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From global warming to stem-cell research and sex education, opponents charge that the Bush Administration has twisted science to suit its political agenda. Supporters argue that elected leaders have the right to put their own ideas first. The battle over President Bush's nominee for Surgeon General has raised the issue again. We learn how science is used in Washington and whether ideology and policy can always be reconciled.  Also, President Bush on US progress in Iraq. On Reporter's Notebook, is the federal government really protecting Americans from nuclear attacks?  Jim Sterngold guest hosts.

Photo: Amanda White

Making News President Pushes Back against Iraq Progress Report 5 MIN, 38 SEC

President Bush delivered to Congress today his latest assessment of US progress in Iraq. At a combative press conference, the President said he would stick with the military surge in spite of polls showing that Americans have lost faith in the war effort. Bush insisted that, while improvements have been slow, leaving Iraq would make the US more vulnerable. David Wood is national security correspondent for the Baltimore Sun.

David Wood, National Security Correspondent, PoliticsDaily.com

Main Topic Is Ideology Trumping Science in the Bush White House? 33 MIN, 37 SEC

More than a decade ago, Dr. James Holsinger wrote a paper for the Methodist Church claiming that gay-male sex was inherently unsafe. Now President Bush has nominated him to become the country's leading doctor. Facing tough questions at a Senate confirmation hearing this morning, Holsinger insisted his views had changed and that he held no biases against gay men or lesbians. However, his testimony came only a few days after statements by his predecessor that White House officials had fought his attempts to discuss issues like secondhand smoke and had tried to force him to repeatedly mention the president by name in his speeches. Richard Carmona's is just the latest in a string of charges that the Bush White House has been hostile to science and has put political biases ahead of sound health policy. Guest host Jim Sterngold explores the proper role the of science in making national policy.

Gardiner Harris, New York Times (@GardinerHarris)
Joel Ginsberg, Executive Director of the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association
Joycelyn Elders, Former Surgeon General
Francesca Grifo, Director of the Union of Concerned Scientists' Scientific Integrity Program
Brian Darling, Director of Senate Relations at the Heritage Foundation

Reporter's Notebook Bogus Firm Gets Nuclear License in Sting Operation 9 MIN, 21 SEC

The General Accounting Office launched an uncover operation to see if some agents could buy radioactive materials using forged documents. They succeeded, exposing a major hole in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's security system. If this is all that stands between Americans and a dirty bomb attack, how safe are we? We hear what went wrong from Kathleen Day of the Washington Post and what the government must do from former NRC physicist Joel Lubenau.

Kathleen Day, Staff writer for the Washington Post
Joel Lubenau, Former Senior Advisor to the Chair of the NRC

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