Avert your eyes! My Sunday morning look at incompetency, corruption, and policy failures:
• The January 6 corporate accountability index After a violent mob stormed the Capitol building in January, hundreds of corporations pledged to make changes to their political giving. Some corporations pledged to withhold PAC funding to the 147 Republicans who voted to overturn the election, setting the stage for the riot. Other corporations said they were suspending all PAC activity and others promised to reevaluate their giving criteria in light of the violence. Popular Information’s January 6 corporate accountability index is the first resource that comprehensively monitors these pledges. It tracks which companies have kept their promises, which ones violated their promises directly, and which ones fall somewhere in between. (Popular Information)
• How 34,000 dollar stores are scamming America to become worth more than Coca-Cola Surprise—the too-good-to-be-true store is exactly that: You don’t reach 34,000 stores across the country (with a new location opening roughly every 6 or so hours) by operating at a net loss. You do so by tricking your customers into believing they’re getting great, cheap deals on name-brand items, when in fact they’re simply paying more for less product. (AV Club)
• The Real Source of America’s Rising Rage We are at war with ourselves, but not for the reasons you think. The politics of the radical right is the politics of frustration—the sour impotence of those who find themselves unable to understand, let alone command, the complex mass society that is the polity today…Insofar as there is no real left to counterpoise to the right, the liberal has become the psychological target of that frustration. (Mother Jones)
• The Perverse Reason It’s Easier to Build New Highways Than New Subways In July, the Eno Center for Transportation published a study on the problems with American mass transit construction. The analysis of 180 projects here and abroad found that U.S. projects cost 50 percent more and take 18 months longer to conclude than similar projects abroad. (If you so much as include projects in the New York region, the nation’s largest transit ridership hub, the premium for underground building rises to 250 percent of our peers’.) (Slate)
• Chinese censorship is coming: The internet has never been so authoritarian “Four Internets” argues that the era of a single internet might be drawing to a close, replaced by a balkanised network of different versions living alongside each other. Scholars Wendy Hall and Kieron O’Hara reckon four internets in particular are already taking shape. (UnHerd)
• Dead white man’s clothes It’s the dirty secret behind the world’s fashion addiction. Many of the clothes we donate to charity end up dumped in landfill, creating an environmental catastrophe on the other side of the world. (ABC)
• Evidence of Fraud in an Influential Field Experiment About Dishonesty A team of anonymous researchers downloaded it, and discovered that this field experiment suffers from a much bigger problem than a randomization failure: There is very strong evidence that the data were fabricated. (Data Colada)
• Find Your Soul: On American cultishness, from group exercise to mass suicide Thinking about “cultish” behavior, and about what makes people susceptible to cults: Take a brisk, chatty, and sympathetically even-handed tour through the widely varied forms that cultishness can take, and the role that language plays in cults’ magnetic power. “Suicide cults” such as Jonestown and Heaven’s Gate, and destructive groups like Scientology, the pseudo-religion founded by sci-fi author L. Ron Hubbard, who “published not one but two unique Scientology dictionaries” full of made-up terms like Dianetics and thetans. (The Baffler)
• COVID Patients Fighting for Their Lives Are Still Refusing the Vaccine Arkansas has one of the lowest COVID vaccination rates in the country. VICE News embedded at a hospital in Little Rock where patients facing the threat of death still won’t get the shot. (Vice)
• The full picture of Trump’s attempted coup is only starting to emerge President Donald Trump — back in the final days of his presidency — didn’t exactly make a secret of his effort to overturn the election he’d just lost and so it’s very easy to get tired of thinking about it, now that he’s out of office and his official powers have been clipped. But in addition to the lies he was spreading all along, we continue to learn new and disturbing details about his obstinate and pernicious efforts to poison the system from within, which included an “Apprentice”-style showdown between two top Justice Department officials at the White House and threats of resignation. (CNN) see also Trump raised millions but spent none of it on audits and GOP candidates A review of election filings from Make America Great Again PAC, Save America PAC, and the Save America Joint Fundraising Committee show that not a single penny was transferred or contributed from those Trump-affiliated entities to GOP candidates or committees involved in the midterm elections. Nor did Trump’s various groups write a check to support the audit in Arizona that he has repeatedly praised in statements and suggested would lead to the overthrowing of the 2020 election results. (Politico)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business this week with Fran Kinniry, who is a principal in the Vanguard Investment Strategy Group, and became Global Head of Private Investments at investing giant Vanguard Group in 2019. Kinniry is behind the drive to bring Private Equity investments to Vanguard’s 401k investors.
Florida children’s hospitals see pediatric COVID cases soar amid delta variant surge
Source: Miami Herald
To learn how these reads are assembled each day, please see this.