Ongoing Coverage:

Politics Day

Politics Day
2:51 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

Implications of the Senate Committee Torture Report

U.S. Senate Committee hearing in 2013
John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV

During his administration, George W. Bush said the detention and interrogation of terrorism suspects was humane and legal.

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Politics Day
5:16 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Is Government Helping or Hurting Race Relations?

Barack Obama takes the oath of office administered by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. at the Capitol, January 20, 2009
Wikimedia Commons

There’s no denying the racial tensions flaring in the United States. The question of how to solve them, however, has yet to be answered.

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Politics Day
3:58 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Politics Day: Mid-Term Election Analysis

nshepard / flickr

Republicans hand a major defeat to President Obama and Senate Democrats, seizing control of the U.S. Senate; and Iowa makes history, electing its first female senator, Joni Ernst.

One lone Democrat remains in Iowa’s six-member congressional delegation to Washington. This politics day, host Ben Kieffer and several political analysts examine the results of Iowa’s races and fit them into the national picture, to ask, what may be in store for the final two years of the Obama presidency?

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Politics Day
6:41 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Politics Day: One Week To Go

Ernst/Braley Campaign Facebook Pages

With the midterm elections less than a week away, the Iowa Senate race looks closer than ever.

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Politics Day
4:02 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

America's Love-Hate Relationship with Political Polling

DonkeyHotey / flickr

Two weeks to go until Election Day. Polls continue to show the Braley-Ernst Senate race is one of the closest in the nation – a contest that could decide party control in the Senate.

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2014 Elections
11:41 am
Thu October 16, 2014

Iowa's Non-Major Party Candidates in the 2014 Elections

Ulises Jorge / flickr

The Republican and Democratic parties dominate politics in our state and our country.

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Politics Day
5:07 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Decisions by Default: U.S. Supreme Court Stays Quiet on Same-Sex Marriage

U.S. Supreme Court Building
Wikimedia Commons

Earlier this week, the U.S. Supreme Court decided not to take up any of the cases before them involving same-sex marriage.

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Politics
3:24 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

President Obama as a "War President"

Screen shot from the White House’s official video of President Obama’s address to the United Nations General Assembly on September 24, 2014.

This week, Great Britain joined the United States and France in air strikes against ISIS in Iraq. 

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Politics Day
4:36 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

"I think we will be fighting ISIS a year from now"

U.S. Army Pfc. Jason Dore looks for any possible enemy contact in western Baghdad, Iraq. 2007
United States Forces Iraq

In a prime time address on Wednesday, President Obama will announce how the U.S. plans to confront the threat from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

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Politics Day
4:23 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Politics Day: Developments at Home and Abroad

Pete Souza Official White House photo

Western sanctions have wounded the Russian economy by causing billions of dollars in capital flight, but is that enough to stop what Ukrainian officials say is the strengthening of an "invasion" force?

In this episode of River to River, political analysts Jim McCormick of Iowa State University, and Donna Hoffman of the University of Northern Iowa, share analysis on the escalating crisis in between Russia and western powers over Ukraine. Also, a detailed report commissioned by two major Republican groups paints a dismal picture for Republicans, especially among women.

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Politics Day
4:56 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Politics Day: Developments in the Middle East and the 2014 Senate Race

assortedstuff / flickr

A new Washington Post forecast gives the GOP a 63 percent chance of taking the Senate in November.

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Politics Day
11:21 am
Wed August 13, 2014

Watergate's Lessons, 40 Years Later

President Nixon with his first cabinet.
White House photo office Wikimedia Commons

Nixon resigned the office of president 40 years ago this month. But the question remains: What were the lessons of Watergate? And has our country learned them? Former Iowa State University Political Science Professor Jim Hutter and David Yepsen, political reporter for the Des Moines Register for a quarter of a century, join host Ben Kieffer to discuss how Watergate and Nixon's resignation changed our political scene, our media landscape and our nation. 

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Politics Day
3:58 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Politics Day: Latest Developments at Home and Abroad

Barack Obama Flickr

Several Republicans, including Iowa’s Congressman Steve King, have called for President Obama’s impeachment.

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Politics Day
3:11 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Politics Day: From the Gaza Strip to the U.S. Border

Nick Knupffer

Ten years ago, it was wildly controversial to talk about psychological differences between liberals and conservatives. Today’s that’s changed.

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Politics Day
5:21 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Politics Day: International Developments

assortedstuff / flickr

The Obama administration is asking for #3.7 billion in emergency funds from Congress to address the flood of unaccompanied children coming illegally into the U.S.

Today on River to River, we talk about the politics behind this latest chapter in the immigration debate. Also, our guests analyze the latest developments in the Middle East, Ukraine and the disputed presidential election in Afghanistan.

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Politics Day
4:16 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Washington D.C. - Hollywood’s New Wild West?

Vice President Joe Biden jokes with Julia Louis-Dreyfus of the TV show, “Veep,” as she sits at his desk in the Vice President's West Wing office at the White House, April 12, 2013
Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson

From the idealistic public servants of "The West Wing" to the conniving anti-heroes of "House of Cards," the portrayal of Washington D.C. in popular culture has changed significantly over the last decade.

Today on River to River - what shows set in our nation's capital say about our political climate, and what we can and cannot learn from these programs.

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Politics Day
5:33 pm
Wed May 14, 2014

Frontrunners in Iowa's Republican Nomination for U.S. Senate

Newfrontiers

State Senator Joni Ernst started out relatively unknown in a crowded field for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate. Is she now the front runner?

We look at the candidacy of Joni Ernst this week, as she gains the endorsement of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the NRA. Also on the program, a tea party primary win in Nebraska, the likelihood of immigration reform before November’s election, and looking abroad, the latest crisis in Ukraine and Nigeria.

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News Buzz
3:01 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

After 40 Years, Rasberry Williams and his Daughter Reconnect

Happy Friday! It's a "news buzz" edition of River to River, bringing you several Iowa news stories of the week.

Charletta Sudduth was eight years old when her father was incarcerated for shooting and killing a man outside a Waterloo pool hall, a crime he has maintained was in self-defense. Now her father, Rasberry Williams, will be released on parole to an assisted living facility, after serving nearly 40 years of a life sentence. We hear from her:

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Politics Day
4:18 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Opening the Floodgates for Money in Politics

401(K)2012 / flickr

Four years after the Citizens United ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has made a landmark decision that frees the nation's wealthiest donors to have greater influence in federal elections. Today on politics day, analysis of the court's decision.

Host Ben Kieffer talks with political analysts Stephen Schmidt and Timothy Hagle.

Also, a last-minute enrollment surge enabled the White House to meet its original sign-up target for the Affordable Care Act, a surprising victory for the Obama administration. How does this change the political landscape?

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Politics Day
4:06 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Secrets, Deals, the Senate Race, and Sanctions

Newfrontiers https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode

Dean Borg guest hosts this politics day edition of 'River to River.'  Des Moines Register Political Columnist Kathie Obradovich, University of Northern Iowa's Chris Larimer, and Drake University's David Skidmore are political analysts for this program that includes Iowa, U.S., and international politics.

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River to River
2:15 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Murky Waters and Pi Day

Though Iowa’s rivers and streams may look particularly scummy or murky, the DNR says the state’s waterways are perfectly fine. The murky appearance is caused by organic matter and is safe.
Ben Kieffer Iowa Public Radio

Is winter almost over?  And how has the long, harsh season affect Iowa's waterways and aquatic life?  Also, the latest Quinnipiac poll, 2014's Cancer in Iowa report, Iowa's new tourism ad campaign and Pi Day at the Science Center of Iowa.

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Politics Day
3:34 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Putin and Ukraine

Putin depicted on a Russian doll
Amy Allcock

President Obama says that Russian incursion in Ukraine is against international law and a miscalculation that risks pushing former Soviet-bloc nations further from Moscow.  Russian President President Putin has defended his actions and criticized the U.S. response.  Listen to this political analysis of the situation.

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Politics Day
4:20 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Ukrainian Violence and Politics

Kiev City Hall on February 16, 2014
streetwrk.com Used under Creative Commons license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/legalcode

In about two weeks, the first of at least six Republican primaries will feature establishment Senate incumbents versus Tea Party challengers. Host Ben Kieffer and political analysts look at these primaries and the GOP’s bid to retake the U.S. Senate.  Also, A U.N. panel accuses North Korea of crimes against humanity, and Ukraine erupts again.  Guests are Dennis Goldford, Professor of Politics at Drake University and Jim McCormick, Professor and Chair of Political Science at Iowa State University.

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Politics Day
3:19 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Pipeline Politics

A new U.S. State Department report raises no major environmental objections to the possible construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, but the report is being treated differently by Democrats and Republicans.  That and other political news; analysts for this Politics Day include Steffen Schmidt from Iowa State University and Bruce Nesmith from Coe College.

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Politics Day
4:13 pm
Wed January 29, 2014

Mixed Reviews for 2014 State of the Union

President Obama delivers the State of the Union to a joint session of Congress
Chuck Kennedy (Executive Office of the President of the United States) White House image, public domain

President Obama stepped to the podium to deliver his 2014 State of the Union address against a backdrop of low approval ratings, a stagnant Congress and the term “lame duck” increasingly being used to describe his presidency.  The State of the Union is often seen as an opportunity to press the reset button.  But, an analysis of the list of priorities requiring Congressional action unveiled in 2013 shows only two measures winning approval.  This may have been what prompted the President to say h

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Politics Day
3:54 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

Political Leadership in the Spotlight

U.S. Speaker of the House Representative John Boehner
Creative Commons

"When we talk about leadership, we often think that it's entirely under control of the individual," says Hans Hassell, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Cornell College.  But in reality, "It's not necessarily Boehner's leadership style that's causing the problems, it's the political environment."  Host Ben Kieffer talks with Hassell, David Andersen, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Iowa State University and Steffen Schmidt, University Professor of Political Science at Iowa State University.  Recent stories about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as well as revelations

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Politics Day
4:22 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Moments and Movements That Defined 2013 Politics

Newfrontiers

Host Ben Kieffer is joined by Drake University's Dennis Goldford for a look at the political topics that held the attention of the country this year: immigration reform, gun laws, Edward Snowden and the NSA, a government shutdown, the Obamacare rollout, and big changes develop for the future of the Iowa political landscape.

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Politics Day
2:26 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Politics Day

Bipartisan congressional negotiators have unveiled a long-awaited budget framework to fund the government past mid-January and stabilize the government's finances into the near future. But does it have enough support to pass?

Host Ben Kieffer asks our analysts, Bruce Nesmith of Coe College and Tim Hagle of the University of Iowa, what they think of it. Also, the world salutes the passing of Nelson Mandela, and takes note of a handshake between President Obama and the Cuban President.

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Politics Day
4:08 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

China's New Air Defense Zone and the U.S. Political Divide

A Coast Guard patrol vessel passes by Uotsuri, the largest island in the Senkaku/Diaoyu chain.
Al Jazeera English

The US and Japan have refused to recognize an air defense zone above tiny islands that China and Japan both claim. Today on River to River, we find out what is behind the dispute and what escalation would mean. Also, a look at how politics abroad are affecting politics at home, and whether our country's deeply divided political system could drive some areas of the U.S. to seek more independence. Host Ben Kieffer sits down with Iowa State University political scientists, Jim McCormick and Steffen Schmidt.

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Politics Day
1:46 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Iowans Comment on Nuclear Deal with Iran

After western powers reached a deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program, what’s next? Today on River to River, guest host Ben Stanton sits down with political science experts Tim Hagle, of the University of Iowa, and Wayne Moyer, of Grinnell College. They talk about the deal and why it’s being met with skepticism by Israel, and some in Congress. They also discuss what happens after one party in the U.S. Senate uses a so-called nuclear option.

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