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Stepping Up Efforts to Block Obama’s Trade Agenda

  • images_1295572236_picture16.jpg_640x454_310x220As Obama’s team works privately to line up support for so-called trade promotion authority, coalition of Democratic lawmakers & activists from organized labor, environmental, religious & civil rights groups stepping up efforts to stop him.  Fast track another insult to workers. 
  • Part 1: Fast Track Is Not A Done Deal, The People Will Stop It
  • Part 2: The Trans-Pacific Partnership won't deliver jobs or curb China's power

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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Part 1: Fast Track Is Not A Done Deal, The People Will Stop It

Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, Popular Resistance

TPP-protest-out-of-USTR-December-2014-e1421600716735.jpgProtest outside the office of the US Trade Representative in December 2014 calling for releasing the text of trade agreements and opposing Fast Track

January 18th, 2015 | The corporate media is reporting that since the Republican leadership and President Obama support Fast Track trade authority, it is a done deal. And that message, also heard by countries negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), is driving the race to finalize that agreement.

The truth is: Fast Track is not a done deal. There is bi-partisan opposition in Congress and a large movement of movements organized to stop it.

Across the political spectrum there is mass opposition to fast tracking the secretly negotiated TPP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP, aka TAFTA) and the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). People remember the impact of NAFTA on job loss, destruction of Mexican agriculture, expansion of inequality, environmental degradation and increased immigration. The most recent South Korean trade pact, which Obama touts as a success, is leading to similar results of lost jobs and an expanding US trade deficits.

Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers are participants in Popular Resistance, an online daily news and information service for people who want to play a role in improving the country, creating economic and social justice as well as to protect the environment. They also co-direct It’s Our Economy and are co-hosts of Clearing the FOG, shown on UStream TV and heard on radio.

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Part 2: The Trans-Pacific Partnership won't deliver jobs or curb China's power

Former Reagan admin official Clyde Prestowitz slams TPP in Los Angeles Times OpEd.

Clyde Prestowitz, Los Angeles (CA) Times 

stopp-tppa.jpgJanuary 22, 2015 | As counselor to the secretary of Commerce in the Reagan administration, I was involved in a number of trade negotiations, including the so-called MOSS (market-oriented sector-selective) talks. Some veteran negotiators waggishly renamed those negotiations — to paraphrase in family friendly terms — “more of the same old stuff.” And that's what President Obama called for in his State of the Union proposal for completion and adoption of the Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement, or TPP, for the Asia-Pacific region.

The president, unfortunately, doesn't know much about the history of U.S. trade deals, but his proposals are being touted by many who do and who should know better about this one.

Clyde Prestowitz is president of the Economic Strategy Institute and the author most recently of "The Betrayal of American Prosperity." He served in the Reagan administration and was vice chairman of President Clinton's Commission on Trade and Investment in the Asia-Pacific Region.

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Virginian-Pilot journalists: Corporate management pressure is stifling coverage.

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  • In the wake of an investigation, as one veteran journalist at the paper put it, “we’re walking around with duct tape over our keyboards.”
  • A Terrorist Massacre The News Barely Covered

 

Corey Hutchins, Columbia Journalism Review

 

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riseuptimes.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/images.jpg?w=225January 14, 2015 | Things are not as they should be these days at The Virginian-Pilot, the largest newspaper in Virginia. In the fall, the paper produced an important investigation of municipal government, one that has sparked an official inquiry, led to policy changes at a local bank, and prompted the mayor of Virginia Beach to resign his lucrative private-sector job. By any expectation, the paper would have kept dogging the story, probing whether there was more to discover about the overlap between government and business elites in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia.

Instead, the newsroom has been consumed with warding off pressure from an unexpected source: upper management at its own paper. In the view of several Pilot journalists, that pressure has stifled further enterprise reporting. It has also led to concerns that the paper might even publicly backtrack from its published coverage.

 

Corey Hutchins is CJR's Rocky Mountain correspondent based in Colorado. He has contributed to Slate, the Nation, the Texas Observer, and others. 

 

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Related:

 

A Terrorist Massacre The News Barely Covered, Libby Watson, Media Matters for America

  • The Hebdo shooting certainly deserves our attention. But given the scale of the Baga tragedy, with as many as 2,000 dead and survivors still trapped on an island on Lake Chad, don't these victims' stories deserve to be heard too?
  • Propaganda’s Triumph over Journalism

 

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Cyprus-style Bail-ins to Take Deposits and Pensions

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  • Perhaps it is time to pull our money out of Wall Street and set up our own banks – banks that will serve the people because they are owned by the people.
  • New G20 Rules

Ellen Brown, CounterPunch

%2522%40%2522%20Logo%20with%2010%20yr%20banner.jpgTo stay on top of important articles like these, sign up here to receive the latest updates from all reader supported Evergreene Digest.

brownchart-379x600.jpgDecember 02, 2014 | On the weekend of November 16th, the G20 leaders whisked into Brisbane, posed for their photo ops, approved some proposals, made a show of roundly disapproving of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and whisked out again. It was all so fast, they may not have known what they were endorsing when they rubber-stamped the Financial Stability Board’s “Adequacy of Loss-Absorbing Capacity of Global Systemically Important Banks in Resolution,” which completely changes the rules of banking.

Russell Napier, writing in ZeroHedge, called it “the day money died.” In any case, it may have been the day deposits died as money. Unlike coins and paper bills, which cannot be written down or given a “haircut,” says Napier, deposits are now “just part of commercial banks’ capital structure.” That means they can be “bailed in” or confiscated to save the megabanks from derivative bets gone wrong.

Ellen Brown is an attorney, founder of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books including the best-selling Web of Debt. Her latest book, The Public Bank Solution, explores successful public banking models historically and globally. 

Full story … 

 

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Special Project | The Big Box/Fast Food Business Problem: Week Ending January 10, 2015

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The High Cost of Low Prices

8 New items including:

  • Walmart Workers Promise Biggest Black Friday Strike Ever
  • The Big Box/Fast Food Business Problem: November 14, 2014
  • Amazon’s Wal-Mart problem: Why low wages, working conditions,  and disdain for culture will hurt us all
  • 4 ways Amazon’s ruthless practices are crushing local economies
  • Walmart Prices Would Rise By Pennies If It Paid Workers More Than Poverty Wages
  • Food Stamps Don't Keep Walmart's Prices Low; They Keep Its Profits High
  • Walmart Stumbles on SNAP; Warns of Lost Profits
  • Everyday Low Wages at Walmart: Brought to You by Government Policy

Compiled by David CulverEd., Evergreene Digest

Randall Enos

 

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The company has admitted that less than half of its workforce makes more than $25,000. But it could easily raise pay by ending stock buybacks or raising the cost of an item like a DVD by a penny.

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The Big Box/Fast Food Business Problem: November 14, 2014, Compiled by David Culver <evergreenedigest@earthlink.net>, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

  • The High Cost of Low Prices
  • Part 1: Two dozen arrests after workers protest against Walmart treatment
  • Part 2: Walmart workers begin first in-store sitdown strike in company history

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Amazon’s Wal-Mart problem: Why low wages, working conditions,  and disdain for culture will hurt us all, Richard (R.J.) Eskow, Salon

  • Amazon drives down wages, avoids taxes and destroys intellectual life, while profiting from government subsidies
  • 4 ways Amazon’s ruthless practices are crushing local economies
  • The Wal-Mart You Don't Know

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4 ways Amazon’s ruthless practices are crushing local economies, Jim Hightower, AlterNet

  • The price of Amazon's success is worker exploitation, the destruction of local enterprise, and the creation of a corporate oligarch.
  • The Morning Call’s Amazon Sweatshop Probe

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Walmart Prices Would Rise By Pennies If It Paid Workers More Than Poverty Wages, Bryce Covert, ThinkProgress

  • If Walmart paid its employees a living wage …
  • Food Stamps Don't Keep Walmart's Prices Low; They Keep Its Profits High

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Food Stamps Don't Keep Walmart's Prices Low; They Keep Its Profits High, Amy Traub, Huffington Post

  • The truth is that Walmart and all the other large and profitable retailersfast food companies, and other corporations that fatten their bottom line by letting the public feed their employees have made a business decision to shrink their payroll on the taxpayer's dime. It's up to us to decide whether to continue allowing them to do it.
  • Walmart Stumbles on SNAP; Warns of Lost Profits

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Walmart Stumbles on SNAP; Warns of Lost Profits, http://www.dailykos.com/user/kavips#http://www.dailykos.com/user/kavips#, Daily Kos

  • Retail Food is a huge engine of our economy. Putting water into the gasoline that feeds that sector, will have dire consequences,of which we are beginning to now see.  Wal*mart and other grocers need to get active on the Hill now, lobby against any SNAP cuts in the Farm Bill, threaten to withdraw funding for all rural conservative candidates,.. or face a rather dismal, ten year slump.....
  • Everyday Low Wages at Walmart: Brought to You by Government Policy

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Everyday Low Wages at Walmart: Brought to You by Government Policy, Dean Baker, Huffington Post

  • When Congress decides to give us a budget that unnecessarily raises the unemployment rate, it is also deciding to put downward pressure on the wages of low-paid workers. This is a policy decision to redistribute income upward, even if the people in Congress have no clue what they are doing.
  • The Wal-Mart You Don't Know
Section(s): 

Special Project | Money In Politics: Week Ending January 3, 2015

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  • "It has become clear that meaningful campaign finance reform is a necessary pre-condition for the Congress to be able to do the people's work in Washington." --Russ Feingold
  • 8 New items including:
    • Bought-and-Paid Congress Divides the Spoils
    • In Big-Money Move, Corporations Seek to Make Congress a Wholly-Owned Subsidiary
    • Top 20 ‘Dirty Denier$’ Who Accept Big Bucks from Big Polluters
    • Ready for a surprise? Money DOES equal access in Washington
    • ‘Oligarchic tendencies’: Study finds only the wealthy get represented in the Senate,
    • Government = Protection Racket for the 1 Percent
    • Who’s Buying our Midterm Elections?
    • First Citizens United. Now McCutcheon

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

 

Joel Pett 

 

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Bought-and-Paid Congress Divides the Spoils, Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, Consortium News

  • Never has the Golden Rule of Politics glittered so bright: the corporate-person with the most gold rules. And the Republicans are now firmly in control of Congress after having their pockets filled more than the Democrats, as Bill Moyers and Michael Winship explain.
  • In Big-Money Move, Corporations Seek to Make Congress a Wholly-Owned Subsidiary

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In Big-Money Move, Corporations Seek to Make Congress a Wholly-Owned Subsidiary, Richard (RJ) Eskow, Huffington Post

For the American people, the moral of this story couldn't be clearer: If we don't get money out of politics, we'll lose our democracy altogether.

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Top 20 ‘Dirty Denier$’ Who Accept Big Bucks from Big Polluters, Anastasia Pantsios, EcoWatch

  • On the campaign trail, many candidates strive to be as innocuous as possible, evading questions or saying they haven’t made up their minds on an issue.
  • Memo to Self: Do Not Run for Office

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Ready for a surprise? Money DOES equal access in Washington, Matea Gold, Washington (DC) Post 

More than five times as many legislators or their chiefs of staff offered to set up meetings with active donors than with local constituents. 

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‘Oligarchic tendencies’: Study finds only the wealthy get represented in the Senate, Eric W. Dolan, Raw Story

Contrary to popular opinion, it was Democrats — not Republicans — who were more responsive to upper-class opinion in the 111th Congress.

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Government = Protection Racket for the 1 Percent, Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, Bill Moyers & Company

  • More than five times as many legislators or their chiefs of staff offered to set up meetings with active donors than with local constituents. Why is it not corruption when the selling of access to our public officials upends the very core of representative government? When money talks and you have none, how can you believe in democracy?
  • Who’s Buying our Midterm Elections?

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Who’s Buying our Midterm Elections? Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company

  • Two investigative journalists talk to Bill about the role of dark money — and the wealthy donors behind it — in this year’s midterm elections.
  • Bill Moyers Essay: The End Game for Democracy

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First Citizens United. Now McCutcheon, Credo Action

  • We think if the Supreme Court is going to consistently side with corporations and the wealthy at the expense of our democracy, they might as well give up their pretense to impartiality. So we’re going to send robes with the logos of the big corporations to the “justices” who voted for Citizens United and this new terrible decision.
  • Take%20Action%20button%20with%20arrows.jpgIf you want to add your name to the card we deliver along with the robes, use this form to add your name.
  • A new experiment shows how money buys access to Congress.

Bill Cosby’s gross corporate lesson: What NBC’s reaction reveals about rape & money

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Charges of serial predation didn't seem to bother the comedian's network -- until a whole new set of concerns arose.

Katie McDonough, Salon

I%20Want%20You%20with%2010%20yr%20banner.jpgIf you like reading this article, consider joining the crew of all reader-supported Evergreene Digest by contributing the equivalent of a cafe latte a month--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it.

bill_cosby5.jpgBill Cosby

Wednesday, Nov 19, 2014 | Charges of serial predation didn't seem to bother the comedian's network -- until a whole new set of concerns arose about this media attention, but I’m going to guess here that NBC hasn’t learned much that it didn’t already know going into the project. What changed is how mad the public seemed about it.

The same could be said for how the NFL, and particularly its clown/villain hybrid of a commissioner Roger Goodell, has opted to handle the issue of domestic violence within its ranks. After a dizzying process of penalizing and not penalizing Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, a man who stuffed leaves in his 4-year-old son's mouth while he beat him with a switch, Goodell suspended Peterson without pay for the remainder of the season.

Katie McDonough is an assistant editor for Salon, focusing on lifestyle.

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