Earlier this week, low-paid workers at Washington, DC landmarks went on strike, and have called on President Obama to force federal contractors to pay a living wage to these workers; Daily Kos helps you aid their efforts. Mr. Obama can do this with an executive order, without the need for further action from Congress, though they'll screech AMERIKUN CEEZZARRR!!!! at him if he does it. Let them look like Scrooges, that's what I say. We're talking two million workers here, working at places like Union Station and the Smithsonian, all of them making less than $12/hr and many of them making minimum wage and/or getting no health benefits; even WalMart doesn't employ a million folks making so little money. Of course, our government should also move to get rid of the private contractors. Perhaps this is the first step in doing that.
Meanwhile, the Senate continues mulling the Farm Bill, and Sen. Boxer (D-CA) will introduce an amendment that would force the big agricultural corporations to label any food containing genetically-modified ingredients -- much like the ballot question that failed in California last year, or the ballot question that Washington state will take up this year, or the GE-labeling bills passed (but not yet made law) in Vermont and Hawaii. The amendment is S.A. 1025 to S. 954, and it has five other Senate sponsors, one of whom -- Ms. Murkowski of Alaska -- is a Republican. But if your Congressfolk stand against this amendment, remind them that nothing about free-market ideology should compel consumers to be ignorant. Also remind them that they stand against 90 percent of the American people. Just Label It helps you support the Boxer amendment.
Speaking of the Farm Bill, Sen. Merkley (D-OR) has introduced an amendment that would strip away the notorious provision from the last continuing resolution letting large agricultural corporations plant genetically-modified seed while the EPA evaluates the safety of the seed, even if a judge has ordered that the corporation stop planting the seed. This provision flies in the face of common sense: if we haven't determined a seed is safe, and a judge has told you not to plant it, you don't plant it. The provision popularly known as the "Monsanto Protection Act" will expire, with the continuing resolution, in about four months. But that's at least four months too long to violate our rights not to eat unsafe crap, and at least four months too long to subvert law and order in America. So CREDO helps you tell your Senators to eliminate the "Monsanto Protection Act."
Finally, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell the Bureau of Land Management to ban fracking on federal lands, the Sierra Club helps you do that. The BLM's proposals for fracking on federal lands don't compel gas drillers to secure fracking waste, stop using diesel fuel, drill far away from houses and schools, or disclose the toxic chemicals they use. Why, it's almost like the gas drilling corporations had more of the President's ear than we did! Does Mr. Obama still imagine that listening to gas drilling corporations whine about regulations, and doing their bidding, will get them off his back? They will never get off his back -- or, more to the point, our back, unless we fight them. And we're in a good position, because no one really favors drinking poisoned water or breathing poisoned air.