What's new in Wired, TheNew Yorker, and Reason.

Summaries of what's in Time, Newsweek, etc.
Jan. 6 2009 1:59 PM

Fixing Gaza

Newsweek and The Nation on the latest Israeli-Palestinian face-off.

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Newsweek, Jan. 12 The cover story"underscores the stubborn, maddening fact about the Israeli-Palestinian relationship: there is only one path to peace, and both sides know what it is—and yet neither side has been willing to take it." Israel would accept only "a comprehensive agreement that creates two sovereign states, Israel and Palestine, warily coexisting side by side." But there are numerous and complex questions in any compromise, including "the exact borders of a two-state compromise; the fate of Palestinian refugees; [and] the future of Jerusalem." An article suggests that wary socially liberal Americans "can rest easy" when they watch the Rev. Rick Warren, an evangelical, deliver the invocation at President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration because "Warren is not Billy Graham." Graham, though, is just the kind of evangelical Obama could use right now, one who believes "that there are mysteries neither a pastor nor a president can fully comprehend."

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The Nation, Jan. 12 An article argues that Obama will be the last U.S. president with the opportunity "to save the two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict"—but he would have to pull it off "during the first year of his presidency." The United States has succeeded in the past at helping the Israelis and Palestinians draw up agreeable terms. But "what has been missing is the political will to get the parties to act on these parameters." A piece posits that the causes of the economic crisis are deeper than "investment bubbles gone bust." It was also fueled by Americans borrowing money to compensate for low wages and minimal benefits. Any stimulus must therefore include "a new social contract that imaginatively deals with low wages and catches up with the tragic neglect of public assets over the past generation." That means raising the minimum wage, enforcing labor laws, and speaking out against high executive salaries.

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Wired, January 2009 The cover story urges the United States to shift its spending from finding a cure for cancer to improving detection of the disease. While 566,000 Americans die from cancer each year, 120 million (one-third of the population) will be diagnosed "sometime in their lives." Billions are spent on the former group, but the number of deaths from cancer has shrunk by only 8 percent since the 1970s. New cancer screening technologies "go further and deeper so that even stubbornly covert cancers might become visible." A freelance writer puts three time management philosophies to the test in order to "find one that worked for those of us who count income in 1099s instead of W-2s." The result? "I can now shrink overwhelming projects into bite-size finger sandwiches, thereby unsticking my work flow. Also, I found out that I have a work flow."

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The New Yorker, Jan. 12 A profile of Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank assesses "the wise guy and wise man of the Democratic Party." Frank gained recognition in the House when he came out as gay in the 1980s and opposed former President Bill Clinton's impeachment in the '90s. Now it is Frank's expertise on housing that has made the outspoken liberal an important player in solving the country's economic crisis. That said, his solutions are a work in progress, as "[o]ne of Frank's primary goals for the bailout—providing assistance to homeowners to avoid foreclosures—remains unrealized." A feature anticipates Inauguration Day with a short history of the presidential inaugural speech. The most memorable ones have been the pithiest, but brevity is not the only aim: The monosyllabic diction of Abraham Lincoln's inaugural packed a greater rhetorical punch than the "sixth-grade [reading] level" of George H.W. Bush's speech.

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Reason, January 2009 An interview with Craig Newmark reveals the Craigslist founder's libertarian leanings and "nerd values." Newmark sees a potential for "networked grassroots democracy" in the Internet, and he considers himself "a community organizer—that is, someone who gets people together, online in my case, to speak up for themselves." A column warns that Barack Obama should not view job creation as the panacea to the financial crisis. Obama's plans to create a new work force of "green" jobs—necessary or not—should be viewed "as a drag on the economy, not a boost to it." The creation of environmental jobs, the author argues, is just as arbitrary as employing "people to dig holes and fill them in again." Government-enforced changes to the patterns of American industry will fail if "job creation [is the] … overriding goal." "In a free market," he says, "businesses exist because they provide goods or services that people value."

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