Avert your eyes! My Sunday morning look at incompetency, corruption, and policy failures:
• Beat cancer? Your Medicare Advantage plan might still be billing for it. Firms mined patient records for outdated, irrelevant conditions to increase profits, justice department contends. (Washington Post)
• How crypto giant Binance became a hub for hackers, fraudsters and drug traffickers: For five years, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange Binance served as a conduit for the laundering of at least $2.35 billion in illicit funds, a Reuters investigation has found. (Reuters) see also Thefts, Fraud and Lawsuits at the World’s Biggest NFT Marketplace: OpenSea, one of the highest-profile crypto start-ups, is facing a backlash over stolen and plagiarized nonfungible tokens. (New York Times)
• How San Francisco Became a Failed City: But I do need you to love San Francisco a little bit, like I do a lot, in order to hear the story of how my city fell apart—and how it just might be starting to pull itself back together. (The Atlantic)
• She Helped Create the Big Lie. Records Suggest She Turned It Into a Big Grift. True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht has played a pivotal role in helping drive the voter fraud movement from the political fringes to a central pillar in the Republican Party’s ideology. The Texas-based nonprofit organization has engaged in a series of questionable transactions that sent more than $1 million combined to its founder, a longtime board member romantically linked to the founder and the group’s general counsel. (Reveal)
• American Rasputin: Steve Bannon is still scheming. And he’s still a threat to democracy. (The Atlantic) see also Steve Bannon and the Politics of Bullshit: A profile of the Trump ally on the eve of the January 6 Committee Hearings raises ominous questions about what’s lurking on the rightward fringes of American politics (Damonlinker)
• Russia’s war on the world’s food supplyI assumed the Russians were primarily interested in hurting the Ukrainian economy by denying them export income and secondarily interested in raising global grain prices to benefit their own grain exporters. But Russia has halted grain exports and is now arguing that western countries should lift their sanctions on Russia in order to get the Russian grain flowing. Putin’s thinking on this issue seems driven by ideology rather than any practical consideration. (Slow Boring)
• Doxxing and death threats against US poll workers intensify as the right wing continues its ‘campaign of fear’ “The vitriol seems to have turned up, and so has the level of expertise,” (Grid) see also The Rise of Political Violence in the United States From death threats against previously anonymous bureaucrats and public-health officials to a plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor and the 6 January 2021 attack on the US Capitol, acts of political violence in the United States have skyrocketed in the last five years. The nature of political violence has also changed. The deeper trend: the “ungrouping” of political violence as people self-radicalize via online engagement. (Journal of Democracy)
• The Mass Shootings Where Stricter Gun Laws Might Have Made a Difference If the key gun control proposals now being considered in Congress had been law since 1999, four gunmen younger than 21 would have been blocked from legally buying the rifles they used in mass shootings. (New York Times)
• Woodward and Bernstein thought Nixon defined corruption. Then came Trump: As reporters, we had studied Nixon and written about him for nearly half a century, during which we believed with great conviction that never again would America have a president who would trample the national interest and democracy through the audacious pursuit of personal and political self-interest. And then along came Trump. (Washington Post)
• Thank you for the unexpected and unsolicited submission for our consideration: Dear Sir, Thank you for the unexpected and unsolicited submission of your penis portrait for our consideration. We regret to inform you that it has failed to pass our most basic standards of quality control at this time. However, for a nominal fee we can offer you a report that will help you change that. (Letters of Note)
Be sure to check out our Masters in Business next week with Mark Mobius of Mobius Capital. Known as the “The Godfather of Emerging Markets,” he was tapped by Sir John Templeton in 1987 to run Templeton Emerging Markets, one of the first EM funds in the world. Over the next 30 years, he visited 112 countries, invested in 5,000+ companies, and traveled 1,000,000+ miles. This helped to grow the Templeton Emerging Markets Group from $100 million in six markets to over $40 billion in 70 countries.
The AR-15 military grade family of rifles are designed to deliver high velocity bullets to inflict catastrophic and lethal wounds
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