Today on the Dish, Andrew envisioned the end, where infighting could occur if Qaddafi leaves, but trusted in Obama. Andrew sized up King Barack's reign, and kept digging into Gandhi's gay past. Douthat parsed the defections (we wondered about Bob Gates' resignation), Steve Coll advised us not to arm the rebels, and David Brooks toed the Obama line. Serwer wasn't letting Brooks get away with his Niebuhr Libyan war theory, Paul Woodward asked which revolutions we can trust, and the lines between civilians, rebels, and Qaddafi's forces all blurred. Bahrain quietly stamped out its own protests, Packer compared Ivory Coast rebels to Libyan rebels, and we still needed to get out of Afghanistan. A Syrian disappeared and reappeared, while protests continued despite government crackdowns.
Government shutdown loomed, and Andrew called out Obama birthers while still asking for Trig's birth certificate. We gathered the blogosphere's job reax, Mataconis signalled some sort of recovery, and Americans remained uninformed about our debt. Andrew Gelman tracked the Tea Party's work in Washington, Bachmann beat Romney in raising money, and Andrew contemplated demographics change. The dirt-eating continued, Alexis wanted to harness our failures, hockey was for homos too, and 2007 wanted its rickroll joke back. Andrew got punked by Arianna, readers cheered on the fat goalie thread, butterflies attacked, and Andrew wobbled on his Santa beard.
Thursday on the Dish, Andrew ripped apart Obama's blatant disregard for the War Powers Act, and then Obama accepted his transparency award. Andrew wasn't patting Hitch on the back for Iraq, resisted thinking of warfare as good welfare, and urged the boots to stay off the ground. Frum considered BP's stake, cracks appeared in Qaddafi's regime, and Ackerman mocked Qaddafi for resorting to mines on his own people. Koussa's defection could yield new revelations about the Lockerbie bombing, Paul D. Miller differentiated Libya from Rwanda, women in foreign policy wanted war, and Freddie considered the news cycle. Assad's car got rushed, Christopher A. Preble wasn't optimistic about defense spending cuts, and the anti-war movement was way too partisan. Rand Paul believed in Congress and Bob Gates spoke truth.
Ezra Klein blamed Congress for Obama's weak energy policy, jobs remained dismal, and Uncle Sam subsidized sugar. Reihan debated Rob Horning on capitalism, Fox followed Trump down the birther rabbit hole, cap and trade used to be right wing, and Giffords got shuffled towards candidacy in an uneasy way. Gays schooled Newt in respect for marriage, and service in the military, and beefy lady superheroes could scare little boys. TNC discovered King Lear, the Dish challenged VFYW maniacs to an encryption test, Tim Lee stood up for serious web journalism, and Dish readers gave us the dirt on eating Kenya's good soil.
Charts of the day here and here, fear the beard here, quotes for the day here and here, cool ad watch here, VFYW here, Yglesias award here, dissent of the day here, MHB here, FOTD here, and adventures in Arabic here.
Meanwhile Qaddafi's regime may be collapsing in on him. Andrew recalled the Constitution that tried to make war hard to declare, Larison questioned a war based on Al Jazeera's coverage, and Benjamin H. Friedman encouraged the Pentagon to find the funding for wars in its own budget. We debated arming the rebels, tracked their ties to Al Qaeda, and they continued to suffer setbacks. Greg Scoblete wondered if we could walk away, Erik Voeten examined how foreign intervention increases chances of civil war, and Doug Mataconis likened the "right to protect" crowd to the new neoconservatives. Arab Spring arrived for Angry Birds, and belt buckles tested our fashion knowledge.
The dashed DOMA news crushed Andrew, and he battled deniers that Gandhi was gay. Bernstein looked forward to crowning 2012's King Crazy, while a sane Mitch Daniels would lose it either way. Frum frowned on the GOP's climate change stance, and Christians don't consider Mormons Christian. Richard Florida exposed the conservative states of America, Ezra Klein calculated the economic cost of a government shutdown, and we tracked the reax to Obama's half-assed energy policy.
Michelle Rhee pulled a Nixon on the test scores scandal, urban legends lived on, nuclear power is a Frankenstein for our time. David Brooks taught us the Pareto Principle for everyday use, Lux Alptraum feared the fate of famous boys, and more kids applied to colleges. Julian Sanchez considered how much we deserve from the un-copyrighted inheritance we've gotten, and international media piracy persisted. Readers tried out squirmish, loved the firehose, pregnant women eat dirt, and wedding dresses could be bought in bulk. Yann Arthus Bertrand captured the world from above while Matt Stopera compiled pictures from the world beyond.