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limpyhobbler's Journal
limpyhobbler's Journal
June 13, 2012

AFL-CIO comments about the TPPA


On March 1, President Obama released his 2012 Trade Policy Agenda and reiterated his commitment to move "full-speed ahead" in finalizing the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement (TPP). You may never have heard of the TPP—millions of your fellow Americans certainly haven’t.

That is why the American Prospect’s special report on the TPP, Pacific Illusions, is so important. Pacific Illusions shows how, so far, it doesn’t look like the TPP fixes the problems with U.S. trade policy that have been hurting workers for the past 20 years, which means the TPP could be a big mistake.

Just what is the TPP anyway? It’s a trade agreement between the United States and Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam. The United States Trade Representative (USTR) has called it “an ambitious, 21st-century” agreement.

If passed, it would be the biggest free trade agreement since NAFTA, and that’s before including Japan, Mexico and Canada, which are waiting in the wings to join. With an unemployment rate of more than 8 percent, and 2.8 million jobs lost to trade with China over the past decade, America’s workers have every right to be wary—is the TPP the right answer to create good jobs in America?


Unfortunately, there isn’t much publically available information about the TPP, given the secrecy not only of the text, but also of the negotiating goals and the way the press is largely ignoring the negotiating process. However, what little information is available should be cause for concern. At the very least it indicates that the USTR’s definition of a “high-standard, 21st century agreement” is very different than working Americans’ definition.



June 13, 2012

Obama's TPP Disaster

No more bad trade deals that don't have any labor protections. No consumer protections. No environment protections. No democracy or accountability. No human rights protections. Enough is enough.

When President Obama supports crony-capitalist trade policies like the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, he forces me to use sad emoticons.

This trade policy is an attack on the American people and on working people everywhere.

June 13, 2012

Trans-Pacific Partnership: Sherrod Brown Urges Transparency for “NAFTA for Asia”

Some Senate Democrats and even some Republicans are concerned about a controversial trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which critics have denounced as “NAFTA for Asia.” And they are making their opinions known to the Obama Administration about the relative secrecy under which the deal is being negotiated.

As first reported by Zach Carter of the Huffington Post, Sen. Ron Wyden, the chair of a key Senate subcommittee on international trade, was denied access by the Office of US Trade Representative to any of the draft documents of the TPP. Eventually, after introducing legislation to try and force openness on the process, Wyden did gain access, but his staff did not, including those with key insight on trade policy.

That’s better than nothing, Wyden spokeswoman Jennifer Hoelzer told HuffPost, but not helpful from a practical standpoint, given that congressional staff perform much of the legislative work on Capitol Hill.

“I would point out how insulting it is for them to argue that members of Congress are to personally go over to USTR to view the trade documents,” Hoelzer said. “An advisor at Halliburton or the MPAA is given a password that allows him or her to go on the USTR website and view the TPP agreement anytime he or she wants.”

The general public and most nonprofit organizations have no access to the documents, although a number of corporate officials can see them.

Now a letter is being circulated on the Hill, though language has not been finalized, demanding that USTR chief Ron Kirk provide more transparency to the process and allow Congress to oversee their work on TPP. The letter will call on Kirk to immediately post summaries of all the proposals for TPP on the USTR website. This is only the latest action for additional transparency, the boldest of which was Darrell Issa leaking the entire intellectual property chapter on his website.

I spoke with Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), a longtime opponent of NAFTA-style trade deals who is organizing the effort to open up TPP, at the Netroots Nation conference in Providence, RI. He expressed concern about two major areas of the trade pact being negotiated between the US and a series of Asian and Pacific nations. First, he highlighted the investor-state relations element of recent trade deals, where companies are given the capacity to override existing public health and safety standards inside other countries by virtue of the trade agreement.


This trade deal is bullshit. It's all for the corporations and it is going to hurt the working American people and also the working people in the other countries involved.

That's why they want to keep it a secret.

June 12, 2012

"Imagine there's no heaven..."


The last verse is missing. Still kind of a neat interpretation of the song.

Anybody know who the "Anna" is the pane next to Gandhi ?
June 3, 2012

Fracking company buys trailer park, evicts 32 families

This is so unfair.


For Immediate Release: June 2, 2012
Contact: savermhc@gmail.com; Alex Lotorto: 570-269-9589, alotorto@gmail.com; Deb Eck (Resident): 570-772-3335; Kelly Finan: 570-877-2417, Kelly@kellyfinan.com

"Help Us Keep the River in Riverdale": International Day of Solidarity with the Riverdale Community on Monday, June 4

Riverdale residents and supporters are calling for an international day of solidarity action in support of the Riverdale community this Monday, June 4. As relocation resister Deb Eck has put it, you are invited to come down and “help us keep the River in Riverdale.”

Yesterday, residents of the Riverdale Mobile Home Park and supporters set up barricades at the entrance of Riverdale to stop the community from being displaced by Aqua America's plans to construct a fracking water withdrawal facility and send a powerful message to perpetrators of environmental and economic injustice. And so far, it is working. Though Aqua America had announced that it would begin construction on June 1, company representatives were unseen around Riverdale yesterday, and no construction has yet begun.
Now, we need your help.

Residents of the Riverdale Mobile Home Park are going into negotiation with Aqua America PVR[1] on Tuesday. They are demanding the Aqua America PVR allow them to remain in their homes, compensate those residents who have been displaced, and acknowledge the right of return to those who have left but wish to come back. We are calling on you to support Riverdale residents over the next several days and help them hold onto their homes and enter negotiations strong. If you would like to participate in Monday's day of action, this is what we need:

More people. An Aqua America representative stated in today’s newspaper that construction is scheduled to begin soon, possibly on Monday. While about 50 supporters converged on Riverdale yetserday, unfortunately some have had to leave. Our strength is in numbers, and we need you here on Monday to ensure that Riverdale residents can continue to remain in their homes. The encampment is located at 7 Riverdale Lane, Jersey Shore, PA. We can arrange rides to pick up supporters in Danville, Bloomsburg, or Williamsport. Please call (510) 318-1549 if you need to be picked up, and email saveriverdale@gmail.com if you need or can offer a ride.

If you can’t make it to Riverdale, we are calling for solidarity actions against Aqua America PVR and it stakeholders and financiers across the world, as well as the governors of Pennsylvania...read more: http://www.saveriverdale.com/2012/06/help-us-keep-river-in-riverdale-day-of.html

We demand that representatives from the Obama administration and governors Corbett (PA), O'Malley (MD), and Cuomo (NY) recall Aqua America's water withdrawal permit that they approved in March at the next Susquehanna River Basin Commission meeting in Harrisburg June 7th.

..if you are a resident of New York or Maryland, call your governor ((518) 474-8390 for Gov. Cuomo, (410) 974-5041 for Gov. O'Malley) and demand that the permit for Aqua America in Piatt Township, (Jersey Shore) PA be withdrawn at the June 7th Susquehanna River Basin Commission meeting. If your governor is making appearances, please bring your friends and family to their events and offices to ask them if they plan to recall the permit.

...if you are an Obama supporter or campaign worker, call the campaign headquarters (312) 698-3670, White House (202) 456-1111, and Democratic National Committee (202) 863-8000 and remind them that Pennsylvania is a swing state in the November election and that the Obama administration must recall the Aqua America permit in Piatt Township, (Jersey Shore) PA with his vote on the Susquehanna River Basin Commission, June 7th, at their next meeting in Harrisburg.


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