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Warren writes: "The government doesn't want you to read this massive new trade agreement. It's top secret."

Sen. Elizabeth Warren. (photo: unknown)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren. (photo: unknown)


TPP: The Doors Stayed Locked for the Regular Peopl

By Elizabeth Warren, Reader Supported News

22 April 15

 

uick question –

Have you seen what’s in the new TPP trade deal?

Most likely, you haven’t – and don’t bother trying to Google it. The government doesn’t want you to read this massive new trade agreement. It’s top secret.

Why? Here’s the real answer people have given me: “We can’t make this deal public because if the American people saw what was in it, they would be opposed to it.”

If the American people would be opposed to a trade agreement if they saw it, then that agreement should not become the law of the United States.

Let’s send a loud message to our trade officials: No vote on a fast-track for trade agreements until the American people can see what’s in this TPP deal. Sign this petition right now to make the TPP agreement public.

The Administration says I’m wrong – that there’s nothing to worry about. They say the deal is nearly done, and they are making a lot of promises about how the deal will affect workers, the environment, and human rights. Promises – but people like you can’t see the actual deal.

For more than two years now, giant corporations have had an enormous amount of access to see the parts of the deal that might affect them and to give their views as negotiations progressed. But the doors stayed locked for the regular people whose jobs are on the line.

If most of the trade deal is good for the American economy, but there’s a provision hidden in the fine print that could help multinational corporations ship American jobs overseas or allow for watering down of environmental or labor rules, fast track would mean that Congress couldn’t write an amendment to fix it. It’s all or nothing.

Before we sign on to rush through a deal like that – no amendments, no delays, no ability to block a bad bill – the American people should get to see what’s in it.

Sherrod Brown has been leading this fight, and he points out that TPP isn’t classified military intelligence – it’s a trade agreement among 12 countries that control 40% of the world’s economy. A trade agreement that affects jobs, environmental regulations, and whether workers around the globe are treated humanely. It might even affect the new financial rules we put in place after the 2008 crisis. This trade agreement doesn’t matter to just the biggest corporations – it matters to all of us.

When giant corporations get to see the details and the American people don’t, we all lose. Let’s level the playing field: No vote on fast-tracking trade until the public can read the TPP deal.

We’ve all seen the tricks and traps that corporations hide in the fine print of contracts. We’ve all seen the provisions they slip into legislation to rig the game in their favor. Now just imagine what they have done working behind closed doors with TPP.

We can’t keep the American people in the dark.

Thank you for being a part of this,

Elizabeth

e-max.it: your social media marketing partner
 

Comments   

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-37 # PeacefulGarden 2015-04-22 14:45
Ms. Warren, why don't you show us the deal? Why don't you make it public? Why don't you have the courage to leak this to the "Regular Americans"?

"Thank you for being a part of this"? really? What part, the part of the enabler?

Look, I love your rhetoric. I really do. But, you need to go beyond the rhetoric here, especially on this issue.

And, yes, I am ready for the thumbs down, and I really could care less about the popularity of my expression. I care more about the world my children are going to live in...

So, show us the fine print!
 
 
+35 # EternalTruth 2015-04-22 22:25
What makes you think she's seen it (beyond the parts that have been leaked, which she has been very critical of)?
 
 
+30 # postpostmodernist 2015-04-23 07:37
To Peaceful Garden:

Warren cannot disclose the contents of the draft agreement because members of Congress are also, effectively, prohibited access to it. A Congresswoman from the Chicago area, speaking at a union hall here a little over a year ago, advised us that she applied and received special permission to read parts of the draft TPP a couple of years ago under these rigid conditions - she had to read it alone in a secured room; she was not allowed to take notes; and she was forbidden to discuss what she had read with anyone.

I am a former environmental enforcement officer and have read the leaked draft environmental chapter, at least as it stood in November 2013. It is a fraud. It is a fraud on the Congress, and it is a fraud on the American people. Embodying the race to the bottom that these international trade agreements impose, the environmental chapter is pure window dressing, filled with feel-good completely unenforceable language that has no power to compel any party to the agreement actually to do anything or to suffer any sort of penalty for environmental harm their trade practices might cause.

These agreements impose a race to the bottom and penalize advanced countries with more sophisticated domestic regulations intended to protect the public interest. Global commercial interests and profits, protected by the ISDR chapter, which has real teeth, come first, foremost, and always. Next item on the agenda. We are being sold a bill of goods.
 
 
-10 # PeacefulGarden 2015-04-23 12:45
What makes me think she has seen it? I think it is the fact that she is calling it a hoax.

I will say this until I am blue in the face, I am tired, sick and tired of Democrats posing as liberals, liberated minds, acting like they want to support the middle class.

So, am I to be in belief, am I to conjure the support for a Democrat of any kind who is about to throw a large "Rich People Party" in Philadelphia and call it the Democratic National Convention. If she is vested in the middle class she would remove herself from this eternal narrative of lies and deceptions of "we must protect the middle class" least be, any mention of the poor, unemployed, or newly arrived of this chunk of land we call a nation.

Any of them, I mean ANY OF THEM, sitting in congress, is a liar and a fraud. I will be in belief when she removes herself from congress and starts a revolution. How on earth can she deal with sitting next to one of those ass holes with out hitting them, and I am non-violent, I couldn't stand one freaking minute on the floor of congress and neither could any of you... who constantly thumb me down.
 
 
+25 # citizen2009 2015-04-22 22:36
Quoting PeacefulGarden:
Ms. Warren, why don't you show us the deal? Why don't you make it public? Why don't you have the courage to leak this to the "Regular Americans"?

"Thank you for being a part of this"? really? What part, the part of the enabler?

Look, I love your rhetoric. I really do. But, you need to go beyond the rhetoric here, especially on this issue.

And, yes, I am ready for the thumbs down, and I really could care less about the popularity of my expression. I care more about the world my children are going to live in...

So, show us the fine print!


Go to wickileaks there you can read it. The Governement holds it under raps so Elizabeth as a member of the governement cannot leak it.
 
 
+19 # lfeuille 2015-04-22 23:14
Quoting PeacefulGarden:
Ms. Warren, why don't you show us the deal? Why don't you make it public? Why don't you have the courage to leak this to the "Regular Americans"?

"Thank you for being a part of this"? really? What part, the part of the enabler?

Look, I love your rhetoric. I really do. But, you need to go beyond the rhetoric here, especially on this issue.

And, yes, I am ready for the thumbs down, and I really could care less about the popularity of my expression. I care more about the world my children are going to live in...

So, show us the fine print!


She can't. She hasn't seen it except for the parts that were leaked.
 
 
-3 # jcdav 2015-04-23 07:17
Well, dolt, unass a go find it give US a peek. I rather doubt she knows any more than the rest of us...you come off as a really trollish ASSWIPE. Thanks for reminding me how stupid people can be.
 
 
+7 # postpostmodernist 2015-04-23 07:59
To Peaceful Garden:

Warren cannot disclose the contents of the draft agreement because members of Congress are also, effectively, prohibited access to it. A Congresswoman from the Chicago area, speaking at a union hall here a little over a year ago, advised us that she applied and received special permission to read parts of the draft TPP a couple of years ago under these rigid conditions - she had to read it alone in a secured room; she was not allowed to take notes; and she was forbidden to discuss what she had read with anyone.

I am a former environmental enforcement officer and have read the leaked draft environmental chapter, at least as it stood in November 2013. It is a fraud. It is a fraud on the Congress, and it is a fraud on the American people. Embodying the race to the bottom that these international trade agreements impose, the environmental chapter is pure window dressing, filled with feel-good completely unenforceable language that has no power to compel any party to the agreement actually to do anything or to suffer any sort of penalty for environmental harm their trade practices might cause.

These agreements impose a race to the bottom and penalize advanced countries with more sophisticated domestic regulations intended to protect the public interest. Global commercial interests and profits, protected by the ISDR chapter, which has real teeth, come first, foremost, and always. Next item on the agenda. We are being sold a bill of goods.
 
 
0 # Depressionborn 2015-04-27 09:44
re: postpostmoderni st 2015-04-23 07:59
To Peaceful Garden

"No people will tamely surrender their liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and virtue is preserved. On the contrary, when people are universally ignorant, and debauched in their manners, they will sink under their own weight without the aid of foreign invaders." —Samuel Adams, letter to James Warren, 1775
 
 
+28 # inside my Own box 2015-04-22 20:28
I'd also love if she'd leak the details of TPP. But I'm also aware of the fact that if she did, she'd lose her government position where she's able to alert us to things we can act on. For myself, I feel blessed that she's doing what she does, no mater how rhetorical it may come across. When will it be time to turn off our computers, get off our asses, and get out on the streets!?
 
 
+43 # Helen Marshall 2015-04-22 22:32
Happily, we have Wikileaks...whi ch the USG is trying to destroy, and to bring its founder to the US to try on espionage charges. Why would Senator Warren risk being in the dock?

BUT the real question is, why are Peaceful Garden and Inside My Own Box demanding that she explain herself, rather than demanding why the Obama administration is trying to sell this agreement while keeping it secret???
 
 
+24 # Texas Aggie 2015-04-23 01:13
"BUT the real question is, why are Peaceful Garden and Inside My Own Box demanding that she explain herself, rather than demanding why the Obama administration is trying to sell this agreement while keeping it secret???"

Exactly!!! Well said.
 
 
+7 # RLF 2015-04-23 08:07
We know why Obama is backing this agreement...bec ause he has had his lips firmly between the cheeks of big corp. Amerika since the beginning of his term.
 
 
+26 # kitster 2015-04-22 22:54
there's a movie goin' round featuring a new Zealander who knows plenty about this stinkeroo tpp. one provision allows foreign corporations to subvert any national laws they wish if it hampers their ability to make profits. and the other provisions go downhill from there. its a bad bill, a terrible bill. and if Obama pushes it through, it will damn his administration forever...no matter how many acas he passes. call your congress people and senators and tell them "NO DICE, NO WAY IN HELL. AND DO NOT DELETE ANY EXPLATIVES!!!
 
 
-6 # Texas Aggie 2015-04-23 01:11
Your question reveals that you have little understanding of what's going on. In the future, before posting, try to get a bit more informed.

It is better to be quiet and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Abraham Lincoln
 
 
+10 # SusanT136 2015-04-23 06:49
Texas Aggie your ignorance is only surpassed by your arrogance. A two second Google search for " tpp provision allowing companies to challenge a law that hurts their profits" reveals a half dozen or more articles from reliable sources on this very subject. Allow me to educate you further - not only can companies challenge a countries' laws based on loss of profit or even EXPECTED loss of profit, the challenge goes before a private "tribunal" which will be stacked with representatives of international mega corporations.
 
 
+1 # reiverpacific 2015-04-23 09:22
Quoting Texas Aggie:
Your question reveals that you have little understanding of what's going on. In the future, before posting, try to get a bit more informed.

It is better to be quiet and thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Abraham Lincoln


"Every time we are confronted with a new revolution we take to the opium pipes of our own propaganda." -Izzy Stone.
 
 
+3 # cymricmorty 2015-04-23 11:05
Why is Texas Aggie getting thumbs down? TA's comment is responding to the first comment, which by now is a fair distance above.
 
 
0 # Merlin 2015-04-23 19:23
cymricmorty 2015-04-23 11:05

I know I am repeating myself from other threads but here is the answer.

He did not address any post in his reply. Every reply NEEDS to have that info at the top as I have done here with yours. The way that RSNs sorting works does not make it easy to associate a reply to the original post.

Sadly there are way too many people who don't take the time to do this and the result is confusion and misunderstanding.

Even when we are addressing the main article directly, we need to state that; (such as: From the article).
 
 
+11 # m... 2015-04-23 04:26
.
DECIMATION

'The 'GOVERNMENT' doesn’t want you to read this massive new trade agreement. It’s top secret.'

I think Senator Warren and Progressives need to educate, enlighten and generally make the public aware that what we call 'Government' has changed SIGNIFICANTLY over the past 30 years.
Folks need to be enlightened, told that WE have gone from The Middle Class Building NEW DEAL Government to The Middle Class Destroying RAW DEAL Government in less than a generation.
There's been a transition of Government from what was to what is, brought about by those who want as little government as possible standing in the way of their quest for supreme wealth and power no matter what the cost to the rest of us and the entire world.
But the talk of 'Government' as a thing separate from us, an enemy of us, a thing in the way of us, an oppressive things that often crushes the liberty and freedom of many, is still, ironically, the talk of the day from by both sides; by both Progressives who feel we need a new NEW DEAL and 'Anti'-progress ives, who feel Government has not yet been obliterated enough through relentless deregulation, detaxation and privatization schemes that render the aspects of a government for the greater common good completely impotent while enhancing the powers of oppression, exclusion, indifference and otherwise, a 'barely there' Government for all except a small class of people.
The New Deal has been Decimated.
The Raw Deal is what is here now.
.
 
 
+8 # RY25L 2015-04-23 05:18
Perfect time for announced candidate Clinton to weigh in on this issue. Democrats should in fact demand it unless I missed her press statement. Maybe Hillary knows the details while Warren doesn't? This seems to be pretty important for organized labor at a minimum and thus is core party values are in the balance. Too important for candidate Clinton to ignore. Obama sure has done his best to hide the whole process. Incredible.
 
 
+4 # jdd 2015-04-23 06:12
The TPP should not be viewed simply as a Wall Street attempt to shift American jobs to cheap labor sites. While it is that, it should be viewed as a correlate to the Obama-Clinton "Asian Pivot" policy to isolate and encircle China.
While Sen. Warren seems very careful not to call out President Obama, she fails to mention that the president has rejected several explicit, and even personal invitations, to join the Chines led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), and has brought intense but unsuccessful pressure on European nations not to participate. In contrast, the TPP explicitly excludes China, now the world's largest economy, seeking to replace US imports from China with those of Vietnam,for example, and Malaysia. Although the US manufacturing sector is a already a wreck, the TPP represents the administration' s refusal to participate in the huge development projects underway and planned in Asia in favor of a sort of "Chinese sanctions," which can only increase tensions in that part of the world.
 
 
+9 # Kwamined 2015-04-23 06:21
Because Obama is a bought-and-sold House Negro for Big Money and vested interests.

That is the reason Obama and his administration won't release the text of the TPP treaty. For example: Not one senior manager from among the Wall Street banks went to jail for crashing the economy 2007-2009 -- even when the Levin Report identified actionable activities at the banks. Nor was there a modern-day Pecora Commission to name and shame. Hell, even when HSBC was caught red-handed laundering for drug cartels and rogue nations, no one went to jail.
For another example: Without the public option he campaigned on, Obamacare was a giveaway to the insurance lobby.
 
 
+13 # walt 2015-04-23 06:50
Thank you, Sen. Warren for having the courage to stand up for the people and the country. Americans do not want to see more of our freedoms relinquished to corporate powers. We've already seen enough of that.
Secrecy in government is the way of tyrants, not those who believe in democracy.
Please keep standing firm on this.
 
 
+6 # Sweet Pea 2015-04-23 07:12
Your article was sad but true. I was born in a time when industry was booming and everyone that wanted employment had the opportunity for good paying jobs. We have lost our industry to imports, and now I see a generation growing up that has a very bleak future. The wealthy invest in foreign countries where cheap labor can provide them with greater returns on their investments. "Free" Trade isn't "free". It is costing us our jobs!
 
 
+9 # Bruce Gruber 2015-04-23 07:24
Senator Warren stated that she had been "allowed' to view the draft TTP as a Senator, but was prohibited from disclosing the contents. She indicated she had been 'told' by others that if the American people read it, we would oppose it. She, carefully, did NOT say that HER opinion was Americans would oppose it if they read it.

As a non-lawyer, my skimmed moments with

https://wikileaks.org/tpp-investment/WikiLeaks-TPP-Investment-Chapter/page-1.html

leaves me with the sense that corporate and trade legal specialists have concocted a guaranteed corporate profit agreement for the owner class. Notwithstanding war or lesser 'disagreement', the losses of 'anticipated' PROFIT (and/or loss) by any 'entity' (individual, corporation, state or nation) would be guaranteed through a SUPER court of international adjudication.

The legalese is typically tedious and self-serving to the technicians and clients whose special 'language' and 'vocabulary' defines and protects the interests of plutocracy and oligarchy. But, in the simplest of simple-minded extractions, the TPP is an insurance policy that charges the world's "public" - all human beings - with the underwriting and guaranty of both actual and anticipated VALUE (actual and profit potential) of all the STUFF contractually defined by all parties, everywhere. Losers (in the court of trade) will pay - from the rice grower in Indonesia or Vietnam to the auto assembly worker in the United States.

Sorry, Mr. President, no deal!
 
 
+10 # Bruce Gruber 2015-04-23 07:30
Where's WALDO? We know where Bernie and Elizabeth are. But where are Hillary and the 16 dwarfs of the Republican clown car?

It's early enough to get this right, but FAST TRACK has to be reversed and KILLED!
 
 
+5 # postpostmodernist 2015-04-23 07:34
To Peaceful Garden:

Warren cannot disclose the contents of the draft agreement because members of Congress are also, effectively, prohibited access to it. A Congresswoman from the Chicago area, speaking at a union hall here a little over a year ago, advised us that she applied and received special permission to read parts of the draft TPP a couple of years ago under these rigid conditions - she had to read it alone in a secured room; she was not allowed to take notes; and she was forbidden to discuss what she had read with anyone. I am a former environmental enforcement officer and have read the leaked draft environmental chapter, at least as it stood in November 2013. It is a fraud. It is a fraud on the Congress, and it is a fraud on the American people. Embodying the race to the bottom that these international trade agreements impose, the environmental chapter is pure window dressing, filled with feel-good completely unenforceable language that has no power to compel any party to the agreement actually to do anything or to suffer any sort of penalty for environmental harm their trade practices might cause. These agreements impose a race to the bottom and penalize advanced countries with more sophisticated domestic regulations intended to protect the public interest. Global commercial interests and profits, protected by the ISDR chapter, which has real teeth, come first, foremost, and always. Next item on the agenda. We are being sold a bill of goods.
 
 
+5 # Bruce Gruber 2015-04-23 08:36
Yes, in summary, it appears to be an insurance policy for international corporate profits and control to be approved by the participating governments and paid for by their citizens and 'interpreted' by a Super Supreme Court of International Trade. Can I be a "judge"?
 
 
0 # Malcolm 2015-04-23 09:07
I just perused what appears to be wikileaks's latest release of TPP. THE DOCUMENT IS DATED January 20, 2015, and was released by wikipedia March 25. Admittedly, it's a work in progress, but it must be essentially in its final form, since "they" are trying to fast track it.

My question is this. Ok, Warren agreed not to share what she read in the actual secret document with the public. But does that preclude her-or other so-called "Representative s"-from reading what's posted on the Internet (No secret!) and voicing their opinions and explanations to the american public?

I like Warren, and I'm not trying to dump on her, but truly, I don't understand what's stopping her.

https://wikileaks.org/tpp-investment/WikiLeaks-TPP-Investment-Chapter/page-1.html#
 
 
+3 # Malcolm 2015-04-23 09:12
Oh, this ought to make everyone feel all warm and fuzzy. It's the section titled CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY:

"The Parties reaffirm the importance of each Party encouraging enterprises operating within its territory or subject to its jurisdiction to voluntarily incorporate into their internal policies those internationally recognized standards, guidelines and principles of corporate social responsibility that have been endorsed or are supported by that Party."

Yeah, the U.S. government can "encourage" international corporations to "please be nice". Great.

Another issue. Nowhere in this document-includ ing the definitions section-can I find the definition of "Party." It APPEARS that a Party is a corporation, a government, etc, but I can't tell for sure.

Anyone else want to try to figure this out? If I ENCOURAGE you? :)
 
 
0 # Bruce Gruber 2015-04-23 11:51
Apparently there is a protocol between the Executive and Legislative branches under the separation of powers doctrine that allows the President to share information selectively IF the member of the legislature (Congress) promises not to divulge prior to the President.
 
 
+1 # postpostmodernist 2015-04-23 12:22
My understanding is that an international trade agreement is classified as a type of treaty that ultimately comes under the State Department. The U.S. Trade Representative is an ambassadorial position.

Treaties, usually the result of the tragedy of war, historically are negotiated in secret among sovereign states. But the TPP and other like agreements, while a response to what amounts to economic war, are now addressing many non-trade issues that affect sovereignty and domestic regulation. I do not actually know, but I assume that there are stiff penalties, including criminal penalties, in law for deliberately disclosing draft language and potentially harming the process.

As far as what Warren is doing per what is already out there, I again assume that she is indeed doing what you suggest. But I think the main point she is trying to make is that full disclosure to the public at large would cause a huge negative uproar and that is the last thing the advocates for global corporate power to extract penalties from American taxpayers over domestic public interest regulations, e.g., wetlands protection (Section 404 of the Clean Water Act)want. It would be a political poison pill and rightfully so. Thus all the anti-democratic secrecy.
 
 
0 # Malcolm 2015-04-23 15:07
My mistake. It appears that this long (55 pages of shark speak) is only one chapter of 29. The other 28 are still a big secret.
 
 
0 # postpostmodernist 2015-04-23 16:05
I thought that, in addition to the chapter on environment, a bulldog with foam rubber teeth, a few others had been released, one on intellectual property, plus the 55-page investment chapter you have detailing the power of global corporations or governments who are party to the TPP to sue for perceived loss of future profits due to what they construe as a "barrier to trade." That can mean anything meant to protect the public interest.

I truthfully have not had time to read it, but I intend to double my blood pressure medication before I do. "Shark-speak" is no doubt right on the money. I always thought that to recover legal damages from being "harmed" required a demonstration of past or already incurred "harm" not some guarantee of potential future profit.
 
 
0 # Malcolm 2015-04-24 12:00
Post post, thank-you; you are probably right. Just because I only found one chapter doesn't jean there aren't othrs out there.
Regardless, I'm not fluent enough in shark speak to want to thrash my way through even ONE chapter of this mess, much less 29, or however many chapters upend up being part of tpp.
 
 
+5 # harleysch 2015-04-23 09:10
It's simple: Obama supports the fast track, then tells MSNBC, "Trust me."

Is there any reason to trust him????
 
 
+3 # hkatzman 2015-04-23 09:45
It seems simple,

Either
"We, the People" have input during the actual negotiations taking place in our name
or
"We, the People" have input through the Senate approval process.

Fast-Track should only apply if we have already had an opportunity to debate and be involved with the negotiations.

No Involvement with Negotiations, No Fast-Track.
 
 
+1 # PABLO DIABLO 2015-04-23 10:05
Those who control the media, control the dialogue.
Pump up fear to justify a militarized police state
Constant cycle of problems
Prevents us from seeing corporate control of government
Corporate control of resources.
 
 
+4 # Edwina 2015-04-23 10:18
Go, Elizabeth Warren. She and Bernie Sanders seem to be the point persons for the resistance to this further beggaring of ordinary citizens (of whatever country). I'm disappointed in Sen. Wyden, who should know better.
 
 
+3 # Bruce Gruber 2015-04-23 11:55
A casual review of political contributions from lawyers, trade groups, lobbyists and corporations with international partnerships would suggest why this is being Fast Tracked to allow current office holders to both guaranty future donations AND to hide their participation in votes as they sell us and ALL the rest of the world's citizens down the drain.
 
 
0 # bingers 2015-04-24 19:31
I would suggest that all trade pacts should be voided and none ever entered into again.
 
 
0 # ahollman 2015-04-25 13:08
There are valid rationales for secrecy during negotiations, and even for limiting Congress to an up or down vote, with no possibility to modify it.

However, to prevent Americans, both Congress and the people, from having an extended debate on a thoroughly publicly aired proposal is inexcusable.

Thus, the following "modest" proposal.
1) Once negotiations are done and the proposed Congressional legislation is fixed, its entire text (along with any relevant references, and that's a lot) will be posted on a public government website for all to quickly and easily peruse and download, quickly and easily.
2) Once the legislation is publicly available as described, have a public debate period, lasting the longer of 90 days or 1 day for every 10 pages of text (no game-playing by squeezing text!), so as to allow all concerned the time to read it, analyze it, and express their concerns to their representatives .
3) Following the public debate period, Congress shall take 30 days to debate the proposal. All Congress members shall be given a generous allotment of time for individual statements, Congress shall allot a generous amount of time for debate, and all statements and debates will be publicly televised.
4) Following Congressional debate, Congress will vote on the measure within 30 days.

My guess: With an upcoming election and so much publicity, it's highly unlikely any Congressperson would vote for it.
 
 
-2 # Depressionborn 2015-04-25 21:39
I love it when rsn posters begin to realize that the bigger the government the smaller the people. Keep it up guys.
 

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