This Week on Between The Lines

Posted Oct. 16, 2013 for week ending Oct. 25, 2013


"We're now debating things, we're worrying about things that we never worried about before. The reason that's happening is because the wealthiest people in America, the most powerful people in America spend a lot of money on campaigns, on lobbying, messaging and media to create a circumstance where what we talk about is what they want us to talk about. And that's a very unhealthy circumstance."

– Interview with John Nichols, Washington correspondent with the Nation magazine, on how fringe political groups – backed by wealthy conservative ideologues – are attempting to dominate public discourse and set their legislative agendas

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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Unregulated Money and Decline of Independent Journalism Empowered Fringe Groups to Close Federal Government

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


With the government shutdown entering its third week and the threat of default on the national debt looming, Senate Democratic and Republican leaders came together to propose a deal, that if accepted by legislators in the GOP-controlled House, would fund the government through Jan. 15 and raise the nation's borrowing authority through Feb. 7. But members of the “Tea Party” faction in the House initially rejected the Senate solution to the crisis and were preparing to vote on their own proposal to end the political impasse.  Story continues

In Midst of Government Shutdown, Immigration Rights Activists Continue to Pressure Congress to Adopt Comprehensive Immigration Reform

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Interview with Christian Ramírez, director of the U.S.-Mexico Border Program of AFSC, conducted by Scott Harris


Although the nation’s attention is focused on the political conflict in Washington that led to the government shutdown and concern about default resulting from inaction on raising the U.S. debt ceiling, immigrant rights activists continue to push for immigration reform legislation. Due to the shutdown, forward motion on most legislative efforts have been stalled, but eight members of Congress made the decision to be arrested with 200 other activists in front of the Capitol building on Oct. 8 in order to draw attention back to the immigration reform debate.  Story continues

Health Hazards Fuel Opposition Against Wisconsin Taconite Mine

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Interview with Frank Koehn, president of the Penokee Hills Education Project, conducted by Melinda Tuhus


The largest proposed mine in the history of the state of Wisconsin has generated opposition across a broad spectrum of the state’s citizens. If given the green light, the iron ore mine in the Penokee Hills near Lake Superior would produce taconite, a mineral used in the steel-making industry. The project is being promoted by Gogebic Taconite, or G-TAC, a company whose owners made large campaign contributions to influential Wisconsin state legislators in their successful effort to change state law to allow the mine to proceed. These regulatory changes were made despite the fact that independent scientific analyses have shown the ore to be mined contains high levels of asbestos, a substance that when inhaled increases the risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma and other respiratory diseases including asbestosis.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon


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