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.

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Failure of Congressional Super Committee May Be Best Outcome to Protect Social Safety Net

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Posted Nov. 2, 2011

Interview with Eric Kingson, co-director of Strengthen Social Security Campaign, conducted by Scott Harris


As a result of a deal reached in negotiations to break the impasse over raising the nation’s debt ceiling in August, the so-called congressional super committee was formed, composed of six Democrats and six Republicans, half from the House and half from the Senate. The committee is charged with making cuts or increasing revenue to reduce the nation's deficit by at least $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years. The panel must reach a bipartisan agreement, then pass their recommendation onto Congress by Nov. 23. If the panel cannot reach a deal, that failure would trigger automatic cuts in domestic and defense spending in the 2013 federal budget.

Press reports on leaks from the secretive deliberations of the super committee, say the panel’s Democrats proposed a "grand bargain" of spending cuts and new taxes worth up to $3 trillion. The recommendation reportedly included $400 billion in cuts from Medicare, $80 billion in cuts to Medicaid and increased taxes on high-income brackets while eliminating some deductions for upper-income earners. Social Security is also on the chopping block with a proposal to significantly reduce benefits through a switch to what's called the Chained Consumer Price Index.

With Occupy Wall Street movement protests against corporate greed gaining support around the country and a new Congressional Budget Office report highlighting data on rising income inequality over the last 30 years, the Democrats' proposal has provoked widespread opposition. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Eric Kingson, co-director of the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, a coalition of 300 national and state organizations. Kingson explains why he believes the failure of the super committee may be the best option for citizens fighting to protect federal social safety net programs.

ERIC KINGSON: The newspapers reported that a majority of the Democrats on the committee were open to considering cutting the cost of living adjustment into the future and making major cuts in Medicare. And they were committed to that on the basis that they might get some revenues from the Republicans. Of course, the Republicans came back and said, "Ah, we're sort of off of those cuts and would like them to be bigger. But, you're asking for too much in revenue." So they're really asking for very little.

The proposal the Democrats put forward, hopefully, is just trial balloon and they'll back off of it, especially if all your listeners send notices and calls to their senators and representatives. The proposal is just plain outrageous. It's more conservative than what the president proposed to Mr. Boehner earlier in the summer and that the speaker rejected. The major problem – putting aside conservative, liberal – the proposal that's being put forth and is being discussed by the super committee in terms of Social Security, one of the major concerns is: If they change the way they calculate the cost of living adjustment, it means that every single beneficiary will be getting a little bit less every year into the future. And that adds up so that after 10 years of receiving Social Security benefits, it would be the equivalent from about a $700 cut in year 10, say when you're 75. After 20 years, it would be the equivalent in year 20, at age 85 of about a $1,000 cut. If you live to age 95, which some of our people are fortunate enough to do, it would be a cut in your 95th year, of $1,400 comparable money today. So, it's taking a very modest benefit – which is an average of $14,000 for retirees or so, and saying we're going to let inflation eat away a little bit. They say they have a better inflation measure, but they really don't. It's just a technical game to reach into the pockets of Social Security beneficiaries and pull the equivalent of $112 billion out of those pockets over 10 years.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Eric, what happens if this super committee cannot reach an agreement? There are some automatic cuts that take place both in the domestic and defense spending budgets. What would be better from where you said, in terms of these deep cuts to the entitlement programs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid? Or, how deep and awful will the automatic cuts be?

ERIC KINGSON: Nothing good is going to come out of the super committee and out of this deficit ceiling decision. We shouldn't be having this discussion, as I said. We ought to be looking at putting Americans back to work and how to make prudent decision, short-term to spend more, to boost the economy, boost demand and then look at the long term at how to deal with projected deficits. And, much of the problem of the long term has to do with rising health care costs, which we have to get control of as a nation. So nothing good's going to come out of it.

Probably the best thing, from my point of view that can come out of the super committee, is deadlock. And the reason for that is, if that happens, there'll be automatic sequesters. Automatic pulling back of $1.2 trillion; half will come out of defense, half will come out of domestic spending, but they protect Social Security, they protect programs for long-income people, like Medicaid, SSI. They partially protect Medicare. They say Medicare can be cut by up to 2 percent, but it can only be cuts that affect the providers. So, if nothing happens, that's what happens, and it doesn't go into effect until 2013, even possibly later. So we can have a presidential election, and congressional elections that debate whether we ought to be letting the Bush tax cuts expire, whether we ought, as some have proposed, placing higher taxes on those Americans who've done most well in the past few years, and really asking those who crashed the economy to make a very serious contribution to rebuilding the economy.

Learn more about the Strengthen Social Security Campaign's work to protect Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid by visiting

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