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CD102: The World Trade Organization: COOL?

Do you want to know where your food comes from? Well, Congress is in the process of repealing our Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law because the World Trade Organization says our meat labels are internationally illegal. In this special episode, we take a look at the World Trade Organization: What is it? Where did it come from? How is it possible that it is determining our laws?

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CD101: Trade Away May

Lots of new laws! Hear all about the final version of fast track and other trade related dingleberries, new measures to combat human trafficking, and new benefits for veterans. In this episode, you'll also learn about the bills that passed at least one branch of Congress in May, which include a poisonous scientific research funding bill, an anti-abortion bill, lots of bills to funnel taxpayer money into private pockets, bills that benefit veterans' families, and more.

After the break, get the details for the Chicago and Miami meet-ups, an update on the Congressional Dish Arms Race, and hear a indisputable argument for why train travel is superior to plane travel.

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Fiber optic tap, via Wikimedia Commons.

Here’s How CISA Helps the NSA Scrape the Internet Backbone to Read Your Emails at Will

By Donny Shaw

The National Security Agency is sitting on a new surveillance apparatus, awaiting congressional action to help them begin collecting a massive amount of new data on people in the U.S. that they can view and share without a warrant. Continue reading

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CD100: Intro to Lobbying with Jack Abramoff

In this special 100th episode of Congressional Dish, Jen interviews Jack Abramoff, the most famous lobbyist in the world. After spending 3.5 years in prison, Jack has been speaking out against the systemic corruption he participated in during his time in Washington D.C. and in this episode, he tells us Washington's secrets.

Jack Abramoff's book:

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CD099: April Takes a Turn

Medicare, cybersecurity, favors for banks, mortgages, IRS bullying, a tax cut for the rich, and a couple of good ideas are highlighted from the law and bills that passed Congress in April.

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TPA Contributions

Representatives who voted for fast track have taken 91% more money from corporations backing the trade deals

By Donny Shaw

The House of Representatives this afternoon rejected the Senate’s fast track package for the Obama administration’s trade proposals, but they also voted in favor of the fast track portion of the package itself, 219-211. Though largely symbolic, the vote shows that fast track does have the votes to pass in the House, and that will be an important factor in determining how Congress moves forward with giving the administration the fast track authority in the coming weeks. Continue reading

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CD098: USA Freedom Act: Privatization of the Patriot Act

It's law! The USA Freedom Act, which reauthorizes and privatizes portions of the Patriot Act, is being called a victory for privacy… but it's not. In this episode, find out all the details of the bill that was signed into law just hours after this episode was recorded, including how it continues bulk data collection and lets the most powerful men in the United States get away with breaking the law.

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CD097: Nothing Horrible in March

A resignation, renewed "national emergencies", help for a (very) few veterans, screwing over of VA employees and Native Americans, favors for drug companies, changes to Amtrak, a veto threat and more are highlighted from a relatively calm March in Congress. In the second half of this episode, Jen discusses her plan to keep producing Congressional Dish full time, extends an invitation to hang out, reads some of your letters, and answers your questions.

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CD096: Fast Tracking Fast Track (Trade Promotion Authority)

Time sensitive episode! Congress is rushing to pass a bill that would grant the President Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), which hands Congress' power to negotiate international treaties to the Executive Branch. In this episode, we look at the details of the Trade Promotion Authority bill. Is giving the Executive Branch this power a good idea?

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CD095: Secret International Regulations (TPA & TPP)

In this special episode, we prepare for the Senate's upcoming push to fast-track multiple "free trade" agreements, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). We also look into the January 2015 draft text of the leaked TPP Investment Chapter.

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