Why McCain's Scary

Summaries of what's in Time, Newsweek, etc.
Dec. 21 1999 3:30 AM

Why McCain's Scary

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Time, Dec. 27

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The cover story declares Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos "Person of the Year." (The announcement of "Person of the Century" is slated for next week.) A profile lauds Bezos as the guru of online retailing, though his company will lose $350 million this year. In 1994, he recognized e-commerce could provide lower prices, larger selection, and better customer service. He started with books because they were "highly databased." Now he plans to sell "Anything, with a capital A." Runners-up include Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling and Chinese leader Jiang Zemin. A piece offers science's latest advice on how to ease a hangover: Quaff lots of water, eat plenty of carbohydrates, and don't dry heave--you could tear your esophagus.

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Newsweek, Jan. 1

The cover story, "Good Grief," bemoans the demise of Peanuts (U.S. News' Peanuts headline: "Good Grief"; Weekly Standard headline: "Good Grief"; Time headline: "The Good and the Grief"). Peanuts, which reaches 355 million readers in 75 countries, "touches something much deeper than the funny bone." It offers "gentle lessons in faith" and life, "infused with an almost quaint optimism." An article explains why some Vietnam vets denounce John McCain as the "Manchurian Candidate." McCain annoyed extremists by supporting the normalization of relations with Vietnam and dressing down POW/MIA advocates who claim that American soldiers are still being held captive. A package of fuzzy predictions for the 21st century. In " ism" news, "dot-comism" will weaken nationalism and protectionism, but fundamentalism will continue to fuel terrorism. "In the next century you're going to have better sex than you've ever had before." Virtual sex bodysuits will enable you to make indiscriminate cyberlove without any risk of VD.

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U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 27

The cover story crowns Uncle Sam the "Man of the Century." Achievements in science, business, and the arts bear "an indelible American imprint." America's triumph over totalitarianism--from Roosevelt through Reagan--is "the most riveting story of the 20th century." A package honors 25 Americans who shaped the century. Louis Armstrong was jazz's best ambassador. Francis Turner midwifed the interstate highway system. Margaret Sanger popularized birth control. William Levitt made homeownership affordable to regular Americans by mass producing houses.

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The New Yorker, Dec. 27 & Jan. 3

The "Millennial Fiction" issue. A collection of unpublished letters from American soldiers delivers a stronger literary punch than the short stories. A World War I doughboy describes his first bayonet kill: "Sure I was afraid--as you and any other chap would be, too--but what I feared most was I would be yellow." A prescient Gulf War sergeant: 'It may appear … to you back home that we've done our job, but we've screwed up. … [U]nless somehow the rebels finish what we've started, we may be back."

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The Nation, Jan. 3

The cover story says that the prospect of a John McCain presidency is "scary" because of his experiences in Vietnam. McCain flew immoral bombing missions during the war and exhibits "a swaggering readiness to avenge America's defeat." Moreover, McCain opposes gun control, increasing the minimum wage, and abortion. An editorial warns against the lingering threat of nuclear war. U.S.-Russian relations are in a "downward spiral." To ease Russian angst we should halt missile-defense plans and "permanently freeze NATO expansion."

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