I'm told that, thanks to the persistence of Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), H.R. 676 will get a full vote in the House. That's as good an opportunity as any to pepper your Congressfolk with phone calls and letters. Make sure your House Rep supports it first, so you can adopt the right tone -- turns out my House Rep does support H.R. 676, and I'd been thinking I'd have to convince him. Also, you'll want to tell your House Rep that they might have a bunch of right-wing Astroturfers at their townhall meetings while they're on recess this month. They likely already know, but they also need to know that we know. And, finally, recall how the teabaggers fantasized that we'd break up their tea parties in exactly the manner they're breaking up townhall meetings, and how they whined about it then. How quickly times change when you don't know the difference between a want and a need, or between a real freedom and a freedom some corporate front-group has told you is real.
Meanwhile, Reps. Markey (D-MA) and Eshoo (D-CA) have introduced H.R. 3458, the Internet Freedom Preservation Act, which would pretty much do what it says. I'd quibble with only two things. One, I'd write Sec. 12 (a) (2) of the proposed addendum to the Communications Act of 1934 to say "physical harm" rather than "harm," or else the big telecoms will be arguing that the law does "harm" to their pocketbooks and John Roberts will jump to agree. Two, the law ought to tell the Executive branch exactly what to do, rather than tell the FCC to figure out how to achieve the bill's (quite admirable) aims. I mean, we have just watched eight years of an Executive branch (sic) exploiting every loophole in every law to do exactly what it likes, right? But since I've also just described every law that's come out of Congress over the last eighty-plus years, I'm not going to withhold support because of it. Free Press, as always, has the contact tool. And yes, I've noticed that the only two sponsors so far are Democrats -- though I'm sure Chip Pickering would be game if he were still in the House, I hope the broad bipartisan support for network neutrality we've seen over the years doesn't suddenly collapse simply because the current Republican leadership has decided that All Good Things Must Be Obstructed At Any Cost. They'll count the cost, but so will we.
Finally, Chipotle has been getting an earful about its refusal to give real help to the workers who pick their tomatoes, so American Rights at Work helps you give a literal earful by providing their toll-free number (1.888.899.0717) so you can call them about it. You may want to remind them that the Florida workers who pick Chipotle's tomatoes work hard, make terrible money, and get treated badly by their bosses, and you may also want to remind Chipotle of its "food with integrity" promise. A formal agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers to pay workers a penny more per pound of tomatoes picked would go a long way toward fulfilling their promise. American Rights at Work would also like you to tell them how the call went afterward.