|After four years of secret negotiations with more than 600 corporate advisers, the once seemingly invincible largest trade bill in history, covering 40% of the world’s economy, looks very much like it can be defeated.
Why is the TPP looking like it can be stopped? One reason is its secrecy.
Leaks are sinking the TPP like the Titanic on its way to the bottom of the ocean. Ron Kirk, the former US Trade Rep said they were keeping it secret because the more people knew, the less they would like the TPP and it would become so unpopular it could never become law.
Each leak has proven him right.
Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers
Similarly, the leak of the Intellectual Property Chapter revealed that it created a path to patent everything imaginable, including plants and animals, to turn everything into a commodity for profit.
The refrain is always the same: profits come first. The necessities of the people and protection of the planet come last.
Baucus announced last March that he would deliver Fast Track by June. Pressure delayed it so that now the bill is being introduced in the beginning of an election year. Election years are a terrible time to pass anything controversial.
The TPP is becoming politically toxic. Over the last year there has been a steady stream of emails and phone calls to Congress. Members have faced constituent meetings and protests where TPP is being raised. Some examples of protests: Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington, DC, Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, US Trade Rep Office, Vancouver, Leesburg, New York City, ... we could go on. Americans have sent a clear message to Congress members that they better not be associated with the TPP in an election year.
When Fast Track was introduced there was a backlash, according to public reports, of angry Democrats. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) told Huffington Post: “I’m a little disappointed that something’s dropped that was never discussed with Democrats in the House. As I understand it, it wasn’t actually discussed with Democrats in the Senate.” [...]
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2009—Obama Administration Sides with Bush's DOJ in Spy Case:
|A sensitive civil liberties case that has been working its way through the courts for nearly four years is in the news again as the Obama administration "fell in line with the Bush administration Thursday when it urged a federal judge to set aside a ruling in a closely watched spy case weighing whether a U.S. president may bypass Congress and establish a program of eavesdropping on Americans without warrants." The case involves the now-defunct, Oregon-based Saudi charity, the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation.
According to David Kravets at Wired:
On today's Kagro in the Morning show, it's yet another snow day. And with a special election going on to determine control of the VA senate, at that. Fox's Andrea Tantaros scolds Americans for not knowing their history, then Palins her way through a mangled Boston Tea Party story. Armando recapped the Christie news, and we segue (via would-be NJ pol Carl Lewis) to the weekend's big sports outrage story, Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman. We read Ta-Nehisi Coates (twice) on the subject, and wondered what, if anything, made his boastfulness different from that of outspoken billionaires and their "prosperity gospel."