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Panel discussions from the Left Forum, April 18, 2009

10,000 March on Wall St., April 4, 2009

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Many BTL interviews are excerpted from Scott Harris' live, 2-hour program, Counterpoint. To hear more in-depth analysis you won't get in mainstream media, listen to Counterpoint LIVE Monday nights from 8 to 10 p.m. EST on WPKN Radio

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"Best of New Haven 2001"
-- Staff Picks --
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WPKN Radio, 89.5 FM

'A New Era of Responsibility'

"Push Obama to Follow Through on Peace Vows," by Amy Goodman, The Capital Times (Wisconsin), Jan. 22, 2009
"How to Push Obama," by John Nichols, The Nation, Jan. 12, 2009

"The Danger of Green Stimulus," Jesse Jenkins, Huffington Post, Jan. 5, 2009

"Who Will Seize the Moment?" Turning Crisis into Opportunity, by Ralph Nader, Counterpunch, Dec. 4, 2008

"Community Organizers Press Obama for Real Change," by, Dec. 3, 2008

Civil Liberties

"The effects of Obama's refusal to investigate Bush crimes," by Glen Greenwald,, Jan. 20, 2009

"Binding U.S. law requires prosecutions for those who authorize torture, " by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, Jan. 18, 2009

"Obama Has to Hold Bush Accountable for the Laws He Broke," by Elizabeth Holtzman, The Nation, Jan. 16, 2009

"Obama Must Restore the Constitution: Prosecuting Bush and Cheney," by Dave Lindoff,, Jan. 16-19, 2009

A BETTER WORLD IS POSSIBLE: Human Rights Solutions

"Single-Payer Health Care Would Stimulate Economy," by John Nichols, The Nation, Jan. 15, 2009

"Fulfilling the Promise of Human Rights: The Universal Declaration at 60," audio recordings from a Connecticut conference marking the 60th anniversary of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Conn., Dec. 6, 2008

A BETTER WORLD IS POSSIBLE: Converting Fossil Fuel/War Economy to Green, Renewable Energy/Peace Economy

"Green Jobs Should Top Our Economic Recovery List," by Juleyka Lantigua, Jan. 6, 2009

"Obama Must Get Afghanistan Right,"by Katrina Van Heuvel, The Nation, Jan. 9, 2009

"Nine Steps to Peace for Obama in the New Year," by Deepak Chopra, Alternet, Jan. 1, 2009

"Electric Cars Put Hawaii on The Road to Independence," by Times Online/UK, Dec. 4, 2008

"Weapons Come Second: Can Obama Take on the Pentagon?" by Frida Berrigan,, Nov. 25, 2008

The FY 2009 Pentagon Spending Request - Global Military Spending, by the Center for Arms Control and Non-Proliferation

Economic Crisis

"The Outcry Is Muted, But The Food Crisis Is Getting Worse," by Jayati Ghosh, The Guardian/UK, Jan. 9, 2009

"Ideas for Obama, "by Paul Krugman, by The New York Times, Jan. 12, 2009

"The Ponzi Scheme Presidency: Bush's Legacy of Destruction," by Tom Engelhardt,, January/February, 2009

"Fiscal Therapy," by David Cay Johnston, Mother Jones, January/February, 2009

"A Look At Wall Street's Shadow Market: How Some Arcane Wall Street Financial Instruments Magnified Economic Crisis," 60 Minutes, Oct. 5, 2008

"Swapping Secrecy for Transparency," by Christopher Cox, SEC Chairman, The New York Times Op-Ed, Oct. 19, 2008

"The Bet That Blew Up Wall Street: Steve Kroft On Credit Default Swaps And Their Central Role In The Unfolding Economic Crisis," 60 Minutes, Oct. 26, 2008

Broken Government

"Broken Government: By The Numbers," 40 ways in which the federal government failed to perform under the administration of George W. Bush, 2001-2008

Class Warfare

"How the Rich Are Different From You and Me,"Places that went for Obama are richer and smarter than places that went for McCain, by Bill Bishop and Robert Cushing, Slate, Dec. 11, 2008

"Questions About the $700 Billion Emergency Economic Stabilization Funds, " First Report of the Congressional Oversight Panel for Economic Stabilization, Dec. 10, 2008

War And Profiteering

"This Is Change? Twenty Hawks, Clintonites and Neocons to Watch for in Obama's White House," by Jeremy Scahill,Alternet, Nov. 20, 2008

"Don't Let Barack Obama Break Your Heart," Why Americans Shouldn't Go Home, by Tom Engelhardt, Nov. 12, 2008

"The Future of Iraq: The Spoils of War," Blood and oil: How the West will profit from Iraq's most precious commodity, by Danny Fortson, Andrew Murray-Watson and Tim Webb, The Independent/UK, Jan. 7, 2007

"Noam Chomsky on Middle East Conflict and U.S. War Plan Against Iraq," Between The Lines interview with Noam Chomsky, conducted by Scott Harris, for the Week Ending May 3, 2002

The Iraq Crisis, a Global Policy Forum, U.N. Security Council section on the 13 years of sanctions and other background of the war, the humanitarian situation, the importance of Iraq's huge oil resources, and disputes over a post-war government and reconstruction plan

"Pipeline Politics: Oil, The Taliban, and the Political Balance of Central Asia," World Press Review Special Report, November-December 2001

Between The Lines

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Posted July 22, 2009

Between The Lines
For The Week Ending July 31, 2009


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This week we present Between The Lines' summary of under-reported news stories and:

Have Obama and Congress Sold Out
Healthcare Reform to the Insurance Industry?

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Dr. Mary O'Brien,
spokesperson with Physicians
for a National Health Program,
conducted by Scott Harris


As a candidate, Sen. Barack Obama campaigned for the presidency pledging to reform the failing U.S. health care system. Now six months into his administration, President Obama is pushing Congress to pass initial reform bills before the summer recess begins on Aug. 8 However, Republicans, conservative Democrats in both the House and Senate as well as health care and insurance industry lobbyists have called for more time to debate the final shape of legislation, and how funds will be raised to pay the $1 trillion costs of the leading plans.

Bills passed in the House maintain the primary role of private insurance companies, require all individuals to purchase health insurance and all employers to provide it. The poor would get subsidies to buy health coverage and insurance companies would be prevented from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions. President Obama and Democratic leaders support adding a public health insurance option to compete with private insurance providers.

Early on Congressional leaders took the single payer option for revamping the U.S. health care system out of the debate, removing a model that has succeeded in cutting costs in most other industrialized nations around the world. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Dr. Mary O'Brien, a member of the faculty at Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. O'Brien, a spokesperson with the group Physicians for a National Health Program, takes a critical look at the health care reform legislation now being debated by Congress.

Contact Physicians for a National Health Program by calling (312) 782-6006, or visit their website at

Related Links:

Minimum Wage Campaign Fights
for National Living Wage

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Holly Sklar,
senior policy adviser
with the Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign,
conducted by Melinda Tuhus


As some Wall Street firms announce post-taxpayer bailout record profits, there's a tiny bit of good news at the other end of the economic spectrum. On July 24, the third and final increase in a three-tier federal minimum wage law goes into effect, raising wages for the lowest paid workers covered under the law from $6.55 an hour to $7.25. The first increase in ten years sent the minimum wage from $5.15 to $5.85 in 2007.

Even though the latest increase means an additional $1,400 a year for full-time workers, their new total salary adds up to just over $15,000 annually -- not really enough for one person to live on, much less a family. The minimum wage, instituted during the Great Depression, mandated a national base pay for all workers. However, during the intervening years, wage earners have suffered a dramatic decrease in buying power that exacerbates the financial crisis many working families find themselves in during the nation's current severe recession.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Holly Sklar, senior policy adviser for the Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign. She explains that the campaign's goal is not just incremental increases in the minimum wage, but a real living wage equal to what workers earned 50 years ago, adjusted for inflation.

Contact the Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign by calling (617) 522-2923 or visit their website at

Related links:

Message to Attorney General:
To Restore U.S. Credibility,
Hold Officials Who Authorized
Torture Accountable

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Christopher H. Pyle,
professor of politics at Mount Holyoke College,
conducted by Scott Harris


According to news reports, President Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder is considering the appointment of a criminal prosecutor to investigate Bush administration officials who authorized the torture and abuse of U.S.-held detainees in Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and secret CIA jails.

A growing body of evidence exposing American torture includes the Obama administration's release of memos written by Bush administration lawyers authorizing torture, and a 2007 International Committee of the Red Cross confidential report documenting interrogation abuse at U.S. CIA-run secret prisons. The report condemned America's treatment of 14 "high-value" terrorist suspect detainees held at secret, "black sites," as torture and inhuman, violating U.S. and international law.

Despite President Obama's inclination to look forward rather than backward with regard to the Bush administration's torture program, many human rights groups support an investigation and prosecution of government officials who were complicit in ordering torture of American-held prisoners. Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth said, "The United States can't truly claim to have repudiated these egregious human rights violations unless it returns to the day when it treated them as crimes rather than as policy options."

Between the Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Christopher H. Pyle, professor of politics at Mount Holyoke College and a former U.S. Army Intelligence officer that helped expose and end the U.S. military's domestic surveillance program in 1970. Pyle, author of a new book titled, "Getting Away with Torture: Secret Government, War Crimes and The Rule of Law," discusses the choices facing Attorney General Holder and the nation on prosecuting torture.
Related links:
This week's summary
of under-reported news

 RealAudio  MP3

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Natalya Estemirova, a leading Chechnyan human rights activist, was kidnapped outside her apartment in Grozny on July 15, and killed soon afterwards, making her the fourth critic of Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov to have been murdered in recent years.("Chechen Rights Campaigner Killed," New York Times, July 16, 2009; "Obituary: Natalia Estemirova," BBC News, July 15, 2009; "Who Killed Natalya Estemirova," Christian Science Monitor, July 16, 2009)
  • Civil rights activists, in a report to the United Nations, claim the Bush administration's "war on terror" expanded opportunities for racial profiling by federal, state and local police agencies. ("ACLU: Racial Profiling: Widespread and Pervasive," Inter Press Service, July 2, 2009; "The Persistence of Racial and Ethnic Profiling in the United States," ACLU and the Rights Working Group, June 30, 2009)
  • When the American Conservative Union offer to back Federal Express in a bitter legislative fight over union rules in exchange for over $2 million for grassroots mobilization activities was rejected, the right-wing group then switched sides to UPS. ("Exclusive: Conservative Group Offers Support for $2 Million," Politico, July 17, 2009)

Executive producer: Scott Harris
Segment producers: Scott Harris, Melinda Tuhus
Senior news editor: Bob Nixon
Program narration: Denise Manzari
Copy editor: Chris Ferrio
News reader: Indu Anand
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Web producer: Jeffrey P. Yates
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Newswire editor: Hank Hoffman
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Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 7/24/09

Between The Lines' Blog

"Reading Between The Lines"

U.S. Politics

"The Marie Antoinettes of Health Care: Prescribe Them Cake," by Walter Brasch, Counterpunch, July 21, 2009

"Industry Cash Flowed To Drafters of Reform: Key Senator Baucus Is a Leading Recipient," Washington Post, July 21, 2009

"A Real Win for Single-Payer Advocates," by John Nichols, The Nation, July 17, 2009

"What's Left Without Card Check?," by Nathan Newman, Talking Points Memo, July 17, 2009

"Conservative group offers support for $2M," Politico, July 17, 2009

"Sotomayor, Ricci and the Preferential Treatment Myth," by Anita Sinha & Daniel Farbman, Common Dreams, July 17, 2009

"Health Reform: The Fateful Moment," by Theodore R. Marmor & Jonathan Oberlander, New York Review of Books, July 16, 2009

More newswire ...


"Budget Agreement Puts California Dream on Hold," The New York Times, July 21, 2009

"Serious About Green Jobs? It's Time to Throw 'Free Trade' out the Window," by Les Leopold, AlterNet, July 20, 2009

"Bailout Overseer Says Banks Misused TARP Funds," Washington Post, July 20, 2009

"The New Truth-Teller: Tough-Minded Liberal Named Chair of New Pecora Commission," by William Greider, The Nation, July 20, 2009

"No repeat of the New Deal jump-start," Boston Globe, July 20, 2009

"The Bank Lobby's Insane Assault on Consumer Protection," by Zach Carter, AlterNet, July 20, 2009

"Taxing Health Insurance Premiums and Subsidizing Health Care Providers," by Dean Baker, Truthout, July 20, 2009

"Dark Days But a Ray of Hope for Embattled Workers," by Dave Lindorff, Common Dreams, July 18, 2009

"Goldman and JPMorgan -- The Two Winners When The Rest of America is Losing," by Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog, July 16, 2009

"The World Finance Crisis & the American Mission," by Robert Skidelsky, New York Review of Books, July 16, 2009

More newswire ...

Bush Accountability

"Making Sense of Cheney's Madness," by Ivan Eland, Consortium News, July 21, 2009

"Cheney, High-Level Wrongdoing Must Be Focus of Inquiries," by John Nichols, The Nation, July 20, 2009

"Meet the Torturers," by Scott Horton, Harper's, July 20, 2009

"Children tortured before parents, raped, all covered up by Bush/Cheney and our media," by MinistryOfTruth, Daily Kos, July 20, 2009

"Obama and the Bush years," by Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times, July 19, 2009

"Bush's key men face grilling on torture and death squads," Observer/UK, July 19, 2009

"Senior Obama Official Backs Cheney and CIA," by Jeremy Scahill,, July 18, 2009

"Al-Jazeera journalist imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay to sue George Bush" Guardian/UK, July 17, 2009

"Chuck Todd's arguments against investigations," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, July 15, July 14, 2009

"The CIA's Bad Apples," by Joanne Mariner, FindLaw, July 14, 2009

"Cheney Sweats Out the Summer," by Ray McGovern, Consortium News, July 14, 2009

More newswire ...

International Affairs

"America's Wars: How Serial War Became the American Way of Life" by Tom Engelhardt & David Bromwich, TomDispatch, July 21, 2009

"Revamping Plan Colombia," by John Lindsay-Poland, Foreign Policy in Focus, July 21, 2009

"Assassinations Anyone? CIA Claims of Cancelled Campaign are Hogwash," by Eric Margolis, Toronto Sun/Canada, July 19, 2009

"The right-wing coup d'etat in Honduras is faltering, but its supporters have powerful friends in Washington" by Hugh O'Shaughnessy, Independent/UK, July 19, 2009

"Who's in charge of US foreign policy?," by Mark Weisbrot, Guardian/UK, July 16, 2009

More newswire ...

"Postwar" Occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan

"Bomb kills 4 U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan," Los Angeles Times, July 21, 2009

"Americans Won't Back Long Afghan War: Gates," Reuters, July 20, 2009

"Pentagon Seeks to Overhaul Prisons in Afghanistan" The New York Times, July 20, 2009

"A Lesson From Vietnam for Obama's War in Afghanistan," by Joe Galloway,, July 18, 2009

"Once world's bread basket, Iraq now a farming basket case," McClatchy Newspapers, July 17, 2009

"Everything That Happens in Afghanistan Is Based on Lies or Illusions," by Tom Engelhardt & Ann Jones, TomDispatch, July 16, 2009

More newswire ...

Civil Liberties/ Human Rights

"Skip's Racist Wakeup Call," by Toure, The Daily Beast, July 21, 2009

"First steps taken to implement preventive detention, military commissions" by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, July 21, 2009

"Police arrest prominent black history scholar for breaking into own home," Guardian/UK, July 21, 2009

"Obama's Gitmo Task Force Blows Its Deadline," by Michael Isikoff, Newsweek, July 21, 2009

"The APA's Nuremberg Defense," by Scott Horton, Harper's, July 20, 2009

"Interrogation Task Force Broadens Scope Beyond Techniques," by Spencer Ackerman, Washington Independent, July 20, 2009

"Judge accuses CIA officials of fraud, unseals secret files," McClatchy Newspapers, July 20, 2009

"Predictable Chaos as Guantanamo Trials Resume," by Andy Worthington,, July 20, 2009

"CIA Contractors Threatened to Quit Over Waterboarding," by Jason Ditz,, July 19, 2009

"Soldier held in Afghanistan is 23-year-old Idahoan," Associated Press, July 19, 2009

"Mr. President, we are still torturing?," by Nat Hentoff, Zanesville Times Recorder (Ohio), July 16, 2009

More newswire ...

Environment and Sustainability

"Major Economies 'Ignored' UN Climate Science," Environment News Service, July 21, 2009

"Cronkite and Three Mile Island," by Harvey Wasserman, Counterpunch, July 21, 2009

"IPCC chief: Benefits of tackling climate change will balance cost of action," Guardian/UK, July 20, 2009

"Britain's dirty little secret as a dumper of toxic waste," Times Online/UK, July 18, 2009

"Mass Transit Helps Cut Global Warming and War," by Miriam Pemberton, Institute for Policy Studies, July 16, 2009

More newswire ...

Media Issues

"What the Media Isn't Covering in the Health Reform Debate--And Why It Matters," by Frank Pasquale, Balkinization, July 20, 2009

"If You Love the Internet, Fight for It" by Megan Tady, Common Dreams, July 20, 2009

"Cronkite's Unintended Legacy," by Robert Parry, Consortium News, July 19, 2009

"Want Better Radio? Pick Up Your (micro)Phones," by Candace Clement, Common Dreams, July 17, 2009

"Censored by ABC, Obama's Doc Speaks Out," by Isabel MacDonald, Common Dreams, July 17, 2009

"Control at a Distance: Amazon Delets Orwell from the Kindle," by Jack Balkin, Balkinization, July 17, 2009

"CNN's journalism on the Cheney story," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, July 15, 2009

More newswire ...


"'Be Bold,'" by Dahr Jamail, Truthout, July 21, 2009

More newswire ...

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