Padding: US corporations spent $1 trillion last year buying back their own stock because they can't find anything worth doing with the money, like investing in the business or developing new lines. And much of the trillion wasn't “returning profits” to the shareholders - it was borrowed (as a tax dodge). Why? Mainly because the remaining shares (and the option shares and bonus shares yet to come) owned by senior management become far more valuable as the buybacks drive up the price of the company's stock. U.S. businesses made $1.8 trillion in after-tax profits last year alone. To date they have over $2.1 trillion in overseas profits stashed offshore. Pretty obviously they don't really need quite all they take in.
Simple: “Is TPP trade deal a massive giveaway to major corporations?" Yes.
Clarification: Obama was correct in claiming that the TPP agreement “has been on file in Congress for weeks.” Correct, but misleading. The draft is in a locked room, where members of Congress can make an appointment to view the document. View only. No notes, no copies. And the public isn't to know what's in the treaty until after it is signed.
Travel Advisory: Before you check in, bear in mind that Motel 6 sends a list of their guests to the police, every day. Just like Europe under the Nazis.
Leadership: Republican Lamar Smith (TX), head of the House Science Committee and devout know-nothing, kicked the Democrats out of the committee room and marked up a bill that would reshape federal scientific research programs by cutting social sciences research dramatically, straitjacket the NSF's latitude in funding research projects, curtail climate change research and bar the government from using any DOE research findings when writing energy regulations. It would also cut funding for DOE renewable energy programs by more than half. This is all for the good, Smith claims, because “legislators can do a better job than the scientific community itself in identifying the most promising research areas.”
Faint Praise: “The Obama administration considers the real alternatives to drone strikes to be the unpalatable options of grueling ground wars or passive acceptance of terrorism. Then it congratulates itself for picking the wise, ethical and responsible choice of killing people without knowing who they are.”
Just Concern: The TPP and its Trans-Atlantic twin will impose a settlement proceedure known as ISDS – which stands for Investor-state dispute Settlement and is a process by which a three member panel chosen by international corporations judges disputes between member firms and various levels of government and awards monetary settlements to the corporations for lost profits. Technically it is possible that an occasional dispute might be settled in the citizen/taxpayer's favor, but this has yet to happen.
Never On Sunday: Surveys show that Americans do not go to church any more often than those godless Europeans – they just pretend they do.
Higher Education: In Alabama at least 9 high school football coaches make over $100,000 a year, with one making over $125,000. In Texas and Georgia some coaches make “a lot more” than that. These guys do not teach any academic subject, they just train gladiators.