Opinion

On Lehman Day, Elizabeth Warren Runs Against “Wall Street’s Favorite”

Consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren announced that she was running against Scott Brown for a U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts on the eve of the anniversary of the Lehman Brothers collapse. For many, Lehman's unthinkable bankruptcy September 15th, 2008 marks the day when the wheels came off the bus and the U.S. economy went over a cliff.

With 30 million Americans unemployed and underemployed, Social Security, Medicare and public workers under attack, Warren's video announcement got straight to the point.

"Middle-class families have been chipped at, hacked at, squeezed and hammered for a generation now, and I don't think Washington gets it. Washington is rigged for big corporations that hire armies of lobbyists," she continued. "A big company like GE pays nothing in taxes and we're asking college students to take on even more debt to get an education, we're telling seniors they may have to learn to live on less? It isn't right, and it's the reason I'm running for the U.S. Senate."

Would You "Like" Sewage Sludge on Facebook

Sewage sludge has a Facebook page! Only they use the PR term for sludge, biosolids, calling their page "Biosolids Buzz." Despite the attractive photo of a woman holding soil (presumably sludge) with a seedling growing in it, sludge is not "Liked" by too many other Facebookers, aside from all of the usual suspects. Kellogg Garden Products, a company that profits by selling sewage sludge as "compost," the U.S. Composting Council, a front group for the sludge industry, the U.S. EPA, which covers for toxic sludge by calling it safe and legal, and the big dog of the sludge industry, the Water Environment Federation, all "Like" this page.

Rick Perry's Texas Health Care Hoax

In his quest to win the Republican presidential nomination, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is perpetuating a convincing hoax: that implementing Texas-style tort reform would go a long way toward curing what ails the U.S. health care system.

Texas Governor Rick PerryLike his fellow GOP contenders, Perry consistently denounces "Obamacare" as "a budget-busting, government takeover of healthcare" and "the greatest intrusion on individual freedom in a generation." He promises to repeal the law if elected.

The Lewis Powell Memo: Corporate Blueprint to Dominate Democracy

The Center for Media and Democracy is reposting a new in-depth report by Greenpeace's Charlie Cray about the corporate blueprint, known as the "Powell memo," for the "corporate takeover" of public institutions through the creation of entities like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). This is part of CMD's effort to report on and gather reporting about these activities through our ALECexposed.org work. This story was originally published by Greenpeace.

Since 9/11, Koch Industries Has Fought Against Tougher Government Rules on Chemical Plants

By John Aloysius Farrell, Ben Wieder and Evan Bush

The Center for Media and Democracy is re-posting this article from John Aloysius Farrell, Ben Wieder, and Evan Bush at iWatch News, a project of the Center for Public Integrity, as part of our effort to track Koch Industries and ALEC via our ALECexposed.org project and to expose corporate spin. The original can be found here. For more, see Farrell's April 2011 article "Koch's web of influence" and Cole Goins' August 2011 article "What's it like living near a chemical plant?," both also on iWatch. To find out about chemical plants near you, download the spreadsheet of data gathered from the risk management plans that Koch files with the EPA.

Insurers Deliberately Confuse Policyholders and Dump the Sick

A couple of years ago, when Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia asked me to testify about little-known health insurance industry practices at a hearing of his Senate Commerce Committee, I initially was reluctant. I knew that if I was completely honest, my life would change forever.

What he was asking me to do was to disclose practices that have contributed to the growing number of Americans without insurance, the even faster growing number of us who are underinsured, and the phenomenal increase in insurance industry profits over the years, even as the ranks of those without coverage swelled.

Morello Returns to Union Town

Throughout the winter protests against Governor Scott Walker's labor-bashing agenda, the halls of the Wisconsin Capitol were alive with the sounds of steel drums, cowbells, and daily sing-a-longs. Eventually, a muse would emerge to channel Madison's musical energy into a powerful new protest song.

With lyrics like, "When they put the governor on trial, I will be in the front row" and "...the kids locked in the capital are fighting till the end," Tom Morello's "Union Town" became the de facto anthem for the thousands of protesters fighting the Walker agenda, who heard it almost every morning on local radio stations. On September 5th, the Rage Against the Machine frontman and labor rights advocate, will return to Madison with Tim Mcilrath of Rise Against and Wayne Kramer of Detroit's MC5 as part of their recurring Justice Tour, with all profits from their show benefitting nonprofit media center The Nation Institute.

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