MoJo Blogs and Articles | Mother Jones http://www.motherjones.com/rss/blogs_and_articles/wp-login.php/favicon.ico http://www.motherjones.com/files/motherjonesLogo_google_206X40.png Mother Jones logo http://www.motherjones.com en The Clinton Foundation Sure Is a Great Charity http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/09/clinton-foundation-sure-great-charity <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>When it comes to charity, Dylan Matthews is pretty hardnosed. To earn his approval, a charity better focus on truly important problems and be damn good at it. So how about the Clinton Foundation? After starting out as a skeptic, he says, "I've come to the conclusion that the Clinton Foundation is a real charitable enterprise that did enormous good." <img align="right" alt="" class="image image-_original" src="/files/blog_bill_clinton_chai.jpg" style="border: 1px solid #000000; margin: 20px 0px 15px 30px;">In particular, he praises the Clinton Health Access Initiative, which helped lower the cost of HIV drugs and saved untold lives. <a href="http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2016/9/22/12893444/clinton-foundation-effectiveness" target="_blank">But there's a catch:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>And&mdash;perhaps uncomfortably for liberals and conservatives alike &mdash; it is exactly the kind of unsavory-seeming glad-handing and melding of business and politics for which Bill and Hillary Clinton have taken years of criticism that led to its greatest success....The deals made required buy-in from developing governments. The person tasked with getting that buy-in was a former US president with existing relationships with many of those people. <strong>Bill Clinton essentially used his chumminess with foreign politicians and pharmaceutical executives, the kind of thing about the Clinton Global Initiative that earns suspicious news coverage, to enlist their help in a scheme to expand access to HIV/AIDS drugs.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>I don't get it. Why should this make anyone feel uncomfortable? Lots of people have star power, but very few have star power with both rich people <em>and</em> foreign leaders. Bill Clinton is one of those few, so he chose a project that (a) could save a lot of lives, (b) required buy-in from both rich people and foreign leaders, and (c) was right at the cusp where an extra push could really make a difference.</p> <p>I can't even imagine why anyone would consider this unsavory, unless they've lived in a cave all their lives and don't understand that glad-handing and chumminess are essential parts of how human societies operate. Matthews may be right that many people feel uneasy about this, but I can't figure out why. It sounds like Clinton chose to do something that his particular mix of experience and character traits made him uncommonly good at. That's pretty smart.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Sat, 24 Sep 2016 21:43:33 +0000 Kevin Drum 314781 at http://www.motherjones.com Despite Donald Trump's Massive Tax Bribes, Top CEOs Still Can't Stand the Guy http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/09/despite-donald-trumps-massive-tax-bribes-top-ceos-still-cant-stand-guy <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The <em>Wall Street Journal</em> has checked out every Fortune 100 CEO in the country, <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/no-fortune-100-ceos-back-republican-donald-trump-1474671842" target="_blank">and not a single one supports Donald Trump:</a></p> <blockquote> <p>Most have stayed on the sidelines, with 89 of the 100 top CEOs not supporting either presidential nominee, and 11 backing Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton....Hope Hicks, Mr. Trump&rsquo;s spokeswoman, said the candidate has &ldquo;tremendous support from small and large business CEOs and business owners,&rdquo; and added that he &ldquo;is not beholden to supporters with agendas like CEOs of massive, publicly traded companies.&rdquo;</p> </blockquote> <p>You betcha, Hope. Trump never wanted the support of those guys anyway, amirite?</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Sat, 24 Sep 2016 21:16:55 +0000 Kevin Drum 314776 at http://www.motherjones.com Seven Days of Donald Trump's Lies http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2016/09/seven-days-donalds-trumps-lies <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>The <em>New York Times</em> has compiled a list of 31 of Donald Trump's <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/09/24/us/elections/donald-trump-statements.html?hp&amp;action=click&amp;pgtype=Homepage&amp;clickSource=story-heading&amp;module=first-column-region&amp;region=top-news&amp;WT.nav=top-news" target="_blank">"falsehoods, exaggerations and outright lies"</a> today. "A closer examination," they say, "revealed an unmistakable pattern: Virtually all of Mr. Trump&rsquo;s falsehoods directly bolstered a powerful and self-aggrandizing narrative depicting him as a heroic savior for a nation menaced from every direction."</p> <p>Quite so, and this would seem unremarkable except for one thing: <em>this list covers only the past week.</em> And it doesn't include "untruths that appeared to be mere hyperbole or humor, or delivered purely for effect, or what could generously be called rounding errors."</p> <p>In other words, just lies. For one week. And yet a lot of people still believe Trump is going to build a wall and has a foolproof secret plan to crush ISIS. Apparently we are a nation of patsies these days.</p></body></html> Kevin Drum Sat, 24 Sep 2016 18:04:29 +0000 Kevin Drum 314771 at http://www.motherjones.com Stop Trying to Feel Awesome All the Time, Says Millennial Whisperer http://www.motherjones.com/media/2016/09/mark-manson-blog-subtle-art-giving-fuck <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>"Personal development" blogger Mark Manson got his start shelling out dating advice back in the mid-2000s, when <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Game:_Penetrating_the_Secret_Society_of_Pickup_Artists#Reception" target="_blank"><em>The Game</em></a> was making waves. Like every other twentysomething of a certain demographic, Manson, who hails from Austin, Texas, was hoping to cash in as a digital nomad: He moved abroad, started a blog, and attempted to earn a living working on internet marketing startups.</p> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/MANSON_SubtleArt-250.jpg"><div class="caption">HarperOne</div> </div> <p>But the promise of the young web was elusive, Manson soon discovered. The startups and the jobs they offered were "not sustainable&mdash;they're not real careers," he says. "If you start looking out 20 years in the future, you have no stability. I started to realize this, and around the same time, I realized that writing is the only thing I'm good at, the only thing I really love about my job."</p> <p>So Manson, who is now 32, resolved to focus on his writing. In 2012, while living in Colombia, he penned his first viral post, "10 Things Most Americans Don't Know About America." The post received thousands of shares and crashed his website, he says. Manson continued writing in his plain, off-the-cuff style, appealing to millennials with posts like "<a href="https://markmanson.net/stop-trying-to-be-happy" target="_blank">Stop Trying to Be Happy</a>," "<a href="https://markmanson.net/love" target="_blank">Love is Not Enough</a>," and "In Defense of Being Average."</p> <p>Nowadays, his eponymous advice <a href="https://markmanson.net/" target="_blank">blog</a> (tagline: "Some people say I'm an idiot. Other people say I saved their life. Read and decide for yourself") commands about 2 million unique visitors a month and covers topics from love to the development of habits. I reached out to Manson to talk about his new book, <a href="https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062457714/the-subtle-art-of-not-giving-a-fck" target="_blank"><em>The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck</em></a>, and naturally, to get a little advice.</p> <p><strong><em>Mother Jones:</em></strong> What's up with the book title?</p> <p><strong><em>Mark Manson: </em></strong>It actually comes from a blog article I wrote a couple of years ago. I was just joking around with a friend about not giving a fuck, and I think at one point, I said, "Not giving a fuck: It's not easy, it's a very subtle art form." I have a Google Doc, and every time I have an idea for an article, I pull up my phone and jot down ideas. It took me a year to actually write the book, and one day when I was feeling irreverent and ridiculous, I was like, all right, let's talk about giving fucks, not giving fucks, and just went for it.</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> How would you summarize the key takeaways?</p> <p><strong>MM:</strong> The central message is that, in general, people have spent way too much time trying to feel good all the time. Instead they should focus on deciphering what's important and what's not. Because problems are inevitable, pain is inevitable, and the only really reliable way to persevere or deal with those problems and pain is to find a worthy cause or a worthy reason for dealing with it. A lot of the culture at large, and self-help material in general, has gone down this rabbit hole of "You can feel great all the time and you're amazing. You're a special snowflake who's going to be the next big thing in the world." I think that's really led to a culturewide sense of entitlement and just kind of being detached from reality and from each other.</p> <p><strong>MJ</strong>: So we should feel bad instead?</p> <p><strong>MM:</strong> Feeling good is nice, but the goal should be to find something meaningful and important.</p> <p><strong>MJ</strong>: But isn't that what everyone is saying?</p> <p><strong>MM</strong>: Yeah, a lot of people, but it's usually framed like, "You'll feel really good if you find something meaningful." It doesn't work that way. The quality of your life is determined by how good your problems are, not how awesome you feel all the time. The whole point of the book is that self improvement isn't about getting rid of pain. It's about not giving a fuck about pain. That's what growth is. It's getting to the point where the pain you're sustaining is a worthwhile thing to endure.</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> So how do you know which problem is the right one? For instance, a lot of people work really hard and suffer a lot&mdash;and they're not satisfied.</p> <p><strong>MM</strong>: The quest here is to find better problems. A better problem is the one we have control over, that is pro-social and not antisocial. In a way, it's about values. Good values are based in reality&mdash;they're socially constructive and immediately controllable. Bad values are superstitious, socially destructive, and not immediate or controllable.</p> <p>To use one of the facetious examples in the book: If the biggest problem in my life right now is that my favorite TV show got canceled, that's a pretty poor reflection of my values and the quality of my life. That's a poor thing to care about, it's not controllable, it's not immediate, it has no immediate effect on the people around me or the people I care about. The highest priorities in our life should be something that's grounded in being constructive toward the people around us, and something that's immediate and we have control over.</p> <p>So if someone says they want to be a famous singer on TV, for example, it's a poor value, because there's so many factors that could influence that. The thing that will bring greater quality to life is something more controllable, more like, "I want to the best singer that I possibly can," or "I want to move as many people as possible with my artwork as I can," whether you're singing in a coffee shop or onstage at Madison Square Garden.</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> That seems obvious. And yet I hadn't really thought about it.</p> <p><strong>MM:</strong> Culturally speaking, we're getting a bit lost. The side effect of all this marketing and consumerism is that we're running into this constant state of distraction, and we don't realize that a lot of the values that we end up adopting maybe aren't even our own, or maybe were a little bit imposed on us through marketing messages and TV shows and movies.</p> <p>I spent a lot of my early adulthood caring about a lot of things, and I was very upset when I discovered that they weren't very important. I've watched a lot of my friends and my readers go through similar experiences. I think a lot of that comes with growing up with the internet and 500 channels on TV. We're the first generation that grew up with this very distorted expectation of what the world is and what we should expect from it.</p> <p><strong>MJ</strong>: So what can we do?</p> <p><strong>MM</strong>: What needs to be done is a return to simplicity. The answer these days is not more, it's less. It's deciding what to cut off from our attention and our focus. There's way more things out there than any single person people could pursue, way more opportunities and questions. I think the most important question is: What am I going to give up? What am I going to cut myself off from? What are the few things in my life that I am going to care about and focus on, understanding that I'm limited, and a lot of ideas so prevalent out there may not ever happen in my life? I think it's a really hard thing to swallow.</p> <p><strong>MJ</strong>: So then it's more like, "What do I actually want to give a fuck about?"</p> <p><strong>MM</strong>: Exactly. The not giving a fuck thing is actually just a silly tool to teach people to think about their values, about what are they choosing to find important in their life, and then finding a way to change those things.</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> But suppose I were to say, "Mark, I actually give a fuck about everything. What should I do?"</p> <p><strong>MM</strong>: I would tell you to prepare for a lot of disappointment, and it would really come down to how you react to that disappointment. It's a process of letting go. Some people react by refusing to accept it. They give a fuck about everything and they're constantly disappointed because nothing is living up to their expectations, but instead of accepting that their expectations are unrealistic, they blame groups of people and blame the government and blame everybody. What we have to get back to is that people are really limited and fallible. You need to choose the few things that you're going to work really hard for, and accept the disappointment that comes with everything else.</p> <p>It's a very negative philosophy, but it makes people feel better because it relinquishes the pressure. If you think of your typical millennial, since that's who most of my readers are, they have all these expectations. They went to a good school and they worked their asses off. They did an unpaid internship and they studied abroad and they want to have their amazing career and they want to get there faster than ever. And they want to make a certain amount of money and live in an awesome city, and it's just, the pressure of having to care about everything weighs them down and creates a lot of unnecessary anxiety. Everything else will eventually come as a side effect: If you get good at a job, eventually you'll get to live in a good city. If you get good at a skill, you'll find a good job. If you find a skill that you care about and think is important, then you'll naturally get good at it. Start at the beginning.</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> How do people respond to this advice?</p> <p><strong>MM:</strong> The most common thing I get from people is a sense of relief. People who come to self-improvement content are generally the type of people who are very hard on themselves and constantly feel a need to prove that they're awesome and that their life is awesome. So when they come around and see something that's like, "Hey, you don't need to prove anything; it's not going to work anyway"&mdash;even though it's a negative message, they kind of feel relief. My goal is never to give algorithmic advice, but to explain the principles and a little bit of the framework, so people can decide for themselves. Because deciding for themselves is the most important thing people can do&mdash;it's often the problem in the first place.</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> How did you come up with this stuff?</p> <p><strong>MM:</strong> I'm a recovered self-help junkie. I've always been a bookworm, so I've been reading about this stuff since I was a teenager. I guess it's a classic case of what was a hobby through most of my life ended up becoming my profession, even if it wasn't designed that way. That, and I've screwed up. There's really no better teacher than your own screwups.</p> <p><strong>MJ</strong>: Where do you turn when you feel lost or in need of help?</p> <p><strong>MM:</strong> I have a great support network. My fianc&eacute;e is amazing. I have some friends who are insanely intelligent and who are willing to keep me in check, and I have my family. Books are great, but for most people, if you're going through hard times, step No. 1 should be friends and family and people close to you.</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> Your last chapter, fittingly, is about death. Why did you choose to write about that?</p> <p><strong>MM:</strong> Because the whole book is about people trying to avoid their problems, and death is the ultimate problem we try to avoid. There are entire religions about <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/10/atul-gawande-being-mortal-interview-assisted-living" target="_blank">coming to terms with death</a> and becoming more comfortable. To use that famous <a href="https://www.ted.com/talks/steve_jobs_how_to_live_before_you_die" target="_blank">Steve Jobs YouTube video</a>, when you think about death, it's the only thing that kind of puts everything else in perspective. It is the only kind of objective yardstick for being able to recognize the values in one's own life, and what they're worth. So I think it's important to think about it, and for people to imagine their own death, because it makes self discovery that much easier&mdash;even though <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/media/2014/05/roz-chast-new-yorker-cartoonist-memoir-aging" target="_blank">it's unpleasant</a>.</p> <p><strong>MJ:</strong> So, um, how many times did you use the F-word in your book?</p> <p><strong>MM:</strong> Ha! I have no idea. A lot! Probably a couple hundred. The editor struck a few of them, because they were definitely gratuitous.</p></body></html> Media Interview Books Top Stories Sat, 24 Sep 2016 10:00:37 +0000 Kanyakrit Vongkiatkajorn 314331 at http://www.motherjones.com But If You Don't Learn Cursive, How Will You Read the Declaration of Independence in the Original? http://www.motherjones.com/media/2016/08/brief-history-handwriting-cursive <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p><strong>If pen retailers</strong> and state legislators are to be believed, cursive handwriting is facing an existential threat. Since the advent of the Common Core standards&mdash;which emphasize keyboard skills over nicely shaped P's and Q's&mdash;it's been common knowledge for years that teachers are abandoning cursive <a href="http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/4/prweb10667809.htm" target="_blank">in droves</a>, spending classroom time instead on new technology and typing.</p> <p>But lately, fancy handwriting is having somewhat of a comeback. Louisiana's governor <a href="http://www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2016/06/cursive_writing_louisiana.html" target="_blank">signed a law</a> in June requiring cursive instruction all the way through grade 12. Mississippi's education department recently <a href="http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2016/jan/22/state-school-board-approves-tweaks-academic-standa/" target="_blank">added script to its standards</a>. And starting this school year, third graders in Alabama are required to write legibly in cursive under the newly passed Lexi's Law. State Rep. Dickie Drake named the Alabama bill after his granddaughter, who <a href="http://www.today.com/parents/should-kids-still-learn-cursive-new-laws-mandate-handwriting-school-t101408" target="_blank">told him</a> when she was in first grade that she wanted to learn "real writing."</p> <p>The jury is still out on whether learning script, not just print, improves children's cognition. (There's <a href="http://nautil.us/issue/40/learning/cursive-handwriting-and-other-education-myths" target="_blank">little proof</a> to date that it does.) Meanwhile, scientists are i<a href="http://journal.frontiersin.org/article/10.3389/fnins.2015.00217/full" target="_blank">nching closer</a> to handwriting's true existential threat: a mind-reading machine that turns thoughts into written language via a "brain to text" interface. Here's a primer on how the technology and culture of handwriting has evolved over time.</p> <dl class="timeline"><dt>3200 B.C.</dt> <dd> <p>With stylus and clay tablets, ancient <span>Mesopotamians</span> create abstract symbols to represent syllables of their spoken language.</p> </dd> <dt>600s</dt> <dd> <p>Quill pens and parchment paper take hold in Europe. Drippy ink discourages pen lifting, hence cursive.</p> </dd> <dt>1440s</dt> <dd> <p>Johannes Gutenberg's printing press forces scribes to pivot to teaching penmanship.</p> </dd> <dt>c. 1712</dt> <dd> <p>A popular copybook by George Bickham teaches farmers and merchants to write in a "round" hand. Gentlemen of the era employ an italic script, while accomplished women practice "ladies' roman." (In general, only fairly well-off white males are taught to write.)</p> </dd> <dt>1740</dt> <dd> <p>South Carolina's Negro Act makes it a crime to teach slaves to write: "Suffering them to be employed in writing may be attended with great inconveniences." Other colonies (and later, states) follow suit.</p> </dd> <dt>1776</dt> <dd> <p>John Hancock's "John Hancock" appears prominently on the Declaration of Independence.</p> </dd> <dt>1848</dt> <dd> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/1848.jpg" style="height: 145px; width: 290px;"><div class="caption">&nbsp;</div> </div> <p>Educator Platt Rogers Spencer urges pupils to contemplate nature's curves while learning his ornate script, soon to be the hand of choice for merchants (including Ford and Coca-Cola) and schools in most states.</p> </dd> <dt>1865</dt> <dd> <p>Denmark's Rasmus <a href="http://www.malling-hansen.org/" target="_blank">Malling-Hansen </a>introduces the first commercial typewriter, the Hansen Writing Ball.</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Wriing_2000x1124.jpg"><div class="caption">Malling-Hansen Society</div> </div> </dd> <dt>1880</dt> <dd> <p>Alonzo Cross' patented "stylographic pen" holds its own ink.</p> </dd> <dt>1888</dt> <dd> <p>Irish immigrant John Robert Gregg invents a shorthand method that will eventually be taught in countless US high schools.</p> </dd> <dt>1894</dt> <dd> <p>With handwriting under threat by typewriters, Austin Palmer introduces a smaller, faster writing style, taught via militaristic "drills." His 1912 textbook on the Palmer Method sells more than 1 million copies. (Spen&shy;cerian script is history.)</p> </dd> <dt>1904</dt> <dd> <p>French psychologist Alfred Binet popularizes handwriting analysis as a window into the writer's traits. He goes on to invent the IQ test.</p> </dd> <dt>1913</dt> <dd> <p>Congress greenlights the use of handwriting as forensic evidence in court.</p> </dd> <dt>1935</dt> <dd> <div class="inline inline-right" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/Lindbergbaby_0.jpg" style="height: 233px; width: 290px; float: right;"><div class="caption">STF/AFP/Getty</div> </div> <p>The man convicted (and later executed) based on ransom notes for kidnapping the Lindbergh baby laments, "Dat handwriting is the worstest thing against me."</p> </dd> <dt>1944</dt> <dd> <p>L&aacute;szl&oacute; J&oacute;zsef B&iacute;r&oacute; markets the first ballpoint pen.</p> </dd> <dt>1958</dt> <dd> <p>The <a href="http://www.bicworld.com/" target="_blank">Bic </a>ballpoint hits US stores, turning pens&mdash;once luxury goods&mdash;into a cheap commodity.</p> </dd> <dt>1961</dt> <dd> <p>The signature of US Treasurer Elizabeth Rudel Smith on paper currency invites public scorn: Her "t"s are "crossed belatedly, like a feminine afterthought," snarks a <em>Chicago Tribune </em>writer. The <em>New York Times </em>seizes on the occasion to bemoan the "lost art of handwriting."</p> </dd> <dt>c.1964</dt> <dd> <p>From a Louisiana poll test: "Write every other word in this first line and print every third word in same line (original type smaller and first line ended at comma) but capitalize the fifth word that you write."</p> </dd> <dt>1977</dt> <dd> <p>A pen makers' trade group launches National Handwriting Day even as <a href="http://www.computerhistory.org/revolution/personal-computers/17/298" target="_blank">PC makers</a> including Apple and Commodore begin selling the computer keyboards that presage handwriting's slow, inevitable decline.</p> </dd> <dt>1984</dt> <dd> <p>T<a href="http://www.ncte.org" target="_blank">he National Council of Teachers of English </a>condemns the practice of making naughty kids write lines, because it "causes students to dislike an activity necessary to their intellectual development and career success."</p> <div class="inline inline-center" style="display: table; width: 1%"><img alt="" class="image" src="/files/1984.jpg" style="height: 337px; width: 630px;"><div class="caption">Fox</div> </div> </dd> <dt>1996</dt> <dd> <p>Researchers claim they've debunked the "conventional wisdom" that doctors have worse handwriting than other health professionals do.</p> </dd> <dt>2000</dt> <dd> <p><a href="https://www.cedars-sinai.edu" target="_blank">Cedars-Sinai Medical Center</a> in Los Angeles urges "handwriting-challenged" MDs to take a penmanship class, even as a key medical journal blasts handwritten case notes as "a dinosaur long overdue for extinction."</p> </dd> <dt>2001</dt> <dd> <p>First-class mail usage hits its peak&mdash;only to plummet 40 percent by 2015.</p> </dd> <dt>2010</dt> <dd> <p><a href="http://www.corestandards.org" target="_blank">Common Core standards</a>, soon to be adopted by most states, emphasize early typing skills but make no mention of cursive. Parents and educators flip out. "They're not teaching cursive writing," conservative TV host Glenn Beck thunders, "because the easiest way to make somebody a slave is dumb them down."</p> </dd> <dt>2012</dt> <dd> <p>Scientists find that the brains of preliterate kids respond like a reader's brain when they write their ABCs, but not when they type or trace the letters; another research team reports that college students who transcribed lectures on their laptops recalled more information than those who took notes by hand.</p> </dd> <dt>2014</dt> <dd> <p>Bic launches a "<a href="http://www.bicfightforyourwrite.com" target="_blank">Fight For Your Write</a>" campaign&mdash;"because writing makes us all awesome!"</p> </dd> <dt>2016</dt> <dd>Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama mandate instruction of handwriting in public schools. Without it, supporters argue, kids wouldn't be able to sign their names or read the Constitution. Over at <a href="http://motherboard.vice.com/read/why-are-we-still-teaching-kids-cursive-handwriting-common-core-curriculum" target="_blank">Motherboard</a>, Kaleigh Rogers counters that cursive needs to "join its former companion&mdash;the quill and inkwell&mdash;in the annals of history where it belongs."</dd> </dl></body></html> Media Education Media Sat, 24 Sep 2016 10:00:36 +0000 Madison Pauly 310836 at http://www.motherjones.com Remember When Ted Cruz Loathed Donald Trump? http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/09/ted-cruz-donald-trump-hate-and-love-twitter <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>Today Ted Cruz <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/09/ted-cruz-endorses-donald-trump-order-defeat-hillary-clinton" target="_blank">endorsed</a> Donald Trump, putting the cherry on top of the Texas senator's complicated relationship with the Republican nominee&mdash;a relationship that's involved a lot of vitriol, name-calling, a sprinkle of admiration, but mostly hate. Thankfully, it's all captured on Twitter.</p> <p>It began cordially enough. Cruz even called Trump "terrific."</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">I&rsquo;m pleased to welcome <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump">@realDonaldTrump</a> into the race for the 2016 GOP nomination for President of the United States <a href="https://t.co/T2ZWtAcwQ3">https://t.co/T2ZWtAcwQ3</a></p> &mdash; Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) <a href="https://twitter.com/tedcruz/status/610868169616531456">June 16, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">The Establishment's only hope: Trump &amp; me in a cage match.<br><br> Sorry to disappoint -- <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump">@realDonaldTrump</a> is terrific. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/DealWithIt?src=hash">#DealWithIt</a></p> &mdash; Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) <a href="https://twitter.com/tedcruz/status/675360299747184640">December 11, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>But things soon got ugly.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Lying <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ted?src=hash">#Ted</a> Cruz just (on election day) came out with a sneak and sleazy Robocall. He holds up the Bible but in fact is a true lowlife pol!</p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/701043432354095108">February 20, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">.<a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump">@realDonaldTrump</a>, showing class &amp; grace, calls me a "soft weak little baby." Hope he doesn't try to eat me! <a href="https://t.co/bv9ID4lEhF">https://t.co/bv9ID4lEhF</a></p> &mdash; Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) <a href="https://twitter.com/tedcruz/status/702304168245985287">February 24, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Why would Texans vote for "liar" Ted Cruz when he was born in Canada, lived there for 4 years-and remained a Canadian citizen until recently</p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/702640425623003136">February 24, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Falsely accusing someone of lying is itself a lie. And it's something <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump">@realDonaldTrump</a> does daily. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GOPDebate?src=hash">#GOPDebate</a></p> &mdash; Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) <a href="https://twitter.com/tedcruz/status/703060244205740033">February 26, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Then Trump got their wives involved...</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">"<a href="https://twitter.com/Don_Vito_08">@Don_Vito_08</a>: "A picture is worth a thousand words" <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump">@realDonaldTrump</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LyingTed?src=hash">#LyingTed</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NeverCruz?src=hash">#NeverCruz</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/MELANIATRUMP">@MELANIATRUMP</a> <a href="https://t.co/5bvVEwMVF8">pic.twitter.com/5bvVEwMVF8</a>"</p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/712850174838771712">March 24, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>At which point, Cruz called Trump a "sniveling coward" and vowed to beat him.</p> <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="354" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/p_qBjmvywYs" width="630"></iframe></p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Donald Trump&rsquo;s consistently disgraceful behavior is beneath the office we are seeking and we are not going to follow <a href="https://t.co/BG9IHd1Oqg">https://t.co/BG9IHd1Oqg</a></p> &mdash; Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) <a href="https://twitter.com/tedcruz/status/713420976936132610">March 25, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Cruz called Trump a Democrat, compared him to Hillary Clinton, and called for him to release his tax returns.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">The <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump">@realDonaldTrump</a> is a Democrat and should not be our Party&rsquo;s nominee: <a href="https://t.co/mBA1SgiEWx">https://t.co/mBA1SgiEWx</a> <a href="https://t.co/oJFc7pDCv2">pic.twitter.com/oJFc7pDCv2</a></p> &mdash; Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) <a href="https://twitter.com/tedcruz/status/713052464942022656">March 24, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton -- flip sides of the same coin.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ChooseCruz?src=hash">#ChooseCruz</a>: <a href="https://t.co/NKVu9AtZb7">https://t.co/</a><a href="https://t.co/NKVu9AtZb7">NKVu9AtZb7</a><a href="https://t.co/AOtZQoV9Kz">https</a><a href="https://t.co/AOtZQoV9Kz">://t.co/AOtZQoV9Kz</a></p> &mdash; Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) <a href="https://twitter.com/tedcruz/status/726554793494241280">April 30, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Nominating Donald Trump would be a train wreck. It would be handing the White House over to Hillary Clinton. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GOPTownHall?src=hash">#GOPTownHall</a></p> &mdash; Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) <a href="https://twitter.com/tedcruz/status/714976221319270400">March 30, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">I&rsquo;ve released 9 years of tax returns. RT if you agree it&rsquo;s time for Donald Trump to release his! <a href="https://t.co/08whtFVC0r">https://t.co/08whtFVC0r</a></p> &mdash; Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) <a href="https://twitter.com/tedcruz/status/722228316065763328">April 19, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Even when Cruz <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/05/ted-cruz-ends-presidential-campaign-after-trump-sweep-indiana" target="_blank">dropped out of the race</a>, he refused to endorse Trump at the Republican National Convention, urging people to vote their consciences.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">To those listening, please don't stay home in November. If you love our country, stand and speak and vote your conscience <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RNCinCLE?src=hash">#RNCinCLE</a></p> &mdash; Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) <a href="https://twitter.com/tedcruz/status/755944329357631488">July 21, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Today, Cruz argues that he's voting for Trump because Hillary Clinton is "manifestly unfit" to be president. "If Clinton wins, we know&mdash;with 100% certainty&mdash;that she would deliver on her left-wing promises, with devastating results for our country," he <a href="https://www.facebook.com/tedcruzpage/posts/10154476728267464" target="_blank">wrote</a> in his announcement.&nbsp;</p> <p>Seems like only yesterday when Cruz tweeted:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Flexibility is a good thing, but you shouldn&rsquo;t be flexible on core principles. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GOPDebate?src=hash">#GOPDebate</a></p> &mdash; Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) <a href="https://twitter.com/tedcruz/status/698709936851668993">February 14, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script></body></html> Politics Sat, 24 Sep 2016 00:16:36 +0000 Kanyakrit Vongkiatkajorn 314761 at http://www.motherjones.com Judge Upholds Arizona Ballot Collecting Ban, Raising Fears of Suppressed Minority Vote http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/09/judge-keeps-place-arizona-ban-ballot-collecting <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>A federal judge denied a Democratic challenge on Friday to Arizona's ban on collecting other people's absentee ballots, a move that opponents of the ban fear will suppress the minority vote in the state in the upcoming November elections.</p> <p>The <em>Arizona Republic </em><a href="http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/09/23/judge-rejects-hold-arizona-ballot-harvesting-law/90921920/" target="_blank">reported Friday</a> that US District Court Judge Douglas Rayes ruled that the law didn't disproportionately impact minority groups. Although it could cause inconvenience for some voters, Rayes found, it didn't create a significant enough burden to warrant blocking its enforcement during this election. The legal fight over the constitutionality of the law will continue<em>, </em>but the law will not be blocked for the Nov. 8 general election.</p> <p>The law, <a href="http://www.azleg.gov/legtext/52leg/2r/summary/s.2023gov_asenacted.pdf" target="_blank">Arizona House Bill 2023</a>, targets so-called "ballot harvesting." It makes it a felony, punishable by up to a year in state prison, for somebody to submit a ballot that isn't his or hers. Election officials, family members, and caregivers are exempt.</p> <p>Arizona Republicans have <a href="http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/01/25/democrats-ballot-collecting-bill-effort-suppress-voters/79293642/" target="_blank">tried for three years</a> to block the ability of people to gather other voters' absentee ballots and submit them for counting. Republicans have argued that the practice would allow a person to take someone else's ballot and not turn it in, or to alter it in some way before turning it in, constituting a form of fraud. Arizona Democrats and community activists argued that the practice was common in areas of the state with a substantial minority population, including the Phoenix metro area, and that a ban would be <a href="http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/08/22/latino-groups-ballot-collection-reaction/89107910/" target="_blank">a form of voter suppression</a>. The bill was finally approved this year.</p> <p>"Voting is a key pillar of our democracy," <a href="http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/arizona/2016/03/10/gov-ducey-signs-arizona-bill-banning-ballot-collection/81557626/" target="_blank">said Republican Gov. Doug Ducey</a> when he signed the bill in March. "The bill ensures a chain of custody between the voter and the ballot box."</p> <p>State Republicans acknowledged&nbsp;during court arguments in early August that there's no evidence that a ballot has ever been tampered with or thrown away during the process of ballot collection. But they argued that was irrelevant. "You need not wait until someone breaks into your house before putting a lock on the door," Arizona Republican Party attorney Sara Jane Agne <a href="http://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2016/08/03/state-asks-court-to-ban-ballot-harvesting-even-with-no-evidence-of-fraud/" target="_blank">said during court arguments</a>.</p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections voting rights Fri, 23 Sep 2016 20:59:29 +0000 AJ Vicens 314756 at http://www.motherjones.com Ted Cruz Endorses Trump After Calling Him a "Sniveling Coward" http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/09/ted-cruz-endorses-donald-trump-order-defeat-hillary-clinton <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>For months, Ted Cruz has refused to endorse Donald Trump, making Cruz a hero to some Republicans who remain opposed to Trump. But that ended on Friday when Cruz announced he would support his former rival.</p> <p>"After many months of careful consideration, of prayer and searching my own conscience, I have decided that on Election Day, I will vote for the Republican nominee, Donald Trump," Cruz wrote in a Facebook <a href="https://www.facebook.com/tedcruzpage/posts/10154476728267464" target="_blank">post</a>.</p> <p>At the Republican National Convention in July, rather than endorse Trump, Cruz urged Republicans to "vote your conscience," drawing shouts and boos from the audience. On Friday, he said his own conscience told him to support Trump. "If Clinton wins, we know&mdash;with 100% certainty&mdash;that she would deliver on her left-wing promises, with devastating results for our country," he wrote. "My conscience tells me I must do whatever I can to stop that."</p> <p>Cruz had some good reasons not to endorse Trump, stemming from the nasty primary battle between them. Trump has repeatedly attacked members of Cruz's family. In February, Trump went after Cruz's wife, Heidi, threatening in a tweet to "spill the beans" about her. Trump then retweeted an unflattering photo of Heidi next to a better one of his own wife, Melania.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Lyin' Ted Cruz just used a picture of Melania from a G.Q. shoot in his ad. Be careful, Lyin' Ted, or I will spill the beans on your wife!</p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/712457104515317764">March 23, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">"<a href="https://twitter.com/Don_Vito_08">@Don_Vito_08</a>: "A picture is worth a thousand words" <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump">@realDonaldTrump</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LyingTed?src=hash">#LyingTed</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NeverCruz?src=hash">#NeverCruz</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/MELANIATRUMP">@MELANIATRUMP</a> <a href="https://t.co/5bvVEwMVF8">pic.twitter.com/5bvVEwMVF8</a>"</p> &mdash; Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/712850174838771712">March 24, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>Cruz's <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_qBjmvywYs" target="_blank">response</a>: "Donald, you're a sniveling coward. Leave Heidi the hell alone."</p> <p>But Trump wasn't done going after Cruz's family. Toward the end of the primary, Trump suggested that Cruz's father might have been involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. When Cruz refused to endorse Trump at the convention this summer, Trump promptly <a href="http://www.politico.com/story/2016/07/trump-ted-cruz-jfk-assassination-226020" target="_blank">revived this accusation</a>.</p> <p>Cruz cited these attacks to defend his decision not to endorse Trump at the Republican National Convention in July. "I am not in the habit of supporting people who attack my wife and attack my father," he <a href="http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/20/politics/ted-cruz-republican-convention-moment/" target="_blank">said at the time</a>. Now his habits appear to have changed.</p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Donald Trump Ted Cruz Fri, 23 Sep 2016 20:04:17 +0000 Pema Levy 314746 at http://www.motherjones.com Intelligence Officials Are Looking Into a Trump Adviser's Possible Kremlin Ties http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/09/trump-aide-carter-page-under-investigation-kremlin-ties <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>US intelligence officials are looking into the Kremlin ties of a US businessman who is serving as a foreign policy adviser to Republican nominee Donald Trump,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.yahoo.com/news/u-s-intel-officials-probe-ties-between-trump-adviser-and-kremlin-175046002.html?soc_src=mail&amp;soc_trk=ma" target="_blank"><em>Yahoo News</em> reported today</a>. During briefings given to senior members of Congress about the possibility that the Russian government is trying to tamper with the presidential election, intelligence officials have discussed Trump adviser Carter Page, who runs an energy investment firm that specializes in Russia and Europe, according to the site.</p> <p><em>Yahoo</em> reports that members of Congress were told that Page may have had contact or set up meetings with high-level Kremlin officials and may have discussed the possibility of the United States lifting sanctions on Russia if Trump becomes president. An unnamed senior law enforcement official confirmed to <em>Yahoo</em>, "It's being looked at."</p> <p>Trump <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2016/03/21/a-transcript-of-donald-trumps-meeting-with-the-washington-post-editorial-board/?utm_term=.5b5b96745049" target="_blank">told</a> the <em>Washington Post</em> in March that Page, a former Merrill Lynch investment banker, was part of his foreign policy team. Page's role in the campaign has been described in various ways since, including as an informal adviser.</p> <p>Page has a long history with Russia, and he is known for expressing sympathy for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Earlier this year, Page told <em><a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-03-30/trump-russia-adviser-carter-page-interview" target="_blank">Bloomberg News</a></em> that he had lived in Moscow in the early 2000s for several years when he worked for Merrill Lynch, working closely with the state-owned Russian oil and gas company Gazprom. After leaving Merrill Lynch, Page started his own investment firm, and this firm has invested in Gazprom, which has been included on the list of Russian firms targeted for sanctions by the United States due to its close links to Putin. Page has been consistently critical of Western attempts to sanction Russian companies and officials over Putin's incursions into Ukraine.</p> <p>In July, Page <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/trump-advisers-public-comments-ties-to-moscow-stir-unease-in-both-parties/2016/08/05/2e8722fa-5815-11e6-9aee-8075993d73a2_story.html" target="_blank">raised eyebrows</a> by traveling to Russia to speak at an event for an organization with links to Putin's inner circle, where he took issue with US policy, declaring that Western countries "criticized these regions for continuing methods which were prevalent during the Cold War period&hellip;Yet ironically, Washington and other Western capitals have impeded potential progress through their often hypocritical focus on ideas such as democratization, inequality, corruption, and regime change."</p> <p>A Trump campaign spokesman told <em>Yahoo</em> that Page has no role in the campaign but did not respond when asked why the campaign had earlier called Page an adviser.</p></body></html> Politics 2016 Elections Donald Trump Fri, 23 Sep 2016 19:51:50 +0000 Russ Choma 314741 at http://www.motherjones.com Pharma Reps Pitched Doctors on Addictive Painkillers by Spelling Out “OxyContin" in Doughnuts http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/09/oxycontin-opioids-abbott-laboratories-purdue-pharma-sales <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd"> <html><body><p>In the late '90s, sales reps from pharmaceutical giant Abbott Laboratories faced a conundrum: They wanted to sell the recently introduced painkiller OxyContin to an orthopedic surgeon, but the usual sales tactics weren't working.&nbsp;They visited the office a couple times, but got the cold shoulder. They pitched him on the drug over lunch&sbquo; but he didn't seem interested.</p> <p>When they learned the doctor had a weakness for sweets, they came up with a new plan: deliver a box of with donuts and other treats carefully arranged to spell out the word "OxyContin." The surprise gift won over the doctor, who began prescribing OxyContin. "We are pleased that we have such a sweet start in developing a relationship with this 'no-see' physician," the sales reps later wrote, "and we're looking forward to sweet success with OxyContin!"</p> <div class="DV-container" id="DV-viewer-3112903-Royal-Crusaders-Sales-Mailing">&nbsp;</div> <script src="//assets.documentcloud.org/viewer/loader.js"></script><script> DV.load("https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3112903-Royal-Crusaders-Sales-Mailing.js", { width: 630, height: 500, sidebar: false, text: false, container: "#DV-viewer-3112903-Royal-Crusaders-Sales-Mailing" }); </script><noscript> <a href="https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3112903/Royal-Crusaders-Sales-Mailing.pdf">Royal-Crusaders-Sales-Mailing (PDF)</a> <br><a href="https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3112903/Royal-Crusaders-Sales-Mailing.txt">Royal-Crusaders-Sales-Mailing (Text)</a> </noscript> <p>The anecdote, which comes from the internal Abbott bulletin above, is part of a trove of recently unsealed court documents detailed in an <a href="https://www.statnews.com/2016/09/22/abbott-oxycontin-crusade/" target="_blank">investigation</a> by health news site <em>STAT. </em>As the story explains, after Purdue Pharma introduced OxyContin in 1996, the company embarked on a <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/08/opioid-charts-explainer" target="_blank">massive sales campaign</a> to convince doctors and patients alike on the benefits of treating pain with opioids. Since then, the opioid overdose rate has soared; many experts trace the origins of the epidemic back to Purdue Pharma's campaign. In 2007, the company and its executives paid a $600 million fine for misleading patients, doctors, and policymakers about the drug's addictive effects.</p> <p>But the <em>STAT</em> investigation shows that Purdue was far from alone: Abbott Laboratories had signed on to a partnership with Purdue to promote OxyConton through a series of aggressive, often questionable sales tactics. Under the terms of the partnership, which started in 1996, at least 300 Abbott sales reps launched what they called a "crusade" to sell OxyContin. In return, Abbott received up to 30 percent of net sales. Critically, the deal specified that Abbott would be indemnified from legal costs involved in selling the drug&mdash;a move that would later save Abbott millions of dollars and lots of bad press. By 2006, Purdue Pharma claimed $400 in legal fees involving OxyContin. Meanwhile, Abbott had made $374 million in OxyContin commissions by 2002.</p> <script src="//assets.documentcloud.org/viewer/loader.js"></script><script> DV.load("https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3112903-Royal-Crusaders-Sales-Mailing.js", { width: 630, height: 500, sidebar: false, text: false, container: "#DV-viewer-3112903-Royal-Crusaders-Sales-Mailing" }); </script><noscript> <a href="https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3112903/Royal-Crusaders-Sales-Mailing.pdf">Royal-Crusaders-Sales-Mailing (PDF)</a> <br><a href="https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3112903/Royal-Crusaders-Sales-Mailing.txt">Royal-Crusaders-Sales-Mailing (Text)</a> </noscript> <p>In the "crusade" to sell OxyContin, Abbott sales reps were referred to as "crusaders" and&nbsp;"knights" and sales director Jerry Eichorn was called the "King of Pain." (Eichorn, who signed memos as "King," is now the national director of sales for Abbott spinoff AbbVie, which sells Vicodin.) Sales reps were instructed to highlight how the drug has "less abuse/addiction potential" than other painkillers; similar statements would later cost Purdue millions of dollars.</p> <p>The court documents detailed all sorts of questionable sales strategies: Sales reps paid for take-out lunch at restaurants the doctors liked, giving their pitch in the few minutes it took to pick up the food&mdash;a move called the "Dine and Dash." They gave surgeons bookstore coupons, and pitched the drug while waiting to pay. Top-performing reps&mdash;like the doughnut arrangers&mdash;were rewarded with prizes, from travel coupons to lottery tickets.</p> <p>As the internal Abbott bulletin would put it: "All hail the Knights of the Round Table in the Royal Court of OxyContin!"</p></body></html> Politics Corporations Health Health Care Science Fri, 23 Sep 2016 19:25:37 +0000 Julia Lurie 314666 at http://www.motherjones.com