While You Were Out...

Category:  BloggERy
Thursday, November 3rd, 2011 at 9:58 AM
While You Were Out... by Jay Stevens

What better time to rush some bills through Congress that favor your corporate pals then when everybody's out protesting, focusing on pepper-spray cures and dodging tear-gas canisters?

Two weeks ago, Congress approved a free-trade agreement with Columbia, Panama, and South Korea, touting it as a boon to jobs and the economy:

"We don't do much around here that's bipartisan these days," said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who was U.S. Trade Representative during the George W. Bush administration. "This is an example of where we can come together as Republicans and Democrats realizing that with 14 million Americans out of work, we need to do things to move our economy forward."

It's true there isn't much both parties agree on, but when they do, it's usually on something that benefits their benefactors. And I don't mean ordinary working Americans. To wit:

  • Free trade mavens have always wrongly predicted job and economic growth (pdf) before signing agreements -- using historical effects of free-trade agreements shows the U.S. is likely to losebetween 100,000 and 200,000 jobs by 2015 because of the Korea/Panama/Columbia trade deal.
     
  • US corporations are no doubt salivating over Panama's status as a pre-eminent tax haven; our free-trade agreement now removes many barriers to big businesses setting up "subsidiaries" in that country to avoid paying taxes in the United States, and almost any taxes at all.
     
  •  In Columbia, government-sponsored and corporate-abetted death squads kill labor leaders with impunity -- 15 labor organizers alone have been killed since the spring of this year.  No wonder corporations like GE, Catipiller, and Wal-Mart were salivating for an agreement that included Columbia.

?Whee!

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CURRENT

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Israeli Defense Minister looks to the future for a redrawing of Middle Eastern borders, while the FDA chases down fake Ebola cures being peddled on the internet. What will you be talking about around the watercooler this Friday? Let us help you impress your coworkers. 

What's with all the porn in PA? Seriously.

The cult classic is coming back to television with enough time to binge-watch until you're caught up.

The #OttawaShooting, high school football hazing, and a local man's desire to spread religion. All that and more, in case you missed it.

IN THIS ISSUE

The story of the car salesman-turned congressman.

These mischievous ladies will kick off the Erie Philharmonic's Pop Series.

October and the annual Horror Fest -- now on its 11th year -- go hand-in-hand in Eerie. 

Executive Chef Michael J. Cerrie brings Sicilian-inspired American cuisine to Erie.

The Eerie Horror Film Fest headlines Halloween attractions.

ESPN gets it right, regional game makes Dead Spin, and honoring an Erie great.

One in four women will be victims of domestic violence during her lifetime. It is past time to take measures to prevent this.

What we can do about poverty, real estate, and the declining population in Erie County.

Peek'n Peak transforms into a German bier festival as part of the resort's Fall Fest. 

From bionic shoes to least competent criminals, it's news of the abnormal variety.