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This Week: U.S. Capitol
This Week
July 2, 2004

This week on NOW:

What's on people's minds today? More media outlets have turned to Dr. Frank Luntz to understand the hopes and fears of American than to any other political pollster. In addition to being an adviser to some of the most powerful Republicans in America, Luntz was a consultant to NBC's THE WEST WING, worked for several Fortune 100 companies and four different billionaires. Luntz is the wordsmith who championed such catchy phrases as "The Clear Skies Initiative" and "The Death Tax." David Brancaccio sits down with Luntz to discuss polling of Americans, the significance of the craft of language and what he sees as the difference between Republicans and Democrats.

During the last 15 years, Congress has given itself pay raises totaling more than $68,000 and catapulted its members into the top 5% of wage earners in America at an annual salary of over $158,000. Today, almost no one in America has better heath and retirement benefits than members of Congress.

In a nation where some serving in the military rely on handouts to feed their families, where military veterans sometimes have to wait up to a year for a doctor appointment, and where over 40 million people remain uninsured, should our representatives be taking far better care of themselves than they are of the rest of the country? NOW correspondent Sylvia Chase examines the salaries and benefits on Capitol Hill which some say is a case of Congress providing itself while shortchanging veterans, workers, and retirees, among others.

What does it mean to be happy? As the nation begins its Independence Day celebrations, Bill Moyers sits down with philosopher and ethicist Sissela Bok, to talk about the meaning of happiness to Americans today and what the founding fathers really meant by "the pursuit of happiness." Bok's research at Harvard's Center for Population and Development Studies examines the significance of happiness, the subject of her next book. "If we can learn what it is that makes people happier, and then if we ask the moral question: ‘Is that all that we should consider or are there other aspects?'" says Bok, "Then there could be so much progress."

In Depth

U.S. Capitol

Congressional Benefits and Pensions

Tracking Legislation Online

Campaign Finance Resources

Campaign 2004
Voter Resource Map

Pollster Frank Luntz

Polling Need-to-Knows

Selling War: Propaganda and History

Peace by Sissela Bok
Philosopher Sissela Bok

The Notion of Happiness


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Learn more about the issues discussed on NOW.

Read the complete transcript.

Streaming Video

[NOTE: RealPlayer is required to view NOW segments.]

Republican Pollster Frank Luntz talks with David Brancaccio (18:09)

A Sweet Deal — Congressional Pensions (16:04)

Bill Moyers talks with philosopher Sissela Bok (17:17)


A Sweet Deal
Producer: Naomi Spinrad
Correspondent: Sylvia Chase
Editor: Kathi Black

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