The Win Without War blog posts this letter from 23 organizations supporting defense bill amendments by Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Rand Paul (R-KY). The Merkley amendment (S.A. 1174 to S. 1867, if you're keeping score at home) would make Mr. Obama pull out of Afghanistan more quickly, and I'm not too keen on it: I'd rather pull out of Afghanistan now, and Barbara Lee's bill, H.R. 780, would accomplish that aim. But Mr. Paul's amendment (S.A. 1064 to S. 1867) would actually revoke the President's authorization to use military force in Iraq, as passed by the 2002 Congress, and I think that would do rather nicely, thank you very much. If we're going to fight a war, we ought to go through the trouble to declare war, and not make up new powers for the President in the manner of the 2001 and 2002 authorizations. Now, I don't have a handy email contact tool for these amendments (too many of the ones I've been getting are too pro-S.A. 1174 for my taste), but a phone call to your Senators would not be untoward of you. They'll never see it coming.
Meanwhile, you may have seen the 60 Minutes report on Congressional insider trading. But you may not know that, even in the Congress of Screw You, some Congressfolk actually want to stop the trading, via H.R. 1148/S. 1871, the STOCK Act (it's not that bad an acronym). If insider trading is illegal for private traders, as it should be, then it should certainly also be illegal for Congressfolk. And it seems to me that private traders have to work to get insider information -- that they, at the very least, have to spend years cultivating relationships with people-in-the-know, including Congressfolk. Since Congressfolk are the ones who, ah, make the laws, they're actually, in many instances, the source of inside information, and can do more damage to markets with less work. Why, they could even conspire to make themselves rich at the expense of the markets. So Common Cause helps you tell Congress to pass the STOCK Act.
Finally, OMB Watch reminds us that the House is moving forward this week with H.R. 3010, the Regulatory Accountability Act, and helps you tell your House Rep to oppose it. OMB Watch provides a long analysis of the RAA