US politics

Labor Day: Art from the Great Depression

Reading Time: 5 minutesThe Great Depression was characterized by unemployment, homelessness, hunger, bankruptcies, home foreclosures, dust, drought, and inequality in the distribution of wealth. And America’s infrastructure was crumbling. Sound familiar?

America Decides 2020: Registering to Vote, Explained

Reading Time: 4 minutesProtecting Out Vote 2020Election Day will be November 3, but there’s little agreement on anything else. In America Decides 2020, editors and reporters for WhoWh

Voting by Mail Faces Obstacles Beyond the US Postal Service

Reading Time: 3 minutesProtecting Out Vote 2020As Congress debates cuts to the economically troubled US Postal Service, proponents of voting by mail will need to navigate through a series of other obstacles if they want to

An Attempted Coup in Slow Motion

Reading Time: 7 minutesWhy does the Republican Party hate the US Postal Service with such damning intensity? The answer, of course, is that it doesn’t. What Republicans, and more specifically, Donald Trump, really hate is the idea of losing the election in November. The US Postal Service is merely collateral damage in a concerted plan that depends on considerable amounts of voter suppression.

What the Suffrage Movement Reveals About Race in America

Reading Time: 4 minutesCalifornia Sen. Kamala Harris’s nomination for vice president is historic, but it also highlights how women of color are still fighting for fair and free access to the ballot box 100 years after women first won the right to vote.Never before has a woman of color been nominated for this position on a major party’s ticket.

The US Postal Service May Be Broken. It Doesn’t Need to Be.

Reading Time: 3 minutesRecent attacks on the US Postal Service may seem timed to the upcoming election. But the fact is that Republicans starving the agency for funds has been a long-standing trend in Washington.

America Decides 2020: Ranked-Choice Voting, Explained

Reading Time: 4 minutesElection Day will be November 3, but there’s little agreement on anything else. In America Decides 2020, editors and reporters for WhoWhatWhy explore the critical issues concerning who can vote, how ballots will be cast, and how they will be counted — questions that could shape US democracy for years to come.

Election Offices Operate in Limbo as Congress Debates More Funds

Reading Time: 4 minutesProtecting Out Vote 2020Helen Butler, executive director of the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda and a member of the Morgan County Board of Elections, knows that her state needs more funds i

Pandemic Threatens American DREAMers

Reading Time: 13 minutesThe US Supreme Court’s rejection of President Donald Trump’s attempt to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, better known as DACA, sent audible sighs of relief rippling through the nation last June.The relief was temporary, however.

Young Children Risk Being Undercounted in 2020 Census

Reading Time: 3 minutesMillions of people are at risk of becoming invisible as far as the United States government is concerned. The most vulnerable will be children under the age of five.

America Decides 2020: Voting by Mail, Explained

Reading Time: 5 minutesProtecting Out Vote 2020Election Day will be November 3, but there’s little agreement on anything else. In America Decides 2020, editors and reporters for WhoWh

Scrutineers Part II – Bennie Smith

Reading Time: 26 minutesWhat happens when a financial analytics manager applies his skills to how we determine the winners of elections?In this episode of WhoWhatWhy’s Scrutineers Series, Emily Levy interviews Bennie Smith, an election commissioner in Memphis, TN.

The Possible Housing Opportunity Provided by COVID-19

Reading Time: 9 minutesThis article is part of on economic inequality in the US.In 2014, Dani Brockington moved to Atlanta for a cushy job as a graphic designer.

America Decides 2020: Early Voting, Explained

Reading Time: 4 minutesProtecting Out Vote 2020WhoWhatWhy is providing voters with critical information about how to cast a ballot this November and the issues that could shape how elections are carried out th

Two Visions of America

Reading Time: 4 minutesJames W. Pardew was a career US Army intelligence officer who served as deputy J-2 (intelligence) of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and director of foreign intelligence for the Army. His diplomatic experience includes US special envoy during the breakup of Yugoslavia and US ambassador to Bulgaria.

Trump Loses, Remains President?

Reading Time: 18 minutesMary Trump, President Donald Trump&;s niece, has written a tell-all book that portrays her uncle as a man unhinged, obsessed with winning, and still afraid of what his father might say if he loses. Which inevitably raises the question: W

A Murderous Evening in the Old South

Reading Time: 3 minutesPresident Donald Trump America “has been gripped by professional anarchists” and he knows what to do about them: Looters should be shot, peaceful protesters clubbed and tear-gassed —

Russian Bounties: What Did the President Know and When Did He Know it?

Reading Time: 4 minutes— OPINION —[James W. Pardew was a career US Army intelligence officer who served as deputy J-2 (intelligence) of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and director of foreign intelligence for the Army.

In Politics, K-Pop Fans Turn Up the Volume

Reading Time: 5 minutesOn June 12, 16-year-old Claire Hanley posted a video on TikTok that has spurred teams of domestic and international cyber operatives who could affect the 2020 presidential election. No, they are neither Russians nor bots.

More Red States Mulling Green Light for Medicaid Expansion

Reading Time: 6 minutesAnd then there were . That is the number of states that have refused to adopt an expanded Medicaid option available under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Our Counterfeit President

Reading Time: 7 minutes— OPINION —This is a tale of two boys who grew up with promise. Both had outsized personalities; both were physically strong and towered over their classmates. Both demonstrated athletic ability, albeit at different levels — the black boy from Houston, TX, in football and basketball, and the white boy from Queens, NY, in baseball. Both had big dreams.

Has Trump Backer and Education Czar Betsy DeVos Gone Too Far?

Reading Time: 5 minutesAs teachers and administrators struggle to reinvent how they teach students this September, US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s recent policy decisions have only made the situation worse — ensuring that public schools will have greater budget shortfalls than before, right when they need more help.The $3 trillion stimulus bill Congress passed in late Marc

Editors’ Picks: Special Uprising Edition

Reading Time: 10 minutesAmid 12 days unlike any other in US history — beginning on May 25, when George Floyd died under the knee of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin — even the most news-conscious Americans have reported feeling unable to keep up with coverage of coast-to-coast protests and incidents.WhoWhatWhy edit

Federal Court Strikes Down ‘Poll Tax’ for Former Felons

Reading Time: 3 minutesProtecting Out Vote 2020A federal judge has delivered a landmark ruling for voting rights, arguing that Florida’s “pay-to-vote” system is unconstitutional and officials cannot condition voting rights

COVID-19 Exposes GOP’s Anti-Voter Stance

Reading Time: 5 minutesProtecting Out Vote 2020Every once in a while, Republican officials will say out loud what everyone knows but is supposed to be a secret: expanding voting rights will harm the party’s ability to clin

Will the Coronavirus Undercut 2020 Progressive Insurgents?

Reading Time: 4 minutesFor progressive activists, this primary season started off with a bang. They won a close race in Illinois, lost a close one in Texas, and have many other competitive candidates running across the country.

Mayor Pete and the Spies Who Love Him

Reading Time: 21 minutes


  • Mayor Pete’s “outsider” image, carefully constructed by spin-masters, obscures deep establishment roots.
  • His foreign policy adviser is a powerful DC and Pentagon insider who started mentoring him right out of college. 

Trump, 2020 Election and Impeachment Fallout — What the World Thinks

Reading Time: 4 minutesAs President Donald Trump used his impeachment acquittal as a launchpad to settle scores with his political opponents, commentators from around the world surveyed the scene and drew very different conclusions — including about how it will all play out in the long run. WhoWhatWhy monitors global opinion and its impression of the far-reaching deve

Congress (Finally) Considers Amendment to Overturn Citizens United

Reading Time: 3 minutesProtecting Out Vote 2020Most Americans agree on background checks for gun purchases, lower prescription drug prices, and the need to take on climate change.

Presidents Don’t Have to Commit a Crime to Break the Law

Reading Time: 5 minutesDonald Trump’s lawyers keep insisting that the president did not commit a crime. This may even be true in a narrow and fundamentally irrelevant sense. But to say the president did not “commit a crime” is not the same as saying the president broke no law.

Trump’s Chilling Effect on Whistleblowers

Reading Time: 3 minutesWith the attention in Congress focused on the Senate impeachment trial, it is not surprising that a on whistleblower protections — which is direct

Impeachment: Round One. Kangaroos Win.

Reading Time: 6 minutesNixon-era commerce secretary and Watergate figure Maurice Stans never knew it, but he provided the Republican senators now trying President Donald Trump with what we might call an operating principle: “I don’t want to know, and you don’t want to know.&