Outgoing Colorado Senator Mark Udall has lately expressed a desire to enter the entirety of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on CIA torture into the Congressional record. What would that do? It would stop all the stonewalling coming from the Obama Administration, which keeps asking for new redactions to the report, all for our security, of course. But a member of Congress can say anything he or she wants without fear of prosecution, and though that often seems to prompt Congressfolk to say dumb crap, it has also led to former Sen. Gravel (D-AK) entering the famous Pentagon Papers into the Congressional record back in 1971. Hence both Roots Action and Just Foreign Policy help you encourage Sen. Udall to read the torture report into the Congressional record. What are they going to do to him, threaten to defund his re-election campaign? Oh, wait, he just lost that. He shouldn't have lost that, but we might as well take advantage of his misfortune. I suspect he's made a similar calculation since Election Day.
Meanwhile, lost in all the EMPURUR!!!!! and CAESAR!!!!! catcalls from the right over President Obama's immigration-related executive orders is the flexibility one of his orders gives to deploy more DHS personnel as Border Control agents. One of the largest of our federal law enforcement agencies, the Border Patrol has over 21,000 agents currently, more than double its roster since 2005, but you'd think with more agents would come more accountability. Sadly, you'd be wrong: despite over two dozen deaths since 2010 involving Border Patrol agents (not one of whom suffered so much as a rap on the wrist), the Department of Homeland Security (sic) still hasn't implemented a clear process for responding to abuse complaints. Admittedly this task has difficulties (how to get complaints from folks who don't speak English, for example, or the lack of whistleblower protections Customs and Border Protection agents enjoy), but if it's worth doing, it's worth doing right. Hence the ACLU helps you tell our government to reform abuse-reporting processes involving our Border Patrol.
Finally, the Sierra Club helps you tell our government to improve the fuel efficiency of freight trucks. This isn't the same as the fuel efficiency guidelines the EPA has already issued, which would increase fuel efficiency across automobile fleets; freight trucks are the 18-wheelers you see traveling across the country, moving 70% of the products we consume -- and getting a mere six miles a gallon in doing so. If you look at an 18-wheeler and sigh, well, of course it can't get good gas mileage, then you're not displaying either the can-do American spirit or the appropriate sense of urgency. If other autos can reduce fuel consumption 40 percent in a little over ten years, then why can't the biggest trucks do that, too? These trucks currently produce half a billion tons of carbon emissions annually, and if we're going to continue to depend on them to move products around the country, then we need to ensure they leave less of a footprint on our environment. And more efficient trucks will eventually save trucking corporations money in the long term, whether they care about the long term or not.