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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.

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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.

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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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Effort Now Underway in Congress to Restore Depression-Era Glass Steagall Banking Law

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Posted June 26, 2013

Interview with Bartlett Naylor, financial policy analyst with Public Citizen's Congress Watch, conducted by Scott Harris. Transcript compiled by Evan Bieder.


A just-released report from Public Citizen, titled “Safety Glass,” marks the 80th anniversary of the enactment of the Glass-Steagall Act, which separated commercial and investment banking in the aftermath of the Great Depression. On June 16, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Banking Act, also known as “Glass- Steagall, that created the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. The legislation was a product of a negotiated agreement whereby the federal government would guarantee funds deposited in banks in exchange for mandating that all banks sell-off their investment divisions, keeping commercial banking functions like loans made to consumers and businesses, separate from risky investment activity.

However, in the late 1990s, with the mergers of big banks like Citicorp and the investment firm Travelers Group, pressure began to build on Congress to rescind Glass-Steagall prohibitions. In 1999, President Bill Clinton signed the Financial Modernization Act, supported by Texas GOP Senator Phil Graham and then Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, that repealed Glass-Steagall.

Many economists assert that the death of Glass-Steagall set the stage for the boom and bust that took down the U.S., and much of the world’s economy in 2008. Much like in the pre-Depression years, U.S. banks engaged in fraudulent activity, selling near-worthless sub-prime mortgage securities to unwitting investors, which led to a bubble that burst in 2008 -- resulting in the economic collapse. The meltdown caused the severe recession, massive unemployment, lower wages, millions of home foreclosures and a steep rise in poverty. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Bartlett Naylor, financial policy analyst with Public Citizen's Congress Watch, who formerly served as chief of investigations for the U.S. Senate Banking Committee. Here he talks about the effort now underway in Congress to restore the FDR-Era Glass Steagall Act.

BARTLETT NAYLOR: Marcy Kaptur, a long-serving progressive Democrat from Toledo, Ohio, has for two Congresses introduced basically a restoration of Glass-Steagall. In the 112th Congress, which expired last December, she recruited 125 co-sponsors of her bill, out of the 435 House members, including three Republicans. This Congress, she introduced the bill in January and it has already amassed, at last look she has 65 co-sponsors, so she has a year-and-a-half to go. That will not be given the light of day, for political reality, it will not be afforded a vote in the House banking committee or the full House because she’s a Democrat, but it does have some bipartisan support, although only three or four Republicans are among those 65.

More importantly, in the Senate, here’s a prediction – you’re hearing inside information first – within a few weeks I predict Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., will introduce her Glass-Steagall bill. She has completely changed the dynamic of the Senate banking committee because, whereas, many of these senators bring particular skills to the banking committee, none of them are the nation’s leading scholars on banking and that is Elizabeth Warren. She will introduce, I predict, a bill on Glass-Steagall.

The Kaptur bill has already been introduced by Tom Harkin, the Democratic senator from Iowa. In public statements, a number of other Republicans and Democrats have voiced their support for Glass-Steagall, including Richard Shelby, an otherwise very conservative senator from Alabama, Joe Manchin, who is a moderate Democrat from West Virginia, Maria Cantwell, a fairly progressive Democrat from the state of Washington.

I would say there’s a dozen Democrats who are on record in support of Glass-Steagall. Now, if you’ll permit me a little inside baseball, the problem is that the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Tim Johnson, wisely understands that if he reopens a major banking law such as Dodd-Frank, he is vulnerable to moderate Democrats joining with Republicans who will dilute Dodd-Frank and, therefore, an opening into something as dramatic as Glass-Steagall could blow up and go the wrong way because those wealthy contributions and lobby dollars have got quite a grip on Washington, including the Democratically-controlled Senate.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Bartlett Naylor, what’s the level of public awareness of this debate in Congress about efforts to defang the Dodd-Frank Bill, that many already feel was too weak to begin with, and this new debate that’s coming up on the restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act?

BARTLETT NAYLOR: Well, unfortunately, the level of interest is not as keen as it needs to be. I think that financial policy shapes the American life as least as much as other issues that deservedly win attention, such as choice or immigration, and so forth. The fact that people are employed or not employed, if there is income inequality, is very much part of banking policy. The problem is that connecting the dots is not easy. Section 619 of Dodd-Frank, the Volcker Rule on proprietary trading, may sound a far distance from whether or not your brother-in-law just lost his job four years ago, but it is very much why your brother-in-law may have lost his job because banks blew up the economy; they over-leveraged the average American, the average American business, and we are still digging out of a housing bubble inflation. And so, unfortunately, the complexity of banking law, as Elizabeth Warren says, is where the muggers hide. It’s where the dastardly business gets done and it’s because of these little two words buried in Dodd-Frank by a clever Wall Street lobbyist that we have had major problems down the line. And my appeal is that just as one might watch immigration policy or your congressperson’s position on choice, you watch his or her position on financial policy. Your job depends on it.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Bartlett Naylor, I’ve heard some people express concern that weak regulation that ushered in the savings and loan crisis of the 1980s, the near depression that we just went through in 2008 and onwards will trigger a new financial collapse in the near future if we don’t get serious about this and beat back the lobbyists. What do you think?

BARTLETT NAYLOR: Well, I’d like to say that the London Whale and the guy that destroyed Barings Bank, that the Libor scandal, that we’re done. There will be no more bank explosions, that history won’t repeat itself, but unfortunately it’s been repeating itself since well before the tulip bubble in the Netherlands. Unfortunately, it is inevitable. It’s a matter of when is it going to be. I actually was just speaking with a senior official of the FDIC and he told me there’s something happening very soon, so I’m sorry to be alarmist, but I don’t know if it’s next week or next month or next year, but without strict financial oversight, we are doomed to (be victims of) financial buccaneers.

To download a copy of Public Citizen’s “Safety Glass” report and related articles, visit

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