PUBLIC CITIZEN LOOKS BACK AT 2011 – HOPEFUL FOR 2012


Turn on the news. Open the paper. Look around.

Soulless and insatiably greedy multinational corporations dominate our politics, our economics and our lives. The problems they’ve created for our people, our nation and the world are legion.

It’s enough to feel hopeless and helpless.

But there is hope. And you are helping.

All of us, working together, have more power than the corporate giants. We can and do make great things happen.

Think about all we’ve done together — as Public Citizen — over the past year.

  • Public Citizen massively expanded our Democracy Is For People campaign to overturn the Supreme Court’s disastrous Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission ruling. More than a million people have signed petitions for a constitutional amendment to keep corporate cash from overwhelming our elections.
  • Public Citizen helped launch the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards, a broad alliance that is challenging the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s attack on fundamental consumer, health and safety protections.
  • Public Citizen petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to remove several dangerous drugs from the market. We are proud to be Big Pharma’s worst enemy.
  • Public Citizen forced Richard Nixon’s 1975 grand jury testimony — in which the former president discusses the infamous gap in his secret tapes — to be unsealed.
  • Public Citizen obtained leaked documents revealing that speculation by Goldman Sachs was the primary driver of inflated gas prices.
  • Public Citizen and our allies have continued to thwart expansion of the World Trade Organization, where giant corporations aim to extend rules that give them power to undermine consumer and environmental protections in the U.S. and other countries.
  • Public Citizen worked with allied organizations to delay approval of the Keystone XL dirty oil pipeline, which would cause more oil spills, drive up gas prices and dramatically worsen climate change.
  • Public Citizen issued a report proving that caps on medical liability in Texas do nothing to reduce the costs or improve the effectiveness of health care for the state’s citizens.
  • Public Citizen successfully defended a group of young climate activists who were sued by Koch Industries for the “crime” of exercising their First Amendment free speech rights.
  • Public Citizen issued a report showing that more than half of doctors disciplined by their hospitals are not subject to subsequent state action. We continue to be the leading advocates for physician accountability.
  • Public Citizen made major gains in our campaign to review and repair World Trade Organization rules that impose limits on financial regulation. All of the major developing countries asked for a review — only to be blocked by the United States and other rich countries.
  • Public Citizen helped pass 14 energy efficiency and renewable energy bills in the Texas legislative session.
  • Public Citizen generated a record number of comments submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission and other regulators on CEO pay.
  • Public Citizen overcame White House delays to force issuance of an important new rule to protect child agricultural workers. We also petitioned the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to adopt a new rule protecting workers from excessive heat exposure.
  • Public Citizen worked closely with the office of U.S. Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) on nuclear disaster preparedness legislation.
  • After halting consideration of three Bush-era free trade agreements for four years, Public Citizen delivered the largest Democratic opposition vote to any Obama initiative in his presidency when Obama flip-flopped on his campaign commitments and pushed the deals for approval.
  • Public Citizen coordinated a large national coalition on shareholder protection — aiming to advance the modest principle that a corporation should not spend money on elections without authorization from its shareholders.
  • Public Citizen’s Solar Si, Nuclear No campaign resulted in all the major partners pulling out of the South Texas nuclear plant.
  • Public Citizen argued our 60th case before the United States Supreme Court. We are involved with nearly a third of Supreme Court cases.
  • Public Citizen led the push for tight restrictions on energy speculators, urging the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to establish firm position limits in energy derivative markets.
  • Public Citizen celebrated its first four decades as the people’s lobbyist with a series of events nationwide, culminating in our inspirational 40th Anniversary Gala in October…

All of that is merely a sampling of what Public Citizen did this year. Just think what we will do in 2012 and beyond! And there is nothing — nothing — that we accomplish without activists, members and supporters like you from coast to coast and from all walks of life.

Scandal and Family Concerns Derail Herman Cain’s Bid for Presidency


Last night Herman Cain returned to Atlanta to confer with his wife, Gloria, who would help him make today’s important campaign announcement.  The scene today is the opening of Cain’s new campaign headquarters in northwest Georgia.  The crowd was gathered outside near a stage where Cain would deliver his big news.  The mood was festive as supporters bought campaign souvenirs and ate hamburgers.

Cain arrived on the scene in a red campaign bus and emerged with his wife, Gloria.  There was much applause as he took the stage.  Someone shouted, “Go Herman!” IMHO, Cain was uneasy and subdued. He began by reflecting on accomplishments so far. He recounted why he chose to run.  He heaped blame on “those people in Washington,” without acknowledging that Republicans are a major part of our problems. He made a joke using the numbers “9-9-9″ which he thought was funny and clever. Cain reflected on his humble origins and how far he has come. He said that various accusations and mistakes that he has made have sidetracked his campaign. Cain spoke of the pain his family has been suffering by the cloud of doubt over him and his past. “It hurts,” he said. “I am at peace with my God. I am peace with my wife and she is at peace with me. And, I am at peace with my family and myself.” Cain said that it is with a lot of prayer that he suspends his campaign. Not because he is not a fighter, but, because of the impact on his family and supporters and his ability to raise money. Cain announced his “Plan B” which would include his not being silent. THECAINSOLUTIONS.COM was announced which would actively promote his 9-9-9 Plan and other of his causes. Candidate Cain said that now he and his supporters will have to make changes “from the outside.”  Herman Cain said he will be making and endorsement soon but decried that politics is a dirty business as he had experienced.  “Although I have suspended my campaign, I have not given up on America…Let me leave you with this” from the Poke-Mon movie, “Life can be a challenge…” Life can seem impossible, but if you look inside you will find what you can do…We can put the “united” back in the United States of America. God bless you!”

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Does Herman Cain Have Debates in His Future? (video)


A Little Cain Humor Before His Big Announcement (video)


Poor Kids Should Clean Bathrooms – Newt Gingrich 1


NEWT, I WAS A POOR BLACK KID IN THE SEGREGATED SOUTH IN THE ’50s. MY SECOND JOB EVER WAS TO CLEAN TOILETS FOR HALF-A-DOZEN WHITE MEN WHO SOILED THE BATHROOM AS FAST AS I CLEANED IT. NEWT, THIS IS THE 21st CENTURY.  POOR BLACK (AND WHITE) KIDS SHOULD HAVE A HIGHER HORIZON THAN ASPIRING TO CLEAN TOILETS! YOU HAVE LOST THE COMMON TOUCH…THAT IS, IF YOU EVER HAD IT! WHAT HAVE THE POOR TO FEAR FROM A GINGRICH PRESIDENCY?  Hmmm.

President Obama Lights National Christmas Tree with Kermit, the Frog 12-2-11


2 December 2011 Last updated at 02:36 ET Help

The Obamas have well and truly got into the Christmas spirit during a festive ceremony to turn on the US National Christmas Tree.

The president sang a rendition of Winter Wonderland with a Father Christmas character, accompanied by his wife Michelle, who had Kermit the Frog on her shoulder.

The couple’s children Sasha and Malia also joined in the festivities just in front of the White House. [Source: BBC]

Jerry Sandusky Speaks…


December 03, 2011
 THE DAILY BEAST
REVELATIONS

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky says head coach Joe Paterno never spoke with him about the reports of sexual assault made against him, and that Sandusky’s charity, The Second Mile, never restricted his access to children until he officially became the subject of a criminal investigation. In an extended interview with The New York Times, Sandusky continues to deny the charges against him, though he acknowledged elements of the case, such as his habit of buying expensive gifts for young boys involved in his charity program, having them over for wrestling matches and sleepovers, and showering with them.

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Jerry Sandusky New York Times Interview! New York Times interviews Jerry Sandusky!

NEWT GINGRICH – “SMARTEST MAN IN THE ROOM” ??? (image)


“On Marines, equality, and my date to the Marine Corps Birthday Ball”


Since DADT was repealed it has not been in the news.  One of today’s top web posts is this saga of one marine’s journey with being gay in the Marines and life post-DADT. Check it out.

Herman Cain to make White House campaign announcement


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