I have three action alerts today, all on bad bills we've covered recently, and all three might get a Senate vote this week -- because why would the Senate ever vote on good bills before bad ones? -- so you can use the tools in the upper right-hand corner of this page (or the bottom of this page, if you're on a smartphone) to call your Senators and tell them to reject all three bills.
First up is S. 2155, the so-called Economic Growth, Regulatory Relief, and Consumer Protection Act, and by this title you already know three things: 1) by "economic growth" they mean "whatever makes CEOs richer," 2) by "regulatory relief" they mean "kill whatever regulations protect good Americans from financial predators," and 3) by "consumer protection" they mean "we stuck those two words on the end of the bill's title to fool people." Of course the bill's proponents -- who include far too many Democrats, including the Man Who Would Be Vice President, Tim Kaine of Virginia -- say that changing the law so that banks with between $50 and $250 billion in capital assets get less regulatory oversight is all about helping "community banks." But that's bollocks, unless (as David Dayen noted last week) we think banks with stadiums named after them are "community banks." Just for reference, my credit union, which is much closer to an actual "community bank" than any Borg-like bankster chain, has a little over $1 billion in assets. So, seriously, "community banks" my ass.
Second up is H.R. 1865, the so-called Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, which expand folks' ability to sue internet service providing corporations for any sex trafficking that occurs on their networks whether they know about it or not. Aren't conservatives always saying liberals "blame the wrong people"? Well, here's the nominally "conservative" Republican party doing just that. Just so happens our laws already allow good folks to sue ISPs that knowingly aid and abet sex trafficking, so why does H.R. 1865 exist? Probably to induce ISPs to pre-emptively censor content, or simply shut down content, and that sound you hear is our free speech rights going down the drain. Think any social worker or sex trafficking victim will ever open up on a message board again? Think folks who oppose gutting free speech rights just to appear "tough on crime" will ever post about it on a blog again? Well, I will -- but I can understand why other folks won't.
Finally, we have H.R. 620, the so-called ADA Education and Reform Act, where "ADA" means the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act. Didn't know the ADA needed "reforming," did you? Well, it sure doesn't need this "reform": H.R. 620 would require that good disabled folks "educate" those corporations that discriminated against them before suing them -- you like how Congress would make the victims "educate" their oppressors, about things they should have known about for over 25 years, no less? And H.R. 620 would also let those corporations off the hook if they come up with a plan to address discrimination and make some indeterminate "significant progress" on that plan. Pimps, if you don't put up a ramp so the wheelchair-bound can access your store, or if you don't hire folks just because they're disabled, you're not some aggrieved party in need of "relief" from "frivolous" lawsuits -- you're wrong, and instead of whining about how hard it is to make a buck, you ought to just make it right. You know, like a grown-up.
So: one phone call to each Senator, telling them to reject S. 2155, H.R. 1865, and H.R. 620; it'll take only a few minutes, and you'll do a great deal of good. Even if all three bills pass, you'll have done your part for freedom and justice, and the more you do your part, the more it adds up -- first to the point where we win more victories when we have the superior argument, and ultimately (a man can dream!) to the point where we have Congressional representatives who actually represent us, and not just their big donors. So good luck, and God bless.