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Posted July 7, 2010

Between The Lines
For The Week Ending July 16, 2010



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

Poll Finds Majority of Americans Support Limiting
Corporate Spending in Election Campaigns

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Drew Courtney,
communications director with
People for the American Way,
conducted by Scott Harris


A recent poll conducted by Hart Research Associates in early June for the group People for the American Way, found that there is widespread concern about the influence of corporations in U.S. politics. The survey also found a strong majority disagreed with the Supreme Court's January decision in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case. In that 5 to 4 decision, the justices overturned 100 years of precedents to remove restrictions on campaign spending by corporations, labor unions and non-profit groups, declaring these limits violated the constitution's First Amendment free speech principles.

During his State of the Union speech on Jan. 27, President Obama urged Congress to pass legislation to reverse the Citizens United decision. To that end, a number of proposals have been raised in Congress to rein in corporate spending on campaigns. They include measures to give shareholders more power over corporate political spending, require companies that pay for campaign advertising to identify themselves -- and restrict corporations with big government contracts from buying campaign ads. Some groups are advocating an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are entitled to constitutional rights.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Drew Courtney, communications director with People for the American Way, who discusses the survey results, legislation now being considered by Congress and his group's plan to ask federal candidates running for office in this November's election to support a constitutional amendment limiting corporate spending in U.S. election campaigns.

Contact People for the American Way at (202) 467-4999 or visit their website at where you can read more about the poll on corporate influence.

Related Links:

Gulf Region's Poor Communities
Bring Health Concerns About
BP Oil Spill to EPA

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with LaTosha Brown,
executive director of the group
Gulf Coast Fund for
Community Renewal and Ecological Health,
conducted by Melinda Tuhus


As the BP oil leak continues to pour oil into the Gulf of Mexico more than 75 days after the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, about 20 environmentalists and local community leaders met Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson in New Orleans on July 2 to express their concerns. One of them was LaTosha Brown, executive director of the Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health, which provides grants to grassroots groups in the region to promote local organizing and empowerment.

The meeting was one of several that have taken place with top EPA officials since the spill, which Brown said was a far cry from the dismissive treatment residents received from the Bush administration after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus, who made four trips to the Gulf region after Katrina -- and interviewed some of the Gulf Fund's grantees -- spoke with Brown after her meeting with EPA administrator Jackson. She said the group's members listed three top concerns: the health effects of the oil dispersants used to break up the oil spill; safe disposal of the oil collected on beaches and oil-absorbent booms - and questions about which federal agency is holding British Petroleum accountable for oil spill damages and protecting residents' health.

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


Contact the Gulf Coast Fund for Community Renewal and Ecological Health New York office at (212) 812-4361 or visit their website at

Related links:

Obama's Policy on Post-Coup Honduras
Follows Same Old Washington
Script Toward Latin America

 RealAudio  MP3

Interview with Isabelle van Hook,
a research associate with
the Council on Hemispheric Affairs,
conducted by Scott Harris


It's been one year since Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was forced into exile in his pajamas by the nation's military, acting on behalf of the Honduran Congress and Supreme Court. The coup d'etat followed Zelaya's decision to hold a non-binding national referendum on establishing an elected National Constituent Assembly to rewrite the nation's 1982 constitution. After Zelaya's removal from office on June 28, grassroots organizations mobilized to protest the coup, which unleashed violent repression by the Army under orders from the regime's defacto President Roberto Micheletti. The Organization of American States, representing a new wave of progressive governments across the hemisphere, expelled Honduras until democracy was restored.

Initially, President Obama opposed the coup, but over succeeding months, his administration undercut multilateral negotiations to return Zelaya to office in order to oversee the scheduled November presidential election. With U.S. support, the election campaign was held as the Army shut down opposition radio and TV stations, tortured and killed anti-coup activists and arrested thousands of protesters. Most governments around the world rejected the legitimacy of the Nov. 29 election, whose winner was Porfirio Lobo, a conservative businessman with links to those who organized the coup.

Now Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on behalf of the Obama administration, is pushing the Organization of American States to readmit Honduras, despite the fact that opposition organizations, activists and journalists continue to be targets of repression and assassination. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Isabelle Van Hook, a research associate with the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, who talks about her recent article, "Washington Strikes Out on Honduras," which examines President Obama's failure to depart from the Bush administration's often criticized policies relating to Latin America.

Visit the Council on Hemispheric Affairs' website at to read Van Hook's article, "Washington Strikes Out on Honduras".

Related links:

This week's summary
of under-reported news

 RealAudio  MP3

Compiled by Bob Nixon

Executive producer: Scott Harris
Segment producers: Scott Harris, Melinda Tuhus
Senior news editor: Bob Nixon
Program narration: Denise Manzari
News reader: Liz Becker
Senior web editor/producer: Anna Manzo
Web producers: Jeffrey P. Yates and Gil Gilmore
Web consultant: Gary Trujillo
Newswire editor: 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
Between The Lines Q&A editorial assistant: Melanie Muller
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Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 7/9/10

Between The Lines' Blog

"Reading Between The Lines"

U.S. Politics

"The Curveball of Karl Rove," by David Bromwich, New York Review of Books, July 15, 2010

"Republicans: a party of unemployment," by Dean Baker, Guardian/UK, July 6, 2010

"Mayberry Machiavellis: Obama Political Team Handcuffing Recovery," by Ryan Grim, Huffington Post, July 6, 2010

"House Democrats: Nancy Pelosi Tricked Us," by Jane Hamsher, Firedoglake, July 6, 2010

"The Tea Party Is Dangerous: Dispelling 7 Myths That Help Us Avoid Reality About the New Right-Wing Politics," by Adele M. Stan, AlterNet, July 5, 2010

"Meg Whitman campaign brings spying into real time," McClatchy Newspapers, July 5, 2010

"Tea Partiers assail Rand Paul for taking D.C. money," McClatchy Newspapers, July 5, 2010

"Teachers' Union Shuns Obama Aides at Convention," The New York Times, July 4, 2010

"Boehner Puts Democrats on the Spot: Cut Social Security to Fund the War?," by Dean Baker, Counterpunch, July 2-4, 2010

"A cycle of stupidity," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, July 2, 2010

More newswire ...


"Warning Signs From the Bond Market: Red Flags for the Economy " by Mike Whitney, Counterpunch, July 6, 2010

"David Brooks Swings at Paul Krugman, Knocks Himself Out," by John Chandley, Firedoglake, July 6, 2010

"Unemployment Extension Standoff, Day 35: 'Harsh Reality Has Now Set In,'" by Arthur Delaney, Huffington Post, July 6, 2010

"Slouching Toward a Double Dip or a Lousy Recovery at Best," by Robert Reich, Robert Reich's Blog, July 3, 2010

"Race to the Bottom: Scapegoating Civil Servants," by David Macaray, Counterpunch, July 2-4, 2010

"The Million-Dollar Penny," by Sam Pizzigati, Other Words, July 2, 2010

"Maude Barlow: 'The World Has Divided into Rich and Poor as at No Time in History,'" Democracy Now!, July 2, 2010

"U.S. Experiencing Worst Episode of Prolonged Unemployment Since Great Depression," Center for Economic and Policy Research, July 2, 2010

"How Goldman Sachs Caused a 'Silent Mass Murder,' Gambling on Starvation in the Developing World," by Johann Hari, Independent/UK, July 2, 2010

"Myths of Austerity," by Paul Krugman, The New York Times, July 1, 2010

"No age of austerity for the rich," by Sasha Abramasky, Guardian/UK, June 30, 2010

More newswire ...

Bush Accountability

"A Damning New Report on George W. Bush," by CÚsar Chelala, Common Dreams, July 6, 2010

"Torture claims: David Cameron announces inquiry," BBC News, July 6, 2010

More newswire ...

International Affairs

"Infinite Jest: State Terror From Nixon to Obama," by Chris Floyd, Empire Burlesque, July 6, 2010

"The Case Against Kissinger Deepens, Continued," by Scott Horton, Harper's, July 6, 2010

"Honduras, a Year After the Coup: Widening Rifts in Latin America," by Mark Weisbrot, Counterpunch, July 6, 2010

"US questions its unwavering support for Israel," Guardian/UK, July 5, 2010

"Does Israel Make Us Safer?," by Thaddeus Russell, Daily Beast, July 4, 2010

"Israel's Foes Embrace New Resistance Tactics," Wall Street Journal, July 4, 2010

"Nixon and Kissinger joked over Chile assassination," by Jeff Stein, Washington Post, July 2, 2010

"What Price Defense?," by William D. Hartung, The Nation, June 28, 2010

More newswire ...

"Postwar" Occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan

"Afghan War Funding: It's One, Two, Three ... What Do We Spend It On?," by Dave Lindorff, Counterpunch, July 5, 2010

"The unknown Afghan body count," by James Denselow, Guardian/UK, July 4, 2010

"'Surge'' smoke follows Petraeus to Afpak," by Pepe Escobar, Asia Times, July 3, 2010

"3/5 of House Dems 'Obsessed' with Afghan Withdrawal Timetable," by Robert Naiman, Common Dreams, July 3, 2010

"Counterinsurgency Down for the Count in Afghanistan... But the War Machine Grinds On and On and On," by Tom Engelhardt & Ann Jones, TomDispatch, July 1, 2010

More newswire ...

Civil Liberties/ Human Rights

"Rules of America's rule of law," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, July 6, 2010

"Charges for Soldier Accused of Leak," The New York Times, July 6, 2010

"Wikileaks Leaker Bradley Manning Finally Charged," by Marcy Wheeler, Firedoglake, July 6, 2010

"The crux of our endless War on Terror," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, July 6, 2010

"Federal Government Sues Over Arizona Immigration Law," The New York Times, July 6, 2010

"Another Habeas Defeat for Holder's Justice Department," by Scott Horton, Harper's, July 6, 2010

"The BP/Government police state," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, July 5, 2010

"Death by Remote: But Is It Legal?," by William Fisher, Inter Press Service, July 4, 2010

"Death by Remote: But Is It Legal?," by William Fisher, Inter Press Service, July 4, 2010

"Obama Administration Follows Bush/Cheney On Politicization Of DOJ," bmaz, Firedoglake, July 4, 2010

"Sept. 11 terrorism trials still in search of a venue," Washington Post, July 4, 2010

"U.S. court orders new hearing for Algerian detainee," USA Today, July 3, 2010

"The Erosion of Individual Liberties: When Justice and Politics Become One," by Lt. Col. Barry Wingard, Truthout, July 3, 2010

"Restoring the Fourth Amendment: How We, the People, Can Win Over Washington," by Shahid Buttar, Truthout, July 3, 2010

"Inside Torontanamo: My Experience Inside the G20 Detention Facility," by Matt Shultz, Counterpunch, July 2-5, 2010

"U.S. Counterterror Chief: We Need Debate on CIA Terror Targets," by Michael Isikoff, Newsweek, July 2, 2010

"Photographer Briefly Detained by Police Near BP's Texas City Refinery," ProPublica, July 2, 2010

"Video Captures Another Border Killing," by Dennis Bernstein, Consortium News, July 2, 2010

"Government loses appeal in Guantanamo habeas case," McClatchy Newspapers, July 2, 2010

"In Miami, public surveillance cameras increasing," McClatchy Newspapers, July 2, 2010

"Pentagon ban on Guantanamo reporters is illegal, group says," McClatchy Newspapers, July 2, 2010

"The administration defends its assassination program," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, July 1, 2010

"Joint lawsuit planned for G20 arrestees," Toronto Star/Canada, June 30, 2010

"Too Scary to Fly, Not Scary Enough to Arrest," by David Kravets, Wired, June 30, 2010

"With World Watching, Wikileaks Falls Into Disrepair," by Ryan Singel, Wired, June 30, 2010

"The Roberts Court's Free Speech Problem," by David Cole, New York Review of Books, June 28, 2010

More newswire ...

Environment and Sustainability

"Oil seeps into New Orleans' Lake Pontchartrain," Associated Press, July 6, 2010

"BP has steady sales at Defense Department despite U.S. scrutiny," Washington Post, July 5, 2010

"In Wake of BP Spill Disaster, Louisiana Indians Fending For Themselves," by Dahr Jamail, Truthout, July 5, 2010

"Judges rule Obama can't close Yucca Mountain nuclear dump," McClatchy Newspapers, July 4, 2010

"Outdoor gear is 'environmentally toxic', finds report," Sunday Herald/Scotland, July 4, 2010

"Researchers say Obama's slow on oil spill science, too," McClatchy Newspapers, July 2, 2010

"The IPCC messed up over 'Amazongate' - the threat to the Amazon is far worse," by George Monbiot, Guardian/UK, July 2, 2010

"Deep-sea mining adds to fears of marine pollution," Independent/UK, July 2, 2010

"BP Texas Refinery Had Huge Toxic Release Just Before Gulf Blowout," ProPublica, July 2, 2010

"Oil Spills Boost Arsenic Levels in Ocean: Study," Agence France Presse, July 2, 2010

"Oil Spill Media Access: Reporters Still Given The Runaround Even As Public Health Concerns Mount," by Jason Linkins, Huffington Post, July 1, 2010

"Small Creatures and Climate Change: How Warming Can "Shuffle the Deck" of Creatures That Thrive," by Brenda Ekwurzel, Ph.D., Huffington Post, June 30, 2010

More newswire ...

Media Issues

"Ailing Journalism in Ailing Times," by T.L. Caswell, TruthDig, July 6, 2010

"Keep the Internet Open for All," by Joseph Torres, Other Words, July 5, 2010

"AP owes China an apology," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, July 5, 2010

"Bill Keller's self-defense on 'torture,'" by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, July 3, 2010

"How the TeleCom Industry Plans to Take Over the Internet in Four Easy Steps," by Timothy Karr, Common Dreams, July 2, 2010

"Obama to expand broadband Internet across U.S.," McClatchy Newspapers, July 2, 2010

"'Torture' study reveals appalling cowardice of America's newspapers," by Will Bunch, Media Matters for America, June 30, 2010

"New study documents media's servitude to government," by Glenn Greenwald, Salon, June 30, 2010

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"Environmentalist is spared jail for protest at Capitol," McClatchy Newspapers, July 6, 2010

"Change? Green Jobs Advocate Faces Prison for Dropping Banner While BP and Massey Go Free?," by Jeff Biggers, Common Dreams, July 5, 2010

"Witnessing Against Torture: Why We Must Act," by Kathy Kelly, Truthout, July 4, 2010

"UK factory saboteurs acquitted," Jerusalem Post, July 3, 2010

"Holding the Center," by Jean Hardisty and Deepak Bhargava, The Nation, June 30, 2010

More newswire ...

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