Fallen Through the Cracks: 2018 Stories Worthy of Your Attention

Hospices de Beaune
One of the damned trying to escape from hell, from the open panels of the polyptych altarpiece, 1446-52, by Rogier van der Weyden in the Hospices de Beaune, in Beaune, France. Photo credit: © Manuel Cohen/Aurimages via ZUMA Press

As 2018 draws to a close, we want to highlight a few of the hundreds of articles WhoWhatWhy published throughout the year. While we are proud of all our stories, there are some that we think are particularly deserving of another look.

And don’t worry if you feel that our podcasts and cartoons are underrepresented or that stories on election integrity are missing. We will have separate lists for them in the coming days.


Donald Trump

President Donald J. Trump signs short-term funding bill, September 8, 2017. Photo credit: The White House

How ‘Dirty’ Budget Bills Hurt Women, the Environment, and Your Health

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As Congress struggles to agree on a long-overdue budget and spending bills, the devil is in the details as Republicans try to sneak through provisions that would harm the environment, public health, and democracy.

What Gun Background Checks Can’t Detect: Stupidity

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Raised age requirements and background checks for gun purchases won’t fix absent-mindedness. Or stupidity.

Chicago, drone, surveillance

Photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Pete / Flickr and Dave Conner / Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

Chicago Mayor Pushing for Surveillance Drones

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Chicago is already one of the most surveilled cities in America. Now a new legislative push from Mayor Rahm Emanuel is trying to get Big Brother in the skies.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, 9-11

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed superimposed over Manhattan burning on September 11, 2001. Photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Unknown / Wikimedia and 9/11 Photos / Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

CIA Knew Torture Was Extorting Bad Intelligence — Kept Doing It Anyway

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Recently released CIA documents show the agency was aware that detainees subjected to its “enhanced interrogation” would say anything — especially what their torturers wanted to hear — to get the torture to stop. Maybe that was the whole point?

Matteo Salvini

Italian deputy prime minister and minister of the interior, Matteo Salvini, speaking at Assemblea Confartigianato 2018. Photo credit: Confartigianato / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Let Them Drown? Italy’s Trump Closes Ports to Refugees

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Italy’s Matteo Salvini, a populist politico and loud-mouthed Trump clone, is using the migration crisis to sabotage the European Union.

Brett Kavanaugh, Ed Kavanaugh, Martha Kavanaugh

US Supreme Court associate justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh speaks to Chairman Chuck Grassley following his swearing in and opening statements at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, DC, on September 4, 2018. Photo credit: © Ken Cedeno/ZUMA Wire

Exclusive: Kavanaugh Father-Son Cancer Powder Keg

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Brett Kavanaugh has devoted his career to fighting regulation on corporations — while his father has helped corporations limit industry liability in a huge looming cancer case affecting millions of women, babies, and others.

Richard Uihlein

Photo credit: WhoWhatWhy

From the Shadows, Top GOP Donor Benefits From His Investments

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You may have heard of the Koch brothers, the Mercers, and Sheldon Adelson. Now meet the billionaire GOP donor you don’t know — but should.

Who Pays the Price for Oklahoma’s Man-Made Earthquakes?

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Since fracking began, Oklahomans have been subjected to man-made earthquakes. Now the state has one question: Who will pay for the damage caused by these not-so-natural disasters?

Farmers’ Dilemma: Save Bees or Save Themselves

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The financial cost of saving the bee is stinging farmers. Is it worth it?

CIA, Director, George H.W. Bush

CIA Director George H.W. Bush listening intently during a meeting following the assassinations of Ambassador to Lebanon Francis E. Meloy, Jr. and Economic Counselor Robert O. Waring in Beirut, Lebanon on June 17, 1976. Photo credit: Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library / Wikimedia

George H.W. Bush Shaped History — But Not the Way We’re Told

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As a young naval intelligence officer, George H.W. Bush got a verbal thrashing for failing to be discreet. He sure learned that lesson, and became a man who did one thing in public and another in private. Thanks to that — and to an incurious and superficial media — there’s a whole lot of shocking stuff out there you probably never knew.


Related front page panorama photo credit: Adapted by WhoWhatWhy from crack in rock (Design Milk / Flickr – CC BY-SA 2.0).

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