Avert your eyes! My Sunday morning look at incompetency, corruption and policy failures:
• How the media has abetted the Republican assault on mail-in voting The disinformation campaign that has shaped the views of tens of millions of American voters did not originate in social media or via a Russian attack. Instead, it was led by Donald Trump and the Republican Party and amplified by some of the biggest media outlets in the country (Columbia Journalism Review)
• Three Interpretations of Trump’s Tax Records Is the president a failure, a cheat, or a criminal? But the story also left some big questions unanswered. How exactly has a self-declared billionaire avoided federal taxation for the better part of this century? Do these records prove that he’s poor, or astonishingly good at hiding how rich he is? And what’s the deal with all the money he’s losing on golf courses? (Atlantic)
• Talk Radio Is Turning Millions of Americans Into Conservatives: At least 15 million Americans every week tune into one of the top 15 talk radio programs. They are not monolithically conservative, but they are overwhelmingly so. (New York Times).
• The smashing of the British state: High-profile oustings. A new man in charge. Boris Johnson’s mission to reform Whitehall is under way. Will it work? (FT)
• Can anyone stop QAnon? Facebook and Twitter said they would crack down on QAnon, but the delusion seems unstoppable (Vox) see also Facebook Just Forced Its Most Powerful Critics Offline “Nothing says ‘free speech’ quite as much as a multibillion-dollar corporation with a global monopoly getting its critics shut down.” (Vice)
• ‘We’ve been forgotten’: In Newark, N.J., a toxic Superfund site faces growing climate threats One environmental advocate warns of a potential disaster: “With Superfund sites and climate change, we’re playing Russian roulette with a loaded gun.” (NBC News)
• Pattern of Deception: From Trump Family Business to Grifter in Chief The stories they told also corroborate the contention of Mary Trump’s lawsuit—that Trump’s entire business model is fraud. (New York Review of Books)
• Donald Trump’s COVID-19 Diagnosis Is Forcing Him to Face His Personal—and Political—Vulnerability. The President stood triumphant on the White House balcony, having persuaded his doctors to submit to his will. He had spent his days at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center pushing them to let him out, medical advice be damned. Donald Trump tore off his mask and seemed to gasp for breath, but he would not be deterred from delivering his message. (Time)
• Thousands Of D.C. Renters Are Evicted Every Year. Do They All Know To Show Up To Court? Thanks to the work of legislators and tenant advocates over the years, renters facing eviction in D.C. have more rights than almost anywhere in the country, and Superior Court judges dutifully administer those rights inside the courthouse. But the entire system rests on a pin: the means by which tenants are notified that they need to come to court. (DCist)
• American Fascism is Much Worse Than You Think Over the last few years, something horrific has happened in America. Not just Covid, not just climate change, not just growing poverty and despair. But fascism. True fascism. Of the unthinkable kind. (Eudaimonia)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Joel Greenblatt, whose Gotham Capital presided over an annualized return of 50% for a decade. His firm Gotham Asset Management manages a variety of funds that have beaten market indices . He is an adjunct professor at Columbia Business School, on value and special situation investing. His latest book is Common Sense: The Investor’s Guide to Equality, Opportunity, and Growth.
The 50 Richest Americans Are Worth as Much as the Poorest 165 Million