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“A Corporate Trojan Horse”: Obama Pushes Secretive TPP Trade Pact, Would Rewrite Swath of U.S. Laws

As the federal government shutdown continues, Secretary of State John Kerry heads to Asia for secret talks on a sweeping new trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The TPP is often referred to by critics as “NAFTA on steroids,” and would establish a free trade zone that would stretch from Vietnam to Chile, encompassing 800 million people — about a third of world trade and nearly 40 percent of the global economy. While the text of the treaty has been largely negotiated behind closed doors and, until June, kept secret from Congress, more than 600 corporate advisers reportedly have access to the measure, including employees of Halliburton and Monsanto. “This is not mainly about trade,” says Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. “It is a corporate Trojan horse. The agreement has 29 chapters, and only five of them have to do with trade. The other 24 chapters either handcuff our domestic governments, limiting food safety, environmental standards, financial regulation, energy and climate policy, or establishing new powers for corporations.”

TRANSCRIPT

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: President Obama announced this week that the U.S. government shutdown would delay his upcoming four-country trip to Asia, but that negotiations on a controversial new trade agreement he hopes to sign by the end of the year will continue to move forward. Obama called the Philippines president Tuesday night to say he would miss his visit, and a spokesperson shared the news with reporters Thursday.

RICKY CARANDANG: Secretary Kerry … he will go in place of President Obama. President Obama personally called President Aquino to tell him—to explain to him why he could not make the visit.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: John Kerry will attend Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings next week in Indonesia, where he’ll push for the completion of a sweeping new trade deal called the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the largest international trade deal since the creation of the World Trade Organization in 1995. The administration hopes to pass the measure through Congress by the end of the year using its Fast Track authority to limit lawmakers to an up-or-down vote.

AMY GOODMAN: The TPP is often referred to by critics as “NAFTA on steroids” and would establishing a free trade zone that would stretch from Vietnam to Chile, encompass 800 million people—about a third of world trade and nearly 40 percent of the global economy. While the text of the treaty has been largely negotiated behind closed doors, more than 600 corporate advisers reportedly have access to the measure, including employees of Halliburton and Monsanto.

Well, for more, we’re joined by Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.

Lori, welcome back to Democracy Now! Just explain what the TPP is.

LORI WALLACH: Well, one of the most important things to understand is it’s not really mainly about trade. I guess the way to think about it is as a corporate Trojan horse. The agreement has 29 chapters, and only five of them have to do with trade. The other 24 chapters either handcuff our domestic governments, limiting food safety, environmental standards, financial regulation, energy and climate policy, or establishing new powers for corporations.

For instance, there are the same investor privileges that promote job offshoring to lower-wage countries. There is a ban on Buy Local procurement, so that corporations have a right to do sourcing, basically taking our tax dollars, and instead of investing them in our local economy, sending them offshore. There are new rights to, for instance, have freedom to enter other countries and take natural resources, a right for mining, a right for oil, gas, without approval.

And then there’s a whole set of very worrisome issues relating to Internet freedom. Through sort of the backdoor of the copyright chapter of TPP is a whole chunk of SOPA, the Stop Online Privacy Act, that activism around the country successfully derailed a year ago. Think about all the things that would be really hard to get into effect as a corporation in public, a lot of them rejected here and in the other 11 countries, and that is what’s bundled in to the TPP. And every country would be required to change its laws domestically to meet these rules. The binding provision is, each country shall ensure the conformity of domestic laws, regulations and procedures.

Now, the only reason I know that level of detail is because a few texts have leaked, and I have been following the negotiations and grilling negotiators from other countries to try and find between the lines what the hell is going on; otherwise, totally secret.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, Lori, about that secrecy, even members of Congress have been severely limited in what they can learn, and that’s only after the revelations about the total secrecy that this whole process began with. Could you talk about what members of Congress are allowed to know and how?

LORI WALLACH: Well, what’s really important for people to know—and this gets to what you started out with about Fast Track. Congress has exclusive constitutional authority over trade. It’s kind of like the Boston Tea Party hangover. After having a king just impose tariffs, in that case on tea, the founders said, “We need to put all things about trade, international commerce, in the hands of Congress, the most diffuse part of the elected representation, not the executive, the king.” So Congress has all this authority. They’re supposed to be exclusively in control. But until this June, they were not even allowed to see the draft text.

And it was only after a big, great fuss was kicked up by a lot of members—150 of them wrote last year—that finally members of Congress, upon request for the particular chapter, can have a government administration official bring them a chapter. Their staff is thrown out of the room. They can’t take detailed notes. They’re not supposed to talk about what they saw. And they can, without staff to help them figure out what the technical language is, look at a chapter. This is in contrast to, say, even what the Bush administration did. The last time we had one of these mega-NAFTA expansion attempts was the Free Trade Area of the Americas. And in that instance, in 2001, that whole draft text was released to the public by the U.S. government on the official government websites. So, this is extraordinary secrecy, and members of Congress aren’t supposed to tell anyone what they’ve read. So, for instance, you know, Alan Grayson, who was one of the guys who helped to get the text released, Alan Grayson said, “I can tell you it’s very bad for the future of America. I just can’t tell you why.” That’s obscene.

This would rewrite wide swaths of our laws. And again, it’s mainly not about trade. So, if we have this agreement in effect, for instance, it would be a big push for fracking. Now you would say, “Why fracking?” Because it doesn’t allow us to have bans on liquid natural gas exports. Or, if this were in effect, we couldn’t ensure the safety of the food we feed our families. We have to import, for instance, fish and shrimp that we know, from the limited inspection that’s done, is extremely dangerous from certain kinds of growing ponds that are contaminated, etc., in some of the TPP countries. Or, for instance, some of the financial reforms where the banksters were finally regulated would be rolled back. All of this, and it would be privately enforceable by certain foreign corporations.

AMY GOODMAN: Let me ask you about a bill that didn’t make it through Congress, but the question is, is it incorporated into TPP? And that’s SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act. First explain what it is, and talk about where it fits in here.

LORI WALLACH: So, the Stop Online Piracy Act was a vehicle basically to take away some of our rights on the Internet. It would have criminalized what they call inadvertent, small-scale, non-commercial copying. And the example would be, for instance, Juan, I had you over to dinner. You liked the recipe I had. I happened to have taken it for $2 I paid for it off of a paid website. And you said, “Lori, can you send me that recipe?” And, of course, I said, “Yeah,” and I sent it to you. That is officially a copyright violation. I should say, “You have to go pay $2 and get it yourself, Juan.” But, in fact, it’s small-scale. I didn’t sell it. It’s not commercial. I didn’t send it to a lot of people.

That kind of activity, under SOPA, as well as any number of things we do all the time—making a copy, or like a buffer copy that our computer would make to look at a video, or breaking a digital lock—for instance, if we bought software, but we wanted to run it on Linux—all of those things would be considered criminal activities. We’d face huge fines, and our carriers—Google, etc.—would have to take us off of service, to black us out. So, a huge limit on Internet freedom.

That whole mess was defeated in Congress in a wonderful citizen uprising. A chunk of that is now stuck in the copyright chapter of SOPA—of TPP. So, they call TPP “son of SOPA.” In a lot of countries around the TPP region, citizens have fought to have good laws that actually provide them access and don’t allow that kind of control. So, that is a chunk. To give you an idea of how varied the problems are, that’s a chunk of what is in there.

Now, the thing about that Fast Track you mentioned, Fast Track is not in effect. Fast Track is an extraordinary delegation of Congress’s authority. So if we don’t want unsafe food, offshore jobs, SOPA, SOPA, SOPA, limits on Internet freedom, the banksters gettings rolled back into deregulation, we have to make sure that Congress actually maintains its constitutional authority to make sure that before this agreement can be signed, it actually works for us. Fast Track is a delegation of authority. President Obama has asked for it, but it only happens if Congress gives it to him.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Lori, what’s been the Obama administration’s position on these negotiations in terms of tobacco? Could you talk about that specifically?

LORI WALLACH: Well, the whole approach of the Obama administration has really been, I don’t know, some combination of heartbreaking and infuriating, because when he was a candidate, President Obama promised he would replace the NAFTA model, and instead they’ve doubled down.

So the tobacco issue is one of those that’s the most gruesome. So, the TPP includes the very controversial investor-state system, which empowers individual corporations to directly sue governments—not in our courts, but in extrajudicial tribunals where three corporate attorneys act as “judges,” and these guys rotate between being the judge and being the guys suing the government for the corporation. They’re empowered to give unlimited cash damages from us, the taxpayers, to these corporations for any government action—a regulatory issue, environment, health, safety—that undermines the investor’s expected future profits. Under that system, big tobacco companies have been attacking health regulations. And famously—infamously—these kinds of investor-state cases have extracted billions of dollars and undermined important laws. So, Philip Morris has used this to attack Australia, one of the TPP country’s plain-packaging-of-cigarette laws. So, a lot of the TPP countries are very worried that they would be basically handcuffed from being able to regulate for health around tobacco. So, the U.S. originally was going to offer an exception. Big tobacco came in and basically won the day. The U.S. pulled away what was a medium exception, put in something that’s really worse than nothing, and then Malaysia came in and actually offered a real exception, which the U.S. is opposing—just like the U.S. is opposing an exception to maintain financial regulations for prudential reasons, just like the U.S. is opposing a real exception to those investor tribunals with respect to health and the environment. It’s incredibly depressing.

The only good news is a bunch of the other countries have basically said, “Basta! We are not going to roll back these things.” So the reason there isn’t a deal is because a lot of the other countries are standing up to the worst of these U.S. corporate-inspired demands. You can see the whole lay of this at ExposeTheTPP, www.exposethetpp . There are fact sheets on each of the ways, each aspect of your life the TPP could affect. And if you want to get down into the weeds and have long papers explaining and/or information from other countries, you can go to tradewatch.org . That’s tradewatch.org . Between those two sets of information, you’ll see there’s almost no part of your life or the things you care about that this agreement couldn’t undermine. And again, trade is the least of it.

AMY GOODMAN: Lori Wallach, we want to thank you very much for being with us. Lori Wallach is director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch. When we come back, President Obama is about to hit a new milestone: two million people deported under his administration. We’ll talk about it. Stay with us.

WAKE UP – OBAMACARE PROVIDES FOR A PRIVATE STANDING ARMY

While the Supreme Court heard this week about the individual mandate issue concerning the new Healthcare law, or as it has been termed Obamacare, which is really socialized medicine, there didn’t seem to be much coverage over other things that are contained in the “Health law”. One of those issues is a standing private army.

Obamacare is a trojan horse. It is not about healthcare at all, but about control. Control in more way than one and this is why they wanted a vote on it without knowing what was in it.

On July 2, 2008 Barack Obama, in a speech in Colorado Springs, said he wanted a “national security force”, obviously not one that had sworn an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. Then Senator Obama called for a police state.

Maybe you recall the brain washing of young black men seeing Barack Obama as their furor and Messiah as they shout his praises for who they might become.

All of this is reminiscient of Adolph Hitler’s brown shirt youths of the 1940′s. Well, this private little army made its way into Obamacare. It has nothing to do with healthcare and everything to do with power and control. In fact, I suspect that should the Supreme Court throw out the individual mandate and keep the rest, that the administration and the Democrats will be perfectly fine with it since it will get much of what it wants anyway.

According to the Senate revisions to the health care bill…

Subtitle C–Increasing the Supply of the Health Care Workforce

Sec. 5201. Federally supported student loan funds.

Sec. 5202. Nursing student loan program.

Sec. 5203. Health care workforce loan repayment programs.

Sec. 5204. Public health workforce recruitment and retention programs.

Sec. 5205. Allied health workforce recruitment and retention programs.

Sec. 5206. Grants for State and local programs.

Sec. 5207. Funding for National Health Service Corps.

Sec. 5208. Nurse-managed health clinics.

Sec. 5209. Elimination of cap on commissioned corps.

Sec. 5210. Establishing a Ready Reserve Corps.

Subtitle D–Enhancing Health Care Workforce Education and Training

When you reference this with the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act, page 1312 you find:

SEC. 5210. ESTABLISHING A READY RESERVE CORPS.

Section 203 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 204) is amended to read as follows:

SEC. 203. COMMISSIONED CORPS AND READY RESERVE CORPS.

(a) ESTABLISHMENT–

(1) IN GENERAL.–here shall be in the Service a commissioned Regular Corps and a Ready Reserve Corps for service in time of national emergency.

(2) REQUIREMENT.–All commissioned officers shall be citizens of the United States and shall be appointed without regard to the civil-service laws and compensated without regard to the Classification Act 2 of 1923, as amended.

Obama Signs Executive Order Declaring International Law for the United States

by Henry Shivley

On May 1, 2012, our Glorious Leader, Premier Barack Obama AKA Barry Soetoro AKA Barry the Rat, signed yet another Executive Order – Promoting International Regulatory Cooperation. This dictate is designed to standardize regulations between the United States and it’s so called trading partners.

What is a regulation? A law. So what is actually being attempted here is a standardization of international law. It is an absolute violation of the Constitution for the United States to legislate our law outside of our borders.

Considering the many international security agreements the traitors occupying our highest seats of power have entered into, this latest executive order can absolutely be used to institute gun confiscation laws/regulations, without any consent by our Congress or our Judicial. And once these foreign laws are brought to the United States under the various security agreements, foreign troops will be brought in to enforce the foreign laws upon the people of the United States.

So look at what we have now.

The Patriot Act which allows unlimited spying on the American people by the government.
The National Defense Authorization Act with Sections 1021 and 1022 for the military arrests and indefinite detention of American nationals without any due process of the law.
HR 347 Trespass Law for the implementation of Sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act upon any citizen who dares to speak out against the insurgency.
Executive Order National Defense Resources Preparedness Act, which allows the dictator to confiscate every resource of the United States, including we the people as conscripts to be put in servitude to the insurgency.
This is exactly what the Bolsheviks did to the Russian people in 1917. Now we have this new executive order for the implementation of laws not legislated by our Congress. If we were to allow ourselves to be disarmed by these international soviet socialists, the next step would be to eliminate everyone who refuses to acquiesce to collective slavery.

This latest executive order is nothing more than another act of blatant treason and we the American people must reject it absolutely.

Here is the Executive Order. Read and interpret it for yourself.

EXECUTIVE ORDER
- – – – – – -
PROMOTING INTERNATIONAL REGULATORY COOPERATION

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to promote international regulatory cooperation, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Policy. Executive Order 13563 of January 18, 2011 (Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review), states that our regulatory system must protect public health, welfare, safety, and our environment while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation. In an increasingly global economy, international regulatory cooperation, consistent with domestic law and prerogatives and U.S. trade policy, can be an important means of promoting the goals of Executive Order 13563.

The regulatory approaches taken by foreign governments may differ from those taken by U.S. regulatory agencies to address similar issues. In some cases, the differences between the regulatory approaches of U.S. agencies and those of their foreign counterparts might not be necessary and might impair the ability of American businesses to export and compete internationally. In meeting shared challenges involving health, safety, labor, security, environmental, and other issues, international regulatory cooperation can identify approaches that are at least as protective as those that are or would be adopted in the absence of such cooperation. International regulatory cooperation can also reduce, eliminate, or prevent unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements.

Sec. 2. Coordination of International Regulatory Cooperation. (a) The Regulatory Working Group (Working Group) established by Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993 (Regulatory Planning and Review), which was reaffirmed by Executive Order 13563, shall, as appropriate:
(i) serve as a forum to discuss, coordinate, and develop a common understanding among agencies of U.S. Government positions and priorities with respect to:
(A) international regulatory cooperation activities that are reasonably anticipated to lead to significant regulatory actions;
(B) efforts across the Federal Government to support significant, cross-cutting international regulatory cooperation activities, such as the work of regulatory cooperation councils; and

(C) the promotion of good regulatory practices internationally, as well as the promotion of U.S. regulatory approaches, as appropriate; and

(ii) examine, among other things:

(A) appropriate strategies for engaging in the development of regulatory approaches through international regulatory cooperation, particularly in emerging technology areas, when consistent with section 1 of this order;

(B) best practices for international regulatory cooperation with respect to regulatory development, and, where appropriate, information exchange and other regulatory tools; and

(C) factors that agencies should take into account when determining whether and how to consider other regulatory approaches under section 3(d) of this order.

(b) As Chair of the Working Group, the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) shall convene the Working Group as necessary to discuss international regulatory cooperation issues as described above, and the Working Group shall include a representative from the Office of the United States Trade Representative and, as appropriate, representatives from other agencies and offices.

(c) The activities of the Working Group, consistent with law, shall not duplicate the efforts of existing interagency bodies and coordination mechanisms. The Working Group shall consult with existing interagency bodies when appropriate.

(d) To inform its discussions, and pursuant to section 4 of Executive Order 12866, the Working Group may commission analytical reports and studies by OIRA, the Administrative Conference of the United States, or any other relevant agency, and the Administrator of OIRA may solicit input, from time to time, from representatives of business, nongovernmental organizations, and the public.

(e) The Working Group shall develop and issue guidelines on the applicability and implementation of sections 2 through 4 of this order.

(f) For purposes of this order, the Working Group shall operate by consensus.

Sec. 3. Responsibilities of Federal Agencies. To the extent permitted by law, and consistent with the principles and requirements of Executive Order 13563 and Executive Order 12866, each agency shall:

(a) if required to submit a Regulatory Plan pursuant to Executive Order 12866, include in that plan a summary of its international regulatory cooperation activities that are reasonably anticipated to lead to significant regulations, with an explanation of how these activities advance the purposes of Executive Order 13563 and this order;

(b) ensure that significant regulations that the agency identifies as having significant international impacts are designated as such in the Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, on RegInfo.gov, and on Regulations.gov;

(c) in selecting which regulations to include in its retrospective review plan, as required by Executive Order 13563, consider:

(i) reforms to existing significant regulations that address unnecessary differences in regulatory requirements between the United States and its major trading partners, consistent with section 1 of this order, when stakeholders provide adequate information to the agency establishing that the differences are unnecessary; and

(ii) such reforms in other circumstances as the agency deems appropriate; and

(d) for significant regulations that the agency identifies as having significant international impacts, consider, to the extent feasible, appropriate, and consistent with law, any regulatory approaches by a foreign government that the United States has agreed to consider under a regulatory cooperation council work plan.

Sec. 4. Definitions. For purposes of this order:

(a) “Agency” means any authority of the United States that is an “agency” under 44 U.S.C. 3502(1), other than those considered to be independent regulatory agencies, as defined in 44 U.S.C. 3502(5).

(b) “International impact” is a direct effect that a proposed or final regulation is expected to have on international trade and investment, or that otherwise may be of significant interest to the trading partners of the United States.

(c) “International regulatory cooperation” refers to a bilateral, regional, or multilateral process, other than processes that are covered by section 6(a)(ii), (iii), and (v) of this order, in which national governments engage in various forms of collaboration and communication with respect to regulations, in particular a process that is reasonably anticipated to lead to the development of significant regulations.

(d) “Regulation” shall have the same meaning as “regulation” or “rule” in section 3(d) of Executive Order 12866.

(e) “Significant regulation” is a proposed or final regulation that constitutes a significant regulatory action.

(f) “Significant regulatory action” shall have the same meaning as in section 3(f) of Executive Order 12866.

Sec. 5. Independent Agencies. Independent regulatory agencies are encouraged to comply with the provisions of this order.

Sec. 6. General Provisions. (a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i) the authority granted by law to a department or agency, or the head thereof;

(ii) the coordination and development of international trade policy and negotiations pursuant to section 411 of the Trade Agreements Act of 1979 (19 U.S.C. 2451) and section 141 of the Trade Act of 1974 (19 U.S.C. 2171);

(iii) international trade activities undertaken pursuant to section 3 of the Act of February 14, 1903 (15 U.S.C. 1512), subtitle C of the Export Enhancement Act of 1988, as amended (15 U.S.C. 4721 et seq.), and Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1979 (19 U.S.C. 2171 note);

(iv) the authorization process for the negotiation and conclusion of international agreements pursuant to 1 U.S.C. 112b(c) and its implementing regulations (22 C.F.R. 181.4) and implementing procedures (11 FAM 720);

(v) activities in connection with subchapter II of chapter 53 of title 31 of the United States Code, title 26 of the United States Code, or Public Law 111-203 and other laws relating to financial regulation; or

(vi) the functions of the Director of OMB relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

BARACK OBAMA

Dirty Tricks Hilary Rosen’s Attack on Ann Romney Planned at White House

byTad Cronn

After weeks of boohooing over their manufactured “war on women,” Democrats continue to prove that they are the party that hates women.

You’re not supposed to notice that fact, of course.

All the public faces pushing the “war on women” meme have been female, from Sandra Fluke to Nancy Pelosi, so you’re supposed to assume that they have women’s best interests at heart.

That hasn’t stopped them from attacking Ann Romney, who has defended her husband against the Left’s made-up charges that he can’t relate to women.

Lobbyist and CNN contributor Hilary Rosen, being “interviewed” on CNN (I remember when lobbyists weren’t contributors to “news” programs), slammed Mrs. Romney, saying she “had never worked a day in her life” because she had chosen to stay home and raise the kids.

Columnist Michelle Malkin has unearthed records that suggest Rosen’s attack is coordinated directly by the White House. According to that information, Rosen visited the White House at least 35 times since 2009, visiting with top-level communications and political strategists including the likes of Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod and the president himself.

Obama Tells Palestinians To Wait Until After He’s Reelected To Get Statehood – He will slip it in then

Obama Tells Palestinians To Wait Until After He’s Reelected To Get Statehood
Posted: March 12th, 2012 12:25 PM |

Author: Henry D’Andrea
Yep, he is such a great friend to Israel.

This is really gross to see a U.S. president openly show public support for the enemy of our greatest ally, Israel. Doesn’t he know they launch missiles into Israel about every week?

The Obama administration has told Palestinian leaders to expect little help with their statehood bid during the U.S. presidential campaign, the Palestinian foreign minister said Friday.

However, the Americans also held out the promise of vigorous U.S. mediation in the Mideast conflict if President Barack Obama is re-elected, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki said in an interview.
Why do Jewish voters cast their ballots for him?

Hacking Democracy

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVTXbARGXso[/youtube]

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