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Is The American Political System Broken?

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A week into a government shutdown, with a looming debt ceiling crisis, politicians remain rooted in their positions.  Many people wonder if we’ve become partisan to a fault, with both sides refusing to contemplate compromise. We’ll look at how we got here and whether we’ve run out of solutions.


  • Thomas E. Mann: The W. Averell Harriman Chair and senior fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution. He is a former executive director of the American Political Science Association.
  • Norman J. Ornstein: A resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of a weekly column for Roll Call called “Congress Inside Out.”
  • Dante Scala: Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of New Hampshire. He's also a fellow at UNH's Carsey Institute. Follow him on Twitter @graniteprof.

*The book co-written by Mann and Ornstein, It's Even Worse Than It Looks, was recently released in an expanded paperback edition, with a new preface and afterword.

Laura is well known in New Hampshire for her in-depth coverage of important issues and is widely regarded for her interviews with presidential hopefuls. Laura is a graduate of Keene High School in New Hampshire. Prior to hosting The Exchange, Laura worked in public radio in Washington, D.C. as a local reporter and announcer for WAMU and as a newscaster for NPR. Before her radio career, she was a researcher for USA Today's "Money" section, and a research assistant at the Institute for International Economics. Laura occasionally guest hosts national programs such as The Diane Rehm Show and Here and Now. In 2007 Laura was named New Hampshire Broadcaster of the Year by the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters.

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