Despite reports last week that Senate Republicans don't have the votes either for their planned repeal-and-replace-badly bill or their just-repeal-and-don't-bother-replacing bill, word on the street is that they're going to try and vote on one or the other of these monstrosities anyway. The Congressional Budget Office (or CBO) hasn't helped Republican efforts, of course, by calculating that the just-repeal bill will kick 32 million more Americans off their health insurance, with more than half of those losses (17 million) coming in just the first year. But of course, when some Republican Senators talked about both bills' inadequate funding of Medicaid and/or fighting opioid addiction, you should have known what would come next: an offer of tens of billions just for funding Medicaid and fighting opioid addiction in the states those Senators just so happen to represent, which is exactly the kind of naked who-cares-what-it-looks-like opportunism that has made Mitch McConnell so beloved the world over. Still, you can call your Senators and remind them that the whole point of being a Senator is not to strike deals with other Senators, but to represent their constituents. And you can ask them if handing out massive tax cuts to the wealthy while throwing tens of millions of people off their health insurance (which both bills will do) represents their constituents.
Meanwhile, CREDO helps you tell your Congressfolk to repeal the Authorization to Use Military Force (or AUMF) that has enabled so much unconstitutional war-making over the last 16 years. Yeah, we're coming up on some anniversaries -- not just the anniversary of 9.11, of course, but the anniversary of every bad idea Tha Bush Mobb forced down the throats of the American people afterward, including the USA PATRIOT Act and the AUMF, which latter item President Obama used to justify military operations (in Libya and Syria, to name two) he didn't get approval from Congress to undertake. But when the House Appropriations Committee approved an amendment from Rep. Lee (D-CA) that would repeal the AUMF, a spokeshack for House Speaker Ryan (E-WI) quickly declared that the amendment "endangers our national security," though of course Mr. Ryan supported the Iraq war, which we can pretty much say created ISIS, and thus "endangered our national security." And now the Lee amendment has somehow been quietly disappeared from the defense authorization bill; Ms. Lee blames Mr. Ryan, which, if true, gosh, whatever happened to not stepping on your Committee Chairs' toes? That has, after all, been Mr. Ryan's go-to excuse whenever someone actually calls upon him to, you know, lead. They have an excuse for every occasion, don't they? Would it be too much to ask for Mr. Ryan's not-that-red district to send him packing in 2018?
Finally, President Trump wants to drill everywhere, even (or maybe especially!) on public lands, and guess what that means for the Grand Canyon? It means that former Interior Secretary Ken Salazar's one great achievement -- banning uranium mining in the area around the Grand Canyon for 20 years -- is in danger of going down. Hence Penn Environment helps you tell current Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to keep uranium mining corporations out of the Grand Canyon. He doesn't care what you think any more than his boss does, but let's tell him anyway, because it's our duty. The Colorado River, as you know, winds through the Grand Canyon, and it provides drinking water to over 40 million people in seven states plus the northwest region of Mexico -- and, well, it provides noticeably less drinking water to those good folks now, thanks to increased demand and climate change. Now imagine leeching uranium into that water. Does that sound like a good idea? Especially given that some uranium already leeches into the water naturally? Why, it's enough to make you think maybe tourism is the best economical use for the Grand Canyon, which is one of our national treasures, even if our government hasn't formally designated it as such. (Yes, Mr. Obama forgot to do that, too, during his last year in office.)
UPDATE. "Coming up on some anniversaries" is how that phrase in the second paragraph should have read! Error corrected.