Weekly Review — September 8, 2009, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

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

Polls showed that the level of public support for health-care reform was plummeting, a result of both Democratic capitulation–as when Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D., Mont.), after a year of preparation, released a proposal that lacked a public option–and a Republican campaign of lies regarding “death panels,” the cost of medical care, cuts in Medicare benefits, and “rationing.” President Barack Obama indicated that the White House may give up on Congress and draft its own bill; he also telephoned representatives who support the public option, including Raul Grijalva (D., Ariz.), to talk about the bill. “I didn’t come away from this discussion feeling that we were dead,” said Grijalva. The president scheduled a health-care speech before a joint session of Congress, and FOX News announced that it would not air it. A fight at a pro-health-care rally near Los Angeles ended when a pro-reform protester bit off the finger of an anti-reform protester.Who Runs Gov.PoliticoWashington PostNew York TimesKTLABlack Star NewsCNNFOX News host Glenn Beck wrote that he had deciphered the secret code of the Obama Administration: “OLIGARHY,” he wrote on a chalkboard, pronouncing it “oligarchy.”Political HumorEncouraged by Beck and fearful of socialist indoctrination, conservative parents planned to keep their children at home on Tuesday, when President Obama will encourage the nation’s students to do their homework.PoliticoThe U.S. unemployment rate rose to 9.7 percent,New York Timesand David Wahl, a 52-year-old employee at the New Flyer bus factory in St. Cloud, Minnesota, who sat behind Vice President Joe Biden when Biden insisted during a town-hall meeting that the company would benefit from the stimulus plan, was let go.New York TimesDozens of alpine cows threw themselves off a Swiss cliff.Daily Mail

More than 90 Afghans, including 40 civilians, were killed when NATO launched an air strike on two fuel tankers that had been hijacked by the Taliban.TelegraphOfficials in Afghanistan found that hundreds of thousands of votes were cast for Afghan President Hamid Karzai at 800 fake polling sites. “If Karzai is re-elected,” said one tribal elder, “people will leave the country or join the Taliban.”New York TimesA new species of giant rat was discovered in a Papua New Guinea volcano,BBCand scientists were working on making single-cell slime molds into robots.New ScientistColombian President Alvaro Uribe returned from Argentina, where he met with other South American presidents and caught swine flu, and the United States, facing a swine-flu-vaccine shortage, released videos that feature Elmo from Sesame Street encouraging people to wash their hands.Washington PostWashington PostPolice in Australia were investigating an adolescent girl and two boys for child pornography because one of the boys used his mobile phone to film the girl losing her virginity because she wanted to have sex before the Large Hadron Collider was turned on and the world ended.Courier MailThe Catholic church recommended that before sex married couples recite the Prayer Before Making Love, which asks God to “clothe us in true dignity”;Daily Mailand, to celebrate the legalization of same-sex marriage in Vermont, Ben and Jerry’s changed the name of Chubby Hubby to Hubby Hubby. TelegraphArt conservators restoring a seventeenth-century painting by Poussin uncovered an erect penis,Carnal Nationand at a Dutch museum a moon rock from the first manned lunar landing was discovered to be petrified wood.BBC

Argentina legalized the personal possession of marijuana,Yahoo Newsand Zambian President Rupiah Banda evicted two hundred primates from the State House after a monkey peed on him during a press conference.BBCThe wife of Japan’s next prime minister said that her soul once rode to Venus on a triangular UFO.MSNBCAfter sixty years Ikea switched its typeface to Verdana from a customized version of Futura, provoking global outrage. “Look, I know this isn’t world hunger,” said a Romanian design consultant. “But if a company like Ikea can make this mistake, you have to wonder who is going to lead when it comes to design.”TimeA Detroit man admitted to chopping up the body of a homeless man and stuffing the parts in his freezer, saying that he had stumbled upon the corpse and didn’t know what to do with it;Click on Detroittwo Florida men were convicted of gang raping a woman and forcing her to perform oral sex on her 12-year-old son;APand a court hearing in Cincinnati was halted when the defendant, a 66-year-old man charged with robbery and kidnapping, squeezed out his colostomy bag onto a table and ate the contents.Cincinnati EnquirerThe Andromeda galaxy was expanding by cannibalizing other galaxies.BBC

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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:

2

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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