US politics

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.&

Impeachment, Trump and the 2020 Election Race – World Reaction

Reading Time: 4 minutesAs the historic impeachment of President Donald Trump and the approaching 2020 election convulsed the US political debate, WhoWhatWhy’s weekly series surveys world opinion and its impression of the far-reaching developments.

History Rhymes: Trump’s Quid Pro Quo Reprises Nixon’s

Reading Time: 9 minutesHave you seen Martin’s Scorsese’s latest movie, The Irishman? If not, you should. It is a brilliantly acted, old-fashioned drama that explores a dark vein of American history — the corruption of the country’s biggest union in the 20th Century.

Are Americans Ready to Junk the Electoral College?

Reading Time: 5 minutesProtecting Out Vote 2020The Electoral College, which allowed the past two Republican presidents to win office with fewer votes than their opponents, has officially become a joke.In a

Who is William Barr? Attorney General’s Unknown Past

Reading Time: 16 minutesIf you want to understand William Barr, President Donald Trump’s strikingly partisan and loyal attorney general who has continually assured Trump that his desired actions are perfectly legal, then you have to understand William Barr, the person.

Warriors Wanted: Does the US Military Prey on Teenagers?

Reading Time: 10 minutesAir Force veteran Eddie Falcon enlisted as a teenager just before the September 11 attacks, partly to escape his violent Los Angeles County neighborhood. “I just didn’t see a lot of opportunities to succeed,” he said. Falcon assumed war “wasn’t something we were doing anymore.” 

Ukraine Whistleblower Came Forward in Spite of Weak Protections

Reading Time: 5 minutesAs recently as this summer, it looked as if an effort by some House Democrats to impeach President Donald Trump had stalled.

Avoiding Trump’s Wrath: Portman, Johnson Take Different Paths

Reading Time: 4 minutesTwo Republican senators have conceded that they were eager to oust the same special prosecutor in Ukraine that then-Vice President Joe Biden wanted to see replaced. But both remain defenders of President Donald Trump.That’s where the similarity ends. Sen.

Voter Suppression in Indian Country: ‘A Little Bit Insulting’

Reading Time: 5 minutesProtecting Out Vote 2020Native American voters could tip the scales in several key races across the country next year, but as Democratic presidential hopefuls work to increase turnout in Indian Country, Republ

Toss-up State to Use Vulnerable Tech in 2020

Reading Time: 4 minutesProtecting Out Vote 2020The 2020 election is expected to once again be razor-close and, in light of Russian attempts to hack the vote in 2016, making it secure is of paramount importance.

Voter Registration Could Tip the Scales in 2020

Reading Time: 4 minutesProtecting Out Vote 2020Navigating a state’s voting laws can be daunting for first-time voters. Many of them may be discouraged from even trying.

Social Insecurity: When Retirement Means Hardship, States Move to Fill the Void

Reading Time: 5 minutesWhen signing the Social Security Act into law in 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said  that it is impossible to ensure the entire population against all hazards, but that the new program would “give some measure of protection to the average citizen and to his family against the loss of a job and against poverty-ridden old age.”

Trump’s Kind of Labor Day

Reading Time: 5 minutesLabor Day is a national holiday, but probably not one that generates much celebration in the Trump White House, which is moving to add regulatory insult to the existing injury of policies that depress the wages of low-income workers.

100 Years After Suffrage, Full Equality Eludes Women

Reading Time: 9 minutesHappy. One hundred years ago today, the US officially got around to giving half the American adult population the right to vote. The battle wasn’t easy.

FL Dems Call for Gun Control Session Following El Paso Shooting

Reading Time: 5 minutesJust a few weeks after the devastating shooting in El Paso, Democrats in the Florida House of Representatives have called for a special session to deal with the issue of gun control &; and they think the votes could be there to finally see action by state lawmakers t

Progressive Insurgents Make Impeachment a Primary Issue

Reading Time: 9 minutesFew political leaders would seem more invulnerable than Nancy Pelosi (CA), the speaker of the House and a Democrat in one of the most heavily Democratic cities in the country.

Minimum Wage Hike Would Benefit Millions

Reading Time: 2 minutesImagine giving 33.5 million American workers a raise, helping 6.2 million ease the pinch of poverty, and increasing the total annual wages for minimum-wage workers by $92.5 billion.

Mueller Hearings Matter Because Nobody Read His Report

Reading Time: 8 minutesFormer special counsel Robert Mueller made it clear in May that, if he were asked to testify before Congress, he would not “provide information beyond that which is already public.” That has led critics of Wednesday’s hearings to suggest that they are a waste of time.

Boston’s Busing Crisis Remembered Through the Eyes of the Affected

Reading Time: 7 minutesThe year is 1974 and the signs hanging from the windows of the south Boston buildings read “N***er Go Home.” In the streets below, crowds of rage-filled white and hurl bricks, as terrified African American pupils cower in

Tell Us, Mr. Sater, About Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin

Reading Time: 6 minutesFelix Sater, a business associate of President Donald Trump and a key figure in his efforts to build one of Trump’s signature towers in Moscow, is scheduled to appear before the House Intelligence Committee Friday. His testimony will be held behind closed doors —  which should suit Sater well.

Will Trump’s New Directive ‘Lobotomize’ Federal Brain?

Reading Time: 4 minutesWhen President Donald Trump issued an (EO) limiting the number of independent federal advisory committees last Friday, it didn’t make a big media splash.

The Mystery of Stupidity

Reading Time: 6 minutesScience has always held the answers — or at least the promise of answers — to many of our problems. Deadly ones, like cancer, strokes, and heart attacks. And troubling, though non-deadly ones, ranging from blindness to baldness. We have been able to explore the deepest, darkest areas of the sea.

Killer Loans — College Debt Triggers Depression and Suicide

Reading Time: 4 minutesWhen billionaire Robert Smith pledged to pay off the student loans of Morehouse College’s graduating class recently, the story went viral.

A Reminder of What Is Often Forgotten on Memorial Day

Reading Time: 2 minutesThis Memorial Day marks another year of young Americans serving — and dying — abroad. Regardless of how you feel about the wars they are fighting, or the politicians who got them there, the sacrifice of those who gave life and limb deserve to be remembered.

Guns Versus Weed: How Background Checks Conflict with State Cannabis Laws

As more states pass laws allowing the use of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes, the potential for legal conflict with the federal government increases as well. Direct conflict between state laws legalizing cannabis and federal law — which puts cannabis in the same category as heroin, cocaine, and amphetamines — is obvious enough.

Florida Seeks to Make Sharing Footage of Mass Shootings Illegal

Lawmakers in Florida are seeking to strike a balance between protecting the families of the victims of mass shootings and protecting the media’s ability to accurately report on the events.

The Mueller Report: More Disquieting Insights

It takes many hours to read the Mueller report, but the deeper you dig, the more arresting insights and intriguing plot twists you find.One surprising insight: Many of the players in the Trump campaign appear to be apolitical. They don’t grasp for power; they seek what’s “good for business,” in the words of former campaign chair Paul Manafort.

Case in Point: Carter Page

Beginning on page 95, the report recounts the saga of Carter Page, candidate Trump’s foreign policy adviser.

Youth Struggle With After-Effects of Gun Violence

Every year an estimated 3 million children witness gun violence — and the impacts can last a lifetime. Lizzie Eaton knows this all too well.Eaton is one of the high school students from Parkland, FL, who are fanning out to share with the rest of the country what they’ve learned about gun violence.“There’s no way to prepare for a tragedy like this,” she said.

Soros, DHS Whistleblowers Urge More Truth-Telling

For whistleblowers, it&;s the Emmys, the Grammys, and the Oscars rolled into one. The Ridenhour Prizes mark the one time each year that they and their supporters are celebrated for their important and often dangerous work.The ceremony, founded in 2003 and held in Washington at the National Press Club, also honors journalists — but is rarely covered by the media.