Santorum vs. Gomorrah, Greg Smith Excoriates Goldman

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Adam Chodzko Courtesy of Adam Chodzko

Northern Exposure

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Canada is a placid place—acknowledged, that is, by all but Dick Cheney. Fearing a rowdy reception by local demonstrators, the former vice president has canceled a proposed trip to Toronto in April. The last time Cheney was reckless enough to venture north, he was confined to the Vancouver Club for seven hours while police tranquilized the rioting hordes outside.

Santorum vs. Gomorrah

At election time, politicians throw promises about like confetti. But few have sworn explicitly to enforce federal obscenity laws—until Rick Santorum. “If elected President, I will appoint an Attorney General who will do so,” wrote the former senator on his campaign website, declaring robust war on smut. In Santorum’s view, “America is suffering a pandemic of harm from pornography,” while “the Obama Department of Justice seems to favor pornographers over children and families.”

Most Expensive Op-Ed

Greg Smith, an executive director at Goldman Sachs, excoriated the firm in a New York Times op-ed, quitting his job and accusing his employers of some serious turpitude. The street made its verdict clear: $2.15 billion of Goldman Sachs’s market value was wiped out the day after the op-ed appeared.

Diplomatic pouch

Better Late Than Never

Forty-three years after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made their lunar footfall, Roskosmos (Russia’s NASA) has announced that it, too, will put a man on the moon—by 2030. Cynics have dismissed the announcement as a PR stunt to distract from a scandal at Roskosmos, in which top space executives brawled for the attention of Anna Vedischeva, a former model who is now head of communications at the agency.

History Lesson

Wen Jiabao, China’s premier, has fired a scary salvo just months before stepping down from office. Warning his countrymen that they could face turbulent times if his more conservative political rivals aren’t reined in, Wen said that “such a historical tragedy as the Cultural Revolution may happen again.” The specific target of his finger-wagging was Bo Xilai, the most adamant opponent of further political and economic reform, ousted recently as the party leader in Chongqing.

And Your Pint Is?...?

Qatar, to everyone’s surprise, was selected to host the 2022 soccer World Cup. Yet after promising in its bid to accommodate the cultural preferences of visiting fans, the conservative Muslim country has declared it sees no reason why alcohol should be sold to spectators at stadiums during the tournament. Officials from FIFA, soccer’s ruling body, are kicking hard for a solution. Anheuser-Busch, brewer of Budweiser, is a Cup sponsor.

Where Are They Now?

Damien Hirst wasn’t the only young Brit to push the notions of art—and taste—in the 1990s, though he’s probably been the most prosperous. “I’m pretty much as broke now as I was then,” says Adam Chodzko (pictured above), whose multimedia installations were exhibited alongside Hirst’s rotting bovines. One of Chodzko’s early projects asked people to submit photos for a God look-alike contest. His latest will take visitors on a voyage along England’s River Tamar in a coffin-shaped kayak to “visit the dead.”

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