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Gender: Male
Current location: Potlandia
Member since: Fri Sep 28, 2007, 04:39 PM
Number of posts: 19,326

Journal Archives

Sanders delivers blistering anti-TPP speech to US Senate NOW

on C-Span 2.

Go Bernie!!!!!!!!

Wyden betrays US Labor, cuts "deal" with GOP to pass TPP

I know this is just his latest betrayal. Selling out workers for
a paltry "retraining" provision for displaced workers ...

This guy needs to go next election. What a crying shame for Wyden
to use the seniority he's gained over the years in the Senate to pull a
blatent pro-corporate stunt like this.

Ron Wyden renews support for trade bill after striking deal with GOP leadership
By Jeff Mapes * The Oregonian * June 22, 2015

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden said Monday that he remains a firm supporter of the "fast-track" trade bill and will continue to play a major role in helping revive the legislation after it ran into trouble in the House.

Wyden, who has parted ways with most of his Democratic colleagues on the trade issue, announced that he would support a new fast-track measure after negotiations with Republican congressional leaders and key Democratic lawmakers over the last week.

"Taken together, this is the most progressive trade package ever produced," Wyden said in a statement. "I spent months negotiating this deal because it is in our country's best interest."

President Barack Obama has pushed heavily for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement, saying it will help create more American jobs by boosting exports to Asian countries. He's faced determined opposition from organized labor, which fears it will lead more manufacturers to move overseas.

The fast-track bill calls for an up-or-down vote on the Trans-Pacific agreement – which is still in final negotiations – with no amendments allowed.


If TPP passes, kiss your generic drugs goodbye

The Trans-Pacific Partnership, Drug Patents and President Clinton
Monday, 22 June 2015 00:00 * By Dean Baker * Truthout | Op-Ed

There are many serious issues raised by the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but the one that may have the greatest long-term impact is its provisions on drug patents. The explicit purpose is to make patent protection stronger and longer. While these provisions are likely to lead to higher drug prices in the United States, they will have their greatest impact in the developing world.

In most developing countries drugs are far cheaper than in the United States. This is especially the case in India. The country has a world-class generic industry that produces high quality drugs that typically sell for a small fraction of the price in the United States. For example, the generic version of the Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi can be purchased in India for less than $1,000 a treatment. The patent protected version sells in the United States for $84,000.

The US drug industry desperately wants to eliminate this sort of price gap, which can exceed a ratio of one hundred to one. While India is not in the TPP, the goal of TPP proponents is to expand the pact over time so that India would eventually be included and therefore be subject to its strong patent rules.

This should have everyone very worried. The patent system is a horribly outmoded method of financing research that dates from the 15th century. The idea is that the government provides an incentive for innovation by giving the inventor a patent monopoly over use of the innovation for a period of time. This is problematic for the all the reasons that government enforced monopolies are generally a bad idea, but the problems in the case of prescription drugs are especially serious.

More: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/31492-the-trans-pacific-partnership-drug-patents-and-president-clinton

When Workers Own the Corporation, economic justice ensues

President Bernie Sanders would provide incentives and technical support for
creation of worker-owned businesses and/or worker buy-outs of existing
; which is one of many reasons why I'm so excited about his
run for the White House. <-- This is an intergrel part of Bernies plan for
the US economy.

What's Next for the World's Largest Federation of Worker-Owned Co-ops?
Saturday, 20 June 2015 * By Mary Hansen * YES! Magazine

In early May, President Barack Obama visited Nike’s headquarters in Oregon to gather support for the Trans Pacific Partnership, a trade deal between the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim countries. Critics of the deal have charged that it would increase income inequality, weaken labor and environmental protections, and encourage U.S. companies to offshore jobs. With its history of offshoring American jobs, Nike is an obvious ally for the deal, argues commentator Rose Aguilar at The Guardian.

But what if there were an alternative corporate model for the president and other world leaders to shape their thinking around? A model that was still globally competitive but empowered local workers and addresses income inequality?

Mondragon Corporation, a federation of 103 worker-owned cooperatives based in the Basque region of Spain, could provide an example. Unlike Nike, which is controlled by a small group of shareholders, ordinary workers are deeply involved in Mondragon’s decision-making process.

Mondragon made about €11.6 billion ($13.1 billion) in income in 2013. The corporation employs more than 74,000 people around the world. About 60,000 are worker-owners, or “associates,” who own assets in the company and can be elected to the General Assembly, the body that oversees the corporation.

With Mondragon, you won’t find the pay gap between executives and workers that are typical of multinational corporations. Managers at Mondragon cannot make more than six times the salary of their lowest paid workers.

Cool interview ^^^ with Mondragon insider ^^^ at this link^^^

So Walden, Bonamici and Blumenauer ALL THREE voted for fast-track?

I thought I lived in a "Blue State".

Feel the Bern: "Catching Clinton, Sanders Surges"

Catching Clinton, Sanders Surges
Several polls now show Sen. Bernie Sanders closing the gap between himself and frontrunner Hillary Clinton
Wednesday, June 17, 2015 * Common Dreams * by Jon Queally

Several new polls from the early battleground state of New Hampshire indicate that the progressive message of Sen. Bernie Sanders—who has been busy talking about the troubling supremacy of Wall Street banks, vast economic inequality, the crisis of money in politics, and the imperative to address the climate crisis—is resonating with prospective voters in the early battleground state as he rapidly closes the gap with Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.

"Don’t underestimate the power of the progressive nerve network. It is alive, far reaching, and it is translating into political muscle in the New Hampshire Democratic primary."
—David Paleologos, Suffolk University

According to a Suffolk University poll released Tuesday, Sanders garnered the support of 31 percent of likely Democratic primary voters compared to Clinton who received 41 percent. With just ten points now separating the candidates, Sanders' increase in popularity is happening much faster than many political observers say they expected.

In late May, a University of New Hampshire poll showed that only 13 percent of likely New Hampshire voters would vote for Sanders.

Though any experts felt that Clinton’s early and substantial lead would ultimately shrink, David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston, says the speed at which Sanders has closed the gap was not widely expected. "In New Hampshire right now," he said, "the lead has shrunk a lot, and this is a much different Democratic primary race than we are seeing in other states so far."


ZOMBIE Apocalypse "Trade" deal TPP: Back from The Dead.

What the Zombie Apocalypse really looks like.

House GOP Eyes Clean Fast-Track Trade Bill Without TAA Funding
06/16/2015 * by Laura Barron-Lopez & Jennifer Bendery * HuffPo

WASHINGTON -- After the House of Representatives dealt a setback to President Barack Obama’s trade agenda last week, GOP leadership is considering stand-alone legislation to give the president expedited authority to shepherd trade deals through Congress.

The bill, also known as Trade Promotion Authority, would allow Obama to "fast-track" major trade deals, like the one he is currently negotiating with 11 Pacific nations, through Congress without filibuster threats or amendments. House Republican leaders could take up the stand-alone bill as early as this week, two House GOP aides told The Huffington Post, after which it would be sent to the Senate.

On Friday, the same fast-track bill passed the House 219-211, with 28 Democrats voting in favor, but it was attached to legislation providing funding for Trade Adjustment Assistance, a worker aid program. An overwhelming majority of Democrats voted TAA down in an effort to kill Obama’s trade agenda, rendering the fast-track vote essentially irrelevant.


Ready for Round Two? GOP and Obama Scrambling to Revive TPP Fast Track

Obama's not only NOT "listening to Nancy Pelosi" on TPP, he's aggressively collaborating
with McConnell and Boehner.

Get Ready for Round Two: GOP and White House Work to Revive Fast Track
"Let's be clear, we do not need a 'do over' vote for Fast Track, we need an entire 'redo' of U.S. trade policy," says green group Friends of the Earth

by Deirdre Fulton, staff writer * 6/15/2015 * Common Dreams

Even as they celebrated last week's quasi-victory against clandestine, corporate trade deals, civil society groups warned the fight over Fast Track was not over.

They were right.

Indeed, Friday's defeat of Fast Track, or trade promotion authority, could be reversed as early as this week, with the U.S. House of Representatives reportedly considering a number of options for reviving the legislation. As Bill Moyers and Bernard Weisberger wrote in an op-ed published Monday at Common Dreams, Friday's vote was "only Round One."

"The unholy trio of Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (who has vowed to keep any of Obama’s nominees from being confirmed), Speaker of the House John Boehner (who has thwarted just about every Democratic legislative proposal of the past several years), and President Obama (a Democrat, in case you are having trouble remembering) are as one in a desperate effort to rescue their Frankenstein-like creation," Moyers and Weisberger wrote.

Congressional rules required that the House approve both Fast Track and Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) in order for the overall trade package to move forward as it did in the Senate. Thus, Friday's overwhelming "No" vote on TAA—which went down 126-302—meant defeat for those angling to hand over trade negotiating power from Congress to President Barack Obama.

Many Democrats, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), voted against TAA in an express effort to derail Fast Track.

Hillary Clinton team denies Daily Mail reporter access to campaign coverage

Hillary Clinton team denies Daily Mail reporter access to campaign coverage
Clinton camp says they’ve been getting blowback from foreign outlets that want to be part of the pool but reporter says reasons are ‘varied and contradictory’

6/15/2015 * The Guardian * by Sabrina Siddiqui

The feud between Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the news media escalated on Monday, when the reporter designated by the traveling press to cover Clinton’s events here was denied access.

David Martosko, the US political editor at The Daily Mail, was scheduled as the so-called “pool” reporter for Clinton’s visit through New Hampshire. But when he arrived at the gathering spot for the traveling press corps on Monday morning, Martosko was turned away by a Clinton staffer who said the reporter was no longer the approved pooler for the day’s events.

Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill later offered what Martosko called “varied and contradictory” reasons for not allowing him to join the pool – a rotating group of news outlets that represent the entire press corps and put together reports on the president and presidential candidates that are then distributed to members of the media.

“We’ve been getting a lot of blowback from foreign outlets that want to be part of the pool and we need to rethink it all, maybe for a day, and just cool things off until we can have a discussion,” Merrill said, according to Martosko’s pool report.

Hillary Clinton: Obama Should "Listen To Nancy Pelosi" On Trade

Does that mean that if Pelosi caves on TPP (like she has all-too-often on other issues) that Hillary is A-OK with that?

Apparently so.

So I'm still in the dark on what Hillary really supports or doesn't support.
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