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Faryn Balyncd

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Member since: Wed Nov 23, 2005, 08:15 AM
Number of posts: 5,077

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USA Today, MSN falsely reporting US has no extradiction treaty with Zimbabwe.

Here's MSN:

"...Currently, the U.S. does not have an extradition treaty with the African nation, but if the Wildlife service finds evidence of wrongdoing, it will pass its findings to the Department of Justice and try him in the USA."


(which appears to be from USA Today):

"...Currently, the U.S. does not have an extradition treaty with the African nation. However, if the wildlife service finds evidence of wrongdoing, it will pass its findings to the Department of Justice, which means Palmer could be tried in the U.S."


Reuters, the New York Times, the AP, and others have reported that we DO have an extradition treaty with Zimbabwe.

And Wikipedia reports the existence of a USA/Zimbabwe Extradition treaty, and links to this treaty negotiated in 1997, effective April 26, 2000, and a search of Congress.gov shows the treaty ratified by the Senate by a vote of 105-33:

Formal Title

Extradition Treaty between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe, signed at Harare on July 25, 1997.

Date Received from President
01/28/1998 — 105th Congress (1997-1998) Text of Treaty Document available as:

Countries / Parties

Committee Reports
Ex. Rept. 105-23

Latest Senate Action
10/21/1998 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)
Resolution of advice and consent to ratification agreed to in Senate by Division vote.

Treaty Topic
Extradition and Criminal Assistance

Actions (6) Text - Resolution of Ratification Text - Treaty Document Amendments (0) More Info

Actions: Senate Consideration of Treaty Document 105-33
Sort by Date

Senate Actions
10/21/1998 Resolution of advice and consent to ratification agreed to in Senate by Division vote.
10/21/1998 Treaty moved through its parliamentary stages up to and including presentation of the resolution of advice and consent to ratification.
10/21/1998 Considered by Senate.
10/14/1998 Reported by Mr. Helms, Committee on Foreign Relations, with printed report - Ex.Rept. 105-23. With one understanding, one declaration and one proviso, (except two Protocols with one declaration and one proviso). Placed on the Executive Calendar.
09/15/1998 Committee on Foreign Relations. Hearings held. Hearings printed: S.Hrg. 105-730.
01/28/1998 Received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations by unanimous consent.


So let's get on with it!

Posted by Faryn Balyncd | Sat Aug 1, 2015, 04:14 PM (7 replies)

Bernie packs Hofheiz Pavillion despite virtual media blackout. Meanwhile . . .

In the run-up to today's turn-out at Hofheiz Pavillion (which had to be moved from the smaller 1500 seat Cullen Hall), a Google search of www.chron.com for "Bernie Sanders" "Houston" reveals no mention by Houston's "newspaper" of any scheduled Sanders appearance. (3 days earlier, the Chronicle ran an article titled "Socialist Sanders on Low End of Earners Among Candidates", which made no mention of any Texas or Houston appearance.

In contrast, 2 days before Rand Paul's campaign rally, the Chronicle ran "Rand Paul Returns to Texas for Rally", and followed this up with a second puff piece on the morning of Paul's "Stand With Rand" rally, complete with a reminder that "Paul will address 'the importance of protecting the entire Bill of Rights, and being boldly for conservative ideals that limit the power of the Washington Machine.' The first-term senator from Kentucky, a Texas native , will also be fundraising while in Houston. Paul's rally begins at 2:45 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency, downtown."

So. . . what kind of success did Houston's (former) "newspaper" achieve in drumming up attendance for "Stand with Rand"? . . . . . . . Well, it seems for some reason the photos are making themselves a little scarce! (Guess filling the Hyatt ballroom was too much to ask.)

Score: one for the American people,
. . . zip for the corporate "media"

Go, Bernie!

Posted by Faryn Balyncd | Mon Jul 20, 2015, 02:24 AM (16 replies)

Houston Press: Bernie Sanders Event Bumps to Bigger Venue

Bernie needs a bigger building.....Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders' scheduled campaign event in Houston has moved from the 1,500-capacity Cullen Performance Hall to a much larger venue, Hofheinz Pavilion.....The 45-year-old multi-purpose arena at the University of Houston will host the 73-year-old Senator from Vermont this Sunday at 7 p.m., after Sanders appears at a rally in Dallas earlier that day. Hofheinz Pavilion seats 8,479 people.

The town hall meeting is part of Sanders' southwestern road trip through traditionally Republican stronghold states. His event Saturday in Phoenix was also moved to a larger venue to accommodate an anticipated big crowd. Sanders' campaign platform is focused on improving income inequality, protecting the environment and removing big money from politics....Since announcing his presidential campaign in May, Sanders has steadily surged in early Democratic nomination polls, topping out at 17 percent in a Monmouth University poll released Wednesday. Sanders still trails heavy favorite Hillary Clinton by about 34 percent.

Admission to the town hall meeting is free and seating is first come, first served. You can find more info here.


The Details
Houston Town Meeting at 7pm on July 19 (Town Meeting)

Please join Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and local leaders for a town meeting to discuss how we:

Get big money out of politics
Deal with obscene wealth and income inequality
Combat climate change
Make college education affordable

Doors open at 6pm.
Time: Sunday, July 19, 2015 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM CDT
Host: Bernie Sanders
Location: Hofheinz Pavilion (Houston, TX) ....3875 Holman Street ....Houston, TX 77004


(Despite total silence from www.chron.com )

Posted by Faryn Balyncd | Fri Jul 17, 2015, 10:46 PM (6 replies)

WP: They say they came to the U.S. illegally. Now they’re working on Trump’s D.C. hotel.

. . . For weeks, dozens of construction workers from Latin America have streamed onto the site of the Old Post Office Pavilion in downtown Washington and taken pride in their work building one of the city’s newest luxury hotels. . .But that job site is now laden with tension after the man behind the project — billionaire developer Donald Trump — put himself at the center of the nation’s debate over illegal immigration.

. . . “The majority of us are Hispanics, many who came illegally,” Arellano said in Spanish. “And we’re all here working very hard to build a better life for our families.” . . . Interviews with about 15 laborers helping renovate the Old Post Office Pavilion revealed that many of them had crossed the U.S-Mexico border illegally before they eventually settled into the Washington region to build new lives. . . Several of the men, who hail mostly from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, have earned U.S. citizenship or legal status through immigration programs targeting Central Americans fleeing civil wars or natural disasters. Others quietly acknowledged that they remain in the country illegally. . . .

Several of the laborers — who travel to work from as far away as Baltimore or Manassas, Va., every day — fumed at Trump’s comments, saying that they have led honest lives that have allowed them to buy homes and raise U.S.-born children. . . . “Do you think that when we’re hanging out there from the eighth floor that we’re raping or selling drugs?” Ramon Alvarez, 48, a window worker from El Salvador, said during a break Monday morning just outside the construction site. “We’re risking our lives and our health. A lot of the chemicals we deal with are toxic.”

complete story at:

Posted by Faryn Balyncd | Mon Jul 6, 2015, 10:05 PM (18 replies)

Breaking: FT & $700 M cuts to Medicare in exchange for "promise" to remove MC cuts later?

In today's email from Democracy for America:

It's happening. On Friday, the House of Representatives is going to vote on the Fast Track bill for the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Before they vote, Admiral Ackbar from Star Wars has an important and infamous warning that you need to give to your Representative:

Here's how the trap works. Last Saturday, we explained how the Fast Track bill includes a whopping $700 million cut to Medicare, in order to pay for Trade Adjustment Assistance to help those who lose their jobs due to foreign trade.

According to reports, some House Democrats have cut a deal with Paul Ryan and the Republicans. The terms of the deal stink: Democrats have to vote for the Fast Track bill, including the $700 million cut to Medicare, in exchange for a vague promise to remove the Medicare cuts at a later date.

Democrats would go on record as voting for a Medicare cut -- and Republicans would attack those Democrats for doing so at the 2016 election. How can Democrats avoid this trap? It's simple: they just have to vote NO on Fast Track.

That's where Democracy for America members like you come in. With the Fast Track vote happening on Friday, we have less than 24 hours to stop it and save Medicare from huge cuts. We need you to drop what you're doing right now and call your member of Congress to tell them not to fall into the trap: Vote NO on Fast Track.

Fighting the Medicare cuts may also be our best hope of stopping the Fast Track bill itself. As Greg Sargent explained in the Washington Post last week, removing the Medicare cuts might alienate more Republicans and jeopardize passage of Fast Track.

If the House refuses to cut Medicare and finds another way to pay for aid to workers who lost their jobs to foreign trade, then they will have to reconcile their bill with the Senate version that includes the Medicare cuts. Paul Ryan has said that won't work and would kill Fast Track. That's fine by us.

In short, not only is fighting the Medicare cuts a good thing to do in itself -- it could also be a good way to stop the Fast Track bill.

The vote is almost here. There's no time to lose. Call your member of Congress today and tell them not to fall into the trap: Vote NO on Fast Track.

Thank you for helping Democrats avoid this awful trap that would hurt seniors, workers, and their own re-election chances.

- Robert Cruickshank,
Democracy for America

Posted by Faryn Balyncd | Thu Jun 11, 2015, 10:03 AM (48 replies)

DFA: "The House is our best bet to stop the TPP:

In today's email, from Robert Cruickshank, Democracy for America:

. . . The fight to stop the bill that would fast track the Trans-Pacific Partnership is about to reach its climax -- and with your help, we can win a stunning victory.

On Friday the Senate passed the Fast Track bill. It was a close and disappointing vote, but based on the cloture votes that preceded it, the outcome was not a surprise.

Here's what we also know: our best chance to stop the TPP has always been in the House.

Your activism has made a big difference. Right now, the Fast Track bill doesn't have the votes to pass in the House. Republicans can't pass it on their own. So John Boehner is hoping Democrats will bail him out and give him the votes he needs to pass this bill and limit Congress's ability to amend the TPP. Democrats are reluctant to vote for it -- they know this is a bad bill, and they also know that the Democratic base is strongly opposed to Fast Track and the TPP.

That's why now is the time to flood the House with calls from Democracy for America members like you and tell our representatives to stop Fast Track for the TPP. Can you call your Representative right now?

YES, I will call my Representative right now and tell them: Don't destroy American jobs. Vote against Fast Track for the TPP.

. . . . . .

Even if you live in a district represented by a Republican, we need you to pick up the phone and make the call. Representatives from both parties are on the fence regarding the Fast Track bill.

You stood with Elizabeth Warren when she took on the White House to stop the nomination of investment banker Antonio Weiss to an important Treasury Department post. We can win another victory against the big corporations -- but only if DFA members like you take action.

There is simply no excuse for any Representative who votes for Fast Track. Like a vote for the Iraq War or statements of support for the Social Security-cutting Bowles-Simpson plan, a vote for Fast Track and the TPP will never be forgotten and will haunt members of Congress for years to come.

The White House and the big corporations are pulling out all the stops to lobby the House to pass the Fast Track bill. There's no time to lose. Can you pick up the phone and give your Representative a call today?

Thank you for standing with DFA, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders against Fast Track and the TPP.

- Robert

Robert Cruickshank, Senior Campaign Manager
Democracy for America

Posted by Faryn Balyncd | Tue May 26, 2015, 04:12 PM (2 replies)

(Heard it all??) USTR labels PRIVACY REGULATIONS "trade barriers":

From the "We Thought We'd Heard It All" Department, (a report on the latest "2015 National Trade Estimate Report on FOREIGN TRADE BARRIERS, United States Trade Representative"):

USTR Michael Froman

In the more than 400 page long report, U.S. negotiators openly acknowledge goals that are odds with the Obama administration’s repeated assurances that TPP will not undermine the ability of pact members to regulate in the public interest.

. . . . In its report, the USTR also targets privacy regulations: A landmark Malaysian law that prevents companies from harvesting personal data without the individual’s consent is a trade barrier. As are policies in the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia and British Columbia that require personal information in the custody of public officials to be stored and accessed only in Canada. . . .“As Canadians, we should be concerned,” says Sujata Dey, trade campaigner at the Council of Canadians, a progressive advocacy group. “Those rules are there to protect privacy.”

Other barriers include the expansion of a public health agency in New Zealand that subsidizes medicine at public hospitals into “areas of funding that were previously unregulated, including medical devices,” Japan's "burdensome restrictions" on products that carry "health claims," and enhanced Mexican inspections of U.S. peach, nectarine and apricot exports in order to “control the oriental fruit moth and other pests.”

Speaking at Nike headquarters earlier this month, President Obama called the TPP "the most progressive trade deal in history." The appeal to liberals comes as the White House seeks to win support for so-called fast track legislation. The bill would prevent Congress from amending the version of the deal hammered out by negotiators and is considered a prerequisite for the trade pact’s success.


So, supposing a U.S. state erects a "trade barrier" in the form of a law outlawing the sale of personal data, and negatively impacts a transnational corporation's anticipated profits. . . .

What's amount of compensation from the taxpayers will an exempt from judicial appeal ISDR tribunal be inclined to award for this restriction on "trade"?

Posted by Faryn Balyncd | Wed May 20, 2015, 09:03 PM (3 replies)

Quite a formula the oligarchs have developed :

Want to repeal democratic regulation of the environment, health & safety regulations, labor law, financial regulations, etc, but think it's too much of a stretch (even post-Citizens United) to get bills that (openly and directly) advocate repealing these laws through Congress, the states, and local governments, or that some pesky court might actually rule in favor of the people?

Here's the ticket:

Do an end run around the whole dang process:

(1) First, propose a "regulatory takings" legal concept that presumes corporations have the legal right to anticipated profits from anything they might want to do, and demand that any democratic government that passes any law that reduces these anticipated profits pay the corporation for "losses". (Sure beats making money the old-fashioned way: coming up with "better mousetraps" is work!)

(2) If the courts don't give you every last thing you want via the "takings" philosophy, then proceed to Step 2: Bundle all the individual de-regulations into one package.

(3) Label the package a "trade agreement", & negotiate it with foreign nations.

(4) Get your pals appointed "trade" negotiators.

(5) Make sure the negotiations are categorized as "classified".

(6) Get Congress to cede, in advance, their authority to do anything beyond 2 options: Either rubber-stamp the "trade agreement", or reject the entire bill, in which case get your pals in the media to label them as "obstructing progress" because they are "impractical", "emoprog" "purists" who "want everything". including "ponies". . . . . . Get your pals in the media to say that since it's a "trade" agreement, it needs the same deference to the executive branch as do negotiations about Iranian nuclear deals, and not the open debate and amendment powers which Congress has when debating changes in environment law, financial regulations, health and safety regulations, labor law. . . (Pretty slick, eh?)

(7) If any pesky Congress people want access to the particulars of negotiations before they cede their authority, make sure the language is complex and opaque so that the actual impact is difficult to assess without detailed study and consultation with experts, so, whatever you do, DON'T give them, or let them make, copies. Moreover, DON'T let them take notes. Take away their cameras or cell phones. Threaten them with national security violations if they discuss actual details with the public or press.

And here's some extra bonuses:

(1) Throw in expansion/extension of intellectual property monopoly terms. (Those Asian generic manufacturers need to busy themselves with outsourced manufacturing of BRAND-NAME drugs, not actually COMPETING with us! . . . And getting rid of Fair Use can do to the internet what getting rid of the Fairness Doctrine did to those pesky "liberal" commentators!)

(2) And, how about this: Finance it with automatic cuts to Medicare!

(3) And, just in case some pesky courts decide to interfere, establish an extrajudicial system immune from judicial review. Call them "Investor-State Dispute Resolution" tribunals. make their decisions exempt from appeal to any court, by virtue of entering to agreement with foreign governments.

Now, how's that for a slick package?

Who says we can't have it all?

Posted by Faryn Balyncd | Mon May 18, 2015, 06:09 AM (58 replies)

Throwing Medicare Under the Bus as Standard Operating Proceedure :

"The Trade Adjustment Assistance Act, sponsored by Rep. David Reichert (R-Wash.), would rely on $700 million in reduced Medicare spending in 2024 to pay for healthcare coverage and other benefits for workers who lose coverage because of any agreements negotiated under fast-track trade authority sought by President Barack Obama. . . . The $700 million in savings would be achieved by increasing Medicare cuts that were part of the sequester by 0.25% in 2024". . . .

“Apparently using Medicare as a piggy bank to pay for everything under the sun has become the new legislative norm for Congress,” Max Richtman, president and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, said in a statement to National Journal. “Rather than balancing priorities or considering a penny of new revenue, congressional leaders are proposing to once again funnel Medicare resources into unrelated programs and fixes—this time it’s the trade adjustment assistance program.” . . . .

"The full House and Senate have not yet approved the bills, but it suggests that lawmakers are getting increasingly comfortable with using future Medicare sequestration to fund Medicare and non-Medicare programs". . . .

So, Congress is preparing to loot Medicare not just for this one program, TAA, but as standard operating procedure. I think that qualifies as “throwing Medicare under the bus.”


(As if we need another reason to reject the TPP, and to reject the Fast Tracking of whatever pact whoever happens to be President - for the next 6 years - chooses to propose, the costs of which will similarly trigger automatic looting of Medicare.)

Posted by Faryn Balyncd | Sun May 17, 2015, 10:27 AM (16 replies)

If California made this illegal, how would they fare in a TPP - ISDR tribunal loss-of-profits suit?

Worker fired for disabling GPS app that tracked her 24 hours a day

A Central California woman claims she was fired after uninstalling an app that her employer required her to run constantly on her company issued iPhone—an app that tracked her every move 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Plaintiff Myrna Arias, a former Bakersfield sales executive for money transfer service Intermex, claims in a state court lawsuit that her boss, John Stubits, fired her shortly after she uninstalled the job-management Xora app that she and her colleagues were required to use. . . . Arias' boss "scolded" her for uninstalling the app shortly after being required to use it, according to the suit. . . .

. . . .

(Some stories are beyond unbelievable):


Would some corporate types might feel not being able to track their employees 24 hours a day might deprive them of their projected profits?

Posted by Faryn Balyncd | Mon May 11, 2015, 09:50 PM (3 replies)
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