The House passed a Keystone XL pipeline approval bill late last week, and the Senate plans to take up that same bill today; hence Friends of the Earth helps you tell your Senators to reject approval for the Keystone XL pipeline. For reasons with which we're already quite familiar: its builders have a bad pipe safety record, the pipeline will run over heartland aquifers providing drinking water to millions of Americans, and creating markets for tar sands oil will exacerbate climate change. Saving Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu from defeat in her runoff election a few weeks from now is not an adequate reason to approve the pipeline. If Democrats were so anxious to keep her in the Senate, perhaps the DCCC shouldn't have pulled out of Louisiana a few weeks ago. Hell, if they were so anxious, they could have, you know, stood for things when they ran for election. Hell, they could have done things they could actually have run on while they controlled all the levers of power just a few short years ago. But another filthy oil pipeline when Americans clamor for less pollution and more renewable energy? Only politicians and their paymasters like that.
Meanwhile, in the wake of President Obama's surprisingly vigorous defense of network neutrality from last week, both the ACLU and the Sierra Club help you tell the FCC to defend net neutrality and stop trying to give away the internet to big corporations. Despite the fact that allegedly conservative politicians and political organizations have all abandoned it, net neutrality -- the principle that internet service providers should treat all traffic equally, which allows you, and not some big corporation, to decide where you want to go and what you want to see on the internet -- still retains strong bipartisan support. You'd think our politicians would appreciate that, since they're always talking about "bipartisanship" all the time, but their brand of "bipartisanship" simply means giving in to corporations all the time. And right-wing big-money organizations really need to quit with the ZOMG BIG GUMMINT WILL STRANGLEZ TEH INTERNETZ AND TEH INNOVASHUNZ!!!! rubbish already. This will blow the mind of anyone who automatically equates government action with oppression, but sometimes our government needs to act to preserve our freedoms. This is one of those times.
Finally, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell your Congressfolk to reauthorize the Children's Health Insurance Program, of CHIP, then Moms Rising still helps you do that. CHIP was a bipartisan creation of the Republican Congresses under President Clinton; its main Senate sponsors were Democrat Ted Kennedy and Republican Orrin Hatch (I'm old enough to remember when you couldn't go any further right in the Senate than Mr. Hatch), and CHIP adheres to conservative principles by letting the states manage the programs, though they use federal funding to do it. Will any of that matter to the nihilist nutjobs who just got themselves elected to the House and Senate in greater numbers than ever before? Somehow, I doubt it -- they routinely demonstrate that they care more about money than people. Perhaps, in the "spirit of compromise," they'll demand some poison pill attached to any CHIP reauthorization. But just because that's the way they are, that doesn't mean we have to take it. All we need do is tell them what we want, repeatedly and in huge enough numbers that they can't ignore us.