Happy Monday, good citizens! It's time to call your Senators and ask them to pass H.R. 1, the For the People Act; H.R. 3, the Lower Drug Costs Now Act; H.R. 4, the Voting Rights Advancement Act; H.R. 5, the Equality Act; H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act; H.R. 7, the Paycheck Fairness Act; H.R. 397, the Butch Lewis Act; H.R. 535, the PFAS Action Act; H.R. 582, the Raise the Wage Act; H.R. 986, the Protecting Americans with Pre-Existing Conditions Act; H.R. 1146, the Arctic Cultural and Coastal Plain Protection Act; H.R. 1373, the Grand Canyon Centennial Act; H.R. 1644, the Save the Internet Act; H.R. 2474, the PRO Act; H.R. 2513, the Corporate Transparency Act; H.R. 2722, the SAFE Act; H.R. 5035, the Television Viewer Protection Act; and H.J. Res. 79, which would remove the expiration date from the original Equal Rights Amendment (and thus, in theory, smooth its entry into our Constitution). These are excellent bills that would secure our voting rights, protect our public lands, protect us from predatory health insurance corporations, and restore real internet freedom -- among many other good works! But of course our Senate runs on Mitch McConnell time, which is "never." So tell them they need to run on Do the Right Thing time, which is now.
Meanwhile, the notorious Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act -- which authorizes various federal agencies to spy on citizens without offering us the due process of law our Constitution requires -- expires on March 15, and you know what your Congressfolk are like: they're scaredy-cats who would rather let good Americans lose our rights than take a stand that'd be unpopular with the bullies among Our Glorious Elites. This, even though our own NSA shut down its metadata surveillance program last year! And word on the street is that Congressional leaders might use a coronavirus spending bill as the vehicle to ram through an extension or reauthorization of Section 215, which would be an act of unconscionable cowardice. And rather than wait for Rand Paul to stand up for our freedoms -- although, to be fair, he's gotten some of our freedoms back with his machinations in the past -- we should stand up for them. Hence the Electronic Frontier Foundation helps you tell your Congressfolk to reject any attempt to reauthorize Section 215 without reforms that would protect our rights, especially if they try to use the coronavirus as cover. Seriously, no one who would do such a thing should ever be allowed near an elective office ever again. Both Democrats and Republicans should attend that statement.
Finally, The Other 98 helps you tell our Administration to remove Vice President Pence from his position overseeing the American response to the coronavirus. All ye need know about Mr. Pence's ability to manage a crisis is that while Governor of Indiana, he let an HIV mini-epidemic spread in rural Scott County rather than let that county run a needle exchange program, arguing for two years that needle exchange programs encourage drug addiction, which, like, no it does not. And now he goes on Pravda TV and tells everyone what a great job he did for Scott County, since he did ultimately relent and allow needle exchange programs in Scott county two years later, which sure will comfort the families of those who died in the meantime. So we have an executive who knows nothing, thinks he knows everything, and then lies about his record of knowing nothing and thinking he knows everything -- gosh, it's like we learned nothing from George W. Bush. And not for nothing, but maybe, just maybe, if our President really wants to get the coronavirus under control, he should stop whining about how everyone's out to get him. People hate leaders who whine about the jobs they signed up for. They also hate leaders who make everything about themselves all the time, like our lives are their big drama.