Sen. Warren (D-MA) has introduced a bill called the Affordable Drug Manufacturing Act (Congress.gov has no bill number as of this writing), which would allow our government to manufacture generic versions of any patented drug. If you call that "socialism," please consider that actual socialism would more likely entail our government manufacturing all the drugs, but Ms. Warren's bill would only allow federal manufacture of generics under certain circumstances, such as absurdly high prices, lack of competition, or shortages, and none of these circumstances are shining examples of free market efficiency, are they? People want our government to protect us from the things that hurt and kill us, and the best our opponents can do is squeal SOSHULIZMZ!!!!! whenever we propose making our government do just that? Thus we should call our Reps and Senators and tell them to support better drug policy by passing the Affordable Drug Manufacturing Act.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania residents, take note: Fair Districts PA helps you tell your state Assemblyfolk to reform the rules by which they consider legislation. We know these rules need reform, because House state Government Committee Chair Daryl Metcalfe (E-12) seemed to spend the entire spring gutting actually-bipartisan redistricting reform bills in 2018 once they got to his committee -- why, one of those bills had the support of more than half of the House, meaning that, well, if it'd come to a vote, it would have passed! I know right-wingers think (and might even say, since these are interesting times!) that Committee heads should have the power to gut bills at will, because what do us little people know about governing? But if, like me, you think "little people" is a disgusting epithet, and if, like me, you think us "little people" actually do know a lot, you'll find arguments for reform more convincing.
Finally, Amazon aims to get a contract from our Pentagon to build a "weapon of unprecedented surveillance and power," called the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure. (Yes, the acronym of that weapon's name is JEDI, which suggests that its namers have literally no idea what Jedis stood for in the Star Wars films.) JEDI would vastly increase our military's ability to share and sift through surveillance information, using "artificial intelligence," which doesn't impress you if you've found, as I have, that autocorrect incorrectly anticipates what you're about to type nearly 100% of the time. And if you're tempted to say if Amazon doesn't build it, someone else will, recall that Amazon has already collected so, so much data on Americans that it could quite easily correlate with DoD surveillance information. Luckily for us, Amazon employees seem to have some sway within their corporation, so Roots Action helps you tell Amazon employees to pressure their management to bow out of the JEDI bidding.
(Posting has been light for a while, and will remain light until the new year. The main reason for that? I'm putting together another Penny Rants volume for release in mid- to late February. I know what you're saying to yourself: self, didn't he just put out a second Penny Rants volume last month? Why, yes, yes I did -- and soon I'll put out a third one, covering the last two very, very interesting years. So be on the lookout for that, and in the meantime, continue to enjoy the holidays and have a safe and happy new year.)