Weekly Review — March 3, 2009, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

President Barack Obama addressed a joint session of Congress, offering a broad outline of a massive spending plan paired with $2 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade. “Now is the time,” he said, “to jump-start job creation, restart lending, and invest in areas like energy, health care, and education.”NPR.orgIt was announced that General Motors lost $30.9 billion last year; that U.S. GDP fell 6.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, exceeding the officially predicted 3.8 percent drop, and even the 5.5 percent drop economists had expected; and that the U.S. government will own up to 36 percent of Citigroup.BBC NewsMarketWatchNew York TimesMarketWatchMarketWatchJames Baker, Ronald Reagan’s Treasury secretary, called on the Obama Administration to nationalize America’s zombie banks. Financial TimesThe Rocky Mountain News ceased publication.Rocky Mountain NewsFifty-four percent of graduating U.S. business majors lacked job offers, and Latham & Watkins, an international law firm, planned to lay off 8 percent of its attorneys with six months’ severance (up to $100,000 plus benefits) and to pay recent law-school hires up to $75,000 to defer work until late 2010.BusinessWeekThe AM Law DailyThe U.S. gave a further $30 billion to insurer A.I.G. atop the $133 billion already doled out, and the Dow fell below 7,000 for the first time since October 1997.MarketWatchThe New York TimesThe White House released a $3.6 trillion budget for fiscal year 2010, calling for a $630 billion health-care fund. “This budget,” said House Republican Leader John Boehner (R., Ohio), “makes clear that the era of big government is back.”MarketWatchWarren Buffet published his annual letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders. “The economy will be in shambles throughout 2009,” he wrote, “and, for that matter, probably well beyond.”Marktwatch

Many Americans were impressed by the supple firmness of Michelle Obama’s upper arms. “This woman is redecorating the White House, trying to raise two children, and backseat-driving the nation,” said a 25-year-old woman who watched the first lady on television, then went to an Adidas store in New York City and bought two five-pound dumbbells. “She seems to have time to keep her arms toned, so why can’t I?” CNNA rocket carrying the NASA Orbiting Carbon Observatory, intended to track global warming, crashed on launch.Sky NewsHamas and Fatah held peace talks in Cairo.The New York TimesPresident Barack Obama announced that he would pull all combat troops out of Iraq by 2010, and asked Congress for an extra $200 billion for the next eighteen months of war.CNNCNNThe Pentagon lifted the ban on photographing the coffins of dead American soldiers.New York TimesThe number of priests was rising,BBC Newsand HIV was evolving.BBC NewsPaul Harvey died.New York TimesCalifornia declared a state of drought emergency.BBC NewsOne hundred and fifty people applied, and ten were hired, to wait tables at a topless coffeeshop in Vassalboro, Maine. “People like nudity,” said owner Donald Crabtree, “and coffee is profitable.”CNN

Thieves stole up to 7 million euros from the Bank of Ireland in Dublin,Irish Timesand Irish protesters demonstrated at the ministry of finance against U2, which has relocated to the Netherlands to avoid taxes on royalties. “I don’t need to pay like you/No, I won’t pay like you/Because I still haven’t learned about democracy,” sang one Bono impersonator to the tune of “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”Irish TimesBritish researchers identified the oldest words in English as “I,” “we,” “two,” and “three,” and predicted the death of “bad.”BBC NewsThree people in Louisiana were arrested for attempting to swap two small children for $175 and a cockatoo,The Smoking Gunand the principal of a London school, charged with downloading child pornography, skipped bail after undergoing treatment for a thyroid condition. “Please warn officers that when he is arrested he might be radioactive,” said a judge. “This is not a joke.”Daily MailA study of 1.3 million British women found that a single drink per day increases the risk of cancer of the breast, liver, and rectum.The Washington PostA fireman in Oklahoma was arrested for starting small grass fires near his firehouse,KTULand a man in Boston was treated for burns after he started a fire inside his car in an attempt to keep warm.WCVBTVThree people with “personal grievances” set themselves on fire in a car just outside of Tiananmen Square (where soldiers stand next to fire extinguishers to extinguish protesters), and in Sichuan province a Tibetan monk named Tapey was shot by police after he set himself ablaze.BBC NewsBBC NewsTen people in Bloomingdale, Indiana, watched as a 58-year-old Wal-Mart employee, described by management as “fun to be around,” set himself alight in a parking lot near the store where he worked. People threw their coats on the man, but he tossed the coats away; before succumbing to burns he told police, “I just couldn’t take it anymore.” The man’s son said that his father had enjoyed living in the suburbs. “This had nothing to do with the economy,” said the son. “We were getting ready to redo the front lawn.” CLTV

Share
Single Page

More from Paul Ford:

From the May 2010 issue

Just like heaven

Weekly Review March 23, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Weekly Review November 24, 2009, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

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

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

August 2016

Four in Prose

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Don the Realtor

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Atlas Aggregated

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Origins of Speech

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Four in Verse

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A Sigh and a Salute

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
Martin Amis on the rise of Trump, Tom Wolfe on the origins of speech, Art Spiegelman on Si Lewen, a story by Diane Williams, and more

In Havana, the past year has been marked by a parade of bold-faced names from the north — John Kerry reopening the United States Embassy; Andrew Cuomo bringing a delegation of American business leaders; celebrities ranging from Joe Torre, traveling on behalf of Major League Baseball to oversee an exhibition game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cuban national team, to Jimmy Buffett, said to be considering opening one of his Margaritaville restaurants there. All this culminated with a three-day trip in March by Barack Obama, the first American president to visit Cuba since Calvin Coolidge in 1928. But to those who know the city well, perhaps nothing said as much about the transformation of political relations between the United States and Cuba that began in December 2014 as a concert in the Tribuna Antiimperialista.

Illustration by Darrel Rees
Article
Don the Realtor·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"If you have ever wondered what it’s like, being a young and avaricious teetotal German-American philistine on the make in Manhattan, then your curiosity will be quenched by The Art of the Deal."
Photograph (detail) © Polly Borland/Exclusive by Getty Images
Article
The Origins of Speech·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"To Chomsky...every child’s language organ could use the 'deep structure,' 'universal grammar,' and 'language acquisition device' he was born with to express what he had to say, no matter whether it came out of his mouth in English or Urdu or Nagamese."
Illustration (detail) by Darrel Rees. Source photograph © Miroslav Dakov/Alamy Live News
Article
A Sigh and a Salute·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Si told me that various paintings had spoken to him, but he wished they had been hung closer together 'so they could talk to each other.' This observation planted a seed that would come to fruition years later in his mature work."
Artwork (detail) by Si Lewen
Article
El Bloqueo·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Amid the festivities and the flood of celebrities, it would be easy for Americans to miss that the central plank of the long-standing cold war against Cuba — the economic embargo — remains very much alive and well."
Photograph (detail) by Rose Marie Cromwell

Chances that a Republican man believes that “poor people have hard lives”:

1 in 4

A school in South Korea was planning to deploy a robot to protect students from unwanted seductions.

Nuremberg’s Neues Museum filed a criminal complaint against a 91-year-old woman who completed a crossword puzzle that was in fact a $116,000 piece of avant-garde Danish art.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Mississippi Drift

By

“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”

Subscribe Today