News Articles By Lisa Graves

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Sign Our New Petition to "Repo the Dough" and Put Wall Street to Work Rebuilding Main Street

This Holiday Season, for too many Americans, "It's Not Such a Wonderful Life." Reckless Wall Street gambling collapsed the economy. The big bankers, like Mr. Potter, got theirs – an unbelievable $3 trillion in government help! It worked so well that Wall Street will pay out some $140 billion in bonuses this year.

But what about George Bailey and the rest of us? Where is the help for the 16 million Americans who are now out of work? The millions of unemployed facing foreclosure? The millions more teetering on the brink of personal bankruptcy?

New Letter from Wendell Potter to the Senate on Aetna and Corporate Spin

Here is a letter the Center for Media and Democracy's Wendell Potter recently sent to the Senate about the health care reform efforts and corporate spin:

My name is Wendell Potter, the former insurance industry insider speaking out about how insurance companies have hijacked our health care system in service of Wall Street's relentless profit expectations. I am joined in this letter by Andrew Kurz, a former chief financial officer for Wisconsin Blue Cross and Blue Shield who shares these concerns.

We stand together for immediately reforming the plainly broken U.S. health care system with its spiraling premium costs and harmful loopholes. Business as usual is taking a terrible toll on Americans, on government budgets, and on our nation's ability to compete in the global marketplace. This is unacceptable and unsustainable.

Frank Capra: Great Movie Maker, Brilliant Financial Analyst

The Center for Media and Democracy's BanksterUSA campaign released a new video today, "It's NOT Such a Wonderful Life," saluting the classic film by Frank Capra. Our short video takes footage from the 1946 black and white film to make a point about today's financial crisis and the need for Congress to step up efforts to regulate banks so that this type of catastrophic financial meltdown never happens again. You can view our video at our BanksterUSA website or on our new YouTube channel. We hope you'll share the video with your friends.

Wendell Potter in Arkansas: Real World Fears v. the Boogeyman

This Thanksgiving season, I am thankful for so many things: my life, family, friends, freedoms, and new job at the Center for Media and Democracy. I feel lucky to be working with a team devoted to making a real difference in people's lives as we out spin and press for change. And, with the broken health insurance system, I am thankful to work at CMD with a real-life hero, Wendell Potter, who is fighting tirelessly for families across the country so that parents and children and grandparents and grandchildren can have real access to needed health care to save their lives and thrive.

Because Senator Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) is a key swing vote on health care reform, CMD's Wendell was in Arkansas Thanksgiving week. As noted in Thanksgiving Day's Arkansas News:

And, Now for Something French (Wendell Takes on "The World")

Wendell Potter is featured in this week's Le Monde for his work on behalf of the Center for Media and Democracy. It's in French, of course, and in the article he talks about the influence of the insurance industry lobbyists on elected politicians and candidates. I'd translate it for you, but even as a former tutor in French the verb tenses still elude me. However, for those of you who are fluent in the language of love, here is the feature:

Genentech's Ghostwriting Animates Congressional Speeches on Health Reform

In Sunday's New York Times, Robert Pear reports that biotech industry lobbyists were especially successful in getting their spin mouthed by House Members during the health care reform debate. He notes:

Statements by more than a dozen lawmakers were ghostwritten, in whole or in part, by Washington lobbyists working for Genentech, one of the world's largest biotechnology companies. E-mail messages obtained by The New York Times show that the lobbyists drafted one statement for Democrats and another for Republicans. The lobbyists, employed by Genentech and by two Washington law firms, were remarkably successful in getting the statements printed in the Congressional Record under the names of different members of Congress.

Wendell Headlines Triple Bottom Line Conference

The Center for Media Democracy's Wendell Potter was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Triple Bottom Line Investment (TBLI) conference in Amsterdam this past week. This year's TBLI conference focused on worldwide "health insurance and related human rights issues, the Credit Crunch and its effects on investment ethics values and investment, and the Copenhagen Climate Council and its consequences for investment portfolios," according to their statement about the event.

House Passes Health Reforms--"The Good Joe," Rep. Joseph Cao, Not Cowed

On November 7, 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed landmark health care reform legislation after months of negotiations and despite some really outrageous lies by opponents of any efforts to redress corporate malfeasance. Only a single Republican, Congressman Joseph Cao of New Orleans, "the Good Joe," was willing to defy his party's command and vote for the bill, along with 219 Democrats, giving the bill two votes more than it needed to pass. Upon the historic vote, the Good Joe said: "I read the versions of the House health reform bill. I listened to the countless stories of Orleans and Jefferson Parish citizens whose health care costs are exploding – if they are able to obtain health care at all. Louisianans need real options for primary care, for mental health care, and for expanded health care for seniors and children."