Listen to Ralph Nader's 75 min. talk at Barnes and Noble, Milford, CT. Nader makes a compelling case for Left-Right alliances on majoritarian issues that progressives and conservatives agree on, acknowledging that individuals feel all too often that they have no power against the big power structure. He notes that issues such as school prayer, reproductive rights and gun control are issues that the power structure prefers to keep the majority divided. The minimum wage, breaking up the big banks, Pentagon audits, health care, campaign finance reform, corporate tax inversions, Net Neutrality, fracking and GMOs are just a few examples of left-right issues discussed with the audience, where just a fraction of the left and right – working together – can make a huge "unstoppable" political realignment in passing legislation, despite the "ick factor" of working with those whose other views you don't always agree with.
Listen to Ralph Nader's short interview on current events with Scott Harris before the booksigning.
Audio recordings from the Left Forum here.
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Read a partial interview transcript with Pete Seeger conducted by Between The Lines' Scott Harris on June 5, 1994 and published in E: The Environmental Magazine in December 1994
Listen to the entire 30-minute interview here.
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.
Bill McKibben, Schumann Distinguished Scholar at Middlebury College and author of a dozen books about the environment, beginning with "The End of Nature" in 1989, which is regarded as the first book for a general audience on climate change. The group he founded, 350.org, has coordinated 15,000 rallies in 189 countries since 2009. The Boston Globe said in 2010 that he was "probably the country’s most important environmentalist."
Alexis Tsipras, a member of the Hellenic parliament, president of the Synaspismos political party since 2008, head of the SYRIZA parliamentary group since 2009, and leader of the Opposition since June 2012. SYRIZA currently leads in Greek opinion polls. Listen to the audio here.
Between The Lines' Executive Producer Scott Harris hosts a live,
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"Drifting Towards War,?" by Reginald Johnson, May 23, 2014
"Media on Ukraine: What Happened to Journalism?" by Reginald Johnson, May 2, 2014
"Dismantling the Corporate State," by Reginald Johnson, April 8, 2014
"Talking Tough on Russia," by Reginald Johnson, March 20, 2014
"Those Lying Russians," by Reginald Johnson, March 6, 2014
"Fighting Back Against NSA Spying," by Reginald Johnson, Feb. 28, 2014
"Pete Seeger - 1919-2014," by Reginald Johnson, Feb. 28, 2014
"Nov. 22, 1963: A Turning Point for America," by Reginald Johnson, Nov. 22, 2013
"Demanding Action on Fukushima," by Reginald Johnson, Nov. 18, 2013
"Fukushima -- A Global Threat," by Reginald Johnson, Nov. 4, 2013
"Impeach Obama," by Reginald Johnson, Sept. 5, 2013
"America Attacks Again," by Reginald Johnson, Aug. 28, 2013
"Keeping WBAI Alive," by Reginald Johnson, Aug. 21, 2013
"WBAI in Crisis," by Reginald Johnson, July 25, 2013
"Restore the Fourth!" by Reginald Johnson, July 10, 2013
"Sustainable Business Models: A Third of All States Have Benefit Corporation Laws," by Anna Manzo, June 30, 2013
"Making War on Syria," by Reginald Johnson, June 14, 2013
"Syria in the Gunsights," by Reginald Johnson, May 9, 2013
"Curbing Gun Violence," by Reginald Johnson, April 4, 2013
"Fighting the Pipeline," by Reginald Johnson, March 26, 2013
"Downgrading Ed Schultz," by Reginald Johnson, March 17, 2013
"Rand Paul: Making a Point," by Reginald Johnson, March 8, 2013
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Posted Aug. 24, 2011
Interview with David Goldston, director of government affairs with the Natural Resources Defense Council, conducted by Melinda Tuhus
Throughout the summer, as debate raged in Congress on raising the nation’s debt ceiling, Republicans in the House were also trying to push through a myriad of anti-environmental riders in the 2012 appropriations bill for the Interior Department and the Environmental Protection Agency. Because Congress broke for its summer recess immediately after reaching a deal to raise the debt ceiling, no action was taken on the appropriations bill with its almost 40 riders. The bill will be taken up again when Congress reconvenes after Labor Day.
Riders are an end-run around congressional procedures; they are designed to limit scrutiny and to force through policies generally without hearings or full debate. As in other recent policy debates, critics charge that Republican sponsors of the riders are using tactics that in essence hold vital national legislation hostage. The anti-environmental polices block protections for clean water, clean air, wilderness lands and wildlife.
Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus spoke with David Goldston, director of government affairs with the Natural Resources Defense Council. He describes the objective of some of these legislative riders, and efforts underway to try and remove them from fiscal 2012 appropriations bills.
DAVID GOLDSTON: What's notable about this bill, besides that it would cut spending, is that it's loaded up with almost 40 anti-environmental provisions called riders – these are efforts to block environmental policies or the operation of existing environmental law that have been added to the spending bill even though these provisions don't save any money whatsoever. So these provisions are in the base bill, in the bill that's been brought to the House floor, and then during the debate on the bill there are efforts both to get rid of these riders. They are led mostly by Democrats but some are bipartisan – and efforts by conservative Republicans to add even more limitations on environmental protections to the bill.
BETWEEN THE LINES: Please give us some specific examples of the environmental harm you're referring to.
DAVID GOLDSTON: They block all kinds of environmental activities. One would prevent EPA from clarifying which waters are protected by the Clean Water Act. There's another one on water that would prevent EPA from strengthening oversight of mountaintop removal mining. There's another one that would prevent EPA from limiting runoff from logging roads and another that would prevent limitations on pollution runoff from agricultural properties. On clean air, there's efforts to block new safeguards from both traditional pollutants and carbon dioxide pollution. So there's a whole range of these, as I said, there's almost 40 of them in all, which is, as far as we can tell, an unprecedented number of limitations.
BETWEEN THE LINES: I believe one of the riders would have prevented any further listings of endangered species under the Endangered Species Act, but that was declared too radical even for some Republicans, and it was removed. Is that right?
DAVID GOLDSTON: Right, so the rider would have said no additional listings of endangered species; listing is how endangered species get protected under the law. That was removed from the bill through an amendment that was offered by a bipartisan group, and it got support from a number of Republicans as well as Democrats, so that has been removed, and that was a good sign because it's one of the first times this year that Democrats and Republicans have joined together in sufficient numbers to actually stand up to these efforts to block environmental safeguards.
BETWEEN THE LINES: Just so I understand, these riders have been attached to the appropriations bill, and they were trying to pass them at the same time as all the debate was happening about raising the debt ceiling?
DAVID GOLDSTON: The timing happens to be overlapping, but they're separate measures. Every year Congress has to pass spending bills for each agency so they have the money to carry out their responsibilities the following year. So this is the annual effort to do the spending bill for Interior and EPA. As part of that, right, all these provisions have been attached, these riders. And there's a number of reasons why this is bad besides just that these provisions themselves would harm the public. Number one, they don't get the same kind of debate and scrutiny they would if they were free-standing measures. But two, the reason they get added to these spending bills is to try to force them through when they otherwise wouldn't pass. It's a way of saying to the Senate – and the president – if you try to disagree with us on these environmental provisions, we won't fund the government. One of the effects of adding all these anti-environmental riders to this bill is, it makes it much more likely we're going to have another government shutdown showdown in the fall, and that's not the way to govern.
BETWEEN THE LINES: What do you think the chances are of getting rid of these riders?
DAVID GOLDSTON: Well, it's unlikely that all these riders will be removed before the bill leaves the House. But our hope is – and this is what happened in the spring on the spending bill for this year – that the Senate Democratic leadership and the president will stand up to these and say these do not belong in the spending bill, they're bad policy and they shouldn't be part of this measure in any event and will basically prevent any of these from becoming law. The White House has already issued a very strong veto threat, citing these riders as one of the reasons. And again, in the spring when this happened with a smaller number of riders on the spending bill, the Senate and the president ultimately did stand up and virtually all those riders were removed.
Learn more about the Natural Resources Defense Council at www.nrdc.org.