President Obama has nominated Michael Froman as U.S. Trade Rep; if the Senate confirms him, then he will play a significant role in ongoing negotiations of the Trans-Pacific "Partnership" "free" trade deal. Open Media helps you tell Mr. Froman to fight any attempt to criminalize normal internet behavior in the TPP. We know (only from leaks, of course) that the TPP would run roughshod over a nation's sovereign laws by enshrining "investor tribunal" "law" anytime some corporation wants to pollute a developing nation with tough anti-pollution laws, but Open Media reminds us that the TPP also wants to make most internet behavior illegal, in the name of "intellectual property protection." This doesn't just mean an end to "sharing" on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere -- it means threatening any "temporary storage" of documents "in electronic form." That passage would make everyone who uses the internet a criminal -- looking at a file on the internet requires you to temporarily store the file on your computer. Love of money makes fools of us all.
Meanwhile, NETWORK, the national Catholic social justice lobby, helps you tell your Congressfolk to reject H.R. 1406, the so-called "Working Families Flexibility Act." You remember why -- the bill wouldn't give you flexibility, but rather would give your employer the "flexibility" to pay you in comp time instead of time-and-a-half when you work overtime -- and then would be able to deny you your earned days off based on "the needs of the job," or whim, or whatever. The bill would allow you to collect your unused days off as money again at the end of the year -- which has the added bonus, for your employer, of delaying payment to you, for work you've done, for up to 12 months! United Steelworkers International President Leo Gerard makes one more good point: we make employers pay time-and-a-half so they'll have an incentive to hire more people instead of always handing out overtime. Corporations don't want to hire, don't want to give paid sick days, and don't want to pay actual overtime pay? When will our representatives start saying no to their bottomless, infantile greed?