The third anniversary of our President's notorious Muslim Ban passed this week, and our President -- never one to admit that he's ever done anything wrong! -- has said he'll expand the ban, so this is as good a time as any to let the Friends Committee on National Legislation help you tell your House Reps to pass two bills that would restrain our President's xenophobia with regard to immigrants and refugees. The bills in question are H.R. 2214/S. 1123, the NO BAN Act, and H.R. 2146/S. 1088, the GRACE Act; the former bill would roll back the Muslim ban and make it harder to enact future religion-based bans, while the latter would increase the minimum number of refugees we can admit every year. I would caution against pointing to the lack of 9.11-style attacks since our President enacted his Muslim ban, since we had many, many years without such an attack while having much, much less restrictive immigration policies. I would also remind you that our President's election saw a spike in hate crimes against Jews and Muslims and that we do still seem to suffer an awful lot of mass shootings. I mean, white people also commit terrorism.
Meanwhile, it ain't just the Great Barrier Reef that's under siege from pollution -- America's only living coral barrier reef, the Florida Reef, also struggles with pollution despite its continuing designation as a marine sanctuary. And now the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (or NOAA) is mulling whether to offer new protections for the Florida Reef, so Environmental Action helps you tell our NOAA to implement the strongest protections possible for the Florida Reef. The threats to the Reef have, after all, changed over the years -- the Reef didn't face rising sea levels, farm runoff, and plastic pollution 40 years ago the way it does now -- and thus our regulations need to meet those changes. Interesting that our NOAA is actually considering strengthening environmental protections, considering that this Administration has consistently demonstrated a hatred of such protections. Probably our President wants something to argue about with TEH LIBRULZ!!!! whenever we complain about his record, and probably he wants to win Florida again. But I would take these risks to save the Florida Reef.
Finally, Change.org helps you tell the Connecticut state legislature to cap the cost of insulin copayments. Why Connecticut? Presumably because the petition's author lives there, but also because several states have already moved to cap the cost of insulin, and though our House of Representatives has moved to do the same at the federal level, our Senate will do its damnedest to do nothing about it, this even though one out of every four diabetics wind up rationing their insulin due to its exorbitant cost, and a diabetic who rations their insulin is likely to wind up dead. I'd prefer to contextualize the rising cost of insulin a bit differently, though -- the cost went up 100% (that is, it doubled) between 2012 and 2016, and what was inflation, generally, during that time? 4.5%. And how much did health care costs go up generally during that time? 15%. 100%, you'll notice, is considerably larger than both of these numbers, and no producer of insulin has ever justified such a cost hike. So gosh, maybe governments can hold those costs down without ludicrous insinuations of "socialism"?