Word on the street is that the House plans to bring up "trade adjustment assistance" again this week. What has changed between Friday afternoon and now, you ask? I'm at just as much a loss to answer that as you are, though Rep. Pelosi (D-CA) has called for Democrats to demand transportation appropriations reauthorization as part of any new "free" trade deal, which seems to me like that notorious Democratic pastime, giving up a lot to get a little. Anyway, the time to keep the pressure on is, as always, now, so both the People's Email Network and NETWORK, the national Catholic social justice lobby, help you email your Reps to oppose any "trade adjustment assistance" bill that would grease the skids for "fast-tracking" "free" trade agreements. You can also call your Reps using the toll free number, 1.888.410.0619, or you can find your Rep's phone number using the tools in the upper left-hand corner of this page. Indeed, this battle merits a phone call, if you're, you know, not already working three jobs and deciding which bills you can pay this month because the last couple of "free" trade deals took your well-paying manufacturing job away.
Meanwhile, as you may remember, Gruppo Stilo USA plans a massive development project in the small town of Tusayan, AZ, population 576, and a very thirsty 576, since they're having enough trouble getting enough water for themselves due to the massive drought which has dried up the Colorado River quite a bit. But Gruppo Stilo's development would build three million square feet of commercial space (including timeshares, a spa, and a dude ranch!) just a mile from the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, plus it would add 2,000 homes. Some of them would be low-income housing, granted, but that's an act of altruism that'll go unremembered if nobody has any water to drink, since Stilo apparently hasn't figured out how to meet the water needs of thousands more people in an area where the water needs of hundreds of people go unmet. Would it be piling on to mention that this is sacred ground to the Havasupai, or that the wildlife in the area need water to drink, too? The Sierra Club helps you tell the U.S. Forest Service to reject further development in the Grand Canyon/Kaibab National Forest area.
Finally, USPIRG joins with MoveOn to help you tell the FDA to require that meat labels disclose whether the meat came from animals raised with antibiotics. You've seen some corporations voluntarily tell you their meat came from antibiotic-free animals, but "some" ain't enough, certainly not when nearly four out of every five antibiotics in America go not to the sick people or the sick animals who need it, but to healthy farm animals so they can survive their squalid living conditions and produce more meat (and thus more money for the CEO). The FDA has lately mandated more accountability from factory farm veterinarians, and I won't say that's worthless, but considering the stakes -- the "post-antibiotic era" the WHO has warned about -- and considering, also, that the vast majority of Americans want factory farms to stop abusing antibiotics, the FDA's moves have been far too incremental. This move would be incremental, too, but at least two increments are better than one. And I wouldn't worry about "rising food prices," not if the alternative is a world where the next cut you get could kill you.
UPDATE. Late last night the House voted to extend their deadline for considering the "free" trade package to the end of July. But we should keep the pressure up on them anyway; they'll most likely try to strike when no one's looking.