This Week on Between The Lines

Posted July 13, 2011 for week ending July 22, 2011

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"(Obama) is signing on to a great many cuts & austerity measures that are widely opposed by the public."

-- Richard Eskow, senior fellow with the group Campaign for America's Future, recalling how Obama had been planning to announce Social Security cuts in his State of the Union address and backed off when the White House and Congress were deluged with angry letters, emails and phone calls


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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Obama Adopts GOP Agenda, Offers Deep Cuts in Social Safety Net Programs to Get Debt Ceiling Budget Deal

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Interview with Richard Eskow, senior fellow with Campaign for America's Future, conducted by Scott Harris

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With the clock ticking toward an Aug. 2 deadline to raise the current $14.3 trillion U.S. debt ceiling, White House and congressional negotiators have yet to come up with a deal to avert what most economists agree would be a disaster for the American and world economy. Last week, President Obama and GOP Speaker of the House John Boehner, reached an impasse on a deal they were negotiating behind closed doors that would have reduced the federal debt by $4 trillion over ten years. Although Obama had agreed to make substantial cuts to social safety net programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, Boehner was unable to get support from his House Republican caucus to end tax breaks for the wealthy and take away tax subsidies from profitable big businesses, including the oil industry.  Story continues

Native Americans Win $3.4 Billion Settlement for U.S. Government's Mismanagement of Millions of Acres of Land

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Interview with Elliott Levitas, attorney with the law firm Kilpatrick Townsend and Stockton, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

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After 15 years of litigation, a monumental class action lawsuit regarding trust accounts for half a million Native Americans was settled on June 20 by Judge Thomas Francis Hogan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Elouise Cobell, a member of the Blackfeet tribe, was the lead plaintiff in an effort to end the abuse, mismanagement and outright fraud that resulted from the U.S. government’s control of 100 million acres of land and its natural resources that were held in trust for individual native Americans after passage of the Dawes Act in 1887. Initially, the federal government denied all these claims, asserting it had no legal responsibility and owed nothing to the native American litigants.  Story continues

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s Battle with Cancer Raises Questions About Future of His Bolivarian Revolution

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Interview with Eva Golinger, attorney and editor-in-chief of Correo del Orinoco International, conducted by Scott Harris

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After spending several weeks in Cuba without explanation, Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez announced to his nation and the world that he’s battling cancer. The outspoken socialist head of state was first treated for pelvic abscesses in Havana during an official visit to Cuba in June. After initial surgery, doctors discovered and removed a cancerous tumor. The 56-year-old Chavez returned to Caracas on July 4, quashing rumors spread by his opponents that he had died or was terminally ill.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon

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