You may have heard that the Detroit Water and Sewage Department has turned off water services for over 12,000 Detroit residents between late March and mid-June, although water bills in Detroit are around twice the national average, and some much bigger delinquents (like the hockey and football arenas owing over $125,000 between them and the city-owned golf courses owing upwards of $400,000), have, ah, yet to be served with notices of impending loss of service. I will brook no backtalk from trolls about how we're all supposed to pay our bills, aren't we? In a stronger, loving world, absolutely -- but in the sick, immoral, and decadent society we live in, whose Great and Glorious Corporate Elites pride themselves on how few people they can hire, whose Great and Glorious Political Elites whine about deficits and regulations while their constituents struggle to decide which bill to pay and which bill to put off another month, we should at least agree that turning off people's water is cruel and unusual punishment, not to mention an act that hurts all of us, since folks who can't even flush their toilets are more likely to get sick and more likely to make the rest of us sick, too. Hence Food and Water Watch helps you tell President Obama to declare a public health emergency in Detroit. He wants to be a bold actor on the American political scene? Well, let's see action.
Meanwhile, I'm as annoyed as anyone with the Supreme Court's decision allowing Hobby Lobby to exercise its "religious freedom" and opt out of the Obama Administration birth control mandate -- which may not mean much to Hobby Lobby's employees, but will to the employees of the next "closely-held" corporation whose CEO is a testosterone-addled knuckle-dragger -- but I haven't passed along action alerts demanding that Congress fix the problem, not so much because Congress doesn't want to fix that or any other problems, although they don't, but because I didn't think any legislative fix short of a Constitutional amendment telling everyone that corporations aren't people would do the job. (Even S.J.Res. 19, which would allow our state and federal governments to make campaign finance laws again, doesn't explicitly go after the corporate personhood myth.) But President Obama has already reacted to such adverse publicity in an unexpectedly constructive way -- when he instructed the HHS to require insurance corporations to cover birth control for employees of religious non-profits, rather than the religious non-profits themselves, I wondered why he didn't just do that in the first place. Now, he has the opportunity to do that again, this time for employees of the "closely-held corporations" exercising their "religious beliefs," and Democracy for America helps you urge Mr. Obama to do that.