The Republican reign of destruction continues! In Pennsylvania, HB 934 would require voters to show government-issued photo IDs at the voting booth. Sound like no big deal? Well, it is -- the bill would essentially disenfranchise a lot of low-income folk, a lot of black and Hispanic folk, and a lot of elderly folk (perhaps not coincidentally, the folks most likely to vote against Republicans for their ongoing campaign to destroy Medicare), because these folks are the most likely not to have such IDs. Not because they're lazy or stupid, either, but because they're poor. Even if HB 934 didn't hurt the poor, it'd still be a solution in search of a problem -- the problem isn't that too many people are trying to vote, the problem is that our governments still put too many barriers in front of people voting. From their perspective, of course, the problem may be that "the wrong people are always voting." The ACLU of PA helps you find your PA state legislator here.
Meanwhile, also in Pennsylvania, the Department of Environmental Protection might rescind three rules that limit air pollution. What sparked this obviously awesome idea? A request from gas drilling corporations, that's what. Yikes, they act like the people don't rule a damn thing. Fortunately, the DEP must take public comments on the matter, so the Sierra Club helps you leave said comments, thus reminding our government who calls the shots around here. It ain't the gas drillers, or their enablers in our government. I suppose gas drilling corporations are going after air regulations because they're not going to get anywhere going after water regulations, now that so many good folks can light their tap water on fire thanks to gas drilling. But gas drilling has an effect on air quality, too -- all their dadgum drilling equipment pumps out emissions, and God forbid we have another explosion, because that'll dump a lot of crap into the air, too. And no, stronger regulations don't cripple economies. The health care costs from folks made sick by gas drillers? The eventual environmental clean-up from gas drilling? Those will cripple economies.
Finally, as debate continues on H.R. 1540, the House's defense authorization bill -- already under veto threat from Mr. Obama, due partly to its ceding of Congressional war powers, and good for him -- Rep. Hunter (R-CA) has proposed (in H.Amdt. 94) that military dependent children with special educational needs should get school vouchers. I guess he thinks I'll back off, since the amendment concerns soldiers' kids with special needs, but the fact is soldiers' kids with special needs deserve better than a destructive school voucher program that won't guarantee them a better education, or even admission to a private school, but will drain public schools of money that they could be using on all their special needs kids. Really, Mr. Hunter's amendment is so damn manipulative I bet it has its own orchestral soundtrack. Americans United for the Separation of Church and State helps you beat back this nonsense.