Analysis

COMMENTARY
U.S. Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) receives the gavel from House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) after McCarthy was elected Speaker on Jan. 7, 2023 after four days of voting and 15 ballots. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

What does the speaker of the House do?

BY: - January 8, 2023

Second in the line of presidential succession after the vice president, the speaker of the House occupies a central role in our national government. But what is it that a speaker actually does? Most people think the speakership is a party office. It’s not. The speaker is selected by the full House membership, though the […]

Researchers say there's been an uptick in mass shootings at stores. Here members of the FBI and other law enforcement investigate the site of a fatal shooting in a Walmart on Nov. 23, 2022, that killed six, including the suspected gunman. (Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

Rampage at Virginia Walmart follows upward trend in supermarket gun attacks

BY: and - November 28, 2022

A gun rampage at a Walmart in Virginia is the latest amid a rise in mass shootings in general in the U.S., and mass shootings at grocery and retail stores in particular. Multiple people including the gunman were killed in the incident on Nov. 22, 2022, at an outlet of the retailer in Chesapeake. It […]

A row of abandoned homes along a residential street in Cairo, Illinois, in 2021. Many small towns like Cairo have a surfeit of vacant housing, but people who need housing often don't live where the houses are. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The nation’s vacant homes present an opportunity — and a problem

BY: - November 28, 2022

With construction costs for new homes and interest rates soaring, vacant housing is drawing more attention as a shortcut to quickly getting more units on the market. But whether vacant homes are a curse or an opportunity depends on where you live. As housing affordability plummets and rents rise, putting more families with low incomes at risk […]

A passerby observes a memorial for the 10 shooting victims outside of Tops market on May 20, 2022, in Buffalo, New York. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Health effects of mass shootings ripple outward beyond immediate community

BY: - November 21, 2022

A grim and familiar pattern has followed the parade of mass shootings across America. In their aftermath, the nation’s attention focuses on the direct victims of the attacks, the dead and injured, their families and friends, and the witnesses. But a growing body of research reveals that the negative effects of mass shootings spread much […]

COMMENTARY
Federal ReserveBank Board Chairman Jerome Powell contemplates a response to questions on Nov. 2, 2022. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Fed inflation fight raises risks of both recession and financial crisis

BY: - November 7, 2022

There is wide agreement among economists and market observers that the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes will cause economic growth to grind to a halt, leading to a recession. Less talked about is the risk of a financial crisis as the U.S. central bank simultaneously tries to shrink its massive balance sheet. As expected, […]

What’s at stake this Election Day – 7 essential reads

BY: - November 7, 2022

As Election Day closes in, uncertainty and concern about potential chaos — from violence at polling sites to candidates refusing to accept defeat — continue to rise. Problems that have historically plagued the U.S. electoral and political system – like voter intimidation – are cropping up ahead of the midterms. But so, too, are less […]

On Oct. 19, 2022, an official with the Miami-Dade County Elections Department conducts a comprehensive examination of the voting equipment that will be used in the Nov. 8th general election. Elections, from campaigning to voting systems, are under great scrutiny this year. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

How to follow your congressional and local elections in 2022

BY: and - October 24, 2022

This is part of a series, User’s Guide to Democracy, being published by Propublica. Election coverage often focuses on competition between rival candidates while downplaying policies and platforms. But knowing how to decipher these “horse race” stories can help you understand what’s at stake for you and can inform your political participation. Think about it […]

Poll worker and voter in Georgia in May 2022.

The fight against an age-old effort to block Americans from voting

BY: and - October 10, 2022

This ProPublica story was co-published with Gray TV/Investigate TV and is republished here under a Creative Commons license. It is part of The Right to Read, a series examining America’s literacy crisis.   For nearly 10 hours on Georgia’s primary day, Olivia Coley-Pearson tracked down every potential voter she could find, working two cellphones as […]

Workers install the foundation for a transmission tower at the CenterPoint Energy power plant on June 10, 2022, in Houston, Texas. (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

Amid a massive American clean energy shift, grid operators play catch-up

BY: - September 26, 2022

For the better part of the past century, the American electric power system evolved around large, mostly fossil fuel power plants delivering electricity to residences, businesses and industry through a network of transmission and distribution wires that collectively came to be called the electric grid. But as the threat of climate change driven by carbon […]

COMMENTARY

In states where abortion is banned, children and families already face an uphill battle

BY: - September 19, 2022

Some proponents of abortion bans and restrictions say they are concerned about “supporting not just life,” but what they call “quality of life worth living,” saying they want to promote laws and policies that help families. Three authors from Brigham Young University, for instance, have noted that the overturning of Roe v. Wade provides a […]

What does it mean that Trump faces possible obstruction of justice charges?

BY: - September 1, 2022

Clark D. Cunningham, Georgia State University A court filing by the Justice Department just minutes before midnight on Aug. 30, 2022, was a sharply worded attack on former President Donald Trump’s request for a so-called “special master” – a neutral arbiter – to review the documents the FBI seized at his estate, Mar-a-Lago, earlier in […]