The Daily Wrap


Today on the Dish, Andrew continued to dispute neocon qualms about Hagel’s foreign policy realism and found signs that their philosophy’s prestige is on the wane. He took apart Richard Socarides’ hypocrisy regarding Hagel’s record on gay rights and pondered whether or not the whole affair has humbled AIPAC. Looking at the bigger picture, Andrew pegged the nomination as the latest move in Obama’s long game, where Hagel will allow for sensible defense cuts in order to sustain our spending at home.

In other political coverage, we rounded up more thoughts on the platinum coin and revisited Drum’s connection of lead and crime. Meanwhile, even the conservative-leaning Rasmussen registered the Tea Party’s decline, while Paul Waldman wondered if Obamagate will ever arrive. Goldblog spoke up for conceal-carry permits while Pareene updated us on the lucrative trade of right-wing snake-oil.

In foreign affairs, Assad’s latest speech contained the hubris of fallen dictators. Flynt and Hillary Mann Leverett insisted that the West ignores the progress on women’s rights in Iran, Jada Yuan outlined the danger of filming polo in Afghanistan, and André Barcinski measured the huge strides in the Brazilian economy.

In assorted coverage, we studied the possible benefits of hunting on the ecosystem and surveyed the amount of climate-driven damage that battered the US in 2012. Hélène Mialet described how a systematized community can spark a singular moment of genius, Gary Marcus insisted that it’s never too late to pick up a new skill, and Bruce McCall counted the comedians from Canada. Christoper West reflected on the sensual and the divine while Roxana Robinson celebrated the stillness of the morning. We paused for a tribute to California’s TV personality Huell Howser. We then charted the ludicrous rise of college textbook prices, Laura Vanderkam found that the people who buy self-help books aren’t the ones that really need them, and Norm MacDonald asked whether New Year’s resolutions could be ignoble.

In more miscellania, we took at tour of that diner from every movie, slowed down to hang with sloths during our MHB, overviewed some VFYW construction in Wan Chai, Hong Kong, witnessed two sad faces seeing their dad off to deployment, and pinched our noses at an Ayatollah air freshener. The winner of this week’s VFYW contest, featuring Tehran, is here. We also continued to take on more thoughts from readers about the .99 pricing scheme for Dish subscriptions and delved into the continued evolution and improvement of online advertising. But we still have no plans to host ads on the new Dish, so you can help support us  here.

– B.J.

(Photo: A protestor wears an orange prison jump suit and black hood on his head during protests against holding detainees at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay during a demonstration in front of the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC, on January 8, 2013. This weeks marks the 11th anniversary of the opening of the prison. By Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)