This Week on Between The Lines

Posted Aug. 3, 2011 for week ending Aug. 12, 2011


"They were going to force the country to default. ... We averted a huge shutdown. ... This was the big cahuna of hostage taking."

-- David Johnson, a fellow at the Campaign for America's Future, on the extortion-like negotiating tactics of the extreme right-wing of the Republican party since President Obama took office, this time instigating a deficit crisis to protect tax breaks for the wealthy and make cuts to the social safety net for the middle-class and poor

Listen to the entire program using these links, or to individual interviews via the links appearing prior to each segment description below.

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GOP Extortion Forces Deep Budget Cuts with No Tax Increases on the Wealthy

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Interview with Dave Johnson, fellow at Campaign for America's Future, conducted by Scott Harris


In an unprecedented political act, congressional Republicans, driven by their right-wing tea party members, successfully used the nation’s need to raise the debt ceiling to extort historic cuts in the federal budget. The deal, passed by the House and Senate and signed by President Obama on the deadline date of Aug. 2, would raise the debt ceiling by $2.1 trillion in two steps and cuts $2.5 trillion from the budget over the next 10 years.  Story continues

Bloomberg Philanthropies' $50 Million Gift to Sierra Club Expands Group's "Beyond Coal" Campaign

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Interview with Bruce Nilles, deputy conservation director at Sierra Club, conducted by Melinda Tuhus


On July 21, Bloomberg Philanthropies, funded by New York City mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg, announced a gift of $50 million to the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, an effort which has succesfully blocked the building of 153 proposed coal-fired power plants in the U.S. since 2002. With Bloomberg’s gift, the Sierra Club will be able to double their staff to almost 200 employees – and expand their campaign from 15 to 45 states, including the District of Columbia.  Story continues

Norwegian Anti-Islamic Mass Murderer Influenced by American Christian Right Extremists

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Interview with Chip Berlet, senior analyst with Political Research Associates, conducted by Scott Harris


Anders Behring Breivik, the confessed perpetrator in last month’s bombing of Norway’s government buildings in Oslo and a shooting rampage at a Labor party youth camp that killed 77 people and wounded nearly 100, was motivated by his hatred of Muslim immigrants. In a 1,500-page manifesto published on the Internet just before Breivik launched his terrorist attacks, the mass murder suspect declares that his violent operation of July 22 was planned for two years in order to help halt the “Islamization” of Norway and Europe.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon

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