Both Public Citizen and Americans for Financial Reform help you tell the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (or CFTC) to rein in financial speculation in oil and food commodities trading. The CFTC could limit the total amount of futures trading that goes on and/or limit the amount of trading one actor could do, and you don't need to know anything about futures trading to know that these would be good things -- as our Founders would tell us, concentrated power in anyone's hands is evil, and individual speculators can drive up the price of oil and food dramatically, and hurt millions of working families across the country, if we let them. Hell, they already have -- remember when Enron caused rolling blackouts all across California in 2002? Or when food speculators jacked up food prices in Egypt, thus kick-starting the Arab Spring of 2011? Or, you know, when banksters almost destroyed our economy in 2008? It's never been a better time to join the make-stuff-sell-stuff-save-money school of economics, and rein in the power of hifalutin financial "instruments" to wreak havoc in our world. (By the way, CFTC comments are due today; I apologize for the late notice.)
Meanwhile, as you know, Republicans again filibustered an attempt to extend long-term unemployment benefits late last week, so the National Women's Law Center helps you tell your Senators to stop blocking the unemployment extension. Official unemployment may be down to 6.6%, but the more pertinent U6 figure -- which includes part-timers looking to work full-time and folks who've given up looking for work -- still sits at 12.7%, and we're still looking at a corporate America that values profits over people, where we still have three applicants for every open position in America despite record corporate profits. Lately Republicans have been telling us it's wrong to extend unemployment benefits without addressing job creation. But you know what Republican "job creation" would look like -- it'd look like the rich man's tax cuts and corporate deregulation that resulted in a net creation of a little over one million jobs during eight Bush Mobb years, or fewer than during Mr. Obama's first term alone. Yet Republicans still keep beating the same dead horses. What's the definition of insanity again?
Finally, the Children's Health Insurance Program (or CHIP) expires at the end of 2015, but CHIP will lose some funding later this year, so we might as well tell Congress to renew and strengthen CHIP, as Moms Rising helps you do. You remember the battles we had over extending and expanding CHIP in 2007 and 2008? Those were great times, weren't they? Many Republicans fought Mr. Bush's vetoes in 2007 and 2008, but that party's since disavowed any kind of spending that might help people, and given that they crossed a line with unemployment insurance, what's to keep them from crossing the line with CHIP? The fact that it's for the children? That won't stop Republicans anymore. Do they not remember that they passed CHIP out of the House in 1998 -- most of the "nay" votes at that time were Democrats, no lie -- or that CHIP adheres to their principles by giving matching block grants for states so they can use those funds with some flexibility (either to establish their own children's health insurance program or to expand Medicaid to cover those children)? Well, I'd like to be wrong about Republicans. But usually I've been wrong by underestimating their venality and cruelty.