#AceBreakingNews- UNITED STATES (Washington) – July 16 – The Obama administration has introduced a new list of sanctions unilaterally targeting individuals as well as financial institutions and defence companies which the US believes are involved in destabilizing the situation in Ukraine.
The US has moved to impose tougher sanctions against Russia over the tense situation in Ukraine. The new set of restrictions have been placed on Bank Rossiya and State Duma Deputy Speaker Sergey Neverov.
The announcement comes after a meeting in Brussels with EU delegates, who so far failed to follow suit, instead the block is to consider their own package of penalties against Russia.
The European Union is yet to agree on measures to tighten sanctions against Russia but it stopped short of adopting measures advocated by Washington.
I have left some hyperlinks in, this is disgusting, again, all about money! Say goodbye to your last freedom USA!
WASHINGTON, April 30, 2014– Reports have been circulating that the Obama administration is trying to destroy the internet by killing off net-neutrality. In order to see if the claims check out, you need to meet Tom Wheeler. Just who is Tom Wheeler? If you credit Kathleen Sebelius with the death of the American healthcare system, you could soon credit Wheeler with the death of the internet, or at the very least, as we know it to be now. The Obama administration’s supposed plan is an innate result of crony corporatism and could well be their next big lie.
In November, 2013, President Obama appointed Wheeler to head-up the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). First, never mind that Wheeler raised more than $700,000 for Obama’s two elections.
Second, never mind that 2007 presidential candidate Obama made a solemn promise to protect internet neutrality while visiting Google headquarters in California.
“We have to ensure free and open exchange of information. That starts with an open internet. I will take a backseat to no one in my commitment to network neutrality. Because once providers start to privilege some applications or websites over others then the smaller voices get squeezed out and we all lose. The internet is perhaps the most open network in history, and we have to keep it that way.”
That promise is starting to sound a lot like Obama’s, “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan.” You know, the promise that won PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year. Considering the current moves, the administration’s audacity to leave this net-neutrality campaign video posted on their official YouTube account is astonishingly insulting to proponents of net-neutrality.
Finally, never mind that Wheeler is a former cable and internet lobbyist giant. You know, one of those lobbyists that candidate Obama swore to never hire if he was elected. For decades, Wheeler is credited with lobbying for “deregulation” of the industry.
Is it not peculiar Obama would tap a man, the very man that supposedly wanted to deregulate the cable and internet industry, to lead the massive federal bureaucracy that regulates that very industry?
It’s not as strange as one may think. Two types of “small government” lobbyists exist. One truly wants the government out of everything. The other uses the government to deregulate his own business, while simultaneously lobbying for regulation or unfair disadvantages on competitors, which is often done under the guise consumer protectionism, or blatant corporate protectionism [
So, what is net-neutrality or “open internet”? In layman’s terms, net-neutrality is actually a government regulation pressed on internet service providers (ISPs). The regulation seeks to ensure that all ISPs enable access to all content and applications regardless of the source, and do so without favoring or blocking particular websites and products.
When approached from an economic vantage point, net-neutrality, in its most basic definition, actually inhibits the ISP free-market.
In most cases, those in favor of small government and free-markets would likely champion such deregulation. Meanwhile, those in favor of market regulation point to fears of censorship.
For example, an ISP like Comcast could limit its end-user subscribers’ ability to access BenSwann.com if it wanted to increase traffic (revenue) to a news website the company owned (MSNBC), or it could begin downgrading BenSwann.com’s connection quality if a friendly competitor like TheBlaze.com was willing to pay higher fees to knock out the competition.
The question we must ask is as follows: Does this deregulation actually move towards a more free marketplace? In this case, probably not. These corporatist giants have used the government to secure no bid contracts, geographical subscriber exclusivity and more. The companies are now formed into a government sponsored quasi-monopoly. This is corporatism- not free-market capitalism.
Last January, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that the FCC could not regulate net-neutrality. According to the Court plurality, the FCC lacked “regulatory jurisdiction” under the provided framework. Appellant Verizon seems to win the day. Net-neutrality is dead.
However, the Court left a loophole by stating that the FCC could rewrite the rules under a more acceptable framework.
“I intend to accept that invitation by proposing rules that will meet the court’s test for preventing improper blocking of and discrimination among Internet traffic, ensuring genuine transparency in how Internet Service Providers manage traffic, and enhancing competition,” Wheeler said in a statement. “Preserving the Internet as an open platform for innovation and expression while providing certainty and predictability in the marketplace is an important responsibility of this agency.”
But wait, isn’t Wheeler against net-neutrality and in favor of helping his old employers out? That’s what many headlines are reporting, and here is where things get confusing.
If one was to read the Verizon v. FCC case, it seems as though the FCC was trying to protect net-neutrality all along, and the Court ruled in favor of the corporations instead. Obama’s promise upheld. Right? After all, the administration can’t necessarily control what the Court says.
However, the Court gave the FCC the go-ahead to write rules under a new framework. Rather than continue and try to protect net-neutrality, reports now insinuate that the administration will re-write the rules to instead favor the giant ISPs Wheeler lobbied on behalf of for decades.
It is possible that the Verizon v. FCC case was a test case. Many such cases have been brought forth throughout the history of the federal judiciary. The goal of a test case is to figure out just what will be tolerated and in what way. Sometimes we know immediately whether or not a case is a test. However, it sometimes takes decades until such cases are exposed. In most all cases, the federal Court system now creates new tests, frameworks, and alternative ways for which a law or rule could be considered constitutional, or in this instance, within regulatory jurisdiction. This is one way the Court illegally legislates from the bench. The goal of such a test case could have been to get the Court to define ways to incorporate corporate protectionism into the FCC rules. Of course, at this time, this is only speculation. However, it would help to explain what happened next.
According to multiple reports, the FCC is playing a game of Orwellian semantics. While the commission maintains it is protecting net-neutrality, the reports show the new rules could kill net-neutrality by allowing ISPs to create a “fast lane internet”. The possibility of fast lane internet being incorporated into the new FCC rules validates the concerns of net-neutrality proponents.
Although the Court has already ruled that the FCC could not enforce net-neutrality, it seems as though Wheeler’s FCC is now attempting to use the Court’s new framework to write such protection into the actual FCC rules. This could allow ISPs an added layer of protection by throwing the weight of federal regulation on top of the Court’s ruling.
The new rules won’t be fully released until mid-May. For now, all is speculation.
Meanwhile, to fill in the gaps while we wait for new rules to be fully released, one should follow the money.
Brian Roberts, Comcast CEO, is good friends with Obama. He is regularly invited to the White House and has been golfing with Obama. In fact, Roberts even served on Obama’s jobs council. Comcast Vice President David Cohen has raised more than $2.2 million for Obama’s elections since 2007. Since 2008, Comcast has spent more than $91.2 million lobbying the government. Of course, it probably doesn’t hurt that Comcast is the parent company of the hard left-leaning Obama mouthpiece known as NBC Universal which operates the MSNBC cable news station.
TIME WARNER CABLE (TWC)
In 2008, TWC donated $618k to Obama’s election. In 2012, they donated $422k. Since 2008, TWC has spent more than $25.5 million lobbying the government.
In 2008, Verizon donated more than $218k to Obama’s campaign. In 2012, Verizon donated $224k to Obama’s reelection campaign. Since 2008, Verizon has spent more than $97 million lobbying the government.
In total, At&T has given Obama more than $484k for his two elections. The company has spent more than $30 million lobbying the government since 2008.
In 2008, Cox donated $64k to Obama’s campaign. In 2012, the group donated more than $47k. Since 2008, the group has spent more than $28 million lobbying the government.
Together, these five companies represent the top five ISPs in the country. They also represent Obama’s top donors. With Wheeler driving the FCC and Obama’s top campaign donors pulling the puppet strings, it is hard to imagine the administration actually fighting to maintain net-neutrality.
Government sanctioned neutrality is parallel to government sanctioned equality. Backlash and economic dead weight loss are the byproducts of such interference. With the ensuing death of net-neutrality, many are asking a similar question. Will it kill the internet? Doubtful. However, the government sponsored ISP quasi monopoly makes it too soon to tell.
There is little doubt that Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) is dodging a thorough, top-to-bottom, no-holds-barred investigation of the Benghazi terrorist attack. The only question is, “Why?”
As the only non-governmental organization in the country litigating in federal court to uncover the full story about what happened before, during, and following the Benghazi massacre, Judicial Watch knows first-hand that the full story has not been told and that a massive cover-up is underway. As we said in our special report, The Benghazi Attack of September 11, 2012: Analysis and Further Questions from a Diplomatic Security Service Regional Security Officer and Special Agent, the entire tragic scenario is a “story of political treachery in high places.”
|In a scathing letter delivered on January 6, 2014, JW and our co-signers blasted the Republican leader, demanding that he install a Select Committee to investigate the atrocity. Forcefully, and to the point, the letter informs the recalcitrant Speaker, “You have an opportunity to show strong leadership and resolve a national disgrace perpetrated by specific public officials. You are failing.”On September 11, 2012. Islamic jihadists attacked the U.S. Special Mission in Benghazi, Libya, murdering Ambassador Christopher Stevens, the first diplomat to be killed overseas since 1979, and three other Americans. The Obama administration has worked hard to keep details of the attack-and the negligence that led to it-from the American public. But JW has refused to let the cover-up go unabated. To date, we have four pending Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits against the Obama administration for documents about the attack, 14 FOIA requests and one Mandatory Declassification Review Request. And we have published two in-depth special reports on Benghazi, the last one on the first anniversary of the terrorist attack. You can read the special reports here andhere.It was JW that obtained the first photos depicting the devastating aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. diplomatic and CIA facilities in Benghazi, as well as details of the inexperienced foreign company hired to protect the American compound. The State Department paid the virtually unknown British firm $794,264 for nearly 50,000 guard hours, according to the federal contract obtained in the course of JW’s ongoing Benghazi probe. And all that we got for our money was four murdered Americans.Now, we have put the responsibility on House Speaker Boehner to take action to extract the truth about Benghazi from the Obama administration. I signed the letter on behalf of Judicial Watch, along with the mother and uncle of slain Foreign Officer Sean Smith, and the father of murdered security officer Tyrone Woods. Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, former Florida Congressman Allen West, and nearly 50 additional retired military officers signed; as did Freedom Center President David Horowitz, Black Voters Alliance’s Anita MonCrief, and scores of other conservative leaders.As I said, the letter pulled no punches. In fact, the letter, which gained national headlines and significant coverage on Fox News, was drafted by our own Chris Farrell, who heads our investigations team. The message to the Speaker is blunt:To date, five (5) different committees of the House have conducted separate hearings, uncovering information in a piecemeal fashion lacking professional investigators. The five committees’ efforts are disjointed and uncoordinated. The Obama administration has benefited from that dysfunctional process to hide the truth. Hardly any Obama administration witnesses have testified – publicly or privately. You have resisted repeated calls for the creation of a select investigative committee with subpoena authority. It appears that you are satisfied to allow that state of investigative incoherence and ambiguity to continue. The last public hearing by any of the five committees was held in September – four (4) months ago. The families of the dead who fought valiantly to protect the mission and their families, the survivors, and the American people deserve better from you and your Members of Congress. They deserve the absolute truth from their government. Your failure to get the truth and hold public officials accountable increases the possibility of other repeat attacks and additional failures to defend Americans abroad.
The letter goes on to remind Boehner that his oversight of the Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation has been without any meaningful effect or result. “Not a single terrorist in this well-planned and executed military attack by radical Islamists has been apprehended. Ahmed Abu Khattala, a ringleader of the attack, granted long interviews to reporters in Benghazi cafes while the Obama administration-and you-have done nothing. Nearly 16 months after the terrorist attack, the American public has no accountability and no plan of action from House leadership.”
Raising the issue of why Boehner may be stonewalling a thorough investigation of the Benghazi tragedy, the coalition of Benghazi victims and patriots asks tough questions that demand answers:
Some analysts believe your inaction and passivity towards getting to the truth concerning Benghazi is because you were briefed on the intelligence and special operations activities in Libya as a member of the “Super 8.” You may possess “guilty knowledge.” We recall how then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi developed a form of “amnesia” concerning a documented briefing she received on so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” – later termed “torture” for political purposes. Are you in the same position as your predecessor? Are you dodging a legitimate, thorough, coordinated investigation of Benghazi because it will damage your political position as Speaker?
The conclusion leaves no wiggle room for Boehner to dodge the issue:
Mr. Speaker, we call upon you to act now and create a Select Committee on Benghazi to investigate all aspects of the United States involvement in Libya, to include, but not be limited to the attacks of September 11, 2012. It must now also include the protracted cover-up the American people, the families of the fallen and those with loved ones serving overseas have endured. The new committee must have subpoena power, capable staff and Members from both parties who are committed to finding the truth, not playing politics. The Committee must be staffed with new, professional, qualified and experienced investigators. It must have resources to conduct a thorough, comprehensive investigation and issue an exhaustive report before this Congress adjourns.
As you know by now, JW will not let this matter rest. As Voltaire wrote, “To the living, we owe respect. To the dead, we owe the truth.” And, regardless of how hard Obama tries to cover up his misdeeds or Boehner tries to stonewall the truth, we will work to see that both debts are paid in full for Benghazi.
“It’s Time for the Obama Administration to Stop Blocking Ballot Box Integrity”
What a wonderful change of pace it would be if the federal government actually began protecting the integrity of the ballot box, instead of being one of the nation’s leading defenders of practices that can lead to voter fraud and stolen elections. As a reader of the Weekly Update, you know that Barack Obama and election fraud are fellow travellers. Judicial Watch has fought tooth-and-nail nationwide to prevent Obama and his acolytes from thoroughly corrupting our electoral process.
JW’s most recent move to defend free and fair elections from federal assault came early this month, when our expert team of attorneys took on a little-known agency known as the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC). In finest Orwellian fashion, the EAC seems intent upon “assisting” in elections by assuring that noncitizens – both illegal and legal residents – are able to cast bogus ballots.
So, on January 3, JW filed comments with the EAC in support of efforts by Arizona, Kansas, and Georgia to compel the EAC to amend its National Voter Registration Voter Registration Mail Application (a federal form) to require voter registration applicants to provide proof of citizenship. Arizona and Kansas have sued the EAC to force such action; Georgia has issued a formal letter of request.
By way of brief background, the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) requires the states to accept the “federal form” to register individuals to vote. The EAC maintains the federal form, which fails to include any requirement that registrants provide proof of U.S. citizenship.
Kansas first requested that the EAC update to its federal form instructions in August 2012, following changes in the state’s election law requiring evidence of U.S. citizenship when registering to vote. Arizona, since 2004, had required an Arizona driver’s license, a U.S. birth certificate, a passport or other similar document before the state would approve the federal registration application.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Arizona provision requiring proof of citizenship. InArizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona Inc., the Court said the 1993 NVRA trumps the state law. The ruling affected Arizona, Kansas, Georgia and Alabama.
But the court left the door open for Arizona to assert its arguments through separate litigation, a possibility mentioned by justices during oral arguments in April. Writing for the majority, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said that Arizona could still challenge the current EAC form in court or ask the commission to include the citizenship requirement on the federal form in the future. At that point, both Kansas and Arizona sued the EAC to amend the federal form.
Filing in support of the state actions, Judicial Watch argued that “Under Section 8 of the NVRA, states are under a federal obligation to assure that non-citizens neither register nor vote.” It added, “A failure to allow states to require such information would undermine Americans’ confidence that their elections are being conducted fairly and honestly, and would thwart states’ ability to comply with the election integrity obligations imposed by federal law.”
We then pointed out that there are “good reasons to believe that the public needs to be reassured on this point”:
In poll after poll, for some time now, large segments of the American populace have expressed their dismay with various aspects of our electoral system. A Rasmussen poll from August of 2013 reported that only 39% of Americans believe elections are fair. In 2012, a Monmouth University poll reported that more than two-thirds of registered voters thought voter fraud was a problem. In 2008, when a Gallup poll asked respondents around the world whether they had “confidence in the honesty of elections,” 53% of Americans said that they did not.
And JW’s lawyers argued that “routine failure of certain states to comply with their voter list accuracy obligations … is quickly becoming a national, nonpartisan issue,” adding:
For example, the Pew Research Center on the States released an astonishing report in 2012 noting that “[a]pproximately 2.75 million people have active registrations in more than one state.” That same report observed that “24 million – one of every eight – active voter registrations in the United States are no longer valid or are significantly inaccurate,” and that “[m]ore than 1.8 million deceased individuals are listed as active voters.” Non-citizen voter registration fraud is a contributor to this problem.
We also cited the outrageous failure of the EAC to have a quorum as a further factor strengthening the arguments of Arizona, Kansas, and Georgia that they be granted a federal form amendment. Unbelievable as it may be, the EAC has not had a quorum since December 2010, has had no commissioners since December 2011, no executive director since then, and no general counsel since May 2012. To add insult to injury, the EAC is using its own ineptitude as an excuse to block changes to the federal form. So, we turned the tables on them, commenting:
Judicial Watch notes that only a quorum of EAC Commissioners can refuse the states’ requests. An Acting Director lacks authority to take official regulatory action for the Commission. See 42 U.S.C. § 15328 (action by the EAC can be authorized “only with the approval of at least three of its members.”). Because there is no quorum of Commissioners, the EAC cannot reject the states’ request.
As I said at the time we filed our comments with the EAC, “For the EAC to use its own inability to convene a quorum as an excuse to contravene the right of the states of Arizona, Kansas, and Georgia to protect the integrity of the ballot box is a travesty. Gladstone’s axiom that ‘Justice delayed is justice denied’ has never been more obvious than in this situation. And the EAC ought to stop its stonewalling and let justice proceed.” (These EAC comments are not the first time Judicial Watch has intervened on this issue to protect election integrity. In December 2012, Judicial Watch filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Arizona’s proof of citizenship voter registration law.)
On August 21, 2013, the states of Kansas and Arizona jointly filed a complaint against the EAC asking the federal court in Topeka, Kansas, to force the agency to require proof of citizenship in the state-specific instructions on the National Mail Voter Registration Form. On August 1, the state of Georgia sent a letter to the EAC asking the same. The EAC had rebuffed previous requests for modifications, blaming a lack of quorum on the commission.
In filing their lawsuit, Kansas and Arizona cited the June 2013, Supreme Court decision in Arizona v. Inter Tribal Council of Arizona Inc. While the Court ruled that the NVRA “precludes Arizona from requiring a federal form applicant to submit information beyond that required by the form itself,” it also stipulated that states are free to petition the EAC to add the proof of citizenship requirement and, if the EAC does not act or rejects the request, take it to court.
I’ll be sure to keep you updated on this effort to protect the integrity of our elections.
You can contact Speaker Boehner’s office by telephone 202-6225-6205; by fax 202-225-0704; or by mail to 1011 Longworth H.O.B., Washington, DC 20515.
- Bombshell: John Boehner Might Have Known About Benghazi Op Beforehand(conservativeread.com)
- Benghazi Victims’ Families, Conservative Leaders Demand Boehner Create Select Committee(danadams73.wordpress.com)
- Exclusive – Allen West Questions if Boehner, Cantor Helping Cover Up Benghazi(breitbart.com)
- “Outside Groups Shouldn’t Have to Do Boehner’s Job on Benghazi”(iowntheworld.com)
- Speaker Boehner Blasted in Call for Benghazi Select Committee Signed by Family of the Slain(ijreview.com)
- New pressure on Boehner over Benghazi(mobile.wnd.com)
#AceWorldNews says the Obama administration has touted the White House website’s ‘We the People’ section as a powerful platform for the American public to petition their government. According to a new report, however, those solicitations are all too rarely acknowledged.
“When I ran for this office, I pledged to make government more open and accountable to its citizens,”United States President Barack Obama wrote on WhiteHouse.gov back in September 2011. He was unveiling at the time the website’s new ‘We the People’ feature, and said the addition of it would be “giving Americans a direct line to the White House on the issues and concerns that matter most to them.”
“Soon, anyone will be able to create or sign a petition at WhiteHouse.gov seeking action from the federal government on a range of issues,” senior advisor David Plouffe added at the time. “If a petition gathers enough signatures, the White House staff will review it, make sure it gets to Obama Administration policy experts and issue an official response.”
But 27 months later, an investigation conducted by federal technology site NextGov has revealed that many of the petitions that have met the criteria needed for a response have been long ignored by the administration — including at least one that’s been in limbo for over two years.
“There are currently 30 We the People petitions that have crossed the threshold for an official White House reply but not yet gotten one, including eight that have waited more than one year,” Joseph Marks wrote for NextGov on Thursday this week.
On average, Marks added, those petitions have waited around 10 months apiece so far for a response.
In the two-plus years since being launched, the White House has undoubtedly been aware of the popularity of the We the People section of its site. Originally the administration required that petitions receive only 5,000 signatures to warrant a response, and then raised that threshold to 25,000 autographs and eventually 100,000.
The White House has responded to 134 requests since Sept. 2011—or around five a month. But 30 petitions that surpassed the signature threshold still remain unanswered, including some that accumulated far more digital autographs than necessary.
- Report: Obama’s Lack of Executive Experience Responsible for Disastrous Obamacare Rollout(breitbart.com)
- White House: Healthcare.gov Meets Deadline for Repairs(mashable.com)
- Google-Backed Email Privacy Petition Gets 100K Signatures, But Will It Work?(techcrunch.com)
- White House pivots to new/old populist messaging(bokertov.typepad.com)
- David Plouffe: Obama’s Approval Ratings ‘Will Recover’(swampland.time.com)
- Indian-Americans petition Obama to drop case against Devyani – Times of India(timesofindia.indiatimes.com)
- White House actually responds to that petition for building a ‘Death Star’(venturebeat.com)
- White House petitions now require 100K signatures for formal response(venturebeat.com)
- Check out this video from the White House hackathon(venturebeat.com)
#AceWorldNews says according to this article written by Jerome R Corsi – NEW YORK – on the 1st January 2014 in his article asking – Can ordinary citizens protesting on the Internet block the Obama administration’s plan to ram through Congress one of the most ambitious globalist, “free-trade agreements” ever negotiated?
IF YOU MISSED THE LAST EVENT NEXT ONE IS 08/01/2014 at 10 AM BST
Very quietly, opposition is building on the Internet to oppose legislation that may be introduced as soon as Jan. 8. The measure would grant President Obama what is known as “fast track authority” to ram through Congress the Trans-Pacific Partnership with limited debate and no opportunity to propose amendments. The international trade agreement, negotiated largely in secret by the Obama administration, is regarded by globalist free traders as a cornerstone of the emerging “New World Order.”
A Facebook page has been created to call for a “Anti-TPP Twitter Storm” on New Year’s Day beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern Time and continuing on Wednesday 8th January 2014.
“Anti-TPP Twitter Storm Wednesday 08/1/14 @ 4 p.m. PST/7 p.m. EST, the whole world tweeted and posted an ANTI-TPP hashtag (to be announced) with posts about why people should stop the Trans Pacific Partnership,” the Facebook page reads.
“The goal of this ‘hashtag storm’ is to get this hashtag trending on both Twitter and Facebook, so we can inform the public about the dangers of the Trans Pacific Partnership and agitate people to ACT to stop the TPP. Join us and help expose the corporate coup known as the Trans Pacific Partnership.”
Obama’s ‘two –ocean’ free-trade agenda
“To boost American exports, support American jobs, and level the playing field in the growing markets of Asia, we intend to complete negotiations on a Trans-Pacific Partnership,” he said. “And tonight, I am announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union – because trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs.”
For the first time, a decision by the U.S. Trade Representative within the Executive Office of the President was made public to expand the ongoing negotiations for a free-trade zone with Pacific Rim countries to include a a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with European Union countries.
Now there is no doubt the Obama administration has decided in the second term to double-up on a globalist agenda to develop massive new free-trade agreements across both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, adding a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TAP, to what is being developed as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.
WND has reported Obama administration plans in development for the past two years are ready be implemented as Democrats in Congress plan to pass the massive Trans-Pacific Partnership free-trade agreement with a simple majority vote that would skirt the two-thirds vote in the Senate that the U.S. Constitution requires to ratify a treaty.
The strategy centers on what is known as “fast track authority,” a provision under the Trade Promotion Authority that requires Congress to review a free-trade agreement, or FTA, under limited debate, in an accelerated time frame that is subject to a yes-or-no vote by Congress without any provision for Congress to modify the agreement by submitting amendments. Fast-track authority is also intended to reassure foreign partners that the FTA negotiated by the executive branch will not be altered by Congress during the legislative process.
A report released Jan. 24 by the Congressional Research Service, “The Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations and Issues for Congress,” makes clear the Obama administration does not have fast-track authority to negotiate the TPP, even though the office of the U.S. Trade Representative is acting as if it were in place:
The present negotiations are not being conducted under the auspices of formal trade promotion authority (TPA) – the latest TPA expired on July 1, 2007 – although the Administration informally is following the procedures of the former TPA. If TPP implementing legislation is brought to Congress, TPA may need to be considered if the legislation is not to be subject to potentially debilitating amendments or rejection. Finally, Congress may seek to weigh in on the addition of new members to the negotiations, before or after the negotiations conclude.
The CRS report states that the TPP is being negotiated as a regional free-trade agreement that U.S. negotiators describe as a “comprehensive and high-standard” FTA that they hope “will liberalize trade in nearly all goods and services and include commitments beyond those currently established in the World Trade Organization (WTO.)”
That the Obama administration is treating the TPP like a TPA and not a formal treaty obligation strongly suggests the Obama majority will seek passage of the TPP by a simple majority vote in Congress.
Still, the impact of the TPP will be equivalent to a formal treaty obligation in that agreements made within the TPP will be designed to supersede U.S. law with the regional authorities as specified within the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.
So, the last hurdle the Obama administration faces in making the TPP law is to get Congress to vote fast-track authority as the terms under which the TPP will be introduced to Congress.
As a consequence, one of the few remaining strategies left to opponents of the TPP is to urge Congress to vote against giving the Obama administration fast-track authority when the issue comes up for debate, possibly as early as next week.
Advancing the NWO agenda
The globalists advising the Obama administration appear to have learned from the adverse public reaction to the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, or SPP, during the administration of President George W. Bush. Obama has avoided the leader summit meetings that exposed to a critical alternative news media the international “working group” coordination needed to create international free-trade agreements.
Globalists have learned from the adverse reaction that such internationalist adventures as the Trans-Texas Highway, known as the NAFTA Super-Highway, will only succeed if such initiatives are pursued covertly with a determination to ridicule anyone who dares contemplate its larger purpose of increasing global sovereignty.
The Obama administration has shut down the Security and Prosperity Partnership website, SPP.gov. The last joint statement issued by the newly formed North American Leaders Summit, operating as the rebranded SPP, was issued April 2, 2012, at the conclusion of the last tri-lateral head-of-state meeting held between the U.S., Mexico and Canada in Washington, D.C.
Now, with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Obama administration appears to have leapfrogged SPP ambitions to create a North American Union by including Mexico and Canada in the TPP configuration.
The 10 nations involved in the TPP include Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Vietnam.
A graph presented in the CRS report on the first page shows the reach of the agreement across the Pacific, including Peru and Chile in South America; Australia and New Zealand; Malaysia and Vietnam in Southeast Asia; Singapore; and Japan.
As seen in the North American detail below, trade from Canada extends down into roughly Oklahoma in the United States, and trade from Mexico extends north roughly to Colorado.
At the same time, trade from Mexico is seen both as extending up into the United States, reaching across the Pacific Ocean to the Asian and Pacific Rim nations involved in the FTA.
International tribunal dispute resolution
A leaked copy of the TPP draft makes clear in Chapter 15, “Dispute Settlement,” that the Obama administration intends to surrender U.S. sovereignty to adjudicate disputes arising under the TPP to the processes of an international tribunal.
Disputes involving interpretation and application of the TPP agreement, according to Article 15.7, will be adjudicated by an “arbitral tribunal” composed of three TPP members whose purpose under Article 15.8 will be “to make an objective assessment of the dispute before it, including an examination of the facts of the case and the applicability of and conformity with this Agreement, and make such other findings and rulings necessary for the resolution of the dispute referred to it as it thinks fits.”
The TPP draft agreement does not specify that these arbitral tribunals must render decisions in compliance with U.S. law or that the decisions of the arbitral tribunals are invalid should they violate or otherwise contravene U.S. law.
Investment disputes under the TPP appear to be relegated for resolution to the International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes, an international authority created by 158 nations that are signatories to the ICSID Convention created under the auspices of the World Bank.
The TPP draft agreement specifies that foreign firms from Trans-Pacific signatory countries that seek to do business in the U.S. can apply to the arbitral tribunals to obtain relief under the trade pact from complying with onerous U.S. laws and regulations, including environmental regulations and financial disclosure rules.
Because the TPP agreement places arbitral tribunals created under TPP above U.S. law, the Obama administration appears to be intent on creating a judicial authority higher than the U.S. Supreme Court. The tribunal could overrule decisions U.S. federal courts make to apply U.S. laws and regulations to foreign corporations doing business within the U.S.
- 2013 in Review: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (eff.org)
- Uprising as Obama plans to skirt Congress on ‘New World Order’ (deadcitizensrightssociety.wordpress.com)
- Uprising as Obama plans to skirt Congress on ‘New World Order’ (mobile.wnd.com)
- Uprising as Obama plans to skirt Congress on ‘New World Order’ (wnd.com)
Healthcare.gov‘s Users Speak Out: ‘Clean This Mess Up’
by Charles Ornstein ProPublica, Oct. 24, 2013, 10:43 a.m.
Over the weekend, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services began unveiling its effort to fix Healthcare.gov, the home for the federal insurance marketplace. Part of that was a blog post soliciting comments from folks who have tried the site.
“Most importantly, we want to hear from you, and make sure that your experience with HealthCare.gov is a positive one. If you have any comments, either complimentary or critical, please let us know by sharing your feedback at https://www.healthcare.gov/connect/. We’ve already heard so many stories of individuals getting health insurance for the first time, and we are dedicated to making that possible for all Americans.”
The Obama administration has not always been transparent about Healthcare.gov: A case in point is how HHS has withheld the number of people who have been able to successfully enroll. But in this instance, the administration allowed comments to the blog post to be seen by all (after moderating them and removing identifying information). Commenters’ identities were not verified and they are identified by whatever name they entered.
As of yesterday afternoon, we counted more than 500 comments. My colleague Mike Tigas pulled them from the site, and I’ve analyzed the feedback.
“Repeal Obamacare,” several commenters wrote, making political statements based on the website’s problems.
Some urged patience: “Turn off the TV and stop listening to the naysayers,” Darlene wrote. “Its [sic] better to wait patiently and get great health care than to get emotional and frustrated and wind up with NO healthcare…”
Others, like Kim, offered to help: “I have a home office and am VERY tech savvy. I would like to be able to help in whatever way I can.”
By and large, however, the feedback has been negative. While some comments root for the site’s failure, many are from people who’ve tried to use the site without success. Some pose specific questions; others voice general frustrations. Because their identities and contact information isn’t listed (for understandable reasons), there was no way to verify their stories.
The problems touch people from all over the country. The posts below have been trimmed for length, but the original grammar and spelling are used (even if they contain errors).
Wrongly Listed As Jailed
“Website said my wife and I were ineligible due to current incarceration. We have never been arrested in our lives, both 63!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!,” Fred wrote on Oct. 21.
Health Problems Made Worse
“I have a pre-existing condition …. a-fib…..and actually had an attack after getting frustrated with this confusing mess,” Bill wrote on Oct. 22. (A-fib refers to atrial fibrillation, an abnormal heartbeat.)
Daughter is Not a Daughter Anymore
“I am having difficulty with my account,” Joanna wrote on Oct. 22. “It appears that my daughter was added twice so that I now have two daughters with the same name and social security number. I am unable to delete one of them. Also, the drop down menu that relates to what relationship someone is to another is faulty. I choose that my husband is the father of our daughter and that my daughter is a dependant [sic] to me and my husband. What it actually shows though is that my daughter is a stepdaughter to her father and that my daughter is now both my husband and I’s parent. ”
“I can sign in … but cannot see the plans available to me — they claim my identity has been compromised. So frustrating!” Rhonda wrote on Oct. 22.
“I have tried to get into the system since the beginning,” Marion wrote on Oct. 22. “I have created 3 different accounts and am not able to log into any of them. When I request the user ID or to reset the password it throws me back to the log in page where I can’t login because it says I don’t have an account. When I try to reset the password with the email I used it, I never get an email to validate my account. I won’t let me create another account telling me I already have an account. I feel like I keep going around in circles. Will I ever be able to set up an account? ”
“I’ve now filled out that same application multiple times and even though there are hitches and glitches, I do manage to get to the point where I should be able to shop,” wrote one person whose name is listed as “likebillmurrayingroundhogday, on Oct. 21. “However, once at that point, there is no place for me to shop! The system just kicks me back to starting the application again. It’s like “Groundhog Day.”
“After many attempts I did manage to set up an account with a log in and password,” Francine wrote on Oct. 23. “NOW when I’m about to get to the meat and potatoes and go shopping a red box pops up and says “you can only do one application per state”. WTF? Several times I was able to find a page that asked me if I was a Florida resident with a yes and no button and it appears that after the site drops off my computer it moves this from yes to no. I can no longer find this page, so this site has BLOCKED me.”
Circular Security Questions
“I get an error message after I answer the security questions that say the answers can’t be the same, but they aren’t the same. If people are getting past this error message, I would like to know how,” Samara wrote on Oct. 20.
Name Not Unique
“I’ve been trying to create an account since program inception (October 1). I continually get a variety of crazy messages, the most recent being that I could not create an account because my first name, last name and email address are not unique!” Tom wrote on Oct. 20. “What the devil does that mean? Most people use their names in their email address, so it’s never going to be “unique.” I need health insurance for my 61-year-old wife and the Marketplace appears promising. Clean this mess up!”
Insurance Agents Stymied
“I am insurance agent also President of Insurance Agency (50+ Insurance Agents plus 30 employees),” John wrote on Oct. 21. “We have 1000’s of customers who want to sign up for health insurance and most will be subsidized. We have tried everyday since 10-1-2013. Maybe 2 applications have been processed. I have spent well over 250K getting ready for the ACA roll-out. My agency has written individual and small group insurance for over 25 years. We have marketed the uninsured and lower-income. We have held events to get pre-enrollment applications. We just want to help people get the insurance they need. What can you do to help me?”
Application Counselor Frustrated
“I am employed as a Certified Application Counselor in Scranton, Pennsylvania and I have not been able to successfully assist the approximately 50 people who visited me looking for assistance,” Suzanne wrote on Oct. 21. “I created an account for myself prior to October 1st to walk myself through the system and have not been able to successfully log in since October 1st. Needless to say, I am as frustrated as the consumers who visited me are. I hope the log in situation is fixed soon.”
ProPublica fellow Mike Tigas contributed to this report.
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To brush up on today’s congressional hearings, see Charles Ornstein’s quick guide.
- HHS Predicted Obamacare Exchange Sign Up Would Take 28 Minutes (freebeacon.com)
- Consumer Reports: “Stay Away From Healthcare.gov” (youviewed.com)
- “5 key questions await developers of healthcare.gov” (goodolewoody.me)
- Healthcare.gov’s Users Speak Out: ‘Clean This Mess Up’ (propublica.org)