Today on the Dish, Qaddafi remained amid ongoing violence, a Libyan prayed for help while trapped in his house, and Alexis explained why technology isn't good, bad or neutral. David Ignatius believed Qaddafi has been high on drugs, Exum played mad-libs with Obama's thoughts, and Larison argued intervention could lead to more slaughter. A reader questioned casualty numbers in Libya, while another found encouragement in Egypt's progress. Protests finally arrived in Iraq, 23 streets lead to Tahrir Square, and J. Scott Carpenter reminded us about Tunisia.
Andrew urged Congressman Broun to resign, after today's Tuscon Relapse Watch. We untwisted test scores from collective bargaining, and Andrew explained the enhanced scrutiny on public sector unions in hard times. Ira Stoll spun the Koch-backlash, and Scott Walker had never even met the man. Andrew connected the turning tides in Wisconsin to gay marriage in the US, readers nailed Obama's DOMA decision, and Misty Irons connected it all back to Prop 8. We peered into Mitch Daniels' cannabis closet, the movement right attacked, but Andrew praised Daniels for his pragmatism on right-to-work legislation. Fox News distorted the GOP primary by paying candidates, National Journal measured today's record partisan gap, and Andrew called out Huckabee on his radical pandering to Israel. We rounded up reax to the psy-ops expose, and Spain allowed a trial on Gitmo's torture. Tim Lee thought through grocery store express lanes (for a price), TNC rejected racial hopelessness, and Matt Yglesias compared today's unmarried men to those of the 1890s. We watched the shuttle launch from a Dish reader's window, and Americans thought Obamacare was already repealed. Pickpockets were dying out, holograms could teach classes, and Andrew appreciated John Travolta's new do.
Thursday on the Dish, Andrew picked apart Obama's marriage decision. Linda Hirshman saw a trap for Republicans, Jonathan Turley said it was still up to the Supreme Court, and Fox News reported blatant untruths about the decision's implications. Ilya Somi questioned what Obama has to defend, Jason Mazzone called it a gamble, and David Link narrowed it back to the question on Section 3. Civil unions arrived in Hawaii, and Timothy Kincaid envisioned what happens if Congress doesn't defend DOMA.
We took a step back to get perspective on the Arab 1848 and how long it's been brewing; day 11's full recap and analysis is here. Qaddafi went off the deep end (by phone), Drudge swallowed his poison, and some predicted the end is nigh. Beinart questioned the conservative's ability to accept democracy in the Middle East, Robert Fisk reported on the quiet in Tripoli, and Libya's effect rippled through the oil markets. The American public wanted the US to leave Arab countries alone, and we dug up the right's reactions to Bush's second inaugural speech and its call tyranny in the world. John Bohannon examined whether war is irrational, and Exum wondered who was really in charge. Americans lobbyists represented Qaddafi, EA caught up with Egypt, Santorum defended the Crusades, and Tom Friedman mixed his metaphors.
We debated whether state workers are underpaid or overpaid, but closed the case on whether breaking teacher's unions aids education. Josh Sides compared unions and state debt, Rhodes Cook looked to Wisconsin's influence on 2012, and Weigel read the mood on the Kochs from Wisconsin. Reihan said Walker is just like any other politician fawning after celebrities and donors, Abe Lincoln once fled, and another insane attorney-general staffer bit the dust. The US got served in the cannabis research race, North Korean kids didn't weigh up to their South Korean counterparts, and robot journalists waved from the horizon.
Wednesday on the Dish, we tracked Libya's tenth day of protests, from early morning all the way to tonight, while Qaddafi's own soldiers refused to kill their fellow Libyans. Alexis charted Libya's plummeting oil production, and Abigail Hauslohner confirmed Facebook's central role in their revolution. Tribal structure mattered in Libya, Larison considered the US citizens trapped there, and we examined the list of Qaddafi's dwindling allies. A reader translated a French doctor's account of the mounting carnage in Libya, while another reader gave a deep read to Bahrain's constitution. Andrew kept an eye on the Saudis, Ahmadinejad threw stones while sitting in his glass house, and Iranian television sounded eerily similar to Glenn Beck.
Walker got pranked, lost Clive Crook, and maintained his "campaign promises" despite facts to the contrary. Nate Silver sifted the Wisconsin polls, Ozimek stood by his stance on unions by citing education reform, and Wilkinson added his voice on what he called the left's Tea Party. Andrew bashed the House Republican budget, John Yoo flashed his chutzpah, Rumsfeld revealed Bush's plans for Iran and was a little too honest about why we went to Afghanistan. Andrew got his Palin fix, she denied her fake Facebook account, but readers pointed to the cunning way she handled it. We weighed Mitch Daniels' merits, Jason Kuznicki linked freedom and spending, China needed water to succeed. Police dogs aimed to please their owners, Andy McCarthy duked it out with Sanchez some more on the Patriot Act, and Seattle Times favored legalization. Crime shows are politically purple, Sarah McLachlan knew how to ruin your day, and bees don't need warrants to search your house.
Tuesday on the Dish, mercenaries attacked protesters and defected military, we gawked at cuckoo Qaddafi (the short version), and our jaws dropped as he rambled on. We weighed options for what the international community could do, Andrew balked at Wolfowitz's calls for a no-fly zone over Libya, and Larison argued against it. Andrew Solomon itemized Qaddafi's mistakes, and Evgeny Morozov fingered why social networks can be dangerous when governments don't fall. The first Western journalist entered Libya, John Barry enlightened us about "coup-proofing," and Andrew Barwig cautioned us to examine future electoral reform. The 1848 analogy gained steam, we previewed Iraq's day of rage, and full coverage from the long and violent weekend is here.
Andrew called Walker on his campaign promises to end collective bargaining for public sector unions, and found serious flaws in his budget. Ezra Klein asked if the GOP's hardball would pay off, Andrew called it over-reach, and Will Wilkinson questioned the left's back-up plan. The National Review offered a platform to the ever-incendiary Breitbart, and Rush Limbaugh went there. Maryland moved closer to marriage equality, Bruce Barlett examined tax trends, and Sanchez rebutted Andy McCarthy on Patriot Act wiretaps. Noah Millman chose foodie curiosity, and Felix Salmon raised renting over ownership as the next American Dream. Palin liked herself on Facebook, the Internet betrayed its partisanship, and Andrew unpacked her lies about reading all the newspapers.
Monday (and over the long weekend) on the Dish, Bahrain, following a week of violence, took a big turn for the better on Saturday as security forces ceded Pearl Square to the protesters. Nick Kristof conveyed the joy of the crowd but cautioned against declaring victory just yet. Andrew hoped that calls for a constitutional monarchy come through and wondered about Obama's behind-the-scenes role. A young Bahraini girl smiled with guarded optimism, a Bahraini boy signaled victory, and a Muslim boy joined the cause against extremism.
Meanwhile, the brutal violence in Libya continued to escalate. Massacres carried over into Sunday, spreading from Benghazi to the capital city of Tripoli. Qaddafi's son took to the airwaves that night to threaten an even bigger crackdown. The people reacted with rage while a group of prominent Muslim leaders implored the regime to refrain from violence. Those calls went unheeded as the bloodshed poured into Monday. Disturbing reports and graphic images here, here, here and here. As military commanders defected to the West and ambassadors abandoned their posts, Qaddafi appeared to be in his last throes.
A big reax of Libya analysis here. Marc Lynch pushed for US and UN intervention, Daniel Byman assessed American interests in Libya, and Ryan Avent fretted over the economic shocks. Andrew compared the Arab uprisings to the European revolutions of 1848 and pondered the impact that Bush and other neoconservatives may have had on the former. A glance at the far right's reaction here. Lucan Way described the vulnerability of regimes based on patronage while Graeme Robertson examined how protests topple regimes in general.
The Green Movement in Iran had another big day of protests on Sunday; read our news roundups here and here; watch footage from the streets here and here. Yet another Muslim nation, Morocco, joined in the democratic uprisings; read a roundup here and watch footage here and here. There were even some rumblings in China.
In Egypt coverage, the Dish took a long, comprehensive look at the country's future. We also kept an eye on Sheikh Qaradawi - a guru for the Muslim Brotherhood who just returned from exile - and dug up some disturbing data. Ian Johnson sharpened our view of the Brotherhood. Jeff Strabone addressed the post-Mubarak impact on Israel.
On the media front, Morgan Meis praised Al Jazeera's oil-financed integrity, Dan Drezner delved into the disastrous message control of Arab regimes, Andrew Exum emphasized the role of cell phones in the uprisings, Clay Shirky talked sense on the impact of Twitter and Facebook, and Malcolm Gladwell's thesis crumbled even more.
-- Z.P. & C.B.
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