The Weekly Wrap

Feb 8 2013 @ 11:30pm

Friday on the Dish, Andrew diagnosed the GOP with ongoing Dubya-denial, and urged Republicans to get over it for the sake of the party. Meanwhile, Chait chided the silent centrists in the GOP, Karl Rove reminded the foundering party of the “Buckley rule,” and we gave Chris Christie a pass on his weight. Elsewhere, we walked up to the brink of the sequester, Howard Gleckman bemoaned the state of tax reform, and Marin Cogan divulged an unexpected challenge for congressional reporters. Dexter Filkins reported the brute facts of our brutal drone war, Asher Kohn mapped out the ideal drone-proof town, and we scolded both liberals and conservative media on drone coverage in general.

Gwen Ifill remembered Rosa Parks on the woman’s 100th birthday while Jelani Cobb studied the social and racial significance of the late Essie Mae Washington-Williams, lovechild of Strom Thurmond. Also, Julia Ioffe informed us about the crackdown on homosexuals in Russia, Micah Cohen found some encouraging signs on Americans’ attitude toward immigration, and a hospital in Philadelphia got real with local kids about gun violence. Madeleine Schwartz calculated the expense of the government’s matrimonial campaign, and Razib Khan set the record straight on mystery-paternity.

In assorted coverage, we kept readers updated on the east coast’s blizzard, which led us straight to an intentional Poseur Alert here. We smurfed a new, unsavory definition of “smurf,” McArdle pointed out that the US beat the UK to the future, and a former cabbie answered the question you always wondered after stepping inside the taxi. A.N. Devers deconstructed the literary allusions buried in the NFL Ravens, Elizabeth Lindsey Rogers commemorated the life of Elizabeth Bishop, and Luke Runyon reported on young readers enjoying the literal fruits of their learning in Colorado.

Antonio Casilli dished out some advice to the Vatican on its Twitter account, Tom Stafford rewrote your to-do list, and Angela Evancie pushed back against young poets’ achievement anxiety. Also, we compared the church coffer to the diner tip jar and Joshua Holland stuck up for the misunderstood dog breed.

Newtown resident Ross McDonald presented the letters flooding into his town hall as we caught sight of a Syrian woman and her battered child during the Face of the Day. Finally, we peered into the backyard in Essex Junction, Vermont for the VFYW and had to applaud the insane surfers in the MHB.

–B.J.

The rest of the week after the jump:

Thursday on the Dish, Andrew shamed the president for betraying his promise of a transparent, constitutional fight against al-Qaeda, and searched for a smarter approach worthy of our country. He voiced hope that Americans will once again overcome their fear of fresh immigration and observed the realization of equality in Britain’s parliament and the country at large. Elsewhere, Andrew repeated his call for a Catholic burial for King Richard and answered some barbed reader feedback dismissing the Dishhead society.

In political coverage, we clarified the necessity of the BDS debate while acknowledging the group’s extreme goals, witnessed a growing wariness of Christianism in America, and said goodbye to Dick Morris as Fox News fraudster par-excellence. Seth Baum worried that we could exacerbate global warming by trying to stop it while Carrie La Seur provided­ a new take on climate change regulations from the inner West.

Waldman ranked Election 2012 as a standard year for turnout as Alan Abramowitz took the country’s temperature for the 2014 midterms. We also imagined a world without the USPS, at least on Saturdays. Mujib Mashal explained the Taliban’s new Freudian recruiting tactics as we brainstormed some names for Tim Geithner’s publisher, and a member of the repulsive Westboro Baptist Church left her family cult and earned an Yglesias award.

In assorted coverage, we nibbled on some snacks from NASA’s cafeteria, explored the possibility of universal robo-labor, and remembered that we live by the sun and (probably) will die by the sun. While Timothy Taylor predicted the end of the era of junk email, Michael Chabon sought the key to self-expression and we closed our ears for a spoiler on spoilers. As we bundled up for the east coast’s imminent snowfall, we served a scoop of solid blues for the MHB, caught a glimpse of desperate rage in the Face of the Day, and surveyed La Ventana, Mexico during the VFYW.

beagle

Wednesday on the Dish, Andrew pondered how much longer America will trail her fellow democracies in delivering marriage equality and insisted that only fairness and equality will solve the Boy Scouts’ problems. He kept watch on the anti-prohibition bills in Congress, logged another day of self-sabotage for the right-wing media-industrial complex, and fired back at critics of the supposed oppressive regimes of Pret A Manger and TGI Friday’s. Elsewhere, Andrew mused on the life and legend of Shakespeare’s nastiest hero and England’s most infamous monarch, talked Catholics and conscience in today’s episode of Hitch & Sully, and explored the potential of television to blend further with independent projects found online.

In home news, he placed the Dish in the sweet spot between old and new media, updated readers on the first week of our independence, and continued to broadcast reader feedback on matters from the layout to potential merchandise.

On the political beat, Bouie disputed the openness of Silicon Valley, Brooklyn College’s chair of polisci gave his take on the BDS uproar, and Shafer brainstormed who might’ve slipped the DOJ white paper to the press. We discovered how far the government traveled to outsource torture, Nate Rawlings tallied up the bill for shipping our military gear back from Afghanistan, and Evan Osnos tracked the miscarriage of justice for China’s battered women.

While Catherine Rampell tried to pinpoint what kind of worker could take a hit from increased immigration, Michael Clemens argued that any reform hinges on making immigrants easier to hire in the first place, and Laura Entis nudged at the boundaries of the 8-hour work day. Meanwhile, Yglesias proposed a congestion charge for the metropolis, , Ambers assessed Hillary as quietly poised to pounce, and libertarians in Idaho tried to assign their state some dreary reading.

In assorted coverage, Jon Brodkin debunked the rumors of the coming universal Wifi-paradise while we learned how to send a text built to self-destruct, and wondered if e-cigs will lead to e-joints. America’s young readers discovered the fruits of curiosity as we found out what it’s like to proofread a genius. Aaron Carroll reexamined what makes healthy weight loss, Eric Zorn spotted the unique pitch of the ad-free Dish, and Reid Mitenbuler reported the life of Frederic Tudor, who kept the world chill as modernity took hold. Watched the sun set in Bigfork, Minnesota for the VFYW measured climate change on the skating rink and spun a hardcore record for the MHB.

Tuesday on the Dish, Andrew challenged the president on his weak rhetoric on tax reform, sounded off on the DOJ white paper justifying extra-judicial killing, and took a closer look at what made ACT UP more than agitprop. He fumed at the Church’s ongoing sabotage of justice, vowed to stay diligent about the GOP’s schemes to skewer representative government, and sampled Washington’s reactions to the ACA’s new conciliation on contraception. Elsewhere, Andrew marked the passage of marriage equality in Britain’s House of Commons on contraception, spoke up in defense of America’s smiley service, despite Tim Noah’s objections, endorsed the e-cig counterculture.

Finally, Andrew, introduced readers to Patrick and Chris, the tireless stewards of the Dish, and took on readers’ praise and critique of the new, independent site before unveiling the transcript of an unreleased podcast with his old friend Christopher Hitchens.

In political coverage, Yglesias tried to steer us between overregulation and underregulation, Paul Campos warned of the oncoming higher-ed bubble, and Waldman honed in on the crucial steps toward gun control. Larison anticipated the GOP’s inadequate stand against Hagel’s confirmation while Mick Mulvaney struck a blow for fiscal sanity within the GOP. Corey Robin applauded the admin of Brooklyn College for hosting a BDS event, James Surowiescki spotted serious revenue in lifting the ban on sports gambling, and Fox News let Dick Morris back into the wild.

In assorted news and views, we wondered whether Netflix’s original series will incite a revolution in home entertainment, Andrew Leonard pointed out the company’s ever-expanding view into your personal tastes, and Ryan McGee requested smaller TV portions in general. Ann Friedman outlined her taxonomy of trolls, Maia Szalavitz spotted a drug for when you’ve had too much drugs, and Steve Benen caught the bright side of the Superbowl blackout.

Travis Waldron joined the mounting case against the football industry, Alyssa Rosenberg asked Alex Gibney what the Catholic Church’s crimes reveal about insulated institutions in general, and Michael Signorelli spotlighted St. Francis’s interaction with and toleration of Islam. We felt the breeze in Tucson, Arizona, watched a hitchhiker’s guide to heroism, and gawked as Gangham style leapt from the page in the MHB. Later, we dropped by a heavily-bearded Viking jamboree in the Face of the Day and followed the breadcrumbs to Sinzig, Germany in today’s VFYW contest (whose spinoff game you can now enjoy any time).

Monday on the Dish, Andrew introduced everyone to the new, ad-free site and its fresh features, and also peered into other mediums where independent voices are pushing the envelope. He contemplated the degeneration of the Catholic Church, from the guardian of innocents to protector of criminals. Elsewhere, Andrew exposed McCain’s false dichotomy between civil liberty and border security, and cut to the core meaning of his exchange with Hagel last week during the latter’s hectic hearing. After breathing a sigh of relief over Obama’s decision to veto intervention in Syria, he also explored the distinction between love and sexual desire in the case of Manti Te’o and rejoiced at the latest breakthrough for gluten-free sweets.

In political news, Michael Moynihan interviewed the filmmaker behind HBO’s Mea Maxima Culpa, Michael Lewis prepared the wrecking ball for banks that are too big to fail, and Ackerman totaled up the handful of Muslim terrorist acts in the country since 9/11. Kevin Harnett explained the generosity-factor of wealthy black families in America while Lisa Wade reported the growing androgyny of generation X and Y. We rounded up more thoughts on Ed Koch’s handling of NYC’s AIDS crisis and studied whether redistricting really changes politician’s attitudes.

On the foreign affairs beat, Stephen Walt delivered some home truth about U.S. foreign policy, we weighed the costs and benefits of the conscript army and Greenwald raised alarm over academic freedom when the subject is Israel-Palestine. Also, Richard J. Evans recalled Mussolini’s little-known ban on caffeine and Ahmadinejad shot the moon.

In assorted coverage, Kevin Stevens singled out Duke Ellington as a the jazz master par excellence, Eliza Strickland laid out one man’s plan to integrate the senses online, and Rebecca Solnit saw parallels good and bad between San Francisco’s tech boom and the Gold Rush. We checked in with the health risks of Big Football, Jennifer Hollands measured the medical value of venom, Donald Hutcherson added up the prison premium and Jacob Sullum handed back Eli Lake his e-cigarettes. Meanwhile, Mark Dery took a deeper look at the tentacled-titan of the ocean as Randall Monroe scanned our solar system for the perfect avian experience.

Finally, we gazed across Los Angeles, California in the VFYW, inspected a row of Venezuelan soldiers during the Face of the Day, and dropped a serious beat in the MHB.

–B.J.