TPP requires very close examination

Most probably haven't heard of the trans-Pacific Partnership because it hasn't been covered by the major media.

President Barack Obama and our legislators must chase down and study TPP negotiations with a sharp and steady eye for the fine print and details. Superficially, TPP is a trade agreement in the making among a dozen nations on the Pacific Ocean. But covertly, corporations earnestly want TPP to counteract environmental laws, existing and new, especially if they in any way inconvenience corporations.

This is the reverse of what should occur. If anything, we need stronger environmental laws to protect species, habitat, climate, oceans, water, air, and the like, not just at home but worldwide.

Corporations have too much wealth and power. They want more. They want out from under government controls and taxes, but government must maintain strong regulations and a firm hand to guide behavior of American companies and to guide relations between foreign companies and this country.

It's critical the legislators understand and guide agreements between nations and among nations to stop destruction of the planet.

Terry Cochrell

Berkeley

Obama's evident favoritism not OK

Esther Cepeda's March 6 column, " 'My Brother's Keeper,' is a wise investment in America," couldn't be more wrong. President Barack Obama's campaign only applies to young men of color.

Obama, who fancies himself a champion of women and proclaimed to the nation, "There is not a Black America and a White America and Latin America and Asian America -- there's the United States of America," excludes all women and white men from his initiative.

Nothing could be more wrong, besides being another gross violation of our Constitution, than these deliberate class exclusions by race and gender.

These kinds of federal government favoritism should not be tolerated.

Clifford Wiesner

Concord

Blatant abuse of power at hearing

I have finally lost all patience and any vestigial respect I had for Rep. Darrell Issa, now after his blatant pettiness and his disrespectful, disdainful and condescending treatment of ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings -- by cutting off his microphone -- in the Internal Revenue Service hearing Kabuki Theater farce he conducted on March 5.

Issa is on a quixotic quest to try and pin a dubious, false and nonexistent "IRS scandal" upon President Barack Obama.

We now know that neither conservatives nor liberals were ever "singled out" in the conduct of the IRS in investigating abuses of tax-exempt status of politically named 501(c)(4) organizations. As Salon.com explains, "The only known denial of tax-exempt status occurred to a progressive group."

Issa needs to recognize, in his abuse of power, that there's really no "there" there, but there is such a concept of open and fairly run government meetings. What Issa conducted on March 5 wouldn't be tolerated in Russia today, and shouldn't be in America either.

Ed Chainey

Richmond

Putin certainly is not intimidated

Who is winning in the Ukraine crisis?

Short term, Vladimir Putin. Certainly not President Barack Obama and his nonexistent foreign policy! Long term is yet to be determined.

John Kerry's statement that Putin's invasion belongs to the 19th century, but not the 21st century, is absurd. Such actions have been around for many centuries and will continue as long as they are successful. China's invasion of Tibet, Iraq's seizure of Kuwait, North Korea's invasion of South Korea, and North Vietnam's invasion of South Vietnam are recent examples.

Did Putin retreat because of the blustering and empty threats of Obama? Of course not. Putin has made it very clear over the course of the Obama administration that he holds Obama in disdain and contempt.

Putin has proved his point that neither the United States nor its NATO allies do not frighten or intimidate him. He has plans to regain world power and he will implement them on his schedule, regardless of what others may think or threaten. Regaining the Ukraine is just another of Putin's eventual objectives.

Ernest Hampson

Pittsburg