2012-11-23: What I’ve been reading

Mexico Officials: Allowing GM Corn Will Devastate Crops

Lisa Garber, News Report: None of us here likely know who Bill Gates truly is at the end of the day. But let’s be frank: at best, he’s yet another one of the billions funding biotech and Big Ag propaganda. Does he truly believe that genetic modification comes without consequences. At worst, however, Gates, Monsanto, DuPont, and Dow simply do not care that farmers across the world commit suicide in the thousands after going bankrupt thanks to overpriced, ineffective GM seeds.

Go Ahead, Talk Religion and Politics at the Table

Robert Jensen, Op-Ed: It’s difficult not to take disagreements about sexual behavior personally, but we can cultivate the ability to consider not just our own choices but the social consequences. For example, on the contentious subject of pornography, instead of immediately defending or condemning the use of sexual material, we can ask: “What stories about sex and intimacy does pornography tell, and what is the effect of those stories?” That opens up the conversation.

Why So Secretive? The Trans-Pacific Partnership as Global Corporate Coup

Andrew Gavin Marshall, Investigation: Dubbed by many as “NAFTA on steroids” and a “corporate coup,” only two of the TPP’s 26 chapters actually have anything to do with trade. The agreement stipulates that foreign corporations operating in the United States would no longer be subject to domestic U.S. laws regarding protections for the environment, finance or labor rights, and could appeal to an “international tribunal” which would be given the power to overrule American law and impose sanctions on the U.S. for violating the new “rights” of corporations.

Incidents Raise Suspicions on Motive: Killing of Journalists by US Forces a Growing Problem

Dave Lindorff, Op-Ed: The ruthlessness of the slaying of journalists was exposed for all to see when the whistle-blower outfit Wikileaks released the now famous video it obtained from the gunsight camera of a US helicopter, whose crew opened up with machine gun fire on a group of men and two children in a Baghdad square. Two of those killed were cameramen working for Reuters. One of the two was literally hunted down and machine gunned after, already gravely wounded, he tried to crawl away, unarmed, to safety. The crew could be heard laughing as they killed him.

Change? Learn? Compromise? Grow? Not These Republicans

Joe Conason, Op-Ed: Republican leaders also seem inclined to ignore voter sentiment on the issue of taxes, despite majorities of 70 percent or better that agree the rich should pay more (including many voters who identify with the GOP). Rep. Mike Pence, who will become the governor of Indiana next January, told the Republican governors that he remains firmly opposed any tax increase, especially on "those in the best position to put hurting Americans back to work,”

Amy Goodman | In Gaza, It’s the Occupation, Stupid

Amy Goodman, Op-Ed: “The Palestinian people want to be free of the occupation,” award-winning Israeli journalist Gideon Levy summed up this week. It is that simple. This latest Israeli military assault on the people of Gaza is not an isolated event, but part of a 45-year occupation of the sliver of land wedged between Israel and the Mediterranean Sea, where 1.6 million people live under a brutal Israeli blockade that denies them most of the basic necessities of life. Without the unwavering bipartisan support of the United States for the Israeli military, the occupation of Palestine could not exist.

10 Things Progressives Can Be Thankful For

News Report: We’re thankful for the advocates who protected our right to vote. The past few years saw a raft of new voter suppression laws and tactics, but most of the worst laws were blocked at least temporarily by the courts or repealed by lawmakers. The challenge going forward will be to maintain these victories as litigation in several of these cases continues and the U.S. Supreme Court considers a challenge to the Voting Rights Act.

Jim Hightower | Lord Help Us – Bosses Gone Berserk

Jim Hightower, Op-Ed: The sky is falling! The end times are upon us! It’s all over for America! And it’s all because of you execrable voters. This is the wretched wail of a few corporate chieftains who claim to be somewhere between flummoxed and furious that Barack Obama is back in the White House. With his diabolical Obamacare and tax-the-rich attacks on us wealthy job creators, they moan, this president is out to destroy American business. "There’s a tsunami coming," cried one, so we must save ourselves.

Gaza Is A Pawn: Iran Is a Prize

Thomas Magstadt, Op-Ed: “None of the dead was the person the Israeli Defense Force said it was trying to kill when it struck the Dalu family house. It’s not clear that they had anything to do with him.” This is how Amy Davidson writing in the New Yorker describes one incident in the latest war between Israel and Gaza. It is a cliché to call it a tragedy, but what is missing in the reporting and what passes for mainstream “news analysis” is not the tragedy, but the travesty. The story line does not start or end with the status of Gaza or the Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands.

Homeland Security Has Spent $430 Million on Radios Its Employees Don’t Know How to Use

Theodoric Meyer, News Report: Getting the agencies responsible for national security to communicate better was one of the main reasons the Department of Homeland Security was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. But according to a recent report from the department’s inspector general, one aspect of this mission remains far from accomplished. DHS has spent $430 million over the past nine years to provide radios tuned to a common, secure channel to 123,000 employees across the country. Problem is, no one seems to know how to use them.

President Obama Reelected – But Where Is the Pathway to Good Jobs?

Amy Dean, Op-Ed: With Barack Obama’s reelection last night, we witnessed the labor movement once again, as in every successful Democratic presidential race in recent decades, saving the president. Its ground troops and financial backing provided the bulwark to shore up Obama’s lead against Romney. By aiding in Obama’s victory, unions helped avert the crisis that the election of Romney/Ryan would have represented—an attack not only on organized labor, but on women’s rights and the whole of the social safety net.

Berkley Campaign: Shame on Dean Heller

A Gleeful Heller Tries to Score Political Points As Hundreds
of Nevadans Lose Their Jobs at Amonix

 Las Vegas – The Shelley Berkley for Senate campaign released the following statement after Senator Dean Heller cheered the fact that hundreds of Nevadans lost their jobs when Amonix, a Nevada clean energy company, shut down.  Republican Governor Sandoval praised the company at its ribbon cutting.

The Heller campaign’s release did not once reference the unfortunate circumstances of those who lost their jobs.

“Shame on Senator Dean Heller,” said Xochitl Hinojosa, Berkley for Senate Communications Director.  “While Shelley Berkley and Republican Governor Brian Sandoval are working to make Nevada the clean energy jobs capital of America, Senator Heller is cheering the fact that hundreds of Nevadans have just lost their jobs because he thinks it will help his political campaign.  However, Heller’s rooting for failure should come as no surprise to Nevada’s middle-class given his track record protecting tax breaks for corporations that ship American jobs overseas and defending China’s unfair trade policies that are cheating Nevada workers out of thousands of good paying jobs.  It’s time for Heller to put Nevada first by joining Shelley Berkley and Republican Governor Sandoval to find solutions that put people back to work.  Those who are unemployed deserve more from their Senator.”

Released: July 18, 2012
By: Xochitl Hinojosa 702-675-6722 / 702-483-1826;  Colin Milligan 702-675-6711 / 702-582-9643

Heller Votes FOR Job-Killing Trade Deals

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 2011
Contact: Jessica Mackler
(702) 723-7987

SHELLEY BERKLEY BLASTS DEAN HELLER FOR SUPPORTING JOB-KILLING TRADE DEALS

LAS VEGAS – Today, Shelley Berkley criticized Dean Heller for his vote in favor of job-killing trade deals that will cost our nation more jobs even though Nevadans continue to struggle under record unemployment. According to the Economic Policy Institute, these trade deals with Panama, South Korea and Columbia will cost the nation 200,000 more jobs. Berkley today voted against the job-killing trade deals.

Heller’s vote today follows his third vote yesterday against legislation cracking down on the Chinese government’s unfair trade practices that are cheating Nevada’s unemployed out of thousands of good paying jobs.

“Nevadans know what free trade agreements mean – more good-paying jobs being shipped overseas,” said Berkley. “With Nevadans struggling with the highest unemployment rate, it’s shocking for Dean Heller to support these job-killing policies. We need more jobs here in America, not in South Korea, not in Panama, Colombia or China. We need them here in America.”

BACKGROUND

South Korea Trade Agreement Will Displace 159,000 American Jobs. The Economic Policy Institute released a study in July 2010 finding that the South Korea trade agreement would increase the U.S. trade deficit with Korea by about $16.7 billion, and displace about 159,000 American jobs within the first seven years after it takes effect. [EPI Release, 7/1/10]

Colombia Trade Agreement Will Displace 55,000 American Jobs. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the proposed U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement will result in the loss or displacement of 55,000 U.S. jobs. [EPI Release, 4/7/11]

Related Posts:

Heller Votes Against NV Jobs and For China Jobs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 11, 2011
Contact: Zach Hudson, Comm. Dir., NSDP
(702) 737-8683

On the Same Day Heller Votes Against Creating Jobs in Nevada, He Votes for Creating Them in China

Las Vegas, NV – You can’t make this up.  On the same day unelected Senator Dean Heller voted to continue shipping American jobs to China, he voted against creating jobs in Nevada.  After again voting to protect the Chinese government’s unfair trade policies that are cheating Nevada workers out of their jobs, Heller then preceded to vote against the American Jobs Act, which would create jobs immediately in Nevada.

“Dean Heller had an opportunity today to finally do something that will create jobs in Nevada, but he again demonstrated that getting Nevadans back to work isn’t his priority and protecting the Chinese government is,” said Nevada State Democratic Party spokesperson Zach Hudson.  “Nevada has the highest unemployment in the country and instead of making job-creation his top priority, our junior Senator continues to focus on killing Medicare by turning it over to private insurance companies, while protecting the Chinese government’s cheating Nevada workers out of their jobs.  Heller’s votes today highlight the clear choice Nevadans have between Shelley Berkley’s commitment to fighting for seniors and unemployed Nevadans, and Dean Heller who has repeatedly thrown Nevada’s seniors and middle class under the bus to protect the Chinese government and reward the Big Oil companies bankrolling his campaign with taxpayer giveaways.”

Berkley Blasts Heller for Prioritizing China over NV Unemployed

LAS VEGAS – Something tells us Nevada’s unelected Senator may be on the market for a time machine after he sees this week’s local coverage in Nevada regarding his vote to allow the Chinese government to continue cheating American workers out of their jobs.  Heller was one of 19 senators to vote against legislation cracking down on China’s currency manipulation that has cost Nevada 14,800 jobs since 2001, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Shelley Berkley called out unelected Senator Dean Heller today for siding with the Chinese government over unemployed Nevadans.  Earlier this week, Heller voted against cracking down on Chinese currency manipulation.  Since 2001, Chinese currency manipulation has cost the United States over 3 million jobs, including almost 15,000 in Nevada alone.

“China’s unfair currency manipulation is killing Nevada jobs and that is unacceptable,” Berkley said.  “But what’s even more unacceptable is that Dean Heller sided with the Chinese government over Nevada’s unemployed by voting against legislation cracking down on their job-killing practices.  That’s not just unacceptable – that’s shameful and it shows that Dean Heller just doesn’t get it.”

“Jobs creation needs to be our top priority — but that’s job creation in Nevada!  Not in China!” Berkley added.  “This is yet one more example of the clear choice Nevadans have in this election between my commitment to creating jobs and Dean Heller who would rather create jobs in China than here in Nevada.”

“As an unemployed worker, I know firsthand the struggles facing Nevadans as we continue to suffer from the highest unemployment rate in the country,” said unemployed Las Vegas worker Phil Magelowitz.  “But this Monday — my Senator Dean Heller — someone who is supposed to represent my interests in Washington chose to side with the Chinese government over out-of-work Nevadans like me.  We need a Senator who is focused like a laser on creating jobs — in Nevada — not China.  That’s why I’m standing with Shelley Berkley.”

BACKGROUND

Monday, the Senate voted 79-19 on legislation that would crack down on the Chinese government’s manipulation of their currency.

These unfair practices have cost the United States nearly 3 million jobs between 2001 and 2010 — including 14,800 in Nevada. [EPI Web Site, accessed 10/4/2011]

Revaluing Currency Could Create 2.25 Million Jobs. If only China revalued by 28.5%, the growth in U.S. GDP would support 1,631,000 U.S. jobs. If other Asian countries also revalued, then 2,250,000 jobs would be created. [EPI, 6/17/11]

Revaluing Currency Could Boost U.S. Economy By Nearly $300 Billion In Less Than Two Years. A 28.5% revaluation of the yuan/dollar exchange rate by China alone would increase U.S. GDP by $207 billion dollars. If other countries in Asia such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Malaysia also revalued too, U.S. GDP would increase by $285.7 billion, or 1.9% (including the China effect). These benefits would be achieved in 18 to 24 months. [EPI, 6/17/11]

The U.S. Has Lost Nearly 2.8 Million Jobs Due China Trade Since 2001. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the U.S.-China trade deficit has eliminated or displaced nearly 2.8 million U.S. jobs since 2001, including 1.9 million manufacturing jobs. The trade deficit with China grew from $84 billion in 2001, when China entered the WTO, to $278 billion in 2010. It eliminated or displaced 2,790,100 jobs, or about 2% of total U.S. employment over that period. [EPI, 9/20/11]

Manufacturers: Revaluing China Currency “Would Be A Deficit-Reducing, Job-Creating, No-Cost Stimulus That Is Desperately Needed.” “A year has passed since China made a phony pledge to let the yuan appreciate,” said Scott Paul, executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, in June 2011. “If the Administration will not get tough and demand that China play by the rules, Congress will have no option but to pass tough bipartisan legislation to counter the artificial and unfair advantage that China enjoys on trade. Doing so would be a deficit-reducing, job-creating, no-cost stimulus that is desperately needed.” [AAM, 6/17/11]

 Nevada Coverage Wrap-Up:


Heller Parrots Talking Points from the People’s Bank of China in 2nd Senate Floor Speech 

Dean Heller: “Inciting a trade war with China will not create jobs in my home state of Nevada.”  [Senate Floor, October 5, 2011 

People’s Bank of China: Passage of the legislation “may lead to a trade war that we don’t want to see”.  [South China Morning Post, 10/05/2011]

LAS VEGAS – In his second floor speech as a United States Senator from Nevada, Dean Heller took his cues not from Nevada’s unemployed workers… but from the People’s Bank of China.

Yes, that’s right.

Forced to defend his astonishing vote against legislation cracking down on the Chinese government cheating Nevada workers out of jobs, Heller turned to Chinese state owned banking institutions for the arguments why legislation that American economists say would create American jobs is wrong for a state suffering from the nation’s highest unemployment rate.

However, unemployed Nevadans see it differently.

Phil Magelowitz, unemployed Nevadan from Las Vegas:  “This Monday — my Senator Dean Heller — someone who is supposed to represent my interests in Washington chose to side with the Chinese government over out of work Nevadans like me.  We need a Senator who is focused like a laser on creating jobs in Nevada, not China.”

“Nevadans deserve someone who will speak for the state’s unemployed workers in the United States Senate – not the Chinese government,” said Zach Hudson, spokesman for the Nevada State Democratic Party.

BACKGROUND

Revaluing Currency Could Create 2.25 Million Jobs. If only China revalued by 28.5%, the growth in U.S. GDP would support 1,631,000 U.S. jobs. If other Asian countries also revalued, then 2,250,000 jobs would be created. [EPI, 6/17/11]

Revaluing Currency Could Boost U.S. Economy By Nearly $300 Billion In Less Than Two Years. A 28.5% revaluation of the yuan/dollar exchange rate by China alone would increase U.S. GDP by $207 billion dollars. If other countries in Asia such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Malaysia also revalued too, U.S. GDP would increase by $285.7 billion, or 1.9% (including the China effect). These benefits would be achieved in 18 to 24 months. [EPI, 6/17/11]

The U.S. Has Lost Nearly 2.8 Million Jobs Due China Trade Since 2001. According to the Economic Policy Institute, the U.S.-China trade deficit has eliminated or displaced nearly 2.8 million U.S. jobs since 2001, including 1.9 million manufacturing jobs. The trade deficit with China grew from $84 billion in 2001, when China entered the WTO, to $278 billion in 2010. It eliminated or displaced 2,790,100 jobs, or about 2% of total U.S. employment over that period. [EPI, 9/20/11]

Manufacturers: Revaluing China Currency “Would Be A Deficit-Reducing, Job-Creating, No-Cost Stimulus That Is Desperately Needed.” “A year has passed since China made a phony pledge to let the yuan appreciate,” said Scott Paul, executive director of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, in June 2011. “If the Administration will not get tough and demand that China play by the rules, Congress will have no option but to pass tough bipartisan legislation to counter the artificial and unfair advantage that China enjoys on trade. Doing so would be a deficit-reducing, job-creating, no-cost stimulus that is desperately needed.” [AAM, 6/17/11]