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politics

The Facebook scandal over misuse of user information has reached a Canadian data analytics company. And a whistleblower says he believes the firm, which has ties to the Trump presidential campaign, may have swayed the U.K.'s 2016 Brexit vote.

Updated at 2:21 p.m. ET

President Trump signed a massive spending bill Friday, hours after threatening a veto that would have triggered a government shutdown.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
Flickr Photo/JD Lasica (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/dp7WwB

KUOW's Kim Malcolm talks with The Stranger associate editor Eli Sanders about how micro-targeting of Facebook ads has been used in Seattle elections. 

Sanders has written about misleading Facebook advertisements put out by Scott Lindsay, a candidate for Seattle City Attorney last fall.

Courtesy of Red Hen Press

If you’re familiar with the Dear Sugar advice column, you know who Steve Almond is. For the uninitiated, he was the first “Sugar” — a purportedly female advice columnist on The Rumpus. After a while, Almond says, that got weird.

"Why have you become, people say, the most hated Cabinet secretary?" Lesley Stahl asked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in a 60 Minutes interview that is drawing lots of attention.

"I'm not so sure how exactly that happened," DeVos responded in the interview, which aired Sunday night on CBS.

Christopher Sebastian Parker and Arlie Russell Hochschild at Seattle University, Feb. 12, 2018.
KUOW Photo/Sonya Harris

We hear all the time about the social-political divide in the United States, mostly from the comfort of our respective bubbles. When UC Berkeley-based sociology professor Arlie Russel Hochschild realized the extent to which she didn’t understand the experience of right-leaning Americans, she decided to do something about it. She choose to embed herself in Lake Charles, Louisiana, for an ethnographic experiment.

KUOW photo

If you listen to David Barsamian’s long-running public affairs program Alternative Radio, you know his distinct voice, full of passionate analysis and notable raspiness. But while as host he always introduces his featured speakers, a who’s who of progressive thinkers, we don’t normally hear Barsamian himself at length.

Updated at 7:40 p.m. ET

Walmart and Dick's Sporting Goods say they won't sell guns to customers under 21, and both are putting new restrictions on ammunition sales.

Dick's Sporting Goods, one of the largest sports retailers in the U.S., has announced it is immediately ending its sales of military-style semi-automatic rifles and is requiring all customers to be older than 21 to buy a firearm at its stores. Additionally, the company no longer will sell high-capacity magazines.

Paid time off to care for a new child or a sick family member used to be a part of the Democratic Party platform. Now, Republicans are making paid family leave a legislative policy.

"Let's support working families by supporting paid family leave," President Trump urged Congress in his State of the Union address last month.

Lawmakers in Washington and Tallahassee have discussed a lot of ideas to reduce school shootings, but on the hardest questions — like what to do about guns — there is just no clear consensus.

There are few signs of clarity from President Trump, who has taken a leading role in the debate without providing strong direction to solve the problem.

KUOW Photo/Sonya Harris

Journalist David Cay Johnston has known and reported on President Donald Trump for nearly 30 years. When they first met in Atlantic City, Johnston says he recognized Trump as “the P.T. Barnum of our age.” He has also said about Trump, and repeats in this talk, that “Donald doesn’t know anything.”

The White House
Flickr Photo/joswr1ght (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/JeAj3d

Here’s a test for you. Who was the first U.S. President to be born an American, i.e., after the Revolution? Hint: He is the same man who said “As to the presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entrance upon the office and my surrender of it.”

That would be President Martin Van Buren.

The U.S. Presidency is marked by pomp, circumstance and widespread reference to its occupant being “the most powerful man in the world.”

Flickr Photo/Andreas Eldh (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks to Samuel Woolley, director of the Digital Intelligence Lab at the Institute of the Future, about how social media bots have influenced and driven conversations online and what can be done to stop the flow of disinformation. 

The Hale-Bopp comet passes overhead on March 26, 1997.
Flickr Photo/Richard Dinda (CC BY 2.0)/flic.kr/p/aQBC9

You probably don't remember the passage of a comet named Hale-Bopp in the late 1990s. But you might remember what came after that. Glynn Washington, host of the podcast Snap Judgment, couldn't look away from that story. 

Ever since Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller unveiled charges against George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump 2016 presidential campaign, the White House has insisted Papadopoulos played an unimportant role in the campaign.

Protesters crowd into the University of Washington's Red Square on Friday, January 20, 2017 during a speech by Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos.
KUOW Photo/John Ryan

Last year the University of Washington's College Republicans invited former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos to campus. Yiannopoulos is a conservative and provocative speaker whose speeches and rallies often draw protests. The night he spoke at the University of Washington those protests turned violent.

This year when the College Republicans decided to hold a rally with the Patriot Prayer group, the university told them to pay a $17,000 security fee.

Memoranda have only been Washington's favorite dueling weapons for a short time but the art of wielding them has evolved quickly.

Witness the slow-motion jiujitsu between President Trump and his Democratic antagonists this week over a secret countermemo that rebuts the once-secret GOP memo unveiled last week.

UPDATE (Feb. 6, 10:27 p.m. PST) — An investigation into behavior by Oregon Sen. Jeff Kruse, R-Roseburg, released Tuesday states Kruse had a pattern of "engaging in unwelcome physical contact toward females in the workplace."

Courtesy of Jamie Rand Imaging/Jamie Colman

The second annual Women’s March was celebrated in Seattle on January 20. Organizers say as many as 100,000 people attended. But those organizers had more in mind than a one-day march. They want to make a change.

The decision by Bill Nye to attend the State of the Union Address alongside the Trump administration's nominee to head NASA has put the celebrity science educator at odds with many scientists.

Nye, who starred in the children's program Bill Nye the Science Guy and now has his own Netflix original series, Bill Nye Saves the World is also CEO of the Planetary Society.

Hillary Clinton responded Tuesday night to revelations that she kept a senior adviser on her campaign staff in 2008, even after the adviser was accused of repeatedly sexually harassing a subordinate colleague.

"The short answer is this: If I had it to do again, I wouldn't," Clinton wrote online, in a seeming nod to the #MeToo movement of the last year.

Updated at 7:16 p.m. ET

President Trump is planning a bipartisan pitch to Congress with his first State of the Union address on Tuesday, but he will have his work cut out for him with a public that is more divided than ever.

"Tonight, I want to talk about what kind of future we are going to have, and what kind of nation we are going to be. All of us, together, as one team, one people, and one American family," Trump will say, according to excerpts of the speech released by the White House.

'The Legend of Bigfoot' is a store along Highway 101 in northern California.
Flickr Photo/Amit Patel (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/dAdW3o

Bigfoot might not be real, but he's a heck of a fundraiser. We are forever fascinated with that critter and now a Washington state senator wants to harness that fascination to help maintain Washington state parks. 

The Environmental Protection Agency said in a surprise announcement Friday that it is putting on hold a plan to do away with Obama-era proposals to restrict mining at a southwest Alaska watershed. But the EPA also said it would continue to consider permit applications from those hoping to extract copper and other minerals from the proposed Pebble Mine.

The proposed Pebble Mine is located about 200 miles southwest of Anchorage and roughly 100 miles upstream from the Bristol Bay watershed, one of the world's most important sockeye salmon fisheries.

A liberal group is filing a complaint with the Federal Election Commission on Monday to demand an investigation into whether the National Rifle Association took contributions from Russians, which would be a violation of the law.

"Why did he even have a gun?" — it's a common refrain in America, often after mass shootings by people who legally aren't supposed to have firearms.

One of the worst recent examples was the massacre in a Sutherland Springs, Texas, church last November, in which 26 people were killed by a man whose domestic violence conviction should have barred him from buying guns.

The Washington state Senate has passed a ban on trigger modification devices known as bump stocks that allow semi-automatic firearms to operate more like automatic weapons.

The vote Thursday evening came in response to last October’s mass shooting at a country music festival in Las Vegas that killed 58 people and left hundreds more injured.

From 'people feel you don't belong here' to City Council

Jan 25, 2018
Zak Idan, Tukwila city council member
KUOW/Katherine Banwell

In early January, Zak Idan was sworn in to the Tukwila City Council. He's the first Somali refugee to be elected to office in Washington state.

Tukwila is one of the most racially diverse places in the state. But when Idan and his family arrived in the city in the late 1990s, the city was considerably whiter. As Idan told Katherine Banwell of KUOW's Race and Equity team, his family didn't experience any racism back then.

Victims of sexual harassment are urging Washington lawmakers to take steps to make the workplace safer. At a public hearing Wednesday, lawmakers heard personal stories and a rare acknowledgment of past failures.

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