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Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers at Popular Resistance write TPP Toxicity Grows, We Can Stop It:

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
Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers
[Last] week, Wikileaks released the Environmental Chapter.  The bottom line—there is no enforcement to protect the environment. The TPP is worse than President George W. Bush’s trade deals.  Environmental groups are saying the TPP is unacceptable.

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 2009Obama 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:

With just hours left in office, President George W. Bush late Monday asked U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker to stay enforcement of an important Jan. 5 ruling admitting key evidence into the case.

Thursday's filing by the Obama administration marked the first time it officially lodged a court document in the lawsuit asking the courts to rule on the constitutionality of the Bush administration's warrantless-eavesdropping program. The former president approved the wiretaps in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

"The Government's position remains that this case should be stayed," the Obama administration wrote in a filing that for the first time made clear the new president was on board with the Bush administration's reasoning in this case.

Given that it has adopted the Bush administration's position in this case, the question now to be answered is what role "unitary executive" philosophy will play in the Obama administration.

Tweet of the Day:

PALIN TO OBAMA: In honor of MLK day, can you just stop being black? http://t.co/...
@TeaPartyCat



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."


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