Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Some Updates Courtesy of My Poor Time Management Skills

I should be busy doing other things right now, but there are a few things that have been on the back burner that should get posted:

1) There is still time to RSVP for the rally in Gahanna this weekend where you'll be treated to the presence of Nancy Garland, Sherrod Brown, and David Robinson, among others. Fired up, ready to go. It's time folks.

2) I get a decent amount of cause spam, where somebody has harvested blog contacts and is hoping to get a bunch of folks to blog about X. Recently, I'd received a few emails from someone who was hoping I could post about cluster bombs, how they're similar to landmines in that they have a tendency to kill lots of civilians, especially children, even after the end of a conflict, and how despite a growing international consensus against using this type of weapon, Russia had been dropping cluster bombs on Georgia.

One reason I don't tend to pass along calls like this one are that you can end up fronting for a group that you wouldn't associate with if you did your research, and I don't have time to do the proper research. I still can't tell you much about Survivor Corps, the organization that is behind the most recent calls to ban cluster bombs, but I'm willing to post at least this much: SC is now noting that both Russia and Georgia have used cluster bombs, so this is not about taking sides, it's about protecting civilian lives. 88% of our NATO allies have signed on to the U.N. Convention to ban cluster munitions, the U.S. has not. According to Wikipedia, McCain and Hillary opposed signing the convention, Obama favors doing so.

There's a bill co-sponsored by Sherrod Brown called Cluster Munitions Civilian Protection Act of 2007 (S.564). It was last seen being referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations in Feb of 2007. Biden and Obama are on that committee. Feel free to contact any of them if you'd like to see the U.S. take some positive action on this.

3) I've been silent on the death of the Sick Days proposal. I would have voted for it (as is the case with many proposals, my voting preference was tipped by the lack of honesty on one side), and I'm somewhat sad to see it go. The reality of the matter is that part of the initial support for the proposal was due to the fact that it could raise turnout among low-income voters. As it happens, turnout in this demographic is already expected to be juiced for this election, and the Healthy Families proposal wouldn't add much to that. On the other hand, national groups were ready to come in and use opposition to this as a rallying cry for conservatives. My guess is that labor got a big win battle/lose war lecture. It might turn out to be a forfeit battle/lose war anyway situation, but that remains to be seen.

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