This Week on Between The Lines

Posted Oct. 9, 2013 for week ending Oct. 18, 2013

lede

"(The government shutdown is a) strategy sponsored by the Koch brothers, who poured $200 million into this campaign, according to the New York Times. So it was a top-down affair not a bottom-up affair, and I think it's going to hurt the Republicans. It's effectively Republican child abuse."

– Interview with Matthew Rothschild, senior editor and publisher of the Progressive magazine, on how the shutdown is hurting the most vulnerable population by withholding payments to government programs such as Head Start and Women, Infants and Children (WIC)


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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Koch Brothers-Financed GOP Government Shutdown Hurts the Nation's Most Vulnerable

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Interview with Matthew Rothschild, senior editor and publisher of the Progressive magazine, conducted by Scott Harris

shutdown

As the shutdown of the U.S. government, provoked by the Republican majority in the House of Representatives entered its second week, the impact of the closure of federally-funded programs was being felt across the country. While the nation’s corporate media focused attention on the disappointment of families having to cancel vacation plans in national parks or visits to war memorials, the closure of critical federal programs that assist and feed poor children and the elderly were by and large being ignored.  Story continues

New Study Exposes the Staggering Environmental Cost of Mountaintop Removal Coal

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Interview with Brian Lutz, assistant professor of biogeochemistry at Kent State University, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

MTR

Until now, the environmental costs attributed to mining or drilling for different forms of energy – especially fossil fuels like oil, natural gas, and coal – have not been included in the price of these energy resources. These costs are what are called "externalities," and until they are added into the price, this is one of several ways that fossil fuels have an unfair advantage over renewable energy sources  Story continues

McCutcheon v. FEC Case Before Supreme Court Could Further Erode Campaign Finance Reform Laws

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Interview with Scott Nelson, an attorney with the Public Citizen Litigation Group, conducted by Scott Harris

FEC

The 2010 Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission case opened the floodgates to record amounts of unlimited and anonymous corporate campaign cash in U.S. election campaigns. The 2012 Presidential and Congressional election witnessed record-breaking expenditures of more than $7 billion. On Oct. 8, Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments in the McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission case. The suit was launched by Alabama businessman Shaun McCutcheon and the Republican National Committee, who are challenging the current limit on the total amount of campaign contributions that a donor can give directly to candidates and political parties in a single election. The current maximum amount an individual can give to candidates, political parties and political action is $123,200 per two-year election cycle. However, if the justices rule in favor of the plaintiff in this case, campaign contributions could total more than $3.5 million to one candidate and $7 million to both parties in a single federal election cycle.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon

 

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