As you know, President Obama has reversed course somewhat in Afghanistan, saying he'll leave almost 10,000 troops there through 2016 and then more than 5,000 troops there afterward -- but, as you also know, President Obama promised he'd end the war in Afghanistan for-real for-real, so CREDO helps you remind President Obama to keep his promise to end the 14-years-and-counting Afghanistan war. Not that we should be surprised -- he said he'd end the Iraq war, too, before beginning his unauthorized-by-Congress air strikes in Syria purportedly designed to attack ISIS. Still, a man does become concerned with his legacy six or seven years into his Administration, and a man does become concerned, also, with the multitudinous promises he's made that he hasn't kept. At least you'd like to think so! We're not exactly dealing with a promising military situation there, either -- the corrupt Afghanistan government can't seem to get by without us, and they need a lot more of our help than we're willing to give. I was long a proponent of the get-bin-Laden-get-out school. Well, we got bin Laden, so we should have gotten out long ago.
Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania state legislature apparently plans to take up, as early as today, HB 965/SB 562, which would impede the ability of the state to implement and enforce environmental regulations. We strive to impede the ability of the state to spy on us and throw us in jail when we haven't done anything wrong, but we strive to improve the ability of the state to keep big corporations from polluting our air and water, and we do both of these things because we love freedom -- not just the freedom from state harassment, but the freedom to be healthy and pursue happiness. And no, corporate titans do not "exercise their right to pursue happiness" when they try to cajole legislatures into passing bills that would reduce public transparency on regulatory changes and allow Assembly committees to essentially nullify regulatory changes without actually going through the trouble of passing laws -- they're running roughshod over our right to pursue happiness. So both the Sierra Club and Penn Environment help you tell the Pennsylvania state legislature to respect the regulatory process and reject HB 965.
Finally, Congress comes back to work today, and the Senate Judiciary Committee might actually act on S. 2123, the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act, beginning with a hearing on sentencing reform today. S. 2123 wouldn't gut the mandatory minimum sentencing regime in America, but it would take steps toward making that regime less repressive -- it would reduce some mandatory minimum sentences, give judges more room to give non-violent drug offenders sentences lower than the relevant mandatory minimums, and would apply previous mandatory minimum reforms retroactively, i.e., to prisoners who were sentenced before the reforms went into effect. When we supported the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010, you may recall, we wanted current federal prisoners to be eligible for the reduced mandatory minimums the law mandates, and couldn't get it; with S. 2123, we can. The bill isn't everything a good American could want, but it will put us in a good position to get more of what we want in the future. Hence the Drug Policy Alliance helps you tell your Senator to support reasonable sentencing reform in America by supporting S. 2123.