10 Sunday Reads

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

A Trump dictatorship is increasingly inevitable. We should stop pretending. The magical-thinking phase is ending. Barring some miracle, Trump will soon be the presumptive Republican nominee for president. When that happens, there will be a swift and dramatic shift in the political power dynamic, in his favor. Until now, Republicans and conservatives have enjoyed relative freedom to express anti-Trump sentiments, to speak openly and positively about alternative candidates, to vent criticisms of Trump’s behavior past and present. (Washington Post)

‘We’re killing the youth of America’: calls grow for crackdown on US gambling: Worries that gambling addiction has spiked in the US as legal sports betting booms have led to calls for increased regulation. (The Guardian)

The Doom Loop: Insurance markets and climate risk: Rising insurance prices and the credible threat of insurer divestment from higher-risk areas will constrain investment in both homes and businesses across vulnerable communities. Yet more people are moving into higher-risk areas, and some politicians fear backlash if they let insurance companies deny these communities coverage. In response, state leaders in California and Florida have sought to prevent divestment by directing their insurance commissioners to adjust pricing regulations, invite competition in insurance markets, or derisk insurers by imposing disaster-risk fees on all insurance purchasers regardless of risk. (Phenomenal World)

‘FYI Pickleball DRAMA’: Local Governments Overwhelmed By Tennis-Pickleball Turf Wars, Documents Show: What I learned about the pickleball lobby and pickleball turf wars by reading thousands of pages of documents from inside local government. (404 Media)

The Great American Eye-Exam Scam: Why is it so difficult to get a new pair of glasses or contacts in this country? It’s easier pretty much everywhere else. (The Atlantic)  

Diplomas for sale, $465: Inside one of Louisiana’s unapproved schools: Unlike public schools, formal homeschooling programs or traditional private schools, nearly 9,000 private schools in Louisiana don’t need state approval to grant degrees. Nearly every one of those unapproved schools was created to serve a single homeschooling family, but some have buildings, classrooms, teachers and dozens of students. (AP)

A toddler was taken in a carjacking. VW wanted $150 for GPS coordinates, lawsuit says. Volkswagen said it could not provide the SUV’s location because the family’s Car-Net subscription had expired, according to the suit. (Washington Post) see also Tallying the Best Stats on US Gun Violence Is Trauma of Its Own: Mark Bryant helped start his organization because nobody else was tracking the country’s carnage in real time. His dedication has come at a cost. (Businessweek)

An exhaustive debunking of the dumbest myths about Social Security: The roughly 2,000-word piece contained so many misconceptions, inaccuracies, misrepresentations, and flat-out lies about the program that I almost gave up counting. That said, it’s perhaps worthwhile to have a one-stop shop for all these sophistries, if only for the purpose of debunking them en masse. (Los Angeles Times)

No Laws Protect People From Deepfake Porn. These Victims Fought Back: A group of young women in a New York City suburb, horrified to learn their photographs had been manipulated and posted online, took matters into their own hands. (Businessweek)

Sports Illustrated Published Articles by Fake, AI-Generated Writers We asked them about it — and they deleted everything. After we reached out with questions to the magazine’s publisher, The Arena Group, all the AI-generated authors disappeared from Sports Illustrated‘s site without explanation. Our questions received no response. (Futurism)

Be sure to check out our Masters in Business interview with Michael Fisch, CEO and co-founder of American Securities, a $27-billion dollar private equity firm that traces its roots to the Sears IPO. The firm uniquely partners with acquisition targets, retaining management for the duration.


Biden turns up pressure on corporate ‘price gouging’ as 2024 nears

Source: Washington Post


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