Weekly Review — November 1, 2017, 1:18 pm

Weekly Review

Drainage and leakage

Paul Manafort, the former chairman of US president Donald Trump’s election campaign, turned himself over to authorities at the Washington, D.C., field office of the FBI, where Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, indicted him and his associate Richard Gates on charges of fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy against the United States, alleging that between 2006 and 2017 Manafort lobbied the US government on behalf of a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine without registering as a foreign agent; that he hid $75 million in offshore bank accounts in Cyprus, the Grenadines, and the United Kingdom; and that he laundered at least $18 million of that money through the purchase of Range Rovers, landscaping and housekeeping services, antique rugs, men’s clothing, and several homes, including a condo in Manhattan, which he rented on Airbnb, and a brownstone in Brooklyn, which he purchased for $3 million and then took out a $5 million loan against, telling the bank he would use $1.4 million for home repairs but instead using the money to make a down payment on a home in California.[1][2][3][4][5][6] Addressing the indictments at a media briefing, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders related an “anecdote” that had been “floating around the Internet” about reporters splitting a bar tab, which she said explained why companies keep their money overseas, then noted that Trump had responded to the indictments “without a lot of reaction.”[7][8][9][10] It was reported that Trump had not shown up in the Oval Office in the morning, and had instead watched cable news on the televisions in his private residence, where he was “seething,” talking to his lawyers, and tweeting. “NO COLLUSION,” tweeted Trump, who has been named in at least 169 federal lawsuits during his career as a real-estate developer, casino owner, horse racer, multivitamin salesman, teenage-beauty-pageant operator, and WWE Hall of Fame wrestler.[11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18] George Papadopoulos, a former foreign-policy adviser to the Trump campaign who listed participating in the Model UN on his LinkedIn profile and whom Trump has referred to as “excellent,” pleaded guilty to having made false statements to Mueller’s investigators about meeting during the campaign with an “overseas professor” who had “substantial connections” to “Russian government officials,” and who claimed that Russia had “dirt” in the form of “thousands of emails” on Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.[19][20][21] Papadopoulos said that the professor had introduced him to a Russian woman with “connections” to Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs who wanted to arrange a meeting between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, and admitted to attempting to set up that meeting with a “Campaign Supervisor,” later reported to be Manafort, who had replied that the campaign should send someone “low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal,” and who reportedly used “bond007” as one of his online passwords.[22][23] The lawyer for Samuel Clovis, a birther and former Trump campaign adviser with no scientific experience who has said that UFOs fly at 5,000 miles per hour and whom Trump has nominated as his chief scientist, said his client was an “Iowa gentleman” who was “just being polite” when he told Papadopoulos to “make the trip” to Russia himself; Trump tweeted that “few people knew” Papadopoulos; Carter Page, another former foreign-policy adviser to Trump’s campaign, whom Russian operatives once referred to as an “idiot” while attempting to recruit him as a spy, gave a television interview in which he told a reporter that during the campaign he may have emailed with Papadopoulos, that Russia “may have come up from time to time,” and that after returning from a trip to Russia he may have mentioned “a few things he heard” to the campaign; and a Republican senator ran into several American flags while attempting to avoid questions from reporters.[24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31] The Speaker of the House said he didn’t read Manafort’s indictment, Sanders said she was not aware of Trump being mad at his adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who had failed on at least three occasions to disclose hundreds of foreign contacts on his White House security-clearance form, and the GOP wished Ivanka Trump, who along with Kushner had urged her father to hire Manafort, a happy birthday.[32][33]


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:

From the May 2019 issue

Lost at Sea

Poverty and paradise at the edge of America

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

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

United States Canada

CATEGORIES

THE CURRENT ISSUE

February 2020

Trumpism After Trump

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

“My Gang Is Jesus”

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Cancer Chair

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Birds

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Skinning Tree

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The Interpretation of Dreams

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Dearest Lizzie

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

view Table Content

FEATURED ON HARPERS.ORG

Article
Trumpism After Trump·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The city was not beautiful; no one made that claim for it. At the height of summer, people in suits, shellacked by the sun, moved like harassed insects to avoid the concentrated light. There was a civil war–like fracture in America—the president had said so—but little of it showed in the capital. Everyone was polite and smooth in their exchanges. The corridor between Dupont Circle and Georgetown was like the dream of Yugoslav planners: long blocks of uniform earth-toned buildings that made the classical edifices of the Hill seem the residue of ancestors straining for pedigree. Bunting, starched and perfectly ruffled in red-white-and-blue fans, hung everywhere—from air conditioners, from gutters, from statues of dead revolutionaries. Coming from Berlin, where the manual laborers are white, I felt as though I was entering the heart of a caste civilization. Untouchables in hard hats drilled into sidewalks, carried pylons, and ate lunch from metal boxes, while waiters in restaurants complimented old respectable bobbing heads on how well they were progressing with their rib eyes and iceberg wedges.

I had come to Washington to witness either the birth of an ideology or what may turn out to be the passing of a kidney stone through the Republican Party. There was a new movement afoot: National Conservatives, they called themselves, and they were gathering here, at the Ritz-Carlton, at 22nd Street and M. Disparate tribes had posted up for the potlatch: reformacons, blood-and-soilers, curious liberal nationalists, “Austrians,” repentant neocons, evangelical Christians, corporate raiders, cattle ranchers, Silicon Valley dissidents, Buckleyites, Straussians, Orthodox Jews, Catholics, Mormons, Tories, dark-web spiders, tradcons, Lone Conservatives, Fed-Socs, Young Republicans, Reaganites in amber. Most straddled more than one category.

Article
The Cancer Chair·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

The second-worst thing about cancer chairs is that they are attached to televisions. Someone somewhere is always at war with silence. It’s impossible to read, so I answer email, or watch some cop drama on my computer, or, if it seems unavoidable, explore the lives of my nurses. A trip to Cozumel with old girlfriends, a costume party with political overtones, an advanced degree on the internet: they’re all the same, these lives, which is to say that the nurses tell me nothing, perhaps because amid the din and pain it’s impossible to say anything of substance, or perhaps because they know that nothing is precisely what we both expect. It’s the very currency of the place. Perhaps they are being excruciatingly candid.

There is a cancer camaraderie I’ve never felt. That I find inimical, in fact. Along with the official optimism that percolates out of pamphlets, the milestone celebrations that seem aimed at children, the lemonade people squeeze out of their tumors. My stoniness has not always served me well. Among the cancer staff, there is special affection for the jocular sufferer, the one who makes light of lousy bowel movements and extols the spiritual tonic of neuropathy. And why not? Spend your waking life in hell, and you too might cherish the soul who’d learned to praise the flames. I can’t do it. I’m not chipper by nature, and just hearing the word cancer makes me feel like I’m wearing a welder’s mask.

Article
“My Gang Is Jesus”·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

When Demétrio Martins was ready to preach, he pushed a joystick that angled the seat of his wheelchair forward, slowly lifting him to a standing position. Restraints held his body upright. His atrophied right arm lay on an armrest, and with his left hand, he put a microphone to his lips. “Proverbs, chapter fourteen, verse twelve,” he said. “ ‘There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is . . .’ ”

The congregation finished: “ ‘Death.’ ”

The Assembly of God True Grapevine was little more than a fluorescent-lit room wedged between a bar and an empty lot in Jacaré, a poor neighborhood on Rio de Janeiro’s north side. A few dozen people sat in the rows of plastic lawn chairs that served as pews, while shuddering wall fans circulated hot air. The congregation was largely female; of the few men in attendance, most wore collared shirts and old leather shoes. Now and then, Martins veered from Portuguese into celestial tongues. People rose from their seats, thrust their hands into the air, and shouted, “Hallelujah!”

Article
The Birds·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

On December 7, 2016, a drone departed from an Amazon warehouse in the United Kingdom, ascended to an altitude of four hundred feet, and flew to a nearby farm. There it glided down to the front lawn and released from its clutches a small box containing an Amazon streaming device and a bag of popcorn. This was the first successful flight of Prime Air, Amazon’s drone delivery program. If instituted as a regular service, it would slash the costs of “last-mile delivery,” the shortest and most expensive leg of a package’s journey from warehouse to doorstep. Drones don’t get into fender benders, don’t hit rush-hour traffic, and don’t need humans to accompany them, all of which, Amazon says, could enable it to offer thirty-minute delivery for up to 90 percent of domestic shipments while also reducing carbon emissions. After years of testing, Amazon wrote to the Federal Aviation Administration last summer to ask for permission to conduct limited commercial deliveries with its drones, attaching this diagram to show how the system would work. (Amazon insisted that we note that the diagram is not to scale.) Amazon is not the only company working toward such an automated future—­UPS, FedEx, Uber, and Google’s parent company, Alphabet, have similar programs—­but its plans offer the most detailed vision of what seems to be an impending reality, one in which parce­l-toting drones are a constant presence in the sky, doing much more than just delivering popcorn.

Article
The Skinning Tree·

= Subscribers only.
Sign in here.
Subscribe here.

Every year in Lusk, Wyoming, during the second week of July, locals gather to reenact a day in 1849 when members of a nearby band of Sioux are said to have skinned a white man alive. None of the actors are Native American. The white participants dress up like Indians and redden their skin with body paint made from iron ore.

The town prepares all year, and the performance, The Legend of Rawhide, has a cast and crew of hundreds, almost all local volunteers, including elementary school children. There are six generations of Rawhide actors in one family; three or four generations seems to be the average. The show is performed twice, on Friday and Saturday night.

The plot is based on an event that, as local legend has it, occurred fifteen miles south of Lusk, in Rawhide Buttes. It goes like this: Clyde Pickett is traveling with a wagon train to California. He tells the other Pioneers: “The only good Injun’s a dead Injun.” Clyde loves Kate Farley, and to impress her, he shoots the first Indian he sees, who happens to be an Indian Princess. The Indians approach the Pioneers and ask that the murderer give himself up. Clyde won’t admit he did it. The Indians attack the wagon train and, eventually, Clyde surrenders. The Indians tie Clyde to the Skinning Tree and flay him alive. Later, Kate retrieves her dead lover’s body and the wagon train continues west.

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.

In response to a major volcanic eruption, President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines vowed he would “eat that ashfall. I’m even going to pee on Taal, that goddamned volcano.”

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