Thursday, November 17th, 2022


Hunter Gatherers

The red wave never materialized, but the GOP has taken the House by a slim majority. The narrow win—along with a Dem majority Senate and Biden in the Oval Office—could prevent the House from achieving much legislatively. But you should still keep the Pepto Bismol on tap and your medicine cabinet stocked with antiemetics. Kevin McCarthy's crew will be taking over committees and investigations and it's payback time for the current House having had the audacity to investigate a twice-impeached president who fomented an insurrection. My fellow Americans, you're about to learn that Donald Trump isn't a threat to America. Hunter Biden is. Victorious House Republicans describe plans to investigate Biden.

+ NYT: Nonprofits With Ties to Democrats Plan Counteroffensive Against Congressional Investigations.

+ And when the GOP takes over the House, there will be a new Dem leader. After two decades, Nancy Pelosi, the first female speaker of the House, says she'll step down as Democratic leader. In a sign of the times, the House chamber was only half full when she made the announcement (you can guess which side was empty), even after the recent, horrific attack on her husband.


Never Say Never Again

"Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information as occurred here. From compromised systems integrity and faulty regulatory oversight abroad, to the concentration of control in the hands of a very small group of inexperienced, unsophisticated and potentially compromised individuals, this situation is unprecedented." That's John Ray III, the overseer brought in to manage the FTX bankruptcy. To give some context to his "unprecedented" comments, he also worked on the Enron bankruptcy.

+ "Federal policymakers have been left to ask themselves a familiar, if uncomfortable question: Could they have prevented a crisis if they had paid close attention sooner?" Oh, they paid attention. It's just that they paid attention to the donations heaped on them by those they were tasked to regulate. In other words: the usual. WaPo: Congress took millions from FTX. Now lawmakers face a crypto reckoning.

+ Vegan canapes and fat donations: How Sam Bankman-Fried won Washington before he lost everything.

+ Sam Bankman-Fried in his own words, on Twitter. (Something tells me there will be follow up questions.)


Love, Actually?

"Twelve Republicans voted with all Democrats to move forward on the legislation, meaning a final vote could come as soon as this week, or later this month. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the bill ensuring the unions are legally recognized under the law is chance for the Senate to 'live up to its highest ideals' and protect marriage equality for all people." We're divided. But apparently not hopelessly divided (at least for the rest of this year). Same-sex marriage legislation clears key Senate hurdle.


Reading the Tea Leaves

Led by Florida and Texas, more than 1,600 books were banned from school libraries during the last school year, and that number is increasing. Here's a look at The 50 most banned books in America. It's particularly upsetting to see Beloved and The Bluest Eye on this list as I wrote my college thesis on the former and taught the latter in several high school classes. The idea that some clown on a local school board has the power to keep Toni Morrison off the shelf is truly disturbing.


Extra, Extra

Venti Promotion's Tall Order Encounters Grande Problem: "On Red Cup Day, the company gives away the reusable cups to customers who buy holiday-themed drinks like the peppermint mocha, or fall-themed beverages such as pumpkin spice lattes. People are super into it." Employees, less so. The ‘Red Cup Rebellion' Is Here as Starbucks Workers Launch Massive Strike. (And I thought it stressed them out when I said Large instead of Venti.)

+ Tik Tok Dough: It's not just Elon's firing spree. Tech companies are laying people off by the thousands. So, is any consumer-facing tech company still hiring? Yup. TikTok.

+ She Talks to Angeles: "U.S. Rep. Karen Bass defeated developer Rick Caruso to become the next mayor of Los Angeles on Wednesday, making her the first Black woman to hold the post as City Hall contends with an out-of-control homeless crisis, rising crime rates and multiple scandals that have shaken trust in government." Um, congrats?

+ Stop2Quit: "In this polarized climate, hundreds of Americans told us they agree on one thing: Campaigns must stop spamming voters' phones with unwanted political texts." NYT (Gift Article): Fed Up With Political Text Messages? Read On. (At this point, my wife is sure I'm having an affair with someone in Georgia.)

+ Just the Tip: "This, ultimately, is their most powerful advantage: They can make new things that are relatable and comprehensible but, at the same time, completely unexpected." Kevin Kelly on AI art Wired: Picture Limitless Creativity at Your Fingertips. (I always have it at my fingertips. It's tapping it from there to my computer screen that causes all the delays.)

+ Tech Soup: "I would never go so far as to say we're a tech company as we are all here driven by our passion for food. But [we're using] all the goodness that came out of the world of tech, and applying it to food design." Inside Campbell Soup's overhaul to innovation and how it's paying off.


Bottom of the News

While walking down the street, a guy found a $4.8 million check made out to Gummy bear maker Haribo. He notified the company and destroyed the check and also provided photographic proof of that destruction. So they sent him a reward. A thank you gift box containing candies. Talk about a bear market...

+ "He finished the 26.2-mile race in three hours and 28 minutes, according to the Canadian Running magazine, finishing 574th out of about 1,500 runners, meaning he smoked about two-thirds of the competition." Runner beat out hundreds in China marathon — and did it while chain-smoking cigarettes.