Long story short: tell President Biden to force corporate campaign finance disclosure, force railway corporations to give paid sick leave to their workers, and replace Louis DeJoy as USPS Postmaster General. Use the email/petition tools in the following paragraphs to communicate your will.
Daily Kos helps you tell President Biden to force corporations to disclose their campaign spending. A Kevin McCarthy-led House won’t pass campaign finance disclosure legislation, because a Kevin McCarthy-led House will only protect corporations no matter how many good Americans that harms. But President Biden can use power already granted to him by Congress to mandate that corporations contracting with our government need to disclose their campaign spending, and if that winds up including most corporations, well, tough toodles. Ain’t no regular Americans running through a wall for a corporation’s “right” to “free speech.”
Demand Progress helps you tell President Biden to force railway corporations to give their workers paid sick leave. Railway corporations contract with our government, after all, and thus President Biden could make them give their workers paid sick leave. Can he override a union contract that doesn’t give them paid sick leave, even though Congress forced that contract down the workers’ throats? Maybe, maybe not, but let’s at least force that argument to be had in court, rather than just let corporatists have their way, again. Maybe railway workers are so important that we should ensure they have the paid sick leave that helps them do their jobs? It’s a question worth asking!
Finally, Daily Kos helps you tell President Biden to get rid of Postmaster General DeJoy already. We’ve talked about Mr. DeJoy slashing jobs and services and raising prices and how all that’ll hurt the good Americans who rely on our Postal Service for life-saving medications, but we can also talk about expanding services at our Post Office, like the basic banking services that Post Offices offered until the late ‘60s. Bring in more money helping the folks the big banksters don’t want to help and you don’t have to cut services and jobs. Today’s CEOs pretend not to get that, but we do, and our will should trump theirs.
Long story short: tell your Congressfolk to stop corporate price-gouging, start clamping down on cryptocurrency, and pass the Youth Voting Rights Act. Use the tools in the upper right-hand corner of this page (or, if you're on a cellphone, the bottom of this page) to find your Congressfolk's phone numbers and/or use the email/petition tools in the following paragraphs.
Daily Kos helps you tell your Congressfolk to stop corporate price-gouging. Specifically, you’d advocate they pass H.R. 7443/S. 3933, the Ending Corporate Greed Act, and H.R. 8777, the Competitive Prices Act; the former bill would tax excess profits, while the latter would give our state and federal governments more tools to fight coordinated price hikes. Inflation has shot up over the last two years, and corporate profits have also shot up over the last two years; you know the relationship between these two events just as well as I do, even if politicians and corporate executives pretend they don’t. So we need these bills.
Americans for Financial Reform helps you tell your Congressfolk to clamp down on cryptocurrency. You don’t need to have witnessed all the crypto corporations collapsing lately to know that crypto is horseshit, especially when you can get money out of an ATM anywhere on Earth now. But precisely because we live in an America where hard work doesn’t get you more money anymore, good Americans still find themselves susceptible to crypto’s promises, just as they’re susceptible to any get-rich-quick scheme. Well, our laws protect good Americans from get-rich-quick schemes, and they should protect us from crypto, too.
Finally, Rise helps you tell your Congressfolk to pass H.R. 8341/S. 4500, the Youth Voting Rights Act. The Youth Voting Rights Act would help expand youth turnout by (among other things) mandating on-campus polling places and letting students use their student ID as voter ID. And remember that folks who say “voting should be hard” are just fouling the air with testosterone – and obscuring the fact that voting is the beginning, not the end, of our duty as citizens, I wonder why they’d do that? And personal to those who think young people “vote wrong”: have you tried, maybe, attracting the youth vote by not appealing to the absolute worst aspects of human nature?
Long story short: tell your Congressfolk to reform pot laws, help good Americans when trade agreements take their jobs away, and pass some big tech anti-monopoly bills. Use the tools in the upper right-hand corner of this page (or, if you're on a cellphone, the bottom of this page) to find your Congressfolk's phone numbers and/or use the email/petition tools in the following paragraphs.
Progress America helps you tell your Congressfolk to reform our marijuana laws. Specifically, you’d ask your Congressfolk to expunge criminal records of folks convicted of pot offenses; since more than two out of three Americans think pot should be legal now, it’s a bit of a head-scratcher that past pot convictions could keep good Americans from voting or getting jobs or apartments. And if anyone tries to tell you well, sometimes the consequences of your actions don’t seem fair – an argument that’s not odious in and of itself – then kindly refer them back to the part of this paragraph that says “more than two out of three Americans think pot should be legal now.”
Public Citizen helps you tell your Congressfolk to reauthorize the Trade Adjustment Assistance (or TAA) program. TAA has helped good Americans survive the havoc wreaked by “free” trade deals for 40 years, but Congress let it expire earlier this year, and though we’ve largely stopped making “free” trade deals and yes Donald Trump deserves some credit for that, we’ve still got plenty of “free” trade deals on the books, and they’re still outsourcing our jobs. Not for nothing, but you’ll also be advocating that your Congressfolk do not hold TAA hostage to “free” trade “fast-tracking” authority. “Fast-tracking” trade deals, without debate or amendment, is a straight-up fascist move. Yeah, I said it.
Long story short: tell the Iranian government not to execute Amir Nasr-Azadani over that nation’s head-covering protests, tell your Congressfolk to put kids over corporations in their year-end budget-making, and tell your Congressfolk to expel Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene for her anti-American comments about the January 6 attempted coup. Use the tools in the upper right-hand corner of this page (or, if you're on a cellphone, the bottom of this page) to find your Congressfolk's phone numbers and/or use the email/petition tools in the following paragraphs.
First things first. Change.org helps you tell the Iranian government not to execute pro footballer Amir Nasr-Azadani for alleged involvement in the killing of three “morality” “police” members during the Iranian protests over the death of Mahsa Amini. They’re not saying whether he plotted or he pulled the trigger, but they have charged him with, get this, “waging war against God,” which “crime” carries a death sentence. Well, that sure would be the easiest way of killing the folks who protested the Iranian government’s insane preoccupation with forcing women to wear head-coverings, as Mr. Nasr-Azadani did! Again, only snowflake governments charge people with “waging war against God.”
Americans for Tax Fairness helps you tell your Congressfolk, once again, to “put kids over corporations” in making year-end appropriations bills. That means, of course, bringing back the Child Tax Credit expansion from 2021 and not handing out all kinds of corporate welfare goodies to their big donors – the CTC expansion actually helped kids stay out of poverty, while the corporate welfare handouts just funnel taxpayer money (that is, your money!) to some politician’s cronies. And enough about research and development tax breaks. R&D is an expense, so it already doesn’t get taxed; how much hand-holding do corporations need?
Finally, Progress America helps you tell your Congressfolk to expel Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (E-GA). I know, she says she was joking when she told the New York Young Republican Club earlier this month that “(i)f Steve Bannon and I had organized (the January 6 attempted coup), we would have won. Not to mention, we would’ve been armed,” but I was joking get over yourself is what all assholes whine when we catch them being assholes. Not to mention nothing she said was actually funny, except to folks who’ve made their cynicism into an idol. Not to mention that telling folks you’d have overthrown the government over WAAAAAAAAH!!!!! is stupid and evil.
Long story short: tell our FCC to force big internet telecoms to spell out what we’re paying and what we’re paying for, tell our Department of the Interior to roll back Trump-era damage to the Endangered Species Act, and tell our Department of Labor to end corporate "misclassification" of workers. Use the email/petition tools in the following paragraphs to communicate your will.
The Center for Biological Diversity helps you tell our Department of the Interior to restore protections offered by the Endangered Species Act. The Trump Administration, as you know, crippled the Act, by forcing Interior to foreground corporate profits, ignore climate change, and slash protections for threatened species (so they don’t become endangered, amirite?) during legally-mandated rulemaking. And sadly, the Biden Administration has dragged its feet on the matter, recently insisting they need another two years to fix the problem. But by writing our Department of Interior, we can at least keep the issue in front of them, even if they’d prefer it goes away on its own.
Long story short: tell your Congressfolk to pass the Environmental Justice for All Act and the EQUAL Act, and tell your Senators to confirm Gigi Sohn to our Federal Communications Commission. Use the tools in the upper right-hand corner of this page (or, if you're on a cellphone, the bottom of this page) to find your Congressfolk's phone numbers and/or use the email/petition tools in the following paragraphs.
The Daily Kos Liberation League helps you tell your Congressfolk to pass H.R. 2021/S. 872, the Environmental Justice for All Act, which would enable Black and Brown communities harmed by corporate pollution to sue polluting corporations in court (if those corporations received federal funding to do their harm), and would also strengthen the National Environmental Policy Act (or NEPA) so that it takes this kind of historic racism into account. The racism of building factories almost exclusively next to Black and Brown neighborhoods is so obvious it was a joke on Mystery Science Theater 3000 some 20 years ago, so justice is long overdue.
The ACLU helps you tell your Senators to pass H.R. 1693/S. 79, the EQUAL Act, which would (among other things) eliminate the disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentencing. These days, folks convicted of crack-related crimes get nearly 18 times the jail time folks convicted of powder cocaine-related crimes get, and why? No good reason, that’s why – our culture (wrongly) assumes that crack is much more addictive than powder, and our culture (also wrongly) associates crack with Blacks and powder with whites. The bill would also reduce sentences for some folks serving time now, so let’s fight this form of racism as hard as we fight all the others.
Finally, Demand Progress helps you tell your Senators to confirm Gigi Sohn as the fifth Commissioner of our Federal Communications Commission (or FCC). Our FCC needs a fifth Commissioner to break all the 2-2 ties on FCC votes, and, to be frank, to break those votes the way of the people’s will. The American people have communicated their will favoring net neutrality at least a half-dozen times over the last decade – and justifiably so, since net neutrality gives you the freedom to visit the websites you like without being hamstrung by some corporation’s will. But we need a freedom-friendly third vote on our FCC if we want to get it back, and our Senate has dragged its feet too long.
Long story short: tell your Congressfolk to pass the Hide No Harm Act and the Afghan Adjustment Act and abolish the debt ceiling. Use the tools in the upper right-hand corner of this page (or, if you're on a cellphone, the bottom of this page) to find your Congressfolk's phone numbers and/or use the email/petition tools in the following paragraphs.
Public Citizen helps you tell your Congressfolk to pass H.R. 9361/S. 5139, the Hide No Harm Act, which would hold corporate executives accountable for knowingly hiding their products’ dangers from good Americans. Some “law and order” types would call it “nanny state” legislation, but folks who’d injure or kill people to make money need a nanny! Others might throw up their hands at the prospect of ever getting a CEO to go to jail, and while I understand their pain, we should pass laws like this – even if they don’t put every law-breaker in prison, a lot of executives will think twice before knowingly putting out unsafe products, if only because fighting criminal charges is expensive.
Win Without War helps you tell your Congressfolk to pass H.R. 4787/S. 8685, the Afghan Adjustment Act, which would help the thousands of Afghan refugees achieve permanent status a lot more quickly. There’s a lot of we-broke-it-we-bought-it here – we helped break Afghanistan, which sent a lot of refugees here, so we ought to take care of them. Folks who profess to be “worried” about having “potential terrorists” in America ought to consider that refugees run from oppression, and they should also consider that most terrorists in America are natural-born white supremacist killers. Maybe it diddles one’s rage gland to worry about foreigners rather than the real threat.
Patriotic Millionaires helps you tell your Congressfolk to just abolish the damn debt ceiling already. Because it never reduced public spending the way its adherents claimed, and because now Republicans just use it to manufacture a hostage drama. It doesn’t matter that Joe Biden and Senate Democrats will stand in the way of their using it to cut Social Security and Medicare benefits, because I’m still scared of what Republicans might get with their little hostage drama – like defunding the police at our FTC, SEC, CFPB, and DOJ Antitrust Division, so their corporate cronies can merge into evil monopolies at will. Get rid of the debt ceiling, and we’ll never have to know.
Long story short: tell our government to ensure that railway workers get paid sick leave, whether through Executive action or Congressional legislation. Use the tools in the upper right-hand corner of this page (or, if you're on a cellphone, the bottom of this page) to find your Congressfolk's phone numbers and/or use the email/petition tools in the following paragraphs.
The Lever also says Treasury Secretary Buttigieg could force big railway corporations to offer paid sick leave to their workers by enforcing existing laws. Turns out when you force workers to be on-call on the time and never give them any time off, you create a lot of safety hazards! And the Railroad Safety Act of 2008 mandates that railroads come up with “fatigue management plans,” which sure would be a good place to address paid sick leave. The Biden Administration has given railroad corporations until mid-2023 to submit fatigue plans; in the meantime, communicating your will to Secretary Buttigieg would not be untoward. DOT has made this unnecessarily difficult, in my view; you could call (202) 366-4000 during business hours, or message Secretary Buttigieg on Facebook. (He’s also @SecretaryPete on Instagram and Twitter.)
Finally, The Lever instructs us that Congress could pass a paid sick leave law that would give all American workers paid time off. President Biden included four weeks of paid sick leave in the Build Back Better bill from 2021, but 50 Republican Senators plus Joe Manchin killed that plank; still, since giving workers zero time off is (surprise!) unpopular with the American people, now would be a good time to bring paid family/medical leave up again. Moms Rising still helps you tell your Congressfolk to pass paid sick leave legislation for all Americans. Seven paid sick days would have cost the railroads a piddling four days of profits, so they really have no damn excuse.
Long story short: tell your Congressfolk to cut taxes for working families, stop handing out welfare to corporations, get rid of privatized Medicare programs, and end our involvement in the war on Yemen. Use the tools in the upper right-hand corner of this page (or, if you're on a cellphone, the bottom of this page) to find your Congressfolk's phone numbers and/or use the email/petition tools in the following paragraphs.
Demand Progress helps you tell your Congressfolk to get rid of private insurers within Medicare. Yes, I’m speaking of the so-called “Medicare Advantage” program, which has opened the door to private corporations for two decades now. I’m sure you’ve read the reports of Medicare Advantage overbilling and fraud; right-wingers used to say the private sector can do things more efficiently and cheaply, but Medicare Advantage clearly hasn’t done that with our tax dollars. Don’t be swayed by your friends and neighbors telling you that they know someone with Medicare Advantage and it’s really helped them. Medicare would have helped them the same, only for less money and with less fraud.
Finally, the Center for Rights and Dissent helps you tell your Congressfolk to pass a War Powers Resolution ending our involvement in the Saudi/UAE war on Yemen. Which has been going on for over a dozen years now, which hasn’t accomplished the Saudis’ supposed “aim” of a “stable” government, which has pushed millions of good Yemeni to the brink of famine, and which has mainly targeted the same Houthi rebels who are also some of the world’s best fighters of al-Qaeda. Really, no one in their right mind would set out to do any of this! And I hate to pile on, but our Constitution gives Congress, not our President, the power to decide when and where to go to war. So Congress needs to stand up, just like we stand up.
Long story short: tell big corporations to fix big truck and SUV blind spots, tell UPS to hire more unionized workers, and tell our EPA to protect us from methane emissions. Use the email/petition tools in the following paragraphs to communicate your will.
Consumer Reports helps you tell big car manufacturing corporations to fix the front-end blind zones on all their cars. Yes, if you’ve ever driven a pickup truck or an SUV, you may have wondered how you’ll see all those pedestrians who may well be shorter than the front end of your truck. Surely that’s an unintended consequence of big automakers’ efforts to sell big cars to insecure people! But these same big automakers could make a few changes to their trucks and SUVs, like lowering their hoods and pedestrian-detection devices, and they could do this now with the technology we already have, but alas, they don’t. Not until we brandish the Big Stick of Bad PR against them, that is!
More Perfect Union helps you tell UPS to hire more unionized workers so it doesn’t have to hand out so much overtime now. To your right-wing uncle who tells isolated anecdotes about bus drivers doubling their salary with overtime ANDZ THAT’Z NOTZ TEH FAIRZ!!!!, just remind them that the whole reason we insist on people making time-and-a-half for overtime is to force their bosses to hire the right amount of people to do the job. That’s job creation! And it’s not something bosses do – they’d replaces us with mounds of dung if they could! – but something we do, through communicating our will to our elected leaders.
The Juggernaut Project helps you tell our Environmental Protection Agency (or EPA) to enact the most vigorous methane emissions rule possible. You know the story here, too – fossil fuel drilling tends to belch out methane into our air, and methane not only packs a much bigger climate change punch than coal emissions, it represents usable energy that sure ain’t doing anyone any good up in the air. Plus, when corporations drill on public lands, methane leaks also represent royalties the public can’t collect. A whole industry already exists to reduce methane emissions, so it’s not like we’re asking that much of big drilling corporations. No, less money for CEOs ain’t that much to ask.
Long story short: tell your Congressfolk to investigate the Live Nation/Ticketmaster monopoly, investigate Justice Thomas’s alleged conflicts of interest, and pass a Billionaire’s Minimum Income Tax. Use the tools in the upper right-hand corner of this page (or, if you're on a cellphone, the bottom of this page) to find your Congressfolk's phone numbers and/or use the email/petition tools in the following paragraphs.
Demand Progress helps you tell your Congressfolk to investigate the Live Nation/Ticketmaster monopoly. Yes, Live Nation (which assimilated Ticketmaster in 2010) is a monopoly, given that they control 70% of the live event market, and last month’s Taylor Swift presale tickets scandal doesn’t begin to tell the full story of how badly they serve that market – Ticketmaster also keeps a good chunk of those notorious fees they’re not supposed to keep, plus their lax security lets scalpers buy up tickets in bulk and charge concert-goers even more money. So it turns out MTV didn’t kill the live show – ticket monopolies did. Good Americans deserve better, so our Congressfolk should do better.
Daily Kos helps you tell your Congressfolk to investigate Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s alleged conflicts of interest. You know, like his wife openly colluding to overthrow our government on January 6! Naturally he’s ruled the wrong way on January 6-related matters that have come before the court since then, and though he might be able to argue that his rulings are entirely consistent with the philosophy he’s expressed on our Court for 30 years, c’mon, we’re not schmucks. I long to live in an America where people are shamed out of their status for being corrupt! But if we want that world, we have to demand it, and work for it.
Finally, Americans for Financial Reform helps you tell your Congressfolk to pass a Billionaire’s Minimum Income Tax before they go home for the holidays. It’s hard to get such things through Congress, but the more we demand it the harder we make it for Congress to ignore us. And one more time: nobody “earns” a billion dollars. Billionaires get where they are not through “talent” or “hard work” but because they leverage their privilege and their wealth to hurt other people. And if we want to be a sane, moral, and decent civilization again, we need to tax billionaires a lot harder.
Long story short: tell our FTC to stop the proposed Kroger/Albertsons merger, tell the Argentinian government to end fossil fuel subsidies, and tell President Biden to get rid of USPS Postmaster Louis DeJoy. Use the email/petition tools in the following paragraphs to communicate your will.
More Perfect Union helps you tell our Federal Trade Commission (or FTC) to stop the proposed Kroger/Albertsons merger. You don’t have to believe that no corporation should be able to own any other corporation (as I do!) to see why the Kroger/Albertsons merger is such a bad idea – like all other mergers, it means killed jobs, higher prices, fewer choices, and more worker income redistributed upward to corporate executives. In this particular case, it also means a $4 billion payout to hedge fund banksters as they bleed Albertsons dry, and what did they do to deserve that? You already know the answer: nothing.
350.org helps you tell the Argentinian government to end all fossil fuel subsidies. What, Argentinians deserve freedom from corruption less than we do? People are people, after all. And the Argentinian government has become notorious for funneling taxpayer money to crony fossil fuel corporations, to the tune of over $3.5 billion just between 2016 and 2018, just to corporations operating in the Vaca Muerta area of western Argentina. Again, Argentinians deserve the freedom that clean water affords anyone who has access to it – mainly, freedom from illness – and they also deserve a government that spends their money on them, not on corporate welfare. So let’s help them get that.
Finally, Daily Kos helps you tell President Biden to finish the job of getting rid of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. You know the main story by now – Mr. DeJoy, another in a long line of talentless CEOs our economy belches out like it’s just had a bowl of beans, has slashed jobs, cut services, and raised prices, which ain’t good for all the Americans who rely on our Postal Service for life-saving medications. But the side stories – his efforts to hijack voting by mail and block electric mail trucks, and his investment in the corporation that just so happened to provide the free COVID tests our Postal Service sent out – also testify to his evil.
Long story short: tell your Congressfolk to bring back the expanded Child Tax Credit, pass the SHINE for Autumn Act, and investigate the alleged Alito leak over the Hobby Lobby ruling. Use the tools in the upper right-hand corner of this page (or, if you're on a cellphone, the bottom of this page) to find your Congressfolk's phone numbers and/or use the email/petition tools in the following paragraphs.
The Juggernaut Project helps you tell your Congressfolk to bring back the expanded Child Tax Credit (or CTC) expansion from 2021, and make it permanent. That expansion delivered $250 and $300 checks per child into working families’ bank accounts every month during the latter half of 2021, but then 50 Republican Senators and Joe Manchin refused to extend the expansion, with Mr. Manchin notoriously alleging that people were using that money on drugs! Ah, no – they were using it to offset the high inflation Mr. Manchin used as his excuse to block almost everything else. And thanks for letting Republicans off the hook, Joe! I still prefer him to Kyrsten Sinema.
Moms Rising helps you tell your Congressfolk to pass H.R. 5487/S. 3972, the Stillbirth Health Improvement and Education (or SHINE) for Autumn Act, which would, as its title suggests, fund more research into stillbirths in the hope of preventing them. Over 60 babies come out stillborn every day, which means over 60 grieving families every day, and for what? The greatest nation on Earth should be able to prevent that, and not for nothing, but Black and Brown families experience the tragedy of stillbirths a lot more than the rest of us. Couldn’t be all of the polluting factories we tend to concentrate in Black and Brown neighborhoods, could it? We’ll never know, unless we spend the money to find out!
Long story short: tell the San Francisco government to get rid of its killer robots, and tell President Biden to issue executive orders guaranteeing paid sick leave for railway workers and campaign finance disclosure by federal contractors. Use the email/petition tools in the following paragraphs to communicate your will.
Public Citizen helps you tell the San Francisco government not to allow its police to deploy killer robots on their citizens. Incredible that I even have to write that sentence, but duty is duty, no matter where it takes us. The NYPD started using killer robots in 2020, but stopped after public backlash; if New York’s government can be cowed by good people communicating their will, so can San Francisco’s. Even if they think they know better than everyone else! Which is not a liberal character flaw, any more than San Francisco is a “liberal” city; San Francisco is a rich tech bro city, and anyone can think they know better than everyone else. This is America, after all.
The People United helps you tell President Biden to issue an Executive order granting railroad workers paid sick leave. The Obama Administration mandated that for all other federal contractors, but exempted railway workers, so it seems to me there’s ample legal precedent to do it. And even if the presence of a labor contract pre-empts such an Executive Order – I don’t know if that’s true, but it could be, even concerning a legal contract Congress just forced down railway workers’ throats – then let right-wingers sue and overturn it! It’ll just force them to spend money they didn’t earn, it’ll keep the issue in the public eye, and it might well fail. And thus we will have done a good work.
An artificial intelligence agent gets good enough at Stratego that it now outranks almost every human on Earth. Machines may not have egos like people do – study any military history and you’ll be amused and/or disgusted by how badly Our Glorious Elites have botched wars just to appease their own egos – but again, how about we don’t leave wars up to machines? I mean, yes, it’s interesting that an AI agent play a game with “imperfect information” so well, but instead of imagining how we could “fight wars better” – again, a dubious notion in the guerrilla warfare era! -- how about we imagine how we can avoid wars better?
Ho hum, right-wingers claim that vaccines kill people with blood clots, naturally by blowing one fact (that the J&J vaccine, accounting for 3% of all vaccine administrations, cause a kind of blood clotting in literally four out of every million doses) way out of proportion, pretending that postmortem blood clots aren’t common, and repeating a whole slew of other debunked claims. Also, too, just because someone dies after getting the vaccine, that doesn’t mean the vaccine killed them. If I shoot a diabetic in the head, no reasonable person would claim he died of diabetes, but right-wingers would make a movie saying exactly that if they thought they could enrage enough people.
Marion County (IN) Superior Court Judge blocks Indiana’s abortion ban – on religious freedom grounds! After all, mainstream Judaism and Islam both authorize it in certain circumstances, so banning abortion more broadly interferes with those folks’ exercise of their First Amendment-guaranteed religious freedom. Will our Supreme Court, with its stated concern for religious freedom, uphold rulings such as these? I kid, of course – nothing matters to the far right wing of our Court except imposing their will on America. Why, I bet they’ll figure out a way to rule that the Jewish/Muslim/other non-Christian women who filed the suit “don’t have standing” to challenge it!
Our Senate has passed the Respect for Marriage Act. The bill they passed wouldn’t compel churches to hold gay weddings, but as long as our government recognizes them, most folks couldn’t care less if churches do. The bill would also repeal the noxious Defense of Marriage Act, confer federal benefits to any gay couple legally married, and force states to recognize marriages legal in other states. However, the bill wouldn’t compel those 35 states that have anti-gay marriage laws on the books – laws those states will enforce if/when our Supreme Court overturns Obergefell v. Hodges – to legalize gay marriage, and that’s a thing that’ll come back to bite us. Verdict: it's progress, but it's not quite justice.
Long story short: tell ShotSpotter to stop spying on good Americans, tell DirecTV to say no to higher Fox fees, and tell our FTC to stop the proposed Kroger/Albertsons merger. Use the email/petition tools in the following paragraphs to communicate your will.
The Daily Kos Liberation League helps you tell ShotSpotter to stop spying on good Americans. ShotSpotter sells “gunshot recognition technology” that, surprise, works just as badly as facial recognition technology, since it can hardly tell the difference between a gunshot and a loud bang at a construction site. Despite that, cities use ShotSpotter to send police officers out to Black and Brown neighborhoods, which just increases the possibility of more needless deaths at the hands of cops. And ShotSpotter doesn’t just record gunshots (and “gunshots”) – it also records what people say and do nearby. Without a warrant! Hence we use the Big Stick of Bad PR.
Daily Kos helps you tell DirecTV not to cave in to Fox’s demands for massive carriage fee increases, which you know DirecTV will pass on to all of its customers, who may include you. I’m old enough to remember when Fox could dictate fees to the big telecom services for its “services,” and no, its regular TV offerings aren’t good enough to offset all the harm the notorious Fox News Channel has done and will continue to do. So now would be a good time for us to lend some steel to DirecTV’s spine and tell them to stand up to Fox’s demands for more money. Maybe they’ll have to drop Fox entirely! What a shame that would be.
Finally, More Perfect Union helps you tell our Federal Trade Commission to stop the proposed Kroger/Albertsons merger, which will create yet another mega-corporation in a world that already has too many of them slashing jobs, raising prices, and imposing their will on good people. Oh, and paying their executives way, way too much money; we can’t forget that, since that’s the real reason corporations merge. Luckily, we have laws against this sort of thing, and though it may take a while to get judges who’ll remember we have laws against this sort of thing, we can have an FTC that remembers – if we keep reminding them.
Alec Mento's *Penny Rants* books chronicle recent American politics, but with an improbable optimism and (per Kirkus Reviews) an "acerbic flair" and "a talent for distilling complex ideas into quickly digestible parts." And you can only get these books at Blunt Instruments; click the photo above (or type blunteye.com into your browser) to get them!