The Senate may vote on S.J.Res. 39, which would scuttle over $1 billion in proposed arms transactions between our government and Saudi Arabia, as early as tomorrow, so Just Foreign Policy joins with MoveOn to help you tell your Senators to support S.J.Res. 39, and thus curtail our involvement in Saudi Arabia's war with Yemen. It's nice to have some bipartisan heft to this bill, originally sponsored by Republican Rand Paul of Kentucky, and since joined by fellow Republican Mike Lee of Utah and Democrats Al Franken of Minnesota, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, and Chris Murphy of Connecticut. The Saudi Arabian government has been killing civilians rather indiscriminately (and committing other human rights violations) in its war with Yemen, but S.J.Res. 39 would prevent Saudi Arabia from getting their hands on hundreds of tanks, grenade launchers, and machine guns. We have had a tendency to give our allies in the Middle East whatever they want, and they've acted as you'd expect someone to act when they get everything they want -- intolerably. But it's well past time we used our leverage more wisely.
Meanwhile, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania hasn't updated coal corporations' water permits so they comply with the EPA's new limits on water pollution from coal plants, so the Sierra Club helps you tell the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (or DEP) to protect good Pennsylvanians' water from coal plant pollution. Actually, "hasn't updated" may be an understatement: Pennsylvania has let a lot of coal plant water permits expire, some for years at a time, and I wouldn't blame you for seeing the withered hand of Tom Corbett, with his infamous DEP led for many years by the notoriously secretive Michael Krancer, behind those delays. But we're supposed to get action on the environment from Democrat executives, aren't we? Tom Wolf has been in power almost two years, and we're still getting more arsenic, more mercury, more selenium in our drinking water from coal pollution than we should be. But remember: politics isn't a spectator sport, and nothing in the world prevents us from demanding more from our leaders than they're otherwise inclined to give, and if we speak out enough, we will see action.
Finally, Merrick Garland's Supreme Court nomination has now hung out there for six months, for no good reason. I mean, Republicans have their "reasons," like that a nomination during a Presidential election year is "unprecedented" (like Antonin Scalia should have had the foresight to die next year, and also, it's not) or that "the American people should have a voice" (like the people have no voice at any time other than Election Day, wonder why they'd want you to think that), but we know the real reason: they're afraid of losing the nominally conservative majority on the Court for the foreseeable future. Hence the Sierra Club still helps you tell your Senators to hold hearings on the Garland nomination already. It is a relatively old action alert, though, so you'll have to edit out some of the more dated information (if only the election were still 300 days away!). But the action alert does not compel you to demand his confirmation, only to hold hearings, which really is the least they could do. I'm OK with confirming Mr. Garland myself -- moderates tend to drift leftward once they're on the Supreme Court.