H.R. 12/S. 123, the Voter Empowerment Act of 2013, makes online voter registration easier, makes intimidating voters harder, helps more disabled folks vote, and lets felons vote again once they get out of jail. And the bill directly addresses, and prohibits, voter "caging." You remember "caging," right, from Greg Palast's 2004 BBC Newsnight report? Where the state (in this case, Florida) sends fundraising solicitations or address verification letters to certain (i.e. black) voters, and then puts the voters who don't respond on a special list alleging that they might not be eligible to vote? Clever, huh? Why do people in power waste valuable time and attention on such matters, when they could just, you know, do something valuable for the folks they serve? The Brennan Center for Justice provides more information, and you can use the tools in the upper left-hand corner of this page to urge your Reps and Senators to support the Voter Empowerment Act. They'll never see it coming.
Meanwhile, Congress still works on the Farm Bill, and shows little or no interest in reforming one of the greatest injustices built into the Farm Bill for decades -- that giant multinational corporations like Cargill, Monsanto, and Archer-Daniels-Midland somehow collect the vast majority of agricultural subsidies. Indeed, between 1995 and 2011, less than four percent of America's farmers collected 75 percent of all of these subsidies. I pity the fool who raises his hand to say, but that makes sense, because those corporations are bigger! But if a pimp needs a slap I'm game to give it: big corporations like Cargill, Monsanto, and ADM shouldn't be getting more government help than the small farmers who need it more -- and certainly not to keep the price of corn syrup (and therefore soda and other junk foods) artificially low, which also keeps our children artificially fat. So USPIRG helps you tell your Senators to fight big subsidies for big agricultural corporations.
In other sad food news, an Oregon farmer has discovered genetically-engineered wheat growing on his farm. He didn't plant it, and even better, this particular strain of GE wheat never even received government approval for planting. And this wheat is one of them-there glycophate-resistant strains! Hey, we were going after glycophates in pesticides not too long ago! Now, nobody necessarily broke the law in planting this strain of wheat -- most likely, the strain was part of a field test. But maybe there should be a law against that, since we can't contain the ill effects any more than we can contain the wind or the animals that carry the GE seed from field to field. So Food and Water Watch helps you tell the USDA to halt all field testing of genetically-modified crops. Note well that many trade partners have outlawed GE crops, and that organic crops won't be organic once tainted with GE seed. These alone should be incentive enough for the USDA to act -- even if, you know, they don't take public service seriously or something.
Finally (cue cheers from convention crowd!), you may have heard the litany of flatugasms coming from (male) Fox News contributors lately, concerning Pew Research's finding that a record number of families with minor children (40%) now feature the mother as the breadwinner. No use slamming these fools any more than their own words (and their own co-workers) have slammed them -- best to remember, as Moms Rising reminds us, that women still earn 77 cents on their male counterparts' dollar, breadwinners or not, and mothers and women of color fare rather worse than that. Hence Moms Rising helps you tell Congress to pass H.R. 377/S. 84, the Paycheck Fairness Act. The Paycheck Fairness Act would give us better tools with which to enforce the Equal Pay Act -- such as prohibiting employers from disciplining workers who discuss their salaries with their co-workers, and putting gender-based discrimination on equal legal footing with other forms of wage discrimination. I'd be hard-pressed to imagine legitimate objections to either of those items.