If you've missed previous opportunities to speak out against fast-track authority for the Trans-Pacific "Partnership" "free" trade agreement, the People's Email Network provides one more. Remember how the President used to have fast-track authority to submit trade agreements to Congress for a simple up-or-down vote, without debate or amendments? Congress let that authority lapse in 2007, but now they're talking about reviving it. But consider that, despite the wall of secrecy surrounding TPP negotiations, we have learned through leaks that the TPP would gut labor laws, gut environmental laws, gut privacy laws, and halt the free flow of information on the internet, and it would accomplish all of this mainly by putting all disputes before "investor-state tribunals" instead of, you know, the judges who know and interpret the laws of a given nation. So the TPP would befoul the earth, doom its people to low-wage McJobs, subvert our laws, and otherwise make our lives miserable so big corporations can steal more money from us -- and Congress wants to fast-track such a train wreck? Tell them a thousand times no.
Meanwhile, the Farm Bill still needs to be renewed! Thought we forgot about that, didn't you? You may recall that the Senate passed a mediocre-to-poor farm bill, but then the House passed a mass of hot-and-steaming which actually jacked up corporate agricultural subsidies (because who needs our government's help more than the big corporations?) and didn't even include food stamp funding! Now House and Senate conferees will meet to reconcile the two bills. Think anything good will come from that? And so we might as well view that as an opportunity to demand what we've deserved all along: a farm bill that slashes the undeserved welfare handouts big corporate farmers get, while still ensuring the working poor get the assistance they need to get by; a farm bill that promotes healthy foods and organic farms over high-fructose corn syrup and factory farms; and a farm bill that actually protects small farmers from their real enemies, the big corporations. Food and Water Watch helps you demand a just and kind American farm policy.
Meanwhile, the Senate cleared a procedural hurdle on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act this past Monday (I thought they were voting on the bill itself, and I apologize for saying so); the full Senate vote on ENDA could come any day now, so People for the American Way helps you tell your Senators and House Reps to support ENDA. ENDA has the votes to pass the Senate, but may get some poison pill amendments attached, so we'll be on the lookout for that. Of course, House Speaker Boehner has already said the House won't take up ENDA, because the bill would "increase frivolous litigation." Some folks call it progress that Mr. Boehner didn't resort to a bunch of anti-gay booga-booga, but now I have to remind folks that the occasional "frivolous lawsuit" is the price we pay for living in a society where we can redress grievances through the courts. When faced with such lawsuits, you don't curtail everyone's ability to sue; you appoint good judges who can slap stupidity down, while ensuring the legal system still helps everyone. That sounds like work, which must be why Republicans don't want to do it.