A Fact Check on Black Unemployment ; Scandal at 'Der Spiegel' ...and More Picks 2/1

I Was a Pretty Good Spy’ (Russ)

From the Financial Times: “[Tony] Mendez spent 25 years under cover in Laos, India and the Soviet Union before becoming a specialist in exfiltration — that is, getting people out of hotspots overseas — at headquarters. As he explained in the course of his confessional interview with the New York Times: ‘It’s not just the make-up. Disguise is not just the face you present. It’s the 6,000-year-old secrets, the capability to create illusions. The essence is illusion and deception.’”

Before the State of the Union, a Fact Check on Black Unemployment (Celia)

The author writes, “It is true that the 2018 black unemployment rate was the lowest it has been since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began reporting it in 1972. But little, if any, credit for that belongs to the Trump administration.”

The Deep Pathology at the Heart of a Scandal at Der Spiegel’ (Chris)

From the New Yorker: “Der Spiegel‘s reputation rests on the strength of its fact-checking department. So how did one of its star reporters get away with fabricating stories?”

Mitch McConnell, Enemy of the Vote (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “McConnell isn’t betraying America merely because he is going against popular opinion. As he did by withholding the Garland pick, he is subverting democracy once again at its baseline level. Even worse, McConnell is targeting efforts to make the system fair, painting them as totalitarian while he holds the door open for actual despots seeking to muck with our ballots.”

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