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Dem Congressman explains why he believes the proposed trade deal is 'a continuation of the worst trade policies in the history of mammalian life'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/10/2015 5:52pm PT  

The BradCast really lives up to its name today, as I interview U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA30) on his remarks reported by The Hill today, charging that President Obama's support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) suggests he is not in touch with "the real world".

Rep. Sherman tells me that he believes the proposed (and still secret) trade pact is "a continuation of the worst trade policies in the history of mammalian life." He explains how those policies have failed the U.S. "Over the last 30 years we've gone from being the number one creditor nation to the number one debtor nation. The number one surplus nation, to the number one deficit nation in history."

"It's perhaps a coincidence, perhaps not," the Congressman tells me, "but just when our economy is getting to the point where you might see a few raises, we have this opportunity to enter into this agreement which will assure wage stagnation for at least another decade."

In regard to the secrecy surrounding the proposal, the Congressman bemoaned that it's a "one-sided propaganda machine where we get classified briefings from Administration experts and they're able to say 'I'm an economist. I've read and re-read every part of it and here's why it's great!'" But those who oppose it, he says, must "start by saying, 'I haven't been allowed to read it, but here's what I think'."

Sherman goes on to explain other concerns about the agreement, including money that he says will come out of medicare and currency manipulation by China and Japan, which the agreement does nothing about. "China gets 80% of the benefits of this deal," without even needing to be a party to it, Sherman argues. He also explains how you can help stop the deal. [Hint: He says call your Congressmember and then call them again at 202-224-3121.]

Also in the show, I explain again why I believe we're on the cusp of a Progressive Era in this country and a bunch of listeners call in to tell me whether I'm right or wrong about that...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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Guest: Miles Grant of the National Wildlife Federation...
By Brad Friedman on 5/29/2015 3:05pm PT  

[I'm on the road today, so this BradCast was taped yesterday, just prior to the indictment of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert. For some quick thoughts on that, please see this article from last night. More when we return next week, no doubt. - BF]

President Obama says the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement is "the most progressive trade agreement the world has ever seen." Maybe. But if we can't see it, how can we know? Democrats (lots of them) say the trade pact is anything but progressive. So who's right? Who can tell when it's all being done in secrecy? We discuss on today's BradCast.

Then I'm joined by Miles Grant, Communications Director of the National Wildlife Federation and blogger at TheGreenMiles.com, to talk about his recent piece on the nation's "Roads to Nowhere" and whether voters really want more of them. We discuss why new, expanded roads don't solve traffic woes and why there's such a disconnect between politicians' billion-dollar new road projects and the public's desire to repair the ones we already have.

Plus: A recent IRS data hack holds lessons (again) for Internet Voting proponents; Seattle literally rejects Shell Oil's shit, and much more on today's BradCast!

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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By Ernest A. Canning on 5/1/2015 10:39am PT  

In anticipation of Thursday's formal announcement, the L.A. Times described the effort by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) to secure the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States as a "long shot."

That assessment is consistent with a recent ABC News/Washington Post Presidential Preference Poll finding that Hillary Clinton not only trounces any potential Democratic challenger but also showing her well ahead of specifically-named GOP candidates. It is also consistent with the MSM's past practice of immediately setting out to marginalize candidates who pose a threat to corporate wealth and power.

The "long shot" perception is both a reflection and product of what Prof. Noam Chomsky, in Failed States, described as the "democracy deficit" --- the significant gap between the policy positions of the electorate and their elected representatives. Long before the Supreme Court handed down its infamous Citizens United decision, Chomsky attributed the "democracy deficit" to the manner in which "elections are skillfully managed to avoid issues and marginalize the underlying population…freeing the elected leadership to serve the substantial people."

As reflected by this Washington Post headline from Chris Cillizza --- "Bernie Sanders isn’t going to be president. That’s not the point." --- the 2016 MSM marginalization strategy is already in play. Without waiting to see how the public, itself, would react to a Sanders/Clinton debate, or even see how they'll react to his policy positions when and if they get to hear them, the Post tells its readers to just forget about it.

Sanders countered Cillizza's contention during his April 30 news conference: "We're in this race to win." (See video below)

As Sanders, himself, appears to recognize, it is not Hillary Clinton, but the "democracy deficit," that is his true opponent. "Hillary Clinton is a remarkable woman with an extraordinary history of public service," Sanders said earlier this year, during an address at the National Press Club. "It would not be my job to run against her. It would be my job, if she ran and if I ran, to debate the serious issues facing our country."

In this age of deception, where the oligarchy's PR industry and corporate-owned MSM tirelessly strive for message control, Sanders' effort to bridge the "democracy deficit" by way of a campaign based on "serious issues" is a daunting task. But it's one that, if successful, could not only lead to a Sanders landslide but also to nothing less than a "democratic revolution"...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




By Ernest A. Canning on 12/30/2013 8:35am PT  

Don't care for the secretly-negotiated Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal? You're not gonna like the Trans-Atlantic 'Free Trade' Agreement (TAFTA) much better.

Earlier this year, in "Please Don't Notice the Global Corporate Coup", we explained how, via the TPP, giant multinational corporations --- through a secret negotiation process that they, not we, the people, have access to --- were working with the U.S. State Department and it's trade partners to supplant the sovereignty of participating nation-states with a privately-controlled, all encompassing, corporate, global "investor state". That "investor-state" is embodied in the deal through the creation of arbitration tribunals, which are granted the power to negate the effectiveness of laws passed by individual nation-states that are parties to the treaty.

The Obama Administration has taken extraordinary measures to hide the content of the TPP negotiation texts from the public as negotiations have proceeded in secret, but for the access granted to hundreds of corporate lobbyists. Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL), one of the few members of Congress to acquire access to the secret draft texts described the deal to date as "NAFTA on steroids." Last month, however, WikiLeaks published TPP's 94-page, Intellectual Property (IP) chapter, a chapter that would, according to WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange, permit corporate IP rights to "trample over individual rights and free expression."

The content of that chapter, according to Public Citizen's Lori Wallach will, among other things, not only extend the length of pharmaceutical patents (thus delaying the availability of more reasonably priced generic versions of the same medicine), but also attempt to expand patents to surgical procedures, both of which will serve to expand corporate profits at the expense of individual patients.

TPP represents only one-half of this ongoing, attempted, global corporate coup d'état. The second half finds its embodiment in the equally secretive TAFTA, which may prove a greater threat to our nation's sovereignty than the TPP in light of the fact that, as Public Citizen notes, "European-based corporations own more than 24,000 subsidiaries in the United States."

Like the TPP, they explain, TAFTA is also being secretly negotiated by some 600 U.S. corporate trade advisers and contains many of the very same threats to nation-state sovereignty…

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




Watchdog groups, Sen. Warren join demand for transparency...
By Ernest A. Canning on 7/1/2013 8:01am PT  

"The TPP is nicknamed 'NAFTA on steroids.'", Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) wrote in a recent email to supporters, explaining what he saw after being allowed to review some of the text of the new, extremely broad, and very classified trade agreement being hammered out behind close doors. "Now that I've read it, I can see why," he added.

His email suggests just how far down the secrecy rabbit hole our nation has traveled, not just in our massive classified surveillance state, parts of which are presently being revealed by former NSA contractor turned whistleblower Edward Snowden, but even in our so-called "free trade agreements" being negotiated, supposedly, on our behalf.

As Grayson warned after reviewing part of the new agreement last month: "There is no national security purpose in keeping this text secret...This agreement hands the sovereignty of our country over to corporate interests"...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




'Trans-Pacific Partnership' seeks to supplant nation-states with privatized, global investor-state...
By Ernest A. Canning on 5/30/2013 7:35am PT  

While the U.S. corporate-owned media misdirect our attention by focusing on various pretend "scandals", the Obama administration has quietly sought "fast track authority" to secretly negotiate and ram through Congress the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

The TPP is a NAFTA-like "free trade" agreement that not only threatens our national sovereignty, but aspires to supplant the sovereignty of all participating nation-states with a privately-controlled, all encompassing, corporate, global "investor state". The "investor-state" finds its embodiment in the creation of arbitration tribunals which are granted the power to negate the effectiveness of laws passed by individual nation-states.

As explained by Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese, through TPP, U.S. corporations and their K-Street lobbyists seek to by-pass the legislative process and democratic accountability in order to undermine Internet freedom, U.S. environmental laws and regulations and local laws protecting the health and safety of our citizenry. "Many of those corporations that have failed to get what they want from Congress are now getting their way through the secret back door of the TPP," they write. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has also issued a warning that Wall Street is attempting to gut Dodd-Frank through trade agreements such as TPP.

But, as government watchdog group Public Citizen observes, TPP --- which is now augmented by a joint U.S./E.U. call for a similar Transatlantic Free Trade Agreement --- threatens not only U.S. sovereignty but the ability of all nations to protect their own citizenry through the expansion of an already "notorious investor-state system". Such a system allows ethically compromised international business arbitration tribunals to compel nation-states to fork over "taxpayer-funded" penalties to predominantly U.S.-based, multinational corporations as the result of "domestic regulatory frameworks concerning nuclear energy and currency stability, revocation of mining and oil licenses (often in response to contract violations), and numerous other government measures affecting public health, financial stability, access to essential services and the environment."

What, you hadn't heard about this? Perhaps because the corporate media, and both major political parties, would prefer you keep your eyes on the shiny, pretend objects (Benghazi "scandal"! IRS "scandal"!) rather than the policies supported by both parties that will actually have a very real impact on your life and our country...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---




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