1) “The Lost Decade: Why the last 10 years have been an economic disappointment for most Americans,” by Daniel Gross. While some analysts claim the U.S. economy is heading into a decade of negligible financial growth, we might be finishing such a stretch now.
2) Juliet Lapidos questioned whether alleged Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan is a terrorist; Brian Palmer examined how many times you can shoot a handgun in seven minutes; and John Dickerson lauded President Obama’s speech after the tragedy.
3) “Apocalypse Then: Was Y2K a waste?” by Farhad Manjoo. Ten years later, Slate looks back at the turn-of-the-millennium hype surrounding the feared Y2K computer bug and the efforts to thwart it—a panic that has been virtually forgotten.
4) “My So-Called Life Without Parole: The Supreme Court looks at life sentences for teen offenders,” by Dahlia Lithwick. The nation’s top court is weighing the legality of sending juveniles to prison for life, especially for crimes other than murder.
5) “Is It Wrong To Sleep With Your Sister? The winner of the Google Suggest contest,” by Michael Agger. A collection of some of the wacky and weird suggestions Google comes up with in response to your queries.
6) “Obama’s Real Afghanistan Decision: It’s not how many troops to send; it’s what those troops will do,” by Fred Kaplan. This summer, Colin Powell advised the president to emphasize war strategy over an automatic troop increase. Obama seems to have listened.
7) “Bill Simmons: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut: The Sports Guy’s The Book of Basketball is a crude, fantastic mess,” by Josh Levin. With no ESPN editorial restrictions, Simmons pushes the limit more than usual, comparing celebrated basketball players to porn stars.
8) “Lefties Against Reform: A taxonomy of left-liberal opposition to the health care bill,” by Timothy Noah. Some prominent liberals have joined forces with conservatives in opposing health care reform, calling for the Obama administration to focus on more pressing issues, like unemployment.
9) “How Obama Can Bounce Back: He needs to show Americans how health care reform, Wall Street reform, and the stimulus are connected,” by Eliot Spitzer. With the tide turning against Democrats, the president must articulate how his reform efforts will work together to benefit the country.
10) “Thank$: Health care reformers’ million-dollar thank you card to moderate Democrats,” by Christopher Beam. Liberal groups have rallied and bought ads to thank politicians for their health care votes, but in contested districts, such gratitude could sink a candidate’s re-election chances.
The Week’s Best from the” Slatest”
1) The parents of the “Balloon Boy” will plead guilty to the hoax, though neither is expected to receive jail time.
2) A robbery suspect used a Facebook status update as an alibi in court—and charges were dropped.
3) In a moment that will surely go down in awkward television history, former Miss California Carrie Prejean threatened to leave Larry King Live because of “inappropriate” questions.
4) The madam who allegedly supplied Eliot Spitzer with prostitutes wrote a letter to Harvard criticizing its decision to hire Spitzer to give a speech on ethics.
5) A North Carolina middle school was offering extra credit points in exchange for cash as a fundraiser. The idea was later quashed by school administrators.