Weekly Review — February 20, 2019, 8:00 am

Weekly Review

“It’s not as if he just didn’t get what he wanted so he’s waving a magic wand and taking a bunch of money,” said the White House’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, of Donald Trump’s decision on Friday—after the administration’s budget deal with Congress to end a 35-day government shutdown did not include the funding Trump sought for a wall along the Mexican border—to declare a national emergency to divert about $7 billion from federal projects, including $2.5 billion from counternarcotics programs, to build a wall that experts say will not significantly affect drug trafficking.1 2 3 4 In the disputed area of Kashmir, a bomb killed 42 paramilitary fighters, and a man shot and killed five former co-workers at a warehouse in suburban Chicago.5 6 The US Senate confirmed William P. Barr, who, in his first stint as attorney general, signed off on a report titled “The Case for More Incarceration”; it was announced that the former acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker, who was on the advisory board of a company that threatened its scam victims who had complained, will remain with the Justice Department; and it was revealed this week in a book by the former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe that the former attorney general Jeff Sessions said that the FBI had been better when it “only hired Irishmen.”7 8 9 10 McCabe also said in an interview that there were discussions about using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office; Ryan Zinke, the former secretary of the interior, who resigned amid scandal, and Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager who said “womp womp” after hearing that a 10-year-old with Down syndrome had been separated from her mother at the border, joined a lobbying firm together; and a judge ruled that Paul Manafort, another former campaign manager for Trump, had lied to prosecutors.11 12 13 MoviePass, trading below one dollar per share, was delisted from the Nasdaq, and Amazon, which paid zero dollars in federal taxes in 2018 and has received $1.61 billion in state and local subsidies over two decades, pulled out of plans to create a second headquarters in New York City because of a lack of political support for the nearly $3 billion in tax subsidies it had been offered.14 15 16 17 “It was all very surreal,” said a man who slept in his car, dreamed the vehicle was stolen, and then woke up to discover the car had actually been stolen and then crashed while he was in it.18

On Tuesday, a US federal court found Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán Loera, the former head of the Sinaloa cartel, guilty of 10 counts in a trial that revealed Guzmán started a war because someone wouldn’t shake his hand, made an estimated $14 billion over 30 years, paid off a Mexican president, and badly wanted to direct a movie.19 20 21 22 An investigation found that a California police officer had stolen 12,000 bullets over 30 years; movers discovered a locker full of evidence in a former Detroit homicide detective’s home after he had been evicted; and the Sri Lankan government is recruiting two executioners.23 24 25 Police officers at two Nashville, Tennessee, schools complained that kids had been verbally abusing them, and it was announced that the officers will be removed from the campuses next month.26 The Liberal, Labor, and National parties in Australia were hacked, and a West Virginia woman who called Michelle Obama an “ape” pleaded guilty to defrauding FEMA of $18,000.27 28 Anthony Weiner was released from federal prison.29 “I wouldn’t recommend my own children join the service,” said the wife of a Marine in a congressional hearing, which was called after a survey found that many military families live in homes polluted with mold and toxic chemicals.30 The United Arab Emirates announced it has signed military deals worth $1.1 billion, and 2.6 million people, a researcher said, are being tracked by the Chinese government in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.31 32

A 4-year-old dog—suspected to be a border collie-whippet mix—ran a world-record 3-minute-and-59-second mile with a human despite being distracted mid-run by a drone, and the National Weather Service announced a “small dog warning” in Ohio, where wind gusted upward of 45 miles per hour.33 34 After a backlash last year, a Virginia town changed its policy on jailing teenagers who go trick-or-treating; the collecting candy door-to-door on Halloween, will instead be a Class 4 misdemeanor subject to a fine of up to $250.35 36Jacob Rosenberg

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Once, in an exuberant state, feeling filled with the muse, I told another writer: When I write, I know everything. Everything about the characters? she asked. No, I said, everything about the world, the universe. Every. Fucking. Thing. I was being preposterous, of course, but I was also trying to explain the feeling I got, deep inside writing a first draft, that I was listening and receiving, listening some more and receiving, from a place that was far enough away from my daily life, from all of my reading, from everything.

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All his life he lived on hatred.

He was a solitary man who hoarded gloom. At night a thick smell filled his bachelor’s room on the edge of the kibbutz. His sunken, severe eyes saw shapes in the dark. The hater and his hatred fed on each other. So it has ever been. A solitary, huddled man, if he does not shed tears or play the violin, if he does not fasten his claws in other people, experiences over the years a constantly mounting pressure, until he faces a choice between lunacy and suicide. And those who live around him breathe a sigh of relief.

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