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FROM THIS EPISODE

The furor over Barack Obama's church has pushed his presidential campaign into the most dangerous possible political territory -- questions about his patriotism. Has the founding fathers' notion of American exceptionalism created to an exceptionally patriotic country?  Guest host Lawrence O'Donnell talks about the defining role patriotism plays in American politics and what role patriotism plays in the politics of other countries. Also,President Bush signs legislation to protect the US-Mexico border, and what just-released White House schedules tell us about Hillary Clinton's experience as First Lady?


Photo: William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

Producers:
Frances Anderton
Katie Cooper
Gary Scott

Making News Another bin Laden Tape, and the State of al Qaeda 5 MIN, 49 SEC

Yesterday President Bush marked the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq with a speech that mentioned Osama bin Laden twice, thereby offering a reminder that the man behind the attacks of September 11 is still free to plot against the United States. At the same time, bin Laden released another audio tape full of ominous threats to the European Union. Sebastian Rotella is an international investigative correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, based in Europe.

Guests:
Sebastian Rotella, ProPublica

Main Topic Patriotism and Political Dialogue: Symbol of Pride or Barrier to Debate? 35 MIN

Barack Obama's patriotism is being questioned because he doesn't wear an American flag pin on his lapel. His pastor's sermons are called un-American. Congressional votes on anti-flag-burning bills are considered tests of patriotism, even though the Supreme Court has declared that flag burning is constitutionally protected speech. Do nationalism and patriotism illuminate or confuse political dialogue in America.  Does the Founding Fathers' notion of American exceptionalism control our politics? How does the expression of American patriotism compare to displays of patriotism in other countries?  Do our symbols of patriotism get in the way of real political debate?

Guests:
Gary Gerstle, Vanderbilt University
John O'Sullivan, Editor-at-Large, National Review
Todd Gitlin, Columbia University (@toddgitlin)
Jabbar Magruder, Co-Chair of Board of Directors, Iraq Veterans Against the War

Reporter's Notebook Clinton Papers Reveal Little about Readiness for 'Day One' 7 MIN, 58 SEC

hillary_schedules.jpgYesterday, in response to a freedom of information act request and a lawsuit, the National Archives and the Clinton Library released more than 11,000 pages of Hillary Clinton's schedules as First Lady. What do they reveal? Michael Isikoff, investigative correspondent for Newsweek, has given them a quick study.

Guests:
Michael Isikoff, NBC News (@IsikoffNBC)

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