Last week we discussed Sen. Richard Shelby's latest attempt to give Wall Street banksters massive handouts. His bill did pass the Senate Finance Committee before the Memorial Day recess, but only by a 12-10 vote, which suggests that a similar vote in the full Senate could be filibustered -- but only if they know how we feel. Hence CREDO helps you tell Senate Democrats to unite against the Shelby bill. Why Senate Democrats? Because a united Democratic front against the bill is all we need to stop it dead, and because the Democratic leadership hears far too much from Wall Street already about how the bill is actually pro-small bank. "Liberal" media reporting buys this line, too -- here's how The Hill describes the provision that would limit the definition of the "systematically important financial institution," or "too big to fail" bank, so that only six banks, instead of over 30, would be made to keep large amounts of capital around so they (and we) can better withstand their bad decisions: they say the provision would "broaden() the definition of smaller banks eligible for exemptions from Dodd-Frank." Always they say this will help the small banks when they really mean this will help the banksters. That just means we have to be louder.
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which funds school lunch programs for kids, expires on September 30, and USAction helps you tell Congress to renew and strengthen child nutrition programs. You might well be thinking, why, only a Scrooge McSmallgovernment would oppose reauthorizing child nutrition programs! But, as Ann Cooper has suggested, the most rightward members of Congress won't kill the program, but they'll hold the reauthorization hostage to the whims of their big donors -- they'll try to weaken fruit and vegetable requirements, reduce or eliminate whole-grain requirements, weaken salt restrictions, or let kids to buy school lunch items a la carte, which would encourage them to buy only the junkiest food options and skip the healthy stuff. A la carte packaging, as you know, is only for adults buying cable channels, not kids we're trying to keep from becoming obese and diabetic. Our opponents may even try to bring back that nefarious opt-out option for schools "struggling" to meet stricter nutrition standards. You'll want to oppose all of that in your letter. And if you want to call our opponents objectively pro-childhood obesity, I won't stand in your way.
Meanwhile, despite our quite reasonable activism against more Shell Oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean, President Obama has granted conditional approval to Shell to drill in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska. The "conditions" apparently have to do with Shell meeting "tougher restrictions on spills and leaks." But how could this happen, after Mr. Obama banned drilling in that area? Because at the time he issued the ban, he signaled his intention to honor previous drilling leases awarded there -- and Shell got its drilling leases back in 2008. Shell will still have to get state and federal permits in order to begin drilling, but I doubt that'll be much of an obstacle -- unless, of course, they screw up again, which we might more reasonably count on, since Arctic oil drilling, as we know, is even more fraught with danger than Gulf of Mexico oil drilling was. An oil spill in the frigid Arctic, for example, will be tougher to clean up than the 2010 Spillageddon in the relatively temperate Gulf was, and why should we presume Shell will be any more prepared for a massive spill than BP was? CREDO helps you tell President Obama to reject any further oil drilling in the Arctic.