PICKS are stories from many sources, selected by our editors or recommended by our readers because they are important, surprising, troubling, enlightening, inspiring, or amusing. They appear on our site and in our daily newsletter. Please send suggested articles, videos, podcasts, etc. to picks@whowhatwhy.org.

Big Tech Bill Has Votes Needed to Pass, Top US Antitrust Lawmaker Says (Maria)

The author writes, “A top Democratic lawmaker on antitrust issues said Tuesday a bill aimed at reining in the market power of Big Tech platforms like Amazon.com and Alphabet’s Google had the votes to pass the both chambers of Congress in the next few weeks. On the sidelines of an event to rally support for measures before the Senate and House of Representatives that would prevent tech platforms … from favoring their own businesses in search and other ways, Representative David Cicilline, chair of the House antitrust subcommittee, said: ‘I’m very confident when these bills come to the floor, they will pass. Convincingly.’”

January 6 Is a Dangerous Shorthand (Sean)

The author writes, “Like January 6, Watergate became a generic shorthand; its familiarity among the public is nearly universal. But as the scholars Michael Genovese and Iwan Morgan reflect in Watergate Remembered, ‘The fact that Watergate is now one of the best-known words in the English language has done little to enhance understanding of its ongoing significance.’  The shorthand is misleading. It refers, of course, to a failed (second) break-in at the Watergate complex targeting the headquarters of the Democratic Party — a single and relatively unimpressive item among an expansive catalog of abuses that shared the goal of securing President Richard Nixon’s second term. Those abuses, far from just a clumsy spying operation, posed the real threat to American democracy.”

What If Ukraine Wins? (Sean)

From Foreign Affairs: “No matter the scope of a Ukrainian victory, all such scenarios entail a nebulous ‘day after.’ Russia will not acquiesce to its defeat nor to a noncoercive negotiated outcome. Any Ukrainian victory will only spur more Russian intransigence in its wake. As soon as it can rebuild its military capacity, Russia will use a narrative of humiliation to stir domestic support for a renewed effort to control Ukraine. Even if he loses the war, Putin will not let go of Ukraine. Nor will he simply sit by as it becomes fully integrated into the West. A Ukrainian victory, then, would require not a relaxation of Western support for Ukraine but an even stronger commitment.”

Powered Wheelchairs and Right to Repair (Bethany)

The author writes, “Three million Americans rely on wheelchairs, and many of them use powered wheelchairs. A wheelchair is an amazing assistive device, one that can mean the difference between being stuck at home — or even in bed — and being able to work, go to school, shop, and see family and friends. Even if you don’t use a powered wheelchair, it won’t surprise you to learn that they break. A lot. Anyone with a phone or a laptop – tech that travels with us out of the home, into the great and wild outdoors – knows that stuff you take with you into the world takes a lot of knocks. But when it comes to powered wheelchairs, there are a lot of complicated — and frankly awful — structural factors that virtually guarantee that the chairs will get broken, and then getting them fixed is an incredible hassle.”

Marine Corps ‘Pride Month’ Post Misses the Mark (Mili)

From Military Times: “Each year, companies and allies alike take to social media on June 1 to express support for LGBTQIA+ persons with rainbow displays for Pride Month. This year, the U.S. Marine Corps joined them with a post of a helmet sporting a row of multi-colored 5.56 mm NATO rounds and a message for queer troops. … Unfortunately, the graphic and message did not seem to resonate for many commenters on Twitter and Instagram. ‘Quit being woke,’ wrote user @LandonWall87. Another called out the Corps for getting involved in identity politics.”

Buzz Lightyear Film Featuring Same-Sex Couple Will Not Play in 14 Countries (Emily)

The author writes, “Walt Disney Co. has been unable to obtain permission to show its new Pixar movie Lightyear in 14 Middle Eastern and Asian countries, a source said on Monday, and the animated film appeared unlikely to open in China, the world’s largest movie market. A Lightyear producer told Reuters that authorities in China had asked for cuts to the movie, which Disney declined to make, and she assumed the movie would not open there either. The animated film depicts a same-sex couple who share a brief kiss, which prompted the United Arab Emirates to ban the film.”

The Strange and Secret Ways That Animals Perceive the World (Howard)

From The New Yorker: “Nonhuman creatures have senses that we’re just beginning to fathom. What would they tell us if we could only understand them?”