Hot on the heels of the House Ways and Means Committee passing a 10-year, $300 billion package of corporate tax cuts, Senate Democrats have gotten behind a similar bill -- S. 2260, the oddly-named EXPIRE Act -- which would extend all sorts of corporate tax breaks for two years, costing $85 billion (versus the House bill's 10 years and $300 billion). And like the House bill, the EXPIRE Act would extend corporate tax breaks without paying for them. You know how Congress always says unemployment benefits have to be "paid for"? Apparently, corporate tax breaks don't. Of course, corporate lackeys will say that corporate tax breaks "pay for themselves" with all the jobs they create, though that can't be true, or the U-6 unemployment rate wouldn't still sit above 12%. And unemployment benefits actually do pay for themselves -- the unemployed aren't going to sit on that money, they're going to pump it into local economies, because they kinda have to, you know. NETWORK, the national Catholic social justice lobby, helps you tell the Senate to reject corporate tax breaks while long-term unemployment insurance remains unrenewed. You'd hope your Senators have a sense of justice, or at least shame. Right?
Meanwhile, Ohio activist Sara Vredevoogd has started a petition on CREDO which helps you demand that the Department of Justice investigate Ohio's apparent attempts to suppress the vote. Ohio has lately acquired quite the reputation for vote suppression, not just from Clear Channel billboards popping up in minority neighborhoods in October of 2012 reminding its residents that "voting fraud is a crime" (why not in white neighborhoods, one wonders?) but with Secretary of State Jon Husted's 2012 efforts to make voting hours "uniform" all across Ohio, which actually restricted the right to vote for people in more populous areas -- or as a fellow Republican put it at the time, areas where the "African-American voter-turnout machine" purportedly operates. The resulting bad PR quashed those efforts in 2012, but earlier this year, Mr. Husted again announced efforts to cut back on voting on Sundays and in early evenings -- you know, times when most people who work day shifts are likely to vote? -- just days after Gov. Kasich signed bills ending same-day registration and cutting early voting days. The good news? Attorney General Eric Holder has shown an acute interest in voting rights' violations in the past.
Finally, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell the EPA to reopen investigations into fracking contamination in three locations, then Breast Cancer Action still helps you do that. The EPA closed investigations in Parker County, TX, Dimock, PA, and Pavillion, WY, though it had good reason to keep those investigations going -- as you may recall, preliminary EPA reports in each of these three areas suggested drinking water contamination, but the EPA abruptly called off the investigations with no explanation. And it's not like this is an impossible event: of the 700 fracking chemicals scientists have found (which don't have to be disclosed, thanks to the 2005 Congress), more than a few are known endocrine-disruptors and carcinogens, and they all find their way into our drinking water. And if you don't live near a fracking operation now, as about 1 in 20 Americans do, chances are you will soon, as the industry expands, as the chemicals they use become more common, and (of course!) as President Obama largely ignores the outcry over the brown/gelatinous/flammable water that fracking has brought us. Yeah, yeah, he says he wants to wean us off of foreign oil, and who doesn't? But setting aside the various other ways to do that: if you can't drink the water, what have you won?