Mr. Obama again pledged to get the South Korea "free" trade deal done, this time saying the pact would "support" American jobs. I guess it's something that he finds it distasteful to say it would "save" American jobs, but that doesn't make it a good deal. The KFTA would cost America almost 160,000 jobs, according to the Economic Policy Institute. The pact would also let Korean corporations excuse themselves from American law whenever it helps their profits. And Sen. Portman (R-OH) plans to sponsor a resolution granting "fast-track" authority to Mr. Obama to ram the deal through Congress. A Senator from Ohio would do this, as his visibly pro-fair trade Democratic colleague is up in 2012? That's the chutzpah of a Senator who beat an almost nonexistent opponent by 20 points. So firedoglake helps you oppose Mr. Obama's "free" trade deal with South Korea.
No doubt you've heard about all the chaos in Egypt over the past week, and you may also have heard that the ruling Mubarak regime shut down all cell phone and internet communication in the country right before cracking down on protestors, this after arresting opposition figures who'd spoken out online. (Memo to Glenn Beck: that's what a "government takeover of the internet" looks like.) It gets better: Boeing-owned Narus of Sunnyvale (not Sunnydale), CA sold Egypt deep packet inspection equipment that tracks internet and cell phone traffic. Naturally Narus suggests their technology only aims to help corporations "monetize" internet traffic, not to help governments oppress their citizens. In other news, monkeys fly out of my butt. Free Press helps you demand that Congress set very high standards for the use of DPI technology, so that this sort of thing doesn't happen again. Naive, you say? We get nothing when we demand less than the best.
Finally, you ought to know how the filibuster reform fight went. It didn't go very well; the Democrats who "feared" that if they changed the rules, then Republicans would go ahead and change the rules, too, won the day. No rational observer would see the fight this way, of course -- Republicans didn't wait for Democrats to start placing holds on bills and nominees they didn't like before they did it, and they filibustered everything this past term, which Democrats hadn't done before, either. And, er, winning a "gentleman's agreement" that the filibuster wouldn't be reformed by majority vote this Congress or next is just that, an agreement between men who fancy themselves as "gentlemen" when they're not. As I said before, getting rid of secret holds isn't a small thing. But failing to reform the filibuster when you have the chance is a small thing, and done by small men. I wonder why I expected better from them.