Weekly Link Roundup: November 16, 2020

UGG Adirondack II Waterproof Boot (now 46% off at NR in two colorways)

♥ For a limited time, shipping is free on all orders at Nordstrom Rack. My picks: Nike Zoom Pegasus 35 Turbo Running Sneaker, Tory Burch Cable Fringe Wool Sweater, Madewell Button Front V-Neck Cardigan, Nike Strappy Dri-FIT Sports Bra, Free People Ava Puff Sleeve Bodysuit, Tory Burch Laila Leather Ballet Flat, Nike Gym Vintage Romper, Tory Burch Plaid Pleated Skirt, Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Madison Sneaker, Tory Burch Lowell Leather Ballet Flat, and Wacoal Ultimate Side Wireless Bra.

What to Do When You Can’t Catch a Break (The New York Times): “When you can’t catch a break, perhaps the key to breaking the cycle of negativity is to detach yourself from the frustrations and pain you feel — being that fly on the wall — without simultaneously pretending it doesn’t exist. Striking that balance starts with a little self-examination, which can be hard to do when you feel as if the world is ending.”

(Podcast) Today You, Tomorrow Me: Why A Decade-Old Reddit Comment Still Resonates Today (Endless Thread)

How to Dress for the Apocalypse (The Wall Street Journal): “Though the pandemic has delayed many movies’ release dates, distressed clothes continue to punctuate the apocalyptic epics that have reached cinemas or are on deck … At a certain point, after-the-fall films began to blur with our reality … It’s unsettling to recognize that, barring the dirt smudges and rips, these clothes are things that could be hanging in your closet right this second.”

MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki Is Charming the Pants Onto People: Gap Khakis, That Is (Los Angeles Times): “Gap … has confirmed a surge in sales of its standard khaki pants after it was revealed that MSNBC’s map guru, Steve Kornacki, wore them on election day and beyond. ‘We saw a dramatic increase in online traffic and within a day, the number of Straight Fit Palomino Brown khakis we sold online went up 90%,’ a Gap spokesperson said … The pants in question sell for about 60 bucks, though in our current pandemic shopping environment, there are myriad discounts to be had.”

Elon Musk’s Totally Awful, Batshit-Crazy, Completely Bonkers, Most Excellent Year (Vanity Fair): “Elon Musk is on a mission to stop giving a shit what people think of him … he decided he was done being nice to anyone else who didn’t agree with him. He had spent his entire career trying to pretend he gave a shit about what people thought of him, and he was done.”

The Trump Presidency Is Ending. So Is Maggie Haberman’s Wild Ride. (The New York Times): “Ms. Haberman has been, for the last four years, the source of a remarkably large share of what we know about Donald Trump and his White House … Ms. Haberman was particularly well-suited for this journalistic moment because of her sheer relentlessness and hunger, and her lack of smug self-satisfaction. She seems to need to prove herself every day.”

♥ Shop the Ann Taylor Holiday A.T. Home sale and take up to 60% off full-price styles with code SAVEBIG. Recently ordered: Plaid Cocoon Coat, Herringbone Boyfriend Cardigan, Turtleneck Cable Sweater, Belted Trench Coat, Funnel Neck Sweater Dress, and Side Buttoned Mock Neck Dress.

♥ Speaking of Ann Taylor, it recently sent out $25 off unique codes to many “inactive” email subscribers, so check your inbox for an email titled “A $25 Gift From Us.” Your unique code can be combined with most storewide promotions.

Why Democrats Lost So Many South Texas Latinos—the Economy (The Wall Street Journal): “… Democrats didn’t counter Republican messaging on three issues important to Latino voters: pandemic shutdowns, oil jobs and abortion. Aside from Mexican heritage and Spanish surnames, much of the Rio Grande Valley has more demographic similarities with some Trump strongholds in white rural communities than the nation’s urban areas. Many South Texans live in communities with lower-income and lower-education rates. In Starr County, just over half of its 65,600 residents graduated high school, and the unemployment rate of 18.5% is the highest in Texas. The region is ethnically homogenous, rural in parts, deeply religious, intensely patriotic, socially conservative and hurting economically.”

The World’s Cheapest Hospital Has to Get Even Cheaper (Bloomberg): “To American eyes, Narayana’s prices look as if they must be missing at least one zero, even as outcomes for patients meet or exceed international benchmarks. Surgery for head and neck cancers starts at $700. Endoscopy is $14; a lung transplant, $7,000. Even a heart transplant will set a patient back only about $11,000 … Shetty’s philosophy of thrift is everywhere. The surgical gowns are procured from a local company for about a third of the cost of international suppliers. The tubes that carry blood to heart-and-lung machines are sterilized and reused after each surgery … The machines themselves, along with devices such as CT and MRI scanners, are used well past their warranties, kept running by a team of in-house mechanics … Shetty is adamant that none of the practices compromise safety … In contrast to the ultra-itemized billing familiar to Americans, Modicare pays flat fees for every procedure, including the entire hospital stay required to get it done … The longer a patient occupies a bed, the greater the hit to the hospital. So it’s in the interest of Narayana, and anyone who wants to make money off Modicare, to get ancillary costs as low as possible without jeopardizing outcomes.”

Is Britney Spears Ready to Stand on Her Own (The New York Times): “Ms. Spears’s team presents her onstage as fully in control, and backstage, as the mastermind of her show, an artist in top form. But that view seems at odds with the conclusions routinely drawn about her at probate court in Los Angeles, where an undisclosed mental illness and substance abuse led her family to take action in 2008 … According to the arrangement, which is typically used to protect the old, the mentally disabled or the extremely ill, Ms. Spears cannot make key decisions, personal or financial, without the approval of her conservators: her father, Jamie Spears, and a lawyer, Andrew M. Wallet. Her most mundane purchases, from a drink at Starbucks to a song on iTunes, are tracked in court documents as part of the plan to safeguard the great fortune she has earned but does not ultimately control … Ultimately some of the people who would help to decide whether to end it are the conservators and doctors who now help oversee it, many of whom receive fees from Ms. Spears’s estate for their work on her behalf.”

How a $175 COVID-19 Test Led to $2,479 in Charges (ProPublica): “Even in a public health emergency, what could be considered the first rule of American health care is still in effect: There is no set price. Medical providers often inflate their charges and then give discounts to insurance plans that sign contracts with them. Out-of-network insurers and their members are often left to pay the full tab or whatever discount they can negotiate after the fact. The CARES Act, passed by Congress in March, includes a provision that says insurers must pay for an out-of-network COVID-19 test at the price the testing facility lists on its website. But it sets no maximum for the cost of the tests. Insurance representatives told ProPublica that the charge for a COVID-19 test in Texas can range from less than $100 to thousands of dollars.”

One Pollster’s Explanation For Why the Polls Got It Wrong (Vox): “… the kind of people who answer polls are systematically different from the kind of people who refuse to answer polls — and that this has recently begun biasing the polls in a systematic way. This challenges a core premise of polling, which is that you can use the responses of poll takers to infer the views of the population at large … If these two groups do differ systematically, that means the results are biased … People who don’t answer polls … tend to have low levels of trust in other people more generally. These low-trust folks used to vote similarly to everyone else. But as of 2016, they don’t: they tend to vote for Republicans … Democrats got extremely excited and had very high rates of engagement. They were donating at higher rates, etc., and this translated to them also taking surveys, because they were locked at home and didn’t have anything else to do. There’s some pretty clear evidence that that’s nearly all of it: It was partisan non-response.”

The Nude Pictures That Won’t Go Away (The New York Times): “Young girls still routinely find themselves asked to undress during shoots, and do not always feel empowered to say no … Often, models don’t feel comfortable complaining to their agent … because ‘they don’t want to seem difficult to work with and jeopardize future bookings’ … ‘young women continue to get thrown into the fire pit’ until ‘agencies take a stand,’ or until there’s more industry oversight of photographers.”

♥ Take 50% off everything and get free shipping on all orders with code 3680 at Express. My picks: Ribbed Puff Sleeve Mock Neck Top, Double Breasted 3/4 Sleeve Novelty Button Blazer, Puff Sleeve Hooded Sweater, Ribbed Cap Sleeve Maxi Sweater Dress, Cozy Mock Neck Sweater, Wool-Blend Belted Shawl Collar Wrap Coat, and Ribbed Mock Neck Balloon Sleeve Sweater Dress.

If Humble People Make the Best Leaders, Why Do We Fall for Charismatic Narcissists? (HBR): “… despite being perceived as arrogant, narcissistic individuals radiate ‘an image of a prototypically effective leader.’ Narcissistic leaders know how to draw attention toward themselves. They enjoy the visibility. It takes time for people to see that these early signals of competence are not later realized, and that a leader’s narcissism reduces the exchange of information among team members and often negatively affects group performance … Economic and social crises thus become a unique testing ground for charismatic leaders. They create conditions of distress and uncertainty that appear to be ideal for the ascent of charismatic figures. Yet at the same time, they also make us more vulnerable to choosing the wrong leader. Crises and other emotionally laden events increase our propensity to romanticize the grandiose view of narcissistic leaders. The paradox is that we may then choose to support the very leaders who are less likely to bring us success.”

Fast Food’s Bet on Breakfast Goes Bust During Covid-19 Pandemic (The Wall Street Journal): “… mornings are now the slowest time of day at fast-food restaurants, as many Americans work and attend school from home … Sales of packaged breakfast items including cereal and ground coffee have risen in recent months after years of tepid sales. Some food manufacturers said they are trying to capitalize on the trend.”

Blackpink Cuddled a Baby Panda. Not Cute, the Chinese Internet Said. (The New York Times): “The occasional eruptions of outrage against perceived flubs by K-pop stars tend to involve not only K-pop fandom — an army of fiercely loyal followers who have sometimes turned to political activism — but also internet users in China, who are fiercely protective of the nation’s image and history.”

Shameless on Vacation (The Cut): “For a particularly peripatetic segment of the American population, recreational travel isn’t something they’re willing to cut from their routines so easily. While they were willing to endure strict lockdowns in the spring, as the summer dragged on and COVID increasingly became the new normal, they started to make their own rules … Americans may be barred from dozens of countries, but they’re still getting around to a rotating list of vacation spots like Mexico, much of the Caribbean, and parts of Eastern Europe. With the help of travel bloggers busy keeping their readers updated on new hacks and loopholes, people have figured out how to keep their wanderlust dreams alive, even if it means pivoting from Ibizan vacations to Albanian vacations.”

The $2 Trillion Question: How to Spend on Education for the Future (The Wall Street Journal): “Some of the highest returning investments in human capital are made even before school begins … noncognitive traits developed in childhood, such as motivation, the ability to focus on tasks, self-regulation and self-esteem, have lifetime effects—including whether a child will eventually go to college … high-quality preschool, by nurturing those traits, can yield social benefits seven times their cost, although that’s not necessarily true of all preschool.”

How I Got Caught Up in a Global Romance Scam (The New York Times): “The man who had stolen my photos to scam lonely people was now asking me for money. So much of our willingness to help other people depends upon what we know of their lives. Without being able to confirm anything he said, could I believe his story? Of course not. Still, he had answered my questions. What was that worth?”

Recently purchased: Madewell Pointelle Half-Zip Pullover Sweater, Eileen Fisher Mock Neck Midi Dress, Zella Harmony Fleece Joggers, Madewell Dispatch Jacket, Ann Taylor Banded Hem Wrap Top (the material is a little underwhelming… will review soon), J. Crew Alpaca-Blend Turtleneck Sweater, and Free People Just Because Onesie.

Have a great week!

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