The Chinese government has sentenced Ilham Tohti to life in prison, officially for "separatism" -- didn't know "separatism" could get you life in jail somewhere on Earth, did you? -- but basically for his lifelong activism in support of the Uyghur population, one of some 55 ethnic minorities officially recognized by the Chinese government. Mr. Tohti, an economist by training, has long agitated for greater regional autonomy for the Uyghurs, who mainly live in southwestern China -- and who wouldn't, if they lived in a country that blends the worst aspects of Communism and capitalism?. But I guess "official recognition" comes with "great responsibilities," like toeing the Chinese government's line. Nobody who speaks their mind and peacefully tries to get a better life for their people should be imprisoned for life, and when even our current Secretary of State has called for Mr. Tohti's release, you begin to suspect Mr. Tohti might really be the "Uyghur Mandela," as he's been called. Hence Amnesty International helps you tell the Chinese government to free Mr. Tohti.
Meanwhile, President-elect Trump has tapped yet another Goldman-Sachs bankster (you know, besides Steve "Don't Call Me Racist" Bannon) for his brain trust, this time nominating hedge fund manager Steve Mnuchin to be Secretary of the Treasury. Remember when Donald Trump said hedge fund managers "get away with murder"? I guess that was for us "little people." So how did Mr. Mnuchin make his money? Oh, the same way any average hard-working salt-of-the-earth does -- by foreclosing on homeowners in ways that one federal judge called "harsh, repugnant, shocking, and repulsive," including (but not limited to!) foreclosing on an elderly homeowner after she made a payment error of 27 cents. 27 cents! And naturally, Mr. Mnuchin wants to take down the modest Dodd-Frank reforms once he takes control of Treasury, reforms which have prevented banksters from sending our economy into freefall again. This is not someone we want in our government -- a person whose life work is hurting other people for personal gain. So Demand Progress helps you tell your Senators to block Mr. Mnuchin from becoming Secretary of the Treasury.
Finally, though it's hard to keep up with all the awful characters Donald Trump is trying to put in charge of our government (why, it's almost like that's the idea!), the National Womens' Law Center helps you tell your Senators to oppose the nomination of Rep. Tom Price of Georgia as Health and Human Services Secretary. Mr. Price's opposition to abortion doesn't annoy me so much as does his opposition to birth control -- I mean, where does he think you begin to reduce abortions? With chastity belts? Mr. Price also took gleeful part in that Planned Parenthood witch-hunt, and is also a steadfast votary of privatizing Medicare. It boggles the mind that anyone still thinks Mr. Trump will actually stop other Republicans from privatizing Medicare -- if you're planning to do that, you don't put a staunch Medicare-privatizer in charge of HHS, which, guess what, oversees the administration of Medicare! Mr. Price's notions aren't "fresh" or "new" or "innovative," and "draining the swamp" doesn't mean putting even bigger assholes in charge of stuff.