This time, he claims, the deal is different. "I understand why a lot of people are skeptical of trade deals," he told listeners. "Past deals didn't always live up to the hype. They didn't include the kind of protections we're fighting for today." The specifics he pointed to in TPP that make this deal different:It?s the highest-standard trade agreement in history. It?s got strong provisions for workers and the environment ? provisions that, unlike in past agreements, are actually enforceable. If you want in, you have to meet these standards. If you don?t, then you?re out. Once you?re a part of this partnership, if you violate your responsibilities, there are actually consequences. And because it would include Canada and Mexico, it fixes a lot of what was wrong with NAFTA, too. He closed his address with more general reassurances and reminders of benefits his administration has already put in place for workers: So this isn?t a race to the bottom, for lower wages and working conditions. The trade agreements I?m negotiating will drive a race to the top. And we?re making sure American workers can retool through training programs and community colleges, and use new skills to transition into new jobs. To read the transcript in full, check below the fold or visit the White House website.
Will the real Mike Rogers (R-AL) please stand up? Because there's a fire and brimstone Mike Rogers who hates him some commie leader and likes to wax elegantly on a certain president who purportedly cowers most cowardly before Putin's manliness:"[Putin] breaks treaties, he invades countries and then stations his nuclear forces on their soil, and he cozies up to terrorist regimes ... What's next? Who's next? Concessions on missile defense and arms control only emboldened the former KGB officer." ?The world is more dangerous than ever, and under the President?s lead-from-behind policy, [Putin's] ballistic missile and nuclear weapons technology is spreading. Holy ICBMs, Mike! How can we stop our feebleminded president from appeasing Putin's mad quest for power, leverage and advanced missile technology? There is a markup session tomorrow at 12:00 pm EDT with the House Armed Services Committee's Subcommittee on Strategic Forces Markup. It certainly looks like Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) is trying to slip in language that would allow more Russian-built RD-180 engines to be purchased using tax dollars at the same time when Rogers is (otherwise) actively promoting policies that would punish the exact same sector of Russia's economy for actions in Ukraine and Iran, treaty violations, and other bad behavior. I've seen better' "logic" exercised by a bunch of Monty Python characters and an actress wearing a carrot for a nose. You can actually now take a course on dealing with climate change deniers. GMO humans? Looks like China went there. NASA to undertake comprehensive search of for life on other worlds. Tomorrow on Sunday Kos, I'll be reviewing the basics of drones and drone warfare. This was in the works before the tragic news of friendly unmanned fire broke on Thursday. Come prepared. And here's a snippet from a related project we're working on for next month: After surviving over 200 missions flying over hostile territory and more close calls than he can remember, for the first time, Major Tommy Egan is about to become a casualty of war. Ironically, in a war he?s fighting from half a world away while in absolutely no danger. The pocket shark is adorable! Via the Bad Astronomer (where vaccines still don't cause autism): the cloud isn't expanding! What you are seeing by Hubble time lapse from 2002 to 2006 is a pulse of light move through and light up the invisible outer sections as it goes. This is about as close to literally seeing the speed of light over interstellar distances as it gets:
[Sen. Tom] Cotton, after all, is a protégé of neoconservative don Bill Kristol. And Kristol has come out firing at the Corker-Cardin compromise. In a Weekly Standard editorial later distributed by his attack-dog letterhead group the Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI), Kristol labeled the compromise bill "at worst misleading, at best toothless," denouncing Corker and "the leading establishment pro-Israel lobbying group"?AIPAC?for their support of it.Shaun King had a lot to say on twitter about on Rekia Boyd. Read it here. Politico: It?s not hard to get political reporters started on how pols and their flaks deny the press access, feed us talking points and, in some cases, flat-out lie. But every story has two sides (or a few), so in fair journalistic tradition, we asked a handful of outspoken politicians to critique the political press corps and tell us exactly what their beef is with the fourth estate. Does the relationship between politicians and the press need to be so confrontational? And when are reporters in the wrong? Here are four takes, from politicians who know the media?s spotlight well. More politics and policy below the fold.
As David Roberts put it, "to reject mainstream government, academia, science, and media is to reject mainstream thought entirely."
Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2012?Rush Limbaugh censorship efforts attracts EFF attention:As noted yesterday, the Rush Limbaugh Show is attempting to silence criticism of his treatment of Sandra Fluke by getting our video compilation of it pulled from YouTube. We re-uploaded the video to Vimeo (the embed above), and can obviously keep posting it in multiple places if Limbaugh's lawyers persist.
But there is still the question of YouTube?the Google outfit that has erroneously pulled the video. The great folks at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the nation's staunchest defenders of online freedoms, have taken notice.While initiating frivolous legal processes to intimidate and silence critics is hardly new, Limbaugh actually seems to be taking a specific page out of the playbook of Michael Savage, his on-again/off-again compatriot and fellow conservative talk radio fixture. In 2007, Savage turned to copyright law in an ultimately futile attempt to silence the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) who did precisely what the Daily Kos has done here: post online a minutes-long montage of outrageous statements made by a radio host in order to criticize the host's behavior and expose it for a public audience. In Savage's case, he unsuccessfully sued CAIR for copyright infringement ... Limbaugh has (for now) chosen the more expeditious DMCA takedown route. Just as with Savage's ridiculous attempt to keep his own words from being used against him failed, though, so will Limbaugh's. EFF runs our Rush Limbaugh video through a Fair Use legal analysis, and like I said yesterday, it's not even close. It's about as clear a Fair Use situation as you can get. It's so cut and dry, actually, that there should be no reason for Google to play along with Limbaugh's censorship efforts. Tweet of the Day
On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Greg Dworkin noted the return of the "Clinton Rules," now with added Benghazi! Gop "fresh faces" sound like old faces. Rosalyn MacGregor on MI's Prop 1. Lynch votes, explained. Can hipsters make unions & biz governance retro cool?High Impact Posts ? Top Comments The Evening Blues
On a month-by-month basis, nominal median household income was down $307 and up $1,104 when measured against last March. In real (inflation-adjusted) dollars, median income was down $436 month over month and up $1,116 year over year. That's a 2.1 percent yearly increase.
Although the economic recovery has boosted real median income well above its low point in August 2011, after nearly six years of expansion since the Great Recession, the real median is still $3,020 lower than its high point in January 2008. That's 5.3 percent less. And it's $3,125 below where it was in 2002.
As the excellent data from Sentier Research makes clear, the mainstream U.S. household was struggling before the Great Recession. At this point, real household incomes are in worse shape than they were in mid-2009 when the recession ended.There is more analysis below the fold.
Last month, Military Times reported that:The plan would create 401(k)-style investment accounts for all troops and the government would offer up to 6 percent of basic pay for troops who contribute their own out-of-pocket money. Troops would own that investment account regardless of when they leave the military.
The commission's proposal would also give troops who reach 12 years of service a lump-sum retention bonus in exchange for a new four-year service commitment. The amount would likely vary by service and career field.
Carter did not mention another central ? and more controversial ? component of the proposal, which would shrink the size of the current pension by 20 percent.Finding a way to get some retirement benefits to the 83 percent of enlisted personnel who do not stay in the military for 20 years is a good idea. But we know from experience that low-paid workers have trouble putting money in 401(k) accounts, and in this plan that would be required to get matching funds. And having your retirement at the mercy of the stock market is a risky prospect, as many Americans found out in 2008. Let's also be clear that, while this is being sold as a benefit to people in the military, there's a big upside for the government, which would save up to $4.7 billion per year. Wouldn't it be nice if the powers that be were talking about expanding retirement benefits to more people in a way that didn't also involve cuts?
Indonesian police have opened fire on peaceful protesters in Jayapura, with at least four gunshot wounds and one death. West Papuan activists and families have been forced to flee to the jungle for safety. Indonesian security forces are conducting scores of raids, sweeps and offensives against West Papuan civilians. The attacks are happening during the visit of National Police Chief General Sutarman with over 200 people arrested across West Papua. Journalists have also been attacked by Indonesian police according to Amnesty International...Read more at San Fransisco Bay Area Indymedia. The Indonesian Police chief says any plans to free Papua from Indonesia won't be tolerated, including Flag raising ceremonies on the West Papuan national Day, December 1st.
Calls for Independence by West Papuans have been made since the sham "Act of Free Choice in 1969". They have suffered a neglected genocide at the hands of the Indonesian military (2004) with continued Repression (2007). Thousands of Papuans took to the streets in 2010 and in 2011 rejecting special autonomy, demanding a referendum on independence. Indonesia plans to build 1,500 km of new roads in the next two years to accelerate ?development', increase military presence, and open up more illegal logging. Three Papuans highlighted the human rights abuses at the APEC meeting in Bali this year by scaling the Australian Consulate?s fence in the dead of night and hand-delivering a personal plea to open the Indonesian province to world scrutiny.
A new academic law and human rights report A slow-motion genocide: Indonesian rule in West Papua (PDF), details the extent of the genocide and abuse of human rights. (Review by Greenleft) Activists have called for Australia to End pragmatic complicity in West Papua in response to comments by new conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Imprisoned Papuan leader Selpius Bobii also responded saying, "We Live In Terror, Mr Abbott".
Related: Waging Nonviolence: Flotilla unsettles Indonesia?s occupation of West Papua | West Papuan National Day Goes Global | West Papuans to join commemoration of Eureka Rebellion in Ballarat More Information: West Papua media Alerts | Freedom Flotilla
Civil society organisations abandoned the COP19 climate change negotiations in Warsaw on mass. Members from Greenpeace, Oxfam, WWF, Actionaid, Friends of the Earth, the International Trade Union Confederation (statement) and 350.org all started leaving the conference at 2pm. This is an unprecedented action, the first time several major civil society groups have staged a mass walkout.
Friends of the Earth International highlighted that the Warsaw Climate Change negotiations were failing, with Tension high in Warsaw talks as G77+China walk out. The role of Australia and reduced ambition of Japan have been widely mentioned. Australia and Canada are seen as the major wreckers, but there has been substantial intransigence from much of the developed world to progressing the negotiations forward on finance, ambition, and a loss and damage mechanism. Poland's Coal Summit has shown the fossil fuel corporatism entwined in this COP with widespread dismay at the coal powered negotiations of COP19 and at UNFCCC official Christiania Figueres who gave the keynote speech at the coal summit
Related: Democracy Now: "Nature Does Not Negotiate": Environmentalists Walk Out of U.N. Climate Summit in Warsaw | "Polluters Talk, We Walk": Civil Society Groups Abandon Warsaw Talks over Inaction on Global Warming | "We Have to Consume Less": Scientists Call For Radical Economic Overhaul to Avert Climate CrisisAnalysis: The Warsaw walkout and the Climate Movement
The weekend of 16th and 17th November saw tens of thousands of people in Canada and Australia out in the streets in over 260 protests against the climate policies of these countries. Australia and Canada are seen as the major wreckers in Warsaw at COP19.
The Saturday protests in Canada occurred from coast to coast to Repulse Bay, Nunavut on the Arctic circle, more than 10,000 people gathered in over 180 events co-ordinated by Defend our Climate. Many protests focussed on stopping further expansion of the Alberta tar sands and pipelines to move the bitumenous oil south to Texas, east through Ontario and Quebec, and west through British Columbia. On Sunday, more than 60,000 people attended climate protests across Australia, protesting the attempt to repeal carbon pricing and clean energy programs by the conservative Government lead by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, elected on 7 September this year, who denied any link between climate change and bushfires as unusually early and intense bushfires raged around Sydney.
Civil Society NGO and local Polish activists also staged a Climate Justice march in Warsaw in association with the COP19 climate change negotiations taking place. Super Typhoon Haiyan set the initial mood at the negotiations with Philippines negotiator Naderev Saño (Yeb Saño) saying "time to take action. We need an emergency climate pathway". There is widespread dismay at the coal powered negotiations in Warsaw with Japan and Australia being particularly singled out.
Related: Australia Indymedia - Tens of Thousands rally for Climate Action across Australia
Authorities of Tacloban City with a population of 220,000 and capital of Leyte province, gave an early estimate that perhaps 10,000 people died from this one city. Many people were surprised by the huge storm surge tidal waves that inundated much of the city. Many smaller coastal villages were also devastated with most buildings destroyed or suffering severe damage. According to the UN Reliefweb report on 14 November the number of affected people has increased to 11.8 million. The official death count from Typhoon Haiyan is currently 4,460 but with numbers still increasing. There were 921,200 people displaced and 243,600 houses destroyed. A total of 2.5 million people are in need of food assistance.
Related: Climate IMC: Typhoon Haiyan: This is a climate crime | Time for turning tears into anger says Walden Bello | Philippine groups demand action on climate finance, loss and damage in Warsaw climate talks | Ejected from COP19 for expressing solidarity to the Philippines | Youth observers expelled from UN climate change talks for Philippines Solidarity | Indybay: Super typhoon Haiyan is climate wake-up call | They destroy We suffer Statement on Yolanda?s AftermathNon-corporate Typhoon Haiyan Relief Efforts: Waves for Water | Haiyan NYC Relief Project | Doctors without Borders | Oxfam International
Climate Negotiations are over for another year with little progress in Doha by any one's measure as the scientific statements on climate change and the impacts we are already feeling as evidenced in record Arctic melting, and extreme weather events like Hurricane Sandy and Typhoon Bopha in the Philippines, and Cyclone Evan in the South Pacific are growing much stronger.
Some of the latest scientific research shows:Sea Level rising 60% faster than IPCC projectionsMethane and CO2 in thawing Arctic permafrost a climate tipping pointCollapse of Siberia's Coastline is Releasing Huge Amounts of CO2Greenland Ice sheet suffers unprecedented surface meltIndian Monsoon more likely to fail as global warming acceleratesSouthern Ocean warming impact on Antarctic Ice Sheet Stability and sea level rise
Photos: Photos by World Resources Institute | Photos by Oxfam | The Verb: Climate March in Doha | The Verb: COP18 Actions Related: Deep emissions cuts urged at climate summit | Towards a Grand Compromise in the Climate Negotiations | COP18, another 'Conference of Polluters' | An open letter to governments and their negotiators | Climate compensation row at Doha | Forest Groups Protest False Solutions | IPCC's Planned Obsolescence: Fifth Assessment Report Will Ignore Crucial Permafrost Carbon Feedback! | Methane and CO2 in thawing Arctic permafrost a climate tipping point