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Jake Whitney

Entries by Jake Whitney

It Is Time to Stop Reporting on the Sex Lives of Politicians

(229) Comments | Posted June 22, 2011 | 2:52 PM

While fighting to save humanity from the evils of Adolf Hitler, General Dwight D. Eisenhower had an extramarital affair with an aide who was almost half his age. Before and during his presidency, John F. Kennedy carried on numerous sexual dalliances. Thomas Jefferson copulated with his slaves. FDR had an...

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Why Don't You Profit When Pharmacies Sell Your Prescription Data?

(2) Comments | Posted May 20, 2011 | 3:30 PM

While the Supreme Court is busy deciding whether states have the right to ban drug companies from using prescription data for marketing, new class-action suits launched against Walgreens and CVS have opened an explosive new front in the fight over prescription data mining. The lawsuits, filed...

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The Sad, Strange Sacking of Muhammad Yunus

(6) Comments | Posted March 23, 2011 | 12:44 PM

On March 2, Muhammad Yunus, the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner, was abruptly forced from his position as managing director of Grameen Bank, the Bangladesh-based financial institution he founded thirty years ago. Though he is appealing the decision to Bangladesh's Supreme Court, his government ousting has been confusing...

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The Supreme Court and the Spying-on-Doctors Industry

(20) Comments | Posted February 23, 2011 | 11:06 AM

Last month, the Supreme Court agreed to review a Vermont law that prohibits the use of prescription data for marketing purposes. If upheld, the law will ban pharmaceutical companies from taking the prescription records they buy from pharmacies and giving them to their sales reps to target doctors.


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How Income Inequality Helped Spark the Great Recession

(26) Comments | Posted January 31, 2011 | 11:40 AM

Thirteen years ago, the economists Sara Solnick and David Hemenway conducted a study that revealed a great deal about how Americans define happiness. Subjects, all of whom were middle class or lower, were asked which they wanted more: to earn $50,000 while everyone else got only half as...

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On the Hoax of the Climate Change Hoax

(221) Comments | Posted April 23, 2010 | 11:11 AM

Climate change 'skeptics' have been singing a victory song in recent months. Emboldened by this winter's record snow, errors in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's 2007 report, and the phony scandal they dubbed 'ClimateGate,' their growing clamor has taken a toll on public acceptance. According to a Gallup poll...

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Advertising, the Great Recession and the Degradation of American Values

(8) Comments | Posted February 23, 2010 | 1:21 PM

The other night I was a watching a replay of Game 6 of the Yankees-Braves 1996 World Series. Something wasn't right. As a lifelong Yankee fan, I knew everything that was going to happen, especially in that classic third inning -- O'Neil doubles, Gerardi triples him home, Jeter and Bernie...

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The Paranoid Style in [Twenty First Century] American Politics

(75) Comments | Posted February 5, 2010 | 2:31 PM

This post has been cross-posted at

"American Political life," the historian Richard Hofstadter observed in "The Paranoid Style in American Politics," "has served again and again as an arena for uncommonly angry minds." He continued: "Today this fact is most evident in our extreme right wing." One of the...

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Campaign Finance: Back to the Era of the Robber Barons?

(17) Comments | Posted January 13, 2010 | 2:37 PM

The most important issue no one is talking about right now is campaign finance.

In a ruling expected this week, the Supreme Court is set to strip restrictions on election spending, some of which have been in place since Watergate. If the Court rules as experts believe it will,...

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Wendell Potter and Health Insurance Industry Misinformation

(2) Comments | Posted September 9, 2009 | 11:09 AM

In America, there's nothing wrong with political disagreements, even angry ones.

The more sides we hear from on an issue the more likely we are to choose the best solution; that's the guiding theory behind American democracy. But that doesn't hold true when one side is being deliberately misinformed....

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Betraying the Tribe: Michela Wrong and the Foundations of African Corruption

(13) Comments | Posted July 11, 2009 | 11:29 AM

The list of corrupt African leaders in modern history is a long one.

Idi Amin of Uganda, Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Frederick Chiluba of Zambia, Sani Abacha of Nigeria -- to name just a few -- pilfered their countries and/or brutalized their people to...

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Dambisa Moyo and Why Western Aid is Killing Africa

(6) Comments | Posted April 1, 2009 | 12:32 PM

This post has been cross-posted at

Take the poorest region in the world, where 70 percent of the people live in poverty, 25 million have HIV/AIDS, a child dies every 30 seconds from Malaria, more than half the countries are run by non-democratic regimes, which has had eleven...

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Inside Lee Atwater

(9) Comments | Posted November 23, 2008 | 4:23 PM

While John McCain descended to some sickening lows in the 2008 presidential race, his dysfunctional campaign was merely the hapless grandchild -- and if we're lucky, the last of the bloodline -- of the godfather of Republican mudslinging, Lee Atwater.

But descend McCain did.

First he sold out by...

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