By The Numbers

I’m just a (trillion dollar spending) bill

Tony Wagner Dec 10, 2014
$1.1 trillion

That’s the spending package agreed upon by Congress on Tuesday that will keep the government funded through the rest of the fiscal year. If approved, the spending bill will leave Republicans some wiggle room to avoid a budget deadline while still maintaining some leverage to influence policy.


That’s what CIA contractors that practiced “enhanced interrogation” were paid each day, four times what contractors not trained in those techniques would make. That’s a small piece of the agency’s $53 billion “dark budget,” which has remained mostly secret even after leaks and the scathing Senate report on torture released Tuesday. Quartz rounded up the figures we know about. Also worth reading: ProPublica’s timeline of the report, spanning Barack Obama’s inauguration through Tuesday.

$2 billion

As much as $2 billion a year in prescription medication is thrown away in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities around the country. The excess is a result of patients going home before finishing a prescription, having an allergic reaction three days into a 30-day supply, or perhaps passing away. By law, nursing homes are forbidden from dispensing pills to other patients, even if the person down the hall has the same prescription. That’s why some organizations are taking aim at reducing prescription waste.

77 percent

That’s how far Abercrombie & Fitch’s profits tanked last year, pushing CEO and noted eccentric Mike Jeffries to step down Tuesday, Bloomberg reported. Jeffries joined Abercrombie in 1992, remaking the hundred-year-old defunct sporting goods store into a controversial and extremely popular teen clothing retailer. The store has lost its hold in recent years, and it’s already made a number of changes to stay competitive, like toning down the branding and the sexiness.


That’s the amount Harvard Business School Professor Ben Edelman was overcharged by a Chinese restaurant in Brookline, Massachusetts, for his takeout. When he noticed the discrepancy on his bill, he began a correspondence with Ran Duan, the manager of the restaurant, to complain. You can see where this is going. Oh, you didn’t predict Edelman would contact the authorities and threaten litigation


The number of plots in Palo Alto’s last remaining trailer park, Buena Vista Mobile Home Park. Residents pay $685 a month, while a 700 square-foot apartment across the street rents for four times that. The land is worth a small fortune these days, and Buena Vista’s largely Hispanic and low-income residents have been fighting the park owners’ attempts to sell. The Awl has the full story.

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