A bit of a shocker: the Senate voted to proceed to debate on S.J.Res. 19 yesterday by a 78-19 margin. That's not the actual vote, of course -- that was just a vote to start debate, so this could go on for a while, and so would require repeated phone calls to your Senators. Your nay votes include the usual dead-enders (Barrasso, Crapo, Enzi, Johnson, Toomey), plus a cabal of Republican "iconoclasts" (Coburn, Cruz, Lee, Paul), demonstrating the utter uselessness of the latter.
Another inevitable criticism pertaining to the hacked nude celebrity photos, this time from Juan Cole: all that NSA spying on good Americans' phone and email accounts, and yet our government was completely floored by the emergence of ISIS in Syria and Iraq. Perhaps NSA snoopers were too busy pilfering nude photos and spying on ex-girlfriends to notice -- and certainly the more information you Hoover up, the more you have to sift through, which takes time, which in turn diverts time from pre-empting actual terrorism before it starts. Am I beating a dead horse? In these times, beating a dead horse is an act of courage.
Perdue claims to be ending antibiotic abuse in its chickens, such that 19 out of every 20 chickens never receive antibiotics and the rest only receive them when ill. That's good news, if it's true, and if it takes voluntary corporate action to get the ball rolling after four decades of FDA inaction, remember that the arc of justice is long, not quick. But Perdue doesn't have anywhere near the market share of, say, Tyson Foods these days, and Perdue would also have to radically revamp its factory-farm practices in order for their initiative to work. My guess is the wealthier shareholders put a stop to it once profits go down.
Wonders never cease: FCC Chair Tom Wheeler says there's not enough broadband competition in most areas of the country. He gets down to details, too -- who in Congress would have the courage to take on "early-termination fees and equipment rental fees," never mind that it would make them a hero to the people? -- but I can't help but wonder how he sounded when he was a corporate lobbyist.
Speaking of broadband competition, AT&T has commented upon certain localities' petition to the FCC to pre-empt state laws so that it may promote community broadband efforts, and you won't like it. In short, AT&T thinks community broadband is a terrible idea in areas where AT&T would like to build, and in areas where AT&T would not like to build, it should get tax breaks to build, rather than have to compete with community broadband initiatives, and also what do you expect from us? We're scorpions! Seriously, if you're getting the message that AT&T is afraid of community broadband, you're not the only one.
Finally, from "the useless of Republican moderates" file: Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) has introduced a bill that would essentially extend the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force's mandate to include basically anyone, ever. Now that's a power that couldn't possibly be abused! Oh, but I just remembered: Frank Wolf can't possibly be characterized as a moderate, since he voted to destroy Medicare in 2011 and 2012.