Happy Tuesday, good peoples! Now call your Senators and tell them to pass H.R. 1, the For the People Act; H.R. 2, the Moving Forward 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. 51, the Washington, D.C. Admission 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. 2214, the NO BAN 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; H.R. 7120, the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act; and H.J. Res. 79, which would remove the expiration date from the original Equal Rights Amendment. Don't believe the hype that our Senators have a lot on their plates right now! If they'd have passed these bills earlier, they'd have less to do now. Besides, you don't get to make excuses when you don't do your job, so why should they?
Meanwhile, you probably have some experience with price-gouging during this pandemic, so along comes H.R. 6450/S. 3853, the Price Gouging Prevention Act, which would (as its title suggests) prevent sellers from using an emergency to jack up prices more than 10 percent over the average price over the previous 120 days. If you're concerned about the rights of the accused, note well that Sec. 3 (b) (2) gives sellers the opportunity to rebut any presumptions of price gouging by providing "clear and convincing evidence that the increase in price of the consumer good involved is directly attributable to additional costs paid by the seller in procuring, acquiring, or providing the consumer during the emergency period." Seems fair, though "free" market votaries won't think so. And I'm old enough to remember when they would, though whether they were just fronting then or have simply devolved into morons now is a question historians will have to answer. The bill would also empower our Federal Trade Commission (or FTC) to enforce its provisions and would not preempt stronger state laws against price gouging. Hence Public Citizen helps you tell your Congressfolk to protect us from financial predators by passing the Price Gouging Prevention Act.
Finally, Johnson & Johnson has announced that it'll stop selling talcum-based baby powder in most of North America, supposedly because demand has declined, but one must wonder if the many thousand complaints consumers made about asbestos in their talcum powder (apparently it's hard to find talcum in nature without tripping over asbestos) had more to do with it. And, sadly, despite their declaration, talcum-based baby powder remains on your local shelves, because J&J didn't issue a recall, which would kinda be the next step. If you're worried about J&J being able to sell down its stock of baby powder already on the shelves, consider more carefully whether we should expose our babies to cancer and mesothelioma, two common health problems scientists associate with asbestos. Really, the right answer is never "take care of corporations first," and the right answer is always "take care of people first." Gosh, when I was a youth, I thought moral questions would be thornier than this. They're not, so U.S. PIRG helps you tell J&J to put people first by recalling its remaining stocks of talcum-based baby powder.