You may recall that the Obama Administration tried and failed to get the Senate to confirm Antonio Weiss as Treasury undersecretary, but you may not know that such a confirmation would have net Mr. Weiss a $21 million bonus from his employer, investment banking firm Lazard. Giving a man a huge bonus for getting a job in our government -- I wonder why they would do that. Subsequently, the AFL-CIO proposed to three big banking firms that shareholders should have more say over such bonuses -- at which point those three firms promptly ran to the SEC to try to get the proposal quashed. Again we ask: what are they afraid of? That good Americans will interpret such bonuses as payoffs for getting big bankster ideas heard more loudly in the halls of our government? Americans for Financial Reform helps you tell the firms to drop their opposition to more shareholder power in payments to executives who join our government. And if you think this gravy train's bad under the Obama Administration, which it is, think how much worse it will be when Scott Walker's President.
Meanwhile, Occupy activist Cecily McMillan of Brooklyn has begun a petition on Change.org that helps you tell the New York state legislature to reject proposals to make "resisting arrest" a felony. Why? Because, as anyone who's ever fought for anything will tell you, "resisting arrest" has become a too-often-used excuse for all manner of police abuses, and we need to make it harder for police to resort to that, not easier. Moreover, making "resisting arrest" a felony doesn't even help police in actual efforts to control violent suspects -- someone who's actually resisting arrest because they're guilty of something is hardly going to think, "whoa, I better stop, this is a felony now." Certainly "resisting arrest" isn't the offense other felonies are -- felonies like arson, murder, and aggravated assault. Personal to those who think supporting this petition would be "anti-cop," or "anti-law and order": giving police every conceivable tool, including those that will be abused, isn't "pro-law and order," it's fascist. There's a difference.
Finally, H.R. 5 aims to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which Congress has to do every so often, but now that Republicans control both houses of Congress, they'll no doubt try to use the reauthorization process as a cudgel to get more privatization of public schools through vouchers. We know the sins of the voucher program by heart -- that they don't pay for the entirety of private education, that they don't guarantee acceptance to private schools, that they serve as a funnel for public money to religious organizations (which latter item compromises the integrity of both partners), and that private schools don't even do a better job than public schools. Add to that list that the original hysteria over TEH FAILING PUBLIC SCHOOLZ!!!! was bogus to begin with, and you have a manufactured crisis designed to get right-wing cronies to feed at the public trough, which leaves Americans behind. Hence Americans United for the Separation of Church and State helps you tell your House Reps to reject any further public school privatization in an ESEA reauth.