Elizabeth Warren warns us about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as reported by the Public Citizen Consumer Blog:
Sen. Warren’s op-ed in the Post this week is a must-read, and a must-share: it explains how our country’s consumer, worker, and environmental protection laws could be undermined by a dispute-resolution clause in the TPP, currently being negotiated. More generally, the danger Sen. Warren describes is a potent illustration of how trade deals that may sound benign in terms of their general aims can contain some pretty radical giveaways to corporate interests.
Here’s a flavor:
[The Investor-State Dispute Settlement clause, or ISDS] would allow foreign companies to challenge U.S. laws — and potentially to pick up huge payouts from taxpayers — without ever stepping foot in a U.S. court. Here’s how it would work. Imagine that the United States bans a toxic chemical that is often added to gasoline because of its health and environmental consequences. If a foreign company that makes the toxic chemical opposes the law, it would normally have to challenge it in a U.S. court. But with ISDS, the company could skip the U.S. courts and go before an international panel of arbitrators. If the company won, the ruling couldn’t be challenged in U.S. courts, and the arbitration panel could require American taxpayers to cough up millions — and even billions — of dollars in damages.
From a mass emailing I received from Common Dreams:
In a 2012 interview with Bill Moyers, media scholar Marty Kaplan said, “The notion of spectator democracy has, I think, extended to include the need to divert the country from the master narrative, which is the influence and importance and imperviousness to accountability of large corporations and the increasing impotence of the public through its agency, the government, to do anything about it. So the more diversion and the more entertainment, the less news, the less you focus on that story, the better off it is.
Bill Moyers responded: “Are you saying that the people who run this political media business, the people who fund it, want to divert the public’s attention from their economic power? Is that what you’re saying?”
Kaplan responded: “Yes. Let us fight about you know, whether this circus or that circus is better than each other, but please don’t focus on the big change which has happened in this country, which is the absolute triumph of these large, unaccountable corporations. This is about as dismal and effective a conspiracy, out in plain sight, as there possibly could be.”
John Oliver describes Big Pharma marketing to doctors and patients
Regulating Wall Street Banks is critical to saving the middle class.
We can root out corruption in politics. PLEASE watch this 4 minute video. You can be a big part of them movement that will bypass the current corrupt political process to get the job done. Liberals, moderates and conservatives support this measure by more than a 2/3 majority. Let’s get money out of politics.
How can ordinary citizens help to get money out of politics? Here are eight ways, courtesy of Bill Moyers.
1) AMEND THE CONSTITUTION
2) AMERICAN ANTI-CORRUPTION ACT
3) GRASSROOTS AND PUBLIC FINANCING
4) NH REBELLION
6) FEC REGULATION
7) EXECUTIVE ORDERS
It’s all legal of course, thanks to be playing field itself being corrupt, as reported by The Consumerist:
Senators Pat Toomey, whose campaign hauled in $70,600 in contributions from Comcast and its employees this election cycle, and Bob Casey, who really felt the love from Comcast’s $114,000 in combined contributions in 2014, penned a joint letter to FCC Chair Tom Wheeler today, urging him to hurry up and approve this merger already.