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FROM THIS EPISODE

Last year, Washington's Democratic Governor Christine Gregoire beat Republican Dino Rossi by 129 votes. The results are still being hotly contested. Democratic US Senator Maria Cantwell was elected by just 2000 votes. Razor-thin margins like those make the state a classic example of America's polarization between the Red and the Blue, and the urban and the rural. How did America get that way? What happened to the radical populism that once held sway in the heartland? How did libertarians and religious conservatives find common ground? Have new social priorities led many people to vote against their economic self-interest?
  • Making News: President Bush Addresses US on Social Security, Energy
    Despite 60 days of intense campaigning by President Bush, his proposal for private social security accounts has lost public support. So, last night's prime-time news conference was a dramatic attempt to regain the initiative, according to Ron Brownstein, national political reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Brownstein joins us, with more on the President's attempt at damage control and reversing his declining approval ratings.
  • Reporter's Notebook: Lessons for Iraq 30 Years after the Fall of Saigon
    Thirty years ago, the US military withdrew from Vietnam, after four million Vietnamese and 58 thousand Americans were killed. Vietnam is now on its way to becoming a commercial state like China, while the US is embroiled in another war. Political scientist Howard Zinn, whose latest book is Voices of a People's History of the United States, looks at the differences and parallels between Vietnam and Iraq.

President Bush's press conference

White House on Social Security reform

ABC News/Washington post poll on support for President's Social Security reform

Brownstein's article on President Bush shifting approach

Encyclopedia of the Great Plains by David J. Wishart

TtP on 2004 Gregoire-Rossi gubernatorial election

TtP on Terri Schiavo case

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