Tags: Elizabeth Warren

Forget the TPP – Wikileaks Releases Documents from the Equally Shady “Trade in Services Agreement,” or TISA

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 11.17.16 AM

If it sounds complicated, it is. The important point is that this trade agreement contains a crucial discussion of governments’ abilities to meaningfully protect civil liberties. And it is not being treated as a human rights discussion. It is being framed solely as an economic issue, ignoring the implications for human rights, and it is being held in a classified document that the public is now seeing months after it was negotiated, and only because it was released through WikiLeaks. 

The process is also highly secretive—in fact, trade agreement texts are classified. While the executive branch does consult with members of Congress, even congressional staffers with security clearance have until recently been prevented from seeing the texts. Furthermore, certain trade industry advisers are allowed access to U.S. negotiating objectives and negotiators that the public and public interest groups do not have.

– From the Slate article: Privacy Is Not a Barrier to Trade

If you haven’t heard about about the Trade in Services Agreement, aka TISA, don’t worry, you’re not alone. While I had heard of it before, I never read anything substantial about it until today. What sparked my reading interest on the subject were a series of very troubling articles published via several media outlets following a document dump by Wikileaks. Here’s how the whistleblower organization describes the TISA leak on it document release page:

WikiLeaks releases today 17 secret documents from the ongoing TISA (Trade In Services Agreement) negotiations which cover the United States, the European Union and 23 other countries including Turkey, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Pakistan, Taiwan & Israel — which together comprise two-thirds of global GDP. “Services” now account for nearly 80 per cent of the US and EU economies and even in developing countries like Pakistan account for 53 per cent of the economy. While the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has become well known in recent months in the United States, the TISA is the larger component of the strategic TPP-TISA-TTIP ‘T-treaty trinity’. All parts of the trinity notably exclude the ‘BRICS’ countries of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. 

I’ve covered the extreme dangers of what’s colloquially known as trade “fast track” authority previously. In the post, As the Senate Prepares to Vote on “Fast Track,” Here’s a Quick Primer on the Dangers of the TPP, I noted:

Read the Full Article »

Like this post?
Donate bitcoins: 1LefuVV2eCnW9VKjJGJzgZWa9vHg7Rc3r1


 Follow me on Twitter.

Three Former SEC Officials Write Letter to SEC Chief Mary Jo White Asking Her to Stop Protecting Corporate Cronyism

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 10.56.01 AM

In early 2013, before Mary Jo White was confirmed as the head of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), I wrote a post predicting she would be a bankster codling fraud in the post, Meet Mary Jo White: The Next SEC Chief and a Guaranteed Wall Street Patsy. Here’s an excerpt:

Obama’s nominee to head the SEC, Mary Jo White, is just another gatekeeper appointed to make sure no one ever goes after the Wall Street crime syndicate.  As I have written about many times in the past, Obama does not nominate anyone to a high position of power in government who will not behave like a good little lapdog for Wall Street.

Despite Obama’s propagandist statement about how “you don’t want to mess with Mary Jo,” her background implies she will function as a useful servant to the financial oligarchs.  Forget for a second about that fact at her recent firm Debevoise & Plimpton LLP her clients included the usual suspects such as such as JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Morgan Stanley (MS), and UBS AG, but she is actually known as the prosecutor who popularized the “slap Wall Street on the wrist” approach.

Read the Full Article »

Like this post?
Donate bitcoins: 1LefuVV2eCnW9VKjJGJzgZWa9vHg7Rc3r1


 Follow me on Twitter.

Trade Expert and TPP Whistleblower – “We Should Be Very Concerned about What’s Hidden in This Trade Deal”

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 1.25.36 PM

So here are some of the things, I think, our global Over Class would like to achieve and how they intend to achieve them.

1) The Over Class must retain and consolidate their control over the global system of debt.

2) The power to regulate must be taken from nations and effectively controlled by corporations.

3) Professionalize governance. Democracy can be and must be neutered, and an effective way of doing this is to insist that amateur, elected officials MUST take the advice of professional (read corporate) advisors. Expand current law to enforce this.

4) The financial system badly needs un-encumbered ‘assets’ to feed the debt issuing system. A new way must be found to pry sovereign assets from public ownership. Such a new way is suggested.

5) In order to facilitate the political changes necessary, the public mind-set must be changed. National Treasures such as the NHS in Britain must be re-branded as evil State Monopolies.

6) Effective ways must be found to convince people that democratic rule is no longer sufficient to protect them.

7) An alternative to Democracy must be introduced and praised. That alternative must be the Rule of International Law as written and controlled by the lawyers of the 1%. People must be told that this is all that stands between them and an increasingly hostile and anarchic world. But that it can only keep them safe if it has absolute authority over democracy. People must voluntarily bow to it out of fear and its decisions must be as absolute and unquestionable.

– From David Malone’s excellent article published last year: The Next Crisis – Part two – A manifesto for the supremacy of the 1%

Obama is obsessively pushing for fast track authority on a secret trade deal written by corporate lobbyists known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP. I focused on this issue last week in the post, As the Senate Prepares to Vote on “Fast Track,” Here’s a Quick Primer on the Dangers of the TPP. Here’s an excerpt:

Trying to learn about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is like trying to walk through a minefield. The only information we really have is courtesy of leaks, and those snippets are definitely not encouraging.

Pretty much every piece of major legislation passed by Congress since 9/11 is either a taxpayer giveaway to mega corporations, or a major expansion of government power. The worst pieces of legislation are always marketed with positive sounding terms and soundbites. The latest swindle is no exception. At its core, the TPP appears to be nothing more than a ceding of national sovereignty to multi-national corporations. Then again, us skeptics could be wrong about that, but chances are we’re not. We just don’t know because the text is “classified.”

The Obama administration’s primary tactic in defending this monstrosity has been to accuse critics of “not knowing what they are talking about.” Fortunately, Michael Wessel, a trade expert and “cleared advisor” on the TPP, is blowing the whistle. Here are some excerpts from his very important article published by PoliticoI’ve Read Obama’s Secret Trade Deal. Elizabeth Warren Is Right to Be Concerned:

Read the Full Article »

Like this post?
Donate bitcoins: 1LefuVV2eCnW9VKjJGJzgZWa9vHg7Rc3r1


 Follow me on Twitter.

As the Senate Prepares to Vote on “Fast Track,” Here’s a Quick Primer on the Dangers of the TPP

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 12.55.20 PM

The United States is in the final stages of negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive free-trade agreement with Mexico, Canada, Japan, Singapore and seven other countries. Who will benefit from the TPP? American workers? Consumers? Small businesses? Taxpayers? Or the biggest multinational corporations in the world?

One strong hint is buried in the fine print of the closely guarded draft. The provision, an increasingly common feature of trade agreements, is called “Investor-State Dispute Settlement,” or ISDS. The name may sound mild, but don’t be fooled. Agreeing to ISDS in this enormous new treaty would tilt the playing field in the United States further in favor of big multinational corporations. Worse, it would undermine U.S. sovereignty.

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.

If that seems shocking, buckle your seat belt. ISDS could lead to gigantic fines, but it wouldn’t employ independent judges. Instead, highly paid corporate lawyers would go back and forth between representing corporations one day and sitting in judgment the next. Maybe that makes sense in an arbitration between two corporations, but not in cases between corporations and governments. If you’re a lawyer looking to maintain or attract high-paying corporate clients, how likely are you to rule against those corporations when it’s your turn in the judge’s seat?

– From Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Washington Post Op-Ed: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Clause Everyone Should Oppose

Trying to learn about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is like trying to walk through a minefield. The only information we really have is courtesy of leaks, and those snippets are definitely not encouraging.

Pretty much every piece of major legislation passed by Congress since 9/11 is either a taxpayer giveaway to mega corporations, or a major expansion of government power. The worst pieces of legislation are always marketed with positive sounding terms and soundbites. The latest swindle is no exception. At its core, the TPP appears to be nothing more than a ceding of national sovereignty to multi-national corporations. Then again, us skeptics could be wrong about that, but chances are we’re not. We just don’t know because the text is “classified.”

Read the Full Article »

Like this post?
Donate bitcoins: 1LefuVV2eCnW9VKjJGJzgZWa9vHg7Rc3r1


 Follow me on Twitter.

The Scorecard: 8,000 Wall Street Protesters Arrested, Zero Bankers

America really has become the “land of the thief, home of the slave.”  While a minority of awake citizens desperately tries to shake their neighbors from their deep slumber, the masses continue to sit in front of the television, suck their thumbs and watch Desperate Housewives, while the oligarchs laugh incredulously at them all the way to the bank.

We all know that Attorney General Eric Holder couldn’t find a guilty banker if it came up to him and sat on his lap, but these statistics are pretty amazing and a testament to how apathetic and lost of a culture we have become.  This database of all the Occupy protestors arrested and where it happened is pretty cool.

From the Huffington Post:

Here’s a fact that may make your blood boil: Nearly 8,000 Occupy Wall Streetprotesters have been arrested in association with the activist movement, while not one banker has been prosecuted for the actions that lead up to the country’s financial meltdown.

The website OccupyArrests.com has tracked 7,736 in 122 cities nationwide since the Occupy movement began in September 2011.

“We want our attorney general, Eric Holder, to bring some accountability from the banks and put them in jail,” protester Vivian Richardson, whose home was foreclosed on in 2010, told The Huffington Post Monday.

The Department of Justice has long been a target of Occupy protesters for its unwillingness to take judicial action against those responsible for the financial crisis.

Calm down everyone.  We all know Mr. Holder is far too busy running assault weapons into Mexico and discarding the First Amendment to be bothered with trivial matters such as the prosecution of the most destructive criminals in U.S. history.

Full article here.

In Liberty,
Mike

Follow me on Twitter!

Video of the Day: Regulators Squirm When Asked About “Too Big to Jail”

This video has been going around for a few days, but wow.  Very powerful and could be effective in knocking some sense into more sheeple if it gets spread widely enough.  It’s an absolute joke that these people being questioned by Senator Elizabeth Warren are supposed hold the banks to task.  I mean this Tom Curry character.  I could probably go up to him, take his glasses off his face and walk away and he wouldn’t even notice.  Furthermore, those little placards in front of them that state “honorable.”  These people have zero honor.  The joke’s on us.

She also makes the key point how ordinary citizens are constantly harassed by the “authorities” for what are in many cases petty and victimless crimes, while the bankers who have unleashed more destruction than anyone else, get slaps on the wrist.  Every single American should watch this short clip.