Weekly Review — June 3, 2008, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A grasshopper driving a chariot, 1875]

Scott McClellan published a memoir about his stint as President George W. Bush‘s press secretary from July 2003 to April 2006. In the book, McClellan says that he does not believe that the Bush Administration “deliberately or consciously sought to deceive the American people” when it dispensed with “honesty and candor” in favor of launching a “political propaganda campaign” to justify the Iraq War. He also asserts that the media became the administration’s “complicit enablers” and that the president said that he did not remember whether he had ever tried cocaine at “some pretty wild parties back in the day.” Senator Bob Dole responded in a note to McClellan: “There are miserable creatures like you in every administration who don’t have the guts to speak up or quit if there are disagreements with the boss or colleagues.” Ari Fleischer, Bush’s previous press secretary, suggested McClellan had been manipulated by his liberal editors. Wall Street JournalPoliticoNational JournalNew York Daily NewsWall Street JournalIn Baghdad, a car bomb in a parking lot near the Iranian Embassy killed two civilians and wounded five others, and west of the city, in the town of Hit, a suicide bomber killed ten people and wounded twelve at a police checkpoint. APFranz Kunstler, the last surviving veteran of the Austro-Hungarian Empire’s forces in World War I, died at the age of 107,New York Timesand Dianne Odell, a polio victim in Tennessee, died at the age of 61, after 58 years in an iron lung.APAustralia pulled its 550 combat troops out of Iraq, declaring their mission a success. AP

The Democratic National Committee determined that delegates from Michigan and Florida will be allowed half-votes at the party’s convention. “At least slaves were counted as 3/5ths a Citizen,” read a sign at a protest by supporters of Hillary Clinton outside the Washington hotel where the decision was made. Demonstrator Larry Sinclair, a Minnesotan who has posted videos on YouTube alleging that he took drugs and had oral sex with Barack Obama in 1999 but failed a polygraph test about his allegations, handed out a pamphlet titled “Obama’s DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS: Murder, Drugs, Gay Sex.”New York TimesThe New RepublicObama broke his ties with Chicago’s Trinity Church, The Daily DishClinton won the Puerto Rico primary,New York Timesand it was reported that Obama had offered Clinton a “negotiated surrender” that included a possible post as health secretary in an Obama administration.TelegraphA human-rights organization accused the Bush Administration of operating “floating prisons” by holding suspected terrorists on ships and of continuing its policy of extraordinary rendition, a practice it claimed to have discontinued in 2006.GuardianJohn McCain shifted a fund-raiser attended by Bush from the Phoenix Convention Center to a private home, confining his on-camera public appearance with the president to 25 seconds at an airport. New York TimesMcCain’s campaign manager, former lobbyist Rick Davis, was slowly and quietly purging lobbyists from the campaign’s ranks.New York TimesMonkeys were able to move a robot arm with their thoughts. New York Times

At a literary festival in Wales, British columnist George Monbiot attempted a citizen’s arrest of John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, on charges of war crimes, but was obstructed by security guards.Democracy NowCanadian Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Bernier resigned shortly before his ex-girlfriend Julie Couillard told a television interviewer that Bernier had left classified NATO documents about Afghanistan in her apartment and had encouraged her to wear a low-cut blouse to his swearing-in in order to attract media attention. It subsequently came to light that Couillard, a former model, had lived with one member of the Quebec Hell’s Angels (who was arrested for possession of submachine guns and marijuana, then turned police informant, and was found dead in a ditch), married and divorced another, and was marked for death by the head Angel, a man named “Mom.” “I don’t care about her cleavage,” said MP Michael Ignatieff, deputy leader of the Liberal opposition. “But this stuff is not only my business, it is the business of all Canadians.” Prime Minister Stephen Harper, a Conservative, rejected calls for an investigation into the scandal.New York TimesNational PostBritish archaeologists discovered that Stonehenge was a cemetery for the elite, New York TimesLa Scala announced that it will produce Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” as an opera,Breitbartand structures built for the 2004 AthensOlympics were falling into ruin.Telegraph

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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
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A Window To The World·

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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
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The Lords of Lambeau·

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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
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With Child·

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"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

Months after Martin Luther King Jr. publicly called the U.S. the “world’s greatest purveyor of violence ‚” that he was killed:

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Temporary, self-absorbed sadness makes people spend money extravagantly.

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.

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