Politics

State, National and World News

Conventional wisdom has favored Mitt Romney in the race for the Republican presidential nomination because many see him as the best chance to beat Barack Obama. This month though, Romney has fallen and rebounded in the polls and he heads to Florida with just 1 of 3 primary victories. Reporter McKay Coppins says pragmatism gets boring for voters and Romney needs more to connect with conservatives. Coppins and biographer Scott Helman join us to explain Mitt Romney's rocky trajectory with Americans.

There are 1.5 million active-duty personnel in the U.S. Armed Forces. Sexual assault is an increasing problem within those ranks. In many, if not most cases, it's swept under the carpet: only 8 percent of sexual assault cases are prosecuted in the military, and only 2 percent of those cases result in convictions. The filmmaker Kirby Dick's new documentary, THE INVISIBLE WAR, sheds light on the suffering of thousands of military rape victims, and he'll join Doug on Tuesday to talk about it.

A new study by the Pew Forum came out last week. It was about Mormons. The survey contained a lot of information, but one part of it was no surprise: most Mormons call themselves political conservatives. Utah Mormons are nine times as likely to be Republican than Democrat. But why? On Monday we’re broadcasting a show we recorded last week at Utah Valley University. A group of LDS legislators joined Doug on stage to discuss how their political beliefs are informed by Mormonism and vice versa.

<A href="http://www.navy.mil/management/photodb/photos/081109-N-1082Z-051.jpg" target="_blank">U.S. Navy</a>

In the fall of 2008, Jay Bahadur was stuck in a job he hated. He yearned to be a journalist, but he had no faith in journalism schools. So he flew to the hinterlands of Somalia to write a book about the world of modern day pirates. He wanted to tell the full story of the buccaneers of Puntland: what they do and who they are as human beings on both land and sea, not simply the AK-47-toting thugs who appear in news stories. Bahadur joins Doug on Monday to talk about the pirates of Somalia. (Rebroadcast)

FLDS leader Warren Jeffs is communicating to his followers from his Texas prison cell. He's convicted of child sexual assault but he commanded church members to rededicate themselves by December 31st. They've had to abstain from marital relations, sign over possessions and come up with $5,000 to remain in good grace. Those found "unworthy" are now banned from Church meetings and must repent. Monday, we're talking about Jeffs, the power he holds and what this means for a community in turmoil.

This weekend marks a year since the tragic shooting at a Tucson meet-and-greet held by U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords. 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner killed six people and injured eighteen, including the congresswoman, who was shot in the head. Thursday, Doug is joined by journalist Tom Zoellner, an Arizona native and friend of Giffords. Zoellner has just published a book that asks this question: what does the shooting tells us about the Grand Canyon State and life in America?

Earlier this month, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il died of a heart attack at the age of 69. Monday on RadioWest, we're rebroadcasting our conversation about the behavior of North Korea. This is about political culture. The scholar B.R. Myers is our guest. He describes the ideology of North Korea this way - race based paranoid nationalism. (Rebroadcast)

Local filmmaker Dodge Billingsley was in Iraq when the U.S. first invaded in 2003. He returned there last month to film as the U.S. withdrew combat troops from Al Anbar province. The efficient withdrawal that Billingsley witnessed contrasts starkly with America's bumpy progress subduing and rebuilding Iraq, and he says the country, while safer now than it was eight years ago, still stands on shaky ground. Doug will talk with Billingsley on Monday about the war and how America has altered Iraq.

<i>Image by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/billselak/2246028314/">Bill S</a>/<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

According to a recent report, Utah's unique caucus system gives more power to convention delegates than any other state. Another report showed that caucus delegates don't represent mainstream Utah voters. A newly formed group of politicos is fed up with the system and they want to change the way Utahns pick their candidates. A diverse panel of guests will join Doug on Thursday to discuss the state's nominating system, how it does or doesn't work, and where the voters stand on all of this.

Monday, we're asking this question: Who is Mitt Romney? Our guest is the journalist Ronald B. Scott, who has just published a book on the Republican presidential candidate. Scott takes a frank look at Romney's family, character and convictions, flips and flops, words and actions. He joins Doug to explain how all this has shaped Romney's second run at the White House.

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