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Segment 1: The rise of mass media has changed a president's ability to communicate.

Advancements in technology have provided modern presidents a more direct means of communication with their countrymen. Today, a leading expert in presidential rhetoric explores the rise of mass media and how presidents have adapted to communication innovations.

Segment 1: When it comes to what makes a president's speech memorable "ideas are the most important thing."

Rhetoric expert Robert Rowland acknowledged that not every U.S. president has produced a memorable speech like Lincoln's second inaugural address. Rowland laid out the ingredients found in the ones that have stood the test of time and gave examples of those which met or missed the criteria, including speeches by Reagan, Obama and Trump.

Segment 1: Weaving a memorable presidential speech is a difficult art.

A good speech can do wonders for a those who deliver them, but behind many famous orations are the writers who craft them. From George Washington's innaugural address, written by James Madison, to Richard Nixon's efforts to formalize the speechwriter position, the efforts of these writers have literally served to narrate history.

Segment 1: Clay County, Missouri, audit is stalled amid ongoing litigation.

Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway launched an audit into Clay County last December, after more than 9,000 citizens requested it. Since then, the county has withheld documents needed to complete the audit, received a subpoena and sued the auditor's office. Sherry Duffett of the group Citizens for a Better Clay County points to Luann Ridgeway and Gene Owen, two of the county's three commissioners, as the reason the audit is at a standstill.

Segment 1: Protest at the University of Missouri - Kansas City highlighted struggle universities and their students face over First Amendment right to free speech. 

The University of Missouri-Kansas City recently made headlines after an encounter between a protestor and guest speaker occurred on campus grounds. Two students present during the incident with opposite views shared a civil conversation about free speech, hate speech and where to draw the line.

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Segment 1: Focus on government shutdown has drawn attention away from expanding national debt and deficit. 

The ongoing battle between political parties has highlighted the dysfunction in our goverment. Meanwhile the national debt continues to accumulate, and is burdening the future economy. We heard why one fiscal policy advocate believes the conflict will end "with both sides declaring victory," and no real winners.  

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Segment 1: Local reactions to Pennsylvania grand jury report on seven decades of sexual abuse of children by clergy.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3 file photo

While Kansas City has a long tradition of black artists, their work tends to get overlooked, says textiles artist Sonié Joi Thompson-Ruffin. Today, we learn about a community project that's giving these local creatives online posterity. Then, we hear excerpts from a conversation with Democratic Missouri Rep.

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Over the last 12 months, we've had any number of pollsters, pundits and politicos on the program to discuss Pres. Donald Trump's words and actions.

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Renowned historian David McCullough has produced many books and speeches that touch on the country's stories and accomplishments. In a new collection, he samples those words to remind readers of The American Spirit. Then, Kansas City cartoonist Tom Toro shares his approach to successfully churning out editorial satire.

KCUR 89.3

Suddenly, everyone seems to be using the word "y'all." But what do we mean when we use that word? Is it a bad case of appropriation? Is it racist? One thing's for sure, "y'all" is far more interesting than you think.

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Kansas City, Kansas, Mayor Mark Holland speaks with host Steve Kraske about the State of the Government Address he presented on February 28, noting the progress made in Wyandotte County, and what more needs to be done. Also, our Political Pundits examine President Trump's first address to a joint session of Congress.

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In light of what will likely be his final televised address as president, we remember Barack Obama's greatest speeches and dissect the rhetoric behind them. Then, a conversation about whether the historic buildings and eclectic personality of Westport can survive in the modern economy.

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Do you drink pop ... or soda? Do you wash something or "warsh" it? Those answers depend on where you grew up. Today, we learn How to Speak Midwesternand discover why the Heartland dialect is so different from our Illinois and Minnesota neighbors. Then, consumer advocate Ralph Nader shares an important message in his latest book, Animal Envy, a fable akin to Charlotte's Web and Animal Farm.

On this edition of Up To Date, the Ethics Professors take on the recent outcry involving athletes Ryan Lochte and Colin Kaepernick, and look at the University of Chicago's refusal to create safe spaces on campus.

Guests:

  • Wayne Vaught is dean of the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences and a professor of philosophy, medicine and bioethics.
  • Clancy Martin is a professor of philosophy at UMKC and a professor of business ethics at the Bloch School of Management. 

For many, the idea of public speaking is petrifying — nobody wants to put an audience to sleep with a dull talk. One solution: learn from stand-up comics and inject a little humor into your speech. 

Guest:

Words matter . . . especially in politics, but perhaps no one makes themselves harder to understand than our elected representatives.

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If you watched the political conventions of the past two weeks, did you find yourself nodding in agreement or shaking your head in disbelief during the many speeches given?