Announcements 

Many Ways to Support Between The Lines' Bringing Progressive Voices to More Listeners

With Google's, Facebook's and the Trump administration's attacks on "fake news" that threaten long-standing, independent media resources like Between The Lines, we are facing new challenges. From keeping up with technological changes, to the the FCC plans to dismantle Net Neutrality and allow right-wing Sinclair TV (aka "Trump TV") in 72 percent of U.S. households, we need your support as we continue to raise another $1000 by the end of this year.

Please donate now to help keep progressive voices and viewpoints on the airwaves. See our thank you gifts for your donation.



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



The Resistance Starts Now!

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


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 contact@btlonline.org to receive our "Resist Trump/Resist Hate" car window cling!


THANK YOU TO EVERYONE...

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

stitcher

Between The Lines Presentation at the Left Forum 2016

inequality
"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 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

"The Rogue World Order: Connecting the Dots Between Trump, Flynn, Bannon, Spencer, Dugin Putin," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Feb. 13, 2017

"Widespread Resistance Begins to Trump's Muslim Travel Ban at U.S. Airports," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Jan. 28, 2017

"MSNBC Editor: Women's March is a Revival of the Progressive Movement," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Jan. 24, 2017

"Cornering Trump," by Reginald Johnson, Jan. 19, 2017

"Free Leonard Peltier," by Reginald Johnson, Jan. 6, 2016

"For Natives, a "Day of Mourning"by Reginald Johnson, November 23, 2016

"A Bitter Harvest" by Reginald Johnson, Nov. 15, 2016


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!


Campaign to Convene Constitutional Convention Jeopardizes Americans' Fundamental Rights and Values

Posted March 22, 2017

MP3 Interview with Jay Riestenberg, campaigns & states media strategist with Common Cause, conducted by Scott Harris

constitution

A well-funded campaign by conservative groups calling for a constitutional convention to enact a balanced budget amendment has flown under the radar of most of America. Now, the effort to convene such a convention under Article V of the U.S. Constitution is within striking distance of gaining the required number of states to succeed. If only six more states sign on, proponents of a convention will have the 34 states needed to hold the first constitutional convention since the original convention of states drafted the U.S. Constitution in 1787.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, dozens of states adopted calls for an Article V convention to propose a balanced budget amendment, but concerns about the potential of a runaway convention led more than 12 states to rescind their endorsement of the effort. More recently, the state of New Mexico rescinded their original 1979 call for a convention, due to the unpredictable direction of a new convention that could eliminate current constitutional rights and protections, influenced by wealthy conservative and corporate interests.

Although some progressive activists favor holding a convention to overturn the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United ruling that opened up U.S. election campaigns to unlimited and unaccountable money in politics, the primary advocate for a convention has come from Republicans and right-wing special interest groups, including the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, which is funded by multibillionaires such as energy and chemical industry magnates Charles and David Koch, who have a combined net worth of over $95 billion, slightly larger than the state budget of Florida. Between The Line’s Scott Harris spoke with Jay Riestenberg, campaigns & states media strategist with Common Cause, who explains why his group and others strongly oppose the effort to call a constitutional convention. [Rush transcript.]

JAY RIESTENBERG: Under Article V of the U.S., there's basically two ways to amend the Constitution. The first way, which has always been used, is you get two-thirds of each chamber in Congress to pass the amendment and then it goes to the state and 38 states, or three-fourths of the states have to ratify it. And throughout our 230-year constitutional history, that's always how we've been able to amend the Constitution.

For about the last 50 years or so, there has been an effort underway by conservative groups who have been pushing for a new constitutional convention – the other way to amend the Constitution under Article V. And that's when you can get two-thirds of the states, or 34 state legislatures to call for a convention. And today, we're frighteningly close to getting to that, as conservative groups such the American Legislative Exchange Council – a corporate lobbying group that does a lot of its work in secret – now have. They claim 28 states on the record calling for a convention.

The problem with calling an Article V convention for one reason, which is what most groups are doing, is (that the groups claim) that it only needs to be about one issue. So what that means is they call an Article V convention to enact a balanced budget amendment. (But) anything can be brought up, anything from restricting the 1st Amendment, to repealing Supreme Court decisions around marriage equality and health care and immigration and abortion access, to restricting privacy rights and voting rights. So in theory, under an Article V convention, everyone's constitutional rights and civil liberties could be up for grabs.

BETWEEN THE LINES: From my understanding, this is maybe the closest the nation has been to actually, in reality calling one these conventions.

JAY RIESTENBERG: So actually, it takes 34 states to call a convention, or two-thirds of the states, which is 34. In the late 1970s and 1980s, we were dangerously close as we are now with about 30 or 31 states, and all of sudden state legislatures realized that this was a really bad and dangerous idea. So states started to rescind them. And what we've seen over the last 10 years is a renewed effort by conservative groups, Koch brother-funded groups, to start this process again. And so, today, most people agree, we're at 28 states, meaning only 6 states away from calling a convention. Now that's scary on its face, but what's even scarier – since this is being pushed by conservative, mostly Republicans – is that there are currently eight Republican-controlled states that do not have a application on the books. So the numbers are really in the special interest groups who are wanting to call a conventions favor.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Now what is your organization or other groups that are opposed to convening such a convention doing to actually turn the tide in the other direction. You might also mention the fact that the state of New Mexico has rescinded their original endorsement of such a convention.

JAY RIESTENBERG: Yeah, that's right. It was a great win. So, what us and other groups, both on the right and the left are doing, we're educating the public and talking to lawmakers and we're really seeing reaction from those Republican and Democrats about how bad of an idea this is, and seeing bipartisan support to stopping this. So Common Cause is really focused on rescinding some of these older calls. You mentioned New Mexico. This was a coalition led by Common Cause and some other groups in New Mexico working to rescind it, which is why we're at 28 versus 29. We were at 29 last week and luckily New Mexico rescinded. We're looking to do similar things in Maryland, Nevada, and Colorado. We did this last year in Delaware. Unfortunately, I think the numbers still are in the other side's favor. So we will definitely have to look at legal arguments we can make. A lot of these applications they call live include 28 older applications passed in the 1970s and 1980s, so there are some legal questions on whether these applications are still valid.

For more information, visit Common Cause at commoncause.org.

Related Links:



Subscribe and get Between The Lines' Weekly Summary in your inbox!