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Barack After Dark™: The West Wing Week. National Action Network. The Obama/Biden Administrations Taxes.


By Jueseppi B.



This week, the President honored soldiers who lost their lives last week at Fort Hood, commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, and picked up his pen to take action toward ensuring equal pay. Check out what else you may have missed in this week’s wrap up.





West Wing Week 4/11/14 or, “Love Never Ends”



This week, the President honored Equal Pay Day and signed two executive orders to support efforts to level the playing field for women, pushed for better access to skills-based high school training, hosted the Prime Minister of Tunisia, and traveled with the First Lady to the memorial at Fort Hood and then to Austin, to honor the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act.







President Obama Speaks at the National Action Network Convention




President Obama Speaks at the National Action Network Convention


Published on Apr 11, 2014

President Obama delivers remarks at the National Action Network’s 16th Annual Convention. April 11, 2014.




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President Obama and Vice President Biden’s 2013 Tax Returns



Today, the President released his 2013 federal income tax returns. He and the First Lady filed their income tax returns jointly and reported adjusted gross income of $481,098. The Obamas paid $98,169 in total tax.


The President and First Lady also reported donating $59,251 – or about 12.3 percent of their adjusted gross income – to 32 different charities. The largest reported gift to charity was $8,751 to the Fisher House Foundation. The President’s effective federal income tax rate is 20.4 percent. The President pushed for and signed into law legislation that makes the system more fair and helps the middle class by extending tax cuts to middle class and working families and asks the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share. In 2013, as a result of his policies, the President was subject to limitations in tax preferences, as well as additional Medicare and investment income taxes, for high income earners. The President and First Lady also released their Illinois income tax return and reported paying $23,328 in state income tax.





The Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden also released their 2013 federal income tax returns, as well as state income tax returns for both Delaware and Virginia. The Bidens filed joint federal and combined Delaware income tax returns. Dr. Biden filed a separate non-resident Virginia tax return. Together, they reported adjusted gross income of $407,009. The Bidens paid $96,378 in total federal tax for 2013, amounting to an effective tax rate of 23.7 percent. They also paid $14,644 in Delaware income tax and Dr. Biden paid $3,470 in Virginia income tax. The Bidens contributed $20,523 to charity in 2013, including contributing the royalties received from Dr. Biden’s children’s book, net of taxes, to the USO.







Learn more:

Jay Carney is the White House Press Secretary.






Remarks by the President Nominating Sylvia Mathews Burwell as Secretary of Health and Human Services


The President Nominates Sylvia Mathews Burwell: Secretary Of Health And Human Services.


First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, Former First Lady Rosalynn Carter And Senator Elizabeth Dole Hosting The Joining Forces Initiative For Caregivers.


Statement by President Obama on the Retirement of Deputy Secretary of State William J. Burns


Presidential Nomination Sent to the Senate


President Obama Announces Presidential Delegation to the Holy See to Attend the Canonization Mass of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II





April 11th 2014: Photo of the Day


President Barack Obama reaches down to 6-month-old Sabina Johnson, from Beaumont, Texas, who was visiting the Oval Office with her uncle, Elbek Elibaev, for his Make-A-Wish visit at the White House, April 11, 2014 (Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama reaches down to 6-month-old Sabina Johnson, from Beaumont, Texas, who was visiting the Oval Office with her uncle, Elbek Elibaev, for his Make-A-Wish visit at the White House, April 11, 2014 (Photo by Pete Souza)





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In Case You Missed It: Fort Hood Memorial Service. LBJ Library Civil Rights Summit.


By Jueseppi B.



Memorial Service at Fort Hood – April 9th 2014







President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama board Air Force One

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama board Air Force One


President Obama at Fort Hood: “It Is Love, Tested by Tragedy, That Brings Us Together Again.”


Today, the President and First Lady traveled to Killeen, Texas to attend a memorial ceremony at the Fort Hood Military Base, remembering those who lost their lives in last week’s tragic shooting at the base.

During his remarks at the memorial, the President explained that we must honor their lives “not in word or talk, but in deed and in truth.”


We must honor these men with a renewed commitment to keep our troops safe, not just in battle but on the home front, as well. In our open society, and at vast bases like this, we can never eliminate every risk. But as a nation, we can do more to help counsel those with mental health issues, to keep firearms out of the hands of those who are having such deep difficulties. As a military, we must continue to do everything in our power to secure our facilities and spare others this pain.

We must honor these men by doing more to care for our fellow Americans living with mental illness, civilian and military. Today, four American soldiers are gone. Four Army families are devastated. As Commander-in-Chief, I’m determined that we will continue to step up our efforts — to reach our troops and veterans who are hurting, to deliver to them the care that they need, and to make sure we never stigmatize those who have the courage to seek help.

And finally, we must honor these men by recognizing that they were members of a generation that has borne the burden of our security in more than a decade of war. Now our troops are coming home, and by the end of this year our war in Afghanistan will finally be over.

Read the President’s full remarks here.






President Obama Speaks at a Memorial Service for Victims of the Shooting at Fort Hood


Published on Apr 9, 2014

President Obama says that we must honor the lives of those killed in the tragedy at Fort Hood “not in word or talk, but in deed and in truth.” April 9, 2014.








President and Mrs. Obama at today's Fort Hood memorial ceremony

President and Mrs. Obama at today’s Fort Hood memorial ceremony

























Barack Obama

Barack Obama, Michelle Obama




Obama Fort Hood




President Obama accompanied by the First Lady lays a coin for each of the victims at Fort Hood

President Obama accompanied by the First Lady lays a coin for each of the victims at Fort Hood

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pay their respects at #FortHood to the three fallen soldiers.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pay their respects at #FortHood to the three fallen soldiers.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive for a memorial service at Fort Hood.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama arrive for a memorial service at Fort Hood.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pay their respects during a memorial service at #FortHood.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pay their respects during a memorial service at #FortHood.





















Meeting of the President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons


Published on Apr 9, 2014

The President’s Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking, which was established to coordinate federal efforts to combat trafficking in persons, holds its annual meeting at the White House. April 8, 2014.







LBJ Library Civil Rights Summit – Day 1 – Morning Panels (12:30-4:00 pm CDT)


Streamed live on Apr 8, 2014

Time: Tuesday April 8, 2014 12:35pm – 1:40pm CST
Panel: Gay Marriage: A Civil Right?

Time: Tuesday April 8, 2014 1:40pm – 2:40pm
Panel: Pathway to the American Dream: Immigration Policy in the 21st Century

Time: Tuesday April 8, 2014 2:40pm – 4:00pm
Panel: Music and Social Consciousness





LBJ Library Civil Rights Summit – Day 1 – Evening Panel (6:00-7:30 pm CDT)


Streamed live on Apr 8, 2014

Time: Tuesday April 8, 2014 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Panel: Conversation with Former President Jimmy Carter






LBJ Library Civil Rights Summit – Day 2 – Morning Panels (12:30-4:00 pm CDT)


Streamed live on Apr 9, 2014

Time: Wednesday April 9, 2014 12:35pm – 1:40pm
Panel: LBJ and MLK: Fulfilling a Promise, Realizing a Dream

Time: Wednesday April 9, 2014 1:40pm – 2:40pm
Panel: Sports: Leveling the Playing Field

Time: Wednesday April 9, 2014 2:40pm – 4:00pm
Panel: Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement: Views from the Front Line






LBJ Library Civil Rights Summit – Day 2 – Evening Panel (6:00-7:30 pm CDT)


Streamed live on Apr 9, 2014

Time: Wednesday April 9, 2014 6:00pm – 7:30pm
Panel: Address by Former President William Jefferson Clinton





Legendary sports figures weigh in at Civil Rights Summit


Published on Apr 9, 2014

Two of the greatest athletes of all time who have both been fighting the fight for civil rights since the 60s spoke Wednesday at the Civil Rights Summit at the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library.





LBJ Civil Rights Summit Google Hangout with President Jimmy Carter


Streamed live on Apr 8, 2014

Former U.S. President and humanitarian Jimmy Carter will answer questions about the Civil Rights Summit as well as his new book, A Call To Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power.

The public is encouraged to ask President Carter questions in advance on Google+ via https://plus.google.com/events/cadh8u…, or using #SummitHangout on Twitter or Facebook.








LBJ Civil Rights Summit 



50 for 50_blk



















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Presidential Commission On Election Administration Recommendations Report To President Obama.


By Jueseppi B.



From The Washington Post:


Report on the American voting experience


Bipartisan election commission releases list of suggested fixes


By  & The Washington Post:


A bipartisan commission recommended a series of steps Wednesday to make it simpler to cast ballots in the next election, but largely avoided the most politically contentious issues in a debate over voter access that has become deeply partisan.


Concluding a six-month review, the Presidential Commission on Election Administration said in its report that jurisdictions should expand online voter registration and early balloting, update electronic voting equipment as first-generation voting machines grow obsolete and share voter registration records across state lines to protect against fraud.


The 112-page report also suggests improvements in the more traditional ways Americans have voted. They include increasing the number of schools used as polling places, locating polling places close to voters’ homes and simplifying voting for members of the military and other Americans living overseas through better access to state Web sites.


Together the recommendations present a comprehensive, if largely unsurprising, list of ways to make voting easier for millions of Americans — a promise President Obama made on the night of his reelection. The suggestions, all tested at the state level, occupy what is perhaps the safest ground in the partisan debate over U.S. elections, avoiding the more politically treacherous proposals surrounding online voting, same-day registration and other issues.


The report is part of a broader political debate about voting rights as the two major parties argue about how simple it should be for Americans to register and cast ballots while also protecting against fraud. Last week, lawmakers from both parties presented an amendment to the landmark 1965 Voting Rights Actthat proposes stricter voter ID requirements and other changes.


Obama, who appointed the commission, called its suggestions “eminently glittering” after receiving them Wednesday, and said the White House intends to “reach out to stakeholders all across the country to make sure that we can implement” the commission’s report.


“One of the troubling aspects of the work that they did was hearing from local officials indicating that we could have even more problems in the future if we don’t act now,” Obama said before meeting with commission members at the White House.


Who should vote, and how easy it should be to do so, has emerged again in recent years as a highly contested partisan question.


Many Republicans argue that the federal government should not be involved in voting issues, given that administering elections is largely the responsibility of states. But some Democrats say threats to voting access require a federal response, particularly new state and local restrictions that have made registering to vote more difficult.


The Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the Voting Rights Act last year, ruling that Congress had not taken into account the nation’s progress on issues of race in deciding which states require federal oversight of minority voting rights. The ruling affected many Southern states that have become reliably Republican in recent elections.


The election commission, criticized by some members of both parties when Obama announced it last year, left aside the issue of race in assessing access to voting places and waiting times for casting ballots.


But the panel said bilingual poll workers should be available “to any polling place with a significant number of voters who do not speak English,” a suggestion that is likely to concern Republicans who have complained that Obama formed the commission to drive up Democratic votes. Latino voters, who comprise 10 percent of the electorate, favored Obama by more than 40 percentage points over Mitt Romney in 2012.


“We discovered, as officials, experts and members of the public from across the country testified, that voters’ expectations are remarkably uniform and transcend differences of party and political perspective,” the 10-member commission wrote in the report’s cover letter. “The electorate seeks above all modern, efficient and responsive administrative performance in the conduct of elections.”


Many voters, particularly those living in poor neighborhoods, waited for hours to cast ballots in the 2012 election. In his reelection victory speech, Obama thanked “every American who participated in this election — whether you voted for the very first time or waited in line for a very long time.”


“By the way,” he added, “we have to fix that.”


Obama created the election commission in March, naming Benjamin L. Ginsberg and Robert F. Bauer as co-chairmen. The men served as the chief lawyers of the Romney and Obama presidential campaigns, respectively.


The panel only recommended changes, such as expanded online registration, that have already been implemented in some states.


David Becker, the director of the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Election Initiative, which provided research and data to the commission, said the recommendations have been successful in states but “have yet to reach a critical mass” nationally.


“They wanted to see if there were a consensus of reforms successful at the state level that could be shared,” Becker said. “I think they wisely decided to focus on these tested reforms, carried out in red, blue and purple states.”


Behind the recommendations was a push to accelerate the use of technological advances to make voting easier and more efficient. Commissioners did not recommend a push for online voting because of continued security concerns.


The initial reaction to the recommendations from voter advocacy groups was largely positive. Laura W. Murphy, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington Legislative Office, said in a statement that “overall these are a series of recommendations that make sense” but that “we have to analyze them comprehensively both for their civil rights and privacy implications.”


Heather Gerken, a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s commission on political reform, said “it is often difficult to find agreement in this fraught political environment, particularly in the area of election administration.”


Obama called on Congress and local jurisdictions to help put the recommendations into place.


“No American should have to wait more than half an hour to vote,” Obama said. “And they should know, they should be confident that their vote is being properly counted and is secure.”


Read More


I cannot imagine why it requires 100+ pages to say something that could likely be condensed to one or two. I personally like the concise, half page “MoveToAmend.org” template for a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizens United……. one of the best ways I can imagine to restore the principle of one person, one vote in this country. Another is public financing of federal elections, whereby the small contributions of individuals are matched in some ratio with public funds.







The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)


By Jueseppi B.

Leaders of the member states of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP). Pictured, from left, are Naoto Kan (Japan), Nguyễn Minh Triết (Vietnam), Julia Gillard (Australia), Sebastián Piñera (Chile), Lee Hsien Loong (Singapore), Barack Obama (United States), John Key (New Zealand), Hassanal Bolkiah (Brunei), Alan García (Peru), and Muhyiddin Yassin (Malaysia). Six of these leaders represent countries that are currently negotiating to join the group.

Leaders of the member states of the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPP). Pictured, from left, are Naoto Kan (Japan), Nguyễn Minh Triết (Vietnam), Julia Gillard (Australia), Sebastián Piñera (Chile), Lee Hsien Loong (Singapore), Barack Obama (United States), John Key (New Zealand), Hassanal Bolkiah (Brunei), Alan García (Peru), and Muhyiddin Yassin (Malaysia). Six of these leaders represent countries that are currently negotiating to join the group.


The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is being  negotiated behind closed doors, in secret, so nobody actually knows whats in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). That doesn’t stop Americans from disliking it, calling it NAFTA on steroids and hating a thing nobody has yet to read. So my question is why does America hate something not one single American has read? How do you stand against a thing you can’t read for yourself, to know you stand against it?


From Slate.com:

It seems wrong to hate something that you’ve never read. Yet the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a globally significant free trade agreement being worked out in secret, is rewriting the rules in more ways than one.

The TPP is already being negotiated behind closed doors, but the situation could get worse. Late on Thursday afternoon, House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, introduced the Bipartisan Congressional Trade Priorities Act of 2014. The bill would grant the White House fast-track authority, sometimes known as the “trade promotion authority,” to ratify trade deals.


If the bill passes, it would allow agreements like TPP to be ratified by a straight up-and-down vote, with no amendments allowed from the floor, and lawmakers would have to forgo procedural stalling tactics like the filibuster. That’s a great deal of oversight power for Congress to abdicate over a deal that not many people have even read.


Apart from a few corporations, most stakeholders and public interest groups have been unable to read the TPP drafts in full. Even those in government have complained that their staff cannot access the negotiating text. As Wisconsin Democrat Mark Pocan* said in reponse to the new bill: “Blindly approving or disapproving agreements that have largely been negotiated in secret would represent a derelict of duty for Congress. If there is nothing to hide in these agreements, we should be allowed to debate and amend these deals in the open.


Thank you Slate.com.


Here’s what Wikipedia has to tell us all about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)


The 2005 Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPSEP or P4) is a trade agreement among BruneiChileNew Zealand, and Singapore. It seeks to manage trade, and indirectly the economies, of the Asia-Pacific region.


Since 2010, negotiations have been taking place for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a proposal for a significantly expanded version of TPSEP. The TPP is a proposed trade agreement under negotiation by (as of August 2013) AustraliaBruneiChileCanadaJapanMalaysia,MexicoNew ZealandPeruSingapore, the United States, and Vietnam.


The TPP intends to enhance trade and investment among the TPP partner countries, promote innovation, economic growth and development, and support the creation and retention of jobs.


There has been criticism and protest of the negotiations from some global health experts, internet freedom activists, environmentalists, organized labor, advocacy groups and elected officials, in large part due to the secrecy of the negotiations, the expansive scope of the agreement, and controversial clauses in the drafts leaked to the public.


Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement

Leaders of TPP member states and prospective member states
at a TPP summit in 2010.
Type Trade agreement
Drafted 3 June 2005
Signed 18 July 2005
Location Wellington, New Zealand
Effective 28 May 2006 (New Zealand and Singapore)

; 12 July 2006 (Brunei); 8 November 2006 (Chile)

Condition 2 ratifications
Parties 4 (BruneiChileSingapore andNew Zealand)
Depositary Government of New Zealand
Languages English and Spanish, in event of conflict

English prevails


Membership and accession

The negotiations to set up the TPSEP initially included three countries (Chile, New Zealand and Singapore), and Brunei subsequently joined the agreement. The original TPSEP agreement contains an accession clause and affirms the members’ “commitment to encourage the accession to this Agreement by other economies”.


In January 2008 the United States agreed to enter into talks with the P4 members regarding liberalization of trade in financial services. Then, on 22 September 2008, US Trade Representative Susan C. Schwab announced that the United States would begin negotiations with the P4 countries to join the TPP, with the first round of talks in early 2009.


In November 2008, Australia, Vietnam, and Peru announced that they would join the P4 trade bloc. In October 2010, Malaysia announced that it had also joined the TPP negotiations.


In June 2012, Canada and Mexico announced that they were joining the TPP negotiations. Mexico’s interest in joining was initially met with concern among TPP negotiators about its customs policies.


Two years earlier, Canada became an observer in the TPP talks, and expressed interest in officially joining, but was not committed to join, purportedly because the United States and New Zealand blocked it due to concerns over Canadian agricultural policy (i.e. supply management)—specifically dairy—and intellectual property-rights protection. Several pro-business and internationalist Canadian media outlets raised concerns about this as a missed opportunity.


In a feature in the Financial Post, former Canadian trade-negotiator Peter Clark claimed that the US Obama Administration had strategically outmaneuvered the Canadian Harper Government. Wendy Dobson and Diana Kuzmanovic for The School of Public Policy, University of Calgary, argued for the economic necessity of the TPP to Canada. Embassy warned that Canada’s position in APEC could be compromised by being excluded from both the US-oriented TPP and the proposed China-oriented ASEAN +3 trade agreement (or the broader Comprehensive Economic Partnership for East Asia).


Canada and Mexico formally became TPP negotiating participants in October 2012, following completion of the domestic consultation periods of the other nine members.



Members and Potential Members

Country/Region Status Date
 Brunei Original Signatory June 2005
 Chile Original Signatory June 2005
 New Zealand Original Signatory June 2005
 Singapore Original Signatory June 2005
 United States Negotiating February 2008
 Australia Negotiating November 2008
 Peru Negotiating November 2008
 Vietnam Negotiating November 2008
 Malaysia Negotiating October 2010
 Mexico Negotiating October 2012
 Canada[35] Negotiating October 2012
 Japan Negotiating March 2013
 Taiwan Announced Interest September 2013
 South Korea Announced Interest November 2013



The TPSEP was previously known as the Pacific Three Closer Economic Partnership (P3-CEP), its negotiations launched on the sidelines of the 2002 APEC Leaders’ Meeting in Los Cabos, Mexico, by Prime Ministers Helen Clark of New Zealand, Goh Chok Tong of Singapore and Chilean President Ricardo Lagos. Brunei first took part as a full negotiating party in the fifth round of talks in April 2005, after which the trade bloc became known as the Pacific-4 (P4). Although all original and negotiating parties are members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the TPSEP and TPP are not APEC initiatives. However, the TPP is considered to be a pathfinder for the proposed Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP), an APEC initiative.


The original agreement was concluded by BruneiChileNew Zealand and Singapore on 3 June 2005, and entered into force on 28 May 2006 for New Zealand and Singapore, 12 July 2006 for Brunei, and 8 November 2006 for Chile. It is a comprehensive agreement, affecting trade in goods, rules of origin, trade remedies, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, technical barriers to trade, trade in services, intellectual property, government procurement and competition policy. Among other things, it called for reduction by 90 percent of all tariffs between member countries by 1 January 2006, and reduction of all trade tariffs to zero by the year 2015.


On the last day of the 2010 APEC summit, leaders of the nine negotiating countries endorsed the proposal advanced by United States president Barack Obama that set a target for settlement of negotiations by the next APEC summit in November 2011. However, negotiations have continued through 2012 and into 2013.



After the inauguration of Barack Obama in January 2009, the anticipated March 2009 negotiations were postponed. However, in his first trip to Asia in November 2009, president Obama reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and on 14 December 2009, new United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk notified Congress that president Obama planned to enter TPP negotiations “with the objective of shaping a high-standard, broad-based regional pact”.


Since that time, 19 formal rounds of TPP negotiations have been held:


In the United States, the majority of so-called free trade agreements are implemented as congressional-executive agreements. Unlike treaties, congressional-executive agreements require a majority of the House and Senate to pass. Under “Trade Promotion Authority” (TPA), established by the Trade Act of 1974, Fast track (trade) Congress authorizes the President to negotiate “free trade agreements… if they are approved by both houses in a bill enacted into public law and other statutory conditions are met.”


In early 2012, the Obama administration indicated that a requirement for the conclusion of TPP negotiations is the renewal of “fast track” Trade Promotion Authority. If “fast track” is renewed, then the normal treaty ratification and implementation procedure would be bypassed, and the United States Congress would instead be required to introduce and vote on an administration-authored bill for implementing the TPP with minimal debate and no amendments, with the entire process taking no more than 90 days.


In April 2013 APEC members proposed, along with setting a possible target for settlement of the TPP by the 2013 APEC summit, that World Trade Organisation (WTO) members set a target for settlement of the Doha Round mini-package by the ninth WTO ministerial conference (MC9), also to be held around the same time in Bali.


This call for inclusion and cooperation between the WTO and economic partnership agreements (also termed regional trade agreements) like the TPP comes after the statement by Pierre Lellouche who described the sentiment of the Doha round negotiations; “Although no one wants to say it, we must call a cat a cat…”.



Intellectual property provisions


There has been criticism of some provisions relating to the enforcement of patents and copyrights alleged to be present in leaked copies of the US proposal for the agreement:

The proposals have been accused of being excessively restrictive, providing intellectual property restraints beyond those in the Korea-US trade agreement and Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).


A number of United States Congresspeople, including Senator Bernard Sanders and Representatives Henry WaxmanSander M. LevinJohn ConyersJim McDermottJohn LewisPete StarkCharles B. RangelEarl Blumenauer, and Lloyd Doggett, have expressed concerns about the effect the TPP requirements would have on access to medicine.


In particular, they are concerned that the TPP focuses on protecting intellectual property to the detriment of efforts to provide access to affordable medicine in the developing world, particularly Vietnam, going against the foreign policy goals of the Obama administration and previous administrations. Additionally, they worry that the TPP would not be flexible enough to accommodate existing non-discriminatory drug reimbursement programs and the diverse health systems of member countries.


Opponents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership say US corporations are hoping to weaken Pharmac‘s ability to get inexpensive, generic medicines by forcing New Zealand to pay for brand name drugs. Doctors and organisations like Medicins Sans Frontieres have also expressed concern. The New Zealand Government denies the claims, Trade Negotiations Minister Tim Groser saying opponents of the deal are “fools” who are “trying to wreck this agreement”.


Ken Akamatsu, creator of Love Hina and Mahou Sensei Negima!, expressed concern the agreement could decimate the derivative dōjinshi (self-published) works prevalent in Japan. Akamatsu argues that the TPP “would destroy derivative dōjinshi. And as a result, the power of the entire manga industry would also diminish.”


Kensaku Fukui, a lawyer and a Nihon University professor, expressed concerns that the TPP could allow companies to restrict or stop imports and exports of intellectual property, such as licensed merchandise. For example, IP holders could restrict or stop importers from shipping merchandise such as DVDs and other related goods related to an anime or manga property into one country to protect local distribution of licensed merchandise already in the country via local licensors.


At a NicoNico live seminar called How Would TPP Change the Net and Copyrights? An In-Depth Examination: From Extending Copyright Terms to Changing the Law to Allow Unilateral Enforcement and Statutory Damages, artist Kazuhiko Hachiya warned that cosplay could also fall under the TPP, and such an agreement could give law enforcement officials broad interpretive authority in dictating how people could dress up. Critics also have derided the agreement could also harm Japanese culture, where some segments have developed through parody works


Protests and opposition

On 5 March 2012, a group of TPP protesters disrupted an outside broadcast of 7News Melbourne’s 6 pm bulletin in Melbourne’s Federation Square.


In New Zealand a coalition of people concerned about the TPP have formed a group called It’s Our Future aimed to raise public awareness about, and resistance against the TPP prior to the Auckland round of negotiations from 3–12 December 2012.


Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz warned that the TPP presented “grave risks”. Organized labor in the United States argues that the trade deal would largely benefit big business at the expense of workers in the manufacturing and service industries. The Economic Policy Institute and the Center for Economic and Policy Research have argued that the TPP could result in further job losses and declining wages. Noam Chomsky warns that the TPP is “designed to carry forward the neoliberal project to maximize profit and domination, and to set the working people in the world in competition with one another so as to lower wages to increase insecurity.”


Ilana Solomon, Sierra Club director of responsible trade, argues that the TPP “could directly threaten our climate and our environment [including] new rights that would be given to corporations, and new constraints on the fossil fuel industry all have a huge impact on our climate, water, and land.”


A second leaked set of draft documents indicates that public concern has had little impact on the negotiations. These documents also indicate there are strong disagreements between the United States and negotiating parties on the issues of intellectual property, agricultural subsidies, and financial services.


In December 2013, 151 House Democrats signed a letter written by Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and George Miller (D-Calif.) opposing the fast tracktrade promotion authority for the TPP. Several House Republicans oppose the measure on the grounds that it empowers the executive branch. In January 2014, House Democrats refused to put forward a co-sponsor for the legislation, hampering the bill’s prospects for passage.





Again, I ask..how can one be dead set against something without having the ability to know 100% what it is you are against? I have discovered that some Americans are so against anything the U.S, government is for, that those Americans are the first ones on the front lines of protest….but what exactly are they protesting against?


A robot is one who repeats the talking points that they hear on MSNBC, CNN, Fox News (Joke Name), and the other main stream media outlets. Repeating things heard on news agencies is a big mistake. Research and investigate for yourselves then form opinions whether a thing is good or bad.


Fast tracking may upset you, but the government has fast tracked bills into laws for eons….think back to all the anti women’s rights bills fast tracked into law. Remember all the anti voter rights/voter suppression bills fast tracked into law around the United States Of America.


Now answer me how many Americans protested THOSE fast track moments.


Quit bitchin just to be bitchin, until you actually know what it is you are bitchin about….needs your bitchin.



cropped-b4peace-header obamabottomheader

Rallying For McAuliffe, President Obama Tears Into Tea Party


By Jueseppi B.

Obama tells @TerryMcAuliffe, "Virginia is a swing state -- get out and vote!"

Obama tells @TerryMcAuliffe, “Virginia is a swing state — get out and vote!”


Rallying for McAuliffe, Obama tears into tea party


By Associated Press


ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — President Barack Obama cast Republican Ken Cuccinelli on Sunday as part of an extreme tea party Republican faction that shut down the government, throwing the political weight of the White House behind Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the final days of a bitter race for governor.


National issues that have sorely divided Democrats and Republicans spilled into the race as Obama rallied for McAuliffe just outside Washington. As Obama tore into Cuccinelli as a compromise-averse ideologue, Cuccinelli was telling his supporters that Tuesday’s election will be a referendum on Obama’s unpopular health care law and McAuliffe’s support for it.


“This isn’t a game,” Obama told a crowd of 1,600 gathered in a high school gymnasium. “There are very real consequences when you operate ideologically, the way some of these folks do.”


Praising McAuliffe as a practical thinker whose commitment to equality runs deep, Obama told Virginians that a vote for McAuliffe would be a vote for progress. He said Cuccinelli wanted Virginia voters to forget that Cuccinelli’s intellectual counterparts in Congress just weeks earlier had taken the economy, the nation and the economy hostage, hurting Virginians in the process.


“Now he says it’s in the rear view mirror. It can’t be in the rear view mirror if this is your operative theory of politics,” Obama said.


Even before Obama spoke, Cuccinelli was working to use the campaign stop to energize his own backers, many of whom disapprove of the president and detest his health care law. Portraying McAuliffe as a Washington insider, Cuccinelli told voters in Weyers Cave that a vote for McAuliffe was a vote in support of Obama’s health care law.”No more Obamacare in Virginia. That’s the message we can send,” Cuccinelli said as he began a day that was taking him from airport to airport to rally supporters across the state.


Obama’s pitch for McAuliffe constituted a last-minute push by the White House and prominent Democrats to close the deal in the race’s final days. McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee chairman, has had help from former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Vice President Joe Biden was to do his part Monday, and first lady Michelle Obama lent her voice to radio ads backing Cuccinelli.


Cuccinelli campaigned Saturday with Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida was joining him in the final days.


The race is going to be decided by the few Virginians who choose to vote. The state Board of Elections chief says turnout could be as low as 30 percent of registered voters and the campaigns see 40 percent turnout as the goal.


“If mainstream Virginians from both parties don’t turn out to vote, you’re letting the tea party decide Virginia’s future,” McAuliffe said.


Polls show McAuliffe ahead and campaign finance reports show a dramatically lopsided dynamic, with the Democrats far outraising and outspending Cuccinelli and his allies. Television airtime was tilted in McAuliffe’s favor by a 10-to-1 margin.


More than 114,000 Virginians have already voted early. Democrats say more registered Democrats have cast early ballots than Republicans.


President Barack Obama waves after delivering a speech at a campaign rally with supporters for Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe at Washington Lee High School in Arlington, Va., Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

President Barack Obama waves after delivering a speech at a campaign rally with supporters for Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe at Washington Lee High School in Arlington, Va., Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)


Obama won Virginia last year by just three points, racking up big margins in the Democrat-rich Washington suburbs where he campaigned Sunday, but carrying far fewer votes in the more conservative, southern parts of the state that have been a focus for Cuccinelli. One year later, Obama and Democrats are struggling with a health care rollout that’s turned into a political fiasco, and hope a McAuliffe victory will allow them to retrench on solid footing.


Democrats see Virginia as a bellwether for other competitive states and are eager for a win there to show their approach to governing is resonating with voters ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.


That’s especially true when it comes to the recent fiscal crisis, in which House Republicans refused to approve government funding unless Obama agreed to debilitating changes to “Obamacare.” Democrats emerged politically strengthened from the debacle and are looking to Virginia to see whether that advantage will translate into real gains in elections.


Turning to his tea party base, Cuccinelli kept up an intense focus on the health care law, knocking McAuliffe for wanting to use the law to expand Medicaid and add 400,000 Virginians to the program. McAuliffe says the program keeps Virginia tax dollars at home, but Cuccinelli says it will be a drag on the state budget and tie future governors’ hands.


“Once you get in, there’s no getting out,” Cuccinelli said. “It’s like Hotel California.”


Cuccinelli said it underscored McAuliffe’s overall approach to the campaign.


“I think my opponent is running as head lobbyist to lobby for goodies from Washington,” he said. “Let’s keep Terry McAuliffe’s D.C. politics on the other side of the Potomac.”


Obama has been aggressively fundraising for Democrats, but has sought to limit the chance for blowback by minimizing risk. He and Biden didn’t announce events for McAuliffe until after it was clear the Democrat was far ahead in the polls; the same was true with New York mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio. In New Jersey, this year’s only other gubernatorial race, the Democrat is far down in the polls and Obama isn’t offering any assistance.


President Barack Obama reaches to hold a baby before speaking at a campaign event for Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Va. on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) The Associated Press

President Barack Obama reaches to hold a baby before speaking at a campaign event for Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Va. on Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin) The Associated Press

Thank you Associated Press.







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