Miracle of miracles, President Obama has actually requested a new Authorization to Use Military Force (or AUMF) to conduct the airstrikes in Iraq and Syria that he's already been conducting for nearly half a year now. His request comes with conditions, of course: he wants the AUMF to last three years, he wants no geographic limits on the AUMF, and he pointedly does not repeal the notorious 2001 AUMF, lest that seem too much like an admission that he was full of soup when he contended that the 2001 AUMF gave him all the power he needed. All in all, it's utter rubbish -- his only advantage over his predecessor is that his fearmongering has been more polite. But there is only one response to his three-pronged request: no, no, and no. The Friends Committee on National Legislation helps you tell Congress to reject a new AUMF and stop feeding the cycle of war. I know, I know, advocating negotiation instead of random bombing will get your masculinity questioned on "liberal" media news programs, but negotiation is how civilized people do things, and how well has bombing everything worked, exactly?
Meanwhile, the National Women's Law Center helps you tell Congress to pass H.R. 742/S. 358, the Access to Contraception for Women Servicemembers and Dependents Act, and thus give our soldiers the same access to birth control that most Americans have. What is the point of opposing such a bill -- to engage in constant swordfighting over who's more anti-abortion? All that swordfighting does gives us is more abortions, and you can't help but wonder if some nominally pro-life politicians want it that way. A nation that supports birth control and keeps abortion legal will reduce abortions, but a nation that supports neither one will fail to do so. I suppose Democratic politicians are clever for putting Republicans on the spot with a vote that might make them look "anti-soldier." They'd be cleverer, of course, if the "liberal" media ever covered the issue that way -- for the "liberal" media, only liberals are "anti-soldier," no matter what Republicans do, and opposing birth control is now a "matter of conscience," and never a cynical ploy to keep partisans in ever-deeper states of rage.
Meanwhile, President Obama has called upon Congress to designate 12 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or ANWR, as wilderness, meaning that no oil or gas drillers could operate there, ever. And H.R. 239, a Jared Huffman/Mike Fitzpatrick production, would accomplish that goal. But naturally, the oil and gas industries are opposed, because they've been trying to get into ANWR for decades; their champion, Sen. Ted Stevens -- infamous for wearing his Incredible Hulk tie before ANWR votes -- is no longer with us, but that hasn't abated their greed. And greed is an accurate description of their motives -- they've never been able to prove that drilling in ANWR will yield a lot of oil or lower gas prices. One thing that's fairly well-proven, though, is that drilling does make drilling corporation CEOs rich. It's also fool's gold for hungry oil rig workers lured by low six-figure salaries into eighty-hour work weeks. Hence the League of Conservation Voters helps you tell Congress to bring wilderness protections to the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve.