Show Your Work: Malarkey!

First up: WBEZ has found that the suburb of Ford Heights has collected more than $100,000 in taxpayer money for a library that hasn’t existed for 30 years.

The station requested records that showed the public library district has received more than $121,000 from property taxes as distributed by Cook County. That’s a surprise to the all-volunteer Ford Heights Library Board, which operates out of a temporary space in a community center since its building failed to meet codes and has never received the collected funds. And because the library district exists, the residents of the majority-Black high-poverty suburb can’t get full-access cards at other libraries.

The story has been picked up by the Chicago Sun-Times. Shockingly enough, officials have not returned calls requesting disclosure of where the money has gone.

Meanwhile, a New York Times analysis of the Alaska Airlines incident where a door flew off the plane found that the door plug relied on two pairs of bolts and metal pins to stay in place, and it’s likely a manufacturing lapse in the bolts caused the door to fly off. A door plug, by the way, is basically a replacement for the emergency door that was removed because the plane didn’t have enough seats. By the way, they’ve found loose bolts on many other Boeing Max 9 planes. Happy flying!

Also, Reuters found that North Korea is developing artificial intelligence for pandemic response and … wait for it… wargaming simulations. Okay, it wasn’t much of an investigation – they found the study – but still. Shall we play a game?

And This Week in Total Bullshit:

• President Biden did not record a robocall telling New Hampshire Democrats to “save their votes for November.” Dubbed “malarkey” by Politifact, a faked recording filled voicemails telling them to skip the primary, and gave a number for them to be removed from the call list that goes to the cell phone of the former chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party. The state attorney general is now investigating the case, as it is a felony to use fraudulent information to deter someone from voting. Side note: Politifact has dug up the various ways that AI can be used by overseas operators to disrupt the political process. Of course, we do a great job of that on our own without AI “help.”

• A pro-Trump ad aimed at GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley misrepresented her comments on immigration, amnesty and “criminals.”

• And what was not total bullshit? No-longer-candidate Ron DeSantis said as president, Trump deported fewer undocumented immigrants than former President Barack Obama, and he was right.

However, in his farewell speech posted on the Artist Formerly Known as Twitter, DeSantis quoted Winston Churchill as saying, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.” Very nice words, except Churchill never said that, according to the International Churchill Society, the Churchill Project at Hillsdale College and a Churchill historian, as researched by Politifact.

Light week! See something you think I should include? Feel free to send it to us.