Index — January 20, 2017, 2:09 pm

Cabinet of Curiosities

A numerical investigation of Donald Trump’s appointees

Number of years education secretary nominee Betsy DeVos spent on the board of the right-wing Acton Institute think tank : 10

Date on which the Acton Institute published a blog post titled “Bring Back Child Labor” : 11/3/2016

Number of years for which DeVos’s former school-choice advocacy group has owed election fines : 8

Amount they currently owe : $5,300,000

Value of a donation that presidential adviser Jared Kushner’s father pledged to Harvard, where Kushner later received a B.A. : $2,500,000

Of a donation pledged to New York University, where Kushner later received a J.D. and an M.B.A. : $3,000,000

Estimated value of the retirement package given to Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson from ExxonMobil : $180,000,000

Amount of a payment error for which Treasury secretary nominee Steven Mnunchin’s bank once moved to foreclose on a home : $0.27

Age of the homeowner : 90

Estimated portion of the bank’s California foreclosures that occurred in primarily non-white communities : 7/10

Number of times that Mnunchin’s official Republican Party biography mentions Goldman Sachs, where he worked for 17 years : 0

Distance in miles between the home of Wilbur Ross, the commerce secretary nominee, and Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort : 1.2

Number of cabinet-level appointees who are billionaires : 3

Who are millionaires : 12

Who are former generals : 2

Date on which defense secretary nominee James “Mad Dog” Mattis publicly proclaimed it is “fun to shoot some people” : 2/1/2005

Number of Americans who homeland security nominee John Kelly said died from “narcoterrorism” between 2001 and 2014 : 500,000

Who actually died from all forms of terrorism during that period : 3,084

Estimated attendance at a 2007 prayer vigil for drought relief convened by Sonny Perdue, the agriculture secretary nominee : 250

Number of times that proposed EPA administrator Scott Pruitt sued the EPA as attorney general of Oklahoma : 14

Percentage score that the League of Conservation Voters gives Ryan Zinke, the nominee for secretary of the interior : 3

That Planned Parenthood gives Tom Price, the nominee for secretary of health and human services : 0

That the American Civil Liberties Union gives Jeff Sessions, the nominee for attorney general : 0

Date on which Jeff Sessions promised to “vigorously” prosecute adult obscenity laws : 1/10/16

Number of pornographic films in which Donald Trump has appeared : 2

Number of weeks that energy secretary nominee Rick Perry spent on Dancing With the Stars before being eliminated : 3

Percentage of the Energy Department’s budget that goes toward nuclear security : 65

Date of a presidential primary debate at which Perry expressed his desire to eliminate the Energy Department : 11/9/2011

Portion of cabinet nominees who have no public-sector experience : 3/8

Who have expressed a fondness for the novels of Ayn Rand : 1/8

Number of cabinet-level nominees Trump personally attacked during the presidential campaign : 3

Percentage of critical government positions requiring Senate confirmation for which Trump has announced nominees : 4

Length, in hours, of a concert performed by Bruce Springsteen for Obama’s departing staffers : 2

Date on which the B Street Band, a Springsteen tribute group, announced that they would no longer be performing at an inaugural ball : 1/16/2017

Time on Inauguration Day at which Donald Trump was officially sworn in as president of the United States : 12:00

At which the head of the D.C. National Guard was forced to resign : 12:01

Number of inauguration parades at which Charlie Brotman served as announcer before being dismissed by the Trump campaign : 16

Minimum number of U.S. representatives who boycotted the inauguration : 67

Number of buses that applied for parking permits for the Inauguration Day ceremony : 447

For the Women’s March on Washington : 2,066

Number of protests taking place worldwide in solidarity with the Women’s March : 616

Share
Single Page

More from Matthew Sherrill:

Weekly Review March 28, 2017, 5:30 pm

Weekly Review

Paul Ryan fails to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Donald Trump goes golfing for the thirteenth time as president of the United States, and rivers in India and New Zealand are granted full human rights

Weekly Review February 7, 2017, 4:22 pm

Weekly Review

The White House puts Iran “on notice,” Trump threatens to send U.S. troops into Mexico, and Punxsutawney Phil predicts six more weeks of winter

Weekly Review November 22, 2016, 5:16 pm

Weekly Review

White nationalists celebrate Trump’s election, and Hillary Clinton’s popular-vote margin of victory climbs to 1.7 million.

Get access to 169 years of
Harper’s for only $23.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

November 2019

Men at Work

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

To Serve Is to Rule

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Bird Angle

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The K-12 Takeover

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The $68,000 Fish

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Men at Work·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“You’re being reborn,” the voice says. “Exiting the womb of your mother. Coming into the earth as a small baby. Everything is new.” It is a Saturday morning in mid-March, and right now I’m lying on a yoga mat in a lodge in Ohio, surrounded by fifty other men who’ve come to the Midwest for a weekend of manhood-confirming adventures. The voice in question belongs to Aaron Blaine, a facilitator for Evryman, the men’s group orchestrating this three-day retreat. All around me, men are shedding tears as Blaine leads us on a guided meditation, a kind of archetypal montage of Norman Rockwell boyhood. “You’re starting to figure things out,” he says, in somniferous baritone. “Snow, for the first time. Sunshine. Start to notice the smells, the tastes, the confusion. The fear. And you’re growing. You’re about ten years old. The world’s huge and scary.”

Even though it’s only the second day of the Evryman retreat, it’s worth noting that I’ve already been the subject of light fraternal teasing. Already I’ve been the recipient of countless unsought hugs. Already I have sat in Large Groups and Small Groups, and watched dozens of middle-aged men weep with shame and contrition. I’ve had a guy in the military tell me he wants to be “a rock for his family.” I’ve heard a guy from Ohio say that his beard “means something.” Twice I’ve hiked through the woods to “reconnect with Mother Nature,” and I have been addressed by numerous men as both “dude” and “brother.” I have performed yoga and yard drills and morning calisthenics. I’ve heard seven different men play acoustic guitar. I’ve heard a man describe his father by saying, “There wasn’t a lot of ball-tossing when I was growing up.” Three times I’ve been queried about how I’m “processing everything,” and at the urinal on Friday night, two men warned me about the upcoming “Anger Ceremony,” which is rumored to be the weekend’s “pièce de résistance.”

Article
To Serve Is to Rule·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The WASP story is personal for me. I arrived at Yale in 1971 from a thoroughly mediocre suburb in New Jersey, the second-generation hybrid of Irish and Italian stock riding the postwar boom. Those sockless people in Top-Siders, whose ancestors’ names and portraits adorned the walls, were entirely new to me. I made friends with some, but I was not free of a corrosive envy of their habitus of ease and entitlement.

I used to visit one of those friends in the Hamptons, in the 1970s, when the area was about wood-paneled Ford station wagons, not Lamborghinis. There was some money in the family, but not gobs, yet they lived two blocks from the beach—prime real estate. Now, down the road from what used to be their house is the residence of Ira Rennert. It’s one of the largest private homes in the United States. The union-busting, pension-fund-looting Rennert, whose wealth comes from, among other things, chemical companies that are some of the worst polluters in the country, made his first money in the 1980s as a cog in Michael Milken’s junk-bond machine. In 2015, a court ordered him to return $215 million he had appropriated from one of his companies to pay for the house. One-hundred-car garages and twenty-one (or maybe twenty-nine) bedrooms don’t come cheap.

Article
The Bird Angle·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

I slept for a good seven hours on the overnight flight from Spain to Peru, and while I slept I dreamed that I was leading American visitors around a park in Berlin, looking for birds on a hazy, overcast day. There wasn’t much to see until we noticed a distant commotion in the sky. Large raptors were panicking, driven back and forth by something threatening them from above. The commotion moved closer. The clouds parted, an oval aperture backed with blue. In it two seraphim hovered motionless. “Those are angels,” I told the group.

They were between us and the sun, but an easy ­I.D. Size aside, no other European bird has two sets of wings. The upper wings cast their faces into shadow. Despite the glare I could make out their striking peaches-­and-­cream coloration. Ivory white predominates, hair a faint yellow, eyes blue, wings indescribably iridescent. Faces blank and expressionless, as with all birds.

Article
The K-12 Takeover·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Last May, the families of students at Cypress Academy, an independent charter school in New Orleans, received an email announcing that the school would close when classes ended the following week and that all its students would be transferred to another nearby charter for the upcoming year. Parents would have the option of entering their children in the city’s charter-enrollment lottery, but the lottery’s first round had already taken place, and the most desirable spots for the fall were filled.

Founded in 2015, a decade after New Orleans became the nation’s first city to begin replacing all its public schools with charters, Cypress was something of a rarity. Like about nine in ten of the city’s charter schools, it filled spaces by lottery rather than by selective admission. But while most of the nonselective schools in New Orleans had majority populations of low-income African-American students, Cypress mirrored the city’s demographics, drawing the children of professionals—African-American and white alike—as well as poorer students. Cypress reserved 20 percent of its seats for children with reading difficulties, and it offered a progressive education model, including “learning by doing,” rather than the strict conduct codes that dominated the city’s nonselective schools. In just three years, the school had outperformed many established charters—a particular feat given that one in four Cypress students had a disability, double the New Orleans average. Families flocked to Cypress, especially ones with children who had disabilities.

Article
Five Stories·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

how high? that high

He had his stick that was used mostly to point at your head if your head wasn’t held up proudly.

I still like that man—Holger! He had been an orphan!

He came up to me once because there was something about how I was moving my feet that wasn’t according to the regulations or his expectations.

The room was a short wide room with a short wide window with plenty of artificial light.

Cost of renting a giant panda from the Chinese government, per day:

$1,500

A recent earthquake in Chile was found to have shifted the city of Concepción ten feet to the west, shortened Earth’s days by 1.26 microseconds, and shifted the planet’s axis by nearly three inches.

Sebastian Gorka, the former deputy assistant to the president who now hosts a radio show called America First, was banned from YouTube for repeatedly uploading audio from the rock band Imagine Dragons without copyright permission.

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Jesus Plus Nothing

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

By

At Ivanwald, men learn to be leaders by loving their leaders. “They’re so busy loving us,” a brother once explained to me, “but who’s loving them?” We were. The brothers each paid $400 per month for room and board, but we were also the caretakers of The Cedars, cleaning its gutters, mowing its lawns, whacking weeds and blowing leaves and sanding. And we were called to serve on Tuesday mornings, when The Cedars hosted a regular prayer breakfast typically presided over by Ed Meese, the former attorney general. Each week the breakfast brought together a rotating group of ambassadors, businessmen, and American politicians. Three of Ivanwald’s brothers also attended, wearing crisp shirts starched just for the occasion; one would sit at the table while the other two poured coffee. 

Subscribe Today