Constitutional Crisis Needed

In a previous article, I asked: on what legal basis must US (and other nations’) legislators obey a code of silence about the Trans-Pacific Partnership treaty?

They can only read partial drafts and summaries of the trade pact, and then they can’t tell anyone what they’ve read.

It’s a version of “pass the bill and then you can read it and find out what’s in it.”

No problem, except a significant chunk of 12 nations’ futures are riding on the details of this treaty, which, from the leaks we’ve seen, is a boon for mega-corporations and a nightmare for populations.

In the US, Senators, who must vote for the treaty in order for it to pass, go into sealed rooms and look at text—excerpts from drafts, summations—and then emerge, knowing they can be arrested if they open their mouths to anyone.

A source close to the treaty negotiations has given me the legal basis for this law of omertà:

National Security classifications that designate levels of secrecy for government data.

What? That old justification?

Yes. The relevant laws and regulations are long-standing. They are enforced by the Department of Justice. Various levels of classified data are set by agencies within the Executive Branch.

I asked this source (he has read TPP draft-sections and summaries) what the punishment would be for revealing what he knows.

He laughed. “I’m not about to find out,” he said.

Applying “Secret,” “Top Secret,” or other classifications to a treaty that must be voted on, in order to become law, is a unique situation.

It’s one thing to say a federal scientist can’t publicly publish details on how to build an H-bomb. It’s quite another thing to say US Senators can’t reveal, to the American people, what they’re voting on.

There is no Constitutional basis for such an assertion. In fact, it’s a direct violation of the Separation-of-Powers principle.

By assigning National Security secrecy-status to the details of the TPP, the Executive Branch is arbitrarily muzzling the Congress.

We’re witnessing a stunning farce.

Knowing they’ll be arrested, Senators should be spilling details of the TPP to anyone who’ll listen. They should be intentionally creating a Constitutional crisis.

They should be blowing the whistle on the covert attempt to put all Americans under the gun of a secret treaty.

Oh, but wait. That would be a Senate with conscience, and with balls. Not this menagerie of sold-out puppets and twits and party hacks and drunks and shysters and blackmail bait.

That would be a Senate out of some old Hollywood movie, which as a body suddenly rises up in a moment of great decision.

Obama has the chutzpah to tell dissenting members of Congress their criticisms of the TPP “aren’t specific.” He’s baiting them and tickling them, because he knows they’re not allowed to be specific about what they know.

Is there even one Senator who will accept the dare, who’ll step forward, in front of cameras, and recite everything he knows about what’s in the TPP?

If the FBI arrests him, that would set the stage for a fantastic courtroom scene.

We could use a good Constitutional crisis…

http://www.activistpost.com/2015/05/a-key-source-clues-me-in-on-tpp-code-of.html

FBI Warns Of Major Cyber Attack

Playing Ostrich

ostrich head in sand

We live in an age where bad economic news is not only unwelcome, but it is routinely overlooked or excused. On the other hand, good news is spotted and trumpeted even when it doesn’t exist. An ideal illustration of this dangerous tendency towards collective selectivity came last week when the markets and the media somehow turned an awful employment report into an ideal data set that confirmed all optimism and contained nothing but good news for investors. In truth, it was anything but.

The stakes were high with this year’s April non-farm payroll report. It was the first major employment report of the Second Quarter and it was hoped that it would show an economy bouncing back from a sluggish winter. But there was cause for concern. The March report had been an unmitigated disaster. Only 126,000 jobs were created when 247,000 were expected. Then, two lesser April employment reports had been released, the ADP private payroll data and the Challenger jobs cuts report that came in far below expectations (Challenger showed the biggest month over month increase in layoffs in three years). Even more harrowing was the recently released .2% annualized GDP in the First Quarter, a dismal April trade deficit, and the worst back to back monthly productivity reports in almost a decade. We needed good news, and we needed it bad.

The April report’s headline was all most people needed to see before breathing a collective sigh of relief. 223,000 jobs were created during the month, which was a full 3,000 jobs more than the 220,000 that had been predicted by the consensus of economists. In addition, the unemployment rate held at a very low 5.4% (matching the consensus), the lowest number since the Market Crash of 2008. The steady rate, and the modest beat (of a modest expectation) were received like a strand of garlic to ward away evil spirits. Icing the cake was the understanding that the report was not so good that it would accelerate the Federal Reserve’s timetable to raise interest rates. As a result, it was termed a “Goldilocks” report, which many consider to be the best of all possible outcomes. But even a casual look beneath the surface should have thoroughly deflated the euphoria.

The biggest shock should have been the downward revision of the already weak March numbers, which most people had expected would be revised upwards. Instead, 41,000 jobs were cut from March, leaving only 85,000 hires for the month, making it the worst month in job creation in three years. If March and April were averaged, we would only have about 150,000 jobs per month, numbers that would be indicative of a very weak economy. And don’t forget, April may be revised down next month just as drastically as March.

As you dig down, it gets worse. Average hourly earnings only increased .1%, which was exactly half of the expected .2% increase. They also revised down March’s gain from .4% to .2%. The report showed that the number of Americans who have left the labor force has hit an all-time high of 93,149,000. But the most important set of ignored ugly data was the breakdown of full time vs. part time jobs….

http://www.321gold.com/editorials/schiff/schiff052115.html

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