Avert your eyes! My Sunday morning look at incompetency, corruption and policy failures:
• 544,000 More U.S. Deaths Than Normal Since Covid-19 Struck Since March 2020, about 544,000 more Americans have died than would have in a normal year, a sign of the broad devastation wrought by the coronavirus pandemic. (New York Times)
• The Republican revolt against democracy, explained in 13 charts The Trump years revealed a dark truth: The Republican Party is no longer committed to democracy. These charts tell the story. (Vox)
• Bank officials ‘expose money-laundering network’ After fleeing for their lives, two Kinshasa auditors at Afriland Bank leak thousands of documents showing its ties to sanctioned businessman Dan Gertler (Africa Confidential)
• Inside Xinjiang’s Prison State Survivors of China’s campaign of persecution reveal the scope of the devastation. (New Yorker)
• “Mark Changed The Rules”: How Facebook Went Easy On Alex Jones And Other Right-Wing Figures Facebook’s rules to combat misinformation and hate speech are subject to the whims and political considerations of its CEO and his policy team leader. (Buzzfeed)
• Rewriting January 6th: Republicans push false and misleading accounts of Capitol riot Instead of an attempt to overturn the election by radicalized Donald Trump supporters, it was a choreographed attack staged by antifa provocateurs. Rather than an armed insurrection, it was a good-natured protest spoiled by a few troublemakers. And instead of a deadly event that put the lives of hundreds of lawmakers, police officers and others at risk, the riot was no big deal at all. (Washington Post)
• Faced With a Vaccine Emergency, the EU Made an Enemy of Everyone On top of the faltering vaccine program, which is likely to cost thousands of lives and billions in lost output, von der Leyen and her team have done real damage to the EU and its self-image as a champion of open markets and the rule of law. (Bloomberg)
• Freedom in the World 2021: Democracy under Siege: As a lethal pandemic, economic and physical insecurity, and violent conflict ravaged the world, democracy’s defenders sustained heavy new losses in their struggle against authoritarian foes, shifting the international balance in favor of tyranny. (Freedom House)
• The Billionaire Behind the Biggest U.S. Tax Fraud Case Ever Filed Prosecutors accused Robert Brockman, a litigious, sometimes penny-pinching software entrepreneur, of hiding $2 billion from the Internal Revenue Service (Wall Street Journal)
• Democrats Are Split Over How Much The Party And American Democracy Itself Are In Danger Facing a Republican Party with a growing anti-democratic contingent, Democrats are debating what to do — to bolster their party and, in the view of some in the party, American democracy itself. At the heart of the discussion is how much structural reform do the nation’s governmental and electoral systems need. (FiveThirtyEight) see also In Statehouses, Stolen-Election Myth Fuels a G.O.P. Drive to Rewrite Rules Republican legislators want big changes to the laws for elections and other aspects of governance. A fight over the ground rules for voting may follow. (New York Times)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview this weekend with William J. Bernstein, Ph.D., M.D., retired neurologist, and principal in the money management firm Efficient Frontier Advisors. He is the author of several best-selling books on finance and history. Bernstein’s new book The Delusions Of Crowds: Why People Go Mad in Groups was just published.
Why millennials and Gen Z have the most to lose in the voting wars
To learn how these reads are assembled each day, please see this.