U.S. politics

With the election just two short weeks away, I’ve been chatting with some friends about voting (for those of you that know me, this isn’t a surprise).

A few have expressed doubt that their vote actually matters in an campaign that has been flooded with money from corporations, special interest groups, and super PACs. While I spent a while trying to convince them that their vote can effect change, the Obama Campaign released a great ad that sums it up in 32 seconds.

If you think your vote doesn’t count, think again. Get out there and vote!

Tar sands operations in Canada are pushing woodland caribou to the brink of extinction as their habitat is destroyed. Incredibly, Canada’s proposed solution is to kill the wolves that prey on caribou, instead of protecting their habitat.

The massive Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline would greatly expand destructive tar sands development–and would mean fewer caribou and fewer wolves.

Last month, President Obama made the right decision by rejecting the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline–which would pump nearly one million barrels per day of tar sands oil through America’s heartland–but the fight against dirty oil is far from over as Congress continues to try to force approval of the dangerous project.

Urge Congress to reject the pipeline here.

via National Wildlife Fund

Interesting email from President Obama’s campaign today on banning insider trading by members of Congress. Regardless of your brand of politics, this seems like a no-brainer to get behind. You can sign your name at President Obama’s campaign site here. If you’d prefer to contact your Representative directly and not through President Obama’s site, you can do so at http://writerep.house.gov. Just make sure you do it.

Right now, members of Congress can make personal investment decisions based on confidential information they get in the course of regulating industries and doing their work.

It’s kind of unbelievable that this isn’t already illegal. President Obama wants to make it illegal once and for all — no one should profit from inside information about the very businesses they’re supposed to be regulating.

Today, the Democratic leadership in the Senate voted to move forward on a bill to extend to Congress the same strict rules that apply to anyone else whose job gives them access to sensitive information about businesses. This legislation is expected to pass the Senate with bipartisan support later this week.

But Republicans in the House have yet to move on it.

There aren’t a lot of good reasons to disagree with this bill. So the question here isn’t how many people we have to persuade, but simply how loudly we can speak up to prevent the House Republicans from dodging this issue.

Say you support the President on banning insider trading in Congress:


Help Stop Sopa/PIPA – Great post by Jane Wells. Check out the video below and urge Congress to oppose this bill by signing your name at fightforthefuture.org/pipa.

Jane’s thoughts:

  • In the U.S. our legal system maintains that the burden of proof is on the accuser, and that people are innocent until proven guilty. This tenet seems to be on the chopping block when it comes to the web if these bills pass, as companies could shut down sites based on accusation alone.
  • Laws are not like lines of PHP; they are not easily reverted if someone wakes up and realizes there is a better way to do things. We should not be so quick to codify something this far-reaching.
  • The people writing these laws are not the people writing the independent web, and they are not out to protect it. We have to stand up for it ourselves.

More information from fightforthefuture.org:

The video above discusses the Senate version of the PROTECT IP Act, but the House bill that was introduced TODAY is much much worse.

It’ll give the government new powers to block Americans’ access websites that corporations don’t like. The bill would criminalize posting all sorts of standard web content — music playing in the background of videos, footage of people dancing, kids playing video games, and posting video of people playing cover songs.

This legislation will stifle free speech and innovation, and even threaten popular web services like Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.
The bill was just introduced: We need to act now to let our lawmakers know just how terrible it is. Will you fill out the form above to ask your lawmakers to oppose the legislation?


Again, you can join the fight and sign your name at fightforthefuture.org/pipa.