Today on the Dish, we assessed why the Koran burning was only suspended. Obama responded; Republicans laid claim to 9/11; and in general burning things appealed to lizard brains. Christianism threatened Christianity; Islamism threatened Islam and Terry Jones was as crazy in Germany as he is in the U.S. The war machine chugged along, throwing beacons of freedom under its wheels of torture, while a humane interrogation technique already exists.

We talked tax cuts; Schwarzenegger couldn't see Russia from Palin's house; and being compared to Bristol Palin lowered Meghan McCain's self-esteem. The Tea Party might be good for gays; considering the Obama administration is now battling Republicans to prevent gay servicemembers from serving openly. Mayor Fenty losing in DC could be bad for education reform; climate change skeptics could throw our whole understanding of the world into chaos; and Americans wanted something for nothing.

We wondered about the corrupt Karzai clan; there was more political impasse in Iraq, and China very kindly paid for the war in Iraq. VFYW here; smug alert here; View From Your Recession here; FOTD here; and MHB here. "Black" was not "what white people do not do" and men were lied to about their waistlines.

VFYW_Friday
Wickford, Rhode Island, 6 pm

Thursday on the Dish, the rule of law took an unimaginable hit on torture and national security. On the Florida jerk front, the burning was cancelled. We paid a visit to the other Terry Joneses, we found out who is funding the Cordoba culture war, and Sarah Palin won the Yglesias Award. A divided government may be a better government; but probably not when led by the Tea Partiers. GOP heretic hunting continued; our intelligence community was shooting itself in the foot; and a burning Boulder was being saved by social media. Bad HIV reporting continued as did the harsh realities of covering Palin. 

In international news the Chinese loved their cars; North Korea was about to get an even crazier successor; and we may need more modesty in Afghanistan, while the world could use a happy planet index

In response to the recession, Beth Boyle Machlan played the lottery; college educated young women outearned young men; and the final shoe on real wages was about to drop. We harnessed the power of the personal brand; and readers responded to the emergency room debate and the peak oil problem. VFYW here; creepy ad watch here; MHB here; and FOTD here

Remembering those lost to AIDS didn't get any easier, but Iowa's gay marriages were prospering with their own version of the suburban American dream. One day, the New York Times will stop being printed, date TBD, and this guy won the award for the worst stump speech ever.


Wednesday on the Dish, Feisal Rauf urged peace; and Leon Wieseltier closed the books on the Mosque with the most beautiful response yet. We parsed Petraeus's comments on Koran-burning; and honoring 9/11 got pretty pricey with Palin and Beck.

The Iraq war via Wikipedia was bound; Castro had lunch with Goldberg; and Pakistan's problems weren't going anywhere. Andrew promised a response on the Iran-Israel article soon; Greece might default on its debts; and we argued over isolationism.

Boulder was burning, America faced fiscal collapse; and the housing hangover was just beginning, but peak oil didn't scare Reihan. Andrew warmed to redistribution rather than soaking the rich and Manzi outlined the hard work ahead on education and immigration. We assessed the GOP's anti-debt rhetoric and the budget behind Obama's proposal; and Conor kept at the Heritage Foundation over Addington. American novelists were in decline according to Time; Santorum had a Google problem; and emergency rooms didn't always fit our schedule.

Karl Smith wrote a pessimist's manifesto; the Chesterton fetish was called into question; and "jumping the shark" may mark the "end of the beginning rather than the beginning of the end." Humanity thrived while the earth died; erotic capital still ruled the beauty premium; and magic mushrooms could help the terminally ill. We watched Tom Hardy work out; and we wanted the sex ads back on Craigslist. Quote for the day here; VFYW here; MHB here; FOTD here; and email of the day here.


Joaquin Phoenix was a mountain-top-water-drop and this woman sacrificed sex for the occasional sherry.

Afghan_boy
By Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images.

Tuesday on the Dish, Andrew returned. He asked the big questions about humility and humiliation in religion and politics and extended a hand to Ross to embrace the equality of their respective marriages.

Obama stepped up his game; we remembered the 1990s; and we read the tea leaves of today's political polls. We looked at which party might get to claim the business tax cuts and whether Obama's transportation proposal was any good. Marty Peretz weighed in on the Mosque; Chait volleyed with Conor on what makes a good opinion journalist; and the era of free lunch ended but the GOP didn't want to make a different sandwich.

The algorithm for war didn't get any easier; Afghanistan went on the back-burner; and we assessed Obama's foreign policy legacy. The history of Margaret Thatcher doesn't fit into soundbites; burning Korans could endanger troops;and Stephen Hawking thought philosophy was dead.

Gateway drugs were still a hoax; a college education made cops less violent; and anarchy might break out if corporate speak didn't exist. MHB here; FOTD here; VFYW here; and the winner for the slightly easier labor day VFYW contest #14 here. We closed the accounting book on hip religious music with some final inductees; Craigslist censored their adult services; and we took a trip to red state liquor stores. And the shark may not have been jumped, after all.


--Z.P.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.