Assorted media clips worth catching up with over the holiday:
- You’ve probably seen the ongoing scandal about how local officials used the southern California city of Bell to enrich themselves at taxpayer expense. A Los Angeles Times investigation finds that the city was milking small tradespeople too: “Legal experts point to a lack of due process and judicial oversight in hundreds of ‘civil compromises,’ in which plumbers, carpet cleaners and bottle‐gatherers paid up to $1,000 for alleged code violations.”
- “To get the check, you’ve got to medicate the child”: a horrifying Boston Globe series exposes how the incentives created by the federal SSI dependent disability program result in the overdiagnosis of disability among school‐age kids. The result can be lifelong dependency, especially when grown kids realize that entering the labor force would make their families worse off by losing the “disability money.” [first, second, third parts, more]
- A U.S. Congressman ousted by Ohio voters in last month’s election is suing a PAC that campaigned against him, saying its unfair ads deprived him of his “livelihood” [Cincinnati Enquirer, Politico]
- The supposedly poisoned town of Hinkley, Calif., made famous by the Julia Roberts vehicle Erin Brockovich, turns out to have cancer rates a bit below the average, a new epidemiological study finds [more];
- Aside from the morality aspects, there are really good reasons not to steal a meerkat (via).