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  • Sexual Abuse: Trusting Memories

    Recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) may be as trustworthy as memories that persist from the time of abuse, reports the journal Psychological Science. In a first-of-its-kind study, investigators checked out CSA memories of 128 individuals by interviewing others abused by the same perpetrator, or people who learned about the victim's abuse shortly after it occurred or when the abuser confessed. Over a six-month period, they found corroborating evidence for 37 percent of memories that had been recovered outside of therapy, nearly matching the 45 percent corroboration rate for continuous memories. Memories recovered in therapy, however, could not be corroborated. While not proving such memories are false, the finding suggests they should be treated cautiously. Elke Geraerts, a postdoctoral research fellow at Harvard University and the study's author, believes suggestive therapy can create an expectation that traumatic memories will be unearthed. "Too many therapists...
  • Crime: Cruel and Unusual

    The man known as "Fat Dog" can't quite understand why people make a fuss about it. A pit-bull breeder from outside Savannah, Ga., Fat Dog says dogfighting is no bloodier than some of the human combat people watch on cable television every day, on shows like the Ultimate Fighting Championship's "Fight Night." And the matches, though staged in secret, can have the trappings of a conventional sporting event. Fat Dog, who did not want his real name revealed, said he's been a spectator at about 50 professional matches over the years. The last one he attended, in rural North Carolina, was held in a structure built just for dogfighting, complete with bleachers and even a concession stand. "There was a great dog [there] named Zebo, who ended up a grand champion," Fat Dog told NEWSWEEK. He said he's seen only two or three dogs die in such matches. "They [the dogs] have every opportunity to quit, just like a boxer does."The indictment last week of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick on...
  • The Checklist

    RENT "Zodiac." David ("Se7en") Fincher's long, obsessive, fascinating account of the search for San Francisco's Zodiac killer zeroes in on the hunters (Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo), who become consumed by their quest.READ "Pudlo Paris 2007-2008" by Gilles Pudlowski ($19.95). Available in English for the first time, this popular French guide reviews restaurants, bars, cafés and gourmet shops, and profiles the year's top chefs, bistros and bakers.HEAR "Beauty & Crime." Suzanne Vega celebrates her long-overdue return with this valentine to her hometown of New York City. The funky pop-folk collection proves that Vega is as original, gritty and gorgeous as ever.EAT Tyrrells Potato Chips, a new "crisp" from England ($19 for five bags; chelsea marketbaskets.com). Our favorite was the addictively seasoned, award-winning Sweet Chilli & Red Pepper.GO to the 27th Annual U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition in Imperial Beach, Calif. It's the largest competition of its...
  • The Law: A Battle for O.J.'s Book

    If O. J. Simpson did it, we still may hear how. Fred Goldman will ask a federal bankruptcy-court judge in Miami next week to ratify a deal giving him the rights to "If I Did It," the 2006 work in which Simpson told how he might have committed the 1994 killings of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Goldman's son, Ron (which he denies doing). If Goldman gets the rights to the project, dropped by HarperCollins last fall after public protest, he hopes to repackage the book for a new publisher.Goldman opposed publication when Simpson stood to gain from it. Now he wants the book's sales to pay down some of the $38 million Simpson owes Goldman from the 1997 wrongful-death judgment against the former NFL star, acquitted of murder in 1995. "This is first opportunity we have ever had to take an asset from the killer," Goldman told NEWSWEEK.But lawyers for Nicole's estate will seek to block the agreement giving Goldman the rights, claiming the two families should share them. If the court...
  • Mail Call: Partners in Power?

    Our May 28 cover story on Bill Clinton's role in his wife's presidential campaign elicited mixed reactions from readers. "Hillary will be elected on her own merits," said one. "Conservatives haven't forgiven Bill," wrote another. A third simply preferred the Clinton years to those of Bush. ...
  • Cell Phones: Who Had Your Number?

    Phone companies recycle numbers to avoid splitting area codes. So the 10-digit cell-phone number you consider your digital DNA probably belonged to a stranger not long ago. Since February, UCLA junior Shira Barlow has been flooded with calls and text messages asking WHERE'S THE PARTY? Barlow's wireless company had given her Paris Hilton's old number. A Michigan teen inherited the state governor's former line, and a New York City writer fields calls for comedian Chris Rock. Landline numbers are recycled, too. Manhattan attorney Laurie Sternberg gets calls asking for "M"—as in Madonna. She's heard from Antonio Banderas and Gabriel Byrne (he asked about brunch plans), mogul Harvey Weinstein and singer k. d. lang. Sternberg started taking messages, relaying them through an assistant to M herself. She didn't get thanked, but Sternberg doesn't mind. "Why not just put your name on your answering machine?" Lang asked, a move that would end most of these mix-ups. "Are you kidding?" Sternberg...
  • Airport Tips for Summer Travelers

    Here's where you don't want to spend your summer vacation: on the tarmac at JFK. Or sitting at the gate in O'Hare. Or waiting around in Detroit, Charlotte or any of the other stressed-out airports that are helping to make this air-travel season the worst ever. With a record 209 million passengers expected, most planes are full. Any slowdown—due to bad weather, oversold flights or mechanical problems—can escalate into a marathon layover. Even before the summer crush, almost one in every four domestic flights was delayed, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics. At the busiest airports, the rate approached twice that, and most experts say problems are underreported.Airport horror stories are proliferating online. Ft. Worth, Texas, Web designer Robert McKee documented his 10 hours in airplane hell in a YouTube video ("Delta Flight 6499") that's painful to watch. He and his fellow nontravelers spent seven hours on the tarmac with no food but plenty of crying babies—the...
  • Alter: How Superficial Has Our Culture Become?

    It's a trifecta much bigger and rarer than an Oscar, an Emmy and a Tony. Only five people in history have ever won the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal: Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Elie Wiesel ... and Norman Borlaug.Norman who? Few news organizations covered last week's Congressional Gold Medal ceremony for Borlaug, which was presided over by President Bush and the leadership of the House and Senate. An elderly agronomist doesn't make news, even when he is widely credited with saving the lives of 1 billion human beings worldwide, more than one in seven people on the planet.Borlaug's success in feeding the world testifies to the difference a single person can make. But the obscurity of a man of such surpassing accomplishment is a reminder of our culture's surpassing superficiality. Reading Walter Isaacson's terrific biography of Albert Einstein, I was struck by how famous Einstein was, long before his...
  • The Veep: Why Is Dick Cheney So Gloomy?

    Dick Cheney may be a taciturn man, writes author Stephen F. Hayes, but the vice president can become animated discussing doomsday scenarios. In his new biography, "Cheney: The Untold Story of America's Most Powerful and Controversial Vice President" (578 pages. HarperCollins. $27.95), Hayes tells the story of the Cheney family, sitting around their new big-screen TV in Jackson Hole, Wyo., on a recent Fourth of July, watching the 1997 movie "The Peacemaker." Starring George Clooney and Nicole Kidman, the film is about a plot to blow up New York with a nuclear bomb. Partway through the movie, Cheney's wife, Lynne, entered the room and asked what was happening. The question was directed at no one in particular, but the vice president launched into "a 10-minute, scene-by-scene synopsis of the action," according to Lynne's brother Mark Vincent. She interrupted to clarify her question: "What's happening now?"Cheney, writes Hayes, woke up on the morning of September 12, 2001, asking: when...
  • Health: Berry Potent

    With more antioxidants than red wine, blueberries and even pomegranates, the açaí berry is being hailed as the new "it" superfood. Grown in the Amazon, the purple açaí (pronounced ah-sigh-ee) berry also contains healthy omega fatty acids, amino acids and vitamins A, C and E. Sambazon sells organic açaí smoothies, which come in flavors such as mango and strawberry (available at Whole Foods for about $2.50). Bossa Nova's açaí juices (about $2.99 at Whole Foods and Safeway) are sweetened with agave nectar and combined with other exotic fruits like mango or passion fruit. We especially liked Naked Juice's Purple Machine, a delicious smoothie that blends açaí berries, plums and grapes ($2.99-$3.99 at most food stores). Even big brand companies like Anheuser Busch (with its new 180 Blue energy drink) and Häagen-Dazs (with a Brazilian Açai Berry Sorbet) are jumping on the trend.—Christina Gillham
  • Mail Call: Can Obama's Appeal Move Beyond Race?

    Readers, fascinated by how Barack Obama's candidacy is shaking up the primary campaign, remain intrigued by the man. One said, "Obama stirs more excitement in me than any other candidate since Abraham Lincoln because he looks at all sides of the issues, is realistic and willing to compromise while maintaining an optimism that Americans are ready to move forward." Another added, "Win or lose, America will be better for his candidacy." Several were perturbed by the question of whether Obama is "black enough." One woman noted, "For Pete's sake, is Hillary Clinton female enough? I'm white, 66 years old and contributing to his campaign." For others, race proves less of a factor than character and conviction. One said, "Obama's honesty and widely expressed vision leaves no doubt that he resolves to be an American president qualified, willing and able to serve all Americans without fear or favor."Barack Obama's record shows that he truly walks his talk ("Across the Divide," July 16). His...
  • Alter: The Politics of Talking to Dictators

    Clinton criticized Obama for his stated willingness to meet with the leaders of rogue states. Romney likened Obama to Neville Chamberlain. But we are way past the politics of us against them.
  • Ward Churchill Reacts to His Firing

    He will go down in history as the guy who called the victims of September 11 “little Eichmanns”—a reference to the notorious Nazi bureaucrat who helped ship hundreds of thousands of Jews to concentration camps. Ward Churchill’s comment, included in a long-forgotten essay dug up by an enterprising journalism student, stirred a national debate about the power of unpopular words—and the proper consequences for those who use them.But the saga of the tenured University of Colorado ethnic studies professor grew more complicated in 2006, after allegations surfaced that Churchill had plagiarized, falsified or misrepresented some of his other scholarly work (Churchill denies any wrongdoing). An investigation was launched, and a panel of peers pored over his work. By May 2006, the panel had reached some damning conclusions, saying some of Churchill’s questionable writings fell into the category of academic misconduct. But the five-person panel was split on whether Churchill should be fired....
  • New Orleans D.A. Blasted Over Murders

    When New Orleans District Attorney Eddie Jordan dropped murder charges against the alleged killer of Dinerral Shavers last month, many residents were incensed. Shavers, 25, a beloved brass-band drummer and high-school music teacher, died in December when an errant bullet struck him in the head as he rode in a car with his wife and two stepchildren. The D.A.'s explanation: that an uncooperative witness made the case impossible to prosecute.Two weeks later, Jordan raised the public’s ire further when he dropped charges against another murder suspect, one accused of slaughtering five teenagers last year in the city’s worst mass killing since 1995. Once again, his office explained, that a key eyewitness was uncooperative and couldn’t be located. But the next day, police produced the witness at a press conference and said that Jordan had dismissed the case without notifying them. “The victims are being treated unfairly,” says Nakita Shavers, sister of the slain musician. “We’re...
  • Trial Against U.S. Muslim Charity Begins

    Noor Elashi wants to "shatter stereotypes" about Muslims and Arabs. It's one of the reasons she pursued a career in journalism. A Palestinian-American cub reporter at the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram, Elashi, 21, bristles at the seemingly endless questions she gets about Muslims’ views on terrorism and suicide bombing. “It’s really frustrating,” she says. “We are totally against anything to do with violence or terror. Just like most people in this world, we’re very peaceful people.”Elashi may be getting those questions more often than a typical Muslim American. Her father, Ghassan Elashi, stands accused of supporting the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Along with other fellow officers of the Richardson, Texas-based Holy Land Foundation—which was once the nation’s largest Islamic charity—Elashi faces charges of funneling $12.4 million to the Palestinian group since the U.S. government declared it a terrorist organization in 1995. As the defendants’ trial got underway in Dallas...
  • Should Congress Censure Judge Kavanaugh?

    The House Judiciary Committee, on a party-line vote, held Harriet Miers and other White House officials in contempt of Congress on Wednesday. But they aren’t the only ones Congress thinks might have dissembled in their discussions on Capitol Hill. Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy is still waiting to hear whether U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will investigate allegations that one of the highest ranking judges in America did not tell the truth under oath.Never mind, for the moment, that this is tantamount to asking Barry Bonds whether Mark McGwire lied to Congress about steroid use. Deeply important questions of legislative oversight and judicial independence are on the line here.At issue is the testimony of Brett Kavanaugh, a former White House legal adviser who is now a sitting judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. That body’s location in the nation’s capital makes it the most influential court besides the Supremes.During the May 9, 2006,...
  • Why McCain’s Collapse Matters

    His campaign's sorry state isn't just a setback for the candidate. It's a sign that the country won't listen to a military man running for president—at a time when it matters most.
  • Trips for Families With Teenagers

    Teenagers, and especially teenage boys, don't exactly go begging to hang out with Mom for a week straight. So when my 16-year-old son Henry brought up the idea, I jumped at the chance to spend time with him and only him.Henry had just spent the year away from our New York City apartment, living with his tennis coach in Los Angeles and seeing if he had what it takes to compete on the junior circuit. It was a tough year for him; he was plagued with injuries and finally stopped playing. In the midst of disappointments on the court, Henry discovered a new passion: American history. Something clicked, and suddenly the struggles, people, and events he had been reading about seemed more than just stuff he had to learn for school. Henry wanted to find out more about the U.S., hence the request for a cross-country road trip on the move back home. Over the years, I had found it increasingly more difficult to connect to Henry than to his older sister, Wilson. We gals could yap away about...
  • Robbing the Rich in L.A.

    The latest Los Angeles crime spree might make a good caper movie. A crew of two, maybe three, shadowy burglars figures out how to break into million-dollar mansions dotting the pricey hillsides above L.A. Clad in gloves and ski masks, the crooks case the homes of the rich and absent, then skirt the security systems by climbing in alarm-free second-story windows before quickly grabbing cash, jewels and the occasional rare book. If the stuff’s in a unanchored safe, they just pick it up and go. Los Angeles Police Department detectives think the crew has struck more than 50 times since late last fall. The haul so far: about $7 million and counting.Last week, baffled L.A. police announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the real-life gang the locals are beginning to give Hollywood names like "Ocean’s Eleven" or "Burglars to the Stars." They’ve struck fear among the homeowners of posh communities such as Bel-Air, Brentwood, Encino and Holmby Hills, who have long...
  • Assessing the CNN-YouTube Debate

    Last night the eight Democrats running for their party's nomination in the 2008 presidential race met for a historic moment: the first-ever jointly sponsored CNN-YouTube debate. In the end, a couple dozen questions were fielded, selected from the 3,000-odd video inquiries submitted by average voters from across the country. So how'd they do? No, not the candidates—they're all pros who stayed reliably on message. How well did the citizenry hold the powers-that-hope-to-be to account? Was it a glorious flowering of a level of direct democracy the Founding Fathers never dreamed of? A novel ad vehicle? The death knell for the Fourth Estate?CNN hyped the event heavily on its Web site, crowing in its recap that though the cable network "vetted the questions, it was the first time that a journalist or a professional has not dictated what is asked of the candidates. The control was solely in the voters' hands." Actually, the control was in Anderson Cooper's hands—a fact which rankled many...
  • 'D.C. Madam' Scandal: Follow the Numbers

    The "D.C. Madam" scandal isn't going away. Reporters, bloggers and investigators for Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt are all scrambling to match recently released phone records from Deborah Jeane Palfrey's escort service to Beltway pols who might have been clients. "It's going to be one revelation after the other for the next 20 weeks or so," says Palfrey, who is fighting federal prostitution charges and who hopes "outed" clients will testify that her employees weren't prostitutes. She says anywhere between a few dozen to a hundred high-level officials will be discovered on her list.The latest catch: Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, Rudy Giuliani's top Southern conservative ally. Vitter quickly confessed to a "very serious sin" and went into hiding. The Vitter revelation is just the latest scandal to touch Giuliani, whose former police commissioner has pleaded guilty to corruption charges and whose South Carolina campaign chairman was forced to step down last month after he was...
  • Drinks: Summer Sipping

    Just in time for summer, some new products are reinventing the "G" and the "T" in the G&T. The new gins ease up on juniper, the berry that gives the booze its evergreen flavor. Tanqueray Rangpur ($23.99 for 750ml) leans heavily on the Rangpur Indian lime. The liqueur like G'Vine Gin de France ($38) uses the green grape flower for an herbal twist. Stellar ($19.99) has the mild personality of an orangey vitamin water.The new tonics are lighter and softer. Stirrings ($4.99 for a four-pack) gets an easy sweetness from cane sugar, as does the fuller-tasting Fever-Tree ($5.99). The driest of the bunch, Q Tonic ($9.99), uses agave syrup. All are tasty—and dangerously drinkable.
  • Food: Ice-Cream Makers

    Mixing ice cream from scratch is simpler than you might think. Testers examined seven top brands.
  • Capital Sources: Anatomy of a Nuclear Sting

    Gregory Kutz and his colleagues wanted to order enough radioactive material to make a dirty bomb. So they set up bogus companies and applied for separate licenses from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the state of Maryland. They didn’t succeed with Maryland, but they got a license from the NRC in less than a month. Then Kutz and his associates doctored the license to increase the amount of radioactive material they could buy, and began placing orders for nuclear moisture-density machines, which contain Cesium-137 and Americium-241. Suppliers were only too happy to help. Fortunately, Kutz is head of forensic audits and special investigations for the Government Accountability Office. His operation was a sting—one of about a dozen his team runs each year, most of them successfully. (The NRC has acknowledged some shortcomings, and moved quickly to address them.) Following testimony to a Senate subcommittee, Kutz explained the way the sting worked to NEWSWEEK’s Jeffrey Bartholet....
  • Auto Tech: Beating the Heat

    Air conditioningfirst appeared in cars 50 years ago. Today, motorists have more than one way to chill when they're on the road.Saab introduced the cooled seat a decade ago, and today it's a common—but expensive—option in luxury cars (Saab's "sport-ventilated seats" are $995 extra). A cheaper, do-it-yourself option is the Cold Seat ($49.95; coldseat.com), a quilt-covered gel-pack that sits over your kid's car seat while you're out of the car. Remove it, and the seat and buckle are cool, not hot.The Chrysler Sebring and the Dodge Avenger feature cup holders that keep cold drinks at 35 degrees and hot drinks at 140 degrees ($795 to $1,295 including other options). Then there are air-conditioned glove boxes, available in the VW Jetta, for one, and cooled center consoles, found in some models of Lexus and Range Rover. Remote-start cars, like the Chevy Tahoe, allow you to turn on the car and the air conditioning before you hop in. How cool is that?
  • Mail Call: How Well Do We Know Our World?

    Our July 9 issue, examining "181 Things You Need to Know Now," prompted readers to ponder what makes one culturally literate. "I like the idea of a discussion over what is important to know," said one. "But one question you did not consider is how such knowledge increases our understanding of the world and our place in it. Why, for example, is being knowledgeable about both the Supreme Court and reality TV important?" Added another, "Why didn't you ask readers if they know the history of Europe? Or if they know the percentage of those living in poverty in their state?" Many readers enjoyed taking our global-literacy IQ test. "I can't wait for the next one," said one. And a 15-year-old, who said he was surprised by our poll that found more Americans could name the latest winner of "American Idol" than the chief justice of the United States, said, "Perhaps Americans are the most-entertained and least-informed people on the planet."A loyal reader since age 23, I somehow got busy with...
  • Road Test: Mazda CX-9

    If vehicles have a DNA that defines their personalities, then Mazda's molecular building blocks speak the language of sport. Surprisingly, it's even evident in this big seven-seat crossover. The CX-9, with its three rows of seating, is a family hauler. Less apparent is its handling and performance prowess—that is, until you hop in for a ride. A trip through L.A.'s curvy canyons chauffeuring five adults in the back made me worry they'd all get queasy, but the CX-9 has a taut but forgiving suspension. That's rare for a vehicle this size, but not unusual for Mazda.And the CX-9 is fashionable. A friend who drives a Lexus RX330 remarked that my tester looks a lot like her wheels. I didn't have the heart to tell her it sells for about 10 grand less and generates 21 more horsepower from a 3.5-liter V-6 engine. My vehicle had heated front seats, a touchscreen for audio and navigation systems, and steering-wheel-mounted buttons to control the phone, music and cruise control. There was even...
  • Split Decisions: No-Fault Divorce

    A forthcoming study by the Institute for Marriage and Public Policy (iMAPP), a group that aims to "strengthen marriage," found that no-fault divorce leads to an increase in the divorce rate on the order of 10 percent. NEWSWEEK's Julie Scelfo spoke with Maggie Gallagher, founder of iMAPP and coauthor of the study with Douglas Allen, to find out more. ...
  • The Editor's Desk

    David Noonan, NEWSWEEK's health editor, gets dozens of press releases every day. But in April, an announcement from the University of Pennsylvania about its Center for Resuscitation Science caught his attention. The director, Dr. Lance Becker, was working on improving survival for victims of heart attacks and other forms of cardiac arrest. David was intrigued by the idea of extending the traditional five-minute window for resuscitation, which could someday save hundreds of thousands of lives. He gave the story to Jerry Adler, who uncovered some revolutionary implications in Becker's work: the idea that cell death is a drawn-out process, rather than a singular event—a process that can, in theory, be interrupted or reversed. The initial one-page story we published in May provoked a huge response from lay readers and from doctors. And there was an unexpected benefit:Shortly after the piece appeared, a relative of Dr. Becker's found herself in a Colorado hospital at her husband's side...
  • Beauty: Sunny Disposition

    Sunscreens aren't just about protection. Good ones should moisturize and smell nice. Some TIP favorites:MD Skincare's Powerful Sun Protection SPF 30 ($42; sephora .com) comes in premoistened towelettes that are easy to carry and apply. Kinesys ($15 at sporting-goods stores) mists an even layer of water-resistant SPF 30 on you or your squirming child. Anthelios SX's SPF 15 cream ($29 at CVS pharmacies) protects against UVB and UVA rays. Murad's hydrating Essential-C Eye Cream SPF 15 also softens wrinkles ($65; sephora .com). Relish Beauty's SPF 30 cream ($23; relishbeauty.com) is lightweight and nongreasy.
  • Money: Friendly Finance

    There's a new crop of Web sites for folks who get lonely using Quicken. Social-networking finance sites help members track their money while they kibitz with others to see how they are doing. At wesabe.com (Spanglish for "we know"), financial behavior is shared but identifying details are not. Members can consolidate their financial-account records, chat about shared goals like saving for a car and learn whether they are spending more or less than average on groceries, clothes or beer. At geezeo.com, users can put all their financial info in one place and get it sent to their cell phones, so they can check balances before they shop. Two other sites, buxfer.com and billmonk.com, let social groups track money together. The sites can be used to set up a budget for a shared summer rental or to remind buddies they still owe you for that dinner out last month.
  • The Checklist

    RENT "The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg," Jerry Aronson's fascinating portrait of the visionary poet, from beat to Buddhist to political activist and beyond. BUY InCase's iPhone cover ($29.95; goincase.com) to protect your newest prized possession without adding bulk. An opening for the camera lens and charger means you never need to peel it off. SURF Southwest.comfor summer sale fares as low as $49 one way on domestic flights. Book by July 26 for travel from Aug. 16 through Jan. 11. READ "Unplugged Play" by Bobbi Conner ($16.95). This chunky paperback lists more than 700 games and activities for kids, including treasure hunts and castle-building projects. Now you don't have to dread those rainy days. GO To Baltimore's ArtScape (artscape.org) from July 20 to 22. This freewheeling festival includes dance performances, edgy visual exhibits and a kid-friendly musical petting zoo. Best of all, it's totally free.
  • Beschloss on Lady Bird Johnson, 1912-2007

    During the three decades after Lyndon Johnson's death—a period almost as long as their marriage—Lady Bird followed her own heart. She established a world-class wildflower center and summered among the glitterati of Martha's Vineyard, a place her husband once derided as "some female island." She bought a house for herself in Austin so modest that Lyndon would have felt claustrophobic. Even the LBJ Ranch, where Lady Bird still spent much of her time, looked different. She banished some of the more egregious remnants of her husband's taste, such as the ubiquitous triple-television sets and his big executive desk chair at the dining table. I once asked if she still used the airstrip where the president used to land. "Heavens, no!" she replied. "We didn't use it after Lyndon's death. I think that runway was always unsafe, but the federal aviation people were too afraid of Lyndon to tell him to stop using it." She had filled LBJ's spacious old hangar with her grandchildren's toys.Her...
  • Politics: Inside the McCain Campaign Meltdown

    Eight years ago, he was the Karl Rove of the McCain campaign: a gifted strategist from Texas who could turn a relatively unknown politician into a serious presidential candidate. John Weaver was McCain's alter ego in 2000, and after their defeat he plotted their 2008 comeback.That was until last Tuesday morning, when his cell phone rang. Recovering from the flu, Weaver ignored the phone, thinking it was his alarm. Later he picked up the call to hear his old friend Mark Salter, McCain's chief of staff and the coauthor of the senator's best-selling autobiographies. Salter told Weaver they had lost control of the campaign: McCain had sided with their internal rival, Rick Davis. "John wants you to stay," Salter said. "I can't and won't," Weaver replied, according to an insider who didn't want to be named talking about private conversations.In theory, the dispute was over the campaign manager: Terry Nelson, a big player in George W. Bush's 2004 campaign, who quit last week. In reality,...
  • Health: Where's the Food From

    Products from China used to be associated with bargain prices. Now they're associated with health threats. In May, pet food carrying the industrial chemical melamine killed dozens of pets across the United States. Then there were lead-painted toy trains, toothpaste contaminated with dry-cleaning chemicals and drug residues in seafood. Most recently, Robert's American Gourmet Food recalled Veggie Booty, a snack food popular with kids, after salmonella bacteria found in the Chinese-made seasoning ingredients was said to have sickened 57 people in 18 states. "China has practices that aren't up to our standards," says Michael Doyle, director of the Center for Food Safety at the University of Georgia. Because of the way food products are grown and processed in China, bacteria, drugs and other chemicals, including heavy metals and pesticides, can find their way into products. But the $288 billion worth of Chinese goods that come into this country every year are hard to avoid. China is the...
  • Remembering Tammy Faye

    She's gone now, but through the miracle of YouTube, you can spend a few minutes with Tammy Faye Bakker, discussing the thing that made her such a figure of lasting fascination—in the secular world, anyway: her makeup. In the clip, the fabled televangelist rummages through her stash, showing off the foundations of her legend. She holds up a nearly empty blush compact, and allows as how she has to go to "the swap" to buy some more. Next, her powder: "When I cry, it takes away the tears." Then, the lipstick—which is white, but "turns pink when you put it on." Finally, she reveals her secret weapon: L'Oreal Waterproof Lash Out mascara, applied lavishly to her fake eyelashes to achieve her signature look. "Without my eyelashes, I wouldn't be Tammy Faye," she says. "I don't know who I'd be, but I wouldn't be me."Together, she and her eyelashes made history, of a sort. Along with her first husband, Jim Bakker, she helped build an evangelical empire worth millions of dollars—complete with a...
  • Clift: Dems Must Act Now to End the War

    The media treated the Senate’s all-night session as a comedy routine, a chance to make jokes about sleepovers and pizza delivery. Everybody knew going in that the Democrats didn’t have the votes to pass an amendment calling for the draw down of troops beginning in 120 days. But the Democrats needed to show they’re at least trying to bring about the change in policy they promised on the campaign trail last year.The operative emotion is anger. The voters are almost as furious with the Democrats for their inability to end the Iraq War as they are with President Bush for prolonging it. Democrat Chellie Pingree lost by 16 points when she challenged Maine Republican Susan Collins in 2002. Now Collins, running for re-election in ’08, is on everybody’s endangered list. After much public agonizing, she became one of the four Republicans this week to break with Bush and vote with the Democrats on the war.“It’s a different world,” says Pingree, who is running for the House seat in Maine being...
  • A Veteran's View of the VA

    Does VA Secretary Jim Nicholson's departure matter to the men and women fighting the Iraq war? A veteran's view.
  • A Life in Books: Elmore Leonard

    You can't write 41 books and not learn a few things. Check out "Ten Rules of Writing" by Elmore Leonard, to be published this fall. Our fave? "If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it." A Certified Important Book you haven't read: "Crime and Punishment" by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I've never gotten beyond page 50. A book you wanted to share with your kids: My five kids liked me to tell them stories instead of reading to them. And now they're all good storytellers, and my son Peter will have his first book published next year.
  • Capital Sources: Grassley's Private-Equity Fight

    Sen. Chuck Grassley, Republican of Iowa, prides himself on being a judicious manager of money. He'll coast down a hill to save gasoline while driving, and keeps his thermostat high to save on air-conditioning bills. He also has a profound frustration with superrich businesses and corporations that do not pay their fair share of taxes. Now the senior senator from Iowa is fighting to eliminate what he sees as a giant tax loophole by co-sponsoring legislation that would raise the tax rates (from 15 to 35 percent) on publicly traded partnerships like the private-equity giant Blackstone. To Grassley, the bill would help prevent ultrarich financiers from conspiring with their lawyers to "screw the taxpayer." To his opponents, it’s a wrong-headed means of stunting economic growth. Grassley spoke with NEWSWEEK’s Sam Stein about why he’s waging this battle. Excerpts: ...
  • Talk Transcript: Wolffe on Obama and Race

    When Cory Booker first ran for Newark city council in 1998, one of his opponents, George Branch, said, "[Booker's] a Rhodes scholar; I'm a roads scholar." The implication was not just that Booker lacked street smarts—it's that he wasn't quite black enough. In 2002, when Booker first ran for mayor of Newark, N.J., against Sharpe James, who had been in office since 1986, James operatives launched a whispering campaign that Booker was a tool of Jewish financiers—and that Booker, who was raised Methodist but attends a Baptist church, was Jewish. (James did not respond to a request for comment.)Booker, elected mayor last fall after James finally retired, tries to rise above the nastiness and stereotyping. "I remember joking with friends of mine about me being a vegetarian, and them saying, "Oh, that's going to be an issue. In the black community, people want you to sit down and have some ribs," Booker laughed, recalling the story to a NEWSWEEK reporter. "And I said, 'I am who I am,' you...
  • WMDs: A U.N. Inspection Shutdown

    The most successful international team ever assembled to probe suspected WMD activities is shutting down this week—thanks to U.S. and British insistence. The team (the U.N. commission initially acronymed UNSCOM and then UNMOVIC) spent 16 years uncovering and destroying Saddam Hussein's chemical, biological and missile weapons programs. The U.S. invasion of Iraq proved that the U.N.'s intel—overruled by the Bush administration—had indeed been correct: Saddam no longer had WMD. But late last month, the U.S. and British governments pushed through the U.N. Security Council a vote to halt funding for UNMOVIC.The decision dismayed WMD experts. The action foreclosed discussions that were going on behind the scenes at the U.N. on whether UNMOVIC—or parts of it, such as its roster of close to 400 trained inspectors—should be retained to monitor biological and missile proliferation threats. "UNMOVIC is a unique resource," says Hans Blix, who led the Iraq inspections. "Once dispersed, that...
  • Ergonomic Tips for Tech Gadget Users

    You've probably seen them: drivers texting furiously on their BlackBerrys while stuck in traffic. Beachgoers hunched over laptops. Commuters juggling briefcases, cell phones and iPods. But as gadget lovers hit the road this summer, they may find that a problem from the office has followed them. The popularity of smaller, portable devices like laptops, smartphones and videogame players are resulting in new types of overuse injuries. "The problem we have with shrinking these devices is that we do not have a good way to interact with them the way we've become accustomed to using our mouse and keyboard," says Peter Budnick, president and CEO of Ergoweb, an ergonomics consulting firm.While no one keeps stats on injuries resulting from small devices, their growing popularity has many experts concerned. Last year the American Physical Therapy Association warned that frequent users of BlackBerry-type devices are more likely to experience swelling, hand throbbing and tendinitis. And though...
  • The Editor's Desk

    When Barack Obama burst onto the national political stage in 2004, there were many things about him that Americans found fresh and intriguing. He was young and optimistic; he seemed able to rise above the nasty partisanship that's corroded our politics in recent years. He was a candidate of conviction who also was able to empathize with his ideological foes. But there was something else about Obama that was more intangible: the ease with which he talked about race, a subject that is as central to the American narrative as it is fraught. It's a quality surely born of his restless search to understand his own identity—as the son of a black father from Kenya and a white mother from Kansas whose childhood was divided between Hawaii and Indonesia.But can Obama sustain that easygoing confidence over many months under the glare of a national campaign? And can he appeal broadly to both blacks and whites, as he'll need to do in order to win? That's what Richard Wolffe and Daren Briscoe set...
  • Beverly Sills: An Appreciation

    Beverly Sills made her 1975 metropolitan Opera debut in Rossini's "The Siege of Corinth"—almost a decade later than she should have. The audience went wild. They knew that the soprano, born Belle (Bubbles) Silverman in Brooklyn, had pulled off a rare feat: an American singer had made it to the top, had an international career and had been on the covers of NEWSWEEK and Time years before scaling the operatic Everest, the Met. The company's general director, Viennese-born Rudolf Bing, had kept her out, but when he retired, she arrived. The morning after that "Corinth" premiere, a photograph of Sills taking a curtain call took up the entire front page of the New York Daily News.Sills died of cancer last week, at 78. Through formidable vocal and dramatic gifts, irrepressible humor and a will of titanium, she changed the face of opera in America. A frequent, hilarious guest on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show," she wanted people to know "that opera singers don't have horns."At 4, she was...