Weekly Review — September 15, 2009, 12:00 am

Weekly Review

[Image: A Christian martyr, 1855]

A Christian martyr.

President Barack Obama addressed a joint session of Congress and implored Democrats to pass their own health-care legislation. During the speech, the president noted that the bill would not extend health insurance to illegal immigrants, at which South Carolina Representative Joe Wilson shouted, “You lie!” Afterwards, Wilson received $1 million in campaign contributions. Shares in health insurance companies went up, and the number of Americans without health insurance rose to 46.3 million.New York TimesCNNMarketwatchCNNNew York TimesThe HillCNNFox NewsPoliticoTens of thousands of people gathered in front of the U.S. Capitol to protest health-care reform, the expansion of government, illegal immigration, abortion, the size of the national deficit, limitations on gun ownership, the linguistic plurality of the United States, the Wall Street bailout, the energy bill, and the appointment of White House czars. Signs carried at the protest depicted Obama as Adolf Hitler, as Che Guevara, as the Joker from the most recent Batman movie, and as an African witch doctor. “Bury Obamacare with Kennedy,” read one sign. “Joe Wilson for president” read another.The HillSamoans began to drive on the left side of the road in spite of a late appeal by the People Against Switching Sides (PASS).BBC

The Treasury Department announced plans to phase out its bank-bailout programs. “It is clear,” said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, “that we have stepped back from the brink and that we are pointed in the right direction.”MarketwatchThree more banks closed, adding to the 89 that failed so far this year,MarketWatchand investment firms revealed plans to buy life-insurance policies from elderly and sick people and package them into securitized investment products. “We’re hoping to get a herd stampeding after the first offering,” said a banker. New York TimesIn Pakistan, at least nineteen women trying to collect free handouts of flour were killed in an actual stampede.New York TimesA developer in London was found guilty of murdering his tenant so he could move ahead with plans to flip the property,BBCand a group of men in Florida were holding up pawn shops in various costumes, including hospital scrubs, child safety-seats, and sinks.St. Petersburg TimesThe U.S. was growing more pot. “The need to… distract yourself is pretty much a constant in human behavior through good times and bad,” said one marijuana-eradication official.CS MonitorScientists at Stanford University determined that stem cells could be made from fat cells removed during liposuction.CNN

Jim Carroll died, as did Nobel Prize-winning agronomist Norman Borlaug, and Gertrude Baines, who at 115 was the world’s oldest person.CNNThe GuardianNew York TimesA 107-year-old woman in Malaysia was looking for her 23rd husband.BBCAuthorities in Sudan were planning to lash a woman for wearing tight pants.CNNA German AIDS awareness campaign was criticized for portraying Adolf Hitler, Saddam Hussein, and Joseph Stalin having sex with naked women. BBCPolice in Turkey rescued nine women from a villa where they had spent the last two months being made to fight each other, wear bikinis, and dance by a swimming pool for what they falsely believed was a reality-TV show. BBCCalifornia state legislator Mike Duvall, a Republican, resigned after he unwittingly bragged about having sex with much younger women–including one who wore “little eye-patch underwear”–into a hot microphone before a hearing.LA TimesA former jail deputy in Ohio was charged with two health-code violations after he fed a prisoner a bologna sandwich that had been rubbed on another prisoner’s penis.Columbus DispatchA man in Wales was sentenced to prison for murdering his partner after she changed her relationship status on Facebook to “single.”BBCWalmart employees beat a shoplifter to death,AFPand two Massachusetts teenagers were killed in a dispute over a parking space.Boston GlobeAfter successfully praying for his release from a stuck elevator, a devout Catholic in Vienna went directly to church, where, giving thanks to God, he embraced an 860-pound altar, which fell over, killing him instantly.Daily TelegraphCanadian scientists discovered the smell of death.BBC

Share
Single Page

More from Genevieve Smith:

From the May 2014 issue

50,000 Life Coaches Can’t Be Wrong

Inside the industry that’s making therapy obsolete

From the June 2012 issue

In recovery

Twelve steps to prosperity

Commentary May 23, 2012, 3:44 pm

The Underearners Test

Get access to 167 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

November 2017

Preaching to The Choir

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Monumental Error

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Star Search

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Pushing the Limit

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Bumpy Ride

Bad Dog

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Monumental Error·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In 1899, the art critic Layton Crippen complained in the New York Times that private donors and committees had been permitted to run amok, erecting all across the city a large number of “painfully ugly monuments.” The very worst statues had been dumped in Central Park. “The sculptures go as far toward spoiling the Park as it is possible to spoil it,” he wrote. Even worse, he lamented, no organization had “power of removal” to correct the damage that was being done.

Illustration by Steve Brodner
Article
Star Search·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

On December 3, 2016, less than a month after Donald Trump was elected president, Amanda Litman sat alone on the porch of a bungalow in Costa Rica, thinking about the future of the Democratic Party. As Hillary Clinton’s director of email marketing, Litman raised $180 million and recruited 500,000 volunteers over the course of the campaign. She had arrived at the Javits Center on Election Night, arms full of cheap beer for the campaign staff, minutes before the pundits on TV announced that Clinton had lost Wisconsin. Later that night, on her cab ride home to Brooklyn, Litman asked the driver to pull over so she could throw up.

Illustration by Taylor Callery
Article
Pushing the Limit·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

In the early Eighties, Andy King, the coach of the Seawolves, a swim club in Danville, California, instructed Debra Denithorne, aged twelve, to do doubles — to practice in the morning and the afternoon. King told Denithorne’s parents that he saw in her the potential to receive a college scholarship, and even to compete in the Olympics. Tall swimmers have an advantage in the water, and by the time Denithorne turned thirteen, she was five foot eight. She dropped soccer and a religious group to spend more time at the pool.

Illustration by Shonagh Rae
Article
Bumpy Ride·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

One sunny winter afternoon in western Michigan, I took a ride with Leon Slater, a slight sixty-four-year-old man with a neatly trimmed white beard and intense eyes behind his spectacles. He wore a faded blue baseball cap, so formed to his head that it seemed he slept with it on. Brickyard Road, the street in front of Slater’s home, was a mess of soupy dirt and water-filled craters. The muffler of his mud-splattered maroon pickup was loose, and exhaust fumes choked the cab. He gripped the wheel with hands leathery not from age but from decades moving earth with big machines for a living. What followed was a tooth-jarring tour of Muskegon County’s rural roads, which looked as though they’d been carpet-bombed.

Photograph by David Emitt Adams
Article
Bad Dog·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Abby was a breech birth but in the thirty-one years since then most everything has been pretty smooth. Sweet kid, not a lot of trouble. None of them were. Jack and Stevie set a good example, and she followed. Top grades, all the way through. Got on well with others but took her share of meanness here and there, so she stayed thoughtful and kind. There were a few curfew or partying things and some boys before she was ready, and there was one time on a school trip to Chicago that she and some other kids got caught smoking crack cocaine, but that was so weird it almost proved the rule. No big hiccups, master’s in ecology, good state job that lets her do half time but keep benefits while Rose is little.

Illustration by Katherine Streeter

Estimated portion of French citizens with radical-Islamist beliefs who grew up in Muslim families:

1/5

Human hands are more primitive than chimp hands.

Trump declared flashlights obsolete as he handed them out to Puerto Ricans, 90 percent of whom had no electricity in their homes; and tweeted that he wouldn’t keep providing federal hurricane relief “forever” to Puerto Rico, a US territory that the secretary of energy referred to as a “country.”

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Report — From the June 2013 issue

How to Make Your Own AR-15

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

By

"Gun owners have long been the hypochondriacs of American politics. Over the past twenty years, the gun-rights movement has won just about every battle it has fought; states have passed at least a hundred laws loosening gun restrictions since President Obama took office. Yet the National Rifle Association has continued to insist that government confiscation of privately owned firearms is nigh. The NRA’s alarmism helped maintain an active membership, but the strategy was risky: sooner or later, gun guys might have realized that they’d been had. Then came the shootings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, and at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, followed swiftly by the nightmare the NRA had been promising for decades: a dedicated push at every level of government for new gun laws. The gun-rights movement was now that most insufferable of species: a hypochondriac taken suddenly, seriously ill."

Subscribe Today