Thursday, November 24, 2005

Ways to Help This Thanksgiving

Okay, so you're hiding out somewhere with your laptop, avoiding Great Aunt Agatha's Eggnog-of-Death and Sister-in-Law Susie's Turnip Surprise. I get that. You might as well accomplish something while you're hiding. That way, you can legitimately say you're working, if you get caught. Here are some ideas.

1) Fight for Health Care at Wal-Mart -and beyond. You saw the movie... Wal-Mart's poverty wages and expensive benefits are driving the race to the bottom for working families. The Campaign for America's Future is sponsoring the "Health Care Accountability Act" that would require huge corporations like Wal-Mart to provide decent health care for their employees. Send a message to Congress here: Sample Letter.

2)In the next few weeks, Congress undertakes the final vote on the federal budget. Grassroots outrage and outreach made a huge difference. The Senate was forced to strip some of the more appalling cuts, and the budget came within two votes of defeat in the House. We need to keep up the good work. Write your Representative and tell him or her that cutting $50 billion from services working families depend on to give tax cuts to the wealthy is no way to ensure their own job security. Learn more and write your letter on-line here: Move On.

3)Take action about the Patriot Act. Last week, a bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives blocked an attempt to steam-roll the renewal of the Patriot Act through Congress. But both chambers of Congress will act on this issue when they get back from Thanksgiving recess, and they need to hear from us. And to make matters worse, the Republican leadership has now added proposed amendments to the Act that make it even worse than the 2001 version. They expanded the number of crimes for which the death penalty can be imposed and they seriously altered habeus corpus for domestic imprisonments. Interestingly, these provisions were added in conference committee, have not been considered by the chambers of Congress, and aren't in either the House or Senate bills. Moreover, the minority members of the conference committee were excluded from the meetings from which the conference report emerged. Heavy handed enough for you? Contact your Representative at his home office this week. Find out where it is by looking here: House of Representatives.

Now go visit with your Aunt Agatha. Her eggnog may be bad, but she's probably not pulling off stunts that rival these Congressional travesties!

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