Monday, July 10, 2006

Today's Action Items

  • Dick Cheney and William J. Haynes, II - Boo! Cheney is at it again, the dirty bastard: Bush appeals court nominee William J. Haynes, II is many things – most notably, a key architect of the administration’s torture, ‘enemy combatant’ and military tribunal policies, and an important ally in Dick Cheney’s pursuit of expansive executive power. One thing he is not is a judge on the influential 4th Circuit Court of Appeals. But the Rove-Cheney machine is making another run with Haynes, hoping that the white noise of election-year security messaging will help the nomination sail though. They, of course, are also hoping that the audacity of the Haynes nomination impresses their right-wing base. Dutifully, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) is pushing Haynes' nomination in the Senate again, with the Senate Judiciary Committee set to hold a hearing on Haynes for a second time tomorrow. If you are familiar with William Haynes, you know he’s considered by many to be the poster boy for the administration’s torture policies. But did you also know that he is a Dick Cheney crony? A recent report in The New Yorker exposes an agenda-driven inner circle of which Haynes was a part and paints a picture of the man that goes beyond his disturbing view of the law, raising serious questions about his character.
    According to the article, Haynes colluded with his mentor, David Addington in the vice president’s office (now Cheney’s chief of staff), to develop policies that have since disgraced our country, and then relied on his close friend John Yoo in the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel to help defend and justify them. Perhaps the most disturbing allegation described in the report is Haynes’ deception of the Navy’s general counsel (now retired), who demanded greater oversight of what he thought were illegal operations at Guantanamo, in order to silence his protests. Call your Senator today at (202) 224-4543 – tell your senator to attend the hearing and express outrage over the fact that Haynes is in front of the committee again.
  • Massachusetts Gay Marriage Amendment- This morning, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the proposed amendment to the state constitution seeking to ban same-sex marriage can move forward. It is now certain that the responsibility for determining whether the proposed amendment should move forward to voters rests squarely with Massachusetts legislators.
    Legislators will meet this Wednesday to take up the question, so we only have two more days to protect marriage equality. So, figure out who your senator and your local representative is, find out if they are against the amendment and thank them, or if they are for it or haven't announced their side yet, call them and let them know how you feel.
  • Media Conglomeration - Currently, the Federal Communications Committee (FCC) limits the number of local media outlets corporation can own. This ensures that local interests control the dialogue. But big media conglomerates have been lobbying the FCC to rewrite these rules, giving them the green light to buy up local markets and expand what's known as "media consolidation." This would be good for the wallets of big media, but bad for local participation and democracy in general. Take action! f current protections were lifted, ONE media company could potentially own the major daily newspaper, at least EIGHT radio stations and THREE or more television stations in the same town. Sign the petition to stop this from happening: http://go.care2.com/e/lYB/Na/lqYC
  • Voting Rights Act - A small group of Southern lawmakers have derailed a House vote to renew expiring provisions of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), the landmark law that has protected the right to vote for millions of Americans.
    They want to gut the act and make it easier to discriminate against minority voters. Not surprisingly, these lawmakers represent states with the worst records of continued voting discrimination.
    We can’t let a small group of lawmakers destroy 40 years of progress! Email your representative and tell him or her to renew the VRA now. Go to http://action.aclu.org/vra and another petition here.
  • Emergency Contraception Pill - as it stands now, when a survivor of rape enters the emergency room she is not always given the chance to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Take action to give all rape survivors a choice in the aftermath of their assault!
  • Minimum Wage - Once again an increase in the Federal Minimum Wage has been blocked. We all know that no family or even one person can live on the Federal minimum wage of $5.15 per hour. The fact that it is still this low is disgraceful.We, the voters of this country, must force all members of Congress to understand that we cannot be fooled by political maneuvers or phony dialogue about the proposed increases costing The USA jobs. We must force them, with our letters and words, to understand that WE, the voters in their Districts and States, know their arguments don't hold water and that people are being hurt everyday in America as a result of this freezing Federal Minimum Wage while they give themselves fat pay increases. More info and petition here.
  • Verizon is Anti-Union - Verizon Wireless is one of the nation's most popular wireless providers, serving 42 million customers. But did you know the company is also one of the most anti-union? A federal Administrative Law Judge recently found that Verizon Wireless illegally disciplined a pro-union worker and interfered with employees' rights to form or support a union. And Verizon Wireless workers say the company used "scare tactics" and intimidation to prevent employees from joining unions. Tell Verizon Wireless to Stop Interfering With Employees Who Want To Form Unions!
  • Our Idiot in Chief can do whatever he wants - Under a radical new theory of presidential power, President Bush is openly claiming the right to disobey any laws he doesn't agree with -- and Congress is letting him get away with it. Presidential signing statements are nothing new -- but this President's open defiance of the law most certainly is.
    Click here to tell your representative and senators that they MUST hold Bush accountable under the law.
  • Hate Ann Coulter? - Tell politicians to denounce her, if you want. She has the freedom to say what she wants, but....Join the DCCC in telling Republicans to denounce Ann Coulter's hate speech>> http://go.care2.com/e/ljr/nI/lqYC
  • Medicare Doughnut Hole - To hold the cost of Medicare Part D down, Republicans invented the "doughnut hole" - a large gap in coverage after it reaches a certain level. Millions of Americans who signed up for the plan are about to tumble into that gap.
    The Stabenow-Kennedy bill will establish a standard prescription drug benefit administered directly by Medicare. Seniors who choose this option will have a modest deductible and co-payments for prescriptions, without any gaps in coverage.

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