Common Cause helps you tell your Senators to support S.J.Res. 19, which would amend the Constitution to permit state and federal governments to regulate campaign finance. The Senate has already begun debating the amendment, and, well, let's just say I wish I never saw this compilation of certain right-wing complaints about the proposed amendment. Sen. Cruz (R-TX) claims, without evidence, that the amendment would "repeal the First Amendment." Does it allow our government to put you in jail for speaking out against it? Does it establish a state religion? No to both of these questions? Then it does not repeal the First Amendment, because money is not speech. And, actually, the amendment would strengthen the First Amendment, because it would prevent people with money from drowning out the rest of us in the public square. But even more offensive than the notion that the amendment would muzzle "pastors" (it wouldn't) or that it's just like the Alien and Sedition Acts (it's not) or their invocation of Saul Alinsky (seriously?) is the sudden complaining about disclosure. Why isn't simple campaign finance disclosure on the table, amendment opponents ask? Well, they should talk to the Republican Senators who've filibustered it repeatedly over the last four years.
Meanwhile, Heather Minor has begun a petition on change.org with which you may ask President Obama to pardon her father, Randy Minor, who became addicted to methamphetamine in 1998 and apparently planned to manufacture more to support his habit, but got life without parole instead. I'm no Libertarian on drug issues -- I don't think we should make any drug we like and then let the "free market" decide what's best, because drug addiction is antithetical to freedom -- but I also think we should expend more effort rehabilitating nonviolent drug offenders. Yes, I know that would make it more difficult to put the big drug kingpins in jail, but nobody said democracy was supposed to be easy, and if your values don't inconvenience you, they're probably not worth having anyway. And even if we do put drug addicts in jail, do we put them in prison for life without parole? Are we that insecure in our manhood as a culture? Jesus Mary and Joseph even Mr. Minor's judge said, from the stand, that the sentence "far exceeds whatever punishment would be appropriate." And though Mr. Obama has been parsimonious with the pardon pen so far -- far more so than any recent President and how much love from the right wing has that gotten him? -- his Justice Department has moved to make these sentences more appropriate, so he may get on board.
Finally, I may be about the last person to see John Oliver's hilarious and inspiring pro-net neutrality rant, and I say that because it's apparently provoked thousands of Americans to send their pro-net neutrality comments (or perhaps I should say "pro-preventing cable company fuckery" comments?) to the FCC. (Seriously, watch the video to the end, when Mr. Oliver commands an army of internet trolls to "for once in your life...focus your indiscriminate rage" on doing something good, like telling the FCC to keep the internet as a place where everyone can make themselves heard, without having to pay tribute to Comcast or Verizon.) The link at the beginning of this paragraph helps you contact the FCC, but Free Press also helps you tell your Senator to sign on to Sen. Markey's letter demanding that the FCC preserve the internet as it is -- as a place where you, and not some corporation, determine what your internet experience is like, as a place where you can make your voice heard without the sanction of some corporate entity, as a place where you can start a blog or a business with fewer obstacles than any of your forebears have ever had in human history. The internet is the level playing field both conservatives and liberals have dreamed of all their lives. It would be a shame to trash it so a handful of big telecom CEOs can gild the plumbing in their seventh vacation home.