This week we offer articles on U.S. military spending, why U.S. health care is so expensive, the wide reach of the NSA’s spying programs, efforts to stop the reign of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, and how the payday lending industry tries to avoid regulations. (More)

The Force – an essay examining the question of, in a nation that spends more on the military than all other countries in the world combined, how much military is enough?

In Need of a New Hip, But Priced Out of the U.S. – an investigation into the role that the medical device industry and its lobbyists play in making medical procedures such as hip replacements cost so much more in the U.S. than in European countries, and what those facts say about our ability to rein in health care spending in the U.S.

They Know Much More Than You Think – an overview of the reach of the National Security Administration’s intrusive and wasteful spying programs.

Arresting Robert Mugabe – an interview with Peter Tatchell, an LGBT activist who grew up in Zimbabwe and has long fought the tyrannical reign of that country’s President, Robert Mugabe by, among other things, twice attempting to arrest Mugabe under the United Nations Convention Against Torture when he visited Europe.

The PayDay Playbook – a look inside the predatory payday loan industry’s lobbying and legal efforts to stave off regulation of their shady industry.