If there's any good news these days, it's this: some 750 corporations and other organizations have ended their business relationships with the far-right "news" website Breitbart -- including, lately, Lufthansa Airlines and the University of British Columbia, and earlier, T-Mobile, Kelloggs, and BMW. That's some bad timing for Trump Administration advisor/racist Steve Bannon's former employer, because they're trying to expand their empire of hate and vitriol across the planet. But one corporation has thus far refused to end their relationship with the organization, and unfortunately, that corporation is Amazon, the WalMart of the internet, with about one out of every two dollars spent on the internet passing through its hands. With that kind of pull on people's eyeballs, we need them to join us in shaming, shunning, and ostracizing Breitbart, as Sum of Us helps you do. Do not be the fool who says that impinges on Breitbart's "freedom of speech"; the First Amendment guarantees your right not to put in jail for your speech, not the "right" to have your speech enabled by corporate money.
Meanwhile, the Trump Administration has made noises about basically the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division (largely through defunding it, if the many recent reports about the coming Trump budget are accurate). Why? I have to assume it's because the Civil Rights Decision does good works, and Donald Trump is an enemy of good works -- it's certainly not because "we've come so far as a nation that we don't need a Civil Rights Division in our Justice Department," not with the Supreme Court invalidating a big chunk of the Voting Rights Act in Shelby v. Holder, not with the "Interstate Crosscheck" database invalidating the voting registrations of so many black folks, not with the more intense scrutiny of police killings of so many black folks. I wouldn't get all cynical and say "what's Jeff Sessions going to do with a Civil Rights Division anyway?" A Civil Rights Division could well serve the next U.S. Attorney General, who might take America's Original Sin more seriously. Also, too, cynicism is evil. Color of Change helps you tell your Congressfolk to defend the Civil Rights Division.
In other Trump budget-related news, you've no doubt heard that the Trump Administration would like to privatize the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you no doubt feel a twinge of pain whenever you hear the word "privatization" -- for privatization not only means removing the people's control over public resources, but it also invariably means that private entities provide these formerly-public services at a higher cost and with much less satisfaction, so that you must conclude that "privatization" is merely a way of funneling what belongs to the public into the hands of some politician's cronies. Privatizing the Corporation for Public Broadcasting has another layer of pain, though: public broadcasting's founders conceived of it as an alternative to commercial broadcasting; what "alternative" can it be once it becomes an actual commercial enterprise? Public broadcasting has also, historically, emphasized locally-produced programming, and we all know what big media corporations think of local programming. Free Press helps you tell your Congressfolk to reject any attempt to privatize the CPB.
Finally, we have a bill number for the U.S. Senate bill that would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling -- S. 49, the benignly-named Alaska Oil and Gas Production Act. Alaska already produces a lot of oil (and its citizens get a windfall from those oil profits every year!), and drilling in the ANWR doesn't promise that much more oil, so why the name? I kid, of course -- bill names are usually exercises in cynicism, particularly if they're tortured to spell out some acronym (which S. 49 has going for it, at least, since no one can say AOGPA). If ANWR ever experiences an oil spill -- and the chances are very good that it will, since oil corporations tend to treat safety precautions as a drag on profits -- it will likely not only spoil the clean water upon which so many good Alaskans depend, it'll kill a crapload of unique wildlife, which includes several endangered species. We do still regard it as civilized to ensure that entire species of animals don't disappear just so oil CEOs can make a few more bucks, do we not? I kid, of course -- we find that civilized, even if our government doesn't. But Penn Environment helps you tell your Reps and Senators to reject S. 49 and preserve ANWR from pollution.