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Ralph Nader – bone-thin and looking only slightly older than he did 34 years ago, when his scathing indictment of the Chevrolet Corvair, Unsafe at Any Speed, was first published – is tucking into his second dessert. And he is still railing. “You will not believe this,” says Nader, his high-pitched laugh resonating through the otherwise empty Middle Eastern restaurant. (Although Nader is arguably the most outraged man in America, he projects a perennial sense of amusement, as if the sins of the government and corporate America are so egregious that the only response is laughter.) Nader is talking about his latest cause, the paucity of government funding for tuberculosis and malaria cures. “I’ve met with all of them – [Health and Human Services secretary Donna] Shalala, had dinner with [National Institutes of Health director Harold] Varmus, talked to Hillary’s people, and everyone agrees with me.” Then, his incredulity growing: “I’ve never had an issue that no one opposes and yet can’t do anything about.”

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