Politics

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Iowa Public Radio listeners share their memories of the death of President John F. Kennedy on the 50th anniversary of his assassination.  Also historian Tom Schwartz of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum joins the conversation to share his own reflections of the event and to discuss the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.

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A Des Moines attorney was a key figure in the official inquiry into President Kennedy's assassination. David Belin investigated the rifle that made history 50 years ago.

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As Americans commemorate the assassination of President Kennedy, we also remember the respected Iowa reporter who was covering the president on that fateful day in Dallas.

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum

Every presidency ebbs and flows.  President Obama seems to be going through an ebb, as his job approval rating drops to the lowest of his presidency.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with presidential historian Tim Walch, former Director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum and Donna Hoffman, Associate Professor and Chair of Political Science at University of Northern Iowa, about the ebb and flow of presidencies through history, and what they can tell us about presidential popularity today.

David Scrivner / Iowa City Press-Citizen

Getting “primaried” has become a dreaded verb in politics. Host Ben Kieffer talks  about intraparty rivalry and the partisan rancor in Washington with former U.S. Congressman Jim Leach. Also, analyst Jim McCormick of Iowa State University joins the conversation with a wide array of policy discussion and political philosophy.

Emily Woodbury

Marsha Ternus was the first woman to serve as chief justice of the Iowa Supreme Court, but she's perhaps best known as one of the Iowa Supreme Court justices dismissed by Iowa voters three years ago, for her role in the decision that legalized same-sex marriage in the state. Host Ben Keiffer sits down with Ternus to get her thoughts on that ruling, and on justice and judicial independence in the U.S.

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In this off, off-year election local issues and races were the only things on ballots across Iowa. But, a few of those local races drew a lot of outside money and attention.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Chris Larimer, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Northern Iowa and Tim Hagle, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Iowa about whether outside interest groups influenced local races. We also look beyond Iowa’s borders at what gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey may tell us about the current state of our politics and parties.

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$81-million Bond Referendum approved for court services in Polk County

Iowa City bars will remain 21-only after 10 p.m. 

Cedar Rapids approves Local Option Sales Tax for road repair

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Amid allegations that the U.S.

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The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013-2014 term started this month and after last year’s series of surprising and tumultuous rulings eyes again are trained on the nation’s highest court.

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The half dozen Republican candidates in the 2014 primary race for U.S. Senate met Wednesday night in Des Moines for a debate. But as Iowa Public Radio’s Clay Masters reports it wasn’t much of a debate… more of a chance for voters to figure out who’s running.

Some Iowa Republicans in the business world  are criticizing their party’s 4th district Congressman Steve King for his role in the federal government shutdown.   But  even before the showdown  in Washington, there was talk of mounting a primary challenge against the six-term incumbent.    

The partial government shutdown the country just came out of is often compared to the face-off nearly 20 years ago between President Bill Clinton and House Speaker Newt Gingrich. This News Buzz edition of River to River looks at the aftermath of the latest clash, compares it to what happened in the 90’s, and examines how Iowa and national politics have changed since then.  

We also hear about the World Food Prize ceremony this week and the protests associated with it.  And, a unit with the Iowa National Guard had a homecoming this week. Plus, Willie the pig has been captured.

In this "News Buzz" show, hear about a lawsuit filed by Planned Parenthood of the Heartland, the resignation of Senator Kent Sorenson, a passionate response to a football official's decision, and Iowa’s first Globally Important Bird Area.

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In 2010 three Iowa Supreme Court Justices lost their election for retention.  The defeat sparked major changes which increased transparency and public outreach at the state’s highest court.  Today Sarah Boden fills in for Ben Kieffer and discusses this new era of transparency with Todd Pettys of the University of Iowa's College of Law.

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Wrestling is back in the Olympics after being removed earlier this year.  Hear from University of Iowa Head Coach Kevin Jackson, University of Iowa Associate Coach of Wrestling Terry Brands, and the Manager of Communication at USA Wresting Craig Sesker.  Hear their reactions and hear what will change about wrestling in the future.

Also in this program, Iowa's First District Congressman Bruce Braley talks about whether he would support a resolution authorizing limited action in Syria, and other issues looming as Congress resumes its work.  

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Host Ben Kieffer discusses this year's Farm Progress Show with Harvest Public Media reporter Bill Wheelhouse, Iowa State University Professor horticulturalist Kathleen Delate and organic farmer Grant Schultz.   Also, this month the last group of secret recordings Richard Nixon made while president were rele

Official Portrait 83rd General Assembly

The U.S. evacuated non-essential personnel from 19 embassies in response to a heightened threat of terrorist attack this week.  And, back in Iowa, debate is renewed over the future of the Ames Straw Poll, and the Iowa Precinct Caucuses as new allegations emerge about Senator Kent Sorenson's endorsement of 2012 Presidential hopefuls.  Host Dean Borg discusses these and other issues with ISU Political Science Professor Jim McCormick and Tim Hagle, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Iowa.

Ben Stanton / Iowa Public Radio

In this encore edition of River to River, listen back to host Ben Kieffer's tour of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum with its Director Tom Schwartz.  Schwartz talks about the role of presidential museums and libraries in light of the recent opening of the George W. Bush Library in Dallas.  Schwartz also discusses President Hoover himself and the museum’s exhibit that commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  It’s called Iowans and the Civil War: The Western Theater.

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

President Obama spoke in Galesburg, Illinois Wednesday as part of a swing through the Midwest to talk about the economy.  Host Dean Borg gets an update from that appearance, and talks with Bruce Gronbeck, Emeritus Professor of Communication Studies at University of Iowa about the other speeches the President has been making in recent weeks.  Then, Chris Larimer, Associate Professor of Political Science at University of Northern Iowa explains why the political geography of Iowa heavily favors Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley in his bid to replace U.S. Senator Tom Harkin.

A Listen Back to Politics and Religion

Jul 18, 2013
Baylor University Press

A listen back to a riveting River to River from the 2012 election season. 

The U.S. Constitution says "Congress shall make no law, respecting an establishment of Religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," and the true meaning of those words can evoke discord still today.

The U.S. Senate reached a deal to avoid the so-called "nuclear option," which would've changed Senate rules and prohibited filibuster on nominees.  The new deal will allow nominations to face an up or down vote.  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Wayne Moyer of Grinnell College and Tim Hagle of University of Iowa about the deal and what it means.  They also discuss calls to repeal "stand your ground" laws in the wake of the George Zimmerman acquittal.

Rick Fredericksen / Iowa Public Radio

Grateful Americans are honoring former President Gerald Ford this weekend at a reunion in Dana Point, California.  They owe their citizenship, and perhaps their lives, to the man born in Omaha, 100 years ago this Sunday. Iowa Archives remembers “Operation Babylift,” and the epic rescue of several thousand Vietnamese orphans. 

Chris Larimer, UNI / http://diymaps.net/ia.htm

Think you know which of Iowa's counties is most democratic, or most republican?  University of Northern Iowa Associate Professor of Political Science Chris Larimer crunched the numbers. 

http://addins.kwwl.com/blogs/decision2012/2013/06/exploring-county-level-partisanship

U.S. Government

President Obama has chosen U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice to replace Tom Donilon as National Security Advisor.  Rice withdrew her name from consideration as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's replacement after drawing criticism from Republicans for statements made about the attack on the U.S.

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U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder is under fire for a wide-ranging subpoena of phone records at the Associated Press, as part of investigating a national security leak. That, along with continuing investigations of the IRS and the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, has sucked all the air out of Washington for several days. Host Ben Kieffer talks with political analysts Wayne Moyer from Grinnell College and Donna Hoffman from University of Northern Iowa about the scandals and how they're impacting President Obama's second-term agenda.

Sarah McCammon / Iowa Public Radio

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) says he’s considering a run for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. He headlined a fundraiser for Iowa Republicans Friday night in Cedar Rapids.

He may be picking up where his father, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tx.), left off his 2012 campaign.

Recent polls indicate freshman Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is a favorite among GOP hopefuls for the White House in 2016.  Paul is coming to Iowa later this week to speak at the Republican Party of Iowa's "Lincoln Dinner."  Host Ben Kieffer gets his views on immigration reform, drones, and bridging the warring factions within the GOP.  Then, he gets analysis from Bruce Gronbeck, Emeritus Professor of Communication Studies at University of Iowa.

Ben Stanton / Iowa Public Radio

Host Ben Kieffer takes a tour of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum with its Director Tom Schwartz.  He talks about the role of presidential museums and libraries in light of the recent opening of the George W. Bush Library in Dallas.  Schwartz also discusses President Hoover himself and the museum’s exhibit that commemorates the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.  It’s called Iowans and the Civil War: The Western Theater.  The exhibit includes a Civil War field hospital, and signed copies of the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment. 

John Pemble / IPR

Friday is the last day lawmakers are scheduled to be at the Iowa Statehouse, but adjournment seems unlikely.  Host Ben Kieffer talks about the issues and the sticking points dragging out the 2013 session with Chris Larimer, University of Northern Iowa and Tim Hagle, University of Iowa.  They also discuss the President's renewed push to close the detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay and the likely Republican candidates for U.S. Senator Tom Harkin's seat.

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