The House of Representatives plans to vote today on H. Con. Res. 105, which would mandate that President Obama ask Congress for authorization to conduct any further military action in Iraq. You know, kind of like the Constitution says he should do anyway, but Presidents these days need extra reminders. No doubt Iraq has gone to turd lately, but who outside of armchair warriors thinks more American airstrikes will make everything better? I should have said "who outside of armchair warriors and President Obama," since he won't rule them out. I don't care if he's playing 13-dimensional chess with Iraqi extremists -- we ought to set an example before the world that we can keep a President from becoming a dictator or a king, and that we can do it through communicating our will to our representatives in Congress, who are, as their name says, supposed to represent. Toward that end, CREDO helps you call your Congressfolk and tell them to support H. Con. Res. 105, and thus also support democracy, the Constitution, and the rule of law. It sounds like a difficult ask, but it really isn't, not for the faithful.
Meanwhile, as you may know, the Children's Health Insurance Program (or CHIP) faces dramatic cuts next year without action from Congress. I know, I know, "action from Congress" is about as likely as seeing a unicorn roll into your neighborhood, but that doesn't change their duty to us or our duty to our country. Congress created CHIP in the late '90s, before Newt Gingrich went off the deep end, and CHIP has since helped cut the number of uninsured children in half, from 14% to 7%. Consider that the uninsured rate among Americans dropped to 13% just this year and you'll see what an accomplishment that is. Of course reauthorizing CHIP sometimes has more pitfalls than it should -- George W. Bush famously vetoed a CHIP expansion in 2008, for some never-fully articulated reason or set of reasons -- but at least the Senate is mulling a bill that would reauthorize CHIP until 2019, so Moms Rising helps you tell your Congressfolk to reauthorize and fund CHIP fully. Seriously, let teabagger Congressdolts run against CHIP. They'll all lose their re-elections to a shrub.
Finally, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell our government to ensure a cease-fire in the Israel/Palestine conflict that can bring about a lasting peace, then the Friends Committee on National Legislation provides one more. Specifically, you'll call for an end to condition- and consequence-free military aid to Israel, an end to Israel's blockade of Gaza, and accountability for both sides for their violations of human rights. Supporting a cease fire doesn't mean you're interfering in someone else's destiny -- we're already interfering, to the tune of $3 billion annually in military aid that shells schoolkids and keeps humanitarian help away from the folks who need it, and, not incidentally, buys good Israelis very little security. And, at the risk of sounding pragmatic, making an ally out of Palestine would give us two allies where we previously had one. I believe in the basic goodness of the American people, and also of the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, who are profoundly tired of the fighting. But governments won't do the right thing without popular pressure.