Today on the Dish, Andrew urged conservatives to be responsible stewards for a society disrupted by the march of capitalism. While he applauded Jane Mayer for distinguishing between targeted killings and torture, he went after Obama for eroding that distinction through his inaction over war crimes under Bush. Andrew also agreed with Tomasky that the Republicans are setting themselves up for a “meep-meep” moment on the sequester before checking in on the marriage equality debate in Illinois.
In other political coverage, Simpson-Bowles showed signs of a resurgence, McCain’s douchiness held up Hagel, Frum suggested a surgeon general’s report on gun safety, and a reader reported on federal obstruction of environmental guidelines for pot. Travis Waldron poked holes in Marsha Blackburn’s argument on the minimum wage as Friedersdorf detailed the sexist history behind the policy. The Feds shouldered the load on the healthcare exchanges while Yglesias and Frakt pondered costs and benefits and smokers paid extra. On the papal beat, John Allen Jr. struggled to handicap the coming conclave while Buzzfeed listicle’d Benedict’s glam.
In assorted coverage, Harry Enten debunked the myth of the liberal youth, Ponnuru went tote-to-tote with San Francisco on the plastic bag ban, and gerrymandering may not have mattered in the last election. Benjamin Lessing struggled with the paradoxes of punishing prison gangs, Jamaal Glenn felt constrained by mailing addresses, and Bill Cunningham engaged in covert activism against homophobia. StatsBee mapped out the best places for New Yorkers to get their caffeine fix, Michael Dempster partnered up for the health benefits, and Katherine Bouton navigated hearing loss in the workplace. Mark Linsenmayer waxed philosophical about Groundhog Day, movie theaters rolled out upscale offerings to compete with the couch, and Margaret Heidenry speculated about a resurgence of “spec” scripts.
Elsewhere, Nathan Rabin tried to reclaim country from rednecks, Natalie Shapero revealed how turn-of-the century fictional lie detectors foretold a rethinking of criminality, and Montaigne distinguished “blameless” sneezes from other bodily emissions. On the science side of things, Daniel Engber wondered at the preservation techniques behind Body Worlds, and Dr. Bong Wei endorsed the Armageddon defense against meteors. We set a new standard of adorable in the MHB, traveled from China to Indiana before landing in Cairo for the VFYW contest, got a dose of metal and glass in today’s VFYW, and gazed at a creepy doll in the FOTD.
(Photo: Surrounded by first responders who may be impacted by looming budget cuts, President Barack Obama speaks during an event at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building February 19, 2013 in Washington, DC. Obama urged action to avoid the automatic budget cuts scheduled to hit next Friday if Congress does not find a path on balanced deficit reduction. By Win McNamee/Getty Images)