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How Powerful Should the President Be? Monday’s Show (April 24, 2017)

On this edition of Houston Matters, we join with public radio programs nationwide participating in NPR’s latest A Nation Engaged project, examining Power and the Presidency. We ask you: How powerful should any American president be? What do you see as the proper balance between the executive, legislative and judicial branches? What would you like to […]

A Nation Engaged Banner LogoOn this edition of Houston Matters, we join with public radio programs nationwide participating in NPR’s latest A Nation Engaged project, examining Power and the Presidency.

We ask you: How powerful should any American president be? What do you see as the proper balance between the executive, legislative and judicial branches? What would you like to see as the limits of executive orders? What about military action? As commander-in-chief, any president has a certain degree of latitude to make decisions about our military, but, by law, it’s up to congress to declare war. At what point should a president seek that congressional approval? And what role should the “fourth estate” – the media – play in all of this?

We talk with Nancy Beck Young, professor of history at the University of Houston, and Josh Blackman, associate professor of law at South Texas College of Law Houston.

Also this hour…

The Power of the Governor and Lt. Governor in Texas

Even though Republicans hold all statewide elective offices, and have solid majorities in both legislative houses, we’ve seen instances this session when Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and House Speaker Joe Straus have not been on the same page.

Brandon Rottinghaus, professor of political science at the University of Houston (and co-host of Houston Public Media’s New Podcast Party Politics) joins us to talk through those examples. And then, springing off of the latest NPR A Nation Engaged project examining presidential power at the federal level, we consider gubernatorial power at the state level and ask why in Texas does the lieutenant governor seem, at times, a more powerful office than governor?

Living Organ Donation

Last year, Houston Methodist Hospital coordinated a six-way kidney swap in which kidneys were donated to strangers in order that a loved one could receive a kidney from another stranger. It’s a way hospitals try to boost the number of living organ donations to cut into the transplant waiting list. We talk with A. Osama Gaber, the head of Houston Methodist’s Transplant Center, about living organ donation during National Donate Life Month.

Sports Monday

The Houston Rockets took a 3-1 series lead over the Oklahoma City Thunder Sunday by winning Game 4 of their playoff series 113-109. The Rockets now return home looking to clinch the series in Game 5 Tuesday night (April 25, 2017). Also, the Houston Astros continued their hot start to the season, winning two out of three this weekend in Tampa Bay. We discuss those and other developments in Houston sports with Jeff Balke, who writes for Houston Press and Houstonia Magazine.

Houston Matters offers a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps.

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