Weekly Review — May 2, 2017, 12:51 pm

Weekly Review

Trump completes his first 100 days as president

U.S. president Donald Trump, who once hosted a radio show on which he discussed how there was “no question about it” that Britney Spears had “gone down” in sexiness because she got married, gave himself an “A” for his performance in his first 100 days in office, a time period during which he implied Frederick Douglass was still alive at a breakfast celebrating the start of Black History Month; said on the eve of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day that Georgia representative and Freedom Rider John Lewis was “all talk”; commented at the National Prayer Breakfast that he wanted to “pray for” Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “poor ratings” on The Celebrity Apprentice; accused former president Barack Obama of “wiretapping” Trump Tower in Manhattan, which the FBI had legally surveilled for two years as part of an investigation into the money-laundering ring of a Russian mafia boss known as “Little Taiwanese”; ordered the launching of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles valued at $60 million at an airfield in Syria, which he described as an attack on Iraq that he carried out while eating “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake” and which his secretary of commerce, Wilbur Ross, referred to as “after-dinner entertainment” that “didn’t cost the president anything”; and played golf more than twice as often as the previous three presidents combined, despite having once criticizing Obama for golfing “while America goes down the drain.”[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10] “I don’t stand by anything,” Trump said.[11] Trump told interviewers that he thought being president “would be easier,” and that the constitutional system of checks and balances is “a really bad thing for the country.”[12][13] Reince Priebus, Trump’s chief of staff, said that Trump, who has tweeted that the media is “the enemy of the American people,” was considering abolishing the First Amendment.[14][15] Trump, a former casino owner who once paid $1 million for an ad campaign alleging that the Mohawk people were cocaine traffickers and on another occasion claimed he “might have more Indian blood than a lot of the so-called Indians,” said that his campaign for president was “most like” the “very mean and nasty campaign” of former president Andrew Jackson, a slave owner and frequent cockfighting gambler who signed legislation that forcibly removed indigenous tribes from the southeastern United States.[16][17][18] Trump praised as a “smart cookie” North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, who has executed hundreds of people for offenses such as slouching and having a bad attitude, and invited to the White House Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte, who has been accused of ordering the extrajudicial killings of 8,000 people.[19][20][21] “I am tied up,” responded Duterte, who added that he had already made plans to visit Russia, the government of which the FBI and both houses of Congress are currently investigating for interfering in the 2016 presidential race in order to elect Trump, whose Las Vegas steakhouse was once shut down for serving customers two-week-old tomato sauce and a five-month-old duck.[22][23][24] “We,” said Press Secretary Sean Spicer, “want to start talking about the next 100 days.”[25]

Sign up and get the Weekly Review delivered to your inbox. Help support our ongoing coverage of Donald Trump by subscribing to Harper’s Magazine today!

Share
Single Page

More from Joe Kloc:

Weekly Review May 9, 2018, 4:25 pm

Weekly Review

Essential consultants

Weekly Review May 2, 2018, 3:40 pm

Weekly Review

The Count and the Candyman

Weekly Review April 4, 2018, 5:16 pm

Weekly Review

Departments of Justice

Get access to 168 years of
Harper’s for only $45.99

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

December 2018

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
The Gatekeepers·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Toward the end of the Obama presidency, the work of James Baldwin began to enjoy a renaissance that was both much overdue and comfortless. Baldwin stands as one of the greatest American writers of the twentieth century, and any celebration of his work is more than welcome. But it was less a reveling than a panic. The eight years of the first black president were giving way to some of the most blatant and vitriolic displays of racism in decades, while the shooting deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, and others too numerous to list sparked a movement in defense of black lives. In Baldwin, people found a voice from the past so relevant that he seemed prophetic.

More than any other writer, Baldwin has become the model for black public-intellectual work. The role of the public intellectual is to proffer new ideas, encourage deep thinking, challenge norms, and model forms of debate that enrich our discourse. For black intellectuals, that work has revolved around the persistence of white supremacy. Black abolitionists, ministers, and poets theorized freedom and exposed the hypocrisy of American democracy throughout the period of slavery. After emancipation, black colleges began training generations of scholars, writers, and artists who broadened black intellectual life. They helped build movements toward racial justice during the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, whether through pathbreaking journalism, research, or activism.

Bloom, acrylic, ink, wood, and fabric on canvas, by David Shrobe © The artist. Courtesy Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco
Article
The Vanishing·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

On a Friday afternoon in the fall of 2017, a few months after the liberation of Mosul from the Islamic State, a group of neighbors gathered at Mar Mattai, a monastery founded in the fourth century. They unloaded baskets of food, and arranged themselves around a long table in a courtyard. A woman named Niser spread out a tablecloth and put down a plate of dolmas. “It’s a way of celebrating that we still exist,” she told me. More people were arriving—children, grandparents, cousins, aunts, and distant relations—members of one of the oldest Christian communities in the world who had not seen one another for three years.

Overlooking the village of Mergey from the old section of the Mar Mattai Monastery, Mount Maqlub, Iraq. All photographs from Iraq (October 2017) and Jerusalem (March 2018) by Nicole Tung (Detail)
Article
Investigating Hate·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Around three in the morning on a cold December Sunday, brothers José and Romel Sucuzhañay began to walk home from a bar in Bushwick, Brooklyn. It was a cloudy night, only a few degrees above freezing, and the houses and stores lining their route wore impassive, nighttime guises—shades drawn, metal grates locked down. Romel had only recently arrived from Ecuador. José, a thirty-­one-year-old father of two, ran a successful real estate agency in the neighborhood. The two had spent the evening eating and drinking at a quinceañera at St. Brigid Church, and afterward, they stopped at a local bar called Christopher’s Palace. They were feeling the alcohol as they headed back to José’s apartment. When they realized that José had left his coat behind in the bar, Romel took off his jacket and draped it around his younger brother’s shoulders. They continued to walk up Bushwick Avenue, swaying a bit, arms around each other for warmth and ballast.

As they approached the corner of Kossuth Place and Bushwick Avenue, a red SUV stopped at the traffic light. “Check out those faggots!” the driver yelled out the window. José may have said something in reply. Very rapidly, a man jumped out of the passenger side door and smashed José on the head with a bottle, dropping him to the ground. He then turned to attack Romel. As Romel fled from the man down Kossuth, the driver exited the car, grabbed an aluminum baseball bat out of the vehicle, and began to beat José until someone emerged from the back seat and called him off. The driver was walking away when he saw some movement from José, a twitch of his hand or his leg sliding across the pavement—trying to rise, perhaps—and he strode back, straddled him, and raised the bat high in the air. He brought it down on José’s head, again and again, as if he were chopping wood.

Illustration by Shonagh Rae (Detail)
Article
Preservation Acts·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

After eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, Bergis Jules found himself worrying not only over the horrors of the present, but also over how little of the present was likely to be preserved for the future. The best reporting on the aftermath in Ferguson was being produced by activists on Twitter, a notoriously ephemeral medium. Jules, then an archivist at the University of California, Riverside, had the impulse to start saving tweets, but wasn’t sure how. “That whole weekend, watching things unfold, I thought, ‘This is a really amazing historical moment; we should think about capturing it,’ but I was just talking to myself,” he says. The following week, attending a Society of American Archivists conference in Washington, D.C., he voiced his fears en route to drinks at the hotel bar. He caught the ear of Ed Summers, a developer who just so happened to be the author of a Twitter archiving tool—and who promptly programmed it to va­cuum up #Ferguson tweets. Within two weeks, he had amassed more than 13 million.

Three weeks after the shooting, Summers blogged about the archive, which he and Jules were considering making public. Shortly thereafter, they received an inquiry from a data-mining company. When they pulled up the firm’s website, they read that its clients included the Department of Defense and, ominously, “the intelligence community.” What did the company want with the data? And what were the ethical implications of handing it over—perhaps indirectly to law enforcement—when the protesters’ tweets would otherwise evade collection? Using Twitter’s Application Programming Interface (API), the code that developers use to call up Twitter data, anyone can sift through tweets that were posted in the past week, but older posts disappear from the API’s search function, even if they still exist out on the web. The data-mining company was too late to nab a swath of the #Ferguson tweets. (Twitter has since unveiled a “premium” API that allows access to older data, for a substantial fee.) Newly mindful of the risks, Jules and Summers waited almost a year to publish their cache.

Illustration by Hanna Barczyk

Estimated number of times in the Fall of 1990 that George Bush told a joke about his dog asking for a wine list with her Alpo:

10

French researchers reported that 52 percent of young women exposed to Francis Cabrel’s ballad “Je l’aime à mourir” gave their phone numbers to an average-looking young man who hit on them, whereas only 28 percent of those exposed to Vincent Delerm’s “L’heure du thé” did so.

Migrant children were teargassed; carbon dioxide levels have reached three to five million year high; missionary killed by remote tribe

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

HARPER’S FINEST

Happiness Is a Worn Gun

By

Illustration by Stan Fellows

Illustration by Stan Fellows

“Nowadays, most states let just about anybody who wants a concealed-handgun permit have one; in seventeen states, you don’t even have to be a resident. Nobody knows exactly how many Americans carry guns, because not all states release their numbers, and even if they did, not all permit holders carry all the time. But it’s safe to assume that as many as 6 million Americans are walking around with firearms under their clothes.”

Subscribe Today