A Virginia Tech-led study found that nearly 80 percent of homes across America have detectable levels of lead in their water, with 40% surpassing the American Academy of Pediatrics' recommended limit, and 15% with enough lead to cause brain damage in bottle-fed babies. This is five years after the problems suffered by Flint, MI residents made national news. And lead accumulates in your body, so any amount of lead can cause you serious harm regardless of your age. Hence Penn PIRG helps you tell your U.S. House Reps to pass legislation that would fund the replacement of lead service pipes, which still serve at least nine million homes in America, even though they've been outlawed since 1986. It takes time and money to replace these things, it turns out, but not necessarily 34 years, and the money we'd spend on replacing them would create jobs for a lot of good Americans. Funny how often doing the right thing creates jobs, while the schemes of the politicians don't. So let's get to it.
Meanwhile, President-elect Biden's inaugural committee plans to accept donations of up to a million bucks from corporations and about half that from individuals -- this, even though we hardly expect the usual inaugural spectacle in the face of a pandemic. Need I mention that our soon-to-be-ex-President faced quite a bit of scrutiny over the $100 million-plus in donations his inaugural committee received? People don't give money to an inaugural committee out of the goodness of their heart; they give it so that our President will give them something back. No donation needs arrive with a specific quid pro quo attached; everyone knows how this works, and it leads to corruption. Perhaps more importantly, any big donation, of any kind, tends to drown out the real grievances of real Americans who deserve a hearing just as much as any rich person does. Hence Public Citizen helps you tell our President-elect to reverse course and refuse to accept this absurdly large donations.
Finally, if you've missed previous opportunities to tell your Congressfolk to reject our Administration's proposed $23 billion sale of weapons to the United Arab Emirates, then the Friends Committee on National Legislation still helps you do that. Why? Because the UAE will use them in its war on Yemen, that's why, and we've gone into why that's a terrible idea more times than I can count -- it commits America to an unconstitutional war, Yemen is already on the point of famine, and the Houthi rebels targeted by the Saudi/UAE coalition are some of the best fighters against al-Qaeda in the world. Odd how we don't protect those folks, and I'm sure the Turkish Kurds, however many of them remain, will agree. You'll no doubt have picked up that our Administration isn't selling these weapons to Saudi Arabia; why, it's almost like they know that's a toxic PR move or something. But, hey, we're not stupid -- we know who'd benefit from this proposed arms sale, and it sure ain't the good citizens of Yemen. And it also sure ain't us.