politics

Stephen Koranda / KPR

After a brief and completely unintentional hiatus, we're back to bringing together some of the most notable stories of the past week. This week, primary election preparation ramped up with the voter registration deadline and the beginning of the advance voting period. Here's what you may have missed:

Six things you need to know if you want to vote in Kansas primaries

Carla Eckels

Senator Bernie Sanders says that the campaign for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination is too personal and that critical economic and foreign policy issues are not being debated.

6tee-zeven / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

I can’t imagine two people as different as Neil Young and Donald Trump, so when The Donald recently used Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” as a campaign song, I wasn’t too surprised by Young’s unequivocal negative reaction. R.E.M. also had a tune appropriated by Trump, much to the chagrin of the band. It turns out that presidential campaigns of both parties have been asked by artists to stop using their songs.

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Last Wednesday evening a record number of 11 Republican candidates for president were on stage for a televised debate. I came away with the feeling that a real debate had not occurred.

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Real estate mogul Donald Trump is currently the frontrunner for the 2016 Republican nomination for president. He has defied all predictions that his campaign for the nomination would collapse not long after he announced his candidacy.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr / Creative Commons

The embryonic Republican presidential primary season has witnessed the startling rise of Donald Trump in early polling. As the current frontrunner among a crowd of other GOP presidential hopefuls, the bombastic Trump, a real estate mogul and former host of hit television series "The Apprentice," has predictably attracted increased criticism from his fellow competitors. One of the charges directed his way is that he is a rich “reality TV star” with little concrete political experience.

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An earlier version of this piece aired August 4, 2015, during All Things Considered.

There’s more than a year before the 2016 election, but some races in the Kansas Statehouse are starting to take shape. Just this week, Wichita school board member Lynn Rogers decided to challenge sitting Republican state Sen. Michael O’Donnell. As KPR’s Stephen Koranda reports, that’s just one of several challengers taking on incumbent state senators.

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Many Americans think and express the view that the United States is the greatest country in the world and that it has the best political and economic system that ever did exist. That may be, but we ought to ask: In comparison with what?

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Many Americans complain about the dominance of our two-party system at election time. America is peculiar among democracies with its two-party political system, which is in contrast to the multi-party system that is present in most other democracies. Having a two-party system means that candidates for any elected office, from president on down, are more likely to be successful if they run as a Republican or as a Democrat.

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The United States Supreme Court decided two landmark cases this past week. One affirmed subsidies for Americans purchasing health care insurance on a federal exchange. In a second case, Obergefell v. Hodges, the court, after refusing to hear earlier cases, declared same-sex marriage to be a right guaranteed under the Constitution, by expanding the penumbra of a constitutional right to gay couples.

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