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Posts Tagged ‘Transparency’

And Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden wonders why I call him Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden!

If we are going to defeat the job killing, environmentally devastating, Trans-Pacific Partnership from being railroaded through Congress using Fast Track Authority, then we need to get Senator Wyden to oppose it once again. He was against it before he was for it, so he can change his mind on this, but your voice matters, so call now. This time his vote in the senate matters most to all Americans.

Please make the call to 1-866-502-6055 and tell the senator you are against Fast Track Authority and the international income redistribution scam known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

What is Fast Track Authority? What is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)? Why does Senator Wyden support them? I’m happy you asked.

The fast track negotiating authority for trade agreements is the authority of the President of the United States to negotiate international agreements that Congress can approve or disapprove but cannot amend or filibuster. Debate is also limited. Fast track negotiating authority is a temporary and controversial power granted to the President by Congress. The authority was in effect from 1975 to 1994, pursuant to the Trade Act of 1974, and from 2002 to 2007 by the Trade Act of 2002. Although it expired for new agreements on July 1, 2007, it continued to apply to agreements already under negotiation until they were eventually passed into law in 2011. In 2012, the Obama administration began seeking renewal of the authority.

As for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), we know from leaked documents the TPP is a massive income redistribution scam. The TPP has almost nothing to do with international trade. We know that;

* TPP will give incentives for US corporations to export millions of US jobs. The Federal Reserve estimates that 28 million US jobs were exported between 1990 and 2010.

* TPP will increase US income and wealth inequality. The 1 percent have already taken 95 percent of all income growth in the United States since 2009. Currently, the 1 percent are stealing 36+ percent of all income produced in the USA, compared to only 8 percent in 1980. International trade scams and other federal legislation have brought inequality about. For example, when the above jobs were exported, the difference between the old higher US wages and the new lower wages will go straight into the pockets of the 1 percent via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and surging share prices.

* Those lost jobs will no longer be paying the taxes for our infrastructure, K-12 education, higher education (tuition and fees will go up), social safety nets, schools, fire, police, public transportation, social security taxes, but those lost jobs will push the stock markets higher.

* TPP will effectively eliminate your voting rights on local and state issues since it will unconstitutionally grant investors of the 0.01 percent special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety local laws and regulations of the 99 percent, which most people call voter suppression, but in this case it should be called voter elimination,

* TPP will offer new monopolies for Big Pharma to raise medicine prices they charge you (which redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent),

* TPP will limit food safety standards (which redistributes and transforms your health into the profits of the 1 percent),

* TPP will block financial regulations aimed at preventing the next financial crisis (which will make it easier for Wall Street to redistribute your income and wealth to the 1 percent). Bank of America Stands to Gain From This. The bank will be able to steal more money from you with less regulations, which will increase its profits, dividends and share prices, not to mention CEO bonuses. Bank of America is also spending millions of dollars on lobbyists in support of Fast Track and TPP.

* TPP will roll back the limited environmental regulations negotiated with other nations by the administration of President George W. Bush, which will give President Obama a worse environmental record than his predecessor, according to the Sierra Club.

* TPP will destroy millions of jobs in Latin America (230,000 in the textile industry of El Salvador alone) forcing millions of undocumented immigrants into the United States.

Yes, believe it or not, Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden supports this massive income and political power redistribution scam, as well as Fast Track, and corporate plutocrats such as Oregon Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, and Congressmen Earl Blumenauer and Kurt Schrader keep saying they haven’t made up their minds. What a corporate plutocrat shocker! Listen below to the video showing Senator Wyden using more than six minutes during a town hall to avoid the question of why he supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

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At a town hall meeting in Clackamas County Oregon on January 3, 2014, I asked Senator Ron Wyden a simple question and he didn’t provide an answer, which suggests that he was avoiding telling the truth, meaning he lied to his audience, or he finally became a senator for the people of Oregon on economic matters. Don’t get your hopes up since actions speak louder than words, and he is a politician.

My question was, “We know from leaked documents that the free trade treaty known as the Trans Pacific Partnership will grant investors special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety laws and regulations on the state and local levels, which will effectively eliminate our voting rights for and against such things, the TPP will offer new monopolies for Big Pharma to raise medicine prices, limit food safety standards, block financial regulations aimed at preventing the next financial crisis, and outsource more American jobs. Why are you trying to use something called Smart Track to push this through the senate?”

Wyden immediately talked about enforcing the rules of trade treaties already in existence, and it seemed as though he was going to avoid answering my question forever, and he did. He moved on to transparency. At one point, referring to secret negotiations of trade treaties he said “Folks, those days are over when the congress votes on a trade proposal and people in town hall meetings are in the dark. I’ll tell you point blank. Those days are over! I’m going to make sure the American people are brought into this debate in an unprecedented fashion.”

We’ll see. What Wyden didn’t mention is that he is pushing a proposal called Smart Track, which he didn’t explain, thereby keeping everybody in that town hall meeting in the dark, which is precisely what he said he wasn’t going to do. He also didn’t answer the question at all about why he was using Smart Track to push the Trans Pacific Partnership through the senate. The fact that he danced around the issue suggests he’s still a senator doing the bidding of Wall Street and large, politically, powerful corporations; meaning he’s still a senator of the 1 percent on issues pertaining to redistributing income from the 99 to the 1 percent.

I’ve called him Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden almost since the day I began this blog. That’s because on bread and butter issues he always seems to side with the 1 percent via legislation that redistributes the bread and butter of the 99 percent to the 1 percent, such as free trade treaties.

These treaties can easily be negotiated to benefit everyone involved, by such things as having the negotiators develop common labor standards, such as work rules, environmental rules, minimum wages, health and safety standards, as well as developing common and enforceable regulations of financial markets and financial market transactions, but that doesn’t happen. That’s because the purpose of any free trade agreement is to increase corporate profits, not by expanding markets (although that is a coincidental side effect), but by lowering wages.

As the senator knows, the Trans Pacific Partnership has almost nothing to do with trade. It’s all about changing the rules and laws of nations to benefit the 1 percent at the expense of the 99 percent. It’s a massive, highly secretive income redistribution scam, and there is little doubt, the senator knows this. More than anything, knowing he knows this can cause one to speculate that he evaded the answer to my question above, and that he lied, because he intends to keep pushing this nightmare trade proposal for the 99 percent through the senate, and he’ll continue to evade questions on this issue with his usual talking points.

If the senator was really serious about transparency, and really serious about keeping the voters of Oregon in the loop in “an unprecedented fashion,” then he’d have ten to twenty-five town hall meetings, and the only subject would be on this massive scam called a trade treaty. He’d also make certain the major players of the corporate press were there, and honestly reporting on this issue (which the major state newspaper the Oregonian is unlikely to do), and he’d open the meeting by saying something like this,

“My fellow Oregonians, you have elected me to represent you, and so you should know what’s going to happen if the Trans Pacific Partnership, often known as TPP, becomes law. It’s going to change your lives forever, as well as increase the massive income inequality we already have. We know from leaked documents that the TPP will grant investors of the 0.01 percent special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety local laws and regulations of the 99 percent; which will effectively eliminate your voting rights on local and state levels for and against such things, the TPP will offer new monopolies for Big Pharma to raise medicine prices they charge you, limit food safety standards, block financial regulations aimed at preventing the next financial crisis, and possibly result in the outsourcing of millions of American jobs. It may also kill the remainder of the US textile industry, destroy millions of jobs in Latin America, drive hundreds of thousands if not millions of undocumented immigrants into the United States, and depress wages in both North and South America, all to the benefit of the 1 percent, and all at the expense of the 99 percent. The TPP will cause the trade deficit to increase as more jobs are outsourced, and the products formerly made here will be made over there, and then shipped back here, and this outsourcing will cause a shortage of tax dollars for your schools, fire, police, roads and other public safety nets and infrastructure. What do you folks think about that?”

Until he does something like this, I’ll call him Wall Street Senator Ron Wyden, because until then, his loyalties are clearly with Wall Street and large corporations owned by the 1 percent.

Of course, the senator says that such a thing as the Trans Pacific Partnership doesn’t exist, although it’s almost completely negotiated and President Obama wants to ram it through congress in January.

So, based on what I saw at the town forum, the senator is still going to help the president and the rest of the 0.01 percent ram the treaty through congress with the least amount of public scrutiny possible, because as US Senator Elizabeth Warren said, “From what I hear, Wall Street, pharmaceuticals, telecom, big polluters and outsourcers are all salivating at the chance to rig the Trans Pacific Partnership in the upcoming trade talks. So the question is why are the trade talks secret? I have actually had supporters of the deal say to me “They have to be secret, because if the American people knew what was actually in them they’d be opposed.”

P.S. There is an economic hurricane coming, three or four years down the road at the most, maybe sooner, which will make the last recession look like the good old days, and Wyden’s votes to redistribute income from the 99 tot he 1 percent have played a large role in creating the coming disaster.

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Labor unions and environmental groups warned President Obama Wednesday December 10, that getting too cozy with congressional Republicans on trade issues could imperil other parts of his policy agenda.

They urged caution for a president who has signaled a willingness to buck his own party in favor of working with Republicans who back his trade agenda, which is nothing more than an agenda to redistribute income from the 99 to the 1 percent, including authority to fast-track major international agreements.

“From our point of view it’s inadvisable,” said Thea Lee, deputy chief of staff for the AFL-CIO.

With informal Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) talks taking place this week in Washington the groups vowed to turn up the heat against trade promotion authority, which would allow Congress only an up or down vote on the massive 12-nation agreement, with no opportunity to offer amendments.

“Of all the things he can be doing in the end of his second term and for his legacy he would be a lot better served by working with his allies in labor, the environment and consumer safety world and try to help us figure out how we can do in a different direction,” Lee told reporters on Wednesday.

As recently as last week, Obama signaled in a talk to business leaders that he may be willing to go against dissenting Democrats and forge a partnership with congressional Republicans to help push through legacy-destroying trade agreements.

Notice the president plans to team up with Republicans to fight to redistribute the income of the 99 to the 1 percent in yet another of these so-called trade scams. Wall Street has guided this president since day one.

“Growing discontent among the labor and green groups, congressional Democrats and some Republicans have created a backlash against the Obama administration’s push for lawmakers to grant the president trade promotion authority (TPA).

Although the president has repeatedly asked for TPA, there remain questions about whether he has the political muscle to convince skeptical Democrats to get it done.”

A total lack of transparency over the deal’s components and some emerging details have created unlikely allies on the issue. Details from negotiations have been leaked against the wishes the president.

From these documents, which can be found on Wikileaks, we know the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership will grant investors of the 0.01 percent special privileges to challenge labeling and health and safety local laws and regulations of the 99 percent; which will effectively eliminate your votes on local and state levels for and against such things (which most people call voter suppression, but in this case it should be called voter elimination), outsource millions of jobs, offer new monopolies for Big Pharma to raise medicine prices they charge you (which redistributes income from the 99 to the 1 percent), limit food safety standards (which redistributes and transforms your health into the profits of the 1 percent), and block financial regulations aimed at preventing the next financial crisis (which will make it easier for Wall Street to redistribute your income and wealth to the 1 percent). It will also kill the remainder of the US textile industry, destroy millions of jobs in Latin America, drive millions of undocumented immigrants into the United States, and depress wages in both North and South America, all to the benefit of the 1 percent, and all at the expense of the 99 percent. And we can’t forget that it will increase the already massive US trade deficit with other nations, which is supposed to be a bad thing. In other words, this scam is the largest income redistribution treaty of all time from the 99 to the 1 percent.

On this issue, Wall Street Democratic Senator Ron Wyden is not the stupid little boy he pretends to be on this issue. Wall Street Republican Senator Mitch McConnell knows it, too. As does Wall Street Orrin Hatch. Obama knows it. All we have to do to stop this mammoth income redistribution scam from moving forward is to stop Fast Track.

Nice scam, isn’t it? Your Democratic president is for this! Your Wall Street Democratic Senators such as Ron Wyden are all for this plot!

“There’s a lot of frustration in Congress for many of the reasons on transparency and what we know about the agreement,” said Ilana Solomon, director of the Responsible Trade Program at the Sierra Club. “And there’s as very strong coalition of Democrats and a very strong number of Republicans that are frustrated by the president’s work on trade and are very reluctant to give fast-track authority to the president.”

The AFL-CIO has fought against fast-track authority and it is expected to increase its efforts heading into 2015, when Wall Street Republicans will control both chambers of Congress.

“The labor movement and its allies are planning a major campaign against fast-track and we have a lot of action in the new year,” Lee said.

“We think this is an important issue and we will work with our colleagues in the business community that have better relationships with Republicans in Congress than we do. But we think that we have a good shot at defeating or slowing it down.”

There’s no question that trade promotion authority has plenty of hurdles in its way.

Critics also cite a lack of currency manipulation provisions, as well as issues with the labor and environment chapters of the proposed deal.

Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic & Policy Research, said currency manipulation protections could be included in the deal if it were a priority for the Obama administration, stressing that the provisions have support from majorities in both chambers of Congress.

But with time ticking down, that means, Lee said, that the opportunity to address their long-standing problems with the direction of the deal as time grows short.

“There’s no indication that his trade deal is a departure from the failed model in the past,” Solomon said.

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Negotiations are taking place behind closed doors to create the TPP’s Internet trap criminalizing our day-to-day use of the Internet through expensive fines. You and over 80,000 others around the world pushed back by signing the StopTheTrap.net petition. Yet the list of TPP lobbyists is also growing; over 600 from telecom, media, and other conglomerates are privy to these secret negotiations. We need the entire pro-Internet community to push back against the TPP’s Internet trap.

The object of the TPP is to separate us, grind us down and limit our sources of information to the major corporate news (largely bull shit) organizations. That makes it easier to redistribute income and wealth from the 99 to the 1 percent, which is the real reason these negotiations are occurring.

You can take the next crucial step by sharing the petition on Facebook, Twitter, and forwarding the URL http://stopthetrap.net to everyone you know today. Fight back. Don’t be passive. Your rights, information, ideas and freedoms are at stake.

After citizens stood against big telecom and media conglomerates’ attempts to push through national laws that would crush free expression and innovation online, their lobbyists decided to go behind closed doors through the TPP. It’s an undemocratic, extreme attempt to take decisions about the Internet out of your hands. But the pro-Internet community is taking the fight global as well. We’ve assembled a powerful coalition of people and organizations—including experts at Public Knowledge, Public Citizen, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation—who are currently on the ground at meetings in San Diego. They have committed to hand-deliver the StopTheTrap.net petition signatures to leaders, but we need to give them the numbers to have influence.

Please help OpenMedia.ca hit the crucial 100,000 signatures mark by reaching out on Facebook, on Twitter, and by forwarding the URL http:/stopthetrap.net to everyone you know today.

The pro-Internet community is already having an impact across borders. In the U.S., 130 members of Congress just signed a letter calling for secret TPP documents to be made public; in Canada the largest federal opposition party has come out against the TPP; rifts are also developing between other signatory countries.

If we work together we could all be part of a foundational achievement of the global pro-Internet community: dismantling this Internet trap before it gets set. Thanks for sharing through the links above.
For the open Internet,

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Here’s how free trade works; your income is freely given to the rich. It’s that simple. When your government signs a free trade treaty, it is opening up doors for US companies to ship jobs overseas from the USA, or giving them a conduit through which to create jobs over seas rather than here, which would never have occurred without the treaty. The difference between the old wages here and the new lower wages there go into the pockets of the one percent via higher corporate profits, rising dividends and enhanced share prices. The losers of those jobs might get unemployment insurance, if they’re lucky. The American tax base is being systematically destroyed via each treaty as more and more jobs are shipped or created overseas by American companies. Schools are starving for money, so are public libraries and other governmental agencies because the tax money has been stuffed into the already fat wallets of the one percent via trade treaties.

In other words, the Obama administration is knowingly negotiating to redistribute income from your pockets and the pockets of your children to the rich as it negotiates the Trans Pacific Free Trade Agreement. How’s that for a man of the people?

Here’s the latest update from Dallas, Texas.

As trade negotiators from throughout the Pacific Rim gathered outside Dallas for a trade summit aimed at speeding the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement towards conclusion, Texans were out in force to demand a public voice in the negotiating process. With the help of Citizens Trade Campaign and the Texas Fair Trade Coalition, local labor, environmental and community advocates:

Delivered over 42,000 petition signatures urging the U.S. Trade Representative to release the texts. Over 24,000 were presented during a media event with speakers from the Texas AFL-CIO, Lone Star Sierra Club, Communications Workers of America Local 6215, and then delivered to Assistant USTR Carol Guthrie. Later in the week, CTC hand-delivered an additional 18,000+ to lead U.S. negotiator Barbara Weisel during a stakeholder briefing, at which point she publicly stated USTR’s new position that “constantly evolving TPP chapter texts cannot be released to the public” — a rollback in transparency from both the current World Trade Organization negotiating process and the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) of more than a decade ago.

Followed up on the petition with a high-energy “TPP: Out of the Shadows!” rally and march. The demonstration started with a rally trade justice advocates from across Texas and the Pacific Rim. More than 300 people then marched over into the parking lot of the hotel where negotiators were meeting, before they were stopped by police. Texas AFL-CIO President Becky Moeller led the march by asking “What are they trying to hide?,” and CTC Executive Director Arthur Stamoulis led the crowd in a spirited “mic check” directed at negotiators.

Conducted a wide range of educational activities, including a teach-in moderated by the Dallas Peace Center, with fantastic presentations by Lori Wallach (Global Trade Watch), Celeste Drake (AFL-CIO), Ilana Solomon (Sierra Club) and Sanya Reid Smith (Third World Network). CTC staff also participated in a CWA-hosted telephone town hall, as well as meetings and events throughout the week with the Steelworkers, Teamsters, Building Trades, Sierra Club and Occupy Dallas. Occupy even live-streamed the May 12th rally.

Separate from CTC’s efforts, a number of independent activists also carried out a variety of stunts throughout the week, including a Yes Men award presentation; replacing hotel toilet paper with special TPP TP; projecting transparency messages onto the side of the hotel; putting flyers under negotiators’ hotel room doors; and more.

The next round of TPP negotiations will be in the United States from July 2 – 10, 2012, widely rumored to take place in Los Angeles.

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The folks of the Federal Reserve are not known for being funny, but sometimes they are. Dylan Ratigan, the democracy demander from MSNBC joined with the Huffington Post to attack the traditional secrecy of the central bank. Months ago, they filed a freedom of information request “asking the Fed to make available the meeting minutes of Fed decision makers from 2007 to 2010. Those were the critical years of financial collapse and massive bailouts when the Fed dispensed trillions of dollars to comfort the panicky financial system and prop up insolvent banks.”

See the full story and video below.

Dylan Ratigan Wants the Federal Reserve to Provide the Minutes of Meetings Leading to the Rescue of Wall Street

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