[HIMC] BTL Summary 2-13-09: 'Herbert Hoover' Depression Era Thinking; Business Interests and the Israeli Occupation; Karl Rove Accountability
sharris at snet.net
sharris at snet.net
Thu Feb 5 22:20:37 PST 2009
Between The Lines
For The Week Ending Feb. 13, 2009
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Between The Lines
THIS WEEK'S PROGRAM
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This week we present Between The Lines' summary of under-reported news stories and:
'Herbert Hoover' Depression Era Thinking at Work
in GOP Opposition toStimulus Plan
Interview with Matthew Rothschild,
editor of the Progressive Magazine,
conducted by Scott Harris
being sworn into office on Jan. 20th, President Obama's top priority
has been to gain passage of a giant stimulus bill. The proposed
legislations, with nearly $1 trillion in spending and tax cuts is
designed, at minimum, to soften the blow of one of the worst U.S.
recessions since the Great Depression.
some concessions made to the House GOP leadership, which included a
greater percentage of tax cuts, the Democratic-controlled House
approved an $819 billion stimulus plan on Jan. 28, but without a single
Republican vote. The bill included money for job-creating
infrastructure projects, mass transit, increased funding for
unemployment benefits, health care and food stamps to assist those hard
hit by the economic downturn. The legislation now moves to the Senate
where changes are a certainty.
As the White House was
preparing to allocate the remaining $350 billion in the Troubled Asset
Relief Program (or TARP), President Obama and the nation were outraged
to learn that the financial institutions teetering on the brink of
bankruptcy and taking taxpayer bailout funds gave their top executives
$18.4 billion in year-end bonuses -- the sixth largest amount in U.S.
financial history. In reaction to the news, Sen. Claire McCaskill,
Democrat of Missouri, introduced a bill to limit compensation at any
company receiving bailout funds to $400,000 -- the salary of the
president of the United States. And Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie
Sanders is proposing that the congressional oversight panel charged
with examining the bank bailout fund should investigate the causes of
the economic collapse and be given subpoena power to do so. Between The
Lines Scott Harris spoke with Matthew Rothschild, editor of the
Progressive Magazine, who examines the politics behind the debate over
the stimulus package and the deceitful conduct of Wall Street firms
receiving billions of dollars in taxpayer money.
Read Matthew Rothschild's McCarthyism
Watch commentaries online at www.progressive.org
Corporate Economic Interests
Fuel Occupation of Palestinian Land
Interview with Dalit Baum,
project coordinator of Who Profits from the Occupation,
conducted by Melinda Tuhus
more people around the world have become aware of Israel's abuse of the
rights of Palestinians -- both with its recent attack on Gaza and its
violent, restrictive and humiliating occupation of the West Bank --
there is growing interest in targeting the economic underpinnings of
Israel's power and control.
longstanding Israeli political organization, the Coalition of Women for
Peace, has spent the past two years researching three issues related to
the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land: industries located within
the illegal settlements of the West Bank, the economic exploitation of
Palestinians, and the companies that help Israel enforce its brand of
apartheid. The group has recently launched a website called "Who
Profits from the Occupation," detailing the activities of some 200
Israeli and international companies.
Between The Lines'
Melinda Tuhus spoke with Dalit Baum, who teaches feminist theory at
Haifa University and is project coordinator for Who Profits from the
Occupation. She explains how members of her group became involved and
what their research revealed. Baum expresses hope that the website will
serve as an informational clearinghouse for individuals and groups,
inside and outside Israel, working for corporate accountability, social
justice and labor rights.
more information on the group's research on business interests in
Israel and the West Bank, call the Coalition of Women for Peace's Tel
Aviv office at 972-50-857-5728 or visit their website www.whoprofits.org
Activist Group Pushes for Karl Rove
Congressional Testimony, Accountability
Interview with Kathryn Kolbert,
president of the People for the American Way,
conducted by Scott Harris
Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., issued a subpoena
to Karl Rove, former top adviser to President Bush, demanding that he
testify before the committee on Feb. 2 about his role in the White
House firing of nine U.S. attorneys, the prosecution of former Alabama
Gov. Don Siegelman and the general politicization of the Bush
Department of Justice. But four days before President Bush left office,
then White House counsel Fred Fielding, wrote to Rove's lawyer, Robert
D. Luskin, advising him that Bush "continues to direct him not to
provide information" to Congress about the firings in 2006.
idea that former presidential advisers cannot be compelled to testify
before Congress and that former presidents have the power to invoke
executive privilege after they leave office is hotly disputed. Last
July, U.S. District Judge John Bates rejected Bush's claim that Rove,
former White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former White House
Counsel Harriet Miers did not have to comply with a congressional
subpoena. Rove's appearance to answer questions under oath in a
deposition has been re-scheduled until Feb. 23, as another federal
court in Washington considers Rove's appeal of Judge Bates' earlier
Feb. 2 Senate confirmation of President Obama's choice of Eric Holder
as U.S. attorney general provides hope that new leadership at the
Justice Department may reverse the politicization there. But Holder has
given mixed signals on his willingness to prosecute former Bush
administration officials for their participation in criminal acts.
Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Kathryn Kolbert, president
of People for The American Way, who explains why she believes it is
critical that former Bush White House officials be compelled to testify
before Congress and be held accountable for any violations of U.S. law
they may have committed in the firing of U.S. attorneys, or in other
areas of law breaking, including the authorization of torture, a war
crime under U.S. and international law.
Contact People for the American Way by calling (202) 467-4999 or visit their web site at pfaw.org
American Civil Liberties Union at www.aclu.org
Center for Constitutional Rights at www.ccr-ny.org
This week's summary
of under-reported news
Compiled by Bob Nixon
Newly declassified documents on Colombia show high-level U.S.
officials, including the CIA and U.S. ambassadors, were aware of the
Colombian Army's abuses since 1990, including activity by death squads.
("Colombia: Secret Documents Show U.S. Aware of Army Killings in 1990"
Inter Press Service, Jan. 15, 2009) The Obama economic stimulus package with funding for new
infrastructure, could tilt toward new freight rail projects reduce
America's greenhouse emissions by 38 percent, and oil consumption by 22
percent. ("Back on Tracks," Washington Monthly, January/February 2009) For the first time in 25 years, the percentage of union
membership in the active workforce has grown, driven by the number of
public sector workers. ("American Union Ranks Grow After 'Bottoming
Out,'" Washington Post, Jan. 29, 2009; "Union Membership Up Sharply in
2008, Report Says," New York Times, Jan. 29, 2009)
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