Newsweek June 19, 2013

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


will they keep spying on you?

JAMES COMEY, President Obama’s expected choice to lead the FBI, will likely be nominated amid the uproar over the National Security Agency’s domestic surveillance programs. But Comey, a former deputy attorney general and veteran prosecutor, is thought to have a powerful shield of protection against fallout from the spying controversy. If the public knows anything about him, after all, it’s his role in leading the internal Justice Department rebellion against the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program. It was this episode that led to the iconic hospital-room scene in which Comey thwarted senior White House advisers who were attempting to pressure an ailing Attorney General John Ashcroft into reauthorizing a surveillance program the Justice Department had deemed illegal. And yet nearly a decade later, the specific aspect of the broad program Comey…

01 pool party

IT TOOK a while for Dong-Ping Wong, a New York City architect— whose firm has designed buildings, a Dallas housing block, and a pedestrian bridge in Slovenia—to see New York City’s East River as more than just a border that snakes between the boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. It’s water. But once you make that realization, explains Wong, who grew up on the beach in San Diego, it’s really just a short leap to wonder, “Why can’t we swim in it?” The answer, he’s since learned, is poop. Lots of it. It gets worse after storms, when the city’s sewage system overflows into combined sewage outfalls that are dotted around its shores, flooding the waterways with fecal coliform. This creates the aquatic equivalent of a no-fly zone, where only the bravest of the brave…

03 the tea party hero who saved obamacare

THIS WEEK, Arizona became the 24th state to approve Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare—but only because of the efforts of an extremely unlikely advocate: Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, a Tea Party hero who had once memorably wagged her finger in President Obama’s face on an airport tarmac. A half dozen other Republican governors have acknowledged reality and signed on to Medicaid expansion as well, but Brewer’s reversal stands out—both because of her right-wing credentials and because of how vigorously she challenged her own side. When the Arizona legislature balked at passing the legislation, she showed her displeasure by refusing to sign any further bills until the lawmakers acted. Reacting to this unladylike behavior, the conservative National Review said that it was “conduct unbecoming of a chief executive,”…

04 woodland, desert, tiger stripe

THE U.S. military may have to clean out its closet. After a decade of proliferating camouflage designs—pixelated patterns, flowing color splotches, and even tiny globes and anchors—to distinguish one branch from another, Congress appears to have had enough. Last Friday the House approved a measure that would require all branches of the military to share the same camouflage pattern by October 2018, and the Senate Armed Services Committee has approved a similar provision. Rep. William Enyart (D–Illinois) was inspired to put the measure forward after reading a Washington Post report last month that branches of the military have spent millions designing their own subtly unique fatigues. In the last 11 years the military has gone from two camo patterns— one for forest, the other for desert—to 10. The Marine Corps started the…

01 under the spotlight

ON SUNDAY, a British tabloid dropped bombshell pictures of millionaire art collector Charles Saatchi with his hands around the throat of his wife, celebrity chef Nigella Lawson, during lunch on the terrace of a swank London restaurant. A media circus ensued: Lawson was seen fleeing her home with her son, while Saatchi brushed off the incident as a “playful tiff.” A day later, he accepted a police caution for assault to prevent the altercation from “hanging over” the couple and their children. Meanwhile, the papers have dissected the 70-year-old Saatchi’s stormy history with his ex-wives, as well as Lawson’s “tearful” behavior during and after the incident (with the requisite quotes from waiters, passersby, and neighbors). Countless columnists and fans urged the 57-year-old chef to leave her “bullying” husband, or lamented…

06 happy days are here again

THE HOT new idea in the post-bust years was American economic decline. Now, it seems to be ... American economic optimism? Fifty-one months after an impressive stock rally began and 48 months after economic growth started, optimism is finally—finally!—breaking out. You can even hear crowing from Charles Morris, the author of the bestselling crisis book The Two Trillion Dollar Meltdown: Easy Money, High Rollers, and the Great Credit Crash; in June he released a sequel volume—albeit a slim one—called Comeback: America’s New Economic Boom. His cause for celebration? The fracking revolution. The nation’s supply of natural gas locked in shale “is so vast that it has the potential to transform the manufacturing economy, creating jobs across the country and requiring a new infrastructure that will benefit the nation as a whole.” Another…