Who What Why ?

My name is Russ Baker. For more than two decades I have been an investigative journalist, doing what I believed journalists were supposed to do—seek the truth and publish nothing less. Over the years, however, I have learned how the media gatekeepers, both “mainstream” and “alternative,” will not allow the biggest, most disturbing revelations to see the light of day.


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The Rich Are Loving the Economy — It’s a Different Story for Regular Americans

Here are three indisputable facts: US GDP is up, the stock market is higher than ever, and unemployment is low. President Donald Trump is quick to remind us of these facts, while largely taking credit:

Let’s Give Trump the Military Parade He Deserves

Just about everybody thinks that President Donald Trump’s idea to hold a military parade in Washington, DC, is monumentally dumb. It’s actually hard to put into words how stupid an idea it is. Still, we were heartbroken when Trump canceled the event last month with a nebulous reference to another parade and a vague promise of maybe trying again next year. If our reaction sounds contradictory, please bear with us and we’ll explain.

Leave My Culture Alone — Breakthrough on Hearing Not Welcomed by All

Following a scientific treasure hunt of 40 years, a protein responsible for turning sound into the electrical impulses that enable people to hear has been identified. Boston-based scientists have described this as finding “the central piece of the puzzle” in the mechanics of hearing; researchers think the next steps will lead to people hearing for the first time.

Timely Quotes on Fascism Then and Now

Do you live near a hate group? Would you know it if you did? To find out more, click on this amazing , and you will discover a wide variety of fascist hate groups all over the country — whom they hate, what they’ve been up to, and where they are. There’s one for nearly every taste.  

Finally, Help Arrives to Streamline Chaotic Voting Rights Restoration Process

Willie Mack found out by accident that he could register to vote. He had been filing a change-of-address form at the local department of public safety when, to his surprise, the agent helping him asked if he wanted to register to vote. Given his record of past criminal convictions, Mack asked if he could. The woman helping him confirmed, so Mack filed the paperwork.

District Court Rules Against North Carolina Gerrymandering

With the 2018 midterm elections right around the corner, a North Carolina district court ruled Monday that the state’s current congressional district lines are the result of an unconstitutional gerrymander. While the implications of the court’s decision remain unclear, the result could be as drastic as a redrawing of North Carolina election districts before the November ballot.

How Corporations Force States to Stifle Local Rule

In July, California’s legislature and governor faced an elegant — and legal — extortion threat. The American Beverage Association, funded by Coke and Pepsi, demanded immediate passage of legislation that preempts any soda taxes imposed by county or local governments for the next 12 years. If Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and the Democratic-controlled legislature refused, Big Soda would go forward with a ballot initiative this November that would severely limit any future tax increases at local and county levels.

Mueller Investigation Shows the Rich Deserve Much More Scrutiny

While the twin breaking news of Paul Manafort’s guilty verdict and Michael Cohen’s guilty plea made for great television, neither outcome was particularly shocking. When you are palling around with dubious international political figures or when your job description is “fixer” for a shady real estate mogul, then chances are you have done some things that weren’t entirely on the up and up.

Second Hand Smoke Causing a Western Smog Age

Seattle — best known for the Space Needle, the Seahawks, and Starbucks — has added a more dubious claim to fame this week: as one of the world’s cities. Canadian wildfire smoke is sweeping over the northern border, suffocating Puget Sound, Washington State, and beyond.

Whistleblower Gets Long Sentence for Leaking Evidence of Russian Election Interference

Reality Winner, an Air Force veteran and former NSA contractor, was sentenced to 63 months in federal prison Thursday after to violating the Espionage Act of 1917.Whistleblower advocates condemned the sentence and its length as “shameful,” while President Donald Trump used the case to take a swipe at his political rival, Hillary Clinton, and Attorney

Merkel’s Foreign Minister Seeks to Balance EU-US Partnership

New Attempted Hack of DNC Was a ‘Test’ (Dan)

Despite widespread coverage that hackers recently attempted to infiltrate the Democratic National Committee, DNC officials admitted the event

Is Mollie Tibbets’s Killer Here Legally? (Reader Steve)

Temp Work: The Waste Product of the Service Economy?

The financial insecurity facing so many Americans in today’s gig economy is not the result of startups and their new apps, or even of technology in general. Temp work is the result of four decades of deliberate decisions by executives in corporate America — decisions that changed the nature of work and of capitalism itself. So explains Louis Hyman — a professor of economic history at Cornell, and Jeff Schechtman’s guest on this week’s WhoWhatWhy podcast.

The Backstory to ‘Better Call Michael Cohen’ You May Have Missed

By now, the world knows that Donald Trump’s longtime in-house lawyer, virtual bodyguard, and confidant has to tax evasion, bank fraud, and breaking campaign finance laws. He’s got a lot of reasons to make a deal, and that puts his former boss in a particularly dicey situation.

JFK’s War Heroism Speaks Louder Than Rhetoric of War-Dodging Chicken Hawks

Talking tough about military action and being tough are not one and the same. That’s worth remembering in the Trump era, when potential conflicts always seem just a tweet away. While many politicians, including President Donald Trump, have been quick to threaten military action, few have seen the horrors of war up close.

The American Lobbyist Who Undermined a Democracy

Recent in a Ukraine courtroom have shed new light on US special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Prosecutors in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev have filed a court motion against Viktor Yanukovych, a Ukrainian politician closely allied with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

We Got Hit by a Russian Spambot Attack — Here’s What They Targeted

WhoWhatWhy was recently hit by a major spambot attack that we have traced back to a network operating from Russia. The fact that they went after us is not particularly surprising &; that comes with the territory of covering politics in the US these days.

Are Americans Afraid of Optimism?

We live in an age of paradox. According to study after study, almost everything we can measure is moving in a positive direction. Worldwide, there is less violence, less pollution (except for greenhouse gases), less war, greater longevity, and most diseases are declining.

More Marijuana Legalization Coming — Could Trump Be On Board?

With less than 100 days to the midterm elections, Democrats are hoping to capture the House of Representatives in a much touted . But there’s another wave that has quietly been making headway — a green one.

The Next Generation of Conservatives Is Hoping to Make Its Mark… After Trump

Some days it seems, at least from reading the mainstream news or cable television, that all millennials are voting for Democrats, or that college-educated kids are all going to be part of the “blue wave.” In fact, there is a whole cadre of young Republicans and conservatives populating college campuses, who see themselves as the post-Trump future of the Republican Party.Journalist Eliza Gray recently went looking for the heart and soul of young conservatism as part of a

We Don’t Know What Our Computers Are Doing

Most of us really don’t know what our computers are doing. We just know that we use them for working, communicating, shopping, banking, and having fun. But the reality is that IT experts don’t know either.This was demonstrated by several recent stories of security failures and hardware flaws of an extraordinary nature.

Washington State Judge Rules Against Kids in Climate Change Lawsuit

As wildfire smoke clouded the skies of Seattle, a Washington judge ruled Tuesday to dismiss a lawsuit against the State of Washington filed by a group of young climate change activists — who range in age from 8 to 18.

5 Years After ‘Shelby County,’ Democracy Has Suffered

Five years ago, the Supreme Court handed states with a history of discrimination a blank check to make it more difficult for certain demographics to vote. Within 24 hours, they started to cash in. Polling locations closed and early voting windows shortened. No longer subject to federal oversight, state legislators implemented voter identification laws. The court’s landmark decision in Shelby County v. Eric Holder triggered a fundamental shift in managing discrimination at the ballot box.

Are a Million Uighur Muslims Being Held in Camps in China?

Merkel’s Weekend Plans? Meet with Putin (Dan)

Putin has won another . This time it’s German chancellor Angela Merkel. The two are set to discuss Syria, Ukraine, and the natural gas pipeline that President Trump claimed made Germany “captive” to Russia.

Apple Complains About Property Taxes (Reader Steve)