An end to the hateful Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Critical protections for same-sex couples. Constant pressure on Congress – and unyielding work to secure lasting marriage equality in state after state.
Will you be one of the select few – the HRC Partners – who don’t just join these fights, but lead our movement to victory?
By midnight tonight, HRC needs 100 people like you to take their support to the next level with a monthly gift
Why give monthly?
•It’s easy on your budget, and it goes a long way. Most of us don’t think twice about keeping the lights on or the car insured – aren’t fundamental rights just as essential?
•The enemy is relentless, shameless, and animated by hatred. A Congress elected to tackle economic issues has set its sights on defending discrimination at any cost. It takes steady resources to fight back with national grassroots pressure, direct lobbying, public education programs, and hard-hitting media campaigns.
•Monthly giving is the right wing‘s bread and butter. We need to match our opponents – gift for gift, dollar for dollar. Or, to put it a finer point on it, for every 67 cents they pour in, we must do the same. These are the critical funds we use to counter right-wing lies and push back assaults on equality – all at a moment’s notice.
That’s why we need you to become an HRC Partner by midnight TONIGHT and claim your eco-friendly tote as a thank-you gift.
Now’s not the time to relent – we can’t afford to give one inch back to the radical right. Take the next step with us, and help us ensure we don’t.
I recently delivered your petition signature along with a copy of the latest Harvard study that shows the true cost of coal to both of your Senators.
During our delivery, we made sure to prioritize the offices of Senators whose states have been devastated by coal mining such as John Rockefeller (D-WV) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Also, those who take their cues from the polluter companies that paid for their election campaigns such as Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Jim Inhofe (R-OK).
We then dropped off the petition and the Harvard study to Senators like Sherrod Brown (D-OH) who have been on the fence about whether carbon pollution from coal is dangerous enough to restrict now.
Thank you for your support. With these petitions, you and activists across the country made it clear to the Senate that the 34,000 Americans who die each year from coal and the extra half a trillion dollars it costs our economy is a price too high.
The fight for clean energy continues. In Washington, coal industry lobbyists are pressuring lawmakers to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its power to regulate the dirty emissions of coal fired power plants. Our campaign is just getting started and we are going to need you every step of the way. Thanks for taking action and I look forward to working with you in the future.
Greenpeace Senior Legislative Representative
Congressional leaders failed to reach an agreement to fund the federal government late last night in a White House meeting with President Obama, increasing the possibility of a government shutdown. Emerging from the 90-minute meeting just before midnight with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Obama said that while no final deal had been reached, both sides narrowed the differences between their positions. He added, “I remain confident that if we’re serious about getting something done, we should be able to complete a deal and get it passed and avert a shutdown.” But it’s unclear how serious all parties have been in these negotiations. Funding for the government runs out at midnight tomorrow, and Republicans have thus far been unwilling to make any meaningful concessions, setting up the possibility of the first shutdown in 15 years. In fact, many analysts believe that a shutdown is already inevitable, as a deal had to be reached Tuesday night in order to allow enough time for the bill to work its way through the House and Senate and be signed by the president.
MOVING THE GOAL POSTS: Congressional leaders have been negotiating over funding the government for months, but while Democrats have repeatedly ceded ground, Republicans have so far refused to budge. Last week, Senate Democrats and the White House agreed to a compromise that would cut $33 billion below current levels. Obama has consistently said that he’s willing to meet the GOP halfway, but with the $33 billion figures, Democrats went more than half the way to the GOP bill to fund the government for the rest of the year. In fact, the figure goes even further than the GOP’s original version of the funding bill, which would have cut only $32 billion. GOP leaders quickly withdrew that proposal after it was introduced in February under intense pressure from Tea Party activists and conservative Republicans in Congress. Their newer proposal would cut $61 billion. Noting that Democrats had already agreed to “the Republicans’ original proposal,” Reid said last night, “I guess they were for it before they were against it. But now they’re moving the goal post again .” Meanwhile, Republicans are insisting on using this crisis to advance their unrelated political agenda by demanding that any funding bill include “policy riders” to prohibit funding for abortion and family planning, the EPA’s enforcement of climate change rules, and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. These issues are irrelevant to funding the government and simply complicate negotiations while increasing the likelihood of an impasse, and thus a shutdown. As Obama said Tuesday, “What we can’t be doing is using last year’s budget process to have arguments about abortion, to have arguments about the Environmental Protection Agency, to try to use this budget negotiation as a vehicle for every ideological or political difference between the two parties.”
CHEERING A SHUTDOWN: While Republican congressional leaders repeatedly insisted there’s not “one Republican in Congress who wants a government shutdown,” this simply isn’t true. Numerous Republican representatives and senators — especially those backed by the Tea Party movement — have called for a shutdown if Democrats don’t concede to virtually everything Republicans want. And at a closed door meeting of House Republicans late Monday night, the caucus reportedly gave Boehner “an ovation when he informed them that he was advising the House Administration Committee to begin preparing for a possible shutdown.” For his part, Boehner appears averse to a shutdown, telling his GOP colleagues that if there is a shutdown, Democrats “win.” “The Democrats think they benefit from a government shutdown. I agree,” he said. But freshmen GOP lawmakers and Tea Party favorites like Rep. Mike Pence (R-IN) are charging toward a shutdown anyway. And the Tea Party activists that put many of these lawmakers in office are even more eager, rallying in front of the Capitol last week with chants demanding Republicans “Shut it down!” They repeated those calls at another rally outside the Capitol yesterday. A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds that 68 percent of self-identified tea partiers and 56 percent of self-identified Republicans want the GOP to refuse to compromise on budget talks, even if it shuts down the government. Only 28 percent of tea partiers advised GOP leaders to compromise, compared to 66 percent of independents. This puts Boehner in a very tough position. While publicly, he says he does not want a shutdown, he’s been completely beholden to the Tea Party. For instance, on ABC’s Good Morning America today, Boehner called a shutdown “irresponsible”; yet moments later said, “there’s no daylight between the Tea Party and me.” “What they want is they want us to cut spending. They want us to deal with this crushing debt that’s going to crush the future for our kids and grandkids. There’s no daylight there.”
WHAT A SHUTDOWN MEANS: While it’s still unclear exactly what government agencies and services would be taken offline in a shutdown, it is clear that “a shutdown would have real effects on everyday Americans,” as the President said last night, and federal agencies have already prepared contingency plans in case one occurs. Nearly all “non-essential” government functions — those that don’t directly protect life or property — would be shutdown, furloughing some 800,000 federal workers (out of 2.1 million). “The cost of back pay for furloughed government workers would be $174 million for each day the government is closed,” according to a Bloomberg Government analysis. Indeed, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s shutdowns in the mid 1990s cost taxpayers over $800 million in lost productivity. Ironically, a shutdown would also likely grow the the deficit, by increasing the costs of funding our debt, just as it did in 1995. The timing of the shutdown near tax day is particularly inconvenient, as it means the IRS “would not audit tax returns and would not issue refunds to taxpayers who file returns on paper.” For Social Security, a shutdown means that while current beneficiaries could still receive checks, “[a] huge backlog of applications for Social Security disability benefits would grow even larger.” The National Institutes of Health would stop accepting new patients. The State Department would stop or delay issuing passports for Americans and visas for foreigners. The Federal Housing Administration, “the world’s largest insurer of mortgages, could not make new loan guarantees for home buyers,” while the Small Business Administration would stop processing loan applications. And the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission would shut down much of their activities, while “95 percent of workplace safety complaints” would go unanswered. National Parks and Smithsonian Institution museums would close. Meanwhile, “If a shutdown were to happen, the federal money that helps states pay the administrative costs of their stretched unemployment programs could dry up.” This could put immense strain on states that are already struggling to deal with big budget shortfalls from the Great Recession. But the most troubling outcome of a shutdown is that troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan would not be paid. While the Pentagon could pay one week’s worth of work, “all uniformed military personnel would continue to work but would stop receiving paychecks” after that. Speaking to troops in Iraq today, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said an interruption in pay would hurt military families, many of whom now live paycheck to paycheck. “I hope this thing doesn’t happen,” Gates said.
With Earth Day only a couple of weeks away, many of us are taking a moment to reflect upon the state of the planet. Let’s see here: nuclear meltdown, continued drilling in the Gulf, ever shrinking forests all over the world. Ugh. We can’t deny it looks pretty depressing.
That’s why, when the going gets tough on the environment, the tough get actors…and Girl Scouts! That’s right. Entertainers and intrepid young activists can be just the inspiration we need during the darkest of times. Sometimes you gotta go big. Enjoy.
Table of Contents
1.Mountaintop Removal: An American Tragedy
3.Rainforest Hero Badge for Girl Scouts
4.Vote for RAN!
5.You Be the Judge
6.RAN Earth Day Poster Contest
7.A (Mr.) Big Cup of Tea
Mountaintop Removal: An American Tragedy
With the generous help of actress Susan Sarandon, RAN is issuing a major wake up call about mountaintop removal for everyone still unaware of its tragic effects. Please watch and share this incredible video with everyone in your life who may not yet know about what’s happening in Appalachia. To share it with the CEOs of banks still funding MTR, Take Action below. http://salsa.wiredforchange.com/dia/track.jsp?v=2&c=9LtARQ%2Fq9hTacIqS7AB99tTC6ssp7cWk
Born To Be Wild 3D
Morgan Freeman narrates the uplifting tale of orphan baby orangutans on their journey from ravaged forests, to rehabilitation, and back into the wild. Shot in breathtaking IMAX 3D, Born To Be Wild takes you right into the heart of Indonesia’s rainforests with Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas and a cast of incredibly charming creatures that even the most cynical curmudgeons (even those at Cargill) will not be able to resist.
Rainforest Hero Badge for Girl Scouts
Over the last two weeks,10,000 of you have signed our petition to the CEO of Girl Scouts USA asking her to get rainforest-destroying palm oil out of Girl Scout cookies. We’re off to a great start! Now we need your help to create a sea change from within. We’ve created a special limited edition renegade Rainforest Hero Badge, that Girl Scouts can earn using our new toolkit. Please share this with the Girl Scouts in your life!
RAN Earth Day Poster Contest
ATTN: Teachers and Students. How are you celebrating Earth Day in your classroom? Not sure yet? Join RAN and Tiki the Tiny Tiger for our annual Earth Day Poster Contest
Vote for RAN!
RAN is excited to be on the CREDO ballot for 2011. The more votes we get, the bigger the donation we receive, so we need your help! Voting is easy—just go to credomobile.com/ballot and cast your ballot for RAN. Not a CREDO member? No problem! Simply take an online action at credoaction.com first and then cast your vote.
You Be the Judge
Chevron has found a U.S. federal judge who is a little too willing to help the company launch counter-attacks against Ecuadoreans suing Chevron for environmental and cultural damages in the Amazon. Let CEO John Watson know that shady and abusive legal tactics won’t change the facts that Chevron is guilty.
A (Mr.) Big Cup of Tea
This Earth Day, actor, RAN supporter and tea enthusiast Chris Noth is launching a new tangerine green tea called “Sweet Florida Dream.” As part of LOVA Tea’s Charity Collection, the sales of the tea will be benefiting Rainforest Action Network. Thanks Big!