Announcements 


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 (www.pepeace.org)about 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 ConsortiumNews.com, 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.



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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.



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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

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Between The Lines Presentation at the Left Forum 2016

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"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


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Federal Reserve to Weaken Volcker Rule, Setting Stage for Future Financial Meltdown

Posted June 6, 2018

MP3 Interview with Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate with Public Citizen, conducted by Scott Harris

volckerrule

It's been ten years since the U.S. and global economy suffered the worst decline since the Great Depression. The 2008 meltdown of the financial system provoked Congress to pass banking reform legislation under the name Dodd-Frank, which sought to decrease Wall Street's risky behavior and increase oversight. But from the day it was signed into law in 2010, Republicans have vowed to weaken or eliminate these financial regulations.

With Donald Trump in the White House and with support from Wall Street and some Democratic lawmakers, the GOP made good on that pledge. After passage in the House and Senate, Trump signed legislation on May 24 that exempts some small and regional banks from the most stringent Dodd-Frank regulations, while also loosening rules designed to prevent the future collapse of the nation's biggest banks.

Trump and the Republicans have now launched an initiative to water down another post-financial crisis regulation, the Volcker Rule, put in place to reduce banks' speculative bets with depositors' money. The Federal Reserve, along with four other federal agencies, have proposed changes to undermine the Volcker Rule. The rule, named for former Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volcker, has been criticized by Wall Street as burdensome and harmful.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Bartlett Naylor, financial policy advocate with Public Citizen, who discusses the danger he sees in the weakening of the Volcker Rule and the Trump/GOP deregulation of the U.S. banking system.

BARTLETT NAYLOR: Paul Volcker had this simple idea that everyone, including bankers agree with, that you shouldn't take government-backed, taxpayer-backed deposits which are cheap and abundant – how much do you get paid on your checking account – and use them for speculation. It should be used in a bank for making (unintelligible) loans to businesses and consumers. And he had that idea following the financial crisis, where a bunch of these speculative bets exploded into the cataclysm that we know is the 2008 financial crisis. And it became the Volcker Rule.

BETWEEN THE LINES: I think it would be useful to talk about how the Volcker Rule fits in with the overall Dodd-Frank banking regulations that came into force years after the 2008 financial crisis and rules that have since now – under the Republican Congress and under President Trump – have been diluted to a great extent. But tell us about the key role of the Volcker Rule during the post-crisis years.

BARTLETT NAYLOR: The 2010 Dodd-Frank law has about 400 separate rules in them. Most conspicuous are the rules contained in Title 10, which create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. There are many reasons that caused the housing bubble and crash, but one of them was unbridled predatory lending. And so what's (been) created was an entirely new agency, the Consumer Protection Bureau to protect against predatory lending that essentially led to this housing bubble. Within the other parts of the law were issues addressing systemic risk. That is to say banks were engaged in reckless activities. One of which was speculation using the bank's own money to make bets on a variety of things. Obtuse, complex derivatives, purchasing credit default swaps. Today, we talk about bitcoin and so forth. And in response to that, Section 619, the Volcker Rule, is one of those 400 rules that Congress enacted and while it's only I would say 600 words long in statute, the first rule that was finalized in 2013 absorbs more than 1,000 pages double-spaced and it's that 2013 rule that's being replaced by this current proposal.

BETWEEN THE LINES: I wanted to ask you what the danger is here. I've read summaries of the proposal to change the Volcker Rule and it looks like they're attempting to break up financial institutions and banks into two groups: large banks and small and medium banks, and saying that the Volcker Rule will still apply to the larger banks, but they're going to loosen restrictions on investments and speculation with the small and medium banks. What's the danger here in your view?

BARTLETT NAYLOR: JP Morgan lost $5 billion or so dollars in a few years and what's summarized as the London Whale episode, claiming it was a hedge. In fact, it was a directional bet and when the market learned about that and learned in fact the CEO's inability to understand that, they discounted JP Morgan stock by nearly 30 percent. That's the danger – that these bets can go wrong and one must understand that banks are highly leveraged. That is to say for whatever they do, they're borrowing most of the money to do it.

In other words, for every $100 that JP Morgan has put out in a loan, it borrowed $95 to do that, so somehow if that loan or that effort by JP Morgan is five percent off, JP Morgan or that bank is insolvent, loans don't go bad quickly. One, if your sales are off for that factory that you've built with borrowed money that often happens slowly. But a bet can go bad badly. So with speculation, if you lose a bet, you can wipe out the bank's capital. That is the difference between assets and liabilities and so the Volcker Rule is not only to protect the taxpayer subsidy for gambling, it's meant to protect the system and from bailouts generally.

Not only do we need to have a strong Volcker Rule, not a diluted Volcker Rule, we really need to separate banks in two completely different types of business. If you're going to have FDIC insurance, you should be completely limited in what you do with that to make business loans and consumer loans. If you want to speculate, if you want to make bets on bitcoin or engage in derivatives, you should be something completely different. An investment bank gets your money from other investors borrowed from the bond market. This is known as restoring Glass Steagall. This is the 1933 deal that both established FDIC insurance and separated commercial and investment banking, that was repealed by regulatory fiat formally in 1999 and it was less than a decade later that we had the eruption in 2008. That's what's really needed.

The Volcker Rule is an important step, but rather than watering it down, Congress really needs to pass Glass-Steagall. And interestingly enough, that was provided in their platforms in both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. Unfortunately, Trump has proved that he is going in a very different direction.

For more information on Public Citizen, visit citizen.org.

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