Newsweek October 18, 2013

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United States
The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company LLC
37 号


the drugs don’t work

The first sign of her daughter's potentially fatal illness appeared on Mother's Day. Initially, Tonya Rerecic wasn't concerned. Addie, her 11-year-old, seemed tired - not a surprise for a kid who participated in plenty of sports. Then, a week later, Addie complained of hip pain. A trip to the emergency room revealed a bacterial infection, and she was sent home with instructions to take a pain reliever like Advil. No effect, and Addie's condition worsened until May 19, 2011, when Tonya called an ambulance to take her to the hospital. She wouldn't return to her Arizona home for five months. The doctors found a staph infection, which began as an abscess on a hip muscle, entered her bloodstream and spread to her lungs. Within 24 hours, Addie was hooked to a breathing…

how the shutdown hammered the u.s. economy

How much has the government shutdown and the default threat cost us? Before the latest congressional melee over government spending, the U.S. federal deficit was shrinking and seemed poised to shrivel even more in the near future. As a percentage of the nation's gross domestic product, the cash shortfall had dropped by half in the past two years, according to Standard & Poor's senior credit analyst Marie Cavanaugh, who heads the ratings team in charge of assessing the U.S. credit rating. In other words, the United States was on track to slash its deficit and enjoy the spoils of its growing financial recovery - until the shutdown, which has socked the economy in the nose and soured investor confidence everywhere. "Earlier this year, we raised our outlook for the U.S. from negative to…

love hurts

There are sinkholes on Floyd Maines's property, and there may be cancer in his lungs. The former are plain to see; the latter is suggested by the low thunder of his cough, though what he surmises may be a "spot" of mesothelioma does not prevent Floyd from lighting a Seneca cigarette. As for the sinkholes, he proudly takes me from one to the other, grinning every time I feel a depression in the grass. "What's under there?" I say. Floyd grins. His voice is raspy, and slightly insouciant. He sounds like a man who knows he has cheated death and may do so again. "Who knows?" He is right. After all, this is Love Canal; Floyd's low red-brick house is on the edge of America's most notorious toxic waste dump. Could be anything down…

bad samaritans

Pity Alexian Lien, who had a pretty rough couple of days. He was chased by a motorcycle gang, beaten by a mob and hospitalized, and now he doesn't even know if he can trust his Good Samaritan. Lien was in the papers a few weeks ago after he allegedly struck several motorcyclists with his Range Rover. Lien was then chased by a snarling pack of Manhattan bikers, who pulled him out of his car and repeatedly kicked and punched him. Battered, bruised and frightened, Lien took himself to the hospital, where he quickly ran up some ugly medical bills. And that's when his Good Samaritan arrived. Elliot Randall says that after he heard about Lien's traffic armageddon, he set up an account on GoFundMe, a crowdfunding site for people who want to…

shutdown winners and losers

Even a race to the bottom has winners and losers. So it is with the U.S. government shutdown. Poll after poll bears bad news for the Grand Old Party: A majority of Americans blame them for the shutdown, saying they put politics above country. Today's polls seldom if ever translate into tomorrow's electoral defeats, but here is what we proudly used to call in Newsweek the conventional wisdom. Biggest Loser: The Republican Party. True, it was a photo finish, but the shutdown underlined the party's still unresolved civil war between ultraconservative, libertarian types made up largely of new House of Representative members and more traditional GOPers. Voters don't like parties who can't decide who is in charge. Americans blame Republicans more than the president or the Democrats by a 22-point margin…

death of a president

President Barack Obama might be forgiven if he has moments when he fantasizes about killing Hamid Karzai. Someday, notes from the Oval Office (or maybe even secret tapes) may reveal that Obama and his aides tossed around ideas on how to rid themselves of the Afghan president, who has returned the favor of being placed in power by looting Afghanistan's treasury, subverting the U.S.'s democratic goals for the country and consorting with its enemies. Faced with a similar conundrum, President John F. Kennedy wrung his hands in the autumn of 1963, when the corruption and viciousness of the family Washington had helped install in power in South Vietnam threatened to hand the country over to the communists. There were no good choices in Vietnam, Kennedy observed as his secret microphones recorded the…