Again, we're going to try to get ahead of the curve on votes on Trump nominees before they receive their final votes in the Senate; hence I advise you to use the tools in the upper left-hand corner of this page and call your Senators to oppose the nomination of Rex Tillerson to Secretary of State, Betsy DeVos to Education Secretary, and Scott Pruitt to EPA Administrator. You can tell your Senators to oppose Mr. Tillerson because of his corporation's notorious human rights record abroad (as this article described). You can tell your Senators to oppose Ms. DeVos not merely because of her lifelong zeal to privatize public education -- a goal, as we mentioned a few days ago, predicated on entirely false assumptions -- but because of her trouble keeping her hands clean ethically, a problem that dogs most folks who support privatizing public schools and give only lip service to holding those private schools accountable. And you can tell your Senators you oppose Mr. Pruitt because you have no faith he'll keep our air and water clean, particularly when you examine his record as Oklahoma's Attorney General, soft-pedaling law enforcement when it might have affected his big donors. It's really like Donald Trump is trying to find the worst person to do every Executive branch job, but we don't have to take it just because he got 46% of the vote.
Meanwhile, Congress wants to roll back the Bureau of Land Management's rules limiting methane emissions on public lands. Why? Because this Congress apparently doesn't care if methane emissions (which pack a much bigger climate-change punch than coal emissions, as you know) befoul the air, as long as some big donor is making lots of unearned money digging into our land. No, it's really that simple. Of course even Donald Trump says we need some environmental regulation -- just not any of the environmental regulation we've got, or any we might want. You'd think, though, as nominal conservatives, that the Republicans running Congress would be aghast at the $330 million that methane leaks (and intentional methane ventilation!) costs the taxpayer in royalties every year. (If not for leaks and venting, corporations could sell the gas they're losing, and thus we could collect royalties on it.) But they're not aghast, so you can go ahead and conclude that Republicans are not, in fact, conservative -- reactionary, corporatist, evil, anything but conservative. So the Environmental Defense Fund helps you tell your House Rep to oppose any effort to gut methane emissions rule that protect our air and protect our public lands.
In other news, the Project on Government Oversight helps you call your Reps and Senators to tell them to vote against repealing the Cardin-Lugar Provision of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. What does Cardin-Lugar do? It forces certain fossil fuel and mining corporations to disclose to the public the taxes and royalties they pay to our federal government, in exchange for the privilege of extracting natural resources from American lands -- including our public lands. And why would anyone want to repeal that provision? Because SOCIALISM COMMUNISM NAZISM KENYAN ANTI-COLONIALISM!!!! Gosh, I haven't done that in a while. Seriously, the only reason to repeal this reporting provision is to hide, from the public -- who are not only the true owners of public lands, but the true owners of our government -- what they're paying the public for the privilege of pulling resources out of the ground. They'll say forcing such disclosure "kills jobs" -- try figuring that one out! -- but they say everything people want that's good for them "kills jobs." And I'm tired of them getting all the say around here.
Finally, the government of Bangladesh is contemplating a bill that could end child marriage there -- which would be a big deal, since Bangladesh has, unfortunately, one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world. But they're also contemplating a clause that could force girls to marry their rapists! Why? Well, according to Bangladesh's Prime Minister, girls in rural areas don't have any better options to preserve their "honor" than to marry the men who force themselves upon them -- which won't convince you if you believe, as I do, that a government's job is to encourage hope, not stamp it out. And we protect children from sexual relations with adults for a reason, after all -- adults can overpower children, both physically and psychologically, hence no consent to sexual relations (which must happen between equals) is possible. Avaaz helps you tell the government of Bangladesh to pass a strong, anti-child marriage law without "special circumstance" loopholes that would make a mockery of their efforts.