Weekly Review — December 12, 2006, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: All In My Eye, December 1853]
An American cattleman.

Robert Gates was approved by the Senate to replace Donald Rumsfeld as the new secretary of defense; senators described themselves as “very pleased,” “very impressed,” “very enthusiastic,” “very grateful,” and “very happy” with the confirmation. Rumsfeld gave an emotional farewell speech to Pentagon employees, and had to wipe his nose.Washington PostWashington PostNew York TimesPresident George W. Bush blamed John Bolton’s departure from the U.N. on the “shallow politics” of the Senate, and Kofi Annan, who will leave the U.N. on December 31 after completing his second five-year term as secretary general, said that he and Bolton were “both graduating together.”Washington PostNew York TimesDemocrats in Congress announced that beginning in January members of the House would work five days a week. “Keeping us up here eats away at families,” said Rep. Jack Kingston (R., Georgia), who spends more than half his week at home. “Marriages suffer. The Democrats could care less about families–that’s what this says.” The Democrats were also trying to stop smoking on the Hill, and attempting to block a $3,300 congressional raise.Washington PostWashington PostWashington PostHarry Reid, the new Senate majority leader, gave outgoing Republican leader Bill Frist a big bear hug.Washington PostThe Iraq Study Group report was released. “Truth of the matter is a lot of reports in Washington are never read by anybody,” said President Bush. “To show you how important this one is, I read it.” When asked how Bush responded to the report’s suggestions that the United States drastically alter its strategy in Iraq, panelist Lawrence Eagleburger said, “His reaction was, ‘Where’s my drink?’” Former Republican senator and Iraq Study Group member Alan Simpson said about Bush, “A 100-percenter is a person you don’t want to be around. They have gas, ulcers, heartburn, and B.O.” Washington PostWhite HouseWashington PostWashington PostA plane bound for Texas made an emergency landing after a female passenger lit matches to mask the odor of her fart.WKMG Local News

Eleven American troops were killed on a single day in Iraq,Washington Postand a bomb exploded in Karma, killing three Iraqi soldiers, including Staff Sergeant Saddam Hussein. “He loved his country, man. He loved it,” said an American soldier who knew Hussein. “According to his religion, he’s probably with a million virgins right now. And he’s probably making them virgins do dismounted patrols.”New York TimesThe U.S. Army’s chief-of-staff said the Army would have to be made “well” again. Washington Post“What Americans are trying to figure out,” said President Bush, “is why Iraqis are killing Iraqis when you have a better future ahead.”Washington PostHundreds of Iraqis vied to become Saddam Hussein’shangman.New York TimesIt was reported that Deepwater, the Coast Guard’s $24 billion program to modernize its fleet, was plagued by cracked hulls and engine failures. “This is the fleecing of America,” said a systems engineer.New York TimesIn New York City, the World War II aircraft carrier U.S.S. Intrepid was finally pulled out of the mud.Washington PostAt the White House Christmas party, First Lady Laura Bush changed into another outfit after it was discovered that she and two other women were wearing the same $8,500 red Oscar de la Renta dress. According to the White House social secretary, “It was the right thing to do.”WCBSTVAugusto Pinochet died on Human Rights Day.un.org

Scientists discovered that the prehistoric Dunkleosteus terrelli, the “Darth Vader of fish,” had the strongest fish bite ever and could snack on sharks.BBC NewsWashington PostA Christmas party in Dublin was canceled after Gus, a camel starring in Santa’s Magical Animal Kingdom Show, got drunk on Guinness and ate all the mince pies.MSNBCA forty-three-foot-tall Swedish straw Christmasgoat was doused with flame-retardant chemicals so that only its hooves could be burned,Associated Press via nj.comand a mother in South Carolina had her son arrested for playing with his Christmas present early.Canadian Press via BreitbartA police officer in Tempe, Arizona, was criticized for telling two black men that they could get out of their littering tickets if they rapped. “The dangers of littering,” rapped one of the men, “you will get a ticket. If you ain’t wit’ it, you better be experienced.” “It’s important,” said Reverend Jarrett Maupin, “for police officers to realize that black people do not speak hip-hop.”Yahoo NewsThe invention of rap was traced back to Muhammad Ali.ESPNSeveral U.S. cities were complaining that they had too many churches,Christian Science Monitorand a man in Tampa was selling his soul on the Internet.Chicago Sun TimesIt was revealed that Vice President Dick Cheney’slesbian daughter is pregnant.CNNSpam was on the rise.New York TimesLos Angeles gave the Owens River back to Inyo County, California, after diverting it for more than 93 years, Christian Science Monitorand a fish festival in Nigeria banned fish.BBC NewsScientists suspected that water was flowing on Mars,Washington Postand NASA head Michael Griffin compared spaceexplorers to Vikings. “Fifty years into it,” he explained, “the amount of progress that the Vikings had made would not have been that noticeable, and that’s where we are in space flight today.” Washington PostNASA announced that by 2024 it would open a space camp for astronauts at the south pole of the moon,Washington Postand astronomers watched a giant black hole eat an entire star.Washington Post

Share
Single Page

More from Claire Gutierrez:

Weekly Review May 31, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review May 30, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review March 22, 2011, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

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

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

January 2017

The Monument Wars

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Trouble with Defectors

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Over the River

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

House Hunters Transnational

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Lords of Lambeau

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A Window To The World

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
Illustration (detail) by Lincoln Agnew
Article
Over the River·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Ashley arrived for her prenatal appointment at Black Hills Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Rapid City, South Dakota, wearing a black zip-up hoodie and Converse sneakers.1 To explain her absence from work that morning — a Tuesday in April 2015 — she had told a co-worker that she was having “female issues.” She was twenty-five years old and eight weeks pregnant. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had a five-year-old son, for the better part of a year. The guy who’d gotten her pregnant was someone she’d met at the gym, and he’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Ashley found herself hoping that the doctor would discover some kind of fetal defect, so that her decision would be easier. She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. “Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.”

In the exam room, she perched on the table with her feet crossed at the ankles, her blond hair brushing the back of her pink hospital gown. “I don’t know what’s available for me here,” she told her doctor, Katherine Degen, who sat facing her on a stool. “I figured nothing.”

 Some names and identifying details have been changed. 

“Big, fat zero, unfortunately,” Degen said, making a 0 with her fingers. The last doctor who provided abortions in Rapid City retired in 1986, three years before Ashley was born.

The baby was due in November, when Ashley, who was a nurse, hoped to be enrolled in a graduate program to become a nurse practitioner. Getting pregnant as a teenager had forced her to put that dream on hold, but she had thought that she was finally ready; she had even submitted her application shortly before the March 15 deadline. For the first time in her adult life, Ashley felt as if her plans were coming together. Then she missed her period.

It would be too difficult to attend school as a single mother of two, Ashley knew. She had made an appointment for three weeks from now at the nearest abortion clinic, in Billings, Montana, 318 miles away. But just a week and a half ago, her husband had said he wanted to get back together and offered to raise the child as his own. Was it a sign that she was meant to continue the pregnancy? As a rule, Ashley approached her problems with resolve. She was capable and tough; she liked shooting guns and lifting weights. She kept track of her stats and checked off her goals as she achieved them one by one. Yet the dilemma before her had shaken her confidence. She leaned back and turned to watch the ultrasound screen. The black-and-white image danced. A sharp, fast thumping emerged from the machine. As Degen removed the wand, Ashley wiped the corner of her eye.

Photograph (detail) by Brian Frank
Article
A Window To The World·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Ashley arrived for her prenatal appointment at Black Hills Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Rapid City, South Dakota, wearing a black zip-up hoodie and Converse sneakers.1 To explain her absence from work that morning — a Tuesday in April 2015 — she had told a co-worker that she was having “female issues.” She was twenty-five years old and eight weeks pregnant. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had a five-year-old son, for the better part of a year. The guy who’d gotten her pregnant was someone she’d met at the gym, and he’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Ashley found herself hoping that the doctor would discover some kind of fetal defect, so that her decision would be easier. She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. “Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.”

In the exam room, she perched on the table with her feet crossed at the ankles, her blond hair brushing the back of her pink hospital gown. “I don’t know what’s available for me here,” she told her doctor, Katherine Degen, who sat facing her on a stool. “I figured nothing.”

 Some names and identifying details have been changed. 

“Big, fat zero, unfortunately,” Degen said, making a 0 with her fingers. The last doctor who provided abortions in Rapid City retired in 1986, three years before Ashley was born.

The baby was due in November, when Ashley, who was a nurse, hoped to be enrolled in a graduate program to become a nurse practitioner. Getting pregnant as a teenager had forced her to put that dream on hold, but she had thought that she was finally ready; she had even submitted her application shortly before the March 15 deadline. For the first time in her adult life, Ashley felt as if her plans were coming together. Then she missed her period.

It would be too difficult to attend school as a single mother of two, Ashley knew. She had made an appointment for three weeks from now at the nearest abortion clinic, in Billings, Montana, 318 miles away. But just a week and a half ago, her husband had said he wanted to get back together and offered to raise the child as his own. Was it a sign that she was meant to continue the pregnancy? As a rule, Ashley approached her problems with resolve. She was capable and tough; she liked shooting guns and lifting weights. She kept track of her stats and checked off her goals as she achieved them one by one. Yet the dilemma before her had shaken her confidence. She leaned back and turned to watch the ultrasound screen. The black-and-white image danced. A sharp, fast thumping emerged from the machine. As Degen removed the wand, Ashley wiped the corner of her eye.

Artwork by Imre Kinszki © Imre Kinszki Estate
Article
The Lords of Lambeau·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Ashley arrived for her prenatal appointment at Black Hills Obstetrics and Gynecology, in Rapid City, South Dakota, wearing a black zip-up hoodie and Converse sneakers.1 To explain her absence from work that morning — a Tuesday in April 2015 — she had told a co-worker that she was having “female issues.” She was twenty-five years old and eight weeks pregnant. She had been separated from her husband, with whom she had a five-year-old son, for the better part of a year. The guy who’d gotten her pregnant was someone she’d met at the gym, and he’d made it abundantly clear that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Ashley found herself hoping that the doctor would discover some kind of fetal defect, so that her decision would be easier. She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. “Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.”

In the exam room, she perched on the table with her feet crossed at the ankles, her blond hair brushing the back of her pink hospital gown. “I don’t know what’s available for me here,” she told her doctor, Katherine Degen, who sat facing her on a stool. “I figured nothing.”

 Some names and identifying details have been changed. 

“Big, fat zero, unfortunately,” Degen said, making a 0 with her fingers. The last doctor who provided abortions in Rapid City retired in 1986, three years before Ashley was born.

The baby was due in November, when Ashley, who was a nurse, hoped to be enrolled in a graduate program to become a nurse practitioner. Getting pregnant as a teenager had forced her to put that dream on hold, but she had thought that she was finally ready; she had even submitted her application shortly before the March 15 deadline. For the first time in her adult life, Ashley felt as if her plans were coming together. Then she missed her period.

It would be too difficult to attend school as a single mother of two, Ashley knew. She had made an appointment for three weeks from now at the nearest abortion clinic, in Billings, Montana, 318 miles away. But just a week and a half ago, her husband had said he wanted to get back together and offered to raise the child as his own. Was it a sign that she was meant to continue the pregnancy? As a rule, Ashley approached her problems with resolve. She was capable and tough; she liked shooting guns and lifting weights. She kept track of her stats and checked off her goals as she achieved them one by one. Yet the dilemma before her had shaken her confidence. She leaned back and turned to watch the ultrasound screen. The black-and-white image danced. A sharp, fast thumping emerged from the machine. As Degen removed the wand, Ashley wiped the corner of her eye.

Photograph (detail) by Balazs Gardi
Article
With Child·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"She glanced across the waiting room at a television playing a birth-control ad and laughed darkly. 'Jesus, Lord, it would be so nice if someone just pushed me down a flight of stairs.'"
Photograph (detail) by Lara Shipley

Price of ten pencils made from “recycled twigs,” from the Nature Company:

$39.50

A loggerhead turtle in a Kobe aquarium at last achieved swimming success with her twenty-seventh set of prosthetic fins. “When her children hatch,” said the aquarium’s director, “well, I just feel that would make all the trauma in her life worthwhile.”

In Colombia, U.N. delegates sent to serve as impartial observers of the peace process aimed at ending the half-century-long war between the FARC and the Colombian government were chastised after they were filmed dancing and getting drunk with FARC fighters at a New Year’s Eve party.

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