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Jim Zirin speaks with Joseph Califano.

Lyndon Johnson was a President who knew how to get things
done. During the five years of his Presidency, he pushed through
a reluctant Congress hundreds more legislative initiatives than
most Presidents accomplish in eight. His top domestic aide,
Joe Califano, tells Jim Zirin how he did it.

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Jim Zirin speaks with Olympia Snowe.

An outspoken centrist in the U.S. Senate for 18 years, Olympia Snowe overruled her pro-choice convictions and voted to confirm Alito and Roberts. Later, she also voted to confirm Sotomayor and Kagan. Hear her tell Jim why she left office, although her re-election was certain, and how she now proposes to end the dysfunction in Congress.

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Jim Zirin speaks with Bob Herbert.

Bob Herbert left the New York Times almost four years ago where he was a top Op-Ed columnist. He has written a best-selling book about 21st century America in which he sees that LBJ’s “ Great Society” has become a hollow promise, and tells Jim he imagines a greater nation.

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Jim Zirin speaks with Doug Schoen.

The United States Senate now holds a narrow Democratic majority. On November 4, Americans will elect 36 senators for seats occupied by 21 Democrats and 15 Republicans. To gain control of the Senate, the GOP needs six seats, and must defeat more than two incumbents. Will they do it? Veteran political analyst Doug Schoen tells Jim that there is one central issue transcending each campaign—President Obama’s declining popularity.

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Jim Zirin speaks with Raymond W. Kelly.

Leading Mayoral candidates Quinn, deBlasio, Thompson and Liu all want to throttle the NYPD with an Inspector General and a curtailed stop and frisk.  Police Commissioner Ray Kelly thinks the candidates’ policing strategies will make the City less safe. He tells Jim that stop and frisk saves lives, and the NYPD already has amply sufficient oversight and regulation.

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Jim Zirin speaks with Peter Solomon.

The Fiscal Cliff bill may have saved us from the brink, but there is trouble ahead as we approach the “March madness” of raising the debt ceiling, approving the budget and dealing with the mandatory spending cuts known as the sequester. Investment banker Peter Solomon tells Jim how things will likely play out with a new Treasury Secretary and  a deeply divided Congress.

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Jim Zirin speaks with James Grant.

The biographer of Speaker Thomas B. Reed tells about the Gilded Age in America from 1870-1893, a time of dysfunctional government and deep partisan divide over such issues as international trade, monetary policy and  foreign wars. Sound familiar? Reed, a staunch Republican from Maine, ungummed the government and broke the logjam.

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Jim Zirin speaks with Amity Shlaes.

The distinguished author tells us what we can learn from Calvin Coolidge, our 30th President. Though a man of few words, Coolidge believed in less government, balanced budgets, lower taxes and a climate friendly to business. Unemployment averaged 3.3 per cent. Yet, in the vortex of the Great Depression and the New Deal which followed, his legacy has all but disappeared.

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Jim Zirin speaks with Doug Schoen.

The Democratic political strategist talks about  the way forward for Obama as he faces a Republican House and a Senate where Democrats cling to a razor-thin majority.

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Jim Zirin speaks with Richard Ben-Veniste.

Attorney General Gonzales was forced out over his role in the firing of eight United States Attorneys. Was it all because of the tell-tale emails? Get the inside from Special Watergate prosecutor Ben-Veniste.

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