By now you've likely heard that Congress gave our Department of Defense $1 billion to make personal protective equipment (or PPE) to help battle COVID-19 -- and Defense instead spent most of it plugging perceived holes in its budget wholly unrelated to COVID-19. They've apparently spent (among other expenditures) $22 million on propellers from Rolls-Royce and over $13 million making drones, a press release trumpeting the saving of "14 jobs." That's almost a million dollars a job! Could it be that our Administration is trying to prove that government can't do anything right? I kid, of course -- they're absolutely trying to "prove" that, while simultaneously asserting that only this President can "fix" it! But corruption is still corruption, hence Public Citizen helps you tell your Congressfolk to investigate our Pentagon's use or misuse of these funds. And remember: every dollar misspent means fewer masks and gowns for hospital workers working directly with COVID-19 patients.
Meanwhile, our Administration wants to roll back protections against toxic wastewater from coal plants, even though they pump out all kinds of toxins -- including mercury, lead, and arsenic, all linked to cancer, heart disease, diabetes and developmental problems in kids. Clean Air Act regulations restricted emissions from coal smokestacks, so coal corporations started putting the pollution into wastewater and dumped it into our rivers and streams! Then the Obama Administration issued regulations addressing coal wastewater, but now this Administration wants to roll them back. They're probably ready to tell us that this whole story just proves that ALL TEH REGULASHUNZ AREZ TEH USELESSEZ!!!!! -- that "corporations will just find another way to pollute," or something. But what kind of message does that send to our children? "Don't do the right thing, ever, because wrongdoers will find a way to confound you?" U.S. PIRG helps you tell our EPA to reject its own plan to roll back toxic wastewater emissions from coal plants.
Finally, corporations are trying to privatize Pennsylvania's public water systems, but HB 2746 and HB 2597 would require that any proposed sale of our public water to private corporations go before the voters first. And what would private corporations have to fear? If they really can run it better than our government, they shouldn't have any trouble proving it to the voters! Of course they can't, since we all know water privatization means higher prices, worse service, and lost jobs, and that's only in the short run -- in the long run, water privatization means that the people who drink the water lose all control over its maintenance. Our government, after all, is accountable to us, and that remains true even after they fail us; private corporations are only accountable to their shareholders, and executives try their damnedest to avoid even that responsibility. Hence Food and Water Action helps you tell your PA state legislators to ensure that we get to vote on whether we sell our water systems.
I'll be taking care of a health issue over the next few days, so posting may be light. Before that happens, I feel compelled to mention that I've received numerous action alerts exhorting us to prevent Republicans from voting on a new Supreme Court justice before Inauguration Day 2021, but I haven't passed any of them along, because I wanted the Senate to vote on Merrick Garland in 2016 and I am not a powermad hypocrite like Mitch McConnell. I know some folks will say I speak from a position of privilege, that I am not one of the folks who stand to lose the most from replacing the last Justice Ginsberg with a reactionary (i.e., folks of color and gay and transgender folks), and thus I have the "luxury" of following the rules. But I say that following the rules isn't actually a luxury even if so many Americans (most of them rich!) act like it is, and I also say that if we say one thing in 2016 because it suits us and then say the opposite in 2020 because it suits us then we become the folks we most hate. And I also say that putting a sympathetic Supreme Court Justice on the court is not the only way to fight for justice; yes, a 6-3 right-wing majority on the Court will suck, but we have dealt with worse as a nation and succeeded. In any case, if I find our President's eventual nominee wanting, I will advocate for our Senators to reject her, and if we do that, and we make our Senators afraid for their jobs, they will comply. It's the only thing that really works in such instances; everything else is a shortcut.