As I’m writing this, moments after ending today’s show, a bunch of Congress critters are out on Capitol Hill urging everyone to call their members of Congress to tell them to vote NO on Fast Track!
WASHINGTON, DC—Members of Congress and advocacy groups opposed to fast-tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership will hold a press conference today at noon to release nearly two million signatures of Americans urging Congress to put the brakes on fast track.
WHO: Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro
Senator Bernie Sanders
Congressman David Cicilline
Congressman Keith Ellison
Congressman Alan Grayson
Congressman Raúl Grijalva
Congresswoman Barbara Lee
Congressman Mark Pocan
Congressman Tim Ryan
Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez
Congressman Brad Sherman
Congresswoman Louise Slaughter
Congresswoman Nydia Velázaquez
Alliance for Retired Americans
Democracy for America
Friends of the Earth
Social Security Works
WHAT: Press Conference Unveiling Nearly Two Million Signatures Urging Administration and Congress to Put the Brakes on Fast Track
WHEN: Wednesday, June 3, 2015 at Noon
WHERE: House Triangle
East Front of the U.S. Capitol
But wait, there’s more! Today, the House will take up the Grayson Amendment, as Congressman Grayson explained in his email this morning:
As In, Right Now
Big news: there will be a vote TODAY on the Grayson Amendment, to lift the veil of secrecy over trade giveaways.
Here is the amendment, regarding appropriations for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative:
“None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to negotiate or enter into a trade agreement whose negotiating texts are confidential.”
What does that mean? It means that trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership have to be revealed to the American People, not shoved down our throats.
Even Members of Congress have been jammed up over this. Here is what Sen. Barbara Boxer said about it, a month ago:
Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., today blasted the secrecy shrouding the ongoing Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations.
“They said, well, it’s very transparent. Go down and look at it,” said Boxer on the floor of the Senate. “Let me tell you what you have to do to read this agreement. Follow this: you can only take a few of your staffers who happen to have a security clearance — because, God knows why, this is secure, this is classified. It has nothing to do with defense. It has nothing to do with going after ISIS.” Boxer, who has served in the House and Senate for 33 years, then described the restrictions under which members of Congress can look at the current TPP text. “The guard says, ‘you can’t take notes.’ I said, ‘I can’t take notes?’” Boxer recalled. “‘Well, you can take notes, but have to give them back to me, and I’ll put them in a file.’ So I said: ‘Wait a minute. I’m going to take notes and then you’re going to take my notes away from me and then you’re going to have them in a file, and you can read my notes? Not on your life.’” Should we let our economic future be bargained away, in secrecy? “Not on your life.”
Normally, our Government classifies information to keep it away from foreigners. But with these trade agreements, the foreigners have the information – it’s Congress and the American People who don’t.
The European Union has taken the entire “Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership,” which our government claims is confidential, and posted it at a website. And WikiLeaks, to the embarrassment of our government, has done the same with parts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Q. What other laws can be negotiated in secret?
A. None. Our Constitution does not allow for secret laws.
Three years ago, more than 100 Members of Congress wrote to the U.S. Trade Representative, and asked him to make the Trans-Pacific Partnership public. He refused.
Last month, President Obama said that “any critic” could see the full text of the agreement. So far, no one has.
The Trade Representative is treating Congress like a mushroom farm: Keep us in the dark, and spread fertilizer all over us.
Today, there will be a vote on the Grayson Amendment. If you’ve ever felt like calling Congress, today is the day. Not tomorrow – that will be too late. Today.
It doesn’t matter whether your Congressman is a Democrat or a Republican. We just need 218 votes, whether they are red or blue. And you can help make it happen.
We really need to shed some light on this trade treachery. And as Justice Louis Brandeis said, “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”
In short, the public has a right to know. Help make that happen.
Rep. Alan Grayson
We’re not gonna take it.
Never did, and never will.
We’re not gonna take it.
Gonna break it.
Gonna shake it.
Let’s forget it, better still.
– “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” The Who (1969).
So, you’ve got your work cut out for you. Go get to work!
But wait, there’s more! Apparently, wikileaks is raising up to $100,000 to offer rewards for the rest of the TPP text!
Also from that same article (that you should definitely click on to read) comes this chart, showing the biggest corporate donors working towards passage of the TPP
While discussing it with Dave Johnson on the show this morning, I noticed that #2 on that list was UPS and #4 was FedEx, causing me to wonder aloud what provision is among those in the TPP not yet leaked that would put the final nail in the coffin of the US Postal Service (why else would UPS and FedEx spend so much money to ensure its passage?).
Call you member of Congress now!
We began today’s show by listening to Jason Leopold’s testimony before the House Oversight Committee hearing, “Ensuring Transparency through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)“. I think I got all of Jason’s stuff, but you can watch the whole thing here. Jason totally rocked it!
And Deborah Newell Tornello joined in for our regular Oy FloriDUH™ segment. Some of the stories we covered today include
- An 82-Year-Old Man Was Arrested For Allegedly Slashing An 88-Year-Old Woman’s Tires Over A Bingo Game
- Florida man goes pantsless while drinking a beer, wandering around town
- Naked man arrested in Ocala for mooning deputy
- Tarpon Springs neighbors baffled by house, trees covered in aluminum foil
- Deputies: Child notices leg hanging from Ormond store ceiling, man arrested
- Man stuffed AK-47 rifle down his pants at Davie pawn shop, police say
Tomorrow, Stephen Goldstein returns to tell us about his new book, Jeb Bush Outed: Who He Really Is and Why He Should Never Be President, radio or not!