Posts tagged fascism

By tri-partisan I mean Democrats, Republicans and corporations.

I saw what you were doing there, Capehart. Your implication that the political duopoly is distinct and separate from corporations didn’t fool me. I tell you this as it relates to your profession, not your ethnicity: I’m clear that you were doing your master’s bidding suggesting as much.

A spokesperson for Xcel Energy — a $10.1 billion a year public company based in Minnesota — said that the company hasn’t been a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) since 2011 in response to a recent letter to the Boulder Weekly criticizing Xcel’s efforts to reduce homeowner solar “net metering” credits as a hindrance to transitioning to renewable energy sources. The spokesperson attempted to distance the company from ALEC, complaining, “if you’ve been affiliated once, then they’ll brand you for life.”

Xcel Energy was listed as a state co-chair in ALEC documents from the summer of 2011, but Xcel told Boulder Weekly that it last paid dues in 2010. It is not clear when Xcel actually stopped aiding ALEC.

In addition, responding to investor pressure, Endo Health Solutions — a $3 billion a year publicly traded company based in Pennsylvania — has cut ties to ALEC and stopped providing any funding to the group, according to a statement by Trillium Asset Management, which is engaged in shareholder advocacy with the company.
Xcel Energy and Endo Health Cut Ties to ALEC, Making 72 Corporations Out

Hundreds of lobbyists got together to write a trade deal. What happened will scare you senseless.

Yes, I post many petitions for you to stop TPP. What is different about this one is that it has a new target.

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a terrible "trade" deal being negotiated in secret by the governments of a dozen countries (including ours) colluding with corporate interests.

Negotiated behind closed doors by the governments of a dozen countries (including ours) colluding with corporate interests, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a massive corporate power grab. Under the TPP, more American jobs would be offshored. Internet freedom would be a joke. Developing countries would lose access to lifesaving medicines. Unsafe foods and products could pour into our country. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The first step in corporate plan to pass the TPP is something called “fast track trade authority.” Join me in telling Congress to say NO to fast-track track authority. Click the link to sign the petition.

foundation funding and the creation of U.S. climate change counter-movement organizations

Jeff from San Diego 350 wrote about this academic study:

A study out of Drexel University, just published recently, provides an eye-popping look at the money behind climate change denial and the elaborate network it creates to sustain public support of the growth of the fossil fuel industry.

It explains the financial wealth necessary and focused on keeping more than half of the US public ignorant of the unanimity of the scientific community about anthropogenic induced climate change.

The group behind this is called the Climate Change Counter Movement (CCCM), which is composed of 91 organizations funded by 140 different foundations.  They have an annual income of over $900 million. 

It breaks my heart to remember our recent fund raiser where our members were chipping in $20 or whatever they could afford for books and cookies.  The disparity in funding is numbing.

Alexis Baden-Mayer, political director of the Organic Consumers Association — one of the many groups that attacks Monsanto’s reputation on a regular basis — remains skeptical that any new public relations strategy can make a difference.

“Monsanto patents seeds and enforces those patents by suing farmers; we support farmers’ right to save seeds,” she says. “Monsanto sells agricultural chemicals and genetically engineered seeds designed to increase the use of pesticides; we support pesticide- and GMO-free organic farming. Monsanto has focused on the seeds that are primarily used to grow animal feed for factory farms; we support farms that raise grass-fed animals on pasture.

“We know, as many experts have proven, that organic and pasture-based agriculture is the only way to feed the world and turn back climate change, so, we aren’t optimistic about the promises Monsanto has made about the potential benefits of GMOs.

State Policy Network: The Stealth Network Dramatically Influencing State Law

The State Policy Network (SPN), a web of pressure groups in all 50 states that call themselves “think tanks” while dramatically influencing state law, is a powerful and stealthy ally of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), as the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) detailed in the recent report, “EXPOSED: The State Policy Network: The Powerful Right-Wing Network Helping to Hijack State Politics and Government.” That report is part of a new initiative with Progress Now called “StinkTanks.org,” which includes additional research and reports on these groups in each state.

This is ALEC’s evil twin.

The latest round of talks over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) have failed to lead to a resolution, with ministers confirming that debate is likely to continue into next year.

The announcement comes as Wikileaks releases an internal memo and spreadsheet, revealing that the US is putting heavy pressure on other nations to conform with its demands.

Following four days of talks in Singapore, the heads of the various delegations have today released a statement saying that while they’ve identified what they call “potential landing zones” for the areas that remain contentious, they have failed to reach a resolution as hoped.

“Therefore, we have decided to continue our intensive work in the coming weeks toward such an agreement,” they say. “We will also further our consultations with stakeholders and engage in our respective political processes. Following additional work by negotiators, we intend to meet again next month.”

The statement coincides with the release of two more documents from Wikileaks which reveal just how far apart the US is from the other nations involved in the treaty, with 19 points of disagreement in the area of intellectual property alone. One of the documents speaks of “great pressure” being applied by the US.

Australia in particular is standing firm, objecting to the US’ proposals for copyright protection, parallel importation proposals and criminalization of copyright infringement. It’s also opposed to a measure supported by all the other nations involved to limit the liability of ISPs for copyright infringement by their users. Japan, too – which only joined the talks in March – has vowed to protect its agricultural markets, which the US wishes to see opened up.

But the TPP is causing increasing disquiet in the US, as well as around the world. Over the weekend, campaign group Knowledge Ecology International (KEI) revealed that Nobel prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz of the Columbia University School of Business has written to the negotiators, calling on them to resist a tranche of measures that he says would weaken the 2001 Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health.

These include extending patent terms and lowering the threshold for patentability of medicines, making surgical procedures patentable and mandating monopolies of 12 years on test data for biologic drugs. He also objects to the granting of compulsory licenses on patents, increasing damages for patent and copyright infringement, placing lower limits on injunctions, narrowing copyright exceptions and extending copyright protection to life plus 70 years.

“The TPP proposes to freeze into a binding trade agreement many of the worst features of the worst laws in the TPP countries, making needed reforms extremely difficult if not impossible,” he writes.

His sentiments are echoed by 29 organizations and more than 70 other individuals in a separate letter.

“The primary harm from the life + 70 copyright term is the loss of access to countless books, newspapers, pamphlets, photographs, films, sound recordings and other works that are ‘owned’ but largely not commercialized, forgotten, and lost,” they say. “The extended terms are also costly to consumers and performers, while benefiting persons and corporate owners that had nothing to do with the creation of the work.”

The failure of the talks to reach agreement is a major blow for the US, which hoped to see the deal largely wrapped up by now. The ministers say they’ll meet again next month, but haven’t set any new timeline for completion. And with many of the outstanding issues having been aired for months, it’s hard to see how full agreement will be reached any time soon.

Help Defund ALEC's Right Wing Agenda - People For the American Way

The Petition:

Dear President/CEO and Board,

Your company funds or participates in the activities of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a group whose ideologically driven agenda has led to the reckless promotion of bills that harm consumers, endanger individuals and deny the fundamental, constitutional rights of millions.

ALEC pushes discriminatory voter ID legislation that suppresses the votes of minorities, young voters, low-income voters and the elderly by erecting barriers that could disenfranchise millions of voters across the nation. Bills based on ALEC’s model legislation in this area have been introduced in numerous states. Although proponents of voter ID laws claim the goal is to reduce voter fraud, there is no evidence that such fraud occurs with any regularity in this country.

Further, ALEC has worked with the NRA to aggressively spread passage of laws like the Florida so-called “Stand Your Ground” law which was implicated in the tragic shooting of Trayvon Martin. Such laws, more aptly named Shoot First laws, encourage vigilantism that endangers whole communities.

I strongly urge you to withdraw from and cease supporting ALEC and its agenda. I am part of a growing number of Americans who are concerned about the role that ALEC is playing in the promotion and passage of laws that do real harm to individual Americans and will be taking note of which companies continue to support ALEC’s efforts.

Please do the right thing, and separate yourself from ALEC’s extreme political, and reckless, agenda.