Fix The Economy? Toss The GDP

WhoWhatWhy Advisory Board member Jonathan Rowe explains why we need a whole new way of measuring the health of the economy. One reason that the nation has not made more progress toward an economic “recovery” is that the people in charge really don’t know what one would look like. The top economists in Washington don’t Read More

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A Number That’s Nobody’s Business

Here’s an odd thing: the muscular US Chamber of Commerce, long a force for extreme big-business values, fighting off universal health insurance, minimum wage increases, global warming action and the like, is actually much smaller than it makes itself out to be. According to Mother Jones reporter Josh Harkinson, the Chamber, aided and abetted by news Read More

Something to Sleep On

The New York Times lead story describes how a series of private equity firms managed to repeatedly flip the venerable Simmons mattress company, earning themselves huge profits while the company became increasingly mired in debt and ultimately forced into bankruptcy and massive layoffs, with ordinary investors, employees, and company retirees taking a huge hit. I Read More

Fair and Balanced Nukes?

Yesterday’s New York Times represented a kind of quiet sea change. A front-page article addressed the quality of intelligence analyses of Iran’s nuclear intentions, against the background of the West’s mounting confrontation with Tehran. Unlike the largely credulous articles written by Judith Miller and others that provided crucial fodder for justifying the invasion of Iraq Read More

Credit Where Credit Ain’t Due

Two large debit-card issuers have suddenly decided to clean up their acts in the face of pending legislative action against them. The bigger question is: what’s to prevent them from pulling a bait and switch, first voluntarily revising their rapacious practices and then, when the threat of legislation dies down, ramping those practices right back Read More

Wild Acorns?

Conservative activists and talk show hosts, continuing a crusade begun during the presidential campaign, have been calling for their compatriots to dig up dirt on appointees and beneficiaries of Obama administration funding. The result has been an effort by the Democrats to quickly blunt any controversy by terminating links with anyone deemed controversial. Recently, a Read More

Silenzio! Demands Silvio

There’s a fascinating political-media brouhaha going on in Italy that is a kind of turbocharged mega-Lewinsky scandal, but it is getting comparatively little coverage in the United States. One of the country’s leading newspapers is challenging Silvio Berlusconi, the 72-year-old Italian prime minister as to the nature of a relationship he began in 2008 with Read More

Lack of Mercury Reporting is Fishy

On August 20, while scanning the New York Times the old-fashioned way, i.e. on paper, I stopped to look at a small article, no bigger than a long paragraph, tucked away in a column full of short items called “National Briefing.” The headline read: “Mercury Found in Every Fish Tested, Scientists Say”. I stopped to Read More

Behind Clinton Backer's Arrest: a Bipartisan, International Affair

AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano whowhatwhy.org reports exclusively on the background of Hassan Nemazee, the top Hillary Clinton fundraiser who was arrested and charged with forging loan documents. Early media accounts cast the event as an embarrassment for Ms. Clinton and the Democratic Party involving the financial misdoings of one prominent backer. Actually it is much Read More

A Well-Oiled Crowd Balks at Climate Fix

The New York Times has a surprisingly direct, no-hedging, exposé of oil industry shenanigans designed to block climate change legislation. For once, it is crystal clear to readers what is going on—the oil industry is rallying workers whose (understandable) immediate concerns do not extend beyond continuing to earn a living, to . . . preserving Read More

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