This Week on Between The Lines

Posted Nov. 7, 2012 for week ending Nov. 16, 2012

lede

"The U.S. Senate is going to be a decidedly more left-wing chamber than it was in this most recent two-year cycle. ... When you add it all up, it will still be a Democratic-controlled chamber, but the Democrats in it will be decidedly more progressive than the people who served before them."

– John Nichols, The Nation writer, on the gains of Democrats in the Senate


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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Progressive Gains in U.S. Senate Defy Pundits' Declaration of "Status Quo" Election

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Interview with John Nichols, Washington correspondent with the Nation magazine, conducted by Scott Harris

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With victories in a majority of critical swing states across the county, President Obama was re-elected to a second term. Control of both the House of Representatives and Senate remained unchanged, with Republicans holding on to the House despite the loss of several extreme right tea party-endorsed candidates and Senate Democrats picking up seats in Massachusetts and Indiana. Democratic Senate candidates elected or re-elected in hard-fought campaigns Nov. 6 included Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Chris Murphy, of Connecticut, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Tim Kaine of Virginia and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin. Progressive Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders won an overwhelming victory in Vermont.  Story continues

In Wake of Record-Breaking Spending in 2012 Election Campaign, Public May be Ready to Demand Reform

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Interview with Nick Nyhart, president and CEO of the group Public Campaign, conducted by Scott Harris

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As was predicted, the 2012 presidential election campaign broke all records for fundraising, with both the Obama and Romney campaigns collecting about $1 billion each. According the website OpenSecrets, the Romney campaign, the Republican Party and outside Super Pacs – like Karl Rove's American Crossroads – lead the campaign cash competition, spending over $989 million. President Obama’s campaign and their outside PACS trailed by a little, spending over $928 million. The enormous amount of money in this year's campaign, much of it unaccountable, was made possible by the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United vs. FEC case, which lifted restrictions on independent political expenditures.  Story continues

Iran's Civilians Bear Brunt of International Sanctions

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Interview with Joy Gordon, professor of law and philosophy at Fairfield University, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

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During the 2012 election campaign, both President Obama and his challenger Mitt Romney called for ever-tougher sanctions on Iran in an effort to prevent that country from developing a nuclear weapon. For the record, Iran denies it is working on a weapon, maintaining it is working to develop nuclear power for civilian purposes only.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon

 

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