Muse in the MorningTime for a break from poetry...in order to create some art.You laugh at me because I am different; I laugh because you are all the same.--Daniel KnodeGlyph 1 I know you have talent. ?What sometimes is forgotten is that being[...]
Read The Full Article:
While we're all freaking out over the kill-Social-Security-to-help-Paris-Hilton deal, the administration is working quietly behind the scenes to repeat the NAFTA catastrophe with South Korea.
Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka On Korea Trade Deal
For more than a decade, the labor movement, environmental groups, development advocates and others have advocated for a new trade policy that is part of a more coordinated and coherent national economic strategy. The proposed U.S.-Korea trade deal does not live up to that model and does not contribute to a sustainable global future. We believe we must move towards a more democratic, sustainable and fair global economy with broadly shared prosperity for working people around the world. Reaching that goal will require deep-seated reforms in current trade policy, as well as in our own domestic labor laws and other policies.
We welcome the tremendous efforts by the Obama administration and particularly Ambassador Ron Kirk and his team to address the urgent concerns of autoworkers and auto companies with respect to market access, safeguard provisions and some non-tariff barriers. Ways and Means Chairman Sander Levin and Ranking Member Dave Camp also pressed hard for key improvements in the auto provisions, and we appreciate their strong efforts. These newly negotiated provisions will give some much needed breathing room to the auto industry, and we appreciate the hard bargaining that was necessary to win these important changes.
However, the labor movement's concerns about the Korea trade deal go beyond the auto assembly sector to a more fundamental question about what a fairer and more balanced trade policy should look like. In particular, the labor movement has consistently and for many years argued that the investment and government procurement provisions in the Korea deal will encourage off shoring. And despite the progress made in improving the labor chapter in 2007, it is clear that in both the United States and South Korea, workers continue to face repeated challenges to their exercise of fundamental human rights on the job - especially freedom of association and the right to organize and bargain collectively. This deal does nothing to improve or strengthen the provisions negotiated by former President George W. Bush in these crucial areas. It is essential that both countries bring their labor laws and practice fully into compliance with international standards prior to implementation of the agreement. And for American workers to benefit from trade deals, we must strengthen U.S. labor law to harmonize social activity. Going forward, we hope to work closely with the Obama administration to address all of these concerns in any future deals,particularly the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.
The Korea deal also fails to address the potential problem of currency manipulation and contains lax provisions on rule of origin (allowing up to 65% foreign content in autos eligible for the lower tariff treatment,in contrast to the EU-Korea agreement, which allows only 45% foreign content) and duty drawback (which disadvantages domestic parts production). These provisions will undermine both S. Korean and American workers. There is significant opposition by many S. Korean unions to the trade agreement, as the agreement fails to address key offshoring and outsourcing issues facing S. Korea. In fact, the weak offshoring protections and rule of origin make the agreement a back door for increasing offshoring to China and other countries from South Korea,as well as from the United States.
We are also concerned that the trade agreement leaves open the possibility that goods produced in the North Korean free trade zone, the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC), could in the future gain access to the United States. We shouldn't leave open the possibility of including these goods for two reasons: 1) grave concerns over the atrocious labor rights record in the KIC and 2) the impact on jobs and wages of the exports of these goods - produced at perhaps the lowest wage levels in the world.
In addition to much needed reforms in trade policy, the United States must implement a well coordinated industrial strategy that includes tax policy, infrastructure, skills development and technology investments to support a vibrant, growing and modern manufacturing sector.
The experiences of union members and working people with too many flawed trade deals like the North American Free Trade Agreement and China's accession to the World Trade Organization do not justify optimism that this deal will generate the promised new jobs. We've seen U.S. multinational companies take advantage of the investment and other corporate protections in past trade deals to shift production offshore, while maintaining access to the U.S. consumer market and undermining the jobs, wages and bargaining power of American workers.And the results have been catastrophic, with chronic and unsustainable trade deficits that sap economic growth and domestic job creation.
So long as these agreements fall short of protecting the broad interests of American workers and their counterparts around the world in these uncertain economic times, we will oppose them.
The House Democrats stood up and said no, NO, HELL NO.
The Senate stalled DADT.
The Chinese announced that it wasn't enough to say no to the Nobel Commission, they were issuing their own prize. BTW, there are other countries boycotting the Nobel ceremony in Oslo: China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq , Iran, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Egypt, Sudan, Cuba and Morocco. Go figure.
The vote to pay medical expenses for surviving 9/11 responders.
Life expectancy rates for Americans fell for the first time since 2004.
We pretty much know that the Chinese have no intention of backtracking and allowing Liu Xiaobo to receive his Nobel Peace Prize. It's likely that they will try to prevent him from even finding out that he won. But will the House Democrats back down? Will the tax deal be changed? Will DREAM and DADT be added to the must-pass Defense Authorization bill? Will Congress stay in DC through the holidays?
Your guesses? You can check as many as you want...
Source: Karen Roche and Brian Sylvester of The Energy Report
As growing middle classes in developing nations feed the need for fertilizer, how to increase production has become the real issue in agriculture. Major potash producers are lining up to fill that need. The Energy Report spoke with Adrian Day Asset Management Chairman . . . → Full Story: Identifying Top Seeds in the Potash Boom
Read The Full Article:
Not many people have heard of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA for short, much less know what it does. But this little-known government agency was created by the Department of Defense in the late 1950s to ensure the U.S. military's technical superiority. Even more interesting to investors, it also controls about . . . → Full Story: 3 Little-Known Government Projects That Could Change the Face of Tomorrow
Read The Full Article:
Recently, twelve high-school students and four staff members of our non-profit went to see the exciting political thriller, “Fair Game” at the Tivoli Theater in University City. The movie is the true story of Valerie Plame and her husband Joe Wilson and how their work resulted in Ms. Plame being “outed” by the Bush Administration as a [...]Related posts:
Once again our mighty media overlords have redefined the term fascinating into something that is actually mind-numbingly stupid.Must be a day ending in "y".[...]
Read The Full Article:
Oh, who could forget all of the Laura Bush visits and big talk in the early days of the war about how we were doing so much to help Afghan women. Not so much today. Whether it's the dire situation for women, the corruption (that includes millions of US tax dollars) or even the drug trade, none of these problems are progressing. Back in the US, government officials once again take advantage of it all being "over there" and a population who is focused on so many other problems at home that our politicians created. The experiment in nation building has failed horribly.
The report by the UN's Afghanistan mission said that such practices are problem in all communities and cause "suffering, humiliation and marginalisation for millions of Afghan women and girls".
Despite recent efforts to toughen laws designed to protect women, the government does little to combat abuses. For example, the law on elimination of violence against women, which was regarded by rights activists as a major step forward when it came into effect in August last year, is not being enforced in many rural areas, where officials have not even heard of it, the report said.
One long-observed tradition covered by the report is the concept of baad, where a young girl will be given in marriage to settle disputes between families.
"Many of the women told us that, instead of the murderer being punished, an innocent girl is punished and has to spend her life in slavery and subject to cruel violence," said Georgette Gagnon, the UN's director of human rights in Kabul.
Source: Advanced Currency Markets | G10 Advancers and Decliners vs USD EUR 0.39 GBP 0.25 JPY 0.18 CHF 0.18 Asian markets were on the decline on Chinese concerns of a rate hike over the weekend and the US releases reports on trade balance and consumer confidence later in the day. China posted a trade . . . → Full Story: China Posts Trade Surplus, Increasing Speculation Of Rate Hike
Read The Full Article: