THIS WEEK: What Presidents’ Day?, “Too Big To Fail” gets a soundtrack, weight-loss drugs and The New Global Revolutions
Today may be a federal holiday, but just because your government isn’t working today doesn’t mean we’re not still hard at work here for you at Public Citizen. We take the job of making sure your voice (vox) is heard very seriously! This week is no exception. We’re working on everything from stopping a new, dangerous diet pill from hitting the market to adding clarity to the debate over rising gas prices.
Remember that phrase, “too big to fail”? Well, that’s the main reason we’ve petitioned the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Financial Stability Oversight Council to break up Bank of America. Under Section 121 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, they have the authority to do so. And, award-winning filmmaker and activist Michael Moore helped us put attention on our Bank of America campaign over the weekend by highlighting a recent video made by Micha Liberman, a Hollywood music editor who won an Emmy for his work on the HBO series “Deadwood” and who has been nominated for a Motion Picture Sound Editors Golden Reel award for his work on the Steven Spielberg television series “Terra Nova.” Be sure you have your speakers turned up to get a better appreciation of the nod from Moore . . .
We also got a nod from two ladies that we were pleased to work with on putting a spotlight on the importance of the Volcker rule, an important component of Wall Street reform, in our capacity as members of Americans for Financial Reform Coalition. Alexis Goldstein and Caitlin Kline, the illustrious coauthors of the famous (or if you work for the financial industry lobby, “infamous”) Occupy the SEC Volcker letter and action, were on a call last week with our financial policy guru Bart Naylor and on Up With Chris Hayes this weekend discussing many an issue near and dear to our hearts.
In addition to having our eyes on Big Banks, Public Citizen is always on the look out for patients. We’ve vowed not to let up on the medical device industry’s egregious attempts to subvert the approval process in Congress, and on Wednesday, you can expect Dr. Sidney Wolfe, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, to be equally determined as he testifies before an FDA advisory committee considering approval of the proposed weight-loss drug Qnexa. We have testified against this drug previously but new information has come out that we will be analyzing and highlighting.
Also Wednesday, at the Busboys and Poets location on 5th and K St. NW here in Washington, D.C., we are co-sponsoring a book signing by BBC journalist and author Paul Mason. He will be talking about his book, “Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions,” at Busboy’s venue at 1025 5th St. NW. One said Lady Liberty, yours truly, is very excited about this event to the extent Mason focuses his narrative around firsthand exploration of ” . . . new forms of activism, from the vast, agile networks of cyberprotest to the culture wars and tent camps of the #occupy movement.” Recent events from Tahir Square to Zuccotti Park, says Mason, call attention to the increasing power of the individual while demonstrating the demand for different political realities.
Finally, whether you’ve noticed as you are filling up your tank or just heard all the recent chatter on the news, the price of gasoline is inching up. There is a lot of speculation out there about what’s causing the rise in gas prices. Later in the week, we’ll turn to our resident energy policy guru Tyson Slocum to shed some light on this issue. So stay tuned to this space, where you’ll find we’re always driven to continue our 40 year legacy of standing up for Main Street!
And, if you feel so inclined, take a moment to check out our ACTION CENTER and join us in the fight to keep corporations and our government accountable. As another of our recent Citizen Vox blog posts show, your efforts have a real impact.
Rachel Lewis, @Public-Citizen‘s new media strategy and outreach coordinator, is a former-wonk-turned-professional-wonk-speak translator who relishes a good Twitter hashtag almost as much as a strong cup of coffee.