Gary Gensler, chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), has such a complicated job that he even has trouble explaining it to his mother.
Speaking today to a room full of activists and reporters as part of Public Citizen’s 40th anniversary speaker series, Gensler was asked about translating the jargon of the complex world of derivatives and the CFTC and making it accessible to the average person. He admitted that it’s hard to do, even when talking to his own family.
“My 84-year-old mother asks me, ‘What do you do down there?’ ” Gensler said, smiling.
The best way he can describe it, he said, is that the CFTC is “the cop on the beat.”
In Public Citizen’s prescription database you will find bisphosphonate drugs like Fosomax listed as a useful drug but with a qualifier for “limited use.” As is often the case, Big Pharma would love to have doctors writing prescriptions until their hands fell off. However, as Public Citizen continues to advocate– no drug, no matter how good, is a panacea and the use of “qualifiers” is not mere semantics– it is a patient’s “right to know.” a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that while bisphosphonate drugs are a wise move for many women, others with osteopenia, a less severe level of bone thinning may want to consider their options. As reported on NPR’s “Morning Edition,”
“We should not be so ready to put patients on these drugs as soon as their bone density starts dropping,” says Schneider, who is [herself] a plaintiff in one of more than 150 lawsuits filed against Merck, the maker of Fosamax, involving atypical fractures.
We are now having a major dispute about what kind of society America should be.
Right now, the flashpoint in this controversy is Wisconsin, where tens of thousands of people are demonstrating every day in an effort to block Governor Scott Walker’s plan to all but end collective bargaining rights for public employees.
But the debate is a national one. The Wisconsin showdown is only the first in a whole series of pending state conflicts. And, over the next 10 days, a corporate-friendly Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives may decide to shut down the federal government.
The clashes in Wisconsin and other states, and in Washington, D.C., are dressed up in the language of budget debates. But these debates have nothing to do with “fiscal responsibility.” They are about what kind of society we want.
Do we want government to provide vital services, or exacerbate inequality? Should we have strong protections for health, safety, the environment and economic stability, or should giant corporations be free to impose their rules on the rest of us? Will we protect the right of workers to join together in unions, or will we permit private and public employers to drive down wages in the interest of generating more profits or lowering taxes for corporations and the wealthy?
In ever-growing arms race, Democrats are building Super PAC
High-level Democrats are creating Majority PAC designed to be a super-sized political action committee (PAC) that can raise unlimited amounts of money to support and attack candidates and thereby influence Senate races in 2010. It will go toe-to-toe with the Patriot Majority PAC, a similar Republican third-party spending vehicle.
Mark your calendars for March 1
On Tuesday, The Story of Stuff Project will release “The Story of Citizens United,” an eight-minute animated video that will explain clearly the issues around the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court case Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and why we need a constitutional amendment to overturn it. The decision gave corporations the green light to spend unlimited amounts of money to sway elections. Look for our email Tuesday with a link to watch the movie!
This is the question accidental documentary film maker set forth to answer as he traveled the U.S. investigating the impact of hydraulic fracking. This quest led him to discover a lot of alarming things and find himself and his film, “Gasland” nominated for an Oscar.
Many in the natural gas industry are not happy with the attention the Oscar nomination has put on their efforts to continue using a method of underground gas extraction that involves the release of dangerous chemicals into the water table. As reported today by Reuters in a blog entitled, “Business world takes uncommon interest in Oscars”
“Gasland,” is already giving energy executives heartburn for its polemical look at the practice of hydraulic fracturing. The technology known as fracking has unleashed a torrent of drilling investments across the country.”
Find out more about Public Citizens efforts to fight hydraulic fracking by clicking here. And, check out the trailer for “Gasland” below if you haven’t seen it already.