This Week on Between The Lines

Posted May 13, 2015 for week ending May 22, 2015


"Not that it's unconstitutional, which is to say they didn't decide that Congress can't authorize it. They just decided that Congress hadn't authorized it and that the Patriot Act did not suffice to justify or provide a legal basis for mass surveillance."

– Shahid Buttar, executive director with the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, on the May 7 federal appeals court ruling that NSA bulk collection of Americans' phone data is illegal.

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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In Landmark Ruling, Federal Appeals Court Finds NSA Bulk Collection of Americans' Phone Data Illegal

MP3 Interview with Shahid Buttar, executive director with the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, conducted by Scott Harris


In landmark ruling on May 7, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan found that the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of Americans' phone metadata is illegal. The court said that the NSA program, first revealed by former government contractor Edward Snowden in 2013, was not authorized by Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act signed into law in the weeks following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  Story continues

Rainforest Action Network Campaign Pushes Bank of America to End Financing of Coal

MP3 Interview with Amanda Starbuck, climate and energy program director with the Rainforest Action Network Grassroots Campaign, conducted by Melinda Tuhus


Bank of America has joined several other financial institutions in the U.S. that have recently made policy decisions to stop financing coal production. The bank announced its new policy at its annual shareholders meeting on May 6 in Charlotte, North Carolina, where it's headquartered.  Story continues

One Percent of the One Percent Dominates Funding of U.S. Electoral Politics

MP3 Interview with Russ Choma, money and politics reporter with the Center for Responsive Politics, conducted by Scott Harris


The U.S. 2014 midterm election set a record as the most expensive campaign in the country’s history, where the wealthiest donors contributed 29 percent of all fundraising that political committees disclosed to the Federal Election Commission. The 2014 election also set a record for the lowest voter turnout in 72 years, where only 36.3 percent of eligible American voters cast ballots across the country. Only the 1942 election during the dark early days of World War II had a lower participation rate at 33.9 percent.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

MP3  MP3

Compiled by Bob Nixon


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