The culprits of the corporate coup will be converging in the Canadian capitol tomorrow. And you, dear readers, are cordially invited to write them a friendly note, hopefully disengaging them from both their comfort zone and their buffer zone. The public policy group Open Media International is collecting signatures and remarks for the delectation of the plutocrats. So may the pitchforks start jabbing inside their heads as they mull, among other abominations, restricting our Internet access and controlling our Internet speech.
Attending on behalf of the American corporate persons (who now have freedom of religion as well as freedom of speech) will be Trade Czar Michael Froman, late of Citigroup, along with Obama's new ambassador to Canada: Bruce Heyman, late of Goldman Sachs. They will be among the unnamed hordes happily giving up their glorious Fourth in hopes of scoring more profits for their firms. And since most of those firms are transnationals, the free traders of late capitalism usually are not hampered by such niceties as patriotism to one's native land.
Interestingly enough, the Canadian power elites seem royally pissed that Obama has foisted Heyman, crass money-bundler from Chicago that he is, upon them. (They were pissed off at Obama to begin with, given his delay in approving the Keystone XL Pipeline.) According to a Financial Post editorial, Heyman has recently been trying to pull a "fast one" on the Canadians by insisting that the TPP can still be rammed through even if Obama fails to get fast-track authority from Congress. A posh dinner meeting with a former Canadian diplomat (Frank McKenna) was tense.... and hilarious:
Things didn’t go too well either when Mr. McKenna tried to get a U.S. commitment to fund the customs plaza that Canada needs to support a new bridge it is building at the Detroit-Windsor crossing, where the U.S. trade with Canada is greater than with all of Japan. “We support nice infrastructure between our two countries,” Mr. Heyman said. “This is a financing issue and I think it’s best that we wait and have those discussions privately.”
When Mr. McKenna moved to raise “another issue that has turned out to be bothersome,” Mr. Heyman cut in: “Do you have any good issues here you want to talk about? I try to take this at a high level and make this a lot of fun. I’m sorry you’re all bummed out here. We have this incredible relationship. C’mon.”
Mr. McKenna kept his cool: “When you’re the small partner in a relationship the irritants do become quite significant,” he calmly explained.
Mr. Heyman remained clueless. “Frank,” he asked, “did you ever buy a new car? You get a new car? And you have that new car, it smells great and it looks beautiful and everything else. And you bring that new car home and you realize there’s a scratch on the bumper that you didn’t notice when you bought it. And you go inside and start thinking about the scratch all day long. Ever do that?”
Mr. McKenna deadpanned: “No.” But the American went right on with his analogy that effectively belittled Canada’s concerns as trivial next to its good fortune in being a U.S. neighbour.Oh, Canada! The style of journalism as practiced by our neighbor to the north is quite refreshing, especially when one plutocrat bitch-slaps another. You just don't see such snappy coverage of elite brouhahas in the New York Times' Wall Street P.R. apparatus known as DealBook, for instance.
Meanwhile, the Council of Canadians is wondering why the negotiators are being so damned secretive. It seems the Canadian government forgot to even tell its own citizens about the meeting! So, what else is new? Join the club. And sign the Open Media petition -- it's ecumenical.