Weekly Review — October 1, 2017, 6:44 pm

Weekly Review

Trump tweets a storm

Weeks after a Category 4 hurricane made landfall in Puerto Rico, it was reported that 95 percent of residents on the island were without power, 35 percent of grocery stores were closed, 50 percent of roads needed to be cleared of debris, 86 percent of cellphone towers were not functioning, and 25 percent of shipping ports were closed. “We will get through this TOGETHER,” tweeted U.S. president Donald Trump, who then referred to Puerto Rican officials as “politically motivated ingrates” told by “the Democrats” to say “nasty” things.[1][2][3][4] “They want everything to be done for them,” tweeted Trump, who has spent a fourth of his presidency visiting his private clubs at a cost to taxpayers of at least $70 million.[5][6] Trump said he was “working night and day” to help Puerto Rico, and then handed out a trophy at a New Jersey golf course, which he arrived at after visiting a different New Jersey golf course.[7][8][9] Trump, whose Trump International Golf Club in Puerto Rico filed for bankruptcy in 2015, tweeted that it “must be dealt with” that Puerto Rico “owed” billions of dollars “to Wall Street and banks,” and it was reported that Trump’s proposed cuts to the corporate tax rate would give the six largest U.S. banks a $6.4 billion increase in profits.[10][11][12] The mayor of San Juan said that Puerto Rico was “dying” and that “something close to a genocide” would occur if federal assistance didn’t increase, a U.S. general toured the island and said it was “the worst” storm damage he’d “ever seen,” it was reported that the percentage of Puerto Ricans without drinking water increased to 55, and Trump announced that Puerto Rico was “getting better on a daily basis.”[13][14][15][16] Trump told reporters “the results that we’ve had with respect to loss of life” were “incredible,” and it was reported that at least 16 people had been killed by the storm.[17][18] The mayor of San Juan said Trump was “killing” Puerto Ricans with “inefficiency,” and Trump explained that Puerto Rico was an island surrounded by “big water.”[19][20] Trump tweeted that the mayor of San Juan was showing “poor leadership”; that fans who booed football players for protesting the police killings of unarmed black men and women were showing “great anger”; that Iran had launched a ballistic missile “capable of reaching Israel,” which the country had not done; and that the secretary of state was “wasting his time” attempting to pursue talks with the government of North Korea, whom Trump has threatened to “totally destroy.” The White House clarified that Trump had not declared war on North Korea.[21][22][23][24][25][26]

Sign up to have the Weekly Review delivered to your inbox.

Share
Single Page

More from Joe Kloc:

Weekly Review April 4, 2018, 5:16 pm

Weekly Review

Departments of Justice

Weekly Review February 28, 2018, 12:01 pm

Weekly Review

Magic bullets

Weekly Review February 20, 2018, 6:13 pm

Weekly Review

Infrastructure week

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

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

May 2018

Slingshot

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Walk Away

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

A Perfectly Respectable Lady

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Driven to Distraction

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Dinner Party

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Exiled

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Exiled·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

It has become something of a commonplace to say that Mike Pence belongs to another era. He is a politician whom the New York Times has called a “throwback,” a “conservative proudly out of sync with his times,” and a “dangerous anachronism,” a man whose social policies and outspoken Christian faith are so redolent of the previous century’s culture wars that he appeared to have no future until, in the words of one journalist, he was plucked “off the political garbage heap” by Donald Trump and given new life. Pence’s rise to the vice presidency was not merely a personal advancement; it marked the return of religion and ideology to American politics at a time when the titles of political analyses were proclaiming the Twilight of Social Conservatism (2015) and the End of White Christian America (2016). It revealed the furious persistence of the religious right, an entity whose final demise was for so long considered imminent that even as white evangelicals came out in droves to support the Trump-Pence ticket, their enthusiasm was dismissed, in the Washington Post, as the movement’s “last spastic breath.”

Illustration by Andrew Zbihlyj
Article
Church and State·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Just after dawn in Lhamo, a small town on the northeastern corner of the Tibetan Plateau, horns summon the monks of Serti Monastery to prayer. Juniper incense smolders in the temple’s courtyard as monks begin arriving in huddled groups. Some walk the kora, a clockwise circumambulation around the building. Others hustle toward the main door, which sits just inside a porch decorated in bright thangka paintings. A pile of fur boots accumulates outside. When the last monks have arrived, the horn blowers leaning out of the second-floor windows retire indoors.

When I visited Lhamo in 2015, most monks at Serti attended the morning prayers, but not Ngawang Chötar, the vice president of the monastery’s management committee, or siguanhui. Instead, he could usually be found doing business somewhere on Lhamo’s main street. Like all Tibetan monks, he sports a buzz cut, and his gait, weighed down by dark crimson robes, resembles a penguin’s shuffle. When he forgets the password to his account on WeChat, China’s popular messaging service—a frequent occurrence—he waits for the town’s cell phone repairman at his favorite restaurant, piling the shells of sunflower seeds into a tidy mound.

Illustration by Simon Pemberton
Article
The Pictures·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

As he approached his death in 1987, the photographer Peter Hujar was all but unknown, with a murky reputation and a tiny, if elite, cult following. Slowly circling down what was then the hopeless spiral of ­AIDS, Peter had ceaselessly debated one decision, which he reached only with difficulty, and only when the end drew near. He was in a hospital bed when he made his will that summer, naming me the executor of his entire artistic estate—and also its sole owner.

The move transformed my life and induced a seething fury in lots of decent people. I can see why. Peter did not make me his heir for any of the usual reasons. I was a good and trusted friend, but he had scads of those. I was not the first person he considered for the job, nor was I the most qualified. In fact, I was a rank amateur, and my understanding of his art was limited. I knew his photographs were stunning, often upsetting, unpredictably beautiful, distinctively his. I also knew they were under­rated and neglected. But I did not then really grasp his achievement.

Photograph by Peter Hujar
Article
Drinking Problems·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The friendly waitress at the Pretty Prairie Steak House delivers tumblers of tap water as soon as diners take their seats. Across Main Street, the Wagon Wheel Café offers the same courtesy. Customers may also order coffee or iced tea, but it all starts at the same tap, and everyone is fine with that. This blasé attitude about drinking water surprised me: everyone in this little farm town in Reno County, Kansas, knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that the liquid flowing from the municipal water tower was highly contaminated with nitrate, a chemical compound derived from fertilizer and connected to thyroid problems and various cancers. At the time I visited Pretty Prairie, last fall, nitrate levels there were more than double the federal standard for safe drinking water.

Illustration by Jen Renninger.
Article
Nothing But·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The truth—that thing I thought I was telling.—John Ashbery To start with the facts: the chapter in my book White Sands called “Pilgrimage” is about a visit to the house where the philosopher Theodor Adorno lived in Los Angeles during the Second World War. It takes its title from the story of that name by Susan Sontag (recently republished in Debriefing: Collected Stories) about a visit she and her friend Merrill made to the house of Adorno’s fellow German exile Thomas Mann in the Pacific Palisades, in 1947, when she was fourteen. It seemed strange that the story was originally …
Photograph by Augusta Wood

Percentage of US college students who have a better opinion of conservatives after their first year:

50

Plastic surgeons warned that people misled by wide-angle distortion in selfies were seeking nose jobs.

Trump fires missiles at Syria, a former FBI director likens Trump to a Mafia boss, and New Yorkers mistake a racoon for a tiger.

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