Weekly Review — May 21, 2013, 8:30 am

Weekly Review

Government power-drunkenness, space oddities, and anti-lesbian prejudice on the Isle of Man

An American Mastiff.

An American Mastiff.

President Barack Obama removed Steven Miller as acting commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service after it was revealed that the agency’s Determinations Unit had given special scrutiny to conservative groups whose tax filings contained such terms as “tea party” and “patriots.” “Is this government so drunk on power?” asked Kevin Brady (R., Tx.) during Miller’s appearance before the House Committee on Ways and Means. “Is this still America?”[1][2] Darrell Issa (R., Calif.), the chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, subpoenaed the chairman of the independent panel investigating last year’s attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, and the White House released emails it said proved the appropriateness of its response to the attack. “There’s no there there,” said Obama.[3][4][5] Six days after the Associated Press accused the Justice Department of clandestinely acquiring records for more than 20 of its reporters’ phone lines, a leaked affidavit revealed that the department had labeled as criminal activity a Fox News correspondent’s reporting on a State Department leak in 2010, and had subpoenaed his private emails.[6][7][8] The U.S. Army announced that it was investigating a sexual-assault program coordinator in Fort Hood, Texas, over allegations of pimping and abusive sexual contact, and the mayor of Osaka suggested that American military personnel stationed in Japan visit his country’s brothels. “Unless they make use of these facilities,” said Toru Hashimoto, “it will be difficult to control the sexual energies of the wild Marines.”[9][10] A woman testified that prostitutes at the “bunga bunga” parties thrown by former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi had dressed up as Obama. “They raised their skirts,” she said. “[But] I never saw contact.”[11]

At least 198 people died in sectarian violence in Iraq; Egyptian authorities strung up barbed wire at the country’s border crossing with the Gaza Strip after seven members of its security forces were kidnapped by Islamist gunmen; and President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in northern Nigeria following a series of attacks by the jihadist group Boko Haram. [12][13][14][15] The pro-Assad Syrian Electronic Army hacked the website and Twitter feed of the Financial Times, and a video was released showing Syrian rebel commander Abu Sakkar cutting into the chest of a government soldier and biting into one of the man’s lungs. “If the blood does not stop flowing,” said Sakkar, “all Syrians will become Abu Sakkars.”[16][17][18] Iran hanged two men accused of spying for Israel and the United States, and the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) expelled an American diplomat it claimed was carrying a recruitment letter, a compass, and two wigs. “The FSB got sick of American spies,” wrote a Moscow tabloid, “and publicly smacked one like a cockroach who thought himself king of the kitchen crumbs.”[19][20][21] A Russian capsule carrying crayfish, lizards, and dead mice touched down in a planted field after a month in orbit, and three astronauts landed on the steppes of Kazakhstan after a five-month stint aboard the International Space Station. “This is the first time animals have flown in space for so long on their own,” said an official from Russia’s Institute of Medical and Biological Problems. “My body was quite happy,” said ISS mission commander Chris Hadfield. “I learned to talk with a weightless tongue.”[22][23][24]

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

Somali drug dealers shared with reporters a cell-phone video purportedly showing Toronto mayor Rob Ford smoking crack, and nearly a third of Minnesota’s lakes were found to contain traces of cocaine.[25][26] In Belize, a construction company bulldozed a 2,300-year-old Mayan temple to make road fill. “Mind-boggling,” said archaeologist Jamie Awe.[27] Ohio was judged to be the most profane state, and priests in Tbilisi, Georgia, attacked homosexuals celebrating International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).[28][29] Representatives from the House of Keys declared their support for a lesbian couple denied an apartment on the Isle of Man.[30] Angelina Jolie revealed that she had undergone a double mastectomy after learning she carries a “faulty” gene that increases her risk of developing breast cancer; scientists in Oregon successfully cloned human embryonic stem cells; and an Atlanta woman who lost portions of all four limbs to flesh-eating bacteria was outfitted with bionic hands that can be controlled via an iPhone app.[31][32][33] The Venezuelan government announced that it would import more than 760,000 tons of supplies to combat shortages of basic necessities. “The revolution,” said President Nicolás Maduro, “will bring the country 50 million rolls of toilet paper.”[34][35] In Vicenza, Italy, a 66-year-old man being evicted by city officials died after throwing himself from his apartment window. “We try to help everyone,” said the city’s mayor, “but the effort must be mutual.”[36]


Sign up and get the Weekly Review delivered to your inbox every Tuesday morning.

Share
Single Page

More from Jacob Z. Gross:

Weekly Review July 29, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

The quixotic quest for a Gaza ceasefire; West African doctors face mortal peril; and Russian gecko porn, restored

Weekly Review June 17, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

ISIS launches a major offensive in Iraq, the 2014 World Cup begins, and Florida keeps on being Florida

Weekly Review April 29, 2014, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

The U.S. Supreme Court and L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling remark on race and opportunity, the FCC prepares to end net neutrality, and white supremacists propagandize children’s Easter eggs

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

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

July 2016

The Ideology of Isolation

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

American Idle

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

My Holy Land Vacation

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The City That Bleeds

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

El Bloqueo

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Vladivostok Station

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Post
"We all know in France that as soon as a politician starts saying that some problem will be solved at the European level, that means no one is going to do anything."
Photograph (detail) by Stefan Boness
Post
Tom Bissell on touring Israel with Christian Zionists, Joy Gordon on the Cuban embargo, Lawrence Jackson on Freddie Gray and the makings of an American uprising, a story by Paul Yoon, and more

Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.

The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.

Artwork: Camels, Jerusalem (detail) copyright Martin Parr/Magnum Photos
[Report]
How to Make Your Own AR-15·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Even if federal gun-control advocates got everything they wanted, they couldn’t prevent America’s most popular rifle from being made, sold, and used. Understanding why this is true requires an examination of how the firearm is made.
Illustration by Jeremy Traum
Article
My Holy Land Vacation·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"I wanted to more fully understand why conservative politics had become synonymous with no-questions-asked support of Israel."
Illustration (detail) by Matthew Richardson
Article
The City That Bleeds·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

"Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing."
Photograph (detail) © Wil Sands/Fractures Collective

Percentage of British citizens who say that Northern Ireland should remain part of the United Kingdom:

27

In the United Kingdom, a penis-shaped Kentish strawberry was not made by snails.

The Playboy mansion in California was bought by the heir to the Twinkie fortune, and a New Mexico man set fire to his apartment to protest his neighbors’ loud lovemaking.

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