Happy Tuesday, good Americans! Now's as good a time as any to 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. Doesn't matter that an election just happened; duty is duty, and our Senate should at least vote on bills that promote voting rights, internet freedom, justice for immigrants, good health care policy, and job creation, among other good works.
Meanwhile, our current Administration lately told our Congressfolk that it would sell at least four dozen F-35 Lockheed Martin fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates (or UAE) -- which, as you know, is one of the leaders (Saudi Arabia is the other) in the coalition that's been fighting a decade-plus war against Yemen for no particularly good reason. Seriously, I'd say the "reasoning" for this war is total inside baseball, but that would be an insult to all the analytics-heads who populate baseball's front offices, and the bad reasons to fight the war -- that it's putting Yemen on the brink of famine, that it's actually fighting against the folks who've fought al-Qaeda best, that the weapons we sell over there too often wind up in al-Qaeda's hands -- should be more convincing. But there's hope: our Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs committees have the power to block the sale, so Win Without War helps you tell your Congressfolk to actually advance the cause of peace by blocking the sale of F-35s to the UAE.
Finally, we asked Facebook to stop letting its algorithms promote fascism, racism, and violence last week, but we were just being nice: today we tell our Securities and Exchange Commission (or SEC) to hold Facebook accountable for its actions, as the National Whistleblower Center helps us do. As I said on Monday, this isn't even about Facebook publishing racist and violent content so much as Facebook promoting racist and violent content, in this case by allowing its own algorithms to collect racist and violent content into "pages" that otherwise wouldn't exist. Algorithms may be a useful tool, in a very general sense, but Facebook uses them so it can avoid having human beings moderate content; after all, you don't have to pay an algorithm, nor does an algorithm use family medical leave. If you grew up dreaming about how cool the future would be, like I did, you'd have to be pretty disappointed with the future as it's unfolded -- we don't have space exploration, a renewable energy grid, or a cure for cancer, but we do have computers repeating racism all over the place.