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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending Nov. 29, 2002


LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below. MP3 files available until Dec. 4, 2002.

This week we present Between The Lines' summary of under-reported news stories and:

After Election Defeat,
Will Democrats Rebuild or Retreat?

Interview with Karen Dolan,
of the Institute for Policy Studies
conducted by Scott Harris

In the aftermath of the Democrat's 2002 election defeat, many inside and outside the party are assessing the nation's political climate and considering new strategies for connecting with voters. By all accounts the Democrats, who lost control of the Senate and saw their membership decline in the House, were unfocused in confronting a popular president and had no unified message going into the Congressional election. Some conservative Democratic candidates who had supported Bush policies on tax cuts and war with Iraq, lost their seats -- underscoring criticism that a strategy of embracing the GOP agenda was a losing proposition.

Shortly after the election, California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, a member of the Progressive Caucus, was elected to become the Democrat's minority leader (replacing Dick Gephardt, D-Mo.) in the House -- the first woman to hold the leadership position of a major political party. But shortly after becoming minority leader, Pelosi voted for the Bush administration's proposal to establish a Department of Homeland Security loaded with perks for corporations, legislation she once opposed. This flip-flop concerned many progressive activists who are working to establish a more principled and resolute opposition to the Bush policy agenda.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Karen Dolan, co-director of the Institute for Policy Studies' Progressive Challenge Project, who assesses the Democrats' dismal showing in the 2002 Congressional election and the future direction of the party.

Contact the Institute for Policy Studies' Progressive Challenge Project by calling (202) 234-9382 or visit their Web site at

Related link: Institute for Policy Studies Web site,

U.S. Peace Movement is the One Force
that Can Deter War with Iraq

Interview with Geov Parrish,
a journalist with the Seattle Weekly
conducted by Scott Harris

With United Nations weapons inspectors now on the ground in Iraq, the world holds its collective breath to see how the Bush administration will react, given its stated goal of overthrowing the government of Saddam Hussein. Ambiguous language in the resolution re-establishing weapons inspections in Iraq -- unanimously approved by the 15-member Security Council -- could, in the view of the White House, provide cover for a future U.S. invasion. What would constitute such a "trigger," for war, however, is a still an unanswered question.

But, with administration officials busy making their war plans and key members of Congress predicting that a conflict is imminent, the outlook for a peaceful resolution of this confrontation is bleak. Undaunted by the odds, peace groups around the globe have staged impressive demonstrations, especially in Europe, against a future U.S. strike. In a show of strength that even surprised organizers, an estimated half a million people protested the Bush drive for war in Florence, Italy on Nov. 9. Here in the U.S., 100,000 opposed to a war with Baghdad marched in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 26th in a demonstration largely ignored by the corporate press.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Geov Parrish, a journalist with the Seattle Weekly, who considers the strengths and weaknesses of the new peace movement which has developed in the U.S. in recent months to oppose the White House drive for war with Iraq.

Geov Parrish, a journalist with the Seattle Weekly, is a regular contributor to publications such as In These Times, Alternet and Read Geov Parrish's article "The Peace Movement Lives" online at

Bush Administration, Working with Auto Industry,
Attacks California's Clean Air Standards

Interview with Daniel Becker,
of the Sierra Club
conducted by Melinda Tuhus.

California, because of the size of its market and the severity of its air pollution, has been allowed by the federal government to set its own requirements for automobiles sold in the state. The legislature recently passed a law requiring that ten percent of the vehicles sold in the state between 2003 and 2008 must be electric or zero-emission.

The auto industry responded by going to court to try to overturn this rule, arguing that it violated federal law. On Oct. 9 the Bush administration filed a brief in support of the auto industry's claim. Environmental activists point out that before going to the White House, Bush's chief of staff Andrew Card was the head lobbyist for General Motors, one of the plaintiffs in the current case.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Daniel Becker, director of the Sierra Club's Global Warming and Energy Campaign, about the collaboration between the auto industry and the Bush administration. He also discusses the impact a rollback in the clean car requirements would have on air quality, and proposals the Sierra Club has made to encourage auto-makers to produce cleaner cars.

Contact the Sierra Club by calling (202) 547-1141 or visit their Web site at

This week's summary
of under-reported news

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • U.S. is working on a new generation of biotech weapons that may violate international treaties on biological and chemical weapons. ("U.S. has secret bio-weapons programme," Guardian Weekly, Oct. 31, 2002)
  • AIDS activists have put pressure on Coca-Cola and its distributors to provide full health care coverage for its workers in Africa. ("Can Coke Prevent AIDS?," The Nation, Oct. 24, 2002)
  • Political violence on the rise against peasants in Chiapas, Mexico. ("Murder in Chiapas," In These Times, Nov. 11, 2002)

Senior news editor/writer: Bob Nixon
Program narration: Sasha Summer Cousineau
News reader: Denise Manzari
Segment producer: Melinda Tuhus
Distribution: Anna Manzo, Harry Minot, Jeff Yates
Web editor/producer: Anna Manzo
Executive producer: Scott Harris

... MORE ...

Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 11/22/02

March on Washington, D.C. Against the War with Iraq, Oct. 26

For more information, see

IMF/World Bank and Anti-Iraq War Protest Interviews, Teach-Ins Sept. 27-29,2002 Interviews with Mary Bull, Medea Benjamin, Ralph Nader in D.C. (in MP3 format) Others to follow on our website.

"Stopping Water Privatizers at Home and Abroad," Part 1 Featuring Clemente Martinez and Rudolf Amenga-Etego on campaigns in Nicaragua and Ghana. In RealAudio.

Energy Standoff in Central Asia

"Bush Fuels Oil Conspiracy Theory," by Ted Rall,, Jan. 10, 2002

"Pipeline Politics: Oil, The Taliban and the Political Balance of Central Asia," World Press Review Special Report

"The New Great Game: Oil Politics in Central Asia" by Ted Rall,, October 11, 2001,

Economic Globalization Resources

ZNet's Global Economic Crisis resource site Excellent source for understanding global economics and trade issues in preparation for ongoing demonstrations about economic justice

Multi-Ethnic Public Issues Advocacy

Dr. Earl Ofari Hutchinson's Commentaries, The Hutchinson Report

Between The Lines' 10th Anniversary CD


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