Award-winning Investigative Journalist Robert Parry (1949-2018)

Award-winning investigative journalist and founder/editor of, Robert Parry has passed away. His ground-breaking work uncovering Reagan-era dirty wars in Central America and many other illegal and immoral policies conducted by successive administrations and U.S. intelligence agencies, stands as an inspiration to all in journalists working in the public interest.

Robert had been a regular guest on our Between The Lines and Counterpoint radio shows -- and many other progressive outlets across the U.S. over four decades.

His penetrating analysis of U.S. foreign policy and international conflicts will be sorely missed, and not easily replaced. His son Nat Parry writes a tribute to his father: Robert Parry’s Legacy and the Future of Consortiumnews.

Thank you for donating

If you've made a donation and wish to receive thank you gifts for your donation, be sure to send us your mailing address via our Contact form.

See our thank you gifts for your donation.

The Resistance Starts Now!

Between The Lines' coverage and resource compilation of the Resistance Movement

SPECIAL REPORT: "The Resistance - Women's March 2018 - Hartford, Connecticut" Jan. 20, 2018

Selected speeches from the Women's March in Hartford, Connecticut 2018, recorded and produced by Scott Harris

SPECIAL REPORT: "No Fracking Waste in CT!" Jan. 14, 2018

SPECIAL REPORT: "Resistance Round Table: The Unraveling Continues..." Jan. 13, 2018

SPECIAL REPORT: "Capitalism to the ash heap?" Richard Wolff, Jan. 2, 2018

SPECIAL REPORT: Maryn McKenna, author of "Big Chicken", Dec. 7, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Nina Turner's address, Working Families Party Awards Banquet, Dec. 14, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Mic Check, Dec. 12, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Resistance Roundtable, Dec. 9, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: On Tyranny - one year later, Nov. 28, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Mic Check, Nov. 12, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Resistance Roundtable, Nov. 11, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Rainy Day Radio, Nov. 7, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Rainy Day Radio, Nov. 7, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: Resisting U.S. JeJu Island military base in South Korea, Oct. 24, 2017

SPECIAL REPORT: John Allen, Out in New Haven

2017 Gandhi Peace Awards

Promoting Enduring Peace presented its Gandhi Peace Award jointly to renowned consumer advocate Ralph Nader and BDS founder Omar Barghouti on April 23, 2017.

Subscribe to our Weekly Summary & receive our FREE Resist Trump window cling

resist (Car window cling)

Email us with your mailing address at to receive our "Resist Trump/Resist Hate" car window cling!


who helped make our 25th anniversary with Jeremy Scahill a success!

For those who missed the event, or were there and really wanted to fully absorb its import, here it is in video

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 1 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.

Jeremy Scahill keynote speech, part 2 from PROUDEYEMEDIA on Vimeo.

Between The Lines on Stitcher


Between The Lines Presentation at the Left Forum 2016

"How Do We Build A Mass Movement to Reverse Runaway Inequality?" with Les Leopold, author of "Runaway Inequality: An Activist's Guide to Economic Justice,"May 22, 2016, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York, 860 11th Ave. (Between 58th and 59th), New York City. Between The Lines' Scott Harris and Richard Hill moderated this workshop. Listen to the audio/slideshows and more from this workshop.

Listen to audio of the plenary sessions from the weekend.

JEREMY SCAHILL: Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker "Dirty Wars"

Listen to the full interview (30:33) with Jeremy Scahill, an award-winning investigative journalist with the Nation Magazine, correspondent for Democracy Now! and author of the bestselling book, "Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army," about America's outsourcing of its military. In an exclusive interview with Counterpoint's Scott Harris on Sept. 16, 2013, Scahill talks about his latest book, "Dirty Wars, The World is a Battlefield," also made into a documentary film under the same title, and was nominated Dec. 5, 2013 for an Academy Award in the Best Documentary Feature category.

Listen to Scott Harris Live on WPKN Radio

Between The Lines' Executive Producer Scott Harris hosts a live, weekly talk show, Counterpoint, from which some of Between The Lines' interviews are excerpted. Listen every Monday evening from 8 to 10 p.m. EDT at (Follows the 5-7 minute White Rose Calendar.)

Counterpoint in its entirety is archived after midnight ET Monday nights, and is available for at least a year following broadcast in WPKN Radio's Archives.

You can also listen to full unedited interview segments from Counterpoint, which are generally available some time the day following broadcast.

Subscribe to Counterpoint bulletins via our subscriptions page.

Between The Lines Blog  BTL Blog

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Special Programming Special Programming

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Between The Lines Progressive Resources

A compilation of activist and news sites with a progressive point of view

Share this content:


Podcasts Subscribe to BTL

Podcasts:  direct  or  via iTunes

Subscribe to Program Summaries, Interview Transcripts or Counterpoint via email or RSS feed

If you have other questions regarding subscriptions, feeds or podcasts/mp3s go to our Audio Help page.

Between The Lines Blog

Stay connected to BTL

RSS feed  twitter  facebook

donate  Learn how to support our efforts!

Deficit Commission Co-Chairs Propose Deep Cuts to Social Security Benefits

Real Audio  Real Audio  podcast  MP3

Interview with Maria Freese, director of government relations and policy at the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, conducted by Scott Harris

socialsecurity The co-chairs of President Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform dropped a bombshell on Nov. 10, when they released a set of controversial proposals designed to rein in America's ballooning debt. The co-chairs, former U.S. senator from Wyoming Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, chief of staff under President Clinton, presented a set of recommendations that include: raising the Social Security retirement age to 69 by 2075; substantial cuts in Social Security and Medicare benefits; capping both government expenditures and revenue at 21 percent of GDP; eliminating 200,000 federal jobs by 2020; raising the federal gas tax by 15 cents per gallon; reducing the corporate income tax; eliminating the mortgage interest deduction; reducing the number of U.S. troops in Europe and Asia and canceling some Pentagon weapons programs.

The co-chairs' draft report was greeted with strong objections from both the left and right. But analysis of the plan found that the proposal depended more on spending cuts than increased revenue, tied closely to conservative doctrine. However, most observers believe its unlikely that the full 18-member commission report, due by Dec. 1, will receive the 14 votes required to send along a deficit reduction plan to Congress.

Between the Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Maria Freese, director of government relations and policy at the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare. She explains why her group opposes deep cuts to Social Security, and the need to organize a strong coalition to resist efforts to place the burden of deficit reduction on the backs of the poor and middle class.

MARIA FREESE: We have been concerned about this commission ever since President Obama created it by executive order. We have been trying to communicate with them to make sure that they understood what our views were. We would start with the argument that Social Security does not belong in this discussion, period. Social Security -- this is a deficit commission, as you mentioned -- Social Security is not contributing to the deficit. In fact, it's still in surplus. Its trillions of dollars in its trust fund have been accumulated over the years because babyboomers have been overpaying their payroll taxes partly so that they could build up these surpluses so that they could draw down on them as they started to retire.

So, this is really not necessary to do this right now. Yes, 30 years out there's a little gap in anticipated benefits coming in -- revenue coming in vs. benefits that are going to be paid out. But, it's almost 30 years out in the future and at this point, it's just projected. What they have done is they are locking into statute -- if they decide to do these recommendations -- much deeper cuts than you would end up with if you just did nothing and let the trust funds all be paid be out as benefits.

So, we're very troubled by it. They basically took every bad idea that has been out there and they've combined it into one proposal. We're mostly focused on Social Security because that's the program that we think people are least likely to understand. They're people who have opposed Social Security and have spent so much money over the past 10 years trying to convince people that it's in crisis and it's almost bankrupt and it's not going to be there for them and all that -- that we feel we're fighting this tidal wave to try to make sure that people understand that it's actually in much better financial condition than they've been led to believe. So, we're not surprised by these proposals.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Maria, what's the process ahead? What happens next with this commission and what will the now-divided Congress do with any proposals that might come out of this commission?

MARIA FREESE: Well, that's actually a very good question, Scott. What we have been told -- and there's not a whole lot of information that you can get about this commission -- but what we've been told, is their committees are going to be meeting to review the co-chairs' proposal and to see if they have their own proposals. They have been encouraged to bring their own proposals to the table.

And then, presumably they will figure out whether there is a critical mass of votes for any piece or -- I find it almost impossible to believe they would get 14 votes for the entire package. The question we don't know is: Are there component pieces of this that can get 14 votes? Or get 10 votes or 12 votes?

Congress is committed, the Senate has committed -- (Senate Majority Leader Harry) Sen. Reid (D-Nev.) back in the spring, I believe, committed to holding a vote if they can get 14 votes, holding a vote in the Senate, and Speaker Nancy Pelosi agreed if a bill passed in the Senate, she would bring it up in the House.

There's not a lot of time left for this to happen this calendar year. And in fact, it's not clear whether technically they're going to be able to do it because of the need to actually get some revenue scores. This proposal is very -- shall we say -- opaque in terms of how much money it's actually going to raise. So they're going to have get some hard and fast numbers before many people want to vote on it. It's a possibility that you could still end up with a vote in the next month. But personally, I think it's a long shot.

Where the danger I believe is -- I see in this proposal -- is that if it appears as though there is some consensus behind pieces, Social Security in particular, I could see parts of it or all of it as part of the president's budget submission next year. I could see fiscally conservative Republicans, in particular in the House, insisting on some of these changes in exchange for their willingness to vote for the increase in the debt limit that's going to be facing them in the early spring. So this issue is not going to go away.

BETWEEN THE LINES: The Republican party, for many years now, has had a mission to destroy the nation's social safety net and particularly, the New Deal programs put in place under Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Great Depression. Is there a viable coalition that you're working with now, that will rise up to oppose deep cuts in Social Security and the other elements of the nation's social safety net?

MARIA FREESE: We are constantly out trying to put together other coalitions, get support from other groups. Part of the problem is that up until now is that no one really believed the program was at risk. Because no one really believed this, that they were going after Social Security. And that's why, frankly, I'm hoping that one of the things we're going to be able to achieve out of this co-chairs' report is, we're going finally to be able convince people that there is a serious risk here and it's a serious risk moving forward, that elements -- very bad elements of this proposal -- will end up resurfacing and will end up actually being implemented. And that's a bad thing for the country and it's a bad thing frankly, for Americans, and for middle-income Americans.

Contact the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare by calling (202) 216-0420 or visit their website at

Related links: