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At the Democracy Center, Thomas Mc Donagh writes How the TPP Extends the Tentacles of Corporate Power:

Last week the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement leapt from behind the closed doors of negotiations to the front pages of major newspapers, thanks to information from Wikileaks revealing previously unpublished details of the proposed intellectual property chapter of the deal.

If you hadn't yet heard about the TPP, there is a reason for that. Not even members of the US Congress have been allowed to see the negotiating text. Thanks to a set of leaks however, we´re beginning to get glimpses of exactly how dangerous the agreement is. The Wikileaks revelations have shone an urgent public light on the agreement’s onerous implications regarding intellectual property.

In 2012, however, another leak uncovered what may be an even more dangerous aspect of the TPP. The proposed investment chapter of the deal revealed plans to expand the system of international investment tribunals that deal with what is called ‘investor-state dispute settlement’. These are closed-door courts that take direct aim at the ability of governments across the world to enact environmental, public health and other protections for their citizens.

We don’t need much help to imagine what a world under these provisions of the TPP would look like. We need look no further than some of the current investor-state dispute cases in which powerful international corporations are demanding millions – sometimes billions – of dollars in claims, against countries both poor and wealthy, for the sin of protecting their citizens.

This is the very same system that the Bechtel Corporation used to attempt to drain $50 million from the Bolivian public treasury after the corporation had been thrown out during the Cochabamba Water War.

This is the same system that Canadian mining firm Pacific Rim, recently taken over by Oceana Gold, is using to try to extract over $300 million from the people of El Salvador for having rejected mining operations that threaten to contaminate their drinking water.
And it’s the same system that Philip Morris, the tobacco giant, is using against Uruguay and Australia to try to eliminate important public health regulations designed to reduce tobacco consumption.

The number of these investment cases has exploded in recent years, with 2012 breaking all records. Cases such as these, with serious implications for government ability to regulate for public health, environmental protection and access to water, are now being heard far away from domestic legal systems in international investor-state arbitration courts. […]

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2010Federal worker pay freeze is unjustified and ineffective:

Here's a shocker for you: rich people don't create jobs. Demand creates jobs. And demand is created when the vast majority of people, lower and middle class people, feel secure enough in their lives to spend some of their very hard earned cash.

The White House Council of Economic Advisers has stated that extending tax cuts for the wealthy is a bad idea. In fact, there's very good evidence that low tax rates at the top depress the economy. Low tax rates encourage the already wealthy to keep even more funds for themselves by cutting staff and reducing benefits. […]

What does work? Making sure that lower and middle class workers have enough funds on hand to meet their immediate needs. Which is why freezing the pay of federal workers is far, far worse for the economy than allowing the tax cuts to expire for the wealthy. It could be seriously (and convincingly) argued that raising tax rates for corporations and the wealthy would actually be good for the economy. It can't be argued that imposing a $60 billion penalty on middle class workers -- which is exactly what this is -- will do anything but retard economic growth and reduce job production.

Tweet of the Day:

Don't those Walmart protesters know that the 1st Amendment only applies to SuperPACs and companies that want to keep women from having sex?

On today's "encore presentation" of the Nov. 29, 2012 Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin told about Medicare in the context of the "fiscal speed bump" negotiations, and gave us one of his early "wait and see" warnings. Also: the Fast Food Forward strikes in the New York area, and how they related to last year's WalMart and Hostess strikes. Finally, a look at all the important stuff that somehow gets left out of newspaper coverage of the filibuster reform fight. You'll only get that here, on Daily Kos Radio. And could anybody have talked you through that better? I ask you!

High Impact Posts. Top Comments. Overnight News Digest.

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Comment Preferences

  •  987,585 registered users on dKos now. (18+ / 0-)

    Here are the 10 newest registered users on dKos.  Hope to see their comments and diaries here soon!  (If they're not spammers.)

    foxjayson70 (user #987,576: spammer)
    arnelms02 (user #987,578: spammer)
    jordanryan00 (user #987,581: already banned)
    benerscov708 (user #987,583: spammer)
    Lissjloug354 (user #987,585: spammer)

    And since our society is obsessed with numbers that end in a lot of zeros as milestones, here's a special shoutout to users:
    #987,300: paydaysupprt (spammer)
    #987,400: mariapeirez (spammer)
    #987,500: leez051503 (spammer)

    We've added 335 more users in the last 3 days.  We're no longer being flooded with all those fake users, but it seems there's been a recent rash of increase in spammers, though.

    And for your Diary Rescue music pleasure, here's Kenny Loggins' "Heart to Heart".

  •  No one knows what goes on behind the doe's (9+ / 0-)

    when the doe's close, but the nose knows.

    A stinky-stinky.

    We can discuss this and wonder what to do about that, but in the end, the ONLY thing that matters is voter turnout. Ya CAIN'T go to the dance if you AIN'T bought your ticket! Go team go.

    by franklyn on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 08:35:41 PM PST

  •  Are we taking odds on whether or when (9+ / 0-)

    The TPP is passed by congress?  Because I think this is going to end up passed by a routinely hypocritical congress.  I do wonder how much direct impact the president has on the negotiations.  Does HE know what's in it, or just what they tell him is in it?

    •  Evidence of His Ignorance is Scarce nt (4+ / 0-)

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 09:17:27 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Wow, this could be bigger than the fascism (4+ / 0-)

      of the 1930s and 1940s which, although powerful, was at least sort of regionally focused with regard to military might. Who will be able to fight against it when fascism is a nearly worldwide agreement and the U.S. is its go to guy?

    •  ANY Congresscritter that votes for this shit (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Calamity Jean

      is, ipso facto,  NOT a Democrat.

      Primary ANY alleged Democrat who votes for this.

      NO DOUGH for national organizations who support this shit.

      and a big FUCK YOU to anyone who votes for these traitors to the principles of the Democratic Party, or utters a word in support of them.

      Fucking enough, already.

      don't always believe what you think

      by claude on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 04:46:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  He's the one driving the negotiations (0+ / 0-)

      He's in it up to his eyeballs.

      One big step to world enslavement.

      Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

      by The Dead Man on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 07:55:44 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  And accepted by this community as well as (0+ / 0-)

      the broader Democratic Party membership, with little to no meaningful response, which will come from other, smaller, over-worked, under-appreciated communities of real activists.

      Because there's nothing to do in such cases but shake our heads, organize for elections and wag our fingers. We're willing to accept the sacrifice forced upon us in the form of all manner of neoliberalism--including--but not willing to sacrifice but participating en masse in real activism, both in the form of a sustained, irresistible protest on the ground in DC and NYC of 3-5% of the populace and in direct action to pull "funding" from the plutocrats by changing our consumption activity.

      Trust, but verify. - Reagan
      Vote, but Occupy. - commonmass

      When the rich have tripled their share of the income and wealth yet again, Republicans will still blame the poor and 3rd Way Democrats will still negotiate.

      by Words In Action on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 08:34:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  New Photo Diary from Bohol in Central Philippines (10+ / 0-)

    "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 08:39:06 PM PST

  •  Sigh...this is why we can't have nice things (10+ / 0-)

    The Corporate Media hacks sure have been quick to jump on the right wing 'Obamacare has already failed' meme.

    Margaret Carlson at Bloomberg insinuates that Obama is arrogant and aloof, calls Obamacare a failure.

    Is Obamacare Challenging Enough for Obama?

    Two statements explain the huge failure of Obamacare. One is by President Barack Obama, the other is about him.

    The first was made in St. Paul, Minnesota, at the end of the 2008 primary campaign, when candidate Obama predicted that generations would look back and see his nomination as “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.”

    Valerie Jarrett said Obama “has never really been challenged intellectually,” she went on. “He’s been bored to death his whole life. He’s just too talented to do what ordinary people do.”

    As polls show Democrats losing to Republicans on a generic ballot and the Senate in danger of going Republican, Democrats are panicking about 2014.

    The more important delay is the one to Nov. 15, 2014, conveniently after the midterm elections. This will be a critical passage, when companies will know whether enough of the unworried young healthies have signed up to offset the cost of insuring the older unhealthies and prevent an adverse selection “death spiral” for Obamacare. Early returns from states such as Kentucky, where the local exchange is working, are troubling. The old and sick are outnumbering the young and healthy.

    "I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not." - Kurt Cobain

    by Jeff Y on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 08:43:53 PM PST

  •  I expect blood. (4+ / 0-)

    Even the comatose will "get" how badly they're hosed by this.
    And, I suspect the Ubers and Filthys (rich) expect blood.
    The cops are armored up.

  •  I freeze my ass off... (10+ / 0-)

    ☼ snowy bridge, frozen sunset ☼

    so you don't have to. Yeah, I'm pimping.

    No one knows what it's like, To be the bad man, To be the sad man, behind blue eyes....

    by blueyedace2 on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 09:06:30 PM PST

  •  Have a great holiday weekend everyone! (4+ / 0-)

    "I'd rather be hated for who I am, than loved for who I am not." - Kurt Cobain

    by Jeff Y on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 09:09:25 PM PST

  •  TPP (7+ / 0-)

    Here is where we get to see the Owners of the world deciding how much rent we surfs will pay them for living on their planet.

  •  Magic Potato Soup (8+ / 0-)

    And that's what you have to call it when you make it.

    I'm not going to put in quantities because it all depends on how much you want to make.

    a few carrots diced
    a few stalks of celery diced  save the tender leaves for garnish
    Bacon reserve some of the bacon fat.
    green onions diced for garnish
    extra sharp cheddar cheese  I use white
    chicken broth or stock
    juice of 1 lemon
    Worcestershire sauce
    smoked paprika or regular whatever you have
    dry white wine
    1/2 pint of heavy cream

    1. Cut the potatoes in chunks cut some of the potatoes in small chunks.
    put in cold water until ready to use.

    2. Cut bacon into small pieces then place in the pot.
    Cook until crispy and remove. Reserve some of the bacon fat to saute the vegetables in.

    3. Add onion carrots celery and garlic
    Add salt and pepper and let sweat.

    4. Deglaze with white wine about a half cup let reduce some.
    5. Add potatoes sumac and paprika add some more salt.
    Coat the vegetables with the spices and bacon fat.

    6. Add the chicken stock, enough to cover the potatoes plus one inch.
    If there isn't enough stock add some of the water the potatoes were in.

    7. Add lemon juice and Worcestershire-It's almost like you can't add enough of the sauce, but you can.

    8. Cook until the potatoes are soft enough to break down but not mushy.
    Blend the soup however you wish.

    9. Add the cheddar cheese and heavy cream cook until everything is hot. If it's too thick add some more of the water the potatoes were in.

    10. Garnish with celery tops, green onions, and bacon.

    11. Thank me

    I was in the car with my mom and my granddaughter and my mom asked my granddaughter what kind of toys she wanted, to which she said and I quote, "Pink toys and blue, and green, and green, and green and red, and brown and white, and pink."

    After a while unprompted my granddaughter started to sing the alphabet song. So My mom and I chimed in with her. She stopped us in our tracks, pointed her finger, scolding us saying, "Don't copy me."

    Florida The Worst State. The Daily Show

    by nellgwen on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 09:21:19 PM PST

    •  Your soup sounds very good (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JML9999, Jeff Y, nellgwen

      I use potato soup all the time to save myself when my IB goes nuts on me, there is something about it that just mellows everything out. I would have to leave out the bacon I'm afraid, I'm allergic to pork of all the damn things, but everything else looks really good.

      And daddy won't you take me back to Muhlenberg County Down by the Green River where Paradise lay. Well, I'm sorry my son, but you're too late in asking Mister Peabody's coal train has hauled it away. John Prine

      by high uintas on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 09:33:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm so old I remember when this was an Anti-Troll (6+ / 0-)


      I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

      by JML9999 on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 09:34:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What? I'm not old enough. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JML9999, ChemBob

        I don't understand.

        Florida The Worst State. The Daily Show

        by nellgwen on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 09:54:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Around here when one was out of "Doughnuts" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          or not yet a trusted user. A practice was to post a Recipe in an offending diary in the comments or attached to a offensive comment thread... or so was the ancient practice.

          I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

          by JML9999 on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 10:11:43 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I'm stupid I guess (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            because I still don't know what you're talking about.
            Am I the trusted user or are you?
            is Night Owls the offending diary?
            Did I make the offensive comment or did you?
            If it makes you feel better I didn't think you made an offensive comment.
            I just had some things on my mind and Night Owls seemed to be the place for them.
            It's getting cold out and I thought some people would love to cook up a new and exciting potato soup recipe, you know after they rake leaves or put up the Christmas lights.

              Also I'm watching the Big Bang Theory and I only have so much ram to devote to thinking right now. As luck would have it it's the episode where Penny is talking physics lessons from Sheldon and she just cried because she said she was stupid.
            Is it a coincidence or a conspiracy theory. Or is is a result of high tension wires?

            Florida The Worst State. The Daily Show

            by nellgwen on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 10:44:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Ok from the top.Back in the earlier days @DailyKos (0+ / 0-)

              Circa 2006 only time people posted a recipe was in response to a comment or diary that was offensive.  Since I signed up back then the typical expression used is "I'm so old that I remember......."

              I want 1 less Tiny Coffin, Why Don't You? Support The President's Gun Violence Plan.

              by JML9999 on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 10:52:11 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  The original idea was to "feed the trolls " (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              JML9999, susakinovember

              into oblivion.  It was the Kossack version of "don't feed the trolls".  The trolls would usually leave after say 8-10 recipes, and the readers would get really the delicious leftovers  (recipes) from the  troll fodder.  Later we could feed them "doughnuts" , zero ratings.

              Displaying a picture of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and seven GOP colleagues sitting opposite empty chairs in a conference room, Maddow cracked, “Nobody learned anything from the Republican National Convention last year.”

              by sailmaker on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 10:58:11 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, slap my ass and call me Sally (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JML9999, claude

                because I did not know that.
                Before you say anything Slap my Ass and call me Sally is a name of an official hot sauce you can buy in New Orleans.

                     My best friend's ex-husband had a calendar that had the names of different official hot sauces.
                     My best friend is a nurse and she would go to nursing conventions held all over the U.S. and one time the convention was held in New Orleans. She asked me if I wanted to accompany her on that one and I said yes. And one one day we were tooling around the city bopping here and bopping there and she said she wanted to find that particular hot sauce for her husband as a gift from New Orleans. She was not yet divorced from her husband at that time.
                  We must have looked in every hot sauce store in the French Quarter and we couldn't find it. She had all but given up. And we were walking down one of those roads and we saw a hot sauce store and I said, "Go in and see if they have it."
                "Oh, I give up, I can't find it."
                "Just try it, it's just right there."
                   So she went in and low and behold she found it. She had given up and if not for my encouragement she would have gone home empty handed.
                   I suspect though that it's one recipe that a company puts different labels on.

                Florida The Worst State. The Daily Show

                by nellgwen on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 11:16:02 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  I'll thank you now because (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      your recipe looks more interesting than mine and I love potato/cheese soup so I'll make yours Sunday.  

      Proud to be a Democrat

      by Lying eyes on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 09:47:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Small Biz Insurance Broker list #3: ME-NC (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    For all you small-business-owner Kossacks living in the thirty-six states that didn't create their own exchanges for the ACA:

    Visit for Minnesota news as it happens.

    by Phoenix Woman on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 09:35:35 PM PST

    •  This lady could be a poster for action, folks. (0+ / 0-)

      Wish I could have enough give-a-shit in me. That's a lotta damn work.

      We can discuss this and wonder what to do about that, but in the end, the ONLY thing that matters is voter turnout. Ya CAIN'T go to the dance if you AIN'T bought your ticket! Go team go.

      by franklyn on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 09:49:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Polish Egyptian linen to cover one's rock crusher (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, sunbro, ChemBob

    what a waste of bits in an age of up-armored $88k Steinway grand pianos for US Army mega-churches

    Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

    by annieli on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 09:39:49 PM PST

  •  The TPP (4+ / 0-)

    (Also known as "NAFTA on steroids") is some scary shit. But since we have the best Congress corporate money can buy, it'll probably be approved.

    Living is easy with eyes closed...

    by skybluewater on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 09:45:05 PM PST

  •  I was researching the background (3+ / 0-)

    of Steely Dan's "Kid Charlemagne" tonight and found that the song is based loosely on the experiences of Grateful Dead sound engineer and LSD producer Owsley Stanley (aka "Bear). I knew nothing about this man until today, but apparently he was much more responsible for the psychedelic revolution in the 60's than even Timothy Leary, as he produced a famously clean brand of LSD, and had produced over 1.25 million doses in his lifetime. He rubbed elbows with Ken Kesey and countless other counterculture figures of that time.

    I'm surprised that there are so few books about this amazing guy.

    And with that, I want to show you a video about that period of time and Steeley Dan's song as well.

    A positive story on Psychedelism - Augustus... by Tushratta

    -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

    by sunbro on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 10:27:35 PM PST

  •  Diary On Borderline Personality Disorder (0+ / 0-)

    Feel free to share your personal horror stories!

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 10:54:24 PM PST

  •  It's strange that the overwhelming majority (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    claude, Calamity Jean

    of humanity can believe that an unprovable entity called, "God," could have created the universe; the earth; "mankind," and all else. Yet, the idea that certain segments of our earthly society can actually control what is going on throughout our lives is relegated to the donning of tinfoil hats.
    I'm not talking of ET's, etc. I'm talking of verifiable organizations of wealth and their drive for absolute control, TPP being, merely, one component.
    Something deep; dark and mysterious is going on world-wide.
    Sarcastic, and profitable denial...or down to earth investigative reporting?

    We can discuss this and wonder what to do about that, but in the end, the ONLY thing that matters is voter turnout. Ya CAIN'T go to the dance if you AIN'T bought your ticket! Go team go.

    by franklyn on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 11:05:22 PM PST

  •  you're kidding me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    claude, ifthethunderdontgetya

    finally a post on TPP. and comments are on what? defending obamacare, counting dailykos members, some photos of snow ...

    i have studied the TPP for months, in solidarity with those who have opposed it. it is beyond scary - an indication of how completely the american state has come to be captured by capital. and i can say, simply, that the obama admn is going far beyond anything any republican admn has done before - including reagan or either bush.

    i frankly don't expect members of this community to be concerned about that, because immediately TPP seems only to affect non-americans. (i had commented on this before in relation to how american pharma politics disproportionately affects those in the third world - and got such virulently angry responses that i never dared post a comment here since, for nearly a year - but since this is something i know about i can't help it). but i think it is important for the dailykos community to wake up and smell the coffee - the american state is an investor-state, and the democrats have been more invested in establishing this globally than any republican admn, ever, in the past.

    if the best response you can have is to count how many registered users you have, then go empower yourself! i used to be in solidarity with you lot, but no more. unless this community awakens to the dangers of TPP and gets beyond the ignorance and navel-gazing reflected in most of the comments so far, i see this site as no better than a tea party with a moral high ground.

    i'm sure i'll get rude and angry comments back to this post, as i did when i last asked how the liberal piety on this site has anything to do with the violence than american pharma politics inflicts on the rest of the world. but if i do, i have no worries. i'll fight my progressive battles elsewhere (as in, the rest of the world where TPP matters) while american "progressives" can preen their liberal imperialist selves.

    •  If you've been studying this for... (8+ / 0-)

      ...months, then you ought to be writing diaries, ignoring the insults in the comment threads and clarifying matters for those commenters who have things wrong about TPP but open-minded to persuasion. The site's views on this matter are not monolithic.

      Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

      by Meteor Blades on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 11:55:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've read all 8 replies to your 12 comments (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OLinda, JeffW, Calamity Jean

      and I'm not seeing any virulently angry responses to any of them on any topic.
      I would welcome another informational diary regarding the TPP. Write it up.

      Night Owls is an open thread, not specifically for discussing the subject MB writes about. Expect a diverse range of topics in comments.

    •  you do realize that everything in the TPP treaty (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      johnny wurster, JeffW

      has already been in effect in the 20-odd other regional free trade agreements the US has signed in the past 20 years . .  right?

      There's nothing new in TPP--all it does is apply the same rules to the Pacific area as are already in effect in most of the rest of the world. The investor courts date all the way back to NAFTA. ALL of the regional trade agreements (and the WTO treaty) were negotiated in secret, ALL of them were fast-tracked through Congress, and ALL of them passed with bipartisan consensus.  And so will this one. On trade policy, there is no daylight at all between Dems and Goppers.

      The time to be fighting all of this was wayyy back in the 1990's when it all started--when George HW Bush was negotiating NAFTA, and Bill Clinton signed it and then negotiated the WTO treaty. (Yes, I was fighting both of them back then.)

      Fighting it now is honorable, but futile. You're 20 years too late.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 03:54:46 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  TPP is about protecting the (0+ / 0-)

      investor classes from responsibility for the harm their investments create.

      Cruise the postings and comments over the years here at DKos from folks talking about their investments and tell me again why you are surprised this issue gets so little attention here at this bastion of Leftism...

      don't always believe what you think

      by claude on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 05:01:06 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  there is certainly a lot of material out there (0+ / 0-)

      in the anti-trade echo chamber, but if you want to reply effectively to the pro-trade arguments you should go beyond the echo chamber to the academic literature and the decisions themselves.

      •  exactly. the entire "free-trade" movement must be (0+ / 0-)

        opposed (and some of us HAVE been opposing it since the 90's), but sadly most of the arguments made here against TPP demonstrate a basic lack of familiarity and understanding of what TPP is and what it does. And it is also based on an outdated and no longer effective strategy--that of opposing global agreements at the national level.

        It does not help us at all.

        My own view?  The "free trade" network is now so firmly entrenched, globally, that there is nothing ANY one country, not even the big bad US of A, can do to stop it (and indeed that is precisely what it was INTENDED to do).

        But there is still an effective pathway for us--we can use the global trade structure as a weapon of our own. The WTO and the 20-odd "free trade" agreements are a global rulebook that every country has to follow. They are against us now because we don't get to write any of those rules---but we can and should fight to change that. Once WE can write the rules too, that means we no longer need to fight separately within each individual nation for things like minimum wages, environmental regulations, workplace safety rules, etc----we can force those things into the global trade agreements themselves, which puts them into immediate effect everywhere, globally, all at once. That is the goal of the "FAIR TRADE" movement--and it is the only effective way we now have to fight the global corporations.

        The effort to defeat the "free trade" movement by repealing the global trade agreements is a lost cause--we lost that fight 20 years ago, and we are now no more likely to repeal WTO than the Goppers are to repeal Social Security. But we can turn that disadvantage into an advantage and turn their own global treaties against them. THAT is a fight worth having.

        But first we must understand what it is we are fighting.  And sadly, too many of us are still living in the 1980's. It's time we woke up.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 07:39:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  groucho sang in Horsefeathers: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    whatever it is, I'm against it.

    it tebble, it hobble; honey lu been shot. - harvey kurtzman

    by renzo capetti on Fri Nov 29, 2013 at 11:42:47 PM PST

  •  TPP is the scariest, most insane piece of (2+ / 0-)

    work to emit from Washington in decades.  If it's approved, the corporate domination of all society we are now experiencing will seem like a drop in the bucket.

    "There's always room for cello." Yo Yo Ma

    by ceebee7 on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 02:04:50 AM PST

  •  Fucking Obama and his fucking TPP. (4+ / 0-)

    A DLC corporate fascist if there ever was one. I am so sick of this fraud of a Democrat and all of the other Republicans pretending to be Democrats.

    It was a goddamn tragedy for the 99% in the U.S. and around the world that he got the nomination in 2008, when the country was crying out for change and hope. And beyond tragic that the only other two "serious" candidates would have pursued similar policies (and Edwards' dick problem would have been exposed during the campaign, if he had gotten the nomination, so it doesn't matter if he would, in fact, have been different, since McCain would have defeated him).

    And you know what? DADT repeal, increased access to for-profit health health insurance and Lily Ledbetter are exponentially less important than TPP, the acceleration of Stasi-style surveillance, persecution of whistleblowers, and endless war.

    Obama is just the handler the plutocrats are using to calm the middle class on the way to the abattoir.

  •  TPP is What Happens when Epigovernmental forces (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action, Calamity Jean

    act upon the government using various techniques.

  •  Thanks for bringing TPP up again, MB (4+ / 0-)

    I remember that NAFTA got standing opposition along party lines, with the GOP thinking it was bad because it gave presidential powers to Democrats. Our criticisms were dismissed as being, in all but the phrase, "the professional left."

    Oh, "labor" complained. "Environmentalists" worried. However, they were alarmists! It was obvious that NAFTA would create millions of jobs for the U.S.


    If TPP gets to mainstream news at all, prepare for being "alarmist" again.

    Everyone's innocent of some crime.

    by The Geogre on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 06:06:06 AM PST

    •  That's a key fact (3+ / 0-)

      We were told that NAFTA would create jobs.

      But now we KNOW that it didn't.

      There's no excuse for pursuing NAFTA on steroids.  It's nothing but shameless corporatism.

      •  oh, it created lots of jobs. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Geogre, Calamity Jean

        Just not HERE.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 07:48:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'd argue they're not jobs (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Calamity Jean

          Think of what it has done, really. It has created serf work, and the Mexican border is littered with corpses. A job should be optional and be a thing that a person is not entirely alienated from. NAFTA has made Marx's figurative language literal.

          Everyone's innocent of some crime.

          by The Geogre on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 08:13:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  the ironic part of NAFTA is that just after it was (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            The Geogre

            passed, and all the good-paying US jobs started moving to the maquiladora, China became the new low-wage haven (and China didn't even HAVE any free trade agreement with the US), and all the jobs LEFT Mexico and went there instead. Leaving the entire maquiladora a wasteland.

            The corporados will always go where the wages are lowest.  They don't need any free trade agreement to do that. The agreements only ratify what the corporados will do anyway.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 08:28:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Permanent MFT for China, remember (0+ / 0-)

              That, too, was Clinton. That, too, was strenuously protested by labor. However, it got less protest from labor, at the time, because people thought, "Who will import crap products from prison and slave labor half way across the world? The logistics alone will eat the profits!" The big protests were on human rights.

              Again, though, we were told that we shouldn't bother the president, and Andrew Young, among others, assured us that a rising tide would lift all boats, and there would be democracy in China after a middle class emerged (the H. W. Bush argument). American workers were just going to have to suck it up and know that they were competing globally, but globalism would improve the World.

              You know. . . big picture.

              Everyone's innocent of some crime.

              by The Geogre on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 09:09:19 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  alas, you are mistaken (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Geogre

      NAFTA was bipartisan.  It was negotiated under George HW Bush, and was signed by Bill Clinton.

      Same for all the other trade agreements. TPP itself was begun under Dubya, is being negotiated under Obama, and will be passed by the next President, whichever party wins the election.

      Trade policy is bipartisan, and the establishments in both parties firmly support it.  The only opposition to it in either party comes from the fringes--the Teapartiers who yell about "national sovereignty", and the leftwing progressives who yell about "fair trade".  Both are ignored.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 07:43:57 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Just like GATT, "bipartisan" is partly true (0+ / 0-)

        The GOP in Clinton's years were are hyper-partisan as they are now. You do remember that, I'm sure. The GOP made the confirmation of NAFTA a partisan issue. During the Bush years, the Democrats ignored complaints from labor, but the thing came up in its final form during Clinton, and then we heard the people all for it be all against it.

        As for GATT, you remember, if you're of a certain age, that that, too, kept screwing American workers, and, again, it was "too important" to listen to labor, and our seat at the table was gone again.

        Everyone's innocent of some crime.

        by The Geogre on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 08:11:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  yes, I do remember that hyper-partisans on both (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Geogre

          sides have flip-flopped on virtually every issue over the years depending on whether their guy was in office or not (just as the Dems supported "anti-terrorism laws" when Clinton was Prez, opposed the very same laws when Dubya was Pres, then renewed all of Dubya's laws when Obama was Prez).

          But every vote on every "free trade" agreement  in the last 20 years has been bipartisan. Every agreement negotiated by one party has been submitted for ratification and approved by the other, and neither has ever altered it in any way before they themselves submitted it for ratification. And that will not change, because neither party wants to change it.  The policy is bipartisan.

          The fringe in both parties may scream and yell a bit, but they are ignored by both parties.

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 08:18:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We are not the fringe (0+ / 0-)

            Unless the "party" is some entity narrowly defined as a not for profit organization existing solely in a tax code. If that is the case, then this "party" is utterly meaningless except as a deception.

            Everyone's innocent of some crime.

            by The Geogre on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 09:05:11 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  we are within our own party (0+ / 0-)

              That's why we have zero say in the making of any policy, and why the p[arty itself hasn';t been "progressive" or "liberal" since the 1970's.

              I cannot think of any definition of "fringe" under which we are NOT a "fringe" within the Dem party. The party gives every impression of not giving a rat's ass what we think.  (shrug)

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 10:37:15 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Every part of the Democratic Party is us (0+ / 0-)

                The Democratic Party, nationally, has nothing but labor and human rights in its platform. It does not have environmentalism, obviously. The only part of the Democratic Party that is not represented in the NAFTA shafting and the MFN for China is Civil Rights for descendants of formerly enslaved Americans.

                Access to abortion is not part of the national party.

                Therefore, unless "Democratic Party" means solely the non-profit organization that distributes funds to candidates, we are it. We are not the fringe. There is nothing that the party does have in it except Civil Rights that isn't snubbed in this.

                You can say that we're "fringe" to the operation of the national leadership, but that's simply saying that the very few very large bundlers and donors are setting the agenda in spite of everything our politicians believe, and our politicians are worse hypocrites than the other guys.

                Everyone's innocent of some crime.

                by The Geogre on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 08:09:34 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Obama campaigned against NAFTA (3+ / 0-)

    He criticized Hillary for it in 2008.

    He knew it was bad.  And he wanted us to know he knew.

    Then, in the fall of 2009, he secretly resumed the negotiations G.W. Bush began on the TPP, aka NAFTA on steroids.

    This is cynical neoliberal hypocrisy on Obama's part...yet another shameless sellout of the people who voted for him.

    •  that is correct (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action

      Obama the Candidate was a supporter of the "FAIR trade" movement---a movement which aims to rewrite ALL of the global and regional trade agreements so they include rules for minimum wage, union protections, environmental regulations, workplace safety and product safety/purity rules, etc.

      That ended the day he took office.

      In fairness to him, though, it is simply impossible for him or any other President to actually DO that, since neither political party supports it, and nobody in Congress will vote for it.

      We have the global trade agreements we have now because that is what both parties WANT. Any contrary talk you may hear is just lip service.

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Sat Nov 30, 2013 at 07:47:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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