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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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'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, Nov.-December 2001

Between The Lines

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Posted Feb. 17, 2010

Between The Lines
For The Week Ending Feb. 26, 2010



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

In First Test of Obama's
Afghan War Strategy
Civilians Pay with Their Lives

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Robert Naiman,
policy director of Just Foreign Policy,
conducted by Melinda Tuhus


The battle for Marjah, launched on Feb. 13 by a combined force of more than 15,000 U.S. Marines, Afghan, and British troops, is the first major battle following President Obama's escalation of the war in Afghanistan. The goal, according to U.S. officials, is to rout the Taliban from the area and then secure and hold the city. The strategy depends on cooperation from Afghan civilians, and there are reports that many civilians are willing to take steps to push the Taliban out of their communities by reporting their whereabouts to western military authorities, and by refusing to give Taliban insurgents food or shelter.

A cornerstone of the effort is to build trust among citizens and avoid civilian casualties. However, in the first days of the assault, a dozen people were reported killed -- including at least five children -- in one location and other noncombatant deaths soon followed.

In other news from Afghanistan, a joint raid by Pakistan and U.S. intelligence officers reportedly captured the Taliban's top military commander in the Pakistani city of Karachi. But it is uncertain if that arrest will affect the Taliban's capabilities on the battlefield. Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Robert Naiman, policy director of Just Foreign Policy, a group that uses online tools to promote citizen activism in the realm of U.S. foreign policy. He explains how Obama's escalation of the war in Afghanistan may not bring about his desired results.

Visit the group's website at

'Fix Congress First!' Organizes
to Change 'Pay to Play' Status Quo
in Washington, D.C.

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Lawrence Lessig,
Harvard University law professor,
director of the Edward J. Sifra Foundation Center for Ethics,
and co-founder of the group Change Congress,
conducted by Scott Harris


According to the Center for Responsive Politics, companies that hired congressional lobbyists in 2009 spent more than $3.47 billion to influence legislators as they debated the future of health care reform, financial regulations and energy policy. That constituted more than a 5 percent increase over the previous record expenditure of $3.3 billion spent on federal lobbying in 2008. The center calculated that $1.3 million were spent on lobbying every hour that Congress was in session during 2009.

This flood of corporate spending to influence Congress came as the U.S. was suffering through the worst economic decline since the Great Depression. Public opinion polls indicate most Americans aren't happy with the status quo in Washington, with more than 60 percent saying that federal legislators don't deserve to be re-elected. Several other polls find that the public's approval for Congress and political parties are now at historic lows.

Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig, is co-founder of the non-profit group Change Congress, whose mission is to restore public trust in government and protect the independence of Congress by fighting the influence of money in politics. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with professor Lessig about how his group proposes to change the status quo in Washington where big money has veto power over congressional action on behalf of the public good.

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


Visit the Change Congress website at

Related links:

Labor Anger at Congressional Democrats
Could Forecast Major Losses
in Midterm Election

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Jane Slaughter,
staff writer with the publication Labor Notes,
conducted by Scott Harris


Just before the unexpected victory by Republican Scott Brown in the Jan. 19 Massachusetts special election to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, a union president expressed concern about the anger he was seeing among rank and file members toward congressional Democrats. One of the top complaints often heard was over the compromise reached between union officials and Democrats, accepting a tax imposed on union contract-negotiated health care benefits. As a candidate, President Obama had explicitly campaigned against the imposition of such a tax.

Brown's defeat of Democratic candidate Martha Coakley, Massachusetts attorney general, gave Republicans the 41st vote they needed to deny Democrats the 60 vote supermajority they need to block a minority fillbuster on health care reform legislation and other issues. AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who had accepted the White House brokered compromise on taxing health insurance, warned in a January speech at the National Press Club: "In 1992, workers voted for Democrats who promised action on jobs, who talked about reining in corporate greed, and who promised health care reform. Instead, we got NAFTA, an emboldened Wall Street -- and not much more. In 1994, there was no way to persuade enough working Americans to go to the polls when they couldn't tell the difference between the two parties."

Unions worked hard and spent millions of dollars to elect Barack Obama to the White House and the largest majority in Congress in over 30 years. But many union activists are now feeling as though Democrats are turning their back on labor's top priority agenda items, such as comprehensive and affordable health care reform and passage of the Employee Free choice Act. Between the Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Jane Slaughter, a staff writer with the publication Labor Notes. She looks at the causes of growing anger at Democrats among union activists and the possible consequences for the party in the November 2010 midterm elections.

Read Jane Slaughter's articles online at

Related links:

This week's summary
of under-reported news

 RealAudio  MP3

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Growing fears over the future of democracy in Sri Lanka have emerged as President Mahinda Rajapakse, recently elected in a landslide, ordered opposition leader and former Army Chief Sarath Foneska arrested on charges of treason and conspiracy. ("Court Martial for Sri Lanka Loser; Assembly Sacked," Agence France Presse, Feb. 9, 2010; "Sri Lanka: Long Simmering Suspicions Led to Foneska's Arrest," Christian Science Monitor, Feb. 11, 2010)
  • Even if the ban on gays in military is lifted, there is still a high level of fear among gay soldiers, and few are expected to come out. ("More Tolerance for Gay Troops as End of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is debated," Washington Post, Feb. 10, 2010)
  • The rightwing blogosphere is still abuzz over Executive Order 12425, signed by President Obama in December, which gives Interpol special privileges in the U.S., such as an exemption from the Freedom of Information Act. ("Obama's Secret Police," Mother Jones, Feb. 5, 2010)

Executive producer: Scott Harris
Segment producers: Scott Harris, Melinda Tuhus
Senior news editor: Bob Nixon
Program narration: Denise Manzari
News reader: Elaine Osowski
Senior web editor/producer: Anna Manzo
Web producers: Jeffrey P. Yates and Gil Gilmore
Web consultant: Gary Trujillo
Newswire editors: Hank Hoffman
Photo editor: Scott Harris
Outreach coordinator: Anna Manzo
Distribution: Anna Manzo and Jeffrey P. Yates
Reading Between The Lines bloggers: Reggie Johnson and Anna Manzo
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Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 2/19/10

Between The Lines' Blog

"Reading Between The Lines"

U.S. Politics

"WSJ uncovers more examples of GOP lawmakers privately admitting stimulus created jobs," by Jed Lewison, Daily Kos, Feb. 16, 2010

"Tea Party Movement Lights Fuse for Rebellion on Right," The New York Times, Feb. 15, 2010

"Holder at Bay," by Scott Horton, Harper's, Feb. 15, 2010

"Democracy and the Threat of Authoritarianism: Politics Beyond Barack Obama," by Henry A. Giroux, Truthout, Feb. 15, 2010

"Our Founders were NOT Fundamentalists," by Harvey Wasserman, Common Dreams, Feb. 13, 2010

"Obama's chance to be next FDR or Reagan fading fast," McClatchy Newspapers, Feb. 13, 2010

"Senate Republicans: Filibuster everything to win in November?," McClatchy Newspapers, Feb. 12, 2010

"It's Official: 2009 Was Record Year For Lobbying, Despite Recession," by Arthur Delaney, Huffington Post, Feb. 12, 2010

"Former U.S. Regulators Helped Quash Toyota Investigations," ProPublica, Feb. 12, 2010

"A Disadvantaged Class? The Corporate Speech Index," by Robert Weissman, Common Dreams, Feb. 12, 2010

"Reid and Obama Abandon the Jobs Front," by Matthew Rothschild, The Progressive, Feb. 12, 2010

"The New Deal in Reverse: How the Obama Administration Ended Up Where Franklin Roosevelt Began," by Tom Engelhardt & Steve Fraser, TomDispatch, Feb. 11, 2010

"Dropping in on the Tea Party," by Gary Younge, The Nation, Feb. 11, 2010

More newswire ...


"How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America," by Don Peck, The Atlantic, Mar., 2010

"Right to Rent: The Best Response to the Housing Crash," by Dean Baker, Shelterforce, Feb. 17, 2010

"Economy Prompts Fresh Look at ND's Socialist Bank," Associated Press, Feb. 16, 2010

"Suburban Homeless: Rising Tide Of Women, Families," Associated Press, Feb. 16, 2010

"The Economic Elite Have Engineered an Extraordinary Coup, Threatening the Very Existence of the Middle Class," by David DeGraw, AlterNet, Feb. 15, 2010

"The Next Problem: Confronting Joblessness," by James Kwak, Baseline Scenario, Feb. 14, 2010

"Goldman Goes Rogue - Special European Audit To Follow," by Simon Johnson, Baseline Scenario, Feb. 14, 2010

"Anthem Blue Cross Delays Rate Hike Pending Review By California Officials," by Jason Leopold, Truthout, Feb. 13, 2010

"The Monopolization of America," by Russell Mokhiber, Corporate Crime Reporter, Feb. 13, 2010

"Wall St. Helped to Mask Debt Fueling Europe's Crisis," The New York Times, Feb. 13, 2010

"The Economic Velociraptors," by Andrew Cockburn, Counterpunch, Feb. 12-14, 2010

"The Retrogression: New Phase, Not Just Another Recession," by Ismael Hossein-Zadeh, Counterpunch, Feb. 12-14, 2010

"Worker-Owned, Industrial-Size, Environmentally Sound Business Rises Up," by Gar Alperovitz, Ted Howard & Michael Williamson, The Nation Feb. 11, 2010

More newswire ...

Bush Accountability

"Dick Cheney's taunting," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, Feb. 16, 2010

"Cheney Admits to War Crimes, Media Yawns, Obama Turns the Other Cheek," by Jason Leopold, Truthout, Feb. 15, 2010

"Does Dick Cheney Want to Be Prosecuted?," by Scott Horton, Harper's, Feb. 15, 2010

"Cheney Exposes Torture Conspiracy," by Robert Parry, Consortium News, Feb. 14, 2010

"Torture Lawyers on Trial?," by David Cole, The Nation, Feb. 11, 2010

More newswire ...

International Affairs

"Clinton clings to Bush ideals on Iran," by Stephen Kinzer, Guardian/UK, Feb. 16, 2010

"The Seven Paragraphs that Shook US-UK Ties," by William Fisher, Inter Press Service, Feb. 13, 2010

"What Do Empires Do?," by Michael Parenti, Common Dreams, Feb. 13, 2010

"That Which Can Not be Spoken: Why Do Terrorists Keeping Picking on the United States?," by William Blum, Counterpunch Feb. 12-14, 2010

More newswire ...

"Postwar" Occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan

"Joya condemns 'ridiculous' military strategy," Independent/UK, Feb. 15, 2010

"Secret Joint Raid Captures Taliban's Top Commander," The New York Times, Feb. 15, 2010

"The Assault on Marjah," by Patrick Cockburn, Counterpunch, Feb. 15, 2010

"Errant U.S. Rocket Strike Kills Civilians in Afghanistan," The New York Times, Feb. 14, 2010

"Civilians Die in Afghan Offensive," Reuters, Feb. 14, 2010

"Heckuva Job, Bidey: Veep sees U.S, triumph in face of Iraqi election descent into chaos and thuggery," by Robert Dreyfuss, The Nation, Feb. 14, 2010

"Death On All Sides as NATO Offensive Begins," Radio France International, Feb. 13, 2010

"The Taliban Isolated Bin Laden," by Gareth Porter, Counterpunch, Feb. 12-14, 2010

"Obama's secret prisons in Afghanistan endanger us all," by Johann Hari, Independent/UK, Feb. 12, 2010

"In the Land of the Stoner Cops," by Nir Rosen, Mother Jones, Jan./Feb., 2010

More newswire ...

Civil Liberties/ Human Rights

"Judge: Student's Facebook rant 'protected speech,'" McClatchy Newspapers, Feb. 16, 2010

"No Rights Charge Against NY Police in 50-Shot Death," Reuters, Feb. 16, 2010

"Human Terrain Systems Dissenter Resigns, Tells Inside Story of Training's Heart of Darkness," by David Price, Counterpunch, Feb. 15, 2010

"Christmas Day bomb suspect was read Miranda rights nine hours after arrest," Washington Post, Feb. 15, 2010

"Under Obama, more targeted killings than captures in counterterrorism efforts," Washington Post, Feb. 14, 2010

"Civis Romanus Sum: On the President's Power To Assassinate American Citizens," by Philip Giraldi,, Feb. 13, 2010

"Torture is a crime, not a state secret," by Matthew Harwood, Guardian/UK, Feb. 11, 2010

"Seven Paragraphs Are Not Enough: Release the 42 CIA Documents on Binyam Mohamed's Torture," by Jeff Kaye, Firedoglake, Feb. 11, 2010

"The torture memos show how illegal wars turn even the nicest people bad," by Simon Jenkins, Guardian/UK, Feb. 11, 2010

More newswire ...

Environment and Sustainability

"NALYSIS: Ecuador's Biodiverse Paradise Could Still Be Lost to Oil," by Pamela L. Martin, Ph.D., Environment News Service, Feb. 16, 2010

"Car culture and global energy conflict," by John Buell, Bangor Daily News (Maine), Feb. 15, 2010

"Climate Catastrophe: Surviving the 21st Century," by Ronnie Cummins & Will Allen, Common Dreams, Feb. 14, 2010

"The Day After Tomorrow Might Have Been Yesterday," Inter Press Service, Feb. 12, 2010

"Nuclear Does Not Make Economic Sense Say Studies," Inter Press Service, Feb. 12, 2010

More newswire ...

Media Issues

"Media and Democracy in the Post-Modern Age," by Greg Guma, ZNet, Feb. 16, 2010

"Picturing the Dead," by Dave Lindorff, Counterpunch, Feb. 15, 2010

"Jon Karl & ABC Give Cheney A Sunday Valentine," by Linda Milazzo, AlterNet, Feb. 14, 2010

"The Lobbying-Media Complex," by Sebastian Jones, The Nation, Feb. 11, 2010

More newswire ...


"Olympic Resistance: Indigenous Groups, Anti-Poverty Activists, and Civil Liberties Advocates Protest 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver," by Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!, Feb. 15, 2010

"Will new leaders revive the AFL-CIO?," by Henry Noble, ZNet, Feb. 15, 2010

"We have let Obama down," by Clancy Sigal, Guardian/UK, Feb. 14, 2010

"'The Coming Revolt of the Guards': Thoughts from Dane County Jail," by Joshua Brollier, Common Dreams, Feb. 14, 2010

"War at home: The local eco-warriors making a big noise," Independent/UK, Feb. 14, 2010

"Floridians Gather to Say 'No' to Offshore Drilling," Pensacola Beach Journal (Florida), Feb. 14, 2010

More newswire ...

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