You've watched enough TV to know that political ads suck -- or, possibly, you've avoided watching TV because political ads suck. You also know that TV stations rarely-if-ever check the facts -- or, more precisely, "facts" -- these political ads purport to give you. (Actually, it's even worse than that -- in Las Vegas, TV stations actually cut their newscasts short so they can run more political ads.) You may not know, however, that though TV stations can't reject ads from political candidates even if the ads lie out the wazoo, they can reject ads from outside groups, including SuperPACs. They rarely do, of course, because of all that outside group money (or, more precisely, mammon). But they should reject them, and we should never underestimate the power of bad PR, which could affect TV stations' future earnings. So Free Press helps you tell TV stations to stop playing deceitful ads, and to start investigating such deceit.
Meanwhile, we're two years past the Spillageddon in the Gulf and British Petroleum hasn't paid any Clean Water Act fines. They've spent plenty of money appealing the fines in court, and they've also spent plenty of money running TV ads telling you how they're going to help rebuild the Gulf, but they haven't, you know, accepted the punishment given by a civilized society. (Even if Joe Barton would call that punishment "extortion." Think he routinely accused his mommy and daddy of "extortion" as a youth?) So the Environmental Defense Fund helps you tell BP to get on with paying what they owe already. These fines won't be peanuts -- between $5 billion and $21 billion, with 80 percent of that money going to the five Gulf states most affected by the spill. And, er, what exactly is BP's case against the fines? Hit them with the PR stick, that's what I say.
Finally, some good news: the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional yesterday, becoming the second federal appeals court to do so this year. The Court ruled that our government unconstitutionally discriminated against Edie Windsor when it prevented her from using Estate Tax spousal deductions after the death of her wife (whom she married in Canada in 2007, with the state of New York recognizing the marriage), thus saddling her with over $360,000 in Estate Taxes a heterosexual married couple would not have had to pay. Incidentally, the opinion's author, Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs, is an inveterate right-winger, though I presume a lot of right-wingers will promptly forget his service to their cause; funny how alleged "small-government" types can't follow through on their will when gays might benefit. Anyway, the ACLU helps you thank Ms. Windsor for keeping up the fight.