Blog Posts

The Mueller Report: The Dangers of Getting Too Close

It&;s time to temper expectations for Robert Mueller&;s report. Those in the know have sent signals in recent days not to expect any bombshells, and certainly not to expect any high-level indictments.

Sex, Blackmail, and Jeff Bezos

The nation is now agog over a sex and blackmail scandal that involves two of the more famous publishers in the world — Jeffrey Bezos, owner of Amazon and the Washington Post, and David Pecker, publisher of the National Enquirer. By now you know the bare — and I do mean bare — outlines of the scandal.

Is Another State Ready to Reject Disenfranchisement?

Only three states — Iowa, Kentucky, and Virginia — are still permanently banning former felons from voting. Soon, that list may be down to two. After Florida’s voters overwhelmingly rejected this form of disenfranchisement in November by approving an amendment to the state constitution that makes more than one million former felons eligible to vote, Iowa may be next. Last week during her Condition of the State Address, Gov.

Why Trump Won’t Back Down on Shutdown

Most — if not all — presidents ran for office because they thought they could run the country better than the other candidates. And running the country means being in charge of the US government. It implies some regard for the institution that would be paying their salary. But Donald Trump never really considered the presidency to be a job. It was just a vehicle to gain the most attention from adoring crowds, obtain the best perks, maximize his brand, and hold the greatest power.

Chaotic Haggling Follows Trump’s Syria Withdrawal Plan

National Security Adviser John Bolton received a cold shoulder in Turkey on Tuesday as he attempted to reduce the impact of President Donald Trump’s sudden decision to withdraw from Syria. The diplomatic confrontation appeared to reinforce between NATO’s largest and second-largest armies.

Not Everyone Buys Story of ICE Divisions

A letter sent to Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen back in June should have been an internal document having to do with workplace structuring. Instead, it was hailed by Abolish ICE activists as proof that even those working within one of the Trump administration’s most controversial agencies were ready to upend the system.

Legit-Looking Websites That Peddle Fake News

While Congress is increasingly putting pressure on Big Tech giants such as Facebook and Twitter to combat on their pages, some lawmakers, such as Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), have published their own “news” websites filled with self-serving disinformation.

The American Lobbyist Who Undermined a Democracy

Recent in a Ukraine courtroom have shed new light on US special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Prosecutors in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev have filed a court motion against Viktor Yanukovych, a Ukrainian politician closely allied with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mueller Is Not the End, but Just the Beginning

With every news cycle we eagerly gobble down the “feel good” pieces by “expert” tea-leaf readers predicting the coming comeuppance for Trump and his cadre. These experts posit the risks the Trump forces face, delight in the prospects, and offer hope that the end of our long national nightmare is at hand. Of course, no one actually knows, but that doesn&;t matter.

Your ICE at Work: Another Nanny Rounded Up and Sent Packing

The US can feel a little more secure today. On July 19, US Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) successfully removed Marta Rodriguez from our shores.

Did the NRA Launder Russian Money to Help Trump Win the 2016 Presidential Election?

Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether Russians connected to Vladimir Putin used the National Rifle Association (NRA) to funnel illegal payments to Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. Why would Russian money intended to influence a US election be “laundered” through the NRA?

A Deep State: The Gun the US Doesn’t Have

Fifteen years ago, former ambassador Joe Wilson on the ignored intelligence that debunked the argument for the Iraq War, setting off a chain of events that led to the outing of a covert US intelligence agent who happened to be his wife.

It Devours: Smartphones Are Seducing Us Out of Reality

In 1996 came the Internet and it made the world instantly global. Then, in 2008, the iPhone arrived, and we as a society became universally and ubiquitously plugged-in. Mainlined into the cosmic collective, and buttressed by an accompanying explosion of virtual “communities” through social media sites.Today this omniscient virtual world is summoned on average 85 times a day by its users (31,000 times in a year).

To Flip Manafort: Is Mueller Gathering Plea Deals?

While many others targeted by special counsel Robert Mueller have agreed to cooperate, President Donald Trump&;s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, has pleaded not guilty to various charges brought against him.

Official Bullshit on RFK Murder Recycled

On the 50th Anniversary of Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination, May 24, 2018, the  trumpeted this headline: Why Sirhan Sirhan, a Jerusalem-born Palestinian, Shot Bobby Kennedy

Rosenstein Is Caught Between Doing His Job and Appeasing Trump

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has one of the toughest jobs in Washington. He wants to ensure that the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election can proceed while also having to handle the increasingly frequent tantrums from President Donald Trump.

America Makes Torture Great Again

The US Senate has confirmed Gina Haspel as CIA director. Because three Republicans opposed her, some Democrats were needed to get the necessary votes. In the end, six of them voted with the rest of the GOP to confirm “Bloody Gina.” That’s some . Haspel oversaw torture at a secret CIA prison in Thailand during the Bush administration, and was instrumental in the destruction of video tapes of the torture sessions.

Restraint: A Beautifully Simple Way to Stop Joyless Overconsumption and Environmental Degradation

Pierre Rabhi is a French writer, farmer, environmentalist, agroecologist, and the inventor of the compelling concept, Oasis in any place. At the age of five, I witnessed my father lose his livelihood as a blacksmith to the exploding coal mining industry in Algeria. The year was 1943 and civilization had arrived, with its complexity and immense powers of material attraction. Rather than hang up his hat, my father conformed to the opportunities that the new industry provided, working every day for the French occupiers who had discovered coal.

Is Trump Trying to Prevent #ChinaGate?

During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump raged over all the US jobs that he claimed had been lost to China, and said he would go with a program of “America First” when it came to trade deals with that country. Now we learn he is considering amending sanctions on Chinese phone maker ZTE because his proposed sanctions on the company would result in “too many lost jobs in China.”Well, by now, we are all accustomed to Trump contradicting his own promises. But this one is stranger than most. The reason?

The Insanity of Daily Life in America

“David’s Bookshelf” is a new feature for WhoWhatWhy readers. David Wineberg, popular for his insightful and entertaining reviews online, will present new works of nonfiction and offer his thoughts and commentary on these books, whose topics we believe will be of interest to many of our readers. The views expressed in these reviews reflect those of the author and not necessarily those of WhoWhatWhy.

Kim Jong-un vs. Donald J. Trump: Kim Wins

We are about to witness a no-holds-barred match between two of the greatest bait-and-switch artists in history.Two men will enter the ring. In this corner, Donald J. Trump, who describes himself as the best dealmaker on the planet. In the other corner, North Korea dictator, Kim Jong-un, a man who runs his hermit kingdom with an iron fist and never takes “no” for an answer.One man will leave the ring victorious.

Florida Needs a Better System to Restore Felons’ Voting Rights, Judge Says

Many of the 1.6 million disenfranchised felons in Florida may be one step closer to being able to vote thanks to a ruling from a federal judge. Earlier this week, US District Judge Mark Walker ordered Gov. Rick Scott (R) to devise a new system to restore convicted felons’ right to vote by April 26.The court order from Walker requires Gov.

Standoff Between Turkey, West Accelerates as Syrian Kurdish City Sacked

After the fall of the Syrian Kurdish city of Afrin on March 18, the Turkish operation in Syria has entered a particularly dangerous phase, with relations between the regime of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the US fast approaching a make-or-break point.Turkey on the next big Kurdish-held city in Syria: Manbij.

Pennsylvania GOP Moves to Impeach Democratic Supreme Court Justices

President Gerald Ford once famously said that “an impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers [it] to be at a given moment in history.” Pennsylvania’s Republican lawmakers apparently believe that disagreeing with them is sufficient grounds for impeachment.Twelve Republican lawmakers filed legislation on Tuesday to impeach the four Democratic justices on the seven-member Pennsylvania Supreme Court who, in January, ruled the state’s congressional map was unconstitutional.Specifically, the court said the map that Republicans had drawn in 2011 was “designed

Revenge of the Neocons

President Donald Trump’s cabinet is starting to look more and more like a Bush-Cheney war room.The irony is thick, considering candidate Trump’s promises to “drain the swamp,” his claimed opposition to foreign intervention, and his apparent antagonism to the Bush dynasty in the lead up to election day.Just days ago, Trump fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, former CEO of ExxonMobil, and nominated CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him. To fill Pompeo’s place as head of the CIA, Trump nominated Deputy Director Gina Haspel. And reportedly waiting in the wings to replace former general H.R.

More Federal Secrecy in Case of Trump Associate Felix Sater

A US judge on Monday unsealed a host of documents related to Felix Sater, a longtime business associate of President Donald Trump. These are documents that reporters have long sought to review to determine the nature of Trump’s ties with Sater, who has mob ties in both Russia and the US.Based on a quick initial scan of the documents, they hint at a still untold story of great public interest.

Trump’s Drone War Is Worse Than We Thought

In November, to the fact that President Donald Trump is continuing the Obama administration’s drone war while suppressing important information on the drone strikes conducted this year.While that is bad enough, things are actually much worse.The number of drone strikes in Somalia and Yemen has soared as Trump appears to have handed much of his war-making authority to military leaders.

Erdogan Moves Against Syria’s Kurds

Following several days of intense artillery bombardment and air strikes, the Turkish army launched a ground invasion of the Syrian Kurdish canton of Afrin on Monday.WhoWhatWhy reported on the likelihood of such an operation.

Trump Federal Judge Nominee Can’t Answer Basic Legal Questions

This truly shocking video of one of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees has been making the rounds and it raises a lot of troubling questions.Foremost among them is, why would someone be nominated to a lifetime appointment on the influential US District Court for the District of Columbia who doesn’t recognize some basic legal terms.Just as importantly, why did nominee Matthew Spencer Petersen not prepare? A week-long cram session should have allowed any law school graduate to knock these softball questions out of the park.

Give Thanks, America!

Having moved over from England a few years ago, Thanksgiving has taught me what it actually means to be American.From the outside, all that most foreigners see of America is a stereotypically brash, greedy “number one!” mentality, with a giant soda-drinking mouse mascot, overly padded sportsmen, and an earnest desire to police the world. Sure — you win lots of medals at all the Olympics. Congratulations!

That Time When a Foreign Power Was Recruited to Keep a Clinton Out of the White House

History repeats itself, again and again. The idea of a US presidential candidate colluding with a foreign government to gain an edge on a political opponent is nothing new.Just ask former President George H.W.

Wisconsin is About to Raise the Barriers to Recounts

Wisconsin was one of a handful of states to shock the nation when it bucked expert predictions and selected Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. A partial recount, which, as WhoWhatWhy documented, was by , followed the nailbiter.

Russcast: New JFK Files Released, Anthony Weiner Scandal, and More

In our fourth episode of Russcast, WhoWhatWhy founder and editor-in-chief Russ Baker discusses the release of by the National Archives — many of which are heavily redacted — and the mainstream media&;s predilection for the “lone-nutter” narrative — an example of what one viewer described

Household Debt Rises: Bankers (and The New York Times) Cheer

Four days after my article on spiraling government and household debt appeared , the lead story in the New York Times business section — — gave examples of Americans struggling with credit card debt, as well as banks earning soaring profits from thei

Russ Baker Takes Reader Questions and Sheds Light on JFK Documents

In our third episode of Russcast, WhoWhatWhy founder and editor-in-chief Russ Baker discusses news of the day, including the Whitefish-Puerto Rico scandal and the cronyism and corruption that pervades government. Russ also reviews some of our featured articles, and brings you more on the JFK record release.You can watch Russ live and ask him questions on Facebook every Wednesday night at 7:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM PT.

WhoWhatWhy Premier of ‘Russcast’

Last Thursday was a long awaited day for JFK researchers: the release of some 30,000-plus previously classified documents related to the assassination. But President Donald Trump delayed the release of over 90% of the documents at the behest of executive branch agencies.To break all of this down, WhoWhatWhy founder and editor-in-chief Russ Baker recently went live on Facebook for our premier “Russcast” series. The first video below was on the 26th, the day of the record release, and the following video is from the day after.

Who Ordered Data Destroyed that may Have Proved Georgia Election Rigged?

Who ordered technicians at Kennesaw State University to wipe data servers of critical information that could have determined if Georgia’s Special Election to fill a vacant House seat — and the subsequent runoff in which Republican Karen Handel defeated Democrat John Ossoff — were compromised by hackers?The servers were central to a lawsuit accusing numerous state and local election officials, including Secretary of State Brian Kemp, of failing to secure their voting systems.Plaintiffs hope to annul the potentially compromised results of April’s Special Election.Kemp, who oversees Georgia’s ele

Running Towards Reform: Asheville 5k Follows Partisan Line to Oppose Gerrymandering

One year ahead of the next major election in North Carolina, the city of Asheville is hosting a unique race to highlight how state Republicans have redrawn district lines in their favor.The Gerrymander 5K “walk/run” is no race for the faint of heart — or the weak-ankled. That&;s because its route traces the outlandish district line that separates North Carolina’s 10th and 11th congressional districts.

With Friends Like These, Social Security Doesn’t Need Enemies

An e-mail from Mother Jones this week carried a “sponsored message from the Progressive Turnout Project.”The message urged me to REPLY IMMEDIATELY to a “JUST IN” report: “Trump’s Budget SLASHES Social Security.”I know nothing of the Progressive Turnout Project, although following a link at the end of its message suggests that its business may be trolling for zip codes to associate with the e-mail addresses of readers who saw the message and responded.

Human Rights of Little Concern in Middle East Arms Deals

A from the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service shows that the Trump administration has begun to adopt increasingly lax standards on the sale of arms to countries with dubious commitments to human rights. Regardless of track records on intensifying humanitarian crises, the administration has prioritized increasing the sale of weapons to the region — notably with Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

What We Still Haven’t Learned from the Vietnam War

Fifty years ago today, in 1967, nearly 100,000 Americans marched on Washington, DC, to protest the Vietnam War. In those days there was a mandatory draft in place, and the risk was very real that a young man just out of high school could quickly wind up 13,000 miles away, fighting an unseen enemy in jungles that didn’t need tanks or B-52 bombers to inflict fear.