SPECIAL REPORT: "Tortured Logic: McGovern talks about Gina Haspel, the new CIA director"

The Resistance Round Table panel interviews former CIA analyst Ray McGovern about Gina Haspel, the new CIA director who oversaw torture after 9/11. The conversation includes discussion of the U.S. as an 'out law state,' American exceptionalism and the fight to defend net neutrality. Panel: Scott Harris, Ruthanne Baumgartner and Richard Hill (49:08) May 23, 2018

SPECIAL REPORT: "MIT Students' 'Day of Action': Understanding and Resisting Attacks on Immigrants"

Three-part excerpts from Avi Chomsky's presentations at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Day of Action on April 17. Includes a historical perspective as well as a question and answer session with immigrants. Recorded and produced by Chuck Rosina, long-time public affairs and news producer at WMBR FM, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's radio station in Cambridge, Massachusetts. April 17, 2018

SPECIAL REPORT: "MIT Students' 'Day of Action' Takes On Today's Political, Economic Challenges"

Chuck Rosina's report on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Day of Action on April 17, where members of the MIT and broader local community were given an opportunity to devote the day to engaging with the political, economic, environmental and social challenges facing us today, through learning, discussion, reflection and planning for action. Includes comments from Avi Chomsky, daughter of the renowned professor Noam Chomsky (12:58) April 17, 2018

SPECIAL REPORT: "Response to chemical attack in Syria – The priority must be the people"

The Resistance Roundtable panel discusses the U.S. missile strikes on Damascus and interviews Stan Heller from Promoting Enduring Peace ( the situation in Syria and the broader Middle East. Panel: Ruthanne Baumgartner, Scott Harris and Richard Hill. April 14, 2018

SPECIAL REPORT: "What's next for the youth movement against gun violence?"

Tyler Suarez, lead organizer of the March for Our Lives demo in Hartford, CT on March 24, assesses the event attended by 10,000 and discusses the agenda for the youth movement going forward. Interviewed by Richard Hill.

SPECIAL REPORT: "March for Our Lives - Hartford, Connecticut" March 24, 2018

Selected speeches from the March for Our Lives in Hartford, Connecticut, recorded and produced by Scott Harris

Panel Discussion: Privatization v. Public Good and the Upcoming March for Our Lives on March 24

SPECIAL REPORT: Organized Labor: Resurgent or On the Ropes?

SPECIAL REPORT: Neoliberalism Comes Home: Connecticut's Water Under Privatization Threat

SPECIAL REPORT: Can There Be Food Justice Under Capitalism?

SPECIAL REPORT: Resistance Round Table – Feb. 10, 2018

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.

Thank you for donating

If you've made a donation and wish to receive thank you gifts for your donation, be sure to send us your mailing address via our Contact form.

See our thank you gifts for your donation.

The Resistance Starts Now!

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

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

SPECIAL REPORT: "Resistance Round Table: The Unraveling Continues..." Jan. 13, 2018

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

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

SPECIAL REPORT: John Allen, Out in New Haven

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 to receive our "Resist Trump/Resist Hate" car window cling!


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


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.

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 (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!

Supreme Court To Hear Pivotal Case on Partisan Gerrymandering

Posted Sept. 20, 2017

MP3 Interview with Drew Spencer Penrose, legal and and policy director with the group FairVote, conducted by Scott Harris


While Donald Trump emerged as a victor in the 2016 presidential election by winning the majority of Electoral College delegates, he lost the popular vote to his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton by nearly 3 million ballots. One of the critical states in determining Trump’s narrow victory was Wisconsin, which he won by less than 1 percent of votes cast. Yet, Trump led Clinton in 63 of the state’s 99 Assembly districts and 23 of the state’s 33 state Senate districts.

The votes of Wisconsin Democrats are less powerful than that of Republicans because of the way in which legislative maps are drawn, where Democratic voters are packed into fewer districts. That produces results where the GOP, whatever its share of the vote in statewide races for president or governor, are likely to win a much higher share of legislative seats. The drawing of legislative district maps to provide an advantage to one party over another is known as partisan gerrymandering.

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in an important case known as Gill v. Whitford this October, which challenges partisan gerrymandering. The case reached the Supreme Court after Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker appealed a November 2016 three-judge federal panel ruling that ordered Wisconsin’s legislature to redraw the state assembly map due to what it found to be unconstitutional partisan gerrymandering. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Drew Spencer Penrose, legal and and policy director with the group FairVote. Here, Penrose talks about the importance of this case and possible remedies to prevent partisan manipulation of legislative district maps. [Rush transcript]

DREW SPENCER PENROSE: So what partisan gerrymandering is, in this particular case, when one political party draws district lines in a way to maximize the number of seats they'll get, and minimize the number of seats that an opponent party will get. And in Wisconsin, it's Republicans – it actually has been more Republicans than Democrats mostly because Republicans control more state legislatures than Democrats. It's not just a Republican problem.

In fact, a very similar case is coming out of Maryland, where Democrats pretty openly gerrymandered the state in favor of Democratic candidates. The way that they do it, really goes to the heart of the case. And that is, that, if you can take district and draw it around a lot of Democratic voters, really pack in the Democratic voters, then the Democratic candidate in that district will win with like 70 or 80 percent of the vote. And basically that means that a lot of the votes were wasted on a candidate that was going to win anyway.

And then the other thing you can do is draw districts so that the Democratic can't possibly win. So, if Democrats are 40 percent of the district then all of those votes are essentially as well, but they can't help elect a candidate. And so, if you measure these wasted votes and say are there more wasted votes for Democrats than there are for Republicans? Then that means that Republicans' votes are more efficient. They're actually more powerful than Democratic votes. And that's really what partisan gerrymandering is in this case. It's where you strategically draw these districts in order to make one group of voters most powerful and make another group of voters make their votes very not powerful.

And this case is arguing that that is unconstitutional. It's not the first time that people have tried to make this case. However, it's been very really difficult to get courts to buy into any particular theory of how you determine when this is has happened and when it hasn't, because it's something that can happen just sort of naturally. The people drawing the district lines will be trying to group communities of interest and that sort of thing. The system isn't really designed to create a fair representation. It's a winner take all system and so, sometimes that creates disparities on its own and of course, I've been really hesitant to jump in and try to adjudicate these. But this one's really different. It's a really extreme case of partisan gerrymandering. A really clear case. And what they have that's different from prior cases is that have developed a test, a very simple mathematical test for how you determine if a state is really very lopsided.

And that's what Justice Kennedy has asked for before in prior cases where theories like this have failed. He's asked for a clear test and this time they have one. So, it's a really interesting time. In this case it's before justices who are now on the court who are considered liberal, vote the same ways before them, which I think most people expect that they will and if Justice Kennedy is convinced, then that will be a five-justice majority and that'll be the first case to strike down a partisan gerrymander.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Could you explain to our audience some of the methods that you and your organization favor for determining district maps across the country, state by state that won't skew the electorate in a way that gives one party or the other party a partisan advantage?

DREW SPENCER PENROSE: So, I was talking about wasted votes earlier, that's how gerrymandering is done. It's by manipulating wasted votes. The method that we think it really the best for the United States is called ranked choice voting. If you apply ranked choice voting to a five-winner election, then the number of wasted votes necessarily goes down almost to zero. So of course, the number of wasted votes will be the same between the Democrats and the Republicans because it will be zero. If there are no wasted votes, then there's no disparity in wasted votes. We've had a proposal that we call the Fair Representation Act, which is a model proposal for electing Congress in multi-winner districts, with ranked choice voting. This year in June, our representative, John Beyer from Virginia, actually introduced it as a bill. So there's a bill in Congress right now, HR 3057, that would elect all of Congress from multi-winner districts with ranked choice voting. That would effectively end gerrymandering for all of Congress.

For more information on electoral reform, visit

Related Links:

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