State, National and World News

<i>Image by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/diamondduste/2309478861/">David Smith</a>/<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

Tuesday, Doug talks to Norman Ornstein of the conservative American Enterprise Institute and Thomas Mann of the left-leaning Brookings Institution. Mann and Ornstein have been studying Congress for some 40 years and say they've never seen it this dysfunctional. In their latest book, they make no bones about their central thesis: the Republicans are the problem. Mann and Ornstein are in Utah and join us to explain how gridlock has become the status quo and why they say the problem will likely get worse after the November elections.

<i>Image by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/negativz/2866066390/">Rod Senna</a>/<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

Last month, the Supreme Court ruled that states can choose for themselves whether to expand Medicaid. In Utah, that would mean coverage for 50,000 uninsured people. Governor Gary Herbert has called federal health care reform "bad policy," but Utah is waiting until the 2013 legislative session to decide. Monday, KUER begins a series on the future of Medicaid in Utah and reporters Terry Gildea and Andrea Smardon join Doug to explore these questions: Can Utah afford to expand Medicaid? Can it afford not to?

Kill or Capture

Jul 20, 2012

In his new book, Kill or Capture, the journalist Daniel Klaidman takes a behind the scenes look at the Obama administration’s shadow war on terror. Klaidman conducted hundreds of interviews with White House staff in an effort to document how President Obama’s inner circle has wrestled with life or death decisions and debated the price of liberty and national security. Klaidman joins us on Monday to talk about his book and examine Obama’s profound personal transformation into a decisive and lethal commander-in-chief.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikeapalooza/542443814/" target="_blank">Mike a-Palooza</a> via Flickr <a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en">Creative Commons</a>

In March, Bingham High School staged an edited production of "Dead Man Walking." The play is based on the experiences of a nun who became spiritual advisor to death row inmates. It's a difficult topic to be sure and the conservative Eagle Forum says the play went too far. They object to violence, language and what they see as sacrilegious themes. Wednesday, we're asking what the values and the risks are of exposing students to sensitive issues through art and we're hoping to hear from you. How much can teens handle and when does art cross the line?

Wednesday, guest host Thad Hall takes a look at the future of the GOP. Since President Barack Obama's election, the Republican Party has gone from down-and-out to resurgent. Republicans are dominating the money race and they seem to have momentum. There are signs of possible rocky roads ahead though: rapid growth in the Latino population, shifting attitudes on social issues and the politics of austerity could again reverse the party's fortunes. We'll look at the trends and ask what they could mean for politics in America.

The journalist and legal scholar Jeffrey Rosen says that the defining test of Chief Justice John Roberts's leadership is to avoid partisan polarization on the US Supreme Court. No test of that leadership could be more crucial than the Court’s forthcoming decision on the Affordable Care Act. Much is at stake: Roberts's legacy as Chief Justice, the future of American healthcare, and possibly a presidential race. Rosen joins us on Wednesday to examine the Roberts court and the ramifications of its defining decision.

<i>Image by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gadl/445650912/">Alexandre Duret-Lutz</a>/<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

Though as old as America itself, the American dream wasn’t actually christened until the Great Depression. And now it stands on shaky ground in the wake of the Great Recession. With the gap between rich and poor wider than ever, the dream of freedom and equal opportunity is increasingly out of reach. This summer, NPR is producing a series of stories about the American dream, and NPR reporters Ari Shapiro and John Ydstie join Doug on Wednesday to take the dream’s pulse in the 21st century.

Photo by Wendy Shattil/Bob Rozinksi / International League of Conservation Photographers

The oil and natural gas fields of the rural West -- from North Dakota to Wyoming to Colorado and Utah -- have produced thousands of jobs and brought great prosperity to communities and families alike. But there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Energy development has also brought ill consequences: high crime, drugs, adverse health conditions, poor air quality and environmental degradation. Tuesday on RadioWest we’ll discuss the social and cultural effects, both positive and negative, of energy development in the rural West.

<i>Image by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/raychelnbits/4187745579/">Raychel Medez</a>/<a href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en" target="_blank">Creative Commons</a> via flickr</i>

For those trying to make sense of dysfunction in US politics, historian Nancy Cohen has an answer: sex. Cohen argues that a 40-year backlash against the sexual revolution is at the heart of our current political wars, and she’s not just blaming Republican men. She says that Democrats are complicit and that women have been ardent champions of what she calls the counterrevolution. Monday, she’ll take us through the modern history of gender politics and explain what it means for the 2012 election.

Scott Winterton | Deseret News

Thursday on RadioWest we're hosting a panel discussion about Utah's recent political caucuses. There's evidence that caucus delegates were more moderate this time around, and that they value experience more than in years past. That may explain why Sen. Orrin Hatch survived the caucus, only to face his first primary since 1976. We'll also talk about the coming congressional race between Rep. Jim Matheson and Republican nominee Mia Love, and what Democrats are doing to woo Utah's Mormon voters.