Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank has introduced H.R. 4291, the Protection Against Executive Compensation Abuse Act, which would require corporations to increase their disclosure of executive pay and perks. This is how they do it in Great Britain, folks, and their executives aren't nearly as fat as ours. H.R. 4291 would also expand shareholders' role in approving executive compensation plans, "golden parachutes," and severance packages. H.R. 4291 doesn't have the piercing point of Martin Sabo's bill that would limit executive compensation to 25 times what a corporation's lowest-paid worker makes, but it does address one of the main problems with CEO compensation -- that corporate boards, themselves packed with current and retired CEOs, have too much say over CEO compensation. The bill is (all together now) stuck in committee, but you can help get it unstuck by calling your Congressperson, and calling those members of the House Committee on Financial Services to which it's been banished, using the "find Congressional Committee members" tool above. They've gone home for the holidays, lucky them, but they might have to come back depending on developments in the Senate -- and, you know, they're going to have to come back eventually anyway. (If it helps your phone-shyness, the House Committee on Financial Services includes several Republicans who do good work, like Iowa's James Leach, Ohio's Steven La Tourette, and Delaware's Michael Castle; you could target those.)
Given that some 900,000 children suffer from child abuse and/or neglect every year, the good folks at Care2 want you to call upon the U.S. Surgeon General to prepare a comprehensive report on child abuse and neglect in the United States. The Surgeon General's office can be a pretty powerful platform -- witness those ubiquitous labels on cigarettes, which date from the Nixon Administration, or C. Everett Koop's support of condoms in preventing sexually-transmitted diseases in the late 1980s, or the Surgeon General's report on underage smoking in 1990. Besides, since it's about the kids, it's something Bill O'Reilly and I can both get behind. Just kidding; I don't really expect Bill to get behind anything that he can't sensationalize in his own uniquely ugly and sentimental manner, or, indeed, anything that some right-winger didn't suggest to him.
Want to buy gas, but don't want to support oil companies who donate to the Party of Evil? You could buy gas at Hess, which donates mainly to the Party of Lesser Evil, or you could buy gas from Citgo, the Venezuelan-state-owned gas station which has, unlike other big oil companies, sold heating oil at discounted rates to poorer communities in Massachusetts and the Bronx. Here's a tool that'll help you find the Citgo station nearest to you. But be warned: all that money you spend at Citgo won't go to the Middle East, but to Hugo Chavez's regime in Venezuela. I'm generally sanguine about Chavez myself, but Tha Bush Mobb would love to declare him a terrorist state and they'd love to punish you for supporting it. No, really punish you, as in put you in jail for giving "aid and comfort" and such. Be sure to refer your captors to "Thieves in the Temple" if it'll get you out of trouble. Tha Bush Mobb can only kill me once, and they'll probably botch it like they botch everything else.