Baby, It's Kohl Outside 

Summaries of what's in Time, Newsweek, etc.
Jan. 21 2000 9:30 PM

Baby, It's Kohl Outside 

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New Republic, Jan. 31

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The cover story applauds John McCain's ideological apostasy. McCain opposes GOP orthodoxy on campaign-finance reform and tax cuts. Unlike George W. Bush, McCain preaches fiscal conservatism, advocates universal health insurance, and refuses to divert public school funds to private voucher programs. His candidacy has started a healthy debate within Republican ranks. An article blasts the latest campaign-finance abuses. Although Bill Bradley accepted the single biggest bundle ($209,500 from Goldman Sachs), Bush is "the undisputed bundling king." (Slate's " Ballot Box" explains why bundling corrodes democracy.) A piece mocks the anti-campaign McCain is waging in Iowa. To lower expectations for the upcoming caucus, his representatives deny they are even organizing supporters.

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Economist, Jan. 22

The cover editorial argues that the level of debt in Japan and the United States leaves the world's two biggest economies vulnerable to economic crises. America's Fed should raise interest rates to discourage further borrowing. The cover story warns that the next debt crisis is likely to occur in Japan or the United States. Japan's stimulus packages have widened the government's debt to 128 percent of GDP. Inordinate government borrowing discourages private investment. Last year, America's private-sector debt was 103 percent of personal income. Soaring private debt will "amplify any economic downturn." An article condemns former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl for harboring secret party bank accounts and refusing to divulge the names of donors. Corrupt party financing "strikes at the heart of democracy." Kohl's misdeeds have earned him the name "Don Kohleone."

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Rolling Stone, Feb. 3

The cover story reveals that David Crosby fathered the two kids of Melissa Etheridge and her partner Julie Cypher. Crosby gave his sperm to Etheridge and her longtime girlfriend because he wanted to encourage lesbian parenting. Crosby comments, "I think everyone will understand, except maybe the Christian Coalition."  

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New York Times Magazine, Jan. 23

The cover story chronicles Al Gore's remedial education in politics. The early incompetence of the Gore campaign forced the candidate to eschew his ambivalence about politicking and come "to terms with his outer politician." Gore's political performances often "reek of the greasepaint he rightly scorns," but there are signs "that he can make a style of substance." An article champions former Los Angeles Times publisher Otis Chandler's decision to speak out against the paper's current management. Chandler's protest against the crude commercialization of the Times has made him "a latter-day hero to many newspaper journalists." (Slate's " Chatterbox" criticizes the Chandler cult.) A piece ridicules "fauxhemians"--rich folks who dress up conspicuous consumption "in the artfully tattered guise of the downscale and democratic." Example: the new VW Beetle. (Slate's " Culturebox" laments the decline of genuine American bohemians.)  

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Harper's, February 2000

An excerpt of Oval Office recordings captures Richard Nixon's most hateful ravings. On Chicanos: "They're dishonest, but … [t]hey don't live like a bunch of dogs, which the Negroes do live like." On Catholicism: Popes "were layin' the nuns; that's been goin' on for years, centuries." A George W. Bush cover story argues that Bush's record of crony capitalism is a poor omen for his presidency. Despite "catastrophic losses," Bush's oil company was repeatedly bailed out by businessmen who hoped to profit from his influence. By hiking his share in the Texas Rangers from 1.8 percent to 12 percent, the governor's cronies helped him realize a 2,400 percent return on his investment. Bush appointees used their state power to benefit GOP donors.