohio resident reflected on the 47 percent, and Daniel McCathy asked whether the GOP was still a national party. Something fishy then emerged on Romney's taxes, Tom Tancredo endorsed pot decriminalization, Jose Antonio Vargas tried to to stamp out "illegal alien," and Bill Bishop examined public opinion on immigration. In the ad war, the candidates churned out more of the same while encouraged DIY ads. 

Looking globally, David Kenner exposed torture in Syria, Eli Lake questioned what the White House knew about Libya and FOTD here. The Bible neglected to hate on gays, stars outnumbered sand grains, Christopher Mims deconstructed Facebook's emerging market strategy, and a professor noted who will foot the bill for current law students. Terror tickled, readers chimed in on whom weddings are really for and Dan Baer most certainly was not an interior designer. Dina Martina addressed "the monster that is pinkeye," Louis CK conquered the entertainment industry and J.K. Rowling shed light on the sex-around-unicorns taboo. MHB here and VFYW here.


Tuesday on the Dish, Andrew envisioned Obama as Reagan and hoped for his re-election to prompt change in Israel's coalition government. Meanwhile, Nate Cohn analyzed Obama's lead, and as Josh Barro noted that Romney can recoup his tax overpayment later, readers reminded us that notarization had no bearing on the veracity of Romney's tax summaries.

While early voting began, Romney buried his head in the sand about swing states, Joseph Cera outlined why Obama's bounce will hold and Matthew Continetti blamed the media for reporting poll results. The Obama campaign then rolled out 47% ads, Simpson and Bowles warned of the looming fiscal cliff and TNC discussed when Obama disappointed him most.

As Maine firemen supported marriage equality, John Corvino explained marriage equality rationales. Scott Reynolds Nelson then explained how America was founded on credit, the Seattle Times endorsed marijuana legalization, and while Evan Thomas liked Ike, Lewis J. Gould described TR's PR.

In world news, Andrew likened the MEK to the IRA, Libya fought back and Gourevitch critiqued intervention. Plus, data suggested the world's heating up.

In assorted commentary, Andrew looked forward to seeing "The Master" after reading a brilliant post. Meanwhile, cold offices slowed down employees – or perhaps they misunderstood procrastination – Jeff Wheelwright augured the future of our ageing nation, and Apple's map proved dangerous. Someone scrubbed Jonah Lehrer's e-book, Americans envied beer and electronic chess players cheated. And as Matt Bell graded in Beckett quotes, The Oatmeal captured dog diets.

Andrew and Dina shot here, VFYW here and MHB here.

Chart from ASU's Center for Sustainable Health

Monday on the Dish, Andrew said "nice try" on Romney's videogate retaliation, hailed another Obama campaign ad and called out cynicism in Romney's elite pandering that Obama lacked. Readers testified to Romney's ignorance of how most Americans live. Meanwhile, Romney's 47% stat conveniently omitted all other taxes, Millman and Larison traded views on whether Romney's comments would hurt him and the two-minuters entered.

In polls, Obama lost his bounce but gained in the enthusiasm gap, topping Romney on a number of key dimensions. And while Obama still led by more now than he did at this point in 2008, the race more closely resembled 2004. Plus, Warren's prospects boosted Dems' Senate outlook and same-sex marriage initiatives looked set for ballot-box victories. Finally, Pew results suggested the public sided with Obama on last week's embassy attacks.

Team Romney rolled out a debt-focused ad, Alyssa praised Obama's Letterman appearance and Peggy Noonan compared Romney's spending strategy with Obama's – unfavorably. Ambers argued the economy isn't everything as Jay Rosen pointed the way out of the "post-truth" era – something beefcakey blowhard Paul Ryan needed some help with. Chris Geidner, meanwhile, awaited the announcement of marriage equality cases on the SCOTUS docket and TNC mused on whether the GOP is racially motivated.

In world news, Stephanie Kleine-Ahlbrandt flagged escalating Sino-Japanese hostility as both presidential candidates slammed China on trade. Meanwhile, Razib Khan explored global views on free speech, women excelled in the CIA and the climate for crime ripened.

In assorted commentary, Malcolm Gladwell investigated the screening tactics of child-molestors, Tanya Marie Luhrmann explained how our understanding of schizophrenia has evolved and Catherine Rampell labeled McArdle's college-is-a-bad-investment thesis "faddish." Burberry offended Aaron Paul, the iPhone 5 bored and Jane Austen lit up brains. Then readers threw down widsom on girly hurling.

MHB here,VFYW here and don't forget to vote for the "Dick" presence in the Morris Award – and ask Christopher Ryan anything!


Saturday and Sunday on the Dish, we focused on matters of faith and doubt, with Andrew providing his take on the debate over a 4th century Coptic text that includes Jesus mentioning his wife. Elizabeth Drescher lamented the lack of preaching about non-violence in Christian churches, Thomas Nagel and Jerry Coyne debated God and science, David Sessions used political theology to critique liberalism, Ted Hughes intimated the words of Jesus with his thoughts on the child within, Scott Aikin and Robert Talisse explored what civility means in the face of religious and moral disagreement, and Bruce Epperly meditated on the connection between God and beauty.

In literary news, Maria Bustillos deemed James Thurber the American Kafka, Kathryn Schulz defended Michael Chabon's use of Obama in his new novel, Laura Krantz highlighted a photographer's take on culinary scenes from great books, James Guida pondered Jay-Z's bonafides as a poet, and Joe Hiland explained why your fiction remains unpublished. William Gibson argued that science fiction isn't very good at predicting the future, Michael McGrath gave the reasons why cinematica portrayals of writers fall flat, Paul Elie described how the Internet changed the biographer's task, Robert McCrum marveled at writers' strange habits, and Nigel Warburton contended for poetry's philosophical merits. Read Saturday's poem here and Sunday's here.

We didn't entirely ignore politics, either. Andrew peered behind the horse race, updated us on the rolling calamity that is the Romney campaign, detailed the latest AIPAC victory in the Senate, noted Romney's sudden dip on Intrade, and savored the karma in Romney's tax return typo. Joseph McMurray examined whether the uninformed should vote, Conservatives in Canada proved to be warriors for gay equality, Walter McDougall critiqued the crusader state, Costica Bradatan explicated why we're moved by self-immolation, and a Dishead from Papa New Guinea sent us a photo of an awesome campaign billboard.

In assorted coverage, Mark Jacobson toured public housing in New York, Alex Stone revealed a magician's trick, Matt Novak analyzed the lasting influence of The Jetsons, Tracy Clark-Flory appraised the evolving science of pregnancy, Alexander Kafka panned a new movie about porn, and Richard Ingham offered a scientific primer on drinking champagne. Torie Bosch contemplated the reasons to elope, Heather Pringle evaluated the evolutionary advantages of honey, and John Fischer visited continuing care retirement communities. We asked TNC anything here and here. FOTDs here and here, MHBs here and here, VFYWs here and here, and the latest window contest here.