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Use This Innovative Action Page Link and Stop the Trans Pacific Partnership

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What the TPP looks like: NAFTA on steroids
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My guest today is the PEN, progressive political activist.  Welcome back to OpEdNews.

What's on today's agenda, PEN?

PEN: Just the most pressing policy emergency going right now.  Despite the fact that 181 bipartisan members of the House have already signed official letters protesting a proposal to "fast track" a purported trade deal called the Trans Pacific Partnership, apparently remaining diehard corporate stooges in Congress are determined to rush this thing through.  It's really quite remarkable, some of those signers I am certain we agree with on absolutely no other issue.

JB: Hold on a minute. What is the Trans Pacific Partnership and why is everyone getting so energized about it? And why haven't we heard about it if it's as bad as you seem to be saying?

PEN: We don't use hyperbole lightly.  You are not SUPPOSED to have heard about it.  It has been negotiated in such extreme secrecy, the documents around it are so classified, that Alan Grayson has complained he would have to break the law to even tell us what is in it from what he has himself seen.  Journalists who have tried to attend the conclaves where this is being discussed have been systematically excluded.  They tell us this is all necessary because if people knew what was in it, then people would object.  Uh . . . duh!!

JB: Is this even legal? Aren't We the People supposed to know what our elected officials are negotiating on our supposed behalf?

PEN: Congress has a constitutional duty to regulate trade.  But they also, unfortunately, have the power to be derelict and shirk that duty by voting that they waive it, so instead of serious deliberation we have quick, fast track and a hurry.

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JB: Let's back up, PEN. Please tell us what the TPP is supposed to do and what it's really doing. I mean, how and why is it so terrible?  

PEN: All we have to go on are leaked documents, but what we do know from them is this:   Only two of the 26 chapters of the proposed "trade" agreement have anything to do with trade.  The rest is a full on assault on national sovereignty by corporate special interests.  The language they are pushing would give private business the right to de facto veto laws on pollution, labor rights, privacy, you name it, everything.  If they wanted to come into your backyard and start fracking, there is nothing even your own government could do about it.  If you had a labor union, they could in effect dismiss it.  

JB: So, the legislation is all just a smokescreen in order to accomplish something else entirely?

PEN: Calling it legislation is to presume that the role of government from now on is to rubber stamp whatever laws private corporations want to make to rule over us.  Never did the worst fascists in history even dare to dream about such all supreme power.

JB: Well, we know that various pieces of legislation have been written by corporate lobbyists, most notably the energy bill under Dick Cheney that was allegedly written by oil execs and the health care bill, that was allegedly written by health insurance lobbyists, for instance. How is this different?

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PEN: You betcha.  But what this represents is an attempt to do to INTERNATIONAL law what they have already done to the laws of our own country.  

JB: So, I don't really get this, to tell you the truth, PEN. Are you saying that international and local businesses will have control over rules and regulations which our legislators have deliberated on and passed? How can that be? It sounds outrageous. Why would anyone ever agree to this?

PEN: All it takes is enough corrupt legislators to let mega-corporations write laws that serve only their interests, we're not talking about little mom and pop businesses, assuming there are any of them left.  That, and enough passive people to just sit on their hands and watch all of this being done to them.  That is what would be the most startling thing, if people DID get wind of this, which so many, not just us, are shouting about, and then did not even make the slightest effort to object.

JB: Where's the press, PEN? I know I keep asking but this is a BIG STORY, one of the biggest ever. It's a coup really. Or am I overstating?

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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)

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See also this great video report on TPP by Bill St... by Scott Baker on Monday, Jan 6, 2014 at 4:32:49 AM
Thanks, Scott I'm almost afraid to see just how b... by Joan Brunwasser on Monday, Jan 6, 2014 at 6:37:21 AM
I think a lot of people feel that way, and that's ... by Scott Baker on Monday, Jan 6, 2014 at 10:39:00 AM
The bumper sticker looks rather like an ad for the... by molly cruz on Monday, Jan 6, 2014 at 12:29:54 PM
We are going to be gentle here.  The fact is... by The Pen on Monday, Jan 6, 2014 at 3:03:52 PM
"Do you think that would better accomplish the go... by Charles Roll on Monday, Jan 6, 2014 at 9:11:36 PM
Thank you all for your constructive input.  ... by The Pen on Tuesday, Jan 7, 2014 at 11:43:40 AM
Use something like "" or "" and conf... by Daniel Geery on Tuesday, Jan 7, 2014 at 10:06:20 AM
Dear Daniel,Just checked the link again and the s... by The Pen on Tuesday, Jan 7, 2014 at 11:47:50 AM
If I could have checked 'Must Read' three times, I... by Charles Roll on Monday, Jan 6, 2014 at 8:56:07 PM
America is a f*cking joke... This whole "We the Pe... by Corey Mondello on Tuesday, Jan 7, 2014 at 3:57:15 PM
Stop the jobs and democracy destroying #TPP... by Michael Thornton on Tuesday, Jan 7, 2014 at 4:06:49 PM