Government

State legislator Brady Walkinshaw represents Washington State's 43rd District.
Courtesy of Ann Norton

David Hyde talks to Brady Walkinshaw, the young progressive candidate challenging fellow Democrat and longtime Washington congressman Jim McDermott for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

The number of military veterans in the country's jails and prisons continues to drop, a new report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics shows.

It's the first government report that includes significant numbers of veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — and the findings defy stereotypes that returning war veterans are prone to crime.

The last execution scheduled in the U.S. for the year is set for Tuesday in Georgia. But capital punishment has gown rare in America, to the point of near extinction.

Even though polls show that 60 percent of the public still supports the death penalty, and even though the Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld it as constitutional, the number of executions this year so far is almost the same as the number of fatalities from lightning strikes — 27 executions versus 26 deaths by lightning.

On the day of the mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., the city's SWAT team was training for an active shooter situation just minutes away from the scene of the massacre.

"We were just working through scenarios when this call went out," says Lt. Travis Walker, the SWAT team commander.

No question, this was a traumatic, sad week because of the mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif. It's not easy to turn to good news.

But putting grief aside for a moment, there were indeed positive developments for the country in recent days. With cheaper energy, more jobs and higher stock prices, most Americans have been seeing their financial situations improve. Here are some of this week's highlights:

'Week in Review' panel Melanie McFarland, Dan Savage, Rob McKenna and KUOW's Bill Radke.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Was the UW women’s crew coach inspiring his athletes, psychologically abusing them,  or something in between? Also, how do we honor American history when it wasn’t always honorable? And, we all react to shooting after shooting after shooting.

Bill Radke’s guests inclue Stranger editorial director Dan Savage, former Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna, and McTelevision’s Melanie McFarland; plus Seattle Times sportswriter Geoff Baker.

Guns line the walls of the firearms reference collection at the Washington Metropolitan Police Department headquarters in Washington, D.C.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

“Crazy.” “Frustrated.” “Cynical.” “Disgusted. It makes me embarrassed to be a human being.”

Those are some KUOW listener responses to the mass shooting that left 14 people dead in San Bernardino, California. Friday on KUOW's Week in Review, Bill Radke talked to Dan Savage of The Stranger, journalist and TV critic Melanie McFarland and former state Attorney General Rob McKenna about gun control in the aftermath.

With two deadly mass shootings in California and Colorado in the past week, this country is again in a fierce debate over gun control.

After the massacre in San Bernardino, President Obama encouraged states to take the lead on preventing gun violence. Both California and Colorado have responded to mass shootings recently by passing tougher gun laws.

The Secret Service is an agency "in crisis" and one that has had its weaknesses "exposed by a series of security failures at the White House, during presidential visits, and at the residences of other officials," according to a scathing report by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released Thursday.

Remember net neutrality?

Right, it's that brain-flexing term that refers to the idea that phone and cable companies should treat all of the traffic on their networks equally. No blocking or slowing their competitors, and no fast lanes for companies that can pay more.

In fact, the term itself was so nerdy that it's been "re-branded" as Open Internet.

Update at 8:40 p.m. ET: Senate passed legislation to defund Planned Parenthood and repeal the Affordable Care Act, with a 52-47 vote.

Here is our original post:

A federal judge in Tacoma Thursday ordered the feds to return to indicted Washington State Auditor Troy Kelley $900,000 it seized in September. The feds maintained that money was “tainted.”

Guns line the walls of the firearms reference collection at the Washington Metropolitan Police Department headquarters in Washington, D.C.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Bill Radke talks to Geoff Potter from the Washington Alliance For Gun Responsibility about how universal background checks have been working in Washington state since the passage of I-594 last year. 

A coal-fired power plant in Wyoming. Burning coal is the world’s leading source of carbon pollution and it has a direct impact on global climate change and the future of the world’s oceans.
MICHAEL WERNER

A voter initiative that would put a tax on carbon emissions has gathered enough signatures to put it on the ballot in 2016.

Saying America's military must draw from "the broadest possible pool of talent," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Thursday that women in the U.S. military — including the Army and Marines — can now serve in combat posts.

The formal process to open combat jobs to women began in January of 2013; in finishing that process, Carter acknowledged that in recent years, U.S. women have fought — and sometimes given their lives — in combat posts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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