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January 20 Issue--Obama Washington

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message 1: by Jana (last edited Jan 24, 2009 06:49AM) (new)

Jana | 27 comments Mod
So, two things about the recent issue. The cover--great. Obama's head on George Washington's hair. Love it. Also, the article about healthcare reform in this country written by a cancer surgeon. But damn, how can he be a cancer surgeon and such a good writer? It's not fair. That talent needs to be spread around. I think that the article is a good explanation of how other countries got their healthcare systems to work and how we can use what we already know/have to get our system to work. I hope that this doesn't get put on the back burner, although I know it probably will, because the healthcare industry really needs change ASAP.

I haven't finished the article, The Dystopians yet, but I think I got enough kicks from the guys in it. The first sold all his belongings and is living on a boat, the other (Kustner?) walks around Saratoga Springs with an umbrella in case of rain. The things they do and say are both scary because I have a good imagination for all things that can go wrong, and funny because they're so quirky. The thing, I think, that saves them from off-ing themselves is the hope they will be the only ones who last through the apocalypse. And then I'm sure they wouldn't want to live anyway, because who would they have to brag to?

message 2: by Marc (new)

Marc | 5 comments The Financial Page article is also interesting. The basic premise is that some economists think that Obama's stimulus plan might work better than Bush's because instead of giving a somewhat substantial windfall to everyone in one lump sum, it allows taxpayers to hold onto smaller amounts of money throughout the year. Apparently, people tend to horde windfalls, but they tend to spend money that the perceive to be part of their regular income. To explain this point, the article is accompanied by an illustration of a farmer observing two chickens. One of the chickens is clutching an entire cob of corn while the other chicken is happily nibbling away at individual kernels.

I was also taken with the short article on William Zantzinger, the subject of Bob Dylan's song, "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll." Apparently Dylan took some liberties when writing the song -- Zantzinger, for exampled, didn't beat Carroll to death; he merely hit her and yelled at her moments before she died. (See? He's not such a bad guy after all!) In any case, Zantzinger is dead now, too, so maybe Dylan will write a song about that.

Finally, there was some interesting chatter about "Smart Power" on page 24. The woman who coined the term is Suzanne Nossel, though Hilary Clinton's use of the term added some weight to it. After reading the article, I'm still not quite sure of what "smart power" is exactly, which made me suspect that Malcolm Gladwell wrote the piece. This suspicion, however, was proven wrong when I saw that Hendrick Hertzberg had written it.

message 3: by Jana (new)

Jana | 27 comments Mod
The short story is also good (this is a jam-packed issue). The writer won the Booker prize, or something. Have you ever noticed that in certain weeks, you want to read every article, and in other weeks, you want to read none?

message 4: by Marc (new)

Marc | 5 comments I have to say, however, that this week's "Shouts and Murmurs" was lame.

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