Anyone else think we ought to get the hell out of Afghanistan? Apparently so: polls consistently show a solid majority of Americans want out, and yet not even 25% of our Congressfolk voted to end the Afghanistan war last month. I find it hard to believe that more than three-quarters of our Congressfolk just happen to live in districts where their constituents think the war's a peachy idea. And did I mention that there's an economic armageddon going on, and spending over $100 billion in Afghanistan every year makes that worse? So Roots Action and CREDO help you tell your Reps to support H.R. 780, Rep. Lee's Responsible End to the War in Afghanistan Act. And when someone yammers on about H.R. 780 putting our troops in harm's way, please advise them that Sections 2 and 3 of H.R. 780 clearly state that the U.S. would expend funds only "for the safe and orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan of all members of the Armed Forces and Department of Defense contractor personnel who are in Afghanistan." Then tell them that fighting dumb wars for the enrichment of corporate cronies is what puts our troops in harm's way.
Meanwhile, Sens. Kerry (D-MA) and McCain (R-AZ) (bipartisanship! He remembers!) have introduced S. 799, which would give you, the computer user, some protections against corporations anxious to exploit you and your personal information. The bill would give you the ability to tell corporations not to share your personal information with other corporations, plus corporations would have to ask your permission before collecting or sharing your financial data. Those are big deals, but the bill doesn't include a robust Do Not Track option, where you simply tell corporations not to collect any information on you at all, and why not? Wouldn't a conservative tell us that you should be able to control what information you share? Or has the word "conservative" been so abused over the years that it now only means "giving corporations whatever they want"? I'd hate to think so. Consumers Union helps you support strong internet privacy protections.
Finally, the legislature of Pennsylvania, now controlled by a reactionary Republican majority, might well let long-term unemployment benefits for over 40,000 workers expire on June 11 -- but SB 994 would extend those benefits. You can tell the legislature doesn't really give a damn about this issue because they didn't give the number 1 or 2 or 3 to that bill; it gets the number Last instead. If your uncle or brother complains about the bill's "cost," you may want to remind them that the federal government covers 100% of the cost. You may also want to remind them that unemployment benefits have been pretty good stimulus in Pennsylvania, to the tune of over $1.5 billion, all of it actually spent so that it get the economy going and creates jobs. You may also want to remind them that SB 1 (see? It's really important because it's got a low number!) unconstitutionally gives away one billion dollars to private schools, and that might not have bothered them so much. In the meantime, the National Employment Law Project helps you tell the Pennsylvania legislature to do the right thing.