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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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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





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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.


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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.





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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.

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"The Rogue World Order: Connecting the Dots Between Trump, Flynn, Bannon, Spencer, Dugin Putin," by Anna Manzo (GlobalHealing), Daily Kos, Feb. 13, 2017

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Supreme Court Rulings in Gerrymandering Cases Will Determine U.S. Election Map

Posted Feb. 7, 2018

MP3 Interview with Steven Rosenfeld, author and writer of democracy and voting rights issues for Alternet.org, conducted by Scott Harris

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As Democrats gear up for this November’s 2018 midterm election, hoping to take over the U.S. House of Representatives and possibly the Senate, the issue of gerrymandered congressional district maps has become an ever more important issue. Back in 2010, Republicans focused their electoral effort on taking over state legislatures from coast to coast, with the prize being the right to redraw congressional district maps based on census data that is gathered every ten years.

The Republican’s “Red Map” project, as it was called, succeeded. Once the maps were redrawn to provide GOP candidates a partisan advantage, Republicans have had a lock on controlling the House of Representatives. However, in recent years, lawsuits have been filed challenging the constitutionality of partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin, Maryland and Pennsylvania.

In Pennsylvania where Republicans hold 13 of 18 congressional seats due to gerrymandered districts, a lawsuit resulted in the state Supreme Court striking down the congressional map. Republicans appealed the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, but on Feb. 5 the high court declined to hear the case. Now the GOP-controlled legislature must draw new maps by Feb. 15. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Steven Rosenfeld, who covers democracy and voting rights issues for Alternet.org. Here, he discusses the challenges to gerrymandering in Pennsylvania – and the U.S. Supreme Court’s role ruling on other important partisan gerrymandering cases that could determine which party controls Congress.

STEVEN ROSENFELD: In 2011, the Republicans in Pennsylvania – like many other states – they just went crazy. They didn't draw maps based on logical things like county lines or school districts or urban centers so that if you're a member of Congress, you represent a constituency. They went down to the neighborhood and block level using all the information that all the people now know is out there and they basically segregated the voters by party. And as a result, and this is what gerrymandering is about, the Republicans gave themselves districts where they could win with 55, 56, 57 percent of the vote based on their most reliable voters. And they made sure that the Democrats never reached those numbers. And then they took the Democrats where they were, and they made sure they would win with 65, 70 percent. So they they call it cracking and packing. And over the this last decade, there's been a ton of litigation in a lot of states, and it's just been simmering and simmering along and now, it's finally worked its way to the state Supreme Courts.

And in Pennsylvania, there was a very unusual decision. It didn't involve any federal law whatsoever and last week, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court told the state legislature, you have to redraw these maps. It violates its our state constitution. And of course, the Republicans said, "Well, we're going to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court." And the U.S. Supreme Court said, "No, we're not going to touch it."

What that means is that it's supposed to be a fast-track process where the Pennsylvania legislature is supposed to come up with new maps. And if they don't come up with new maps, then the state Supreme Court is going to have an expert – this Stanford law professor – draw the maps. And what we've seen so far – and this is what's been the pattern every other state in recent years: The Republicans have been told to redraw the maps. They're dragging their feet. They're ignoring court deadlines and they're just trying to drag out the process so that the maps that they drew initially just hold through the next election. So, it'll be really interesting to see what happens literally, in the next couple of weeks. Because it looks like the state Supreme Court in Pennsylvania is going to step on the Republicans and draw maps because they're not going to do it – "they" being the Republican legislators.

BETWEEN THE LINES: Summarize for our listeners what are the important cases that Supreme Court will hear in the coming months that will determine whether or not we see an end to this extreme partisan gerrymandering?

STEVEN ROSENFELD: Well, the biggest case comes out of Wisconsin and it concerns the state legislature. And there, the question is whether they are going to accept the standard based on what they call "wasted votes." And it's for the entire legislature, so it's not just a couple of seats. The next one that's big, the Republicans set a case where there was the one example of a Democratic gerrymander. It was in Maryland and it concerned one congressional seat; it wasn't the entire state delegation.

The next ones that come out that are really big are in Texas – there's the use of race to create the congressional districts there. But they're probably not going to issue a decision until late in the spring, which means it won't affect 2018. And the same thing is true with North Carolina, where, once again the Republican legislature was ordered by a federal court to redraw the maps and they refused, and the Supreme Court said, "OK, we'll finally take the case." So that means it freezes it.

So those are the big ones. The lower courts in North Carolina said the Republicans went after voters by race with surgical precision. That was their quote. So this what we're dealing with here.

BETWEEN THE LINES: What are the critical factors, you think at play here? I think you summarized many of them. But if you had to distill it down, what will determine if we're going to have some even playing fields in the future of American politics or whether we're going to have this rigged system for many years to come? Is it the will of progressive activists? I mean, is it courts? Is it money? What do you think it is?

STEVEN ROSENFELD: That's a really great question. I think this gerrymandering thing and map drawing is a really big thing because it's not the elephant in the living room. It's the living room. If the Republicans have a built in 6 to 8 point advantage – and these statistics just come from me, they come from the best statisticians in academics – that's a very high wall to get over. And then it becomes a question of voter turnout and the blue states, the red states, they might as well be different countries.

It's very hard to get people to register and to turn out and to vote in a lot of these red states. It's not the same as a lot of the blue states. But once again, it comes down to voter turnout on Election Day and then hoping that the process is transparent enough, so if it's close, the ballots can be verified, the vote can be verified. That's all we've got. I've been around this kind of politics for decades and this is what it basically comes back down to.

Steven Rosenfeld's forthcoming book is "Democracy Betrayed."

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