Our federal government isn't funded after Wednesday, and John Boehner's resignation as House Speaker presumably makes a government shutdown less likely. But I think it also makes a bad government funding bill more likely -- the "liberal" media, as you know, has obsessed about whether the House will defund Planned Parenthood, and I think that's what Republicans want, so they can slip other nefarious policy riders into a government funding bill, riders that would defund financial regulatory efforts and net neutrality enforcement and campaign finance oversight. We know these things could happen because they have already happened -- Sen. McConnell used the 2014 "cromnibus" to defang financial regulation and campaign finance reforms, and Rep. Crenshaw (R-FL) slipped an anti-net neutrality provision into an appropriations bill earlier this year. But our will is still our will, so Public Citizen still helps you tell Congress to pass a clean budget bill that doesn't include bad policy initiatives the public would fight if not for the hostage crisis of a deadline.
Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania state House just passed SB 875, which would grant immunity from prosecution to corporations that give treated mine waste to frackers, but the House amended it, meaning the Senate has to vote on it again. Why we would immunize polluters from the full force of the law is beyond me. Well, it's not beyond me why someone would do it -- someone might have a legitimate-but-misguided concern about "job creation," or might merely want to keep those campaign dollars coming -- but it is beyond me why someone would do that and then insist they're still civilized people. And substituting fresh water with treated mine waste in fracking operations won't do all that much for us once that mine waste gets into the water table, thus polluting the clean water we all rely upon for drinking, washing, and bathing. So let's not force ourselves to choose between clean water and jobs (or, more precisely, clean water and even more exorbitant CEO salaries) and let the Sierra Club help us tell the Pennsylvania state Senate to vote down the latest version of SB 875.
Finally, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell the notorious "pharma bro," Martin Shkreli, to completely reverse his more-than-5000-percent price hike to Daraprim, then Public Citizen still helps you do that. The outrage over Mr. Shkreli's actions (an outrage even Donald Trump shares!) has centered mainly around the use Daraprim has for AIDS and cancer patients, but Public Citizen reminds us that pregnant women also use it, and folks even use Daraprim to treat or prevent malaria. We also know that toxoplasmosis (the parasitic infection Daraprim treats) doesn't go away with one pill; even before Mr. Shkreli's pricejack, treating toxoplasmosis typically ran about $1,000. And as far as Mr. Shkreli's assertion that the price is necessary to justify new research, development, and innovation: one, everyone takes innovation hostage to profits, and two, pharmaceutical corporations have not only been notoriously tight-lipped about how much money they actually spend on R&D, they've even squashed legislative efforts at such disclosure. You have to wonder what they have to hide.