The Democratic Party has been in political exile since Republicans gained control of Congress in 1994 and since President Bush was elected and re-elected. But now the party in power is coming unglued. Corruption, incompetence and an unpopular war have sent public approval ratings for the White House and Republican-led Congress to record lows. Over half of registered voters told a recent CNN poll they'd vote Democrat in the November midterms. Yet many of the party's rank-and-file are finding it hard to get excited about their party. Critics argue that liberals lack a big vision, something more inspiring than growing party discipline, a shopping list of programs and opposition to Republicans. Guest host Marc Cooper explores the challenges facing an opposition party in search of its soul.
- Making News: What's Behind the US Olive Branch to Iran?
The Secretary of State announced a major US foreign policy shift this week, offering to talk with Iran over its nuclear program. This would be the first time in 25 years that the two countries would talk directly. Condoleezza Rice says Iran must first suspend all uranium-enrichment activities, but President Amadinejad has reiterated that he will not let the world deprive Iran of nuclear technology. Paul Reynolds is world affairs correspondent for the BBC.
- Reporter's Notebook: Tons of Fish Caught, Discarded as 'Bycatch'
Each year the world's fleet of fishing boats--commercial and sport-fishing--discard a large proportion of their catch, discarding fish they haven't targeted or those too small for commercial value. The discards are supposed to be returned healthy and alive. But Lee Crockett of the Marine Fish Conservation Network, a coalition of commercial and recreational fishing groups and environmentalists, says there are billions of pounds of "bycatch," fish that are simply wasted.
Guest host Marc Cooper
is Contributing Editor
to The Nation
magazine and a columnist for LA Weekly
. A senior fellow at USC's Annenberg Institute for Justice and Journalism
, he is the author of The Last Honest Place in America: Paradise and Perdition in the New Las Vegas
Secretary of State Rice on Iran's nuclear program
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on Iran
John Negroponte on Iran's nuclear capabilities
BBC on Iran's rejection of 'Western pressure'
CNN poll on Democrats' double-digit lead over Republicans
Jeffrey Goldberg's New Yorker article on the Democrats
Air America Radio
Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act
National Marine Fisheries Service on 'bycatch'
Marine Fish Conservation Network report on the 'See-No-Evil' Approach to Wasteful Fishing