Countries Sign The TPP... Whatever Happened To The 'Debate' We Were Promised Before Signing?

from the now-the-ratification-fight dept

About an hour ago, representatives from 12 different nations officially signed the Trans Pacific Partnership (TTP) agreement in Auckland, New Zealand. The date, February 4th (New Zealand time) is noteworthy, because it's 90 days after the official text was released. There was a 90 day clock that was required between releasing the text and before the US could actually sign onto the agreement. The stated purpose of this 90 day clock was in order to allow "debate" about the agreement. Remember, the entire agreement was negotiated in secret, with US officials treating the text of the document as if it were a national security secret (unless you were an industry lobbyist, of course). So as a nod to pretend "transparency" there was a promise that nothing would be signed for 90 days after the text was actually released.

So... uh... what happened to that "debate"? It didn't happen at all. The TPP was barely mentioned at all by the administration in the last 90 days. Even during the State of the Union, Obama breezed past the TPP with a quick comment, even though it's supposedly a defining part of his "legacy." But there's been no debate. Because there was never any intent for an actual debate. The 90 day clock was just something that was put into the process so that the USTR and the White House could pretend that there was more "transparency" and that they wouldn't sign the agreement until after it had been looked at and understood by the public.

Of course, the signing is a totally meaningless bit of theater. The real fight is over ratification. The various countries need to ratify the TPP for the agreement to go into effect. Technically, the TPP will enter into force 60 days after all signers ratify it... or, if that doesn't happen, within two years if at least six of the 12 participant countries ratify it and those six countries account for 85% of the combined gross domestic product of the 12 countries. Got that? In short, this means that if the US doesn't ratify it, the TPP is effectively dead. The US needs a majority of both houses of Congress to approve it, similar to a typical bill. And that's no sure thing right now. Unfortunately, that's mainly because a group of our elected officials are upset that the TPP doesn't go far enough in helping big businesses block competition, but it's still worth following.

Inevitably, there will be some debate during the ratification process, though there are enough rumors suggesting that no one really wants to do it until after the Presidential election, because people running for President don't want to reveal that they're happy to sell out the public's interest to support a legacy business lobbyist agenda. But, even that debate will likely be fairly limited and almost certainly will avoid the real issues, and real problems, with the TPP.

Either way, today's symbolic signing should really be an exclamation point on the near total lack of transparency and debate in this process. The 90 day window was a perfect opportunity to have an actual discussion about what's in the TPP and why there are problems with it, but the administration showed absolutely no interest in doing so. And why should it? It already got the deal it wanted behind closed doors. But, at least it can pretend it used these 90 days to be "transparent."

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    goi, Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 3:42pm

    So should I sit in front of a speeding train now or later?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    JoeCool (profile), Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 3:55pm

    Re:

    How about putting the signers in front of the train instead?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 4:32pm

    Yay! More copyright lawsuits, more expensive drugs, more cronyism for Boeing and GE! LOVE IT

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Stephen, Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 4:33pm

    Debate? What Debate?

    So... uh... what happened to that "debate"? It didn't happen at all.
    Come now. Did anybody really think there was ever going to be debate on the TPP?

    Governments promising a debate on some topic is an old ploy designed to take wind out of sails and otherwise stymie opposition. Like New Years' resolutions, they are made one day and forgotten the next.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    TechDescartes (profile), Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 4:35pm

    Can somebody get a dictionary?

    Either Mike or the Obama administration is misuing the word “transparent”. And it’s not Mike.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    connermac725 (profile), Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 4:36pm

    TPP

    totally pissed public or is it truly private partnership
    I'm confused

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 4:42pm

    Re:

    Why Don't you help us fight it?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    vgiannell5 (profile), Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 5:32pm

    I think the reason they signed it is because they're afraid of a threat of having their political findings cut off due to corporations getting pissed off for not getting what they want ever since the SOPA defeat.

    They probably didn't want that to happen again.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 5:33pm

    Debate

    "Should we sign the TPP?"
    "Uhhh... yes?"
    "Debate over! Refreshments in the lobby. Have a good weekend all."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 5:35pm

    debate?

    it's Ebonics.

    Ask Admiral Akbar about it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Josh Taylor Author of The Interracial Progress, Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 6:20pm

    Re: TPP

    Totally pissed public. Because they think some trade deal is take their rights, take their internet away.

    Boo hoo.

    It's just the internet. Nothing is being taken away.

    What's wrong with those who oppose paying royalty to make a derivative work out of someone's original idea, cartoon character, or novel? If anyone who don't want to pay, they should be originally creative.

    Creators are not corporations, they real people struggling to make a living, and they are not making a single penny and losing billions of dollars over unauthorized derivative work that is taken from originals.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 6:32pm

    What?

    You were expecting representative government? GOD you are naive, where have you been the last 50 years.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 6:38pm

    Govt corruption in general

    Obama's tricks are old. His administration tried it and failed the CISPA/TIPA and after they tried to pass the ACTA by introducing it to the public about a week or two before it was to be signed into law. Nobody was given any notice and the tactic was simple. Screw the US citizens right to privacy, all while kissing up to the MPAA, RIAA selling you out to them. Did anyone really think that Obama was going to actually step down when the we the people came close to reaching over the goal needed for an impeachment. This asshole isn't a president, he's a tyrant. Tyranny has been going on for way too long. And since the DOJ and FBI both don't hold accountability to their departments, neither does the president. So we have a completely untrustworthy govt. Which means the 2nd amendment needs to be enforced to overthrow our govt. Peacefully assemble, arm yourself to the teeth and walk in large numbers right to the white house

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 6:40pm

    All the pro-IP shills around here should be very proud of themselves. They've successfully subverted the democratic process through dishonesty and corruption. Congratulations, you've succeeded and should be very proud of yourselves. How do you like being a self serving scumbag?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. icon
    drjimmy (profile), Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 6:55pm

    Re: Govt corruption in general

    Lack of debate is not the fault of the Executive no matter what the subject. Read the Constitution.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    OGquaker, Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 7:21pm

    Re: sounds like you watch to much TV

    The Bonus Army was the popular name of an assemblage of some 43,000 marchers on Washington in 1932 (the US had 30% of our population today)....On July 28, (the)U.S. Attorney General ordered the veterans removed from all government property. ... President Herbert Hoover then ordered the army to clear the veterans' campsite. Army Chief of Staff Douglas MacArthur commanded the infantry and cavalry, supported by six tanks. ...marchers with their wives and children were driven out, and their shelters and belongings burned. WiKi
    ~~~~~~
    In 1783, hundreds of Pennsylvania war veterans marched on Philadelphia, then the nation's capital, surrounded the State House where the U.S. Congress was in session, and demanded back pay. Congress fled to Princeton, New Jersey, and several weeks later, the U.S. Army expelled the war veterans from Philadelphia. In response to that experience, the federal district is now directly governed by the U.S. Congress, now known as Washington, D.C., was excluded from the restrictions of the 'Posse Comitatus Act' which forbade the use of the U.S. military for domestic police activity.'' WiKi
    On march 9th, 1945 1-2 million were killed in three hours, according to newspaper headlines at the time. MacArthur needed his Emperor alive, so my Father spent months in experiments in Hollywood perfecting the firebombing to spare Hirohito's palace.

    Good call, stupid.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 7:30pm

    Re: Re:

    Because it seems that it is a done deal, sadly. Pessimism isn't unwarranted here judging by the current state of affairs. Granted, SOPA/PIPA and ACTA failed because they were not as big as the TPP in term of the things those covered so it was easier to attack the things they contained, those were more specific, in the case of the TPP the contrary is true, therefore they have way more lobbying (bribing) power from many more angles than the aforementioned. I'm trying my best not to be pessimistic but I don't see this being defeated anytime soon.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 8:20pm

    Re: Obama's tricks are old

    Tell me again, why a Republican-dominated Congress that supposedly “didn’t trust” Obama, nevertheless readily agreed to give him fast-track authority to negotiate this deal in secret?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. icon
    That One Guy (profile), Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 10:04pm

    Re: Re: Obama's tricks are old

    1) Becuase while they don't like him, they love money, and the companies that stand to profit heavily from the thing also tend to be generous with their money to those that 'help' them.

    and...

    2) Thinking long-term. FTA helps Obama for the TPP sure, but it also stays in place for a few years, and if a republican is elected president next, then that means they get all the benefits from it as well.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. identicon
    Suomynona, Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 11:19pm

    Re: Can somebody get a dictionary?

    A brick wall is completely transparent.

    If you can't see right thru it, you're just not looking hard enough.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 11:57pm

    Theres already one billion dollar lawsuit coming about the canadian pipeline being stopped,
    Wait til we see 100,s of lawsuits from 100,s of european or asian countrys against the usa ,
    The so called 1 per cent increase in gdp will be wiped out .
    TTP is a deal for the 1 per cent and for big corporations
    who do their best to avoid paying tax .
    ttp could unleash a war of lawsuits against the us ,
    think the cost of patent trolls x 1000 .

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    Kronomex, Feb 4th, 2016 @ 12:56am

    Of course our bicycle stand Osstrayan gubmint will ratify this sickening travesty. They wouldn't want to upset the corpserations and their 'merican bum chums. Who gives a shit what the little people want or need. Our Trade-It-All-Away Minister, Andrew Robber...sorry, Robb, reckons we won't get sued via the ISDS clause(s). He doesn't wear rose coloured glasses he wears a heavy duty welding helmet.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2016 @ 4:03am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Nope. We can do something drastic to stop this.

    Governments have forgotten the lesson of Tsarist Russia - if you take away the good options for fighting corruption, you only leave bad options on the table.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2016 @ 5:22am

    Whenever the presidents mouth is open you know he is lying

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2016 @ 5:27am

    Re: Re: Obama's tricks are old

    1 party 2 public faces

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2016 @ 5:35am

    I imagine this means another war, I hope nobody shows up for it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2016 @ 5:40am

    Re:

    And if the USA ends up being fined and has to payout money to the other countries the USA will raise their middle finger and say fuck you we are not going to pay and you can't do jack shit to us to get us to pay and the country will back down in getting the USA to pay up.

    Now if any country has to pay to the USA and refuses to pay the USA will threaten sanctions and possibly send the army over and the country will cave like a coward and pay up even with interest on top to please the USA.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2016 @ 6:32am

    You knew there was going to be no debate with this - as fucked up with secrecy as this has had from the beginning.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2016 @ 7:30am

    As long as money rules everything, anything is for sale, including freedom and justice!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2016 @ 7:35am

    Re:

    Eurocrats are not capable of cooking their meat,
    driving their A8s,
    GROOMING their beards,

    there is plenty of room for us going "fightclub" on them

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2016 @ 7:35am

    This is just a formality to show the lobbyist are in control.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32. icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), Feb 4th, 2016 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So basically you're saying what JFK said? "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2016 @ 9:05am

    Re: Re:

    Wow, what alternate timeline did you just arrive from? No one fears the US anymore. Our military might is a thing of the past. Government draw downs and spending cuts saw to that. And our sanctions worked so well with Iran didn't they? The current political will of the present government of the US is appeasement.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2016 @ 9:52am

    trying to figure out how this happened when politicians are supposed to be working for the people and the people, in their tens of thousands, have told those same politicians NOT TO SIGN THE FUCKING DEAL! all those involved in the discussions and the signings need to be put on notice that there will be big changes at the next elections!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35. icon
    Whatever (profile), Feb 4th, 2016 @ 9:54am

    Where has the sainted Mr Wyden been during all of this? Silent as the proverbial lamb, it seems. In fact, you can trash the Obama administration all you like, but the house and congress are full of ladies and gentleman from the other party who have done absolutely nothing to "debate" any of this.

    So why no ask Ron (I am assuming you are on a first name basis, after all) why he's so silent on something that is apparently so important. Perhaps there are no grandstanding points available on this level.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36. identicon
    David, Feb 4th, 2016 @ 10:17am

    Re:

    Oh come on. They just left the 90 days for debate out of an abundance of caution. But clearly the treaty was so great that there was no point in debating anything anyway.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37. identicon
    David, Feb 4th, 2016 @ 10:21am

    Re:

    all those involved in the discussions and the signings need to be put on notice that there will be big changes at the next elections!!
    So who are you going to vote for instead of politicians? Your tomcat?

    The only thing cheaper to bribe than an experienced politician are fresh ones. They don't yet have a politician's standards of living. The initial down payment for the conscience may be larger, but that's offset by the running rates.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38. icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), Feb 4th, 2016 @ 10:23am

    Re:

    Who, exactly, is not going to get re-elected because of this? President Obama? The US Trade Representative?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2016 @ 10:39am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Yeah. The US paid the fine for the lumber tariff... oh wait no it didn't.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2016 @ 10:41am

    " In short, this means that if the US doesn't ratify it, the TPP is effectively dead. The US needs a majority of both houses of Congress to approve it, similar to a typical bill. "
    Am I the only one who reads this as the politicians wrote the requirements such as to ensure a great deal of bribery (lobbying) of politicians in both houses had to occur for this to pass

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41. icon
    nasch (profile), Feb 4th, 2016 @ 10:47am

    Re: Govt corruption in general

    Did anyone really think that Obama was going to actually step down when the we the people came close to reaching over the goal needed for an impeachment.

    What does that even mean?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2016 @ 10:48am

    What do you mean no debate?

    We had ninety days of debate, just like they promised.

    Oh, you mean debate with them? With the possibility of revisions? You are a dreamer, aren't you?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43. icon
    nasch (profile), Feb 4th, 2016 @ 10:51am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Our military might is a thing of the past.

    Which countries have more powerful militaries than the US? Should be a lot of them according to your claim, right?

    Government draw downs and spending cuts saw to that.

    "The U.S. spends more on defense than the next seven countries combined"

    http://www.pgpf.org/chart-archive/0053_defense-comparison

    And our sanctions worked so well with Iran didn't they?

    Sure did, we got both a nuclear weapons and inspection deal, and a prisoner release.

    The current political will of the present government of the US is appeasement.

    "Appeasement in a political context is a diplomatic policy of making political or material concessions to an enemy power in order to avoid conflict."

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeasement

    So what concessions has Obama been making in order to avoid conflict?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44. icon
    NeghVar (profile), Feb 4th, 2016 @ 10:57am

    Unconstitutional?

    If parts of it are challenged and found to be unconstitutional, can the Supreme Court nullify the TPP?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45. icon
    nasch (profile), Feb 4th, 2016 @ 10:58am

    Re:

    Where has the sainted Mr Wyden been during all of this?

    I know you won't go look for yourself so...

    http://www.gazettetimes.com/news/local/wyden-talks-tpp-education-at-phs/article_791651f5-c386-5 73f-9e32-839eac2ae8da.html

    http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/politics/2016/01/15/q-sen-ron-w yden-talks-oregon-trade-and-surveillance/78687022/

    There could be more that he's been saying but that was all I found in a couple of pages of results.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46. icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), Feb 4th, 2016 @ 11:04am

    Re: Unconstitutional?

    You mean the same Supreme Court that handed down the Citizens United and McCutcheon vs. FEC decisions? Why in the world would they nullify a corporate power grab?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47. icon
    NeghVar (profile), Feb 4th, 2016 @ 11:21am

    Re: Re: Unconstitutional?

    That was not my question!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 4th, 2016 @ 12:30pm

    There is one candidate that actually WANTS to talk about the TPP, because he thinks it's terrible.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49. icon
    tqk (profile), Feb 4th, 2016 @ 1:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So what concessions has Obama been making in order to avoid conflict?

    He finally conceded it would be insane to invade Iran because it would be both un-winnable and turn the entire Middle East into a bonfire from which none would escape, and possibly bankrupt all those involved. Besides, he was already busy cooking up a NATO backed coup in Ukraine to tweak Putin's nose for failing to respect his "authoritay."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  50. identicon
    David, Feb 4th, 2016 @ 2:32pm

    Re:

    The president is not even being asked so he has rather few opportunities to lie about the process. Any president would have to put up a whole fight to even get his foot in the door of the negotiators. He can kill American citiziens with drones and assassins but trying his power against the organized corporate syndicates would be a dare.

    It would be interesting to see how Sanders fares with this feat, assuming that he actually cares (Obama was a real turncoat with regard to raised expectations). It may well be that he'd turn into another Carter (who went on to become a great ex-president since the "great president" angle did not work out), basically getting neutered by his administration. If he's unlucky, another JFK (now there would be a fine use for one of the many curated FBI "terrorists").

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51. identicon
    David, Feb 4th, 2016 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Unconstitutional?

    The Supreme Court can, of course, rule the TPP unconstitutional even after it has been ratified. That does not change the international obligations the U.S. has entered into, however. So the U.S. will still have to pay all the respective costs and penalties, they can just select to pick different pockets for that internally.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52. icon
    Whatever (profile), Feb 4th, 2016 @ 3:06pm

    Re: Re:

    In other words, he did nothing.

    Can you show any motions to bring the discussions and debate onto senate floor? Any move to reconvene the senate for an emergency debate?

    You likely won't find anything (I couldn't find anything substantive). In fact, the congress as a whole has been remarkably silent during the 90 days, as if perhaps there was an agreement in place not to talk about it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53. icon
    tqk (profile), Feb 4th, 2016 @ 5:21pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    In other words, he did nothing.

    Not necessarily. He may have been asking all and sundry "let's debate this", and all he got back was "" so he knew that dog wasn't going to hunt. You don't flog a dead horse.

    That doesn't mean he was in on the fix, just that he was powerless to do anything about it.

    I'm just speculating though.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54. icon
    tqk (profile), Feb 4th, 2016 @ 5:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    TD, your system mungs & l t ; and & g t ;

    It showed the less than and greater than symbols in Preview, but once you Submit, they're stripped out. That's why those two double quotes don't show & l t ;crickets& g t ;

    Harumph. :-|

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55. identicon
    WaitWot, Feb 4th, 2016 @ 7:19pm

    It's never too late

    Either way, today's symbolic signing should really be A BIG MIDDLE FINGER FROM CORPORATIONS TO THE WORLD on the near total lack of transparency and debate in this process.

    FTFY

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56. identicon
    Rekrul, Feb 4th, 2016 @ 8:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Not necessarily. He may have been asking all and sundry "let's debate this", and all he got back was "" so he knew that dog wasn't going to hunt. You don't flog a dead horse.
    That doesn't mean he was in on the fix, just that he was powerless to do anything about it.


    And whose fault is that? Wyden was in favor of giving Obama fast-track authority to sign this deal.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57. icon
    tqk (profile), Feb 4th, 2016 @ 8:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ah. So apparently they all have been bought, including the best of them. We are so ...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, Feb 5th, 2016 @ 3:08am

    Re: Re: TPP

    LOL! You really believe that copyright rent-seeking is the only way to make a living from your creativity? That's for the rich. All copyright gives you is the right to sue for infringement. That's all. Nothing is actually protected, you're just relying on the threat of a legal smacking if someone violates your temporary monopoly privilege.

    But you've got to be able to actually serve the papers... it's a game of whack-a-mole and nobody really wins. Give it up and find other ways of making money from your art. Here's a list of links to TD stories about business models you might want to try: https://www.techdirt.com/blog/?tag=business+models

    Good luck. Let us know how it goes. I'd love to see yet another success story getting a write-up here.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59. identicon
    Wendy Cockcroft, Feb 5th, 2016 @ 3:12am

    Re:

    Something something think of the children, etc. As long as they can frame it as "the little guy making a living" they'll continue to own the debate.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60. identicon
    day of the rope will come, Feb 5th, 2016 @ 8:32pm

    it's all over

    IT'S ALL FUCKING OVER

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61. icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), Feb 5th, 2016 @ 11:55pm

    Re: Unconstitutional?

    From Wikipedia, Reid v. Covert:
    The Court found: "No agreement with a foreign nation can confer power on the Congress, or on any other branch of Government, which is free from the restraints of the Constitution."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62. icon
    procopius (profile), Feb 6th, 2016 @ 7:09pm

    Re: Re: Govt corruption in general

    I expected the more passionate people to get some space, but I was overoptimistic. Six corporations own 95% of American media, and they obviously don't want to hear any objections. Note that for every one of those six corporations, there is one person who really decides what corporate policy is going to be. This is how our public debate is decided now. Thanks so much, Bill Clinton.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63. identicon
    Philosophy, Mar 16th, 2016 @ 1:34am

    Re: TPP is not a trade agreement

    Let's take a leaf out of one of the ex US President's book, whom I abhor, when he said that the Constitution was just a piece of paper. So, it The TPP, is a piece of Toilet Punctuated Paper. Only good to wipe ones arse on.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64. identicon
    William Rood, Mar 16th, 2016 @ 5:02am

    Re: Re: TPP

    "Creators are not corporations, they real people struggling to make a living"

    Josh, you are clearly ignorant of how intellectual property works in the corporate world. The geniuses (engineers, programmers and designers) who invent most everything are forced to sign away the rights to all intellectual property they create when they become employees of a corporation. The corporation owns all patents and copyrights they create while in its employ. They are paid a salary. Period. If they object, they are not hired, and good luck finding a corporation willing to give them full credit for their creativity.

    These trade agreements have nothing to do with preserving the rights of Paul McCartney or J K Rowling. They are multi-millionaires and their rights are fully protected under current law. If you are an individual artist who has not yet made it big, and some corporation rips off your work, good luck hiring and paying a legal team to fight the the legal team the corporation already has on staff or under contract. You'll be severely disadvantaged both now and after TPP. TPP has absolutely nothing to do with protecting individual rights.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65. icon
    dale (profile), Mar 16th, 2016 @ 5:56am

    post-fascist governance

    Historically, fascism has used nationalism as a unifying feature but the new corporate fascism in which the state is controlled by transnational corporations has done away with nationalism, and with it, the concept of national sovereignty.

    In the new corporate fascism, a corporate world order trumps sovereign rights. Welcome to your new rulers. In the new corporate order, nationalism and nations will be only used to promote and fight wars, which all forms of fascism recognize as a very successful business model, with national governments having the function of funneling taxpayer funds to corporations through lucrative war contracts. In this sense, the new fascism will be just like the old, based on war as a means of transferring public funds to private pockets.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66. identicon
    richard feibel, Mar 16th, 2016 @ 6:13am

    TPP BULL SHIT

    WHATS NEW HERE?? ALL ENSLAVEMENT LAWS/BILLS /DEALS ETC ARE SECRET AND WITHHELD FROM THE PUBLIC IN THIS FAKE DEMOCRACY THEY TELL US WE HAVE.SUCH BULL SHIT ITS JUST MORE OF THE SAME SHIPPING JOBS OFF TO NOT EVEN CHINA NOW BUT AFRICA M.E. INDIA AND PARTS UNKNOWN.ALL FOR CORP AMERICA/WORLD JUST LOOK AT HOW THE DOW KEEPS GROWING BECAUSE THE CRIMINALS ARE BUYING BACK THEIR OWN SHARES TO PRIVATIZE CORP.KNOWING FULL WELL THAT THE TRADE DEALS WILL INSURE THEIR PROFITS FOR DECADES TO COME.THE ENTIRE FINANCIAL SYSTEM IS A RIGGED CASINO WERE THE ELITE PLAY TO WIN AND THEY ARE BIG TIME!!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67. identicon
    Scared Girl, Mar 16th, 2016 @ 7:31am

    Yes, it's the end.

    How y'all enjoying freefall? You didn't even have to sign up for parachuting lessons.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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