Political Issues

The Political Issues Channel discusses hot topics and important political issues such as conventions, scandals and theories.

Ever felt a pang of guilt on, say, Election Day when you skip the voting booth to go to dinner and a movie? The concept of being pacified by food and entertainment -- and forgoing civic duty -- goes back to Roman times.

Thousands of think tanks dot the globe, and if you think they don't affect you, you're wrong. The scholars at these high-brow thought factories have a much bigger agenda than merely sitting around looking contemplative.

Thanks to the First Amendment, people in the U.S. can say whatever they want, wherever they want without fear of prosecution. Er ... not quite.

It's the U.S.'s primary public health insurance program, but who pays for it and who qualifies for coverage? Get the scoop on the ins and outs of Medicaid's rules and benefits.

Throughout history, charismatic leaders have emerged and changed the world -- for better or for worse.

Right-to-work legislation lately has received a ton of attention in the U.S. Why are people so divided on these controversial laws?

Being in the celebrity spotlight can be grueling, but being in the political spotlight is arguably even tougher. It’s one thing when a starlet acts foolishly or loses her decorum, but it’s something else entirely when you’re an official who’s supposed to be leading a nation. Which of these missteps was worst?

Confusing wording in legislative documents often leads to misinterpretation of the draft's intent. Is that the case with the Affordable Care Act?

As long as there has been civil discourse, there has been civil disobedience. In other words, protesting against the status quo is nothing new. But what was the largest one ever assembled?

Like the more politically liberal Occupy Wall Street movement, the Tea Party has attracted intensive media coverage. But what does this now formalized entity stand for, and who makes up its ranks?

Until recently, much of the research into why and how people vote focused on nurture, rather than nature. But could your genes actually influence who you choose at the polls?

Women have the right stuff to excel in politics, but they still make up well under 20 percent of the U.S. Senate and House. Could this minority status actually be making them better politicians?

Whenever a presidential election rolls around, third parties often have a moment in the limelight. From Internet-privacy-loving Pirates to Ayn Rand-toting Objectivists, what are some of the most unusual third parties out there?

Libertarians are certainly enjoying their moment in the spotlight, but does anyone know what they really believe? This article will shed some light on a political philosophy that could influence the upcoming election.

Executive orders are directives handed down from the president without input from the legislative or judiciary branches of government. They hold the same sway as federal and state law, but is this a good thing?

It's probably more than you think. Learn more about how many cities have a ban on plastic bags.

Citizen journalism refers to the efforts of average citizens or amateur journalists to gather news and spread accurate information. The question that surrounds the practice, however, is defining what makes a professional journalist.

The Constitution touts freedom of the press, but a closer look at the law -- especially as interpreted by the Supreme Court -- shows that press "freedom" has its limits. How are journalists bound by the law?

Ever wonder how the 24-hour news cycle is possible? You can thank digital satellite news gathering for a large part of the constant flow of information.

Do you remember the phrase "film at 11"? If you do, you were around before electronic news gathering made the world move a little faster.

Each September, Americans remember the document that Revolutionary War general and national assemblyman Marquis de Lafayette called "little short of a miracle." But what don't you know about the U.S. Constitution?

The United States spends a huge chunk of its national paycheck on debt obligations. Where is all that money going?

The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 were one of the most harrowing events in U.S. history. Did a governmental cover-up of the health risks at ground zero add insult to injury?

Muammar Gaddafi has ruled Libya for decades. You won't believe some of the more odd things he's said.

If you think filibusters have been in the news more recently than in the past, you'd be right. In the 1950s, there was less than one filibuster per Senate session. In 2007 and 2008, there were 139 actual or threatened filibusters. What accounts for the big increase?