Weekly Review — January 9, 2001, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Members of the Congressional Black Caucus tried unsuccessfully to block the acceptance of Florida’s electoral votes during a joint session of Congress. Federal law requires at least one senator and one member of the House to sign a formal objection questioning a state’s electoral votes; no senator was willing to sign. Black congressmen repeatedly interrupted the proceedings and were repeatedly “gaveled down” by Vice President Al Gore, who presided cheerfully over his own electoral demise.Hillary Rodham Clinton was sworn in as the junior senator from New York; Strom Thurmond, the oldest senator in history, rose up and asked, “Can I hug you?” and then did.Al Gore, president of the Senate, called for order.Senator Thurmond’s twenty-eight-year-old son was expected to be named a United States attorney for South Carolina, though he has little relevant experience.He was recommended by his daddy and his daddy’s friends.An aide to President-designate George W. Bush said that Bush did not intend to send the treaty creating the International Criminal Court to the Senate for approval; aides said they would try to undo other last-minute actions by President Clinton as well.Two Louisiana death-row inmates were released from prison; both men were convicted of murdering an elderly couple in 1986; both men were released after a judge found “a total lack of credible evidence” linking them to the crime; both men were convicted on the testimony of a mentally incompetent jailhouse informer nicknamed Lyin’ Wayne.They were the ninety-first and ninety-second condemned inmates to be exonerated since 1973, when the death penalty was reinstated.Holding a rifle in one hand, Saddam Hussein fired 140 shots during a five-hour military parade held to show solidarity with the Palestinian Intifada; Saddam’s display of manliness was cited as evidence against the rumors that he recently had a stroke.Russian president Vladimir Putin was in Germany to discuss debt repayment with Chancellor Gerhard Schrder; Putin was also seeking German support for a multinational missile defense system as an alternative to the American scheme, which would violate the Treaty on the Limitation of Antiballistic Missile Systems and destabilize the world strategic order.North Dakota issued a concealed-weapons permit to a blind man.

Colombia was spraying Roundup on crops near villages in the Putomayo province as part of the U.S.-backed Plan Colombia antidrug campaign; villagers complained that the pesticide was killing their food crops and livestock and that it was making them sick.American drug “czar” General Barry McCaffrey has claimed that Roundup, which is made by Monsanto, is “totally safe,” though Monsanto’s warning label on U.S.packages directs consumers “not to apply this product in a way that will contact workers or other persons,” and the Environmental Protection Agency warns that pesticides such as Roundup can cause vomiting, pneumonia, tissue damage, and mental confusion.Europeans were concerned about Balkan Syndrome, a mysterious set of illnesses that plague veterans of United Nations peacekeeping duty in the former Yugoslavia; over a dozen have died of leukemia; many suffer chronic fatigue, hair loss, and various forms of cancer.Exposure to depleted uranium, which was used in NATO’s bombings of Kosovo, Bosnia, and Serbia, was thought to be responsible.A NATO spokesman denied that depleted uranium was a significant hazard, though the U.S.Department of Transportation, which has used the metal to balance aircraft, warns personnel that the material is extremely hazardous if particles are ingested or inhaled, something particularly likely after a bombing, which produces large quantities of depleted-uranium dust.United Nations investigators discovered significant radioactivity in Kosovo, in villages and on farms and in the groundwater.Two Rastafarian prophets sent by the dead Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie invaded a cathedral in St.Lucia; one threw fuel on worshippers, and the other set them on fire with a blowtorch and hacked at them with machetes.Cambodia said it would set up a war-crimes court to try Khmer Rouge leaders.A Chilean judge ordered psychological tests for General Augusto Pinochet; his lawyers advised their client to refuse the tests.New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani was very upset that a judge upheld a ruling that citizens have a First-Amendment right to curse at police officers.Korean businessmen were said to be emulating Microsoft chairman Bill Gates’s nerdy personal appearance.United States intelligence officials reported that Russia recently moved nuclear weapons into the Baltic town of Kaliningrad, formerly known as Konigsberg, the home of Immanuel Kant, the author of the Critique of Pure Reason and “Perpetual Peace.” President Vladimir Putin, asked about the reports, responded: “That’s rubbish.”

Spanish cattlemen were trying to prevent their government from killing whole herds when one cow comes down with mad cow disease.Australia and New Zealand banned all European Union beef products.Animalresearchers at Texas A&M University unveiled a bull calf named Bull 86 Squared, a clone of Bull 86, a naturally disease-resistant bull that died in 1997; they say the calf is 100 times more resistant to brucellosis, tuberculosis, and salmonellosis, all of which can be transmitted to humans through beef or milk.A Ukrainian company was selling a new product called Fat in Chocolate, which consists of a Twix-sized slab of pork fat covered with dark chocolate.Researchers found that spinach, broccoli and other green vegetables that are good for you really do taste bad.Cosmologists determined that cold dark matter was too cold and hot dark matter was too hot, but that warm dark matter was just right for producing a computer simulation of a universe that looks like ours.New Yorkpolicesnipers were mobilized after two men from Pennsylvania, Michael Lewis and Eric “Black Hole” Storm, told officials that twenty members of a “survivor” cult were planning to commit suicide by drinking poisoned juice on the steps of City Hall; no one showed up, and the two men were taken away to the Bellevue psychiatric ward.Some Brazilian thieves, after stealing the car of a lab worker, stopped at a bar, got drunk, and, thinking it was liquid yogurt, drank several vials of HIV-infected blood.Taiwan banned the eating of dogs and cats.

Share
Single Page

More from Roger D. Hodge:

From the October 2010 issue

Speak, Money

Get access to 165 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

March 2017

Black Like Who?

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A Matter of Life

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

City of Gilt

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Tyranny of the Minority

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Texas is the Future

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Family Values

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Texas is the Future·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

Illustration (detail) by John Ritter
Post
The Forty-Fifth President·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

Photograph (detail) by Philip Montgomery
Article
Itchy Nose·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

Artwork (detail) © The Kazuto Tatsuta/Kodansha Ltd
Article
A Matter of Life·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

Photograph (detail) by Edwin Tse
Article
Black Like Who?·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I first heard the name Barack Obama in the spring of 2004, while visiting my mother in Chicago. As we sat around the kitchen table early one spring morning, I noticed a handsome studio portrait among the pictures, lists, cards, and other totems of family life fastened to the refrigerator door. “Who’s the guy with the ears?” I asked, assuming he was some distant relative or family friend I didn’t know or else had forgotten. “Barack Obama,” she answered with a broad smile. “He’s running for Senate, but he’s going to be the first black president.”

Photograph © Jon Lowenstein/NOOR

Acres of mirrors in Donald Trump’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City:

10

A bee and a butterfly were observed drinking the tears of a crocodilian.

Greece evacuated 72,000 people from the town of Thessaloniki while an undetonated World War II–era bomb was excavated from beneath a gas station.

Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!

HARPER’S FINEST

Who Goes Nazi?

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

By

"It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis."

Subscribe Today