Bad news, folks: H.R. 785, the National Right to Work (sic) Act, would amend the National Labor Relations Act and the Railway Labor Act to permit workers to refrain from paying dues to their union -- while still receiving the benefits of being in a union. H.R. 785 would thus hamper unions' ability to actually bargain for better pay and working conditions and redress grievances with employers. Folks love to say why should I be compelled to pay for something, apparently unaware that they pay for a lot of things with their taxes for which they'd otherwise choose not to pay -- like the Iraq War, for instance. And I have never argued for a check-off box with which I can simply "choose not to pay" for things I don't like, because I understand that I have representatives for that. But President Trump's spokeshack, Sean Spicer, has indicted that he'd like to see a "right-to-work" bill passed because it would be in "the best interest of job creators." Sadly, when he said "job creators," he didn't mean you, though you, with your buying power, are the greatest job creators in the history of the planet -- he meant the executives who bend over backwards to destroy jobs so they can redistribute worker income upward to themselves. I think H.R. 785 merits a phone call to your Reps and Senators.
Meanwhile, the Senate has begun to hold hearings on how best to destroy the Endangered Species Act. Of course, they don't call it that, because if they said "we want to destroy the Endangered Species Act," they'd be very unpopular and might risk losing re-election even in heavily-gerrymandered districts, so they say they're "modernizing" the Act. But tell them you'd like to "modernize" the Constitution and see how they react! Too often we hear from ESA opponents that it just costs too much money to save species from oblivion; where do we begin describing what's wrong with that? By reminding folks that a whole lot of good works in America cost money? By comparing ESA enforcement with, oh, just to pull an example out of the air, the cost of the B-35 fighter jet that Lockheed has tried to get combat-ready for literally a quarter of a century? By asking "costs whom," and invariably coming up with the answer "corporate executives"? By reminding folks that America is the can-do country and whining about the cost of being civilized isn't very American? Really, there are so, so many places to begin. I think the Endangered Species Act also deserves a phone call to your Reps and Senators.
Finally, the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force has apparently been questioning Standing Rock protestors, which of course was not at all intended to intimidate the Water Protectors, not at all! Hence the Bill of Rights Defense Committee and the Defending Dissent Foundation help you tell your Senators to question FBI Somehow-Still-Director James Comey about the questioning of peaceful protestors. You'd think the JTTF would have more to do than find folks protesting our government and pretend like they're terrorists, but apparently they don't, for they've also apparently harassed Keystone pipeline protestors, Black Lives Matter protestors, School of the Americas Watch protestors, Occupy Wall Street protestors, and Tea Party protestors. OK, I made up that last one -- seriously, Tea Partiers? They're certainly no threat to the status quo! -- but they've messed around with the others. It's enough to make you think our government wants terrorists to strike, so they can use that as a pretext to harass all those good Americans who risk their lives and livelihoods in order to make us a more perfect union.