politics

There is more to the relationship between the U.S. and Israel than just political gesturing. American diplomat and author Dennis Ross explains how international obligation, political tradition, and emotional attachment all enter into the equation when taking on long-standing problems in the Middle East.

Stephen Koranda / KPR

Kansas lawmakers struggled over the weekend working late nights trying to craft a budget solution. Ultimately, they approved a plan in the early hours of Monday morning.

U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts won re-election for his U.S. Senate seat in Kansas in 2014, but Greg Orman gave him a run for his money. Though Roberts ultimately won by 10 points, polls had Orman leading the Senate race in the final weeks — as an independent.

On KCUR’s Up To Date this week, Orman told host Steve Kraske his campaign proved independents can win in a place like Kansas. 

When it comes to taxes, are we morally obligated to pay them to help our society? As presidential nominating conventions come up, is it ethical for a party to change the rules to block a candidate, even if he or she has a large majority of the popular vote? Up To Date's Ethics professors tackle these issues and more.

Guests:

  • Clancy Martin is a professor of philosophy at UMKC.
  • Adrian Switzer is an assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy at the UMKC.

Across the globe, distinct political institutions and governing mechanisms have developed, but how and when did political order even begin? Starting with our primate ancestors through the eve of the French Revolution, we look at how our politics continue to evolve — or not — today.

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Political and economic unrest has many wondering about the power and limitations of democratic values and diplomacy. On this edition of Up To Date, we talk  about the idea of a "democracy recession" and how to best battle human trafficking and rights violations.

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It's an animated Disney film about the first rabbit on the police force. But it also addresses issues of politics, race, gender, stereotyping and xenophobia. We hear how the politics of Zootopia mirror Kansas City, and how the first Latina columnist for The Kansas City Star relates to that bunny cop.

Guests:

As the presidential primary continues and voters in both Kansas and Missouri await the general election, we visit with one demographic that doesn't always get a say: the teen demographic. 

Guests:

  • Suan Sonna, sophomore, Sumner Academy
  • Olivia Crabtree, senior, Archibishop O'Hara High School
  • Claire Gibbs, senior, Shawnee Mission East

Many remember the name Thomas Frank for his book, What's the Matter With Kansas, in which he details the rise of conservatism in the middle of the country. Now, he has his eye on Democrats' failures in his latest book, Listen Liberal.  

Thomas Frank will speak at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, March 24, at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library. For tickets and information, visit rainydaybooks.com.

DonkeyHotey / Flickr

Politics happen along party lines, and we mean that in more ways than one. Kansas Citians on the art of political fundraising. Specifically, the local fundraising parties that fill the coffers of national candidates.

Guests:

  • Sharon Hoffman, organizer for a variety of causes and candidates, including Obama's 2008 and 2012 Kansas City campaigns
  • Annie Presley, principle, McKellar Group

On Tuesday, voters in five states went to the polls to cast their vote for the presidential candidates. On this edition of Up To Date, we analyze the Missouri primary, which turned out to be the closest race of the night. 

Guests:

  • Peverill Squire is the Hicks and Martha Griffiths Chair in American Political Institutions at the University of Missouri.
  • Robynn Kuhlmann is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Central Missouri.

The right to vote was not in the original version of our Constitution, but the fight to vote has been with us since Revolutionary times. Hear how voter ID, suppressed voter turnout and other issues are not exclusive to the current day.

Guest:

  • Michael Waldman is president of the Brennan Center of Justice and the author of The Fight to Vote.

Abraham Lincoln is remembered for his skill as an orator, but the president also utilized other tools to better connect with voters. His use of photography, which was a cutting-edge technology in his day and age, helped him to victory in the tough 1860 election. 

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For many in the Kansas City area, the name Jeff Roe may ring a bell. Known as a “bad boy” of Missouri politics, Roe has been behind some of the most ruthless political campaigns in the past decade. Now, he takes on his biggest campaign yet — Ted Cruz's run for President.

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In one week, the hypothesizing and conjecturing will stop — at least for a moment as real voters express their preferences for the presidency at the Iowa Caucuses. On this edition of Up To Date, political experts David von Drehle and Carl Cannon talk with Steve Kraske about the 2016 presidential race.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

For almost a year, presidential candidates have been crisscrossing Iowa, wooing voters in a state that relies on agriculture for about one-third of its economy. But even here, most voters live in cities or suburbs and don’t have a first-hand connection to the farm.

That makes it difficult to get candidates talking about food system issues from school lunches, to crop supports, to water quality. Yet these all fall under the federal agriculture department. If candidates aren’t talking about them in Iowa, it’s possible they’ll be left out of the campaigns entirely.

Ask anybody these days to name their state senator, their U.S. senator or member of Congress and chances are you’ll get a blank look more often than you’ll get a correct answer. On this edition of Up To Date, we discuss how to increase voter awareness and engagement.

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The St. Louis Board of Aldermen gave its blessing to a measure aimed at keeping the St. Louis Rams in town.

Now, it’s up to the NFL’s owners to see if this potentially expensive gambit paid off.

For those who position themselves firmly to the left, the challenges can be great. Call an Uber or hail a cab? Date a conservative? The Nation contributing editor Liza Featherstone tackles these issues in her wry advice column for liberals, 'Asking For A Friend.'

American composers have played a role in turning the political tables in our society. Dr. Anna Celenza speaks with Steve Kraske about how their compositions influenced people's hearts and minds.

Guests:

Chelsea Clinton has dedicated herself to inspiring young people to become involved. On this edition of Up To Date, she tells Steve Kraske about why she thinks the country's youth is ready to make change and about how lucky she feels to have grown up the daughter of a President and a Secretary of State. 

Former U.S. Senator John Danforth has spent years speaking out against the abuses of our political system. On this edition of Up To Date,  he speaks with Steve Kraske about Missouri, the 2016 presidential race and his latest book, The Relevance of Religion: How Faithful People Can Change Politics.

Audiofiles: Podcasts We Love — Fall 2015

Oct 20, 2015
Photo Credit: Sascha Kohlmann

Central Standard’s podcast connoisseurs take to the mic to share what podcasts deserve your time and attention. Here’s what they recommend:

 

Jeremy Bernfeld, editor of KCUR's Harvest Public Media

In politics, flip-flopping is code for untrustworthy. But human beings do change their minds. What are the pressures that cause shifts on issues while in office? And how can voters evaluate politicians' changes of heart?

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Generation Listen KC is an initiative from  KCUR to engage with young public radio listeners in the KC region. As part of its Forward Promote series, Generation Listen KC invited Up to Date's Steve Kraske to moderate a forum on civic engagement for millennials.

Kansas City comedian Brian Huther is only half surprised that the flag-dressed front-porch beer-drinking character he created has grown exponentially more famous over the last four days as the "Your Drunk Neighbor: Donald Trump" video went viral.

Former Missouri State Senator Jeff Smith was sent to prison for a year and a day for campaign election violations. He tells Steve Kraske what he learned about the criminal justice system during his incarceration. Smith's book recounting his time in a federal penitentiary is Mr. Smith Goes To Prison: What My Year Behind Bars Taught Me About America's Prison Crisis.

Shelf Life

Sep 11, 2015

Before Will Leathem opened Prospero's Books in Midtown, he was a Republican political consultant and a touring musician. On this Portrait Session show, Will talks about poetry, politics and the first book he published: 'Leavened 911, a compilation of stories and essays by Kansas Citians about the September 11 attacks.

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Senate-Bound

Aug 21, 2015

Blaine Stephens knew he was up against the odds when he applied for a U.S. Senate intern position. As the Plattsburg, Missouri, high-schooler packs his bags for Washington,  D.C. Up To Date caught up with him to learn how he made the cut. 

Guest:

  • Jason Rae served as a Senate page 10 years ago. He is currently a senior associate at Nation Consulting in Milwaukee. 

U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill has battled through a political world dominated by men to get where she is today. She talks about that journey in her memoir, Plenty Ladylike.

Senator McCaskill will speak at 2 p.m. Sunday, August 16 at Unity Temple on the Plaza. For admission information, visit www.rainydaybooks.com.

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