The U.S. Government Continues to Approve Pay Increases for Executives at Bailed-Out Companies Even When they Perform Poorly

Bailout and Deregulation

A study released today found that executives at bailed-out companies are continuing to rip off the American public. A recent report from the Special Inspector General for TARP found that, in 2012, the TARP “pay czar” Patricia Geoghegan approved virtually all pay raises under her control, even when an executive’s division performed poorly. Even though his division of the bank was about to go bankrupt, an executive at Ally’s residential mortgage unit still saw his paycheck increase in 2012.

Geoghegan also approved a $50,000 pay increase for a GM executive whom GM wanted to “do a little extra for.” I guess 50,000 dollars seems like a “little extra” when it’s taxpayer money that you are spending instead of your own.

Is this how taxpayers want their money spent? By giving pay increases to people whose divisions are going bankrupt and to people who the company just wants to “do a little extra for?”

This needs to end. I think the report’s authors put it best when they said that the bailed-out companies demands for high executive pay show that they

“continue to lack an appreciation for their extraordinary situations and fail to view themselves through the lenses of companies substantially owned by the U.S. Government.”


Texas Taxpayer Money at Work: Texas Public School System is Teaching Racism, Anti-Semitism, and Christian Fundamentalism

A recent Texas Freedom Network Education Fund study found that some Texas public school students are learning literal interpretations of the Bible, that Judaism is a “failed and incomplete religion,” and racist theories that black people are descendants of Ham, who is cursed by Noah in Genesis.

Texas has always been notorious for the amount of influence that they let Christian Fundamentalists have on their school curriculum and textbooks, but this curriculum is upsetting even for Texas.

Here’s what the study found Texas public schools teaching students:
Biblical beliefs that contradict well-established science: When students are being taught that the Earth is only 6,000 years old, how are American students ever supposed to get better at science, a subject they notably don’t excel in?
Racist theories about the origins of black people:The idea that black people are descended from Ham was used as Biblical justification for slavery. Noah cursed Ham by saying, “A servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.” This was used by advocates of slavery to argue that a black person’s rightful place was as a slave. The chart below was used in a lesson to teach children about racial origins.
Texas Public School System Racism
Anti-Semitism: A bias against Judaism, intentional or unintentional, was fairly common according to the report. Some taught that Christianity replaced the “failed and incomplete” Judaism.
The idea that the US is a Christian nation founded on Biblical principles: This is inaccuarate. Many of the Founding Fathers were strong proponents of separation between church and state.

Thirty One States Allow Rapists to Sue for Custody and Visitation Rights: Who Wants to Start a We The People Petition with Me to Stop This?

Laws About Rape Pregnancy by State

New Mexico state representative Cathrynn Brown’s recent bill that attempted to criminalize abortion after rape would have made life even harder than it already it is for pregnant rape victims. Although that bill won’t pass, there are still thirty one states that allow a rapist to sue for custody and visitation rights. This needs to end. Rapists should be stripped of any parental rights. No rape victim should be forced to ever remain in contact with their attacker, let alone be forced to let their attacker help raise their child.

This issue first gained national attention last October when Shauna Prewitt talked about how her rapist sued for custody of their child.

Does anyone want to start a We the People petition with me to stop rapists from being able to sue for custody or visitation rights of a child concieved through their rape? “If we can get it to reach 100,000 signatures fast enough, then the White House will formerly respond to it.

Representative Brown “Horrified” by Reaction to Her Rape-Victim Punishing Bill; Petition Her and Call Her to Withdraw It

cathrynn brown

I know I said I wouldn’t be blogging again until Monday night, but I couldn’t help posting this. Cathrynn Brown, the New Mexico state representative who introduced a bill yesterday that would criminalize getting an abortion after being raped, is apparently so “horrified” by the negative response to her bill that she has removed her contact information from her legislature page.

But, as Emma Wolf pointed out, other sites have put up Brown’s contact information so you can call her and ask her to withdraw her bill.

There is also a petition you can sign asking Brown to withdraw her bill.

Brown has been doing damage control by claiming that her bill “protects women and girls from incest and other sex crimes.” However, given Brown’s place on the board of the Carlsbad’s Right to Life chapter and her pro-life activism, I seriously doubt that the goal of this bill was ever to protect victims as much as it was a poor attempt to stop abortion after rape.

Brief Hiatus


I’m going to be too busy to blog today 1/25, tomorrow 1/26, and Sunday 1/27, but I will be back on Monday night 1/28, so look for me then!

Next week I’ll be giving my thoughts on:
-Gun control and the NRA
-U.S. intervention in Mali
-Immigration reform
-Why defense spending needs to be reduced
-Gay Marriage and the possible upcoming Supreme Court cases Hollingsworth v. Perry and the ones on the Defense of Marriage Act
-The Equal Rights Ammendment
-Fetal personhood laws and the possible upcoming Supreme Court case Oklahoma v. Barber
-UN investigation of U.S. drone strikes
-Inequality’s effects on society

I’ll probably also post more on women in combat and the failed drug war.

See you then!

War Against Reproductive Rights: New Mexico Bill Would Criminalize Abortion After Rape


At this point, I’m inclined to believe that some Republicans (and Democrats to a much smaller degree) will lie about anything to criminalize abortion and/or birth control. New Mexico state representative Cathrynn Brown (R) introduced a bill today that would charge anyone who procures or facilitates an abortion after a rape, including the rape victim, with a third degree felony for “tampering with evidence”. The “crime” would be punishable by up to three years in prison.

Brown claims that she introduced the bill in order to go after people who rape or commit incest and then try to procure an abortion to cover their crimes.

That doesn’t make any sense. You can get a DNA sample from a fetus without the fetus being brought to term. A DNA sample would be more than enough evidence of the rapist’s crimes.

This is just another lawmaker who is trying to criminalize abortion under the guise of protecting women.

After numerous polls on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade showing that the American public wants abortion to be legal, you would think politicians would have lightened up on attacking reproductive rights, if only for a little while.

Defense Secretary Panetta Will Lift Ban on Women in Combat

Combat Ban Lifted

This is groundbreaking. One of the last openly discriminatory policies against women in the military is going to be phased out, thanks to the Obama administration. According to senior defense officials, Secretary of Defense Panetta is going to announce that he is removing the ban on women in combat. Panetta’s decision would give the military until January 2016 to open their frontline combat positions to women or to seek special exceptions if they think a position needs to be closed to women.

The 1994 Combat Exclusion Policy, which bans women from being in combat, states the following:

Service members are eligible to be assigned to all positions for which they are qualified, except that women shall be excluded from assignment to units below the brigade level whose primary mission is to engage in direct combat on the ground

Panetta’s decision to eventually remove the ban could open over 200,000 jobs to women that were previously closed. It will also give women greater opportunities for promotion.

For more on why frontline combat positions should be open to women and for information on the ACLU lawsuit against the Secretary of Defense claiming the Combat Exclusion Policy violates the Equal Protection Clause, see my previous post.

Women on the Frontlines Timeline NPR.

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