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Robert Weissman
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Robert Weissman is the president of Public Citizen. He is an expert on economic, health care, trade and globalization, intellectual property and regulatory policy, and issues related to financial accountability and corporate responsibility. He has written extensively on corporate accountability, access to medicines, corporate influence over the political process, the World Trade Organization and regulation of the financial markets. He has worked to lower pharmacy prices for AIDS victims and others in the developing world. His top priorities include climate change, health care reform, financial regulation and campaign finance reform.

Entries by Robert Weissman

Guilty Verdict Sends Message to Big Coal: Don't Endanger Workers

(0) Comments | Posted December 3, 2015 | 3:09 PM

The coal baron, Don Blankenship, former CEO of Massey Energy, has been found guilty of conspiring to violate mine safety laws -- a conspiracy that meant putting his company's workers' lives at risk.

For far too long in this nation's history, coal operators have recklessly endangered their workers' lives, with...

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A Showdown Over Policy Riders Could Still Trigger a Shutdown

(0) Comments | Posted November 16, 2015 | 1:03 PM

Now that Congress has agreed to an overall budget for the next two years and raised the debt ceiling until 2017, and the U.S. House of Representatives has a new speaker in U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, the early conventional wisdom is that Washington has finally and mercifully turned the corner...

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General Motors Should Be Prosecuted, Not Protected

(5) Comments | Posted September 17, 2015 | 12:00 PM

Note: Today General Motors Co. (GM) agreed to pay $900 million and enter a deferred prosecution agreement to end a U.S. Department of Justice criminal investigation into its handling of defective ignition switches in many of its vehicles.

Shame on the Department of Justice and shame on its prosecutors. Instead...

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Journey for Justice: An Inspiration

(0) Comments | Posted September 16, 2015 | 1:31 PM

"Inspiring" is the word that best sums up the Journey for Justice, a march that began in Selma, Ala., and ends this week in Washington, D.C.

Marchers have chanted, waved signs and, above all, kept walking -- some of them along the entire 1,000-mile path of the march. They...

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Clean Power, Dirty Money

(2) Comments | Posted August 6, 2015 | 11:33 AM

The climate change rules that President Obama announced earlier this week will force modest but important and desperately needed reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

Yet opponents of the rule are making apocalyptic predictions about its impact, with many newly discovering their voice as consumer advocates.


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Expanding Medicare System for All Would Eliminate Health Care Rationing

(159) Comments | Posted July 30, 2015 | 12:42 PM

During the debate leading up to passage of the Affordable Care Act, members of Congress thundered against the prospect of health care rationing.

Well, for reasons largely unrelated to Obamacare, we have health care rationing. Indeed, it's one of the defining features of our private insurer-controlled health care system.


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Privatization Dogma Confronts Reality at Lawrence Livermore Lab

(2) Comments | Posted April 7, 2015 | 6:32 PM

Market fundamentalists have been spreading the gospel of government privatization since the 1980s.

Their evidence-starved theory is that market discipline will lead to better provision of services than the government can deliver.

Although there are surely counterexamples, the overwhelming weight of experience runs counter to corporate doctrine.


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Dark Money Casts a Sinister Shadow Across the Land

(2) Comments | Posted March 2, 2015 | 3:11 PM

The amount of dark money -- election-related funds whose source remains secret -- has skyrocketed since the U.S. Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision, rising from a miniscule $5.2 million in 2006 to $173 million in 2014 (or more than $300 million with a less-stringent definition).

But while...

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The Asbestos Transparency Farce

(2) Comments | Posted February 9, 2015 | 2:32 PM

Among the deadliest and cruelest corporate cover-ups in American history is the decades-long effort by the asbestos industry to conceal what it knew about the health impacts of the "magical mineral." Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States have died from asbestos...

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Five Years After Citizens United, Billionaires Are Buying Democracy

(61) Comments | Posted January 21, 2015 | 11:18 AM

Five years after the Supreme Court's disastrous 5-4 decision in Citizens United, there's a lot to be angry about.

With election spending out of control, and super PACs empowering giant corporations and billionaires like no time since the Gilded Age, Big Money is not just influencing who's elected to office...

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President Obama, Veto That

(5) Comments | Posted January 13, 2015 | 11:19 AM

It's time for President Obama to ready his veto pen.

Obama has only vetoed two bills during his tenure. By contrast, George W. Bush vetoed 12, Bill Clinton vetoed 37, George H.W. Bush vetoed 44 and Ronald Reagan vetoed 78. Harry S. Truman vetoed 250!

Things will look...

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Big Banks Have License to Steal -- You Can Help Stop It

(0) Comments | Posted October 13, 2014 | 12:49 PM

The big banks want an effective license to steal. And they are counting on you to give it to them.

You would never knowingly agree to any such thing, right?

But did you ever wonder what's in the fine-print terms of the contracts that we agree to when applying...

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Is There a Billionaire Cancellation Effect?

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2014 | 12:12 PM

The Republicans have their billionaires, the Democrats have theirs. What's the big kerfuffle about campaign spending, right?


As it happens, the Republican Party is benefiting more, by far, from the spending abuses authorized by U.S. Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (FEC) and...

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Constitutional Amendment Would Help Save Our Planet

(16) Comments | Posted September 9, 2014 | 2:00 PM

You've changed the light bulbs, switched the car for a bike. Across the country, people are ready to take it to the next level.

In September, literally thousands of people will gather in New York to show the force that citizens are bringing to the climate fight. The...

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Today's Hearing: A Historic Step Forward to Re-Establishing People's Authority to Curb Campaign Spending

(4) Comments | Posted June 3, 2014 | 1:16 PM

Today's hearing is a historic step forward to adopting the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That amendment will re-establish the authority of We the People, acting through Congress and the states, to regulate and limit campaign spending.

In so doing, the amendment will undo nearly 40 years of...

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Constitutional Amendment Needed Now to Reestablish Rule by the People; Scheduled Senate Vote Applauded

(138) Comments | Posted April 30, 2014 | 3:38 PM

This country desperately needs a constitutional amendment to reestablish the core meaning of democracy: rule by the people.

In Citizens United and McCutcheon, but also in decisions that precede them, including Buckley v. Valeo, the U.S. Supreme Court has turned the First Amendment upside down, striking down campaign spending limits...

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McCutcheon Ruling Requires Americans to Reclaim Democracy

(22) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 3:05 PM

Today's U.S. Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission strikes a devastating blow at the very foundation of our democracy.

This is truly a decision establishing plutocrat rights. The Supreme Court today holds that the purported right of a few hundred superrich individuals to spend outrageously large sums...

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Fulfilling the Promise of Medicare

(32) Comments | Posted July 30, 2013 | 1:18 PM

"We can say this of Medicare: By honoring the fundamental humanity, which is the spirit of democracy, it is a triumph of rightness in America."

Nearly five decades after President Lyndon Johnson spoke those words as he signed Medicare into law, it is time to honor the fundamental humanity...

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The Beginning of the End of Too-Big-to-Fail

(15) Comments | Posted March 28, 2013 | 11:46 AM

A funny thing, wonderful in its own small way, happened last week.

Amidst an endless series of votes on amendments to a federal budget bill, the United States Senate voted 99-0 in favor of an amendment to end subsidies to too-big-to-fail financial institutions.

The stated purpose of the...

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7 Reasons to be Unhappy About the Nomination of Jacob Lew for Secretary of the Treasury

(9) Comments | Posted January 10, 2013 | 12:32 PM

1. The Obama administration demanded no meaningful quid pro quo from the Wall Street giants it bailed out in the wake of the 2008 financial collapse.

2. The Obama administration has chosen not to prosecute criminally any of the leading Wall Street firms in connection with the rampant...

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