The Daily Wrap

Chuck Hagel Begins His Post As Defense Secretary

Today on the Dish, Andrew welcomed big businesses to the ranks of the marriage equality supporters, raised his eyebrows at news that Benedict will continue to retain his personal secretary even as the latter services the new Pope, and then wondered who would be left at the Conclave if closeted or enabler Cardinals were excluded. Reihan connected the pace of change on the right to the rise of young pundits on the left, Peter Beinart traced the roots of the right’s Hagel hatred to the Dubya era, Frum elucidated his change of heart on marriage equality, and conservative commentators weighed the wisdom of CPAC’s Christie snub. John Cluverius plotted the popularity of government policy, Kent Sepkowitz felt ill over the possibility of sequester cuts to immunizations, and Freddie deBoer was unsatisfied with Sully’s defense of Saletan.

Looking abroad, Jonathan Katz calculated a way to compensate Haitians infected by UN peacekeepers, Naunihal Singh predicted that the next Pope will be an African, and Italian blogger Beppe Grillo threw a wrench into Italian politics. In cannabis coverage, we pondered the forthcoming regulatory framework for marijuana, Robert Frichtel worried about potency, and John Schwartz called for more research on potential health benefits.

In assorted coverage, Alex Knapp ushered in the post-piracy era, rom-coms turned inward, Rebecca Makkai unknowingly committed identity theft, and Sara Naomi Lewkowicz documented domestic abuse. David Roberts heralded the rise of decentralized power systems, Cheryl Katz dredged up some innovative flood management in the Netherlands, and Lucy Weltner questioned environmental vigilantism. The Harvard Grant Study highlighted the importance of intimacy, winning lost out to sportsmanship, and readers debated grocery store layouts while we worked through the work-from-home debate. Hans Rosling illustrated worldwide demographic convergence and Samuel Arbesman found computers that make geniuses look dumb. We pulled a cool ad out of thick air, frolicked through fallen leaves in the MHB, caught a glimpse of a former Cardinal in the FOTD, and enjoyed a seaside sunset in the VFYW.

— D.A.

(Photo: New Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel is greeted by USMC Lt. General Thomas Waldhauser, who will serve as Hagel’s Senior Private Military Assistant, as he arrives for his first day at the Department of Defense, on February 27, 2013 in Arlington. By Drew Angerer/Getty Images)