Civics 101

Civics 101

Why does the U.S. have an Electoral College? How do congressional investigations work? What does the minority whip actually do? Civics 101 is the podcast refresher course on the basics of how our democracy works.

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The Death Penalty

Civics 101

The history, and possible future, of government-sanctioned killings

19 Min

Jul 31, 2018

The Affordable Care Act

Civics 101

Obama's signature healthcare law tried to overhaul American health care. Did it work?

18 Min

Jul 17, 2018

Tariffs

Civics 101

The history of and rationale for (or for not) taxing goods that enter our country.

16 Min

Jul 10, 2018

Episode
Podcast
Time
Released
11 min
Jun 19, 2018
i

The most important government document you've never heard of.

16 min
May 29, 2018
i

What is the story of public water in the United States?

15 min
May 22, 2018
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If you want to get your hands on government documents, there's a law for that.

18 min
May 15, 2018
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Space! The final frontier... for civics?

15 min
May 11, 2018
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The tricky middle ground between press and president.

ICE

17 min
May 8, 2018
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What role does ICE play in immigration policy?

18 min
May 1, 2018
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What does the National Guard do? Who "calls it in?"

18 min
Apr 24, 2018
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What happens when one president leaves office and another one enters?

13 min
Apr 20, 2018
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How does the U.S. handle hostage situations?

18 min
Apr 17, 2018
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Highways, bridges, culverts, and more... Who pays for infrastructure, and who benefits?

15 min
Apr 13, 2018
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Where do the billions of dollars spent on U.S. foreign aid go?

15 min
Apr 10, 2018
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What is the role of a foreign intelligence service in a democracy?

16 min
Apr 6, 2018
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One of our broadest, and least appreciated, civil rights laws.

15 min
Apr 3, 2018
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What does it mean to be protected from cruel and unusual punishment?

2 min
Mar 31, 2018
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High School students and classes apply to host and co-produce a full Civics 101 episode

15 min
Mar 30, 2018
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What exactly does the Department of Justice do?

14 min
Mar 27, 2018
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It's official title is an "Act To Prevent Pernicious Political Activities."

17 min
Mar 23, 2018
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It protects against searches and seizures... but only those that are unreasonable.

18 min
Mar 20, 2018
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What goes on inside the Federal Bureau of Investigation?

17 min
Mar 16, 2018
i

How we treat prisoners of war, and what it says about us.

14 min
Mar 13, 2018
i

The two most powerful positions in the cabinet.

17 min
Mar 9, 2018
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The unwritten rules that make or break democracy.

27 min
Mar 6, 2018
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The history of the American flag and the Pledge of Allegiance. Also, four Supreme Court cases about the flag and free speech.

16 min
Mar 2, 2018
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The Constitution doesn't explicitly guarantee the right to vote. So, who gets to vote and how did it get that way?

16 min
Feb 27, 2018
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A look into the history and effects of the last reconstruction amendment

17 min
Feb 23, 2018
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The source of due process, equal protection, and citizenship, all in one place.

15 min
Feb 20, 2018
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A look into the history and effects of the first of the reconstruction amendments

15 min
Feb 16, 2018
i

A primer on DACA - the Deffered Action for Childhood Arrivals.

16 min
Feb 13, 2018
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What is expected of the First Lady, and who defined the role?

15 min
Feb 9, 2018
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We have the firepower to end it all. How do we wield it?

15 min
Feb 6, 2018
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A closer look at the internal watchdogs that oversee various government agencies.

16 min
Feb 2, 2018
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Who plays referee in U.S. elections?

17 min
Jan 30, 2018
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How our voting method came out of voting madness.

18 min
Jan 26, 2018
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Have super PACs changed the way American elections work?

15 min
Jan 23, 2018
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The [contentious] history of welfare and its role today

11 min
Jan 20, 2018
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What happens when the government shuts down?

19 min
Jan 19, 2018
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We tear through a whole lot of little questions.

20 min
Jan 16, 2018
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A principle called Duverger's law explains why two major political parties dominate American politics.

15 min
Jan 12, 2018
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Who's behind those cigarette package warning labels?

15 min
Jan 9, 2018
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What happens after the leader of the free world leaves office?

17 min
Jan 5, 2018
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How the Federal Government reorganized itself in the wake of September 11th.

11 min
Jan 2, 2018
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Where does our national anthem come from?

13 min
Dec 29, 2017
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What is Camp David and what do presidents use it for?

14 min
Dec 26, 2017
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What do lobbyists do day-to-day, and how much power do they have?

15 min
Dec 22, 2017
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Earthquakes, hurricanes and nuclear war... how well is FEMA prepared to handle out nation's disasters?

12 min
Dec 19, 2017
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What led to the creation of America's vice squad? Liquor taxes.

17 min
Dec 15, 2017
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What does it mean to be an ally of the United States?

15 min
Dec 12, 2017
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Learn about the past, present, and future of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

16 min
Dec 8, 2017
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Where America's important documents are stored forever.

13 min
Dec 5, 2017
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The document that outlines how American flags should and shouldn't be handled.

10 min
Dec 1, 2017
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When the cameras are off, Congress gets down to work.

14 min
Nov 28, 2017
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A look into the background of one of the nation's oldest and most formative institutions

24 min
Nov 24, 2017
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From Tinker to Frederick : Four Supreme Court cases on free speech in public schools.

17 min
Nov 21, 2017
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What does it mean to be a sovereign nation operating within the continental United States?

12 min
Nov 17, 2017
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Who keeps the White House running?

14 min
Nov 14, 2017
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How labor unions are created, and why workers choose to band together.

15 min
Nov 10, 2017
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What role does the Vice President play in running the country?

14 min
Nov 7, 2017
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One of the most divisive issues in American politics: the right to keep and bear arms.

15 min
Nov 3, 2017
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Beyond the suits, sunglasses and ear pieces, what does the Secret Service really do?

14 min
Oct 31, 2017
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The long history of what the press can and cannot publish.

15 min
Oct 27, 2017
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What are the Federalist Papers, and summaries of the important ones.

11 min
Oct 24, 2017
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What exactly is Populism and how can you identify a Populist candidate?

15 min
Oct 20, 2017
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A closer look at our constitutional right to "peaceably" assemble.

15 min
Oct 17, 2017
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We take a tour through the multi-faceted Environmental Protection Agency.

15 min
Oct 13, 2017
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What role does the Secretary of Education play in U.S. schools?

11 min
Oct 10, 2017
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A primer on footballs, biscuits, and the truth behind "the nuclear codes".

13 min
Oct 6, 2017
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The agency that protects people from health, safety, and security threats

14 min
Oct 3, 2017
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Demystifying the debt ceiling.

17 min
Sep 29, 2017
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What does it mean to be the lawyer for the U.S. government?

15 min
Sep 26, 2017
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How do we manage power between the national government and the states?

12 min
Sep 22, 2017
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How and why we count every person living in the United States of America.

11 min
Sep 19, 2017
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What happens when the government shuts down.

12 min
Sep 15, 2017
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We investigate one of the President's most important roles: as head of our armed forces.

14 min
Sep 12, 2017
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A broader look at the often referenced First Amendment of the Constitution - and a deeper dive into what it means to have freedom of speech.

14 min
Sep 8, 2017
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A look at the central banking system of the United States.

14 min
Sep 5, 2017
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The process that aims to keep classified material out of the wrong hands.

16 min
Sep 1, 2017
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The people at the heart of our judicial system: judges.

14 min
Aug 29, 2017
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What happens when a President, or a Governor, declares a State of Emergency?

14 min
Aug 25, 2017
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'Treason' is a word that gets used a lot in political circles - but what does it actually mean?

9 min
Aug 22, 2017
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How many ways are there to cast your vote? And how do they all work?

12 min
Aug 18, 2017
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A look at an increasingly commonplace tool of U.S. foreign policy.

12 min
Aug 15, 2017
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The formal and informal rules that govern who is allowed, and not allowed, to run for the President of the United States of America.

11 min
Aug 11, 2017
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How do Federal grand juries work and how are they used?

14 min
Aug 8, 2017
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What does it mean to be the top U.S. representative in a foreign country?

15 min
Aug 4, 2017
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The Speaker of the House has a lot of power, but what exactly do they do?

16 min
Aug 1, 2017
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CIA? FBI? NSA? DIA? A primer on America's most intelligent acronyms.

13 min
Jul 28, 2017
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Who can the President pardon? And for what?

15 min
Jul 25, 2017
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What is a U,S. territory? What is the status of its citizens with regard to the Constitution and U.S. law?

13 min
Jul 21, 2017
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“Obstruction of Justice” has been a term swirling around in the headlines lately, but what does the charge actually mean? And how do you prove it?

16 min
Jul 18, 2017
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Today's civics lesson looks into the separation of church and state.

14 min
Jul 14, 2017
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Where we discover what a lobbyist actually does all day - besides hand over checks.

13 min
Jul 11, 2017
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A primer on what happens if a president dies, resigns, or is no longer able to carry out his duties.

11 min
Jul 7, 2017
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A brief primer on different forms of government.

12 min
Jun 28, 2017
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Presidential job approval. It seems we get a weekly report from news organizations on how citizen’s think the President is doing, so we're digging into how it gets calculated and how much that number really matters with Dan Cassino, Associate Professor...

14 min
Jun 21, 2017
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With more than 500 members of Congress, parties have to coordinate members and keep them on the same page. Enter: party whips. But what do they actually do? Several of you asked us to find out. We asked Larry Evans, the Newton Family Professor of Gover...

13 min
Jun 14, 2017
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In this episode we untangle two terms that are closely related, but not the same: Separation of Powers and Checks and Balances. The framers envisioned a government structure that would consist of three separate branches, each with their own power, in o...

13 min
Jun 7, 2017
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War, what is it good for? For a country that’s spent a significant amount of its history engaged in conflict, the United States has only officially declared war 11 times – most recently in WWII. So what about all the other conflicts we’ve entered into ...

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