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Race, religion and politics collided in Barack Obama's presidential campaign yesterday as they do every Sunday in many African American churches. Guest host Lawrence O'Donnell talks to the reporter who sparked the controversy, and discusses the roots of the black church in the US and its current role in African American society. Also, President Bush marks the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq, and how the Panama Canal helped build the American conservative movement.

Banner image of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr.: Trinity Christian Church

Making News Five Years in Iraq: Shock, Awe and Surge 5 MIN, 59 SEC

bush_on_iraq.jpgIn a speech at the Pentagon today marking the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, President Bush defended American intervention in Iraq as necessary and insisted that it is finally succeeding. He reaffirmed his commitment that "we will accept no outcome except victory." Sam Dagher is a correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor.

Sam Dagher, Wall Street Journal (@samdagher)

Main Topic The African American Church: Intersection of Race, Religion, Politics 39 MIN, 10 SEC

Yesterday in Philadelphia, Barack Obama addressed the potent issues of race, religion and politics in a speech designed to allow his campaign get past the controversy created by some of the sermons of his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. How did it come to this? We talk to the reporter who sparked the controversy, learn about the roots of the black church in America and its current role in African American society, and hear more about the difference in black and white Christian traditions.

Ronald Kessler, author, 'The First Family Detail' (@RonaldKessler)
Melissa Harris Lacewell, Professor of Politics and African American Studies, Princeton University
Brad Braxton, Professor of Homiletics, Vanderbilt University Divinity School
Richard Cizik, New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good
Frank Schaeffer, son of evangelical Francis Schaeffer

Reporter's Notebook 30 Years Ago, How the Panama Canal Boosted Conservative Politics 3 MIN, 55 SEC

big_ditch.jpgThirty years ago this week, the US Senate approved the first of two treaties that transferred ownership of the Panama Canal to Panama. Conservatives were horrified and a struggling presidential candidate named Ronald Reagan grabbed the issue and ran with it. The rest is history rendered in the elegant prose of Adam Clymer's new book, Drawing the Line at the Big Ditch: The Panama Canal Treaties and the Rise of the Right.

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