It's Monday, so it's time to call your Senators and tell them to pass H.R. 6800, the HEROES Act. I know, negotiations over a new COVID-19 stimulus bill are supposedly on again (though by the time you read this, they may be off again!), but there's no damn need to "negotiate" a good stimulus bill, because the HEROES Act is already a good stimulus bill, and our House passed it five months ago. Republicans didn't want it, of course, because it didn't include three martini lunch tax breaks and blanket immunity for corporations that injure people during the pandemic. Now some analysts have detected weakness in our President's recent vacillating, and if that's true, now's the time to strike, and tell our Senators to pass a bill that funds COVID-19 testing and tracing, funds enhanced unemployment benefits, funds our Post Office, and cuts another stimulus check for working families. (And if our President's merely playing us, guess what? Now is still the time to strike, because now is always the time to strike.)
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania residents, take note: Fair Districts PA helps you demand that your state Senators vote on SB 1242, the Legislative and Congressional Redistricting Act (or LACRA), which would make redistricting fairer in Pennsylvania. No, it wouldn't establish an independent commission to handle redistricting, but it would prevent redistricting plans from favoring particular candidates or parties and keep newly-redrawn districts from ignoring town and county boundaries, and it would do these things redistricting of both state legislative districts and U.S. House districts. You'll also want to contact Rep. Everett and House Speaker Cutler and demand they hold a vote on HB 2638, the House version of LACRA. The legislature will adjourn in less than two weeks, and it sure looks like they're trying to run out the clock. They may want to consider whether Democrats might reclaim both state Houses after Election Day. Stranger things have happened, after all. Hell, stranger things will have likely happened between the time I've written this sentence and the time you read it.
In other news, the notorious Nestlé is at it again, this time trying to keep paying a pittance to suck up public water from Ruby Mountain Springs in Chaffee County (CO), to the tune of 65 million gallons annually. But county officials will actually hold a public meeting about the matter in less than two weeks, and the good citizens of Chaffee County need to know we've got their back, hence Sum of Us helps you tell Chaffee County officials to keep public water for the public and reject Nestlé's application to keep sucking them dry. Colorado, like much of the West, suffers from increasing drought, which means they can't just keep giving water away to private corporations who then bottle it and resell it at an absurd profit. That ain't "job creation," that's getting played. The good news? Our efforts in other parts of the country to stem the tide of public water giveaways, while they haven't always worked, have called attention to the problem, and have taught people who've forgotten that public water is our water. So let's keep fighting.
Finally, our Administration has lately advanced a final rule proposal that would allow logging in Alaska's Tongass National Forest, so the Sierra Club helps you tell our Administration, one more time, to reject logging in the Tongass. Getting logging corporations into an area that would cut down thousand year-old trees represents some kind of totem to this Administration -- if we can get loggers in here, they think, we can get them in anywhere -- but that kind of short-term thinking will obliterate this country and its good example to the world. We preserve thousand year-old trees because we experience awe at history and nature; this President apparently only experiences awe when he sees a plunging neckline. Also, but the Sierra Club's latest email missive says logging in the Tongass "turn(s) a climate solution into a climate problem," and they're absolutely right -- the more trees we have, the more carbon we capture. And that's just one thing trees do. And how long does money last, anyway?