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Links of Interest for March 12, 2023

A cropped close-up of the United States Capitol building in Washington, District of Columbia

Photo by Ian Hutchinson on Unsplash

A Sunday seven-piece. Some of these links are a week or two old, but they're still worth your time.

The State Department’s Lack of Diversity Is Bad for U.S. Diplomacy
Jalina Porter, a former principal deputy spokesperson at the State Department, argues that a lack of diversity among the United States’ diplomatic corps hurts the country’s diplomatic efforts, and harms the careers of African Americans at the agency. “Pale, male, and Yale” is the current practice at State, which is also a reflection of the domestic values that we also project abroad. It's hard to advocate for multiracial democracy abroad when you don't want it at home. Related: for me, helped me understand American Spy in a new way.
A life in Congress: Lauren Underwood learns what it costs
A beautiful profile of Congressmember Lauren Underwood from the Washington Post. Underwood entered Congress the same year as the Squad, but isn't part of it. Underwood has also managed to be pretty effective in her short tenure, getting the Veterans' Care Quality Transparency Act to become law.
Data-driven, AI-assisted Job Hunting
Paola Villarreal shows you how to use artificial intelligence in your job hunt. That's also a pretty savvy way for Paola to demonstrate their skills.
Why S.U.V.s Are Still a Huge Environmental Problem
In another example of the environment is not just the climate, this piece from The New Yorker points out that even electric sport utility vehicles (S.U.V.) are worse for the envornment than cars with a similar powertrain. Remember, the bigger the car, the more resources go into manufacturing it. And some electric S.U.V. are so big that you might do less damage to the environment and your wallet by driving a gas-powered compact car. That's especially true if you don't drive much. Compare vehicle emissions at Carbon Counter.
SVB’s 44-Hour Collapse Was Rooted in Treasury Bets During Pandemic
Seems that Silicon Valley Bank's failure was caused by a mix of bad choices (too many startup customers, bought long term treasuries when the Fed signaled they would raise rates), and a policy shift from 2018. Before 2018, banks with assets of $10 billion or more had to be stress-tested. Some adjustments to Dodd-Frank Act raised that threshold to $250 billion. And now we have a rather large bank failure that might take out huge chunks of the west coast startup and non-profit ecosystem.
Mapping Attacks on LGBTQ Rights in U.S. State Legislatures
The American Civil Liberties Union is tracking a few hundred state-level bills targeting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning people. After you figure out which bills to focus on in your state, donate to the The Trans Justice Funding Project, or any of their 2022 grantees (hat tip: Ann Friedman).
Influencer Parents and The Kids Who Had Their Childhood Made Into Content
An article on how kids whose lives were mined for YouTube dollars feel about being forced to work to support their family. Remember: there are no child labor laws governing this particular form of income generation, or laws to protect the use of the money they help their parents rake in.