This Week on Between The Lines

Posted Feb. 8, 2012 for week ending Feb. 17, 2012


"It's the job of the public to keep the pressure on the president and other politicians to make sure justice is served. ... More than 1,000 big bankers went to jail after the savings and loan scandal."

– Richard Eskow, senior fellow with Campaign for America's Future on President Obama's move to hold big banks and Wall Street accountable for mortgage fraud that led to the nation's economic collapse.


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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After Years of Inaction, Obama Moves to Investigate Wall Street Role in Economic Collapse

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Interview with Richard Eskow, senior fellow at the group Campaign for America’s Future, conducted by Scott Harris


The film, "Inside Job," which investigated the causes of the U.S. and global economic meltdown. won the Academy Award for best documentary film in 2011. Upon accepting his Oscar at the awards ceremony, the film's director, Charles Ferguson, decried the fact that three years after the financial crisis caused by financial fraud, not a single financial executive had gone to jail. Nearly a year later, and five months after the birth of the Occupy Wall Street movement, President Barack Obama announced in his January State of the Union address that he was appointing New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman as one of five co-chairs of a new Justice Department task force to investigate mortgage fraud by big banks and financial institutions that played a central role in the economic collapse.  Story continues

Sierra Club Secretly Took $26 million from Natural Gas Industry for Campaign Against Coal-Fired Power Plants

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Interview with Bruce Hamilton, deputy executive director of the Sierra Club, conducted by Melinda Tuhus (Editor's note: At the interviewee's request, a clarification was added to the comparison of natural gas and coal.)


A blogger for Time magazine revealed on Feb. 2 that from 2007 to 2010, the Sierra Club, under former Executive Director Carl Pope, had accepted $26 million in donations from individuals and subsidiaries linked with Chesapeake Energy, one of the largest gas drilling companies in the U.S. heavily involved in the controversial drilling method known as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” The funds were donated for the express purpose of funding the environmental group’s Beyond Coal campaign. The Sierra campaign has succeeded in stopping the construction of 160 proposed coal-fired power plants and is now targeting existing coal-fired plants for closure.  Story continues

New Wave of Anti-Union Legislation Launched with Passage of Indiana "Right-to-Work" Law

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Interview with Theresa Moran, writer and organizer with Labor Notes magazine, conducted by Scott Harris


Last year’s coordinated assault on the right of public employees to collectively bargain in states like Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and others was met with protests, referendums and recall elections sponsored by unions and their allies. Wisconsin, ground zero for resistance to anti-labor legislation, is gearing up for a historic recall election against the state’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker this spring. Ohio voters overwhelmingly rejected GOP-sponsored anti-union laws in a referendum held in November.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon

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