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The Week Magazine

The Week Magazine September 4, 2020

The Week makes sense of the news by curating the best of the U.S. and international media into a succinct, lively digest.

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Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
The Week Publications, Inc.
Frequency:
Weekly
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48 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
editor’s letter

Historian Henry Adams once defined politics as the “systematic organization of hatreds.” It was true in the Civil War era, and just as true today. In 2020, who you hate is who you are. Voters are largely driven by what they’re against, rather than what they’re for. Political scientists call this phenomenon negative partisanship, and its dominance has been on full display at both the Democratic and Republican national conventions. At the Democrats’ soiree, a parade of speakers from former President Obama to several disaffected Republicans echoed the same message: Our nation cannot survive another four years of Donald Trump, who has shown he “will tear our democracy down if that’s what it takes to win.” The Republicans this week countered with dire warnings that Democrats “won’t let you go…

5 min.
the gop’s case for a second trump term

What happened The Republican Party nominated Donald Trump for a second term this week, at a virtual convention whose opening message focused less on what Trump will accomplish if he’s re-elected than on the ravages America will suffer if he’s not. On the first night, speaker after speaker cast Joe Biden as a tool of the “radical left” who will unleash what Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina called “a fundamentally different America”—a dystopian nightmare where freedoms are curtailed, “mobs” invade the suburbs, and rioters and criminals run rampant. “They’ll disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in your home, and invite MS-13 to live next door,” said Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida. The second night struck a softer tone, featuring Trump pardoning a black bank robber and presiding over a…

3 min.
postmaster general grilled over mail delays

What happened House Democrats accused Postmaster General Louis DeJoy this week of crippling Postal Service operations in order to sabotage mail-in voting on President Trump’s behalf, charges the Republican megadonor furiously denied in heated testimony. After DeJoy’s June appointment, the agency cut costs by removing hundreds of blue mailboxes and mail-sorting machines and reducing overtime pay for carriers stretched thin by the pandemic. Reports soon poured in from across the country of delayed deliveries of prescriptions, bills, and even baby chickens—thousands of which died en route to New England farmers. “How can one person screw this up so fast?” asked Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.). DeJoy announced last week that cost-cutting measures would be suspended until after the Nov. 3 election and told Congress the service “is ready today to handle whatever…

1 min.
it wasn’t all bad

After more than 100 years, a rare species has returned to Seattle’s Mount Rainier National Park. Wolverines—large, aggressive members of the weasel family—used to be common from Canada to Colorado, but they have steadily migrated northward, leaving only a few hundred in the lower 48 states. Last week, camera stations set by scientists discovered a female wolverine and two babies living in the park. “It’s really, really exciting,” said park superintendent Chip Jenkins. “It tells us that we’re doing a good job of managing our wilderness.” There is a masked crusader on the streets of Santiago, Chile, this summer. But rather than fighting criminals, Solidarity Batman delivers hot meals. Months of lockdown have caused hardship in Chile, where unemployment has reached a record 12 percent. Recently, an unidentified man has been…

3 min.
democratic convention: did biden make his case?

“The kindness was the point,” said Zack Beauchamp in Vox.com. Last week’s “virtual” Democratic convention, ingeniously redesigned for the Covid era, focused on the character and failures of President Trump, contrasted with the “fundamental decency” of the Democratic nominee, Joe Biden. When the White House is occupied by “a cruel man whose indifference to ordinary Americans has killed tens of thousands” in the pandemic, who has vengefully taken migrant toddlers away from their parents, and who has deliberately stoked racial and cultural animus and divided the country, the prospect of a president who might actually care about people, and do what it takes to protect them, offered “an off-ramp.” Speaker after speaker, most memorably a 13-year-old boy Biden befriended and counseled on overcoming his stutter, highlighted the nominee’s deep reserves…

1 min.
good week/bad week

Good week for: Stealth, after a group of unknown intruders, working under cover of darkness, slipped like ninjas into a popular ninja museum in Iga City, Japan, cracked the safe, and made off with more than a million yen ($9,470). “It was a three-minute job,” said an impressed ninja-museum official. Omens, with a warning from NASA that a small asteroid, 2018VP1, may hit Earth on Nov. 2, the day before the U.S. presidential election. Fortunately, the asteroid is less than 7 feet across, meaning it will likely burn up in the atmosphere. Watery beer, after a California man saved his workshop from the wildfires by pouring his supply of Bud Light on the flames until firefighters arrived. “My buddies all tease me about drinking water-beer,” said Chad Little, but “I say, ‘Hey, saved…