Hope collides with reality
The new but very slim Democratic congressional majorities have been able to give the Bush White House a touch of heartburn on a couple of occasions this year. But as of the Memorial Day recess, Washington Democrats have hardly even begun to undo the damage that Bush has inflicted on the nation. The failure to force a withdrawal timeline in Iraq is perhaps the most public disappointment. But the most telling is the inability — or unwillingness — of some Democrats to break the stranglehold with which corporate interests hold Washington captive. Conservative Democrats, channeling the ghost of the now-indicted former Republican House majority leader Tom Delay, of Texas, failed to bring to a vote a measure that would make it more difficult for former members of Congress to become lobbyists themselves — at least until two years had passed. They also failed to deal with the pernicious practice of “earmarking.” It seems relatively clear that, unless a larger, more progressive Democratic majority can be elected in 2008, together with a Democratic president, the hope for real reform in Washington will be just a pipe dream.
Stopping genocide; saving gay marriage
With the United States, the United Nations, and the European Union unwilling to intervene in the Sudan, it seems that — while it is not the most desirable tactic and is often abused — the only course of action left to people who wish to end the genocide in Darfur is to enlist in the growing campaign to force companies that do business in Sudan to divest. Some Massachusetts lawmakers want to forbid the state from investing public-employee pension funds with firms that buy stocks in companies that do business in Sudan.
It looks, at the moment, as if the reactionaries who want to nullify the historic decision of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court that grants men and women of the same sex an equal right to marry, may well win their bid to place the issue on a statewide ballot. If you support the right of gay couples to marry, you can — and must — take action.
How to support this divestment effort:
To get the senate to vote on Senator Augustus’s divestment bill, S1437, contact your state senators, with special emphasis on the 5 republican senators in the minority party who are holding the bill up.
To get a divestment bill introduced in the House, contact your representatives
Write your local papers about the divestment bill.
To see the complete text of S1437, click here
Five things you can do to save gay marriage:
1. Attend the Constitutional Convention with MassEquality
2. Talk to your legislators
3. Write your local newspaper
4. You’ve got friends? Tell one.
5. Volunteer with any of the following organizations: MassEquality, Freedom to Marry Coalition of Massachusetts, GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders)