Stop TPP! Even a dog knows when it’s being kicked

To get this stinking mess (TPP) past Congress the administration needs to rely on a mechanism called “fast track.” Fast track basically presents the treaty to Congress on a take-it-or-leave-it basis with no amendments allowed. The deal’s backers know that without fast track the bill would be pecked to death in Congress as angry constituents attack its most onerous provisions. But if members of Congress can pass the bill without being held to account, they will go along in order to secure campaign donations from those with interests at stake in the treaty….

 Meanwhile, it’s clear that the public wants this thing dead. A recent survey completed by a team of Republican and Democrat pollsters showed widespread public opposition to fast track: “Republicans overwhelmingly oppose giving fast-track authority to the president (8% in favor, 87% opposed), as do independents (20%-66%), while a narrow majority (52%) of Democrats are in favor (35% opposed).” Let’s hope the public gets its way this time.    http://www.usnews.com/opinion/economic-intelligence/2015/02/17/fast-track-for-the-trans-pacific-partnership-is-a-bad-deal

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Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) told The Huffington Post that there are other Senate Democrats more likely to “toe the Chamber of Commerce ‘free trade’ line than Wyden.” But he said he certainly believes there will be fallout for Democrats who support fast-track authority and the TPP.

“Middle-class voters recognize that these trade giveaways destroy U.S. jobs,” he said. “Even a dog knows when it’s being kicked.”   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/19/ron-wyden-fast-track-trade-deal_n_6714748.html

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2-17-15  But no one outside the Obama administration and a few foreign negotiators knows what’s in the latest draft version of this agreement. If Congress gives Obama the fast-track authority he seeks and which most of Congress applauded during his speech, it’s possible no one will be able to prevent offshoring of millions of jobs (predicted by consumer advocate Ralph Nader) and rolling back banking reforms, safe food laws, Internet freedom and environmental safeguards.

That’s because fast-track authority prevents Congress from holding full-scale hearings or amending the treaty when it comes up for action there. There would be just one up-or-down vote, with no changes allowed on anything from copyright infringement provisions to human rights.

So going fast could lead not just to reduced American authority over our own affairs but to corporate lobbyists sneaking in self-serving elements that could not be exposed via Congressional hearings. That’s why any fast-tracking bill and any consideration of this agreement before it’s adopted should include mandatory publication of the entire agreement, so Americans are not forced to buy the proverbial pig in a poke.

This is the only way Americans can know what they’d get if this treaty ever becomes effective, and just what they’d lose.  http://www.californiafocus.net/2015/01/go-slow-on-trans-pacific-partnership.html

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2-20-15   Fast Track, otherwise known as Trade Promotion Authority, is a legislative mechanism for ramming a trade treaty through Congress with no public hearings and no amendments. The American people would never know what hit them.

If Congress votes NO on Fast Track, the Trans Pacific Partnership will likely be defeated. If they vote YES, it will likely be passed.  http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/elgin-courier-news/opinion/ct-ecn-letter-st-0222-20150220-story.html

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evening of 2-20-15  Venus, Mars, crescent

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