Flint, MI isn't the only city suffering from lead in its drinking water -- Philadelphia suffers from it, too, at twice the national average according to recent reporting from our two local newspapers. Thus the Philadelphia City Council is this week contemplating legislation that would reduce the lead in our water, and PennEnvironment helps you tell the City Council to support these bills and thus protect our clean drinking water. These bills would, if passed, improve testing and (of course!) remediation of lead problems at Philadelphia's public schools, and would require that day care centers get lead-free certification before licensing; they would dramatically improve matters for Philadelphia's children, who stand to lose the most from lead poisoning, because their brains are still developing. Our federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has, of course, been finalizing regulations that would help fight lead poisoning nationally, but the incoming President has an avowed hostility to federal regulations, particularly the ones that protect our air and water, it seems. The good news? Donald Trump ain't the boss of us, particularly at the local level, and we can still do a lot to make things better.
Speaking of The Donald, he and his foreign policy advisors have said they want to avoid wars that don't actually advance the fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda, and though I'd respond that no war advances that fight -- that, in fact, the wars initiated by George W. Bush that empowered al-Qaeda and created ISIS -- I'm not averse to seizing an opportunity to stop another war. Hence Just Foreign Policy joins with MoveOn to help you tell incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn to oppose our continued involvement in Saudi Arabia's bombing of Yemen. Bombing Yemen has stoked the growth of al-Qaeda and ISIS there, mainly by bombing the crap out of the Houthi rebels who despise al-Qaeda and ISIS. And, of course, our involvement in assisting Saudi Arabia's little Yemen adventure (which includes our drone fighters, naturally) has not been approved by Congress, unless you read the 2001 AUMF a lot more liberally than it's intended to be read -- and, of course, if you regard the AUMF as a legal document granting the President actual authority to make war, which I don't. No, I'm such a stickler I want Congress to declare war, per our Constitution, and the Founders wanted it that way precisely so we'd fight fewer wars and get less entangled in foreign affairs.
Finally, both CREDO and People for the American Way help you tell Senate Democrats (there are still 48 of them!) to block Sen. Jeff Sessions's confirmation as Attorney General. If Donald Trump was trying to convince you he deserved a "chance" to prove he wasn't the virulent racist he was when he ran for President, tapping Mr. Sessions to be our next Attorney General was the wrong move. We could tabulate the many, many issues that came up back in the mid-1980s when President Reagan nominated him to a federal judgeship -- issues including his "joke" about thinking the KKK were OKK until he learned they smoked pot or his statement that the NAACP were "Communist" and "un-American," statements with which he "meant no harm" -- but he's also established a record, as both U.S. Attorney and Senator, of anti-immigrant extremism, harassment of black activists, and (lest we forget!) selling out to big banksters and corporate power (with the exception of his opposition to the 2008 bailout). All of these are, frankly, more pertinent to his nomination as Attorney General, really. To think we were all fretting that Chris Christie or Rudy Giuliani would get the job! Not that either man is a peach, but Jeff Sessions would put civil rights law enforcement in for a world of hurt. Unless we stand up, that is.