Are you sitting down? Democrats have apparently agreed to cut Medicare benefits in order to retrain workers displaced by "free" trade agreements as a way to get "fast-track" passed. How absolutely disgusting Democrats are -- why should any reasonable person vote for them? Because they're not quite the knuckle-dragging ogres Republicans are? That's a hell of a selling point, and no wonder it has failed so miserably that we face giant Republican majorities in the House and the Senate these days. And there's no wishing House Republicans scuttle "fast-track," not anymore -- certainly not now that they're going to get their Medicare cuts and Democrats just gave them cover to do it! And they didn't just give them "cover," but fodder for the exact same kind of Republican attack ads that worked so well in 2010! Democrats are unconscionably stupid and/or evil -- who cares about the difference? -- but they haven't reckoned with us, the vast supermajority of American citizens across the political spectrum who oppose "free" trade and "fast-track," who are not fooled by the President's laughably moronic arguments, who need but raise our voices at once. CREDO, Sum of Us, and Public Citizen all help you fight "free" trade "fast-tracking.
Meanwhile, the Center for Effective Government has begun a petition on Change.org that helps you tell the EPA that we want a stronger smog standard than they're at present prepared to issue. Scientists inform us that ozone levels (smog is ground-level ozone pollution, after all) above 60 parts per billion cause heart and lung issues that can stunt the health of children or cause the elderly to die prematurely, and fully two-thirds of Americans live in areas where smog levels go above that, but the EPA has proposed limiting ozone/smog levels to 75 parts per billion, which they no doubt did after hearing big corporations whine and cry and stomp their feet about the
lost vacation homes it would deprive their CEOs of having all the jobs it would "kill." I mean, sure, the EPA levels are an improvement, but we don't just sit back and wait for "improvements," we demand justice. What is justice? That the EPA enact the standards our best science tells us to enact, and the 19th vacation home of some CEO be damned.
Finally, if you've missed previous opportunities to fight for mandatory GMO labeling, now Just Label It helps you tell Quaker and PepsiCo to drop their opposition to GMO labeling and stop funding corporate campaigning against such labeling. Why them? Because Quaker prides itself on the health-friendliness (and family-friendliness) of its brand, and also because PepsiCo owns Quaker, and also because the Big Stick of Bad PR works. And have I mentioned that I'm a bit tired of hearing that we've always genetically-manipulated crops? We have crossbred crops to increase yields and hardiness, sure -- and we haven't always been smart about that, either; "we manipulated crops before and we're still here" isn't actually the Justification of Everything That Came Before that it sounds like -- but we haven't historically fiddled around with crop DNA merely so that it can withstand more of some corporation's proprietary (and probably carcinogenic) pesticides. That's not only short-sighted, it's greedy, and we must fight these things.