There's a giant american flag behind Obama, while he speaks at a company that says in its annual report almost all its workers are overseas
— Zaid Jilani (@ZaidJilani) May 8, 2015
As reported by the radical pamphleteers at USAToday:
… Obama made his case for free trade at a company that many liberals — notably Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a presidential candidate — see as a symbol of failed trade policies. Nike, the world’s largest athletic shoe manufacturer, imports shoes from contract factories in places like Vietnam, where the minimum wage is 56 cents an hour…
The question of why President Obama has decided to stake so much on this particular Satan sandwich remains a mystery, even to the cheering corporatists at the NYTimes:
… Mr. Obama, who normally eschews legislative schmoozing, has made his case in dozens of telephone calls and one-on-one or group meetings with lawmakers.
He has also become increasingly aggressive in taking on critics in his own party, including Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, a popular figure among the liberal base who has denounced the trade deal as a sellout to corporate interests. Mr. Obama has suggested that they are either intentionally misrepresenting the issue or being duped by misinformation about it. That has put the president in the uncomfortable position of feuding openly with activists who have usually revered him…
But Yahoo‘s Matt Bai gets a personal interview and finds an exciting new theory for himself — it’s about punching the DFHs!:
… Throughout his presidency, Obama has mostly avoided public feuds with what his first press secretary, Robert Gibbs, liked to call the “professional left” … But like a marriage in which the spouses pretend to be happier than they really are, Obama’s polite alliance with the populist left appears to be suddenly crumbling under the weight of free trade. The more Warren and Senate colleagues like Bernie Sanders and Sherrod Brown attack the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership, joined by big unions and environmental groups, the more liberated Obama seems to feel in portraying them as reckless and backward-looking, much as Clinton might have done. He evidences none of the self-doubt or conflicted loyalty that seemed plain when they criticized him for being too cautious on Wall Street reform or health care…
What’s mostly going on here, though, is that frustrated liberals see in the Asian trade deal an opportunity to draw the line on globalization, period. No one thinks this deal is going to be the ruin of American workers, when all is said and done. What they think is that there has to be a moment when industry loses and the country finally turns its attention to the things you can do for workers, like raising the minimum wage (a more than reasonable suggestion) and relaxing rules that make organizing more difficult.
Taking a stand against the trade pact is really just a way of taking a stand against 30-plus years of policies that favored business over everyone else.
And this is what so frustrates Obama, to the point where he would come to make his stand at the headquarters of a company reviled by labor, almost as a provocation. Obama, as his detractors have often pointed out, is a study in cool-blooded analysis and professorial debate; whatever his gift of oratory, his real passion is for the triumph of reason over histrionics…
Reason over histronics! Who could misdoubt such a noble venture? Well, there’s the killjoys at Doctors Without Borders/MSF, per the National Journal:
… The physicians group has quietly been opposing the emerging Trans-Pacific Partnership for a few years now, but its efforts are growing more public. It sent multiple letters to Obama in the past few months, as the congressional debate about giving the president fast-track authority has ramped up, warning about the implications for drug costs in other countries. And it is putting up subway ads on the D.C. Metro…
The concern, Sanjuan said, is that the deal would require the dozen or so participating countries to amend intellectual property law, including patent rules, to give pharmaceutical companies more exclusive time on the market. Those fears were sparked by a 2013 WikiLeaks disclosure on the TPP negotiations.
“It would force them to change the law of many of these countries that are currently negotiating to create new intellectual property protections for pharmaceutical drugs, including but not limited to patents,” Sanjuan said of the deal’s reported provisions. “The effects of these new obligations would limit generic competition and therefore increase the cost of medicine.”…
“MSF believes this is essential to closing the gap in access to medicines for millions of people around the world,” its leaders wrote in a March letter to Obama. “The TPP could be an opportunity to make significant progress toward these goals. Instead, in its current state, the TPP is a threat to the health of millions.”
I’m just not seeing any reason to side with the Nike Corporation and Matt Bai, or against my beloved Senator Warren, labor leaders, and MSF.
11 dimensional chess explanation: Obama is moving right to help Hillary position herself as a "real progressive." No, I don't buy it either
— Billmon (@billmon1) May 8, 2015