On today's very busy BradCast...
• A top-ranking lottery official was recently convicted of gaming the main lottery computer's random number generator for years and the investigation is now expanding to several other states. But, of course, while the Lottery Association's top security official got away with it for some six years, you needn't be worried at all about election insiders gaming computer results tabulators, right?
• Speaking of which...Half the country's voters would be embarrassed to have Donald Trump as President, though not many Republicans, according to a new Quinnipiac poll. That same poll also finds Bernie Sanders walloping Trump in a head-to-head match-up by nearly twice the margin that Hillary Clinton would beat the embarrassing GOP front-runner.
• A ruling by the WTO just succeeded in forcing the U.S. to scrap its extremely popular Country of Origin Labeling [COOL] requirements for beef and pork, even though President Obama recently told us that "no trade agreement is going to force us to change our laws." We're joined by Lori Wallach, Director and Founder of Public Citizen's Global Trade Watch for details on that and on how the incident should serve as a chilling warning about the TransPacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. That pact has yet to be approved by Congress, where it faces opposition from both Democrats and Republicans.
Wallach explains how the U.S. was slammed with a $1 billion/year sanction from the WTO, based on complaints about COOL from Canada and Mexico. "Within a week of the sanctions being authorized, Congress slipped into that huge omnibus bill the revocation of the Country of Origin meat labels --- including ground beef, which is particularly horrifying. So the WTO has gotten rid of one of our most popular consumer labeling policies," Wallach tells me. But, she goes on to explain, the mechanisms for forcing the U.S. to change our own consumer trade and safety laws are even more disturbing in the TPP, which she describes as "considerably worse."
"The TPP is privately enforceable by individual foreign companies and investors, through the very controversial Investor to State Dispute Settlement system," she describes. "And that lets any individual company drag a sovereign nation that signed that agreement --- away from its own courts, outside of its own laws --- in front of a foreign tribunal of three private sector lawyers, who the TPP would empower to order the signatory government to pay unlimited sumsof taxpayer money for any policy, government action, or inaction that the investor believes violated its new privileges as a foreign investor and would undermine its expected future profits."
• Finally today, Desi Doyen joins us as temperatures rise to record levels in parts of the country --- in the 70s in some places in Pennsylvania, for example --- on Christmas Eve! But why worry? That and much much more in our latest, chocked-full-o'-news Green News Report today.
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