Announcements Announcements

Between The Lines Radio Newsmagazine was at the Left Forum, May 30 - June 1, 2014, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York


Audio recordings from the Left Forum here.



Welcome to our site.

logo Please note that this site is best viewed through Firefox 3.0, Safari 1.0, Opera 6.0, Netscape 6.0, Internet Explorer 8, Chrome 1.0, or more recent versions of any of these browsers. Please send any comments via our Contact form.

Broadcast-Quality MP3

Please select the "Current Broadcast MP3" item under the "For Stations" button in the navigation bar above.



PETE SEEGER (1919-2014): "Folk Music's Granddad Plays It Green"

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.


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.




NOAM CHOMSKY: Obama Threat Against Syria Based on Maintaining U.S. 'Credibility'



Between The Lines Radio Newsmagazine at the Left Forum, June 7-9, Pace University, New York City


Between The Lines' Left Forum audio coverage (more forthcoming):

SPECIAL AUDIO RECORDING:
Bill McKibben, environmental activist and founder of 350.org talks about the next steps in the climate change campaign


An address by Bill McKibben, founder of the grassroots climate campaign 350.org, upon receiving the annual Gandhi Peace Award from the New Haven-based group Promoting Enduring Peace on April 18 in Hamden, CT

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."



SPECIAL AUDIO RECORDING:
Alexis Tsipras, leader of Greece's Left Party Coalition, on "Anti-Austerity Politics in Greece, Europe and Beyond"


A talk recorded on Jan. 25, 2013 at The City University of New York, in a program sponsored by CUNY's Center for the Study of Culture, Technology, and Work.

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.


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 www.WPKN.org (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

"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


Special Programming Special Programming


MP3: Glenn Greenwald delivers a keynote address at "A Conference in Defense of Civil Liberties and to End Indefinite Detention" at Central Connecticut State University in New Britain on Dec. 8, 2012.

Glenn Greenwald is a columnist on civil liberties and US national security issues for the Guardian newspaper. He's a former constitutional lawyer, and until 2012 was a contributing writer at Salon.com. Greenwald is the author of "With Liberty and Justice For Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful."

Read his column at The Guardian (UK)
Between The Lines' executive producer Scott Harris conducted an interview with Glenn Greenwald at the conference.


Noam Chomsky is linguistics and philosophy professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Author of nearly 100 books, Chomsky is one of the world's most widely read progressive dissident intellectuals. He talks about his new book, "Occupy," about the Occupy Wall Street movement and the wider issues of class warfare in the America today.
Listen to this interview (June 6, 2011)

MP3: Nathan Schneider (www.wagingnonviolence.org) has been reporting on the OWS movement from its first days in August, 2011. In this April 3, 2012 interview, Richard Hill asks him to assess the on-going debate in the movement between those espousing a strict adherence to non-violence principles and practices and those advocating a 'diversity of tactics', Interview conducted by Richard Hill, WPKN

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!

shop  Online Store


newswire Newswire

U.S. Politics

Economy

Bush Accountability

International Affairs

"Postwar" Occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan

Civil Liberties/ Human Rights

Environment and Sustainability

Media Issues

Activism

2012 Campaign Spending Breaking New Records as Groups Fight to Overturn Supreme Court 'Corporate Personhood' Decision

Real Audio  RealAudio MP3  MP3

Posted Feb. 15, 2012

Interview with Jeff Clements, author of the book, "Corporations Are Not People", conducted by Scott Harris

corporations

Although President Obama opposed the Supreme Court’s January 2010 Citizens United decision that eliminated many limits on corporate contributions to election campaigns, he symbolically threw in the towel in early February to endorse Super Political Action Committees or Super PACs created by the decision. With his endorsement, Obama joined Republican presidential candidates who are already using Super PACs, and urged his supporters to make donations to the Priorities USA Super PAC, established to make unlimited expenditures on the president’s behalf in the 2012 election campaign. But as the White House made this announcement, a press release stated that “President favors action – by constitutional amendment, if necessary – to place reasonable limits on all such spending.”

In response to the Citizens United decision that opened the floodgates to record amounts of unlimited and anonymous corporate campaign cash, a number of national groups are campaigning to overturn the high court decision. Activists are gathering petition signatures and urging the passage of resolutions at the city and state level in support of an amendment to the U.S. Constitution that would reverse the court’s declaration in Citizens United, that corporations have the same rights as "living, natural persons."

Between the Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Jeff Clements, co-founder and general counsel with the Free Speech for People campaign and author of the book, “Corporations Are Not People; Why They Have More Rights Than You do, and What You Can Do About It.” He talks about the impact the Citizens United decision has had on increased spending in the 2012 election campaign, and the grassroots effort to reverse that decision and strengthen democracy.

JEFF CLEMENTS: The corporate spending and secret spending and massive spending by billionaires and millionaires in the federal races since Citizens United (was) decided -- and in state races of others with data on that -- has just been extraordinary. It's leaped by multiple factors. So in 2010, the midterm elections -- it was the first election after Citizens United -- was the most expensive election in American history. Four billion dollars was spent on various races, and at least hundreds of millions of those dollars came from sources that we're not really sure where the money came from, whether it's corporate money or not corporate money.

The sad thing is, despite that massive expenditure and the corrupting influence of the corporate money in that election, 60 percent of eligible voters do not bother to vote. We're now seeing much worse in the 2012 election in the primaries already and we'll see, it will get worse to come. And we're starting to get data on it that shows the vast, vast majority upwards of something like 97 percent of the super PAC money in the Republican primaries -- and Obama's going to use a super PAC, too. But 97 percent of (Mitt) Romney's super PAC, for example, of the money that comes into that comes in increments of greater than $10,000.

So that isn't a super PAC collecting money from interest in citizens. We know that some of the money -- again, it's hard because there's no disclosure requirements; there's technical disclosure requirements for super PACs, but they're easily evaded. So we only know pieces of it. But we know that big energy companies like Alpha, the Global Coal Corp. is putting money into super PACs like America Crossroads. We know that News Corporation and other corporations put money into the 2010 election and the current election. So it has had an immediate impact on the election, no question.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Jeffrey, after a century of precedent on the Supreme Court in this country to keep the large amounts of corporate cash out of our election campaigns, how is it that the Supreme Court, the Roberts court, overturned that precedent? There has been speculation that the Robert court has had undue influence by the billionaire Koch brothers and others who wined and dined them and had them in special secret meetings. Is there any validity to those theories and what do you think really is happening that has dramatically changed our campaign financial law?

JEFF CLEMENTS: You know the validity to those particular concerns -- I think there's some validity, but I would put it in the larger context. The problem is corporate influence at all levels. It's corporate influence, corporate power, assertion throughout our government. And unfortunately, sadly it has affected our judiciary, too. But I think we would miss the real story if we just look for a connection to the Koch brothers, for instance, because Citizens United, in my view -- and the story I tell in the book is -- it's really the endgame of a sustained, very well-funded, corporate campaign to twist the Constitution and take rights in order to undermine democracy.

I think it goes back to 1970 or so when Lewis Powell famously wrote what's called the Powell memo. It was secret at the time, to the Chamber of Commerce advising the corporations do exactly this. He went on the Supreme Court. He wrote at least four decisions creating the notion, something called "corporate speech" which had never existed in American history. He built a majority for this doctrine and it has been used well before Citizens United to strike down environmental laws, public health laws and worker protection laws, financial regulation. In that sense, if you look at it from sort of that long view of corporations creating by sustained litigation, filing of briefs, funding of legal foundations, funding of I'd say corporatist -- more than conservative -- judicial doctrine, Citizens United is almost the logical next step. If corporations have rights to strike down all these other laws, the election law is even more important if you have constitutional rights and the logic is impeccable. It's also catastrophically wrong.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Jeff, I wanted to ask you in terms of the effort underway now to overturn the Citizens United decision in this unlimited, and unaccountable corporate cash coming into our campaign finance system. What is the most direct and in your view, the way that could be most successful in overturning that Supreme Court decision?

JEFF CLEMENTS: Well, the most important thing is to challenge the constitutional distortion, the fabrication that this case has created. And the way those kind of disputes are resolved in America is through the constitutional amendment process. So that process will need a two-thirds vote of Congress. At some point it will need three-quarters of the states to ratify it. But in the meantime, by driving that amendment conversation, we need the people's rights amendment; we need the amendment to overturn the idea as well that money is speech. We'd need to do it everywhere, cities and towns during resolutions. That's happening right now all over the country. It's happening with a lot of different groups and I think that's the key. We need to not to argue too much about what the exact languages is. We'll get that in terms of the amendment. There will be a big debate. There's plenty versions of them pending in Congress right now. But we need to do all of the resolution campaigns in cities, towns, states. So I wish I had a nice easy answer, that there's only thing you have to do, but actually we have to do all of those things.

Find more information on the grassroots campaign to overturn the Citizens United decision on corporationsarenotpeople.com/.

Related Links: