This Week on Between The Lines

Posted June 1, 2011 for week ending June 10, 2011

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"Talking about (reducing) deficits is an ideological agenda aimed at turning this country into a dog-eat-dog society for the benefit of the wealthy."


-- Damon Silvers, policy director with the AFL-CIO on the Republican party's focus on austerity measures to reduce the deficit and turn Medicare and Medicaid into a voucher system, rather than create jobs


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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Will Democrats Stand and Fight or Surrender to GOP Plan to Dismantle Medicare?

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Interview with Damon Silvers, policy director with the AFL-CIO, conducted by Scott Harris

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When the Republican-controlled House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed Wisconsin GOP Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal that would have dismantled Medicare and defunded Medicaid, many inside-the-beltway journalists and media pundits praised the legislation as bold, innovative and courageous. But when the public learned more details about the measure, which would transform Medicare from a program that pays the medical bills of senior citizens over 65 years of age into a voucher system that provides inadequate subsidies to purchase private insurance coverage, public sentiment quickly soured. Republican legislators who voted for the bill were soon confronted by angry constituents who were anxious that the government programs they value and depend on would soon disappear.  Story continues

U.S. Senate Defeats Plan to Eliminate Billions of Dollars in Big Oil Tax Subsidies

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Interview with Ben Schreiber, climate and energy tax analyst with Friends of the Earth, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

bigoil

Last month, the U.S. Senate -- including three Democrats -- defeated a proposal by President Obama that would have eliminated tax breaks for the nation’s five largest oil companies: Exxon Mobil, BP, Chevron, Shell and Conoco-Phillips. Opponents asserted that the loss of federal subsidies would cost jobs. Obama and his allies had urged passage of the legislation, maintaining that while Big Oil is making record profits and Americans are paying around $4 a gallon at the pump, they shouldn’t also be required to support these companies with their tax dollars.  Story continues

Ousted President Zelaya Returns to Honduras as Repression Continues

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Interview with Dana Frank, professor of history at the University of California, Santa Cruz , conducted by Scott Harris

honduras

After nearly two years of living in exile following the June 28 2009 coup which overthrew his government, former Honduran President Manuel Zelaya returned to his nation on May 28th. The agreement which allowed for Zelaya’s return, negotiated by the governments of Venezuela, Colombia and current Honduran President Porfirio Lobo, dropped fraud charges lodged against Zelaya, permitted a future plebiscite on constitutional reform and cleared the way for the readmission of Honduras to the Organization of American States, which lost it’s membership after the coup.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon

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