Avert your eyes! My Sunday morning look at incompetency, corruption and policy failures:
• The Worst President in History Three particular failures secure Trump’s status as the worst chief executive ever to hold the office. 1) He failed to put the national-security interests of the US ahead of his own political needs. 2) In the face of a devastating pandemic, he was grossly derelict, unable or unwilling to marshal the requisite resources to save lives while actively encouraging public behavior that spread the disease. 3) Held to account by voters for his failures, he refused to concede defeat and instead instigated an insurrection, stirring a mob that stormed the Capitol. (The Atlantic)
• A Year Later, the First Post-Pandemic City A year ago when Wuhan shut down, it offered the world a forewarning about the dangers of the virus. Now, it heralds a post-pandemic world where the relief at unmasked faces, joyous get-togethers and daily commutes conceals the emotional aftershocks. That was unthinkable last year, and remains unthinkable for much of the world still in the grips of the pandemic. (New York Times)
• ‘Really quite shocking’: Inside the ugly transition at the Pentagon The effort to obstruct the Biden team is unprecedented in modern presidential transitions and will hobble the new administration on key national security matters. (Politico)
• ‘There’s No End In Sight’: Mail Delivery Delays Continue Across The Country You’ve got mail. Somewhere. Probably. The U.S. Postal Service is still digging out from under an avalanche of mail sent during the recent holiday season. But for much of the past year the postal system has been strained by the impact of COVID-19 on its workflow and workforce. In addition, operational changes ostensibly designed to stop the system from hemorrhaging money helped create a backlog of mail. (NPR)
• The Black American Amputation Epidemic Black patients were losing limbs at triple the rate of others. The doctor put up billboards in the Mississippi Delta.Amputation Prevention Institute, they read. He could save their limbs, if it wasn’t too late. (ProPublica)
• How White Evangelical Christians Fused With Extremism A potent mix of grievance and religious fervor has turbocharged the support among Trump loyalists, many of whom describe themselves as participants in a kind of holy war. (New York Times)
• A Palace for Putin Мы побывали в гостях у Путина There is one place where you can understand everything about Vladimir Putin. This is the most guarded place in Russia, in fact a state within a state, and this is Putin’s biggest secret. Which is protected by hundreds, even thousands of people – from unknown guards, gardeners and builders to the richest and most famous people in Russia. One secret. One building. And we will visit it. Visiting Putin. Let us be convinced with our own eyes that this man, in his craving for wealth, is completely mad. We will find out by whose money and how this luxury is financed. And how right now and for the last 15 years, the biggest bribe in history is being given and the most expensive palace in the world is being built. (In Chrome, select translate, English) (Navalny.com)
• In 2 weeks after it called the election, Fox News cast doubt on the results nearly 800 times Fox News built the lie that fueled Trump’s insurrectionist mob (Media Matters) see also Trump couldn’t have incited sedition without the help of Fox News There is a whole infrastructure of incitement that will remain intact even after Trump leaves office. Just as we do with foreign terrorist groups, so with domestic terrorists: We need to shut down the influencers who radicalize people and set them on the path toward violence and sedition (Washington Post)
• The Politicization of Unhappiness We all yearn for happiness, and yet so many Americans are unhappy. Polls document a rising tide of unhappiness — especially now, as the pandemic has upended life, with 23% of Americans claiming to be unhappy. This represents the highest figure on record since 1972. Yet even in 2019, with the economy humming, levels of unhappiness had been rising for some time. (National Affairs)
• Last Trump Job Approval 34%; Average Is Record-Low 41% As President Donald Trump prepares to leave the White House, 34% of Americans approve of the job he is doing as president, the worst evaluation of his presidency. His 41% average approval rating throughout his presidency is four points lower than for any of his predecessors in Gallup’s polling era (Gallup)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with Andrew Beer, Founder and Managing Member of Dynamic Beta investments. The firm manages several ETFs that seek to replicate illiquid alternatives at lower costs, with full transparency and daily liquidity. Their hedge fund replication fund, iM DBi Long Short Hedge Strategy ETF (DBEH) is up 27.7% since it launched in December 2019.
Anti-Government Extremist Groups In The U.S.