What's new in Newsweek, the Weekly Standard, and National Geographic.

Summaries of what's in Time, Newsweek, etc.
Dec. 23 2008 3:46 PM

Auto Immunity

The New Republic on Detroit's private welfare state.

New Republic, Dec. 31

New Republic, Dec. 31 A piece chronicles how unions came to rule the auto industry, bringing autoworkers into the middle class and turning Detroit into a "private welfare state." But a system in which car companies provided the same safety nets as governments of Scandinavia proved unsustainable. "It was only a matter of time before the financial burden of running this private welfare state rendered U.S. manufacturers vulnerable to cut-rate competition—whether from across the ocean or below the Mason-Dixon line." An article finds that the incoming Obama administration has a "work-all-hours, sleep-is-for-wimps, personal-lives-would-be-nice-if-only-there-were-time ethos." This stands in stark contrast to the outgoing administration's insistence on "working smarter, not harder." From Obama's Senate office Chief of Staff Pete Rouse (a "two-cat-no-life workaholic") to senior adviser Valerie Jarrett (who has an "all-hours BlackBerry-cell phone double-fisting habit"), the new team stands out even in a city of workaholics.

National Geographic, December 2008

National Geographic, December 2008 Tina Rosenberg travels to rural India, where volunteer health workers provide essential services to the poor as part of Comprehensive Rural Health Project, an NGO. Because of a shortage of doctors, these women deliver babies and focus on preventative health care, stressing nutrition and hygiene. "Rural problems are simple," said Raj Arole, the founder of the project. "Safe drinking water, education, and poverty alleviation do more to promote health than diagnostic tests and drugs." John Updike describes the hold Mars—our next-door neighbor a mere 50 million miles away—has had on mankind for millenniums. Since the advent of the telescope, astronomers have gazed at its surface and wondered if its Earth-like appearance would allow it to support life. Since The War of the Worlds was published in 1898, Mars has "served as a shadowy twin onto which earthly concerns, anxieties and debates were projected."

Newsweek, Jan. 5
Advertisement

Newsweek, Jan. 5 Barack Obama tops the magazine's list of the 50 most powerful people of the planet, which includes kings literal (Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, No. 10) and figurative (Shahrukh Khan of Bollywood, No. 40) as well as religious leaders from Ayatollah Khamenei (No. 11) to the Dalai Lama (No. 46). "It is arbitrary, but the choices are well considered, and each, we believe, represents a thread in a new global tapestry," the cover story explains. Still, it is hard to imagine a world in which No. 35 John Lasseter, Pixar's animation guru, wields more clout than the pope and Oprah Winfrey, Nos. 37 and 47. An article finds that America's 21 Republican governors are not as glum as one might expect, even though Democrats control the White House and Congress. Instead, they are focusing on their states in hopes of securing the party's nomination for president in 2012.

Weekly Standard, Dec. 29

Weekly Standard, Dec. 29 Rather than rehash what went wrong with the Big Three, a writer travels to Motor City to examine the blighted heart of Detroit itself. Guided by a former New York Times and current Detroit News reporter, the author talks with firemen and councilwomen to find out how the city went from "the incubator of the middle class" to "the most murderous city, the poorest city, the most segregated city … [and] the place with the most heart attacks, slowest income growth and fewest sunny days." The town also has more than 60,000 vacant buildings that are prone to catching fire. "I've never seen anything in a non-Third World country like the east side of Detroit," the author writes. Less than a month before Barack Obama's inauguration, Fred Barnes wastes no time pointing out where he thinks Obama will have problems: transparency, an overabundance of czars, and Democratic congressional leaders. 

Wired, January 2009

Wired, January 2009 An article examines the Netherlands' plan to prevent global warming-induced flooding "before anyone's feet are wet." With more than half their territory below sea level, the Dutch want to build their dikes and levees to heights that can withstand the sea levels of 2200. "They're showing the world that to prepare for sea-level rise and other impacts of climate change, you need, paradoxically, not dominion-over-nature bravado but patience, good data, and—above all—the long view." The cover story argues that early cancer detection will save more lives in the long run than superdrugs developed to kill late-stage cancers. DNA tests and new technology allow doctors to better identify who is at risk for certain types of cancer and regularly screen for them. "This is the potential of early detection: To use data instead of drugs, to reveal a cancer before it reveals itself, and to leave the miracles for the patients who really need them."

Sonia Smith is an associate editor at Texas Monthly.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

Congress’ Public Shaming of the Secret Service Was Political Grandstanding at Its Best

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

A Plentiful, Renewable Resource That America Keeps Overlooking

Animal manure.

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Politics

Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Hasbro Is Cracking Down on Scrabble Players Who Turn Its Official Word List Into Popular Apps

Florida State’s New President Is Underqualified and Mistrusted. He Just Might Save the University.

  News & Politics
Politics
Sept. 30 2014 9:33 PM Political Theater With a Purpose Darrell Issa’s public shaming of the head of the Secret Service was congressional grandstanding at its best.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
  Life
Gaming
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 8:54 PM Bette Davis Talks Gender Roles in a Delightful, Animated Interview From 1963
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 11:51 PM Should You Freeze Your Eggs? An egg freezing party is not a great place to find answers to this or other questions.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.