10 Sunday Reads

Avert your eyes! My Sunday morning look at incompetency, corruption and policy failures:

Misinformer of the Year: Fox News The right-wing network has promoted coronavirus misinformation an estimated 13,551 times on its weekday programs over the course of the pandemic. No one contemplated that a major national news source would try to stymie the response — or that the outlet could convince the president to take its side against the government’s public health experts. That’s what Fox News did this year. And its lies had a deadly impact. (Media Matters)
We Found a Bubble—but It May Not Be What You Think It Is Red flags: The pace at which investors are adding to their debt. It’s up about 50% from its spring low, and that kind of surge has happened only six times since 1960. (Barron’s)
Trump’s Focus as the Pandemic Raged: What Would It Mean for Him? President Trump missed his chance to show that he could rise to the moment in the final chapter of his presidency and meet the defining challenge of his tenure. (New York Times)
How a Charity Superstar Innovated Its Way to Political Scandal The Kielburger brothers courted celebrities, became voluntourism pioneers, and built a Davos-friendly model of philanthrocapitalism. Then a Canadian Covid-relief deal got people asking questions. (Businessweek)
Sneezed on, cussed at, ignored: Airline workers battle mask resistance with scant government backup With millions of passengers ignoring warnings from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to refrain from holiday travel, the reports offer an X-ray into the country’s deeper failures against the coronavirus — and insights into the pitfalls and possibilities facing a new presidential administration. (Washington Post)
Why Freedom Became Free-Dumb in America What Americans Don’t Understand About Freedom — That Europeans and Canadians Do  (Eudaimonia) see also When ‘the American Way’ Met the Coronavirus “If you want people to do the right thing you have to make it easy, and we’ve made it hard.”  (New York Times)
Employees at suburban Milwaukee clinic unknowingly gave out 57 shots with deliberately ruined vaccine; pharmacist arrested This is what happens when political leadership abdicates its responsibility (Chicago Tribune)
•  The Great iPwn: Journalists Hacked with Suspected NSO Group iMessage ‘Zero-Click’ Exploit  NSO Group’s Pegasus spyware is a mobile phone surveillance solution that enables customers to remotely exploit and monitor devices. The company is a prolific seller of surveillance technology to governments around the world, and its products have been regularly linked to surveillance abuses. Pegasus became known for the telltale malicious links sent to targets via SMS for many years (Citizen Lab)
America, We Have a Problem: The rise of “political sectarianism” is putting us all in danger. The turbulence that followed the Nov. 3 election has roiled American politics, demonstrating an ominous vulnerability in our political system. Trump’s refusal to abide by election law was widely viewed as conveying an implicit threat of force. Equally alarming is the baseless claim of voter fraud in cities with large African-American populations: Detroit in Wayne County, Milwaukee in Milwaukee County, Philadelphia in Philadelphia County and Atlanta in Fulton County. (New York Times)
All the people Trump has pardoned since the election President Trump announced a flurry of Christmas week pardons and commutations, with more expected before he leaves office on Jan. 20. Among the dozens who have so far benefited from Trump’s executive clemency power are allies and friends of the president or other Republicans, including full pardons to some who pleaded guilty to lying to federal law enforcement during the Russia investigation. (Washington Post)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Dave Welling, CEO of Mercer Advisors. The Denver-based RIA has 450 employees and manages more than $21 billion.


The relentless 2020 news cycle in one chart

Source: Axios



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