Avert your eyes! My Sunday morning look at incompetency, corruption and policy failures:
• What I saw when I watched videos of the Hamas attack: Sickening, all of it. And yet the film mainly reinforces what is already known about these atrocities and cannot be denied or minimized, at least not by any decent person. (Washington Post) see also A Record of Pure, Predatory Sadism: Officials in Israel screened footage of the Hamas attack for the press: “What we shared with you, you should know it,” one official said. (The Atlantic)
• How to Spot Corporate Bullshit: A new book shows that the same talking points have been recycled for centuries, to oppose every form of progressive change. (Current Affairs)
• Is Crypto Financing Terrorism? A report that terror groups raised more than $130 million in crypto during recent years has set off a debate in Washington and finance circles. (New York Times) see also How Telegram Became a Terrifying Weapon in the Israel-Hamas War: Hamas posted gruesome images and videos that were designed to go viral. Sources argue that Telegram’s lax moderation ensured they were seen around the world. (Wired)
• The Secretive Industry Devouring the U.S. Economy: Private equity has made one-fifth of the market effectively invisible to investors, the media, and regulators. (The Atlantic)
• How AI is crafting a world where our worst stereotypes are realized: AI image generators like Stable Diffusion and DALL-E amplify our worst stereotypes — bias in gender, race and beyond — despite efforts to detoxify the data fueling these results. (Washington Post)
• The Signs Were All There. Why Did No One Stop the Maine Shooter? Shortcomings in mental health treatment, weak laws and a reluctance to threaten personal liberties can derail even concerted attempts to thwart mass shootings. (New York Times) see also Maine gunman’s family contacted police months before massacre, sheriff says: Relatives, Army Reserve friends, told authorities Card was deteriorating mentally and had access to firearms. Sheriff deputies couldn’t locate him. (Washington Post)
• The Story of a Gun: After 60,000 deaths from firearms use over the past two years, America is in a gun crisis. Yet gun laws remain weak, gunmakers continue to promote killing power, and gun dealers accept no responsibility for the criminal use of what they sell. (The Atlantic)
• 20 Not-Fun Facts About Speaker Mike Johnson: Here are some not very fun facts we’ve learned about the guy Republicans barely know, but decided to make leader of the House and second in line to the presidency. (New York Magazine) see also As Republicans embrace theocratic authoritarianism, the political media is tongue-tied: Corporate media seems to lack the vocabulary to accurately describe the modern Republican Party. The latest example, of course, is the election of a new Speaker of the House: Mike Johnson, an insurrectionist anti-gay right-wing extremist Trump proxy. Those words accurately describe the little-known congressman from Louisiana. In fact, they’re quite restrained. It would be even more accurate to call him a bigoted Christofascist member of the Trump cult willing to end democracy as we know it. (Press Watch)
• Citizens United has Destroyed America: Why Is Nobody Talking About It? If America is to recover any semblance of meaningful democracy in our country, we must cut out the cancer of big money in our political system by overturning Citizens United… (Hartmann Report)
• Moms for Liberty: Birchers in Heels: This paranoid outfit is pushing rightwing censorship in schools in the name of liberty. (The UnPopulist)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business this week with Zeke Faux, award-winning investigative reporter at BusinessWeek and Bloomberg News. He is the author of the new book, “Number Go Up: Inside Crypto’s Wild Rise and Staggering Fall.” The book is a hilarious deep dive into the many characters and scammers that have beset crypto.
How much insulin costs around the world vs. the U.S.
To learn how these reads are assembled each day, please see this.