Who.What.Why

Will Latest French Terror Attack Help France’s Far-Right Candidate?

A terror attack in Paris has hit France like a seismic shock only three days before voting begins in a presidential election where anything seems possible, even the end of the European Union.

A gunman shot three policemen on Champs-Elysées Thursday evening, killing one and wounding two, before being shot dead. The government says the attack was “of a terrorist nature.” The shooting took place as the candidates were just going on the air to make their final televised appeal to voters.

Imagine Congress Filled with Scientists Instead of Lawyers

The March for Science, scheduled to take place this Saturday, could be the beginning of a whole new class of politicians. In the view of many, politics has always been the purview of too many lawyers and too many businessmen. Now Trump’s war on science has brought out the scientific community in a way that may change our political landscape.

Shaughnessy Naughton is a chemist, cancer researcher, and the founder of 314 Action. In her conversation with WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman, she talks about her efforts to recruit scientists to run for office.

Watching Big Brother

Twenty-five years ago, a California jury failed to convict four cops accused of savagely beating a black man. What sounds today like an all-too-common story was anything but back then. The verdict triggered massive unrest and, within a week, parts of Los Angeles had gone up in smoke and 55 people had died. So what made this case of police brutality different? The beating of Rodney King was caught on tape.

Funny, Wise Quotations on Taxes

Filling Out Tax Forms with Fiction

Income tax returns are the most imaginative fiction being written today. (Herman Wouk)

The income tax created more criminals than any other single act of government. (Barry Goldwater)

The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf has. Even when you make a tax form out on the level, you don’t know when it’s through if you are a crook or a martyr. (Will Rogers)

The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that still carries any reward. (John Maynard Keynes)

Boston Marathon Bombing Cover-Up: A Conversation with Michele McPhee

For nearly four years, WhoWhatWhy has written repeatedly about the Boston Marathon bombing. In dozens of investigative articles, we have shown how the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) official version of the tumultuous events of April 2013 did not make sense.

Now, longtime Boston investigative journalist Michele McPhee argues persuasively in her new book, “Maximum Harm,” that the feds have been keeping important information about this tragedy from the public.

Drug Testing Welfare: Giving Those in Need the Finger, Not a Helping Hand

It’s tough to get congressional Republicans on the same page these days. They just can’t seem to agree on how many millions of Americans they should kick off health care, nor how much of a tax break to give to the rich. Fortunately, there are some smaller issues they can still unite around … like sticking it to poor people by allowing states to waste millions of dollars testing them for drugs.

Fordham University: Tuition Over $45,000 — and Professors on Medicaid?

Large parts of the faculty at one of the most expensive universities in the world are struggling to make ends meet and rely on government assistance while their students pay close to a quarter million dollars for a four-year program.

It is not cheap to attend Fordham University, known as the Jesuit university of New York City. The tuition and fees are $47,317. Add room, board, and other miscellaneous fees, and the total comes out to a whopping $67,457. Even with financial aid, most students are paying tens of thousands a year for a Fordham education.

Boston Marathon Bombing Anniversary: A WhoWhatWhy Retrospective

Editor’s Note:

Dear Reader:

I started WhoWhatWhy because throughout my career, I often broke stories that were so far from the mainstream reporting consensus that they were either ignored or ridiculed — until they no longer were. Once everyone else caught up, it became a point of pride for them to simply act like my reporting had not existed. With WhoWhatWhy, that pattern continues.

What Is the Endgame of the “Resistance?”

Since the Women’s March on January 21, protest and resistance to the Trump administration has been non-stop. Overall, it’s been directed less at policy than at Trump and other members of the administration. What’s the endgame of that effort?

Longtime grassroots political organizer L.A. Kauffman tells WhoWhatWhy’s Jeff Schechtman that “the goal is to create crisis.” But is that really good for the country?