politics | KUOW News and Information

politics

How could the first Super Bowl of the Trump era escape politics?

It couldn't.

If you were just watching the game on TV, the politics were mostly subtle. Sure, there were the political ads. There were ads for everyone from NASCAR to Airbnb, which has taken on President Trump's travel ban.

Suddenly, people are more in favor of the Affordable Care Act than are against it. For the first time, more people believe Obamacare is a good idea than think it is a bad idea, as a recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed.

Washington Senate Republicans are taking aim at organized labor. They’ve scheduled a series of public hearings beginning Monday on measures designed to reduce the influence of labor unions.

A federal appeals court denied President Trump's attempt to restore his travel ban on refugees and visa holders from seven majority-Muslim countries Sunday morning, sending people scrambling to board planes while it is legal once again for them to enter the country.

Photo courtesy of Writers Resist

Authors around the country led a series of events recently called “Writers Resist: A Celebration of Free Speech.” Participants read from their own work or historic writings concerned with freedom, free speech and equality. There were nine such events in Washington State. In Seattle, the participants in order of appearance were:

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson prepares to talk to the media about a federal judge's ruling on the Trump refugee order Friday, Feb. 3, 2017.
KUOW photo/Amy Radil

What was the scene like?

KUOW’s Amy Radil: It's usually pretty sedate but there was a huge turnout to see this hearing. I heard some court employees talking saying they've never seen such a crowd. The courtrooms aren't that big so there was an overflow room a few floors up where people watched it on video.

Updated at 4:13 a.m. ET Sunday

President Trump's travel ban remains suspended, after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit denied a Justice Department request to stay the suspension of President Trump's order.

The court asked opponents of the ban to respond to the Trump administration's appeal by Sunday at 11:59 p.m. PT; the court asked the Justice Department to respond by Monday at 3 p.m. PT.

KUOW Photo/Lisa Wang

Ten days after President Donald Trump’s inauguration a group of Seattle-area artists and arts supporters came together to share experiences and build community. KUOW set aside a space for them to record personal messages. Their reflections express the conflict of the moment, marked by fear and hope, uncertainty and renewed determination.

Rep. Adam Smith
Office of Adam Smith / U.S. House

U.S. Rep. Adam Smith says he’s deeply disturbed by comments made by President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon.

Courtesy Gil Aegerter

Joe Fuiten likes President Donald Trump's proposal to eliminate tax restrictions on churches' participation in politics.

Fuiten built up one of Washington's largest churches, Cedar Park Church in Bothell. He told KUOW's Kim Malcolm that he found ways around the Johnson Amendment because he knew the law and followed it.


President Trump signed two directives on Friday, ordering a review of financial industry regulations known as Dodd-Frank and halting implementation of a rule that requires financial advisers to act in the best interests of their clients, according to a senior administration official who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.

Trump himself made his intentions clear in a meeting with small business owners Monday. "Dodd-Frank is a disaster," Trump said. "We're going to be doing a big number on Dodd-Frank."

Of all President Trump's Cabinet choices, only one currently seems at serious risk of being denied confirmation by the Senate.

The confirmation of Betsy DeVos as education secretary is a question mark after two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, announced they plan to vote against her.

Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, is under fire after making the false claim that Bowling Green, Ky., was the scene of a massacre carried out by Iraqis. Conway made the claim in an MSNBC interview that aired Thursday night, in which she argued in favor of President Trump's immigration and refugee ban.

For the second time in as many days, a Senate committee's GOP leadership has bypassed a boycott by Democrats to advance President Trump's Cabinet nominees.

The Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee boycotted the second meeting in a row to confirm Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to lead the EPA.

The White House moved up the president's announcement that he was nominating Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court by two days, possibly to distract from the firestorm of criticism over his chaotic rollout of his refugee policy.

But maybe the White House didn't have to worry.

New polls show the policy may not be as unpopular as all those protests over the weekend suggested.

The late Justice Antonin Scalia may not have been the original originalist, but he popularized what had once been a fringe legal doctrine. He argued for it both on and off the U.S. Supreme Court and brought originalism into if not the mainstream then at least into the center of legal debate.

Updated at 6:40 a.m. ET

A planned appearance by far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos was canceled Wednesday at the University of California, Berkeley, after a group of protesters shot fireworks at police, broke windows, started fires and threw barricades.

It's far from the first time a Yiannopoulos speaking event was canceled because of protests, which occur regularly at his events.

In Washington, D.C., the cognoscenti confidently predict that Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch will be easily confirmed. But both supporters and opponents are chastened by the predictors' embarrassingly wrong prognostications over the past year. And that is presenting Senate Democrats in particular with a strategic dilemma.

Last week, President Trump signed an executive order suspending new-refugee admissions for 120 days and blocking travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries — Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia — for 90 days. Syrian refugees are banned indefinitely.

President Donald Trump shakes hands with 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Neil Gorsuch, his choice for Supreme Court associate justice in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017.
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Bill Radke talks to Jessica Taylor, lead digital political reporter for NPR, about President Donald Trump's nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill the empty seat on the Supreme Court. 

Updated at 1:50 p.m. ET.

Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee boycotted planned votes on Tuesday morning to advance the nominations of two Trump Cabinet nominees.

President Trump has made his pick to fill the ninth seat on the Supreme Court.

So now what?

An executive order protecting gays and lesbians who work for federal contractors "will remain intact" at President Trump's direction, the White House says. The move could allay concerns that Trump might end recently adopted protections against an anti-LGBTQ workplace.

The White House announced the move in a relatively short statement early Tuesday, saying that the president "is determined to protect the rights of all Americans, including the LGBTQ community."

Before they get to work on reforming the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Congress and the White House might want to take a closer look at the last time they tried it — a $16 billion fix called the Veterans Choice and Accountability Act of 2014, designed to get veterans medical care more quickly.

Barack Obama spent much of his tenure scaling back the high-profile "war on terror" he inherited from George W. Bush. In a few short days, President Trump has again set the U.S. on a more visible and confrontational course in dealing with the threat of terrorism.

Trump has temporarily frozen immigration from seven mostly Muslim countries, igniting protests outside the White House and at airports around the country.

President Trump has reorganized the National Security Council by elevating his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, and demoting the director of National Intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Bannon will join the NSC's principals committee, the top interagency group for discussing national security. The National Security Council is the staff inside the White House that coordinates decision-making by the president on such matters, in coordination with outside departments including the State Department and the Pentagon.

Photo courtesy of Jose Guadalupe Martinez

The largest march in Seattle history took place on Saturday, January 21. Listen here to the speeches you may have missed at the Seattle Womxn’s March, because over 100,000 demonstrators can’t fit in Judkins Park.

Updated at 5:40 a.m. ET Sunday

Federal Judge Ann Donnelly in Brooklyn, N.Y. granted a request by the American Civil Liberties Union and issued a stay late Saturday on the deportations of valid visa holders after they have landed at a U.S. airport. The ruling by Donnelly temporarily blocks President Donald Trump's executive order on immigration signed Friday.

According to NPR's Hansi Lo Wang:

KUOW Photo/Sonya Harris

Some people say that sports and politics don’t mix. Sports and politics writer Dave Zirin and Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett got together recently to test that theory. Mix it up they did. The two had a lot to talk about, and not just concerning sports.

On Wednesday, President Trump signed an executive order promising to withhold federal money from what it calls sanctuary jurisdictions. What's not clear is which cities and counties qualify for this punishment, and whether this kind of federal pressure is even legal.

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