Weekly Review — October 5, 2010, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Small Family, May 1874]
A Small Family.

President Barack Obama‘s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, announced in a video that he planned to resign from the White House to run for mayor of Chicago, and called for leadership that is “smart enough to know what government should doâ??and also what it can’t do.” Election lawyers suggested that Emanuel may not be able to run for mayor because he is not a legal resident of Chicago, having rented out his house for 18 months. “I’ve talked to the guy,” said attorney Burt Odelson about Emanuel’s tenant, who has refused to break the lease, “and they’re pissed.”CBSChicago Sun-TimesReports showed that interest groups have spent $80 million so far on the 2010 congressional elections, five times as much as they had at this point in the 2006 midterms. Over half of this was given by donors who did not disclose their identities, and Republican-leaning groups outspent Democratic allies 7 to 1; Democrats called for the Internal Revenue Service to investigate. BloombergThe Washington PostThe Washington PostJennifer Frutchy, philanthropic advisor to billionaire Peter B. Lewis, who gave more than $20 million to the Democrats in the 2004 election, explained that Mr. Lewis was witholding funds this year to concentrate on building progressive infrastructure and marijuana reform. “Thatâ??s just where his head is right now,” she said.NYTA brief television-news clip on a local station in Georgia provoked international speculation that Maureen Tucker, the former drummer of The Velvet Underground, had become a Tea Partier, and scientists found that placing a magnet on your head can temporarily turn you from a right- to a left-handed person.GuardianDaily MailDelaware Republican Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell, who once said that homosexuals have an “identity disorder,” was endorsed by her lesbian sister, Jennie. “Blood,” said Jennie, “is thicker than politics.”NYT

The U.S. State Department advised that Americans in Europe be vigilant due to an unspecified terrorist threat.NYTAfghan President Hamid Karzai wept about bombs and suicide attacks during a televised speech at a high school. “I’m worried, oh people, I’m worried,” he said about his three-year-old son. “God forbid Mirwais should be forced to leave Afghanistan.”BBC South AsiaTwo new audio recordings said to be from Osama bin Laden urged help for victims of climate change, and two members of the Nigerian group MEND, which has been destroying oil pipelines, kidnapping petroleum company workers, and fighting government troops since 2006, were suspected of organizing a car bombing that killed twelve people on the 50th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence from Britain.NYTBBCNYTA man drove a cement truck on which was written “â?¬1,000,000 on golf balls” into the gates of Leinster House, the national parliament of Ireland, and several Lehman Brothers signs were sold for tens of thousands of dollars each at an auction organized by PricewaterhouseCoopers as part of an effort to repay creditors.NYTA French vintner awoke to find his entire crop of Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, worth $20,000, had been stolen. “Between winegrowers there’s a kind of solidarity,” the vintner said, “but 2010 is a bad year and it fosters jealousies.”Observer

A psychiatrist permitted the 33 Chilean miners trapped more than 2,300 feet underground to watch “Troy,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” and “The Mask,” but no intense dramas.The Globe and the MailActor Tony Curtis, born Bernard Schwarz, died, aged 85.NYTGoogle Street View expanded its coverage to Antarctica, and an ice-themed water park in the United Arab Emirates, conceived as a haven for penguins displaced by global warming, triggered complaints from local fishermen, who preferred the beach that had been there. PopsciGuardianA troop of large black-faced langur monkeys were deployed by Delhi authorities to scare away smaller simians from the Commonwealth Games Village.”We don’t know who is in charge,” complained Sandeep Dikshit, a member of Indian Parliament, whose mother, Sheila Dikshit, oversees one of the agencies responsible for preparations of the Games.NYTAn official photograph of Kim Jong-Un, the newly appointed four-star general and most likely successor to the Communist dynasty in North Korea, attracted comments about the young man’s obesity, and a British food production company was ordered to pay $27,000 after a man making sandwiches found a dead mouse, minus its tail, in a loaf of bread. “As I was feeling ill I couldn’t face eating anything myself,” said Stephen Forse of Kidlington, Oxfordshire. “I sat with the children as they ate theirs.”BBCTelegraphBBC News

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Editor's Note

Many comedians consider stand-up the purest form of comedy; Doug Stanhope considers it the freest. “Once you do stand-up, it spoils you for everything else,” he says. “You’re the director, performer, and producer.” Unlike most of his peers, however, Stanhope has designed his career around exploring that freedom, which means choosing a life on the road. Perhaps this is why, although he is extremely ambitious, prolific, and one of the best stand-ups performing, so many Americans haven’t heard of him. Many comedians approach the road as a means to an end: a way to develop their skills, start booking bigger venues, and, if they’re lucky, get themselves airlifted to Hollywood. But life isn’t happening on a sit-com set or a sketch show — at least not the life that has interested Stanhope. He isn’t waiting to be invited to the party; indeed, he’s been hosting his own party for years.

Because of the present comedy boom, civilians are starting to hear about Doug Stanhope from other comedians like Ricky Gervais, Sarah Silverman, and Louis CK. But Stanhope has been building a devoted fan base for the past two decades, largely by word of mouth. On tour, he prefers the unencumbered arrival and the quick exit: cheap motels where you can pull the van up to the door of the room and park. He’s especially pleased if there’s an on-site bar, which increases the odds of hearing a good story from the sort of person who tends to drink away the afternoon in the depressed cities where he performs. Stanhope’s America isn’t the one still yammering on about its potential or struggling with losing hope. For the most part, hope is gone. On Word of Mouth, his 2002 album, he says, “America may be the best country, but that’s like being the prettiest Denny’s waitress. Just because you’re the best doesn’t make you good.”

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Ratio of husbands who say they fell in love with their spouse at first sight to wives who say this:

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