Business Week reports that, get your surprised face ready, there's just about no correlation between a corporation's performance and its CEO's pay, despite CEOs' efforts to justify their largesse simply by saying they've earned it. In doing so, of course, they imply that we're too stupid to understand how exactly they've earned it, but though we may not be doctoral students in economics, we know enough about the look and smell of dung not to have to taste it to be sure. And this economy of theirs is full of it.
ProPublica finds that some people and corporations are abusing HIPAA, the famous law passed in the '90s (and how often do you hear that phrase?) aiming to protect patient privacy. Read the stories of folks trying to stop mothers taking photos of their kids while in a hospital and government agencies moving against whistleblowers in the name of "patient privacy" and you'll face the age-old evil-or-stupid question. When asking about individuals, of course, I lean toward "stupid" as the explanation; about institutions I feel rather differently.
It was bad enough that Sen. John Walsh (D-MT), up for election in 2014, had plagiarized huge chunks of his Master's thesis in 2007, but now he cites post-traumatic stress disorder as a partial cause of his misjudgment. "I don't want to blame my mistake on PTSD, but I do want to say it may have been a factor," he said, which is a perfect example of someone who wants it both ways. Want me to rewrite that statement for you, Senator? Here goes: "I screwed up and I will re-earn your trust through good works." You're welcome.
Michigan Republican Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land is apparently close to filing an amended campaign finance report in which she'll account for $3 million she didn't account for last time. She claims it was a "clerical error," which I'd have to be a schmuck to believe. If I were her putative Democratic opponent, though, I wouldn't waste my time telling her not to spend the money until we can all be sure it's legal. I'd spend my time letting her hang herself and pointing it out to the voters when she does.
Finally, Modern Family star Eric Stonestreet, who plays one half of a gay couple on the show, refuses to have his picture taken with Rick Santorum and his own modern family -- though he offered to appear in a picture with Mr. Santorum's children, who are still innocents, after all. Mr. Santorum's love of Modern Family is almost as inexplicable as his obsession with Tolkien. Hopefully he doesn't one day clumsily reference Tree-ona Helmsley in a speech.