Lisa Graves's News Articles

CMD Introduces Jim Hightower at Fighting Bobfest 2010

The Center for Media and Democracy was asked to introduce national populist leader Jim Hightower at Wisconsin's "Fighting Bob Fest," an annual gathering featuring progressive speakers and "carrying on the tradition of Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette by providing a forum for progressive ideas" on national issues. Hightower is a New York Times bestselling author whose latest book is "Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow."

Petition Against Intolerance Garners Thousands of Signers, including Leaders in National Security and Civil Liberties Fields

  • Topics: Religion
  • Last week, CMD promoted a petition for religious freedom and against intolerance, that was written by Kate Martin, Suzanne Spaulding, and Lisa Graves. Many of you signed this petition, joining thousands of fellow Americans in standing up for religious freedom and against religious bigotry. Deepak Chopra also urged people to stand up with us against intolerance.

    Taking a Stand for Religious Freedom and Against Intolerance

    "All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good men [and women] to do nothing," wrote Sergei Bondarchuk. In order to stand up to the escalating animosity directed against Muslim Americans, and in light of the upcoming anniversary of 9/11, I helped create this pledge to support religious freedom and stand in solidarity against bigotry and intolerance. I hope people of all faiths, and people of conscience who do not practice a religion, will speak out against the planned burning of the Koran this Saturday, as with the burning of any sacred books or other books. Surely, good men and women in this country vastly outnumber hate mongerer Terry Jones and his little band of religious bigots in Gainesville and elsewhere.

    Which Millionaire Fat Cats Are Backing the American Action Network's Ads Attacking Sen. Feingold?

    A new right-wing group, "American Action Network," has entered the 2010 election with ads attacking Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin. The American Action Network (AAN) was created by right-wing politicians and their funders around the time the Supreme Court issued the Citizens United decision that expanded corporate rights to allow them to spend more money than ever influencing elections. AAN does not disclose its funding sources for the $25 million it plans to spend this fall, but its board is filled with politicians and millionaire businessmen on the right.

    The ad is grossly misleading and blames Senator Feingold for the federal deficit, with the tag line "18 years, 9 trillion more in debt." The ad ignores the budget surplus created in the Clinton Administration during Senator Feingold's first terms in the Senate, and the squandering of that surplus through President George W. Bush's economic policies and wars. And then it tries to blame Feingold for the deficit increases through the Wall Street bailout that was led by President Bush and his Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson, even though Senator Feingold voted consistently, not once but twice, against the Wall Street bailout and voted not once but twice to end the TARP. He also pressed Congress expressly to use the TARP funds to pay down the deficit. (For more information on the true cost of the Wall Street Bailout check out our Wall Street Bailout Cost Table.)

    Just the Facts on Judge Martin Feldman's Financial Investments

  • Topics: Corporations
  • Detailed in this article are the recent oil and gas speculation investments, including investments in deep-sea drilling companies, made by the federal judge who blocked the new deep-sea drilling ruling. I recently called for his impeachment in my comments on the financial disclosure reports of Judge Martin Feldman, who struck down the temporary moratorium on new deep-water oil drilling. I based my comments on the financial disclosure reports that had been provided by the Administrative Office ("AO") of the U.S. Courts, from the Financial Disclosure Office (FDO) of the Article III Judges Division (where I previously served as Deputy Chief). And, I stand by my strong rebuke of the judge.

    Impeach the Oil-Investing Judge Who Declared Deep Sea Drilling Ban Void

  • Topics: Energy
  • A federal judge sitting in Louisiana struck down the Obama Administration's six-month moratorium on new deep water drilling, despite the unfolding disaster in the Gulf of Mexico caused by BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling operation. Who is the unelected man standing in the way of permitting a six-month review of this inherently dangerous activity?

    Chamber's "Virtual" March on Washington: Only an Avatar Can Love a Big Bank

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has launched what it is calling a virtual march on Washington to oppose financial reforms being considered by Congress this week. With relatively few actual Americans willing to take their summer vacation in D.C. to march in favor of the Big Banks whose gambling broke the economy and whose practices have pillaged the financial security of working people, the Chamber has resorted to urging "avatars," or computer representations of people, to march on the virtual capital of the U.S. This so-called march seems a fitting symbol of the emptiness of the whole gambit by the Chamber. With Wall Street lobbyists swarming the capitol and Wall Street spending millions of dollars to thwart the reforms most needed and wanted by actual American people, the Chamber has had to manufacture a people's protest against the reforms, but sans real people. Apparently, they could not even enlist their buddies orchestrating the Tea Party, like former Congressman Dick Armey, or their cashroots allies in astroturf over at the Orwellian-named FreedomWorks, to cajole or even hire stand-in protesters to come to the National Mall to take up pitchforks against financial reforms. But lest all this computer gamesmanship be in vain, the Chamber is taking steps to ensure that Members of Congress know how many of the avatars are their purported constituents -- residents who love the Big Banks enough to send the very best: their idealized computer images.

    CMD Welcomes More New Law Fellows

    The Center for Media and Democracy is pleased to welcome its three newest additions to our team this summer, Ross Wolfarth, Max Abbott, and Sue Izevbigie. These new law fellows all hail from Columbia Law School, one of the very best law schools in the country, and one which has a terrific program to support public interest careers by sponsoring placements in public interest groups like CMD. Please join us in welcoming our newest legal/policy researchers and spin-fighters!

    Shifting BP's Clean Up Costs to Consumers? Say It Ain't So!

    Who is going to pay to clean up BP's disastrous oil spill, besides BP? After all, they made $14 billion in profit last year alone. BP has asserted it will pay all "legitimate claims" for damages -- talk about a lot of wiggle room there -- but beyond actual cleanup costs, BP's economic damage liability is legislatively, and outrageously, capped at $75 million, a pittance to a company that made 186 times that amount in profit in 2009. Senate Democrats attempted to increase the liability cap to $10 billion by proposing and passing a bill, but their efforts were thwarted by Senate Republicans. The current tally for the cleanup cost stands at $760 million, but that is surely understated.

    Banksters Create New Fake "Consumer" Group

    According to a story in the Washington Post by Mike Konczal, the Big Banks have just created an astroturf or cashroots group called the "Consumers Against Retail Discrimination Alliance" to fight a provision of the financial reform bill: This nominal "consumers" group is constituted of really, really big "consumers," according to Konczal, including "Visa, MasterCard, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, U.S. Bank, Citi" and almost every banking association that is part of the more accurately named "Electronic Payments Coalition." They have attempted to label this a corporate "civil rights" issue by talking about "discrimination" -- or "retail discrimination," that is.

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