Political Issues

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

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What goes on in other people's bedrooms has long been an issue that divides people in the United States. Planned Parenthood, provider of sexual health information and services, is no stranger to controversy.

By Molly Edmonds

The Senate confirmation process is a labyrinthine maze of governmental procedure, cronyism and public opinion that presidential appointees must navigate to attain high-level political positions.

By Josh Clark

Although the arduous Senate confirmation process can break even the strongest candidates, the vast majority of presidential appointees are ultimately confirmed. We present the cases of 10 unfortunate exceptions to that rule.

By Josh Clark


Think of midnight regulations as a flurry of presidential Hail Mary passes. How many regulations can an outgoing president pass before he leaves office? How many of these last-minute regulations will become law?

By Josh Clark

When you think of propaganda, Rosie the Riveter may come to mind. A lot of famous pieces of propaganda were created during World War II, but this covert practice of persuasion stretches as far back as ancient Rome.

By Alia Hoyt

Nearly three decades ago, the booming Chinese population caused the government to limit most couples to one child. The plan worked, but at what expense?

By Maria Trimarchi

During the Cold War, the U.S. and USSR stockpiled weapons but never started a nuclear war. What held them back from launching a strike for nearly 40 years? Could two nations embroiled in conflict have made a mutual agreement not to strike?

By Josh Clark


Judy Blume, John Steinbeck and Maya Angelou are among the top 10 most challenged American authors. But to be challenged is not to be banned. What does it take to ban a book?

By Cristen Conger

The donkey and the elephant are widely recognized symbols of the U.S. Democratic and Republican parties. But what do animals have to do with politics, and how do cartoons fit in?

By Sam Abramson

Hitler, Kim Jong-Il, Saddam Hussein: Dictators come hand-in-hand with violence and controversy. But what makes a dictator different from any other leader?

By Shanna Freeman

Communism is a type of government that relies on the collectivization of labor and goods to equal out the classes. How did communism become the dominant form of government in several large countries?

By Alia Hoyt


The Green Party wants to break up American politics' two-party system. But will their beliefs in environmental and social responsibility ever convert U.S. voters?

By Robert Lamb

Every four years, the state of Iowa becomes a political hotbed when it hosts its caucuses. Each state has its own nominating contests, so why does Iowa mean so much to the candidates and the media?

By Sarah Gleim

It's common knowledge that if the president of the United States dies or is removed from office, the vice president takes over. But what happens if the V.P. is unavailable?

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Politicians have given the world plenty to talk about over the years. On this list of 10 political scandals, from Watergate to the Profumo Affair, which had the most extreme consequences?

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd. & John Kelly


Your presidential candidate has a MySpace page. Learn how campaign communications technology has changed the way races are run and won.

By Dave Roos

Presidential pardons restore a person to the state of innocence they had before they committed a crime. But how does the process work and can it go too far?

By Patrick J. Kiger

A virtual border fence uses a complex network of cameras and radar to detect illegal border crossers. Find out how a virtual border fence system works.

By Jacob Silverman

The Darfur region of Sudan has been in a state of crisis since 2003. Whether what's going on in the African province qualifies as genocide is a point of international debate.

By Julia Layton


Experts say the U.S. government is designed so a coup d'état would be highly unlikely ever to occur. But deep political polarization can precipitate one, so does that mean a coup is marginally more possible?

By Joanna Thompson

President Bush once referred to the "War on Terror" as "the war against Islamic fascism." Is that an accurate portrayal?

By Julia Layton

In an interview, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin reportedly answered a question about flooded vehicles with the statement, "You guys in New York can't get a hole in the ground fixed, and it's five years later. So let's be fair." Learn why, or whether, the WTC memorial project is behind schedule.

The idea of a "war crime" seems to be pretty redundant, but there are countless treaties that declare otherwise. Learn about the basic rules of war and about specific acts that have been designated as war crimes by the Hague and Geneva Conventions.

By Julia Layton


Even in the digital age, newspapers continue, although they've had to change dramatically to survive. We'll look at all aspects of putting a newspaper together as well as unusual strategies newspapers are using to bring in revenue.

By Julia Layton & Bob Wilson