Weekly Review — October 30, 2012, 12:03 pm

Weekly Review


“What Though I Am Obligated to Dance a Bear”

Hurricane Sandy struck the Caribbean, killing 52 people in Haiti and 17 in the Bahamas, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico, before moving northward along the U.S. east coast. Amplified by the full moon, flooding began up and down the coastline on Monday morning, as the storm merged with a low-pressure system coming in from the Arctic and a high-pressure system coming in from the northeast, then made landfall in the evening as a post-tropical cyclone near Atlantic City, New Jersey. “This storm has something for everyone,” said a National Weather Service spokesman.[1][2][3] CNN banned the term “Frankenstorm” from its coverage; record storm surges struck many areas; at least 33 people died; an estimated 8 million lost power; more than 13,000 flights were cancelled; disaster areas were declared in New Jersey and New York; trading on the New York Stock Exchange was halted on consecutive days for weather-related reasons for the first time since 1888; the replica tall-ship H.M.S. Bounty sank off the coast of North Carolina; and Canada sent 50 electricians to help Vermont.[4][5][6][7][8][9][10] “San Diego is gorgeous this time of year!” tweeted Cindy McCain, wife of Senator John McCain (R., Ariz.). “I’m in heaven!”[11][12] President Barack Obama returned to the White House from campaigning in Florida in order to monitor the storm, and Mitt Romney cancelled campaign appearances in New Hampshire and Virginia. “We hear that perhaps Mr. Romney may do some storm-related events,” said Fox News host Steve Doocy. “If you think right now I give a damn,” said New Jersey governor Chris Christie (R.), “you don’t know me.”[13][14] Days earlier, Obama and Romney held a foreign policy debate in Boca Raton, Florida. “Our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917,” said Romney. “We also have fewer horses and bayonets,” replied Obama.[15][16] A blimp reading “America needs Romney” deflated after making an emergency landing en route from Boca Raton.[17] In conversation with an editor at Rolling Stone magazine, Obama said that children between the ages of six and twelve wouldn’t vote for Romney because they sense when someone is a “bullshitter.”[18] Ann Romney made meat loaf on The Rachael Ray Show, and Meat Loaf endorsed Mitt Romney.[19]

In Mecca, nearly 4 million Muslims completed the annual hajj. “Oh God, may we see Bashar al-Assad soon hanged or burnt, kicked out or a humiliated prisoner!” shouted one Syrian pilgrim. “Amen!” yelled dozens of others.[20][21] In Syria, a United Nations–brokered four-day ceasefire collapsed amid fighting that killed at least 110.[22] The Egyptian National Circus put on one of the first circus performances in the Gaza Strip since 1967. “I think they’ll do the impossible to entertain us,” said one Gazan.[23] Egypt mediated a truce between Israel and Hamas, following two days of Palestinian rocket fire and Israeli airstrikes.[24] In Burma, battles between Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims left at least 84 dead and 28,000 homeless.[25] China blocked the website of the New York Times after the paper published an investigative report claiming that Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and his family had used their political connections to secure assets worth at least $2.7 billion.[26] The Washington Post reported a March 2011 incident in which a Predator drone started its own engine despite its ignition being turned off and its fuel line closed. “I still think the software is not good,” an Air Force squadron commander testified before an investigative board.[27] The estate of William Faulkner sued defense contractor Northrop Grumman.[28] The owners of Penguin and Random House agreed to a merger that would create the world’s largest book-publishing company.[29] In Italy, six scientists and one official were convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to six years in prison for failing to warn Italians adequately of an earthquake that struck L’Aquila in 2009, killing 309. “I still don’t understand,” said defendant Enzo Boschi, “what I was convicted of.”[30]

The San Francisco Giants won the World Series, sweeping the Detroit Tigers in four games.[31] David Stern said that Barack Obama is “not as good as he thinks he is” at basketball, and Romney adviser John Sununu suggested that former secretary of state Colin Powell, a Republican, had endorsed Obama for president because the two men are black. “My party is full of racists,” said former Powell aide Lawrence Wilkerson.[32][33][34] The day after Romney released a TV ad backing Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock, Mourdock made controversial comments about abortion during a debate. “Even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape,” said Mourdock, “it is something that God intended to happen.”[35] The Roman Catholic Church canonized its first Native American saint, Kateri Tekakwitha, a Mohawk who died in 1680, and U.S. company Incharacter pulled its “Sassy Squaw” Halloween costume from shelves.[36][37] The FBI charged New York Police Department officer Gilberto Valle III with conspiracy to kidnap, cook, and eat women. “I am putting my neck on the line,” Valle reportedly told a co-conspirator.[38][39] Paleontologists working on the Hell Creek Formation Project in Montana presented evidence of the “delicate” bites with which Tyrannosaurus rex ate the faces of Triceratops after tearing off their heads to get at nutrient-rich neck meat, and biologists expressed concern, after a study showed that the anuses of Priapus cautadid “penis” worms may develop before their mouths, that the largest animal group, Protostomia (“mouth-firsts”), would have to be renamed.[40][41][42] A Brazilian woman sold her virginity online for $780,000, and an Australian man sold his for $3,000.[43] Psychologists revealed that it probably isn’t her, it’s you.[44]


Correction: The phrase “trading on the New York Stock Exchange was halted on consecutive days for weather-related reasons for the first time since 1888” originally read “trading on the New York Stock Exchange was halted on consecutive days for the first time since 1888.” As the source article notes, the exchange has been closed on consecutive days for other reasons.

Share
Single Page
is an associate editor of Harper's Magazine.

More from Jeremy Keehn:

Weekly Review September 23, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Scotland rejects independence, Sierra Leone issues a three-day lockdown, and Iran lashes its citizens for doing a “Happy” dance

Weekly Review September 9, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

ISIL murders journalist Steven Sotloff; Satan in Moscow and Detroit; and Florida police play Cherries Waffles Tennis

Weekly Review August 5, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

Alternating shelter bombings and ceasefires in Gaza; a do-nothing Congress whimpers feebly into recess; and India hires a troupe of black-faced-langur imitators

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

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

May 2016

Fighting Chance

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Front Runner

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Habits of Highly Cynical People

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Unhackable

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

American Imperium

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
Elisabeth Zerofsky on Marine Le Pen, Paul Wachter on the quest for an unhackable email, Rebecca Solnit on cynical people, Andrew J. Bacevich on truth and fiction in the age of war, Samuel James photographs E.P.L. soccer, a story by Vince Passaro, and more

The old woman’s husband, even older than she, has lived long enough. She is careful not to say this to her daughters, to her brother, to the doctors. He’s had a stroke, or something like a stroke, and at first he seemed to be recovering. Then there were intermittent bad days and setbacks and now, a few weeks in, they are all bad days: he is declining, delirious, difficult, and she is exhausted. Her mind — usually a badger den of plans, desires, and, most of all, worry — now, at night, in its rare moments of rest, tumbles into a pale white silence. She doesn’t want him to live on like this, biting the nurses like a dog that needs to be put down.

Illustration by Taylor Callery
Article
Front Runner·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"The F.N. asked to be sent to an institution whose legitimacy it did not accept, and French voters rewarded the party with first place in the election."
Illustration (detail) by Matthew Richardson
Article
American Imperium·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"One consequence of remaining perpetually at war is that the political landscape in America does not include a peace party."
Illustration (detail) by Steven Dana
Article
War of The Roses·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Guns never had a political agenda. They were first and foremost about themselves and their music."
Photograph (detail) by Marc Canter
Article
A Shrinking World, An Opening Sky·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Her mind — usually a badger den of plans, desires, and, most of all, worry — now, at night, in its rare moments of rest, tumbles into a pale white silence."
The No Mind Not Thinks No Things vokgret (detail), by Doug and Mike Starn. Courtesy the artists and Galerie Lelong, New York City

Average number of times a Canadian apologizes each week:

4

Beaumont, Texas, produces the saddest tweets.

The Finnish postal service announced it will begin mowing lawns on Tuesdays.

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