The Weekly Wrap

Friday on the Dish, Andrew slammed Peggy Noonan’s latest column, parsed public opinion on the IRS and Benghazi, and recalled Rumsfeld’s shut-down argument style. He encouraged consenting adults to let their freak flags fly and dove deep on the meaning of IQ scores. In political coverage, Politico looked to Cheney for guidance as scandals continued to dominate the news, Shafer explained the significance of the leaks that prompted the AP investigation, and readers filled in the tax policy details relevant for the IRS scandal while we looked into why it was important.

Elsewhere, American agricultural workers were less likely to stick around, trans troops made strides, civil unions crept into the mainstream, and David Drake tried to get to the core of the gay rights movement. Abroad, Mohsen Milani prepared us for Iran’s upcoming election, which took some unexpected turns, while we struggled to quantify violence in Syria and a reader provided some on-the-ground perspective from the Syrian border.

In other miscellanea, Razib Khan defended the connection between race and genetics, while readers added their views on tolerance around the world and Mike Kinsley discouraged stigmatization. Chinese cities employed the sincerest form of flattery, Barry Brook and Ben Heard touted the benefits of nuclear power, and the “debate” over global warming was settled among scientists, while climate change chased fish away from home. Venezuela was left with a bit of a mess on their hands after running out of TP, Martin Lewis worried that slowing birth rates were slipping under the media’s radar, and the NTSB considered lowering the bar for a DUI. Jon Lee Anderson examined YouTube as a tool for terrorists, Jeff Saginor worried about Google’s relationship with journalists and John McWhorter found that ending sentences with a proposition was something he could put up with.

As Tom Shone traced Richard Linklater’s work from sun-up to sun-down and Beckham explored the full range of ‘dos, Dr. Dre embodied conservative values, “discussing Uganda” lost its innocence, and the Office reached its expiration date. We surveyed readers about the Wrap, put out a last request for Dishterns, and a reader detailed his slipping self-identification as a dog-person. The MHB garnered multiple “gesundheits” and we spied Stockholm in the VFYW, while the VFYWW took us around the world and a vampire channeled Bachmann in the FOTD.

The rest of the week after the jump:

Thursday on the Dish, Andrew attempted to parse the tax policy details of the IRS scandal, pondered the implications of attempts to tie Obama to the current array of scandals, and clarified his thoughts on genetics and race, Elsewhere, he digested a recent study on worldwide intolerance while one of his dogs showed him almost cat-like disdain.

In political news and views, the Beltway made mountains out of molehills as Kelsey Atherton explained why the courts should take another look at phone records and DOJ surveillance took a real toll on journalists. The IRA scandal brought paranoia back, we weighed the IRS director’s culpability as the scandal claimed his scalp, and the Daily Caller flailed in its attempts to hang it around Obama’s neck. Waldman tired of the semantic arguments over Benghazi and Daniel Klaidman previewed Obama’s upcoming speech on counterterrorism.

Friedersdorf picked apart proposals to tie immigration to IQ, Stephanie Mencimer uncovered the empty coffers of the anti-equality movement, and Casey Mulligan wondered which employers would be the first to drop coverage under the ACA. Overseas, Haj Kadour sacrificed his art for the rebel cause in Syria, Michael Knights blamed turmoil in Iraq on a slow slide back to authoritarianism, we checked in on the results of Pakistan’s recent election, countries struggled to reintegrate detainees,

In assorted coverage, Benjamin Wittes and Stephanie Leutert bashed Wikipedia’s distrust of blogs as the New Yorker eased the stress of blowing the whistle. Drones took to the fields to increase yields and RoboCrow took flight, while readers contributed their thoughts on the military’s sexual assault problem and spoke to both sides of the fracking debate.

Meanwhile, Naomi Alderman panned 21st century mindsets in historical fiction, network TV freed writers by constraining them, and cinema consumed conspicuously. Sue Halpern shared her thoughts on end-of-life happiness, a star-studded cast compiled a heart-wrenching lip-dub for a dying teenager, and Manet and Picasso experimented with product placement. Baths depressed a cat-sized dog in the MHB, Obama checked the skies in the FOTD, and night fell over Denver in the VFYW.

Wednesday on the Dish, Andrew defended Jason Richwine against the presumption of racism while applauding Ron Unz’s careful analysis of his work, saw room for long-term spending reform in the latest deficit numbers, and cheered Bret Easton Ellis. He gagged at Politico’s insider take on the current spate of scandals, tried to put Benghazi in perspective, and struggled to pick sides in the Syrian civil war. Elsewhere, he found hope for Obama in Dick Morris’ dire predictions and compared the dangers from prescription drugs and pot.

In political coverage, we examined end-of-life decisions for countries and filled in the details of the IRS and DOJ scandals, while Krauthammer provided a Republican voice of reason on Benghazi. Harvey Silverglate cast doubt on the FBI’s policy of not recording interrogations as sexual assault issues continued to plague the military, and we debated geoengineering while looking ahead to how climate change will create refugees in the not-so-distant future.

In miscellaneous coverage, Angelina Jolie made a private health decision in public while we pondered the recent SCOTUS case on patentable genes, and loneliness led to genetic mutations. While Tesla struggled to break out of the classic car dealership model, Alex Mayyasi studied the high cost of academic papers and education failed to entertain. Jonathan Rauch was unflinchingly honest about his past denial, PTSD sufferers benefited from a puff, drugs carried heavier sentences than murder, and rhino horns enticed poachers.

Meanwhile, Sadakichi Hartmann discovered the private significance of scents and Sue Halpern and Pransky calmed a troubled senior. Linda Holmes reminisced about the days when MTV played music, Jeff Koons revitalized pop art, and we found out how to get, how to get to Sesame Street. Pig poop foam threatened farms, Julia Ioffe smiled at comical spy gadgets, we reclined on Freud’s couch and meditated on music’s ability to move us. We took in a stunning view of New Orleans in the VFYW, creatively cracked a few beers in the MHB, and uncovered one of Communism’s victims in the FOTD.

Tuesday on the Dish, Andrew called for accountability at the IRS while the government took a credibility hit, wondered at the media’s silence on the recent New Orleans shootings, worried about intellectual freedom in research on race and IQ. Elsewhere, he cringed at Kessler’s assessment of the Benghazi scandal and remained unconvinced about its import while believers struggled to place it on a map. He pushed back against Greenwald’s view of world violence and digested cross-national perceptions in the “utopian project” that is the EU. In lighter fare, he defended dogs against Ryan Kearney and celebrated our 26,000th subscriber for the new Dish.

In political potpourri, readers pointed to Minnesota’s strong Lutheran as instrumental for marriage equality, Steve Stockman earned an Yglesias nod for his comments on abortion, and Jon Cohn probed Obamacare’s weaknesses. In scandal-mania coverage, the DOJ landed in hot water for collecting phone records and Nick Confessore got right to the heart of the IRS scandal. Kevin Drum predicted short-term upheaval as robots continue to enter the workforce and Ritchie King tabulated pot taxes in Colorado. In international coverage, we compared American economic growth to that in Europe as the US turned a blind eye to poppy production in Afghanistan.

In assorted coverage, honeybee populations plummeted while Priscilla Long found a familiar culprit responsible for the demise of the Neanderthal, and 1927 London brightened up. Ann Friedman embraced journalism’s new chaos, journals were the Twitter of the 19th century, Jessica Helfand listed the pros and cons of lists, and book bans left prison libraries with slim pickings. While Yglesias and Kevin Roose debated Gatsby’s credit score, David Haglund pondered fake reality entertainment and Sue Halpern cured doggie ennui with therapy training,

Meanwhile, Twitter mapped out hate, Bloomberg journalists crossed the line, college students navigated porn in the classroom, and The Economist traced our language patterns back to the 1066 Norman Invasion. Maple Leafs fell in the FOTD, we enjoyed a beautiful evening on the Oregon coast in the VFYW and cruised the tropics in the contest, and romance novels hit the dance floor in the MHB.

Monday on the Dish, Andrew found Obama’s connection to the Tea Party audits tenuous at best, wondered whether conservatives would be able to get under Hillary’s skin, and hesitated to throw Keynes’ economic baby out with the misogynist bathwater while chuckling at the irony of its origin. He plumbed the depths of our need for enemies, relayed the latest numbers for the Dish model, noted how far the US has come since Virtually Normal, and welcomed Minnesota to the marriage equality movement.

In political reporting, Felix Salmon called out universities’ use of Pell money, Michael Moynihan downplayed the importance of the Koch brothers, and Michael Grunwald defended government investment in green energy. Overseas, James Surowiecki saw encouraging signs for laborers in Bangladesh, Maher and Greenwald debated the “inherently violent” nature of Islam, and Iran silenced critical journalists as we previewed Iran’s upcoming election. Heidi Vogt looked ahead to a news vacuum left after reporters leave Afghanistan as Peter Beinart reminded us of our continuing obligations abroad, and politics in the Middle East needed a reboot.

In assorted news and views, Jonathan Zeller ran down the 15 “New Yorkiest” episodes of the show about nothing, coaches lived the easy life on taxpayer dollars, and researchers tried to distill consciousness to its core algorithm while Michal Lemberger found groupthink in advice columns. Big Brother rode shotgun in Google’s driverless cars, readers continued the discussion of corporate painkiller peddlers, we celebrated all sizes and shapes of snow, and Sue Halpern and her dog brought joy to seniors.

Elsewhere, Sam Allingham struggled to break out of his fan-fiction cage, cursive proved to be a sinister requirement for a left-handed reader, Michael Deacon channeled Robert Langdon, and we were tongue-tied by foreign languages. An Egyptian activist smiled from behind bars in the FOTD, Killarney Clary penned a Monday verse, while we marveled at Main’s green streets in the VFYW, ground control called a real-life Major Tom, and “To The River” caught the eye in the MHB.

dish_annie hall

(Annie Hall, 1977, and FILMography by Christopher Moloney)

Last weekend on the Dish, we stepped away from politics to share the cultural coverage that fascinated us the most. In matters of religion and philosophy, Cass Sunstein reviewed the doubt-driven thought of Albert O. Hirschman, Ollie Cussen praised Anthony Pagden’s new history of the Enlightenment, Daniel Dennett offered a tip for assessing arguments, and a new study suggested that people who often talk in terms of “I” and “me” tend to be more depressed. Giles Fraser found that being a burden can be beautiful, Rod Dreher noted how you can find meaning in unexpected places, and John Waters talked about how nuns inadvertently inspired him. Christopher Brittain revealed which churches are growing the fastest, Julian Baggini described Kierkegaard’s leap of faith, and Dan Siedell connected his fascination with modern art to his religious life.

In literary coverage, Maria Popova cataloged the writing advice of famous authors, Alexander Aciman grappled with translating Proust, William Faulkner proved better on the page than the screen, and Orwell led the way for modern war correspondents. Keith Gandal deciphered one of The Great Gatsby‘s mysteries, S. Hope Mills mused on the meaning of not finishing books, Tom Shone defended sentimentality in film, and Jess Nevins found the source of H.P. Lovecraft’s longevity. William S. Burroughs also lived the chemical life, Words Without Borders featured a poet crushed by propaganda, L.E. Sissman compared writing poetry and writing ad copy, and Alex Dimitrov discovered poetic inspiration in using Grindr. We featured the work of poet Killarney Clary here and here.

In assorted news and view, Buddy Bradley marveled at a FILMography project, Doctor Science considered NC-17 rating from the perspective of a fanfiction reader, and Tom McCormack recalled the novel equipment used to film Vertigo. David Banks rooted the ethos of the Internet in the Cold War’s rivalry, Emily Witt embedded with a pornography shoot, and Amy Fleming offered a rundown of menu mindgames. Graeme Wood detailed the disturbing policy that the nation of Georgia used to tackle its prescription drug problem, Brain Pickings highlighted the history of the modern coffee industry, and Tim Fernholz looked to California’s manicure industry to understand the benefits of low-skilled immigrants. Hathos alert here, MHBs here and here, FOTDs here and here, VFYWs here and here, and the latest window contest here.

D.A. & M.S