Weekly Review — August 11, 2009, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: Caught in the Web, 1860]
Caught in the Web, 1860.

With Congress in recess, opponents of and advocates for health-care reform stepped up their media campaigns. Angry citizens, led by industry front groups, former “Swift Boat Veterans for Truth” organizers, and Rush Limbaugh, shouted down Democratic lawmakers at “town hall” meetings across the country. “Tyranny! Tyranny! Tyranny!” shouted protesters in Tampa, Florida. “Forty million illegals!” (Even though the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. are specifically excluded from the health-care plan.) Protesters waving “Don’t Tread on Me” flags gathered at the closed offices of the Service Employees International Union in St. Louis, claiming that union members had attacked conservative activist Kenneth Gladney at a recent health-care forum. Gladney, who does not have health insurance, took up a collection for the treatment of his injuries. WaPoTPMWaPoHuffington PostUSA TodayTNR St. Petersburg TimesCNNWaPoBloombergSt. Louis Post-DispatchWashington ExaminerBusinessweekSt. Louis Post-DispatchPresident Barack Obama confirmed a deal with drug companies, promising not to make them cut drug costs by more than $80 billion; drug companies promised to spend more on TV ads supporting Obama’s plan than John McCain spent on TV ads in his entire presidential campaign. “Anything that increases coverage,” said CVS CFO David Rickard, “will be good for our company’s business.”NYTBloombergNYTScreenwriter Budd Schulberg, whose 1957 film A Face in the Crowd depicted the rise to power of a fascist hillbilly drug-company spokesman, died, as did film director and Republican John Hughes. In a eulogy, actor and economist Ben Stein said that Hughes was “to the postwar middle class white kid what John Keats was to the age of upheaval during the French Revolution and the Napoleonic wars,” and that his film Home Alone had captured “the mindset of the rich pre-teen child: total paranoia combined with almost Hitlerian fantasies of power and sadism.”AP via FoxYouTubeNYTThe American SpectatorLATVariety

Bombings in Baghdad and northern Iraq killed 47 people, wounded hundreds, and obliterated the entire village of Khazna, near Mosul. NYTGeneral Stanley McChrystal, top commander of the war in Afghanistan, called Vietnam War historian Stanley Karnow for advice. The main lesson to be learned from Vietnam, Karnow said, was that “we shouldn’t have been there in the first place.”AP via Boston GlobeGeorge Sodini, a 48-year-old computer analyst, shot twelve women at a gym near Pittsburgh, killing three and then himself. “Christ paid for EVERY sin,” he reasoned on his blog before the crime, “so how can I or you be judged BY GOD for a sin when the penalty was ALREADY paid?” CNNPittshburgh Tribune-ReviewA man was found dead near the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign,Las Vegas Review Journaland Sun Studios rockabilly pioneer Billy Lee Riley died. “My gal is red hot,” Riley sang in his 1957 hit “Red Hot.” “Yo’ gal ain’t doodleysquat,” responded a chorus. YouTubeLATThe city of Mobile, Alabama, dropped public lewdness charges against Lula Mae Battle, 81, who peed in a park after her bank refused to let her use their restroom. “Thank you, Jesus,” said Battle. “Glory, Hallelujah!” NYTAerosmith’s Steven Tyler, who should qualify for Medicare in four years, injured himself after falling off a stage in South Dakota while singing “Love In An Elevator.” NY Post

Russiannuclear submarines were caught patrolling off the eastern coast of the United States,.NYTand two American journalists held in North Korea were freed after a meeting between Bill Clinton and Kim Jong-Il. WSJLATNYTSonia Sotomayor was sworn in as a Supreme Court justice, LATNYTand Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was sworn in for his second term as president of Iran. NYTA daughter of former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat demanded an apology from the U.S. embassy for the film I Love You Man, in which a character names his dog Anwar Sadat,BBCand the film version of G.I. Joe topped weekend box office sales. “One of the best markets on the movie was Russia,” noted Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore. “How far G.I. Joe has come.”AP via GoogleA Canadian company claimed that an unnamed “Saudi businessman” had commissioned a solid-gold, diamond- and ruby-encrusted penis-enlarger, AVNand a group of more than 1,000 wealthy Americans, including Oscar Mayer wiener heir Chuck Collins, lobbied the White House for higher taxes.LAT Demand for lobster was low, Miami Heraldand four Uyghurs formerly held at Guantanamo Bay were hired at a golf course in Bermuda to help with preparations for the PGA Grand Slam.ReutersThe popular “Cash for Clunkers” stimulus program received $2 billion more in funding, sparking a surge in both sales of fuel-efficient vehicles and misleading television ads. “It was like locusts coming through the lot,” said Alaskan Toyota salesman Jerry Cagle, who ran out of Priuses. In keeping with the requirement that old engines be destroyed, mechanics across the country poured sodium silicate into crankcases and revved engines, causing mass car death. “It just don’t make sense,” said a used-car-parts salesman in Dayton, Ohio. In Glenview, Illinois, mechanics watched a blue 1994 Chevy Lumina van wheeze and choke for five minutes before stopping. “That’s a good American GM product,” said service manager Mark Rolla, “that won’t die.”LATChicago TribuneAnchorage Daily NewsWSJWSJUSA TodayCNNBloombergBloombergAP via Newsday

Share
Single Page

More from Sam Stark:

From the February 2015 issue

A Weimar Home Companion

Walter Benjamin on the air

Commentary January 21, 2011, 3:43 pm

United We Brand!

Weekly Review September 28, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

Get access to 164 years of
Harper’s for only $39.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

February 2015

The War of the World

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Sharp Edge of Life

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Great Republican Land Heist

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Captive Market

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Day of the Sea

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
The Great Republican Land Heist·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The wholesale transfer of public lands to state control may never be achieved. But the goal might be more subtle: to attack the value of public lands.”
Photograph by Chad Ress
Article
The Sharp Edge of Life·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“The struggle of the novelist has been to establish a measure, a view of human nature, and usually, though not always, as large a view as belief and imagination can wring from observable facts.”
Photo by Eddie Adams/Associated Press
Article
Captive Market·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Fear of random violence lives on, but the reality is that violent-crime rates have dropped to levels not seen since the early Seventies."
Photograph by Richard Ross
Article
The Day of the Sea·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“Fifteen judges will then sit together in a wood-paneled room, in a city thousands of miles from the Andes, and decide whether the ocean Bolivia claims as its right will at last be returned to it.”
Photo by Fabio Cuttica/Contrasto/Redux
Post
Introducing the February Issue·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Ruin of the West
Christopher Ketcham investigates Cliven Bundy’s years-long battle with the BLM, Annie Murphy reflects on Bolivia’s lost coast, and more
Painting by Richard Prince, whose work was on view in October at Gagosian Gallery in New York City © The artist. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery

Percentage increase in the annual number of polio cases in Pakistan since 2005:

A bowl of 4,000-year-old noodles was found in northwestern China; and a spokesman for the Chinese Academy of Sciences said that “this is the earliest empirical evidence of noodles ever found.”

A federal judge sentenced the journalist Barrett Brown to 63 months in prison for sharing a link to information stolen from the private-intelligence firm Stratfor by a hacker in 2011. “Good news!” Brown said in a statement. “They’re now going to send me to investigate the prison-industrial complex.”

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

HARPER’S FINEST

In Praise of Idleness

By

I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.

Subscribe Today