This Week on Between The Lines

Posted Nov. 14, 2012 for week ending Nov. 23, 2012

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"When labor does not have its own voice, when it's not perceived as being the voice for economic justice for workers as opposed to just economic justice only for its own members, then it is in a very defensive position. And that must change."

– Bill Fletcher Jr., social justice activist on why Democratic candidates have taken labor and its top priorities for granted


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 Delivering Critical Votes for Obama and Democrats, Labor Now Moves on Post-Election Agenda

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Interview with Bill Fletcher Jr., labor and social justice activist, conducted by Scott Harris

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The Democratic Party victories from the presidency on down to critical House and Senate races in the 2012 election, were in no small part made possible by the strong support of the nation’s labor unions. By one estimate earlier this year, unions were prepared to spend more than $400 million to help re-elect President Barack Obama and support Democratic congressional candidates. The coordinated Republican state-by-state assault on the right of public sector labor unions to bargain collectively made the outcome of this year’s election campaign a high priority for unions and their members.  Story continues

Republican "War on Women" Provokes Backlash at Polls and Key Victories for Progressive Candidates

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Interview with Terry O'Neill, president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), conducted by Scott Harris

women

Continuing a trend over recent national elections, women played a central role in determining winners and losers in the 2012 U.S. presidential campaign. According to a CNN exit poll, 55 percent of women voted for Barack Obama, while only 44 percent voted for Mitt Romney. Men preferred Romney by a margin of 52 to 45 percent. With women making up 54 percent of the electorate, the gender gap in the Nov. 6 election added up to 18 percent – a significantly wider margin than the 12-point gender gap in the 2008 election. However, exit polls found that white women favored Mitt Romney by 56-42 percent, an increase of 3 percent over their support for John McCain in the 2008 election.  Story continues

California Launches Landmark Cap-and-Trade Program with Auction of Greenhouse Gas Pollution Permits

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Interview with Sally Bingham, Episcopal priest, founder of Interfaith Power and Light, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

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Under California's ground-breaking global warming legislation, Assembly Bill 32, carbon pollution allowances will be auctioned off for the first time on Nov. 14. The law requires the state's biggest power generators and industries to either reduce their greenhouse gas emissions or buy permits to pay for their pollution. Together, these sectors account for about 85 percent of California’s greenhouse-gas emissions, and the program’s goal is to reduce emissions 15 percent by 2020. Although several Northeastern states initiated a compact a few years ago called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI (Reggie), it applies only to pollution generated by electric utilities, whereas the California program is much broader. Six other states had originally planned to join California in a Western states initiative, but all have since dropped out.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon

 

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