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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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New Haven Advocate's
"Best of New Haven 2001"
-- Staff Picks --
Scott Harris, Best Radio News Reporter
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 Oct. 7, 2009

Between The Lines
For The Week Ending Oct. 16, 2009


SAVE THIS DATE: Oct. 24, 2009

Between The Lines Radio Newsmagazine/Squeaky Wheel Productions
will present a public forum and film screening:

"Capitalism Hits the Fan: The Global Economic Meltdown
and What Can be Done About It"

with economics professor emeritus Richard D. Wolff
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Saturday, Oct. 24, 2-4:30 p.m.
Unitarian Society of New Haven
700 Hartford Turnpike, Hamden, CT
Suggested donation: $15. Students: $5 Reception to follow.
Reservations: (203) 268-8446
More details here.


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

Congress has Opportunity to Revise Patriot Act
and Restore Civil Liberties Protections

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Kevin Bankston,
senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation,
conducted by Scott Harris


In the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington D.C., President Bush succeeded in pushing Congress to pass the USA Patriot Act, a far-reaching bill that many legislators never read before voting for it. The act, signed into law on Oct. 26, 2001 gave sweeping new powers to both domestic law enforcement and international intelligence agencies, while eliminating checks and balances that previously gave courts the opportunity to ensure that such powers were not abused.

At the end of 2009, three provisions of the Patriot Act will expire. Many civil liberties advocates are now urging Congress to review the nation's surveillance laws and amend those that have been found unconstitutional or have been abused by law enforcement agencies to collect information on innocent people.

Among the Patriot Act provisions that will sunset on Dec. 31 are National Security Letters which compel Internet companies, libraries, banks and other institutions and businesses to turn over sensitive information on their customers; the Material Support Statute, which criminalizes providing "material support" to terrorists, regardless of whether they actually or intentionally further terrorist goals -- and 2008 amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act or FISA, that authorizes the government to conduct warrantless, dragnet collection of U.S. residents' international phone calls and e-mails. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Kevin Bankston, senior staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has filed lawsuits against the telecommunication companies participating in warrantless surveillance. He assesses efforts in Congress to roll back some provisions of the USA Patriot Act that are seen by many as standing in violation of basic constitutional rights.

See rush interview transcript.
Sign up for Between The Lines Q&A
interview transcripts.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation currently has lawsuits against AT&T, the government and is challenging the constitutionality of the law granting telecommunication companies immunity. Contact the foundation by calling (415) 436-9333 or visit their website at

Report Finds 13 Million Babies
are Born Prematurely Worldwide;
1 Million Die

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Chris Howson,
vice president for global programs
at the March of Dimes Foundation,
conducted by Melinda Tuhus


The first global study of pre-term births has just been completed. A collaboration between the March of Dimes Foundation and the United Nations World Health Organization found that 13 million babies are born prematurely every year, and one million of them die. Those who survive often face a lifetime of disabilities, including hearing loss, blindness, cerebral palsy and learning disabilities. Surprisingly, the rate -- though not the total numbers -- of pre-term births by continent is almost as high in North America, including Canada and the U.S., as it is in Africa. The UN plans to follow up this report with more detailed, country-by-country research.

According to the March of Dimes the rate of premature births in the United States has increased 36 percent in the past 25 years. The increase in the rate of late preterm births (between 34 and 36 weeks gestation) accounts for most of the increase. The group points out that the emotional costs for families can be devastating and life-changing and the financial costs affect society as a whole. Prematurity accounts for almost half of hospital charges for infants.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Chris Howson, vice president for global programs at the March of Dimes Foundation, just before he delivered a report on the study at an international conference on the prevention of birth defects and disabilities in Delhi, India. He discusses what the report revealed, what's still not understood about the problem, and possible remedies.

See rush interview transcript.
Sign up for Between The Lines Q&A
interview transcripts.

Contact the March of Dimes Foundation by calling (914) 997-4488. Read the pre-term birth report online at

Current Reform Bills Won't Fix
U.S. Health Care Crisis

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Dr. Andy Coates,
assistant professor medicine and psychiatry
at Albany Medical College,
conducted by Scott Harris


The president, congressional Democrats and those pushing for health care reform have been on the defensive for much of the last few months, fighting malicious rumors about death panels, free medical care for illegal immigrants and rationing. So it was refreshing when Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., stated on the floor of the House of Representatives that the Republican health care plan was simple: Don't get sick -- and if you do get sick, die quickly. The media attention he received in the days after his Sept. 29 speech was valuable in that he was able to highlight a Harvard University study published in the American Journal of Public Health which found that nearly 45,000 people die each year in the U.S. attributable to their lack of health insurance.

As President Obama continued his campaign for congressional passage of national healthcare reform legislation on Oct. 5, he invited a group of 150 doctors, representing all 50 states, to hear him speak at the White House Rose Garden. Many of the physicians attending the event had supported Obama's candidacy and his current effort to overhaul the nation's flawed health care system. But doctors advocating for a single-payer system, like those established in most industrialized countries around the world weren't invited to the gathering. At the last minute, one Oregon physician, Dr. Paul Hochfeld, a member of the single-payer advocacy group, Physicians for a National Health Program or PNHP, was admitted to the gathering.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Dr. Andy Coates, assistant professor of medicine and psychiatry at Albany Medical College and secretary of the Capital District Chapter of PNHP. He reviews the importance of the Harvard University study and discusses what he sees as the deficiencies in the current congressional debate on national healthcare reform.

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

Related Links:

This week's summary
of under-reported news

 RealAudio  MP3

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • The Washington Post reports the Sudanese government sought to influence U.S. public opinion through contacts with Reagan-era National Security Adviser Robert "Bud" McFarlane, who was linked to the Iran-Contra scandal and was an adviser to John McCain's presidential campaign. ("A Cold War Man, a Hot War and a Legal Grey Area" Washington Post, Sept. 30, 2009)
  • Tucson, Arizona immigrant rights activist Walt Staton faces a one-year jail sentence for littering. He was actually leaving jugs of water for Mexican migrants crossing the harsh Sonoran desert. ("Litterers or Life Savers: Government prosecutes activists who leave water for immigrants," In These Times, Aug. 12 2009; "Man Gets Probation for Littering of Water Jugs Near Borders," Arizona Daily Star, Aug. 12, 2009)
  • Over the last three congressional elections, lobbyists have given $355 million to Leadership PACs, which follow fewer rules, get less media scrutiny than formal campaigns and are now used by 70 percent of congress members to raise funds. ("Leadership PACs: Let the good times roll," ProPublica, Sept. 26, 2009.)

Executive producer: Scott Harris
Segment producers: Scott Harris, Melinda Tuhus
Senior news editor: Bob Nixon
Program narration: Denise Manzari
News reader: Emily Santos-Poplawski
Senior web editor/producer: Anna Manzo
Web producer: Jeffrey P. Yates
Web consultant: Gary Trujillo
Newswire editors: Hank Hoffman
Photo editor: Scott Harris
Outreach coordinator: Anna Manzo
Distribution: Anna Manzo and Jeffrey P. Yates
Theme music: Written by Richard Hill and Jody Gray, and performed by Mikata

Between The Lines
Airs on WPKN 89.5 FM
Wednesdays, 12 noon; Sundays, 5:30 p.m. ET

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Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 10/9/09

Between The Lines' Blog

"Reading Between The Lines"

U.S. Politics

"The Rabbit Ragu Democrats," by Frank Rich, The New York Times, Oct. 4, 2009

"War Kills Off Great Reform Movements," by E.J. Dionne, TruthDig, Oct. 4, 2009

"Democrats Ponder Health-Care Suicide," by Robert Parry, Consortium News, Oct. 4, 2009

"'Socialism' and Sham in the Senate," by Joe Conason, Truthout, Oct. 2, 2009

"Revealed: millions spent by lobby firms fighting Obama health reforms," Guardian/UK, Oct. 1, 2009

"Who's in Charge: Obama, Congress or the Military?," by David Sirota, TruthDig, Oct. 1, 2009

"Dick Gephardt's Spectacular Sellout," by Sebastian Jones, The Nation, Sept. 30, 2009

More newswire ...


"Secret Plan to Ditch the U.S. Dollar's Dominance Uncovered," by Robert Fisk, Independent UK, Oct. 6, 2009

"Specifically, What Should Be Done For Jobs?," by Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog, Oct. 5, 2009

"Lawyers scarce for poor facing foreclosure," USA Today, Oct. 5, 2009

"Welcome to the US Economy: Dead Man Walking," by Mike Whitney, Counterpunch, Oct. 5, 2009

"Wall Street Titans Use Aliases to Foreclose on Families While Partnering With a Federal Agency," by Pam Martens, Counterpunch, Oct. 5, 2009

"Banks 1, America 0," by Dean Baker, Guardian/UK, Oct. 5, 2009

"Government watchdog says Treasury and Fed knew bailed-out banks were not healthy," ABC News, Oct. 5, 2009

"US FDIC Chief: "Too Big to Fail" Must End for All," Reuters, Oct. 5, 2009

"Follow the Money: Cure Millions of Leprosy -- or Just Give Hank Paulson a Tax Break?," by Tom Engelhardt & Matt Bivens, TomDispatch, Oct. 4, 2009

"Firms are getting billions, but homeowners still in trouble," McClatchy Newspapers, Oct. 4, 2009

"Why Jim Badasci 'Went Postal': How Bullying Bosses and Economic Devastation Are Behind America's Latest Workplace Shooting," by Mark Ames, AlterNet, Sept. 28, 2009

"Unemployment Rate Is Highest in 26 Years," by Dean Baker, Center for Economic & Policy Research, Oct. 2, 2009

"Saturn: Why one of Detroit's brightest hopes failed," Christian Science Monitor, Oct. 1, 2009

"What Recession? As the Economy Crashed Around Them, 400 Richest Americans Lined Their Pockets with $30 Billion," by Les Leopold, AlterNet, Oct. 1, 2009

More newswire ...

Bush Accountability

"The People v. The Torture Team: Six Questions for Law & Order's René Balcer," by Scott Horton, Harper's, Oct. 5, 2009

"The Generals vs. The Cheneys," by Scott Horton, Harper's, Oct. 1, 2009

"The Hayden Letter," by John Prados, Foreign Policy in Focus, Sept. 29, 2009

More newswire ...

International Affairs

"Iran OKs inspection; U.S. pleased with talks," USA Today, Oct. 4, 2009

"Iran's Nuclear Program: Where's the Proof?," by Brian Cloughley, Counterpunch, Oct. 2-4, 2009

"US-Iran: Geneva Talks Seen as Potential Breakthrough," by Jim Lobe, Inter Press Service, Oct. 2, 2009

"Real Progress With Iran," by Gary Sick, The Daily Beast, Oct. 2, 2009

More newswire ...

"Postwar" Occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan

"Gates to Army: We'll follow Obama's orders on Afghanistan," McClatchy Newspapers, Oct. 5, 2009

"Barack Obama furious at General Stanley McChrystal speech on Afghanistan," Telegraph/UK, Oct. 5, 2009

"Deadly Attack By Taliban Tests New Strategy," Wasington Post, Oct. 5, 2009

"8 U.S. Soldiers Killed in Bold Attack in Afghanistan," The New York Times, Oct. 4, 2009

"What I Saw at the Afghan Election," by Peter W. Galbraith, Washington Post, Oct. 4, 2009

"Report Cites Firefight as Lesson on Afghan War," The New York Times, Oct. 2, 2009

"White House Signals Afghan Exit Strategy?," by David Corn, Mother Jones, Oct. 2, 2009

"Why Afghanistan," by Ed Corcoran, Foreign Policy in Focus, Oct. 1, 2009

"Decision Point: Afghanistan," by Erik Leaver, Foreign Policy in Focus, Oct. 1, 2009

"An Open Letter to President Obama: Achieving America's Objectives in Afghanistan," by William R. Polk, The Nation, Sept. 30, 2009

"'We Deeply Regret...,'" by Conn Hallinan, Sept. 30, 2009

More newswire ...

Civil Liberties/ Human Rights

"Court Documents Reveal Existence of New Torture Tapes," by Jason Leopold, Truthout, Oct. 6, 2009

"Watch What You Tweet" by Amy Goodman, TruthDig, Oct. 6, 2009

"PATRIOT Act Fight Needs More Patriots," by Kelley B. Vlahos,, Oct. 6, 2009

"Announcing National Use Zazi to Gain New Surveillance Powers Day!," by Marcy Wheeler, Firedoglake, Oct. 6, 2009

"Arrest Puts Focus on Protesters' Texting," The New York Times, Oct. 5, 2009

"How an Innocent Man Was Tortured Into Making False Confessions," by Andy Worthington, CounterPunch, Oct. 5, 2009

"Men arrested for G-20 Twittering say it's free speech," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Oct. 4, 2009

"New York man accused of using Twitter to direct protesters during G20 summit," Guardian/UK, Oct. 4, 2009

"Rethink the Patriot Act: Let's restore constitutional safeguards, protect civil liberties," by Susan Goering, Baltimore Sun, Oct. 4, 2009

"Detainee's Case Illustrates Bind of Prison's Fate," The New York Times, Oct. 3, 2009

"Detainees Face Severe Conditions if Moved to U.S.," Washington Post, Oct. 3, 2009

"Big police depts back anti-terror citizen watch," Associated Press, Oct. 3, 2009

"Is Perry trying to cover up wrongful execution in Texas?," Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas), Oct. 2, 2009

"Real Reform for the PATRIOT Act?," by Julian Sanchez, The American Prospect, Oct. 1, 2009

More newswire ...

Environment and Sustainability

"With Natural Gas Drilling Boom, Pennsylvania Faces an Onslaught of Wastewater," ProPublica, Oct. 4, 2009

"Arctic seas turn to acid, putting vital food chain at risk," Guardian/UK, Oct. 4, 2009

"Beekeepers Tell Pesticide Firm to Buzz Off," Herald/Scotland, Oct. 4, 2009

"UN Warns of 70 Percent Desertification by 2025," Agence France Presse, Oct. 4, 2009

"Greenhouse emissions from oil sands underestimated: Report," Toronto Star/Canada, Oct. 2, 2009

More newswire ...

Media Issues

"Demonstrations at CEO Mansions? Ho Hum: Can the media cover a movement that plays nice?" by Peter Dreier and Todd Gitlin, Oct. 6, 2009

"The Washington Post Needs to Come Clean on Net Neutrality," by Timothy Karr, Save the Internet, Oct. 5, 2009

"The sources used by The Liberal Media," by Glenn, Greenwald, Salon, Oct. 4, 2009

"Iran, Israel, and the Muzzled US Press," by Faramarz Farbod, Common Dreams, Oct. 3, 2009

"Media Push False Equivalency Between Left and Right Rage," by Leslie Savan, The Nation, Oct. 2, 2009

"The Student Sex Column Movement," by Alex DiBranco, The Nation, Sept. 28, 2009

More newswire ...


"Protesters Try to Influence Afghanistan Policy," WJLA News/ABC News, Oct. 5, 2009

"Unions in a Rut," by Gary Engler, Counterpunch, Oct. 2-4, 2009

"Tea Party Movement Returns Christian Right to Its Racist Past," by Michelle Goldberg, The American Prospect, Oct. 2, 2009

"ACORN Is the New Dirty Word," by Rinku Sen, New American Media, Oct. 1, 2009

More newswire ...

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