Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Voting for Fast-Track TPP Obamatrade is Treason

The leaks about Obama’s secret TPP corporate-governance agreement continue fast and furious, and with every revelation the full scope of the corruption becomes larger and larger.  Make no mistake: this deal is utterly toxic, it basically is a corporate coup d’etat.  American sovereignty would be essentially eliminated, and there would be de-facto rule by unaccountable foreign lawyers meeting in secret, who will mostly be working for the same corporations they are ruling on, and whose judgements will have NO APPEAL and NO LIMITS.

It’s important to realize: it’s not just the law that matters, but who gets to interpret the law.  If the letter of the TPP says that there will be exceptions for national security, and the secret TPP courts get to determine what is or is not a legitimate national security interest, with no possibility of appeal or overturning by a democratic process, then no, there is no exception for national security.  Or for anything – labor laws, human rights, the environment, child slavery – no exceptions, not on anything.  The big multinational corporations, because they will define how the law is to be interpreted, will be able to do ANYTHING.

And of course the TPP is full of all sorts of rubbish about how the Congress gets to be involved in setting 'negotiating points.'  So the Congress could express its desire that a foreign industry not be allowed to import slave labor into the continental United States (I know, banning slavery will be condemned as slavery by many modern conservatives - people should be free to choose to employ slave labor! - but bear with me), and this desire will then be communicated on official looking documents to an international tribunal, which will then ignore them.  Or something like that.  You get the idea.

Remember also: the TPP is a 'living document'.  Once signed, the multinationals will be able to revise it and add new members or change the terms etc. without having to go back to a democratically elected legislature.  

It’s really like the German enabling act of 1933, where the legislature gave up its power to write or amend legislation to the central executive.  At that point the legislature became irrelevant, and democracy died.

Now some people will claim that nobody can criticize the TPP etc. because they don't really know what's in it (because it's secret).  Therefore they reserve judgement until more is known.  Cretins.  Suppose I said that you have to sign a contract with me, and that you can only know what you have contracted to after you've signed it.  Do you:
1. Say: Hey, I can't PROVE that the contract is bad (because it's secret), so therefore I have no way to judge it.  Therefore I'll sign it and only then will I be able to judge it.
2. Say: "Bite me."

The bottom line: when someone is trying to get you to sign a contract without your reading it first, standard legal practice is to assume the worst-case scenario.  It's the only sane approach.

Already fast-track has passed the US Senate.  Astonishingly, most of the senators who voted for fast track – which is also a vote for the TPP and all other such related toxic fascist treaties – did not even bother to read these agreements that they were voting for!  (They didn’t even have their staffs try to analyze them). 

Now think about this: why would an elected representative vote for a law that they had not even read, that they did not know what it was?  There is only one reason: because they are corrupt.  Because they have sold out their nation for money.  Because they don’t care what they are voting for, only what they are getting paid (if not explicitly in cash, then certainly in connections, business opportunities, campaign funding, after-public-office speaking fees, whatever). 

Now some say that voting for the fast-track process is not the same as voting for specific agreements like TPP.  False.  Any member of congress who votes for fast-track is voting for the TPP (and all related toxic laws).  Period.  They may not be voting for TPP right now – but if they are voting to make it easier for the TPP to pass, then they are voting for it. 

Suppose that a Senator votes for fast-track.  Then the Senator reads the text of the TPP, and goes ‘oh my goodness I had no idea how horrible this thing is now that I do of course I will vote against it’ – but because of their previous vote for fast-track, now the TPP can pass with just 50% of the vote, instead of 67% (vice-president Joe Biden, previously known as ‘The Senator from Mastercard’, gets to cast a tie-breaker).  If the TPP passes with fewer than 67 votes, the Senator in question is responsible for it.  In this case: the Senator voted for the TPP when his/her vote mattered, and against it when it didn’t.  That’s fake.  And voting for something when you have no idea what it is, and then later on going ‘oh how terrible I had no idea that Obama would do something so bad!  I feel betrayed’ – well, it’s called crocodile tears.

Suppose you hired a lawyer to help you evaluate a contract.  Normally such a person would read the contract very carefully, right?  Suppose your lawyer advised you that ‘neither you nor I need to read the contract, just sign it’.  Surely you would think, either the lawyer is utterly incompetent, or the lawyer is not really representing your interests.  Correct?

Here are the listings of the Senators who voted for and against fast-track TPP Obamatrade.  Don’t forget.

YEAs —62
Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Capito (R-WV)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Cassidy (R-LA)
Coats (R-IN)
Cochran (R-MS)
Coons (D-DE)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Cotton (R-AR)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Daines (R-MT)
Ernst (R-IA)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Fischer (R-NE)
Flake (R-AZ)
Gardner (R-CO)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kaine (D-VA)
Kirk (R-IL)
Lankford (R-OK)
McCain (R-AZ)
McCaskill (D-MO)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Perdue (R-GA)
Portman (R-OH)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rounds (R-SD)
Rubio (R-FL)
Sasse (R-NE)
Scott (R-SC)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Sullivan (R-AK)
Thune (R-SD)
Tillis (R-NC)
Toomey (R-PA)
Vitter (R-LA)
Warner (D-VA)
Wicker (R-MS)
Wyden (D-OR)

Not Voting – 1
Enzi (R-WY)

NAYs —37
Baldwin (D-WI)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Booker (D-NJ)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Casey (D-PA)
Collins (R-ME)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Durbin (D-IL)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Hirono (D-HI)
King (I-ME)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Leahy (D-VT)
Lee (R-UT)
Manchin (D-WV)
Markey (D-MA)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murphy (D-CT)
Paul (R-KY)
Peters (D-MI)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-NM)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)

Now it moves into the House.  Will the oligarchs be able to bribe the Representatives as easily as they have bribed the Senators?  Stay tuned. 

But if you have a few minutes, CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE NOW AND DEMAND THAT THEY VOTE AGAINST FAST-TRACK/TPP/OABAMATRADE.  Forget blogging: it’s fun (I do it, obviously – but I put calling my senators and representatives as of an even higher importance) but right now the only thing standing up against organized money is how hard the public yells.  It may be the most important phone call that you ever make.

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