Our Senate votes on Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to our Supreme Court today, so if you haven't called your Senators already, now's the time. Our "liberal" media says her ascension is a foregone conclusion -- particularly now that Sen. Murkowski (R-AK) says she'll vote for Ms. Barrett when her nomination actually comes up -- but reading sheep entrails before we act is not how we practice democracy. We practice democracy by communicate our will so loudly they can't deny us, after which the sheep entrail-reading crowd will follow us. Now, I've been saying that Judge Barrett seems like the kind of judge who thinks we'd actually be better off with computers doing all the judging, but of course that's only part of the story: when workers try to get their bosses to do right by them, and when women and folks of color try to get our government to stop pissing on them, I'm sure we'll find her ability to interpret our laws so that they favor the powerful completely unimpaired. And that's why we must tell our Senators to reject her, regardless of what we think "will happen." We have to make things happen.
While you have your Senators on the phone, go ahead and tell them to pass H.R. 6800, the HEROES Act, which would, as we know, provide much better pandemic relief than any of the ideas our Senate or our President have floated. When they say Nancy Pelosi doesn't "negotiate in good faith," do they mean she should have asked our Senate and our Administration for permission before passing a pandemic relief bill? Because the only people our House Reps should be "asking for permission" is their constituents, i.e., us. And if Mob Boss Mitch went to good Kentuckians and asked them what they wanted in a COVID-19 pandemic relief bill, they sure as hell didn't say "let's give corporations blanket immunity against lawsuits whenever they hurt good Americans," but Mob Boss Mitch sure fought like hell for that. And did Sen. Scott's constituents in South Carolina demand enhanced tax breaks for three-martini lunches? Because he put his name on that particular slab of absurdity. It's about time our Senators actually listened to us, but we have to make them listen first, and we can't do that if we keep our mouths shut.
Finally, you may know that our farm workers generally don't have basic workplace protections, including protection against working ten-hour days in hundred-degree heat. So along comes H.R. 3668, the Asunción Valdivia Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act, named for a farm worker who did die of heatstroke after working a ten-hour shift in hundred-degree heat. H.R. 3668 would mandate that our Department of Labor create a heat exposure workplace standard (under the authority of the Occupational Safety and Health Act), and that standard wouldn't just protect farm workers, but any worker, whether they work indoors or out, who encounters excessive heat at their job. Hence the Union of Concerned Scientists helps you tell your Congressfolk to protect workers from heat exposure by passing the Asunción Valdivia Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act. If you're still inclined to reject this bill because you think it'll only protect "those people" work on farms, I would recommend reading about folks who aren't like you, because they you might learn that the person who looks different than you also comes from a land with engineers, healers, and poets.