As you may know, West Virginia Capitol police arrested local journalist Dan Heyman on Wednesday after he repeatedly asked HHS Secretary Tom Price whether the Republican health care bill would include "being a target of domestic violence" as a "pre-existing condition." The charge? Willful disruption of state government processes. Mr. Heyman had to post $5,000 bail to get released; let's see you or I do that if we get arrested for confronting our leaders in public. This Administration demands to be disrupted by civilized Americans, but even the Capitol police can't agree on the details of the case. And dig Mr. Price saying "(t)hat gentleman was not in a press conference." Gosh, if you're going to put your ideas out there, you don't get to dictate to other people where and when and how they respond. All adults understand that, so why doesn't anyone in the Trump Administration seem to understand it? Oh, wait, that question answers itself. FAIR helps you tell West Virginia's government to drop all charges against Mr. Heyman.
Meanwhile, everyone wants me to tell Congress to investigate Russia's involvement in the recent U.S. election -- particularly now that we've learned that former FBI Director James Comey somehow isn't enough of a right-wing toady for President Trump's taste -- but I'd much rather see an investigation into how, exactly, Sinclair Broadcasting just got goodies from the FCC so they could buy up more local TV stations. I mean, yes, Mr. Trump sure is acting like a criminal every time Russia comes up, but when Mr. Trump's son-in-law tells everyone that his father-in-law's Presidential campaign "struck a deal" with Sinclair Broadcasting in order to get better news coverage, you have to wonder if they actually did something criminal. And when FCC Chair Ajit Pai lifts media consolidation restrictions that just so happen to benefit Sinclair, you have to wonder some more. Sinclair will soon reach almost 70% of American markets, and won't just be peddling right-wing ideology, but will be contributing directly to the further erosion of local media. The Justice Department's website is here.
Finally, because hamstringing clean air and clean water regulations is so wildly popular, the Pennsylvania Senate is mulling SB 561, which would (rather like the nefarious REINS Act, passed by the House earlier this year) require state House and Senate approval for any new regulation within 15 legislative days (or 90 calendar days, if the Assembly is out of session). Of course, here as elsewhere, the legislature already empowers the executive branch with the authority to issue regulations to meet legislative ends, but, you see, this particular legislature is dominated by pro-pollution Republicans and the executive branch is currently run by a relatively anti-pollution Democrat, so of course the legislative branch needs special rights in this case. Seriously, Republicans are like a bad baseball team that, after losing a game, whines that it's not fair that their opponents didn't give them six extra innings. So the Sierra Club helps you tell your Pennsylvania state Senator to reject SB 561 and protect our right not to breathe crappy air and drink crappy water.