The Weekly Wrap

Today on the Dish, we judged books by their covers and judging by Mehlman, gays were either destroying our country or don't exist. Conor captured start-ups and wipe-outs on the California scene and made the case for localism. The Catholic Church got the mosque treatment; hipsters got more of the church treatment, and Dan Savage asked the crazies to have a little faith.

Will Wilkinson got some post-partisan love; liberty and tyranny still weren't very useful for liberals, or libertarians; and B. Daniel Blatt thought being gay among conservatives was easier than the other way around. High class city living across the country was pretty hard to compare; while government officials were wreaking havoc on poor people's property in Montgomery, Alabama and firefighters' pensions were probably unsustainable according to one in the know. The Arab press responded to the Park 51 mosque; Larison did another round with Douthat; and we disassembled the military conservative complex and parsed the Pakistani military role in the humanitarian crisis.

Egypt got a little risque with Coca Cola; we charted the bard; and sharks may or may not be chasing our boss. Facebook sued so teachers can't use the "book;" and the cat came back to haunt us. VFYW here; Malkin award here; FOTD here; creepy ad watch here; MHB here; and long form ketchup journalism here. Bristol is going dancing with the Situation and Levi was sorry for saying sorry about his situation.


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(By Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

Thursday on the Dish, we debated Americans' obsession with moderate Islam and how it eclipses the greater battle against extremists. Exum declared a different sort of victory in Iraq; we saw a another side of the war in Afghanistan; Wilkinson and Conor debunked the myth of the much brighter past; and this reader mused on memorials. Frum found Romney's Achilles heel; Reid went negative; and sometimes rental inspectors save the day.

We got a glimpse of the view from your recession; some blowback on the Cash for Clunkers debunking; and Mehlman came out of the closet. We wrapped our minds around the fallout from the housing market crash; tuned in to drop-outs; and tackled why no one really wants to live in the middle of the woods and get paid in cash. Pensions came back to haunt us; Kinsley pushed for more stem cell research; and Bernstein put liberals and conservatives into their respective camps.

We compared cats and children; kept an eye on Christianists, and an ear on Marin's Christian apology. VFYW here; MHB here; FOTD here; long form accolades can be found here and here; the case against envy here, and poking continued across international lines. We inducted Neutral Milk Hotel, Nick Cave, and Black Sabbath into the annals of hip Christian rock; Infinite Jest battled infinite Joyce; and liberals and libertarians all wanted to swim in the deep end.

Wednesday on the Dish, Conor arm-wrestled with Poulos over liberty vs. tyranny. Drezner dissected the millennials' attitudes on war; private prisons seemed a little perverse; and we heard a personal testimony from the ground on dropout factories. Alaska may be the start of the establishment upset thanks to Palin, and an apologetic Christian said sorry to his gay best friends, but still thought it was a sin.

On the Mosque, Santorum spread lies; Harper had faith in American society; and Daniel Larison threw in his two-cents. Conor differed with David Pryce-Jones over how most Americans view Islamist radicals and this stabbing was a bad omen. We checked in on Pakistani politics and a trucker's view of the traffic jam in China. Drum defended statism; renters were searched like second class citizens; and used cars cost more thanks to Cash for Clunkers. 

Facebook dissed pot, approved cocaine, and lectured you on having babies. Religious hipsters continued to rock; and we kept up the rants on hula hoops, Christmas trees and the rat race. Serwer wanted his video games to stay unrealistic, and when it comes to gadgets and redevelopment projects, sometimes less is more. We got a sobering view of one man's depression and the chart of the day here, VFYW here, MHB here, FOTD here, and Colbert bait here. Time Magazine grew up; firefighters got rich (thanks to pensions); and this woman got caught hating cats.


Suva, Fiji, 11.51 am

Tuesday on the Dish, Mosque detractors papered the streets of New York; readers reminded us of past and present real estate and Mosque clashes; and Budiansky railed against excessive memorials. We assessed the odds of Obama being a Muslim vs ghosts existing; Weigel compared slurs; and the New York Post costs less than Skittles. Mormons reacted to the Mosque on religious freedom; and there are round-ups of the rest of the debate here and here.

We analyzed our two unfinished wars; the WikiLeaks rape case didn't help cases of real sexual assault, and Conor parsed whether the military should have cooperated with WikiLeaks, with Conn Carroll on Bloggingheads. Fallows reminded us about how declarations of war have to work; and Lynch argued Goldberg's article makes an attack less likely.

We found some hipster church rockers that passed the sniff test; tracked the housing market crash; and kept tabs on Obama's record on gay marriage. We dished on for-profit prisons, anchor embryos, the success of the stimulus, and more on dropout factories. Conor leveled Levin on statism; Wilkinson weighed in; and readers responded to elitism in America.

We baited Sullivan on the natural law of beards; bedbugs are worse in recessions because of our moods; and the Fox News farce reached all new heights. Readers berated the extravagant burial process; while Conor mocked email footer madness, and others ranted on cursive, curse words, and going topless. Balloons should cost more; and your long form fix for today is here. Creepy ad watch here; MHB here; island VFYW here; FOTD here. VFYW contest #12 winner here; and this reader of the day living vicariously and happily through better traveled Dish fans here.

Monday on the Dish, Muslims prayed at Ground Zero, while detractors angrily protested a non-Muslim man. Stephen Prothero put Mormons on the spot; Kinsley kept at Krauthammer; Eli Lake and Adam Sewer squared off for a Blogging Heads round; and moderate Muslims do (obviously) exist. We opened the thread on America and its ruling elites and asked the Tea Party what changes they might propose.

Sharron Angle campaigned against jersey colors, Hasselbeck supported gay marriage, and John Hawkins wanted to make the Republican party actually inclusive. We parsed Obama's faulty logic on gay marriage and examined whether Ron Paul really mattered. Conor riffed on liberty vs tyranny; Reihan took the rightier road to keeping the rich here in the U.S; and we dropped in on high school and college dropout factories.

Goldblog and Lynch expounded on Israel; Mongolia begged us to visit, and a surge in porn markets could be good for Iraq. Damaged irrigation systems could lead to food shortages in Pakistan, and combat operations never end when governments say they do.

TNC went night walking; bloggers got taxed in Philadelphia, and others got paid by the GOP. Our choices for beverages were limited, but we learned we're not that good at choice blindness anyways. The dog pile on Cesar Millan continued; hipster Christian rock bands have to pass the sniff test; and we all paid the fear tax.

Question of the week here, VFYW here, MHB here, FOTD here, and awkward family pet portraits here.

-- Z.P.