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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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"Best of New Haven 2001"
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'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 Nov. 11, 2009

Between The Lines
For The Week Ending Nov. 20, 2009


After last week's website upgrade, it appears that Between The Lines' webhosting service is still experiencing intermittent problems. If you are unable to access our full-length program, please try these links:

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

Healthcare Bill Passed by House Fails
to Deliver Real Reform

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Donna Smith,
a community organizer and legislative advocate with the California Nurses Association,
conducted by Scott Harris


In a narrow late night victory on Nov. 7, House Democrats and one lone Republican passed a health care reform bill by a margin of 220 to 215. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi compared passage of the bill to the establishment of the Social Security Act in 1935 and the Medicare Act in 1965.

Central elements of the Affordable Health Care for America Act include a mandate for most Americans to purchase health insurance with the provision of subsidies. It prohibits insurers from discriminating against people with pre-existing conditions; caps the financial responsibility of insured individuals faced with serious illnesses and medical emergencies; and prevents insurance companies from abandoning policyholders when they get sick. The measure includes a public health insurance option that would be required to negotiate with providers, as opposed to the more cost-saving position of reimbursing providers using Medicare rates. As advertised, the bill would cover 36 million uninsured Americans at a cost of just under $900 billion over 10 years. A controversial amendment added to the bill that prohibits federal funds from being spent for abortion services within the public option and in the insurance exchange, is examined later in this program.  The debate now moves to the U.S. Senate, where any health reform bill passed there must be merged with the House version.

Donna Smith is a community organizer and legislative advocate with the California Nurses Association. She and her husband were profiled in Michael Moore's documentary film "Sicko," which examined the urgent need for U.S. health care reform. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Smith about why she believes the recently passed House reform legislation falls far short of what the country needs to provide citizens with comprehensive, quality care and control skyrocketing costs.

Call the California Nurses Association at (510) 273-2200 or visit their website at

Related Links:
Pro Choice Groups Declare War
on Anti-Abortion Amendment in Healthcare Bill

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Erin Matson,
Action Vice President of the National Organization for Women,
conducted by Melinda Tuhus


When the House of Representatives passed a health care reform bill, the measure included what some advocates of abortion rights call the most sweeping abortion restriction in 30 years. Negotiations in the House had been ongoing for months to maintain the status quo, regarding no taxpayer funding for abortions as enshrined in the 1976 Hyde amendment, which denies poor women federal funding for abortions. But when House legislators adopted an amendment proposed by anti-abortion Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-Pa.), they expanded the abortion ban to cover subsidized insurance policies which women buy with their own money. Sixty-four Democrats voted with virtually all the Republicans in favor of the amendment, which passed 240 to 194. The Conference of Catholic Bishops had lobbied hard for the Stupak-Pitts measure.

Pro-choice advocates maintain that birth control and abortion are integral parts of women's health care needs and insist that health care reform should not be a vehicle to deny a woman's fundamental right to choose. Many of these groups are now pushing the Senate to pass a health care bill that does not adopt the Stupak-Pitts amendment and are urging President Obama not to sign any health care bill that restricts women's reproductive rights.

  Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Erin Matson, the "Action Vice President" of NOW, the National Organization for Women. She discusses what the Stupak-Pitts amendment portends for reproductive services for millions of American women. And Matson explains what NOW and like-minded groups are doing to fight back.

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

Contact NOW by calling (202) 628-8669 or visit their website at 

Related links:

Media Spins Nov. 3rd GOP Victories as "Change Election"

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Karl Frisch, senior fellow with the group Media Matters for America,
conducted by Scott Harris


As the results of the Nov. 3 local and state elections poured into network and cable TV outlets, commentators were standing by to read the tea leaves of voter sentiment and what it could mean to the future of Democrats which now control Congress. The only two governors' races of the night were won by Republicans. Chris Christie defeated incumbent John Corzine in New Jersey and Bob McDonnell beat Democrat Creigh Deeds by a wide margin in Virginia.

Two other elections being closely watched had very different results -- with special elections for House seats both won by Democrats. As expected, California Lt. Gov. John Garamendi won the northern California district formerly held by Democratic Rep. Ellen Tauscher. But the special election in New York's 23rd District drew the most attention when for the first time since 1871 a Democrat, Bill Owens, claimed victory over Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman and GOP moderate Dierdre Scozzafava. Although Scozzafava was the Republican candidate within days of the election, she threw her support to Owens after prominent national conservative activists, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and right-wing talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck endorsed Hoffman.

The overall election results were interpreted by many pundits as a clear victory for Republicans, signaling danger for Democrats in the 2010 midterm election and for Barack Obama if he should run for a second term in 2012. Some commentators blamed Obama and the Democrats' progressive agenda on health care and global warming for defeats in New Jersey and Virginia, although that view was not backed up by exit polling. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Karl Frisch, senior fellow with the group Media Matters for America. He examines the corporate media's spin in covering the Nov. 3rd election results, and the civil war brewing in the Republican Party.

Karl Frisch, senior fellow with the group Media Matters for America. Contact the group at (202) 756-4100 or visit their website at

Related Links:

This week's summary
of under-reported news

 RealAudio  MP3

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • The Dalai Lama's Nov. 8 visit to Tawang, India has increased tensions between India and China, which have worsened in recent months over the ongoing dispute over the 2,000 mile border between the two countries. ("Dalai Lama Visits Town Near Tibet, Angering China," Associated Press, Nov. 8, 2009; "Thousands Flow To See Dalai Lama In India Border State," Agence France Presse, Nov. 9, 2009; "Singh to Wen: Dalai Lama an Honored Guest," Reuters, Oct. 25, 2009)
  • While Afghanistan trains thousands of new midwives, the cultural and political environment is growing increasingly hostile and violent toward women. ("Amid War, Afghanistan Trains Thousands of New Midwives," Christian Science Monitor, Nov. 8, 2009; "Remember the Women?" The Nation, Oct. 21, 2009)
  • Next spring, Texas will decide whether or not to become the first state to admit it executed an innocent man. ("America's Real Death Panels," In These Times, Oct. 28, 2009)

Executive producer: Scott Harris
Segment producers: Scott Harris, Melinda Tuhus
Senior news editor: Bob Nixon
Program narration: Denise Manzari
News reader: Richard Hill
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

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Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 11/13/09

Between The Lines' Blog

"Reading Between The Lines"

U.S. Politics

"How the Stupak Amendment Radically Undermines Women's Rights," by Rachel Morris, Mother Jones, Nov. 10, 2009

"Obama Seeks Revision of Plan's Abortion Limits," The New York Times, Nov. 9, 2009

"Dick rmey's View Of Americans With Pre-Existing Conditions: Someone Who 'Eats Like A Pig' And Has Diabetes," by Amanda Terkel, Think Progress, Nov. 9, 2009

"Tony Podesta: Turning Change Into Dollars," by Arthur Delaney, Huffington Post, Nov. 9, 2009

"Health Care: Winning a Battle, Losing the War," by James Ridgeway, Counterpunch, Nov. 9, 2009

"Six Smart Progressive Complaints About House Health Bill," by John Nichols, The Nation, Nov. 9, 2009

"Dems Sell Women's Rights Down River Of Health Care Denial," by Lucinda Marshall, Feminist Peace Network, Nov. 8, 2009

"House Passes Health Reform, But Without Reproductive Rights," by John Nichols, The Nation, Nov. 8, 2009

More newswire ...


"Senate Plan Would Expand Regulation of Risky Lending," The New York Times, Nov. 10, 2009

"As Foreclosure Nightmares Increase, Will More Homeowners Pay Off Their Bankers in Violence?," by Scott Thill, AlterNet, Nov. 9, 2009

"Making Wall Street pay," by Dean Baker, Guardian/UK, Nov. 9, 2009

"Change Wall Street Can Believe In," by Holly Sklar, Common Dreams, Nov. 9, 2009

"The Kafka Economy: Unemployment Up, Stocks Up!," by Dave Lindorff, Counterpunch, Nov. 9, 2009

"Bank Failure Friday Fells a 'Healthy Bank' Bailout Recipient," ProPublica, Nov. 7, 2009

"Unemployment hits 10.2%; Worse since 1983," CNN, Nov. 6, 2009

"Generation Recession," by Lizzy Ratner, The Nation, Nov. 4, 2009

More newswire ...

Bush Accountability

"Bush DOJ Official Daniel Levin 'Not Opposed' to Torture Investigations," by Jeff Kaye, Firedoglake, Nov. 10, 2009

"Amidst Growing Call for Criminal Investigation, Torture Memos Author John Yoo Withdraws from Federalist Society Panel," Alliance for Justice, Nov. 9, 2009

" More on the Verdict in Milan," by Scott Horton, Harper's, Nov. 6, 2009

"Judgment in Milan," by Scott Horton, Harper's, Nov. 4, 2009

"A President Stands Trial for Torture and Disappearings," by Scott Horton, Harper's, Nov. 4, 2009

More newswire ...

International Affairs

"A Disappointing Year With Obama," by William Pfaff, TruthDig, Nov. 10, 2009

"Tensions grow as Chavez masses troops on border," Independent/UK, Nov. 10, 2009

"Is using aid to Israel as leverage becoming a mainstream idea?," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, Nov. 8, 2009

"U.N.'s Goldstone criticizes U.S. reaction to Gaza report," Reuters, Nov. 8, 2009

"The Power of Nonviolent Action in Honduras," by Stephen Zunes, Yes! Magazine, Nov. 8, 2009

"In Defense of the Goldstone Report," by Stephen Zunes, Yes! Magazine, Nov. 5, 2009

More newswire ...

"Postwar" Occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan

"Leave Afghanistan to the Afghans: Why Afghans Oppose the Escalation," by Patrick Cockburn, Counterpunch, Nov. 9, 2009

"Iraqis pass election law crucial to U.S. withdrawal plans," McClatchy Newspapers, Nov. 8, 2009

"Where Will They Get the Troops?: Preparing Undeployables for the Afghan Front," by Tom Engelhardt, Dahr Jamail and Sarah Lazare, TomDispatch, Nov. 8, 2009

"Casey says war in Afghanistan needs more US troops," Associated Press, Nov. 8, 2009

"Obama leaning toward 34,000 more troops for Afghanistan," McClatchy Newspapers, Nov. 7, 2009

"America Performs Its Familiar Role of Propping Up a Dictator," by Robert Fisk, Independent/UK, Nov. 6, 2009

"2014 or Bust: The Pentagon's Building Boom in Afghanistan Indicates a Long War Ahead," by Tom Engelhardt & Nick Turse, TomDispatch, Nov. 5, 2009

More newswire ...

Civil Liberties/ Human Rights

"Coping with Bad Prosecutors," by Scott Horton, Harper's, Nov. 10, 2009

"Rights Groups: Obama's Terrorism Courts 'Fatally Flawed,'" by William Fisher, Inter Press Service, Nov. 10, 2009

"Library employees fired over censorship of graphic novel," Lexington Herald-Leader (Kentucky), Nov. 10, 2009

"Guantanamo Conditions 'Deteriorate,'" Al Jazeera English, Nov. 10, 2009

"TSA screening more than just carry-on bags," Washington Post, Nov. 9, 2009

"Supreme Court to Review Cases of Juveniles Sentenced to Life in Prison," Miami Herald, Nov. 9, 2009

More newswire ...

Environment and Sustainability

"Digital Dumping and the Global 'E-Cycling' Scam," by Gbemisola Olujobi, TruthDig, Nov. 10, 2009

"What the CBO Isn't Telling Congress: Climate Change Threatens Million of Jobs," by Joe Uehlein, Truthout, Nov. 10, 2009

"Is New York's Marcellus Shale Too Hot to Handle?," ProPublica, Nov. 9, 2009

"Key oil figures were distorted by US pressure, says whistleblower," Guardian/UK, Nov. 9, 2009

"Despite Censorship By Beef Magnate, Michael Pollan Spreads Message About the Real Price of Cheap Food," AlterNet, Nov. 9, 2009

"As oceans fall ill, Washington bureaucrats squabble," McClatchy Newspapers, Nov. 8, 2009

"Climate Change: Dark Clouds Gathering Over Copenhagen," Inter Press Service, Nov. 8, 2009

More newswire ...

Media Issues

"Denying responsibility for the wars one cheers on," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, Nov. 10, 2009

"The Endless Censoring of Labor," by Dick Meister, Truthout, Nov. 10, 2009

"Murdoch could block Google searches entirely," Guardian/UK, Nov. 9, 2009

"After Mass Layoff, Reporter Sticks With His Labor Union," by Seth Sandronsky, Truthout, Nov. 8, 2009

"Low-Power Radio and What the Media Won't Tell You About the Media," by Amber Sands, Truthout, Nov. 7, 2009

"How the Media Enables Government Lies," by James Bovard, Counterpunch, Nov. 6-8, 2009

"A media orgy of rumors, speculation and falsehoods," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, Nov. 6, 2009

"Keep the Government Out of the News Business," by Bill Boyarsky, TruthDig, Nov. 5, 2009

"Consolidation Station: News 'Sharing' Erodes Journalism," by Megan Tady, In These Times, Nov. 3, 2009

More newswire ...


"Admiral Mullen Announces Afghanistan Strategy: Prepare to Nonviolently Resist," by Jeff Leys, Common Dreams, Nov. 9, 2009

"The Battle in Seattle: 10 Years After the WTO," by Mike Whitney, Counterpunch, Nov. 6-8, 2009

"Labor Anti-War Group Refocuses on Afghanistan," by Jane Slaughter, Labor Notes, Oct. 29, 2009

More newswire ...

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