And Some Might Learn To Adjust

But then it never was a matter of trust.

President Obama’s argument that Democrats should trust his vision on trade is falling flat on Capitol Hill.

Democrats — even some of Obama’s closest allies — say it’s not enough for the president to pronounce his trade agenda the most progressive in history.

The lawmakers want assurances that the agreements under negotiation, particularly a huge deal being finalized with Pacific Rim nations, will protect U.S. jobs — assurances many say they simply haven’t gotten.

“I take the president at his word that he believes … the argument he’s making, but I think he’s wrong,” Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) said Wednesday.

“The analysis I’ve done comes to a very different conclusion,” he added. “It’s clear that this will, in the long term, not result in the growth of American jobs and an increase in wages.”

Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), head of the Congressional Black Caucus, said he’s in talks with administration officials, who have yet to convince him the president’s trade agenda would create jobs in North Carolina.

“I’m still at the place I’ve always been: leaning no,” Butterfield said Wednesday.

“There’s a difference between growing the economy and helping American companies grow the bottom line, and creating jobs,” he added.

Fast track authority legislation in the House is going to be a long, ugly road. House Democrats are overwhelmingly against it, and Orange Julius is going to need to come up with something like 200 Republican votes in order for this to have any chance of passage.  Recent history has shown that depending on his skills at whipping votes is a major loser of a bet.

Meanwhile, WikiLeaks is trying to crowdfund a hundred grand as a reward for somebody to leak to them the bulk of the text of the TPP, so there’s that.






181 replies
  1. 1
    low-tech cyclist says:

    Nice earworm, Zandar. Billy Joel gets a bad rap, and sometimes he deserves it, but I’m kinda fond of that song.

    Also, Obama’s going with strawmen. And like Krgthulu says, you don’t need to make bad arguments to sell something good.

    From Marketplace on NPR yesterday, here’s Obama:

    But, one of the basic premises for me in pursuing this, is that we can’t just draw a moat and pull up the drawbridge around our economy…The answer’s not to not trade anymore. The answer is, how do we upgrade our skills? How do we make sure that the laws, and the tax rules, and how companies compensate their workers versus their CEOs, how are those rules fair? And, if we do that well, then we can address those issues. But, we’re not going to address those issues by not trading with Japan.

    Excuse me, Mr. President, but who the fuck is suggesting that we should “draw a moat and pull up the drawbridge around our economy” or “not trade anymore” or “not trad[e] with Japan” ?

    Nobody, that’s who. This is bullshit.

  2. 2
    Big ole hound says:

    We the consumers could accomplish the same thing and “buy American” thus pushing the walmarts to re-think their product sources. Problem is that the very people who would benefit the most keep shopping there which pushed the local stores out.

  3. 3
    Cermet says:

    President Obama is trying to sell us to corporate interest and the investor class (read the real power called the 0.001% and above.) All our trade deals sell out the middle class and this one will be no different; only the degree of sell out. Here’s to hoping some thugs oppose this sell out along with a few honest demorats.

  4. 4
    Corner Stone says:

    Meanwhile, WikiLeaks is trying to crowdfund a hundred grand as a reward for somebody to leak to them the bulk of the text of the TPP, so there’s that.

    IMO, it’s pretty sad commentary that we have to have an outsider third-party org try to bribe someone to get at what we should all be told out loud.

  5. 5
    Betty Cracker says:

    I have a hard time believing this crappy bill won’t pass, Boehner’s incompetence notwithstanding. Yes, the House Republicans are loathe to give Obama a victory on anything, ever. But “Fast Track” in this instance is tantamount to passage of a trade bill that was written by corporate donors. I say the House overrides their public prime directive, “Always Oppose Obama,” in favor of their actual prime directive: “Always Serve Our Corporate Masters.”

  6. 6
    Elizabelle says:

    The powers that be will not be honest about the economic uneasiness of what used to be the middle class, and predatory capitalism allowed more and more rein.

  7. 7
    dr. bloor says:

    OK, I’m paralyzed. I hate the agreement, but if Cicilline has crunched the numbers and thinks Bams is wrong…

  8. 8
    Zandar says:

    @low-tech cyclist: Hyperbolic, bullshit-filled strawmen are manning the ramparts on both sides of this argument. The reality is going to be somewhere between that nonsense from the White House about “not trading with Japan” and the emolicious “this will destroy millions of jobs” viewpoints.

    Problem is there’s a lot of ground between the two points, and it’s all covered in landmines.

  9. 9
    Belafon says:

    Maybe Democrats could write a letter to South Korea and Japan telling them that the next president might not honor the agreement.

  10. 10
    Corner Stone says:

    “When people say this trade deal is bad for working families, they don’t know what they’re talking about,” Obama said in April. “My entire presidency has been about working families.”

    The president went on to add, “And it strengthens working families by mandating X is in place, regulations are enforced for Y and we have significant influence on how Z is installed.”

    Oh, wait. He didn’t say anything about anything. Just “trust me”.

  11. 11
  12. 12
    Punchy says:

    Recent history has shown that depending on his skills at whipping votes subverting Cleek’s Law is a major loser of a bet.

    No way they get around Cleek’s on this. If Obama is pushing it, it clearly must call for gun confiscation, FEMA camps, and mandatory ghey seckytime for all…

  13. 13
    Corner Stone says:

    @Zandar:

    and the emolicious “this will destroy millions of jobs” viewpoints.

    How is that an “emo” viewpoint? We have recorded history that we can review to determine that trade bills in the modern era have never net benefited working class people in our country.
    This bill exports wages. For Jim Himes (D-Conn), who somehow thinks his district is going to ramp up exports and create jobs, who are the consumers you’re exporting to?

  14. 14
    Lee says:

    @Betty Cracker: That is a tough call & I’m not sure I would take that bet. Here in Texas their white hot hatred of Obama has overridden their subservience to their corporate overlords.

  15. 15
    Paul in KY says:

    @Betty Cracker: Agree with your take here. Fuck the 1%!

  16. 16
    Zandar says:

    @Corner Stone:

    How is that an “emo” viewpoint?

    We have recorded history that we can review to determine that trade bills in the modern era have never net benefited working class people in our country

    Do try harder.

  17. 17
    rikyrah says:

    I don’t believe that TPP is all that. And, I call bull on those that think it’s so secret.

  18. 18
    cahuenga says:

    @rikyrah:

    It’s secret enough that HRC claims not to know it’s content. And she was there for its birth.

  19. 19
    Iowa Old Lady says:

    @low-tech cyclist: Here’s an earworm we all missed yesterday:

    It was the third of June, another sleepy, dusty Delta daaay.

  20. 20
    elm says:

    @Zandar:

    emolicious “this will destroy millions of jobs” viewpoints.

    Who is saying that? I don’t see that text or anything similar in either of your links.

  21. 21
    Corner Stone says:

    @Zandar: Whatever, clown.

  22. 22
    Loviatar says:

    Barney Frank: An open letter to Obama on trade

    Dear Mr. President,

    I understand your concerns that many who support your domestic agenda disagree with you on the question of trade. Here’s why. Because we agree with you that increasing the concentration of wealth causes serious economic and social problems, we are against increased foreign trade without adopting measures that will diminish excessive inequality.

    But since the purpose of the Trans-Pacific Partnership is to increase trade, one of its effects will undeniably be increased inequality. It is logically inconsistent to claim that fast-track authority will be a significant accomplishment while simultaneously dismissing the argument that it needs policies to counter its negative impact on economic fairness.

    In Congress, I was disinclined to help people who were killing legislation important to my values without some discussion of mutuality. But insisting that trade promotion be part of a package that includes many of your own proposals to diminish inequality is not simply a request for a quid pro quo. In this case the quid has both positive and negative effects, and the quo seeks to offset the latter.

    Read the whole thing, Barney Frank perfectly lays out my position against fast tracking TPP.

  23. 23
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Lee: You could be right. In Florida, the hospital corporation crook who bought the governorship is yearning to hoover up all that sweet Medicaid expansion money, but the yahoos in the state house forced him to recant. But that was pretty easy — all they had to do was shriek “ObamaCare!” and “socialism!” It will be harder to peddle disinformation against a trade deal that was drafted by corporate lobbyists, and there are no native wingnut constituencies with a vested interest in opposing it.

  24. 24
    Kay says:

    @Zandar:

    Except the White House started it. They claimed “650,000” jobs. It’s now up “millions” if you listen to Rubio.

    They didn’t want to sell this for what it is so they decided to try to sell it as “middle class jobs”. It isn’t working because it isn’t true.

    Free traders should probably stop predicting gains for the middle class. That’s practically a non-starter. Asia pivot, “it’s better if Republicans don’t do it”, whatever, but they should stop promising “middle class jobs”.

    Obama actually has a strong record on manufacturing. Much stronger than Clintons. He’s undoing all that good will with this.

  25. 25
    Knowbody says:

    @Zandar:

    Hyperbolic, bullshit-filled strawmen are manning the ramparts on both sides of this argument.

    and the emolicious “this will destroy millions of jobs” viewpoints.

    Do try harder.

  26. 26
    Corner Stone says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I have a hard time believing this crappy bill won’t pass, Boehner’s incompetence notwithstanding.

    I think there’s a pretty decent chance 45 to 50 R congresspeople may vote no on this. So if it’s true they are focusing on getting 200 R votes for yes that’s going to be pretty tight. But I think it most likely will pass. Obama is going to continue leaning all over D House members.
    It’s humorous to see who is where on this bill. The head of the Black Caucus is against it and Paul Ryan is for it. I look around and see who wants this passed and it gives me the straight willies.

  27. 27
    elm says:

    @Loviatar: Fie on you and linking and quoting well-written opposition to TPP. Don’t you know that all opposition to it is of the form “this will destroy millions of jobs!!!!!!!!!!!” and BOTH SIDES engage in hyperbole like portraying one side’s argument as “not trading with Japan”

  28. 28
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    TPP is one of three related trade bills. The other two, from what little we know of them, are even worse.

    I get that we’ve reached the “cash out all my friends” portion of this presidency, but I sure as shit don’t have to like it. It’s an American tradition we could do without.

  29. 29
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @rikyrah:

    And, I call bull on those that think it’s so secret.

    Then put up a link to the text or a summary of it.

  30. 30
    Kay says:

    @Loviatar:

    It is logically inconsistent to claim that fast-track authority will be a significant accomplishment while simultaneously dismissing the argument that it needs policies to counter its negative impact on economic fairness.

    They’re not even doing THAT. They are arguing that the trade deal will have funding for disrupted workers in it, while arguing that there will be no disrupted workers.

    I get what Frank is saying- legislation alongside the deal as a condition and leverage with Republicans. but they’re not even consistent within the trade deal itself.

    They have huge leverage with Republicans because the deal benefits so many agricultural interests. My God, why not use that?

  31. 31
    Loviatar says:

    P.S.

    Zandar’s OP deriding serious concerns as emolicious “this will destroy millions of jobs” viewpoints and his subsequent dismissive response to questions also show why I’m disinclined to support Obama on this issue.

    The Obots got by on the first 6 years with this attitude they’re trying to squeak by with another 2 years. Its the old; trust me we’re doing 12th dimensional chess and you’re to stupid and emotional to understand it.

  32. 32
    cahuenga says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I do believe a few chapters (old versions) are available on Wikileaks. For what that’s worth.

  33. 33
    elm says:

    @cahuenga: When I’ve pointed that out to TPP supporters, they tend to argue that that material is old and therefore we should assume all the bad parts have been changed by now.

  34. 34
    Kay says:

    @Loviatar:

    I don’t think it will destroy millions of jobs. Going to NIKE was waving a red flag in front of a bull. Obama couldn’t find a better employer to showcase?

    Every single Democratic candidate for the Senate who has announced so far is either opposing this or ducking it. It isn’t popular. Instead of grappling with that they decided to go “on the offensive” and announce Mitch McConnell’s position is now “progressive”.

  35. 35
    rikyrah says:

    who is actually dumb enough to believe that the GOP has a contingency plan for Obamacare?

    ………………….

    The Real Reason Republicans Don’t Have A Contingency Plan For Obamacare

    Posted: 06/02/2015 9:46 pm EDT

    If you want to know about the Republican Party’s priorities for health care, pay close attention to what transpired — and what didn’t transpire — on Capitol Hill Tuesday.

    The House Ways and Means Committee held a session to consider a number of health care-related measures. In theory, it would have been an ideal time to take up, amend and maybe even vote on a contingency plan for King v. Burwell — the case before the Supreme Court that could wipe out health insurance tax credits under the Affordable Care Act for more than 6 million people scattered across two-thirds of the states.

    The Ways and Means chairman, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), has said repeatedly that his party will have a contingency plan ready to go if the court sides with the law’s challengers. He’s also vowed, again and again, to craft an Obamacare alternative that will achieve better results at lower costs. It’s the same set of promises that countless other Republican leaders have made, although Ryan would seem uniquely positioned to deliver on them. He is supposed to be the leading policy intellectual of his party, plus he presides over a powerful committee with direct jurisdiction over health care financing.

    But take a look at the official agenda for the Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday. You’ll see a bill to repeal Obamacare’s tax on medical device makers and a proposal to repeal the so-called Independent Payment Advisory Board, which sets reimbursement rates under Medicare. You’ll see some other legislation, too, including some other adjustments to Medicare.

    Here’s what you won’t see: contingency plans for the upcoming Supreme Court ruling or alternative schemes for expanding insurance coverage.

    The omission is neither accidental nor incidental. On Monday, House Majority LeaderKevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced that he and his colleagues have decided that publishing a detailed plan before the high court rules isn’t such a good idea after all. “Don’t expect us to pre-determine the Supreme Court,” McCarthy said. “We have to first see what their decision is and what we have to solve.”

    ………………………….

    The cynical explanation (offered most recently by Salon’s Simon Maloy) is that Republican leaders aren’t serious about crafting a plan — that all the vague promisesof “off-ramps” and “transitions” away from Obamacare have been a public relations stunt, designed to make potential swing votes on the Supreme Court, particularly Chief Justice John Roberts, feel more comfortable about issuing a decision that could create so much chaos for the millions of Americans who can’t get health insurance without those federal tax credits

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....97270.html

  36. 36
    Cervantes says:

    @Zandar:

    that nonsense from the White House about “not trading with Japan” and the emolicious “this will destroy millions of jobs” viewpoints

    “That nonsense from the White House” is exemplified by the quotation from the President re Japan — yes?

    Is there a corresponding “emolicious” quotation re the destruction of “millions of jobs”? Where is the key ingredient for this portion of both-sides-do-it you’re serving up?

  37. 37
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @Zandar:

    @low-tech cyclist: Hyperbolic, bullshit-filled strawmen are manning the ramparts on both sides of this argument. The reality is going to be somewhere between that nonsense from the White House about “not trading with Japan” and the emolicious “this will destroy millions of jobs” viewpoints.

    Zandar, I’m sure somebody, somewhere is saying that the TPP will destroy millions of jobs. But are we talking about people like Sen. Warren or Dr. Krugman setting up strawmen and knocking them down, or are we nutpicking?

    But on the pro-TPP side, we’re talking about the President of the United States putting up ridiculous strawman arguments. That’s NOT nutpicking. That’ the freakin’ President of the United States.

  38. 38
    Lolis says:

    I think there is no way this trade bill should pass without letting the public see it. I trust as Obama as much as I do any politician. That is the thing though–he is a politician and I would be foolish to think his interests and mine always intersect.

  39. 39
    cahuenga says:

    @elm:

    I tend to agree with them. We have only seen a few chapters, a partial bill, and an old version at that. And no telling who leaked it or why.

    On this basis I grant it exactly one grain of salt.

  40. 40
    rikyrah says:

    I consider this water is wet news

    ………………….

    Morning Plum: The stakes in Obamacare lawsuit just got a whole lot higher

    Prepare to be shocked, shocked, shocked! It’s increasingly looking like Republicans won’t have any contingency plan in place if the Supreme Court guts subsidies for millions in three dozen federal exchange states. Jonathan Cohn has a must-read this morning in which he reports that there are no signs of any public Congressional debate among Republicans about this contingency fix.
    …………………………..

    It shows that the greatest numbers of people who stand to lose subsidies live in states that are key presidential battlegrounds and home to some of the most contested Senate races of the cycle:

    ………………………..

    Untold numbers of these people could lose coverage. In many of these states, vulnerable GOP incumbent Senators face reelection. If the Court rules against the government, presumably they’d be asked if they’ll support Congress doing a simple fix to keep subsidies flowing to hundreds of thousands of their constituents. (It’s no accident that vulnerable Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson rushed out his own contingency plan.) Two presidential contenders — Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio — come from the state where well over a million people will lose subsidies.

    It’s not yet clear how much all this will matter for the presidential and Senate races, but many Republicans appear worried. And Democrats will certainly try to make it matter.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....ot-higher/

  41. 41
    debbie says:

    @rikyrah:

    How much longer until an overwhelming majority of people see through GOP BS and realize they never have a plan other than a return to past policies that are demonstrated failures?

  42. 42
    Kay says:

    This is (allegedly) the list of the people who were in on the negotiations in some fashion. I count 3 labor people out of more than 600. Wal Mart gets two and all of labor gets 3. That’s fair and balanced.

    Oh, and Chris Christie. America’s Governor.

    http://www.flushthetpp.org/tpp-corporate-insiders/

  43. 43
    Knowbody says:

    A significant portion of the thread is calling Zandar out on his strawman argument for once.

    Surprise! He’s always been this bad. But it’s funny to watch him pretend like he’s any better than the pundits he’s always going after.

    It’s even more hilarious to see people suddenly realize this only when he crosses the commentariat on an issue as important as stopping the TPP.

  44. 44
    cahuenga says:

    @Knowbody:

    We are all little individual snowflakes.

  45. 45
    rikyrah says:

    and watch the MSM try and cape as much as possible to sell this swill

    ………………………..

    Morning Plum: How Republicans will try to blame Obama if the Court guts subsidies

    By Greg Sargent May 22 Senator Chris Murphy is getting lots of attention because he delivered a speech on the Senate floor while brandishing a poster bearing a “shruggie.” That, he says, is the actual GOP contingency plan for the millions who might lose health care if the Supreme Court invalidates subsidies in three dozen states.

    But Senator Murphy is wrong. Republicans do have a plan of sorts. As I’ve noted before, Republicans may try to pass a temporary patch for the subsidies, packaged with something like the repeal of the individual mandate, in hopes of drawing a presidential veto — so Republicans can then try to blame Obama for failing to fix the problem.

    Today, the Wall Street Journal editorial page helpfully confirms that this idea is very much in circulation, urging Republicans to carry out this strategy. The editorial suggests Republicans rally behind plans such as the one offered by GOP Senator Ron Johnson, which would temporarily grant subsidies to those who lose them. Of course, conservatives may oppose any fix for the subsidies, because that constitutes government spending to expand health coverage and keeps Obamacare going. The Johnson plan would include repeal of the mandate, presumably to get conservatives to support it. Then the grand plan would unfold this way:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....subsidies/

  46. 46
    Cervantes says:

    @rikyrah:

    [1] I don’t believe that TPP is all that. And, [2] I call bull on those that think it’s so secret.

    Are you saying that [1] the TPP is not good and that [2] people know it’s not good?

  47. 47
    Kay says:

    I love too how every proposed modification is a “poison pill”. Currency? Poison pill. No forced labor? Poison pill. Changing the dispute resolution process to include workers being permitted to bring a claim so it’s at least an equitable process as far as access? Poison pill.

    The only thing we may negotiate are things that don’t matter.

  48. 48
    Loviatar says:

    @Kay:

    I don’t think it will destroy millions of jobs.

    I disagree, I think it will destroy millions of jobs or at its least harmful depress US wages. We have evidence that this has occurred as a result of NAFTA. My point as laid out by former Representative Barney Frank in his Op Ed, why not get something in return from the Republicans that actually offsets and reduces the harm that will be caused by TPP.

  49. 49
    elm says:

    @Kay: Here’s the Washington Post’s breakdown on Trade Advisors. Four hundred eighty (480) come from corporations or industry groups, thirty one (31) from labor unions, and sixteen (16) from NGOs.

    The labor representatives are concentrated into a couple of committees as well.

  50. 50
    Knowbody says:

    @cahuenga:

    We are all little individual snowflakes.

    With very similar conclusions.

  51. 51
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Will be glad when the TPP is behind us. If President Obama is not able to convince his own Party of the benefits of TPP, it should fail. I have no problem with that.

  52. 52
    Kay says:

    @Loviatar:

    I tink Obama is right when he says most of the barriers are gone as far as manufacturing so I don’t think NAFTA is a good example- although NAFTA is a great example of free traders lying about jobs.

    It wasn’t just the lying about jobs. It was the complete and utter abandonment of whole industries and parts of the country once the jobs went because it was uncomfortable for free traders to admit they were wrong about job gains. Too many fancy people would have had to admit error, and we can’t have that!

    They don’t have any credibility. That’s rational.

  53. 53
    cahuenga says:

    @elm:

    Right there. Overwhelmingly influenced by corporate executives and lobbyists.

    Not to sound emolicious, but that right there is all I need to know.

  54. 54
    MomSense says:

    We will all get 60 days to read the stupid thing. Right now this argument is just bizarre. The people who hate it are taking the word of (trusting) the people who hate it all the while saying we shouldn’t trust the people who support it. I’m waiting to read it for myself.

    I really can’t think of any negotiations between multiple nation states that are made public before the negotiations are finalized. I also don’t see how you can take a multi state treaty and subject it to amendments from the member nation states’ legislatures (or equivalent) after the fact. Would any of us want to subject an eventual nuclear treaty with Iran to amendments from our Congress?

    Again, we will all have 60 days to read it, wipe our asses with it, use it for litter boxes, let our kids paint on it, make paper dolls, etc before it can be voted up or down.

    ETA And if I hate it I will organize against it.

  55. 55
    cahuenga says:

    @MomSense:

    The content of NAFTA was well known prior to passage

  56. 56
    Kay says:

    @Loviatar:

    I just think it’s a huge missed opportunity for Democrats. They could have coupled it with infrastructure investment. That goes along with the free trade argument and it”s HUGELY popular. “Rebuild the avenues of commerce for all these great export jobs that are coming along here shortly!”

    I don’t know why we can’t get any benefit.

  57. 57
    Loviatar says:

    @Kay:

    although NAFTA is a great example of free traders lying about jobs.

    We got nothing in return for going along with the NAFTA lies, so why not get something for going along with the TPP lies.

  58. 58
    Kay says:

    @MomSense:

    Why are you waiting to read it though? It can’t be modified. Fast Track is passage. It won’t do a whole hell of a lot of good to complain after it’s done.

  59. 59
    Kay says:

    @Loviatar:

    Basically. Although I insist they admit they’re making shit up, using “hypotheticals” as the President said, so that might be a “poison pill”. Probably! Everything else is!

  60. 60
    monkeyfister says:

    As long as Slave Labor States, Malaysia and Vietnam, and Sweatshop Labor States (Brunei, Chile, Mexico, Peru, Singapore) are still allowed at the TPP table, we the American Labor Force are being told to compete with them. I have never in my life ever seen a “Free” Trade deal that has forced countries like that to raise THEIR standards to match ours. In fact, the entirety of “Free” Trade Deals has been that WE are forced to lower OUR Standard of Living to “be competitive.” The only thing I see as “Free” seems to be the expected outcome of the cost of Labor.
    The Labor Protection parts of TPP are separate from the main body of the deal, and are certainly getting NO traction. At this point, they are just a happy set of neat ideas for these jokers to poop on. Last set of votes they went out of their way to keep them seperate. Enough is enough. FAIR Trade is the way to go. The only way forward in the 21st Century.

  61. 61
    Elizabelle says:

    NYTimes today: the rubes are waking up:

    Inequality Troubles Americans Across Party Lines, Times/CBS Poll Finds 1,022 people surveyed by phone. 3% margin of error.

    … Far from a strictly partisan issue, inequality looms large in the minds of almost half of Republicans and two-thirds of independents, suggesting that it will outlive the presidential primary contests and become a central theme in next year’s general election campaign.

    … Six in 10 Americans now say that only a few people at the top have an opportunity to advance.

    … four in five Americans support requiring employers to offer paid parental leave, and even more support paid sick leave. A majority also favors requiring chain stores and fast-food restaurants to inform workers of scheduling changes two weeks in advance or to compensate them with additional pay if they fail to do so.

    Seven in 10 Americans support an increase in the federal minimum wage to $10.10 from $7.25 an hour, although Republicans are about evenly divided on the question.

    Americans were also skeptical of free trade. Nearly two-thirds favored some form of trade restrictions, and more than half opposed giving the president authority to negotiate trade agreements that Congress could only vote up or down without amending, a White House priority.

    More than half of higher-income Americans said that money and wealth should be more evenly distributed. Across party lines, most Americans said the chance to get ahead was mainly a luxury for those at the top.

    … “People have to get a high school education and they have to go to college as well, and then they go out there and can only get a low-paying job,” said Betty Burgess, 70, a retired textile worker from Lincolnton, N.C., who is a Republican.

    Almost three-quarters of respondents say that large corporations have too much influence in the country, about double the amount that said the same of unions.

    … The poll also included a variety of intriguing findings about what Americans think should be done to reduce inequality.

    Six in 10 Americans opposed requiring fast-food chains and other employers of hourly workers to raise wages to at least $15 an hour, the aim of a two-and-a-half year nationwide campaign led in part by a major union. …

    When asked about the other end of the income spectrum, two-thirds of Americans favored raising taxes on people with annual salaries exceeding $1 million. By 50 to 45 percent, they favored capping the income of top executives at large corporations, a measure that more than one-third of Republicans supported as well.

    Those polled: Don’t ask us to sacrifice or pay more. Tax the other guy.

    From top of the article:

    Nearly six in 10 Americans said government should do more to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor, but they split sharply along partisan lines. Only one-third of Republicans supported a more active government role, versus eight in 10 of Democrats.

    So who other than government is going to reduce the gap? Fairies? The captains of industry who bought the politicians and media and got us into this mess? (Admittedly, some of the problem is globalization and technology come calling. But not all of it.)

    But a promising poll, in many ways.

  62. 62
    srv says:

    Fabulous Rick Perry throws his hair into the ring!

  63. 63
    cahuenga says:

    And one more valuable piece of evidence:

    Elizabeth Warren, who’s judgement on labor issues I trust implicitly, HAS read the bill and strongly, STRONGLY opposes it.

    When it comes down to who do you believe, Liz or Barack?? Well, that’s not even a close call.

  64. 64
    elm says:

    @MomSense:

    ETA And if I hate it I will organize against it.

    That opportunity will come rather late in the day. If it’s granted Fast Track process, it will get an up-or-down vote in the House and Senate with no filibuster nor any committee delay/bill-killing tactics allowed.

    Do you think there are 5 Republican Senators (plus all 46 in the Democrat’s caucus) who can be persuaded to vote against an agreement that’s overwhelmingly pro-corporate? Do you think it will be feasible to stop it from reaching 218 votes in the house? I don’t.

    Nike, Apple, etc… have had 10 years to access and shape this agreement. The other 300 million of us will have 60 days to read it and no ability to propose changes.

  65. 65
    Corner Stone says:

    @MomSense:

    Again, we will all have 60 days to read it, wipe our asses with it, use it for litter boxes, let our kids paint on it, make paper dolls, etc before it can be voted up or down.

    If the House passes this part of the bill, it’s over. There can be no filibuster or modification. If it passes now, it is passed and it doesn’t matter one damn what we later find in it after 60 days of close reading.

  66. 66
    Sherparick says:

    I saw this story on Digby’s site. http://digbysblog.blogspot.com.....nding.html

    Some people make think of Bruce Hornsby’s song “I Wish I had a Rocket Launcher” as I would like to send these two on a one way trip to the moon. http://www.viralspell.com/camp.....sky-puppy/

  67. 67
    Elizabelle says:

    @Kay:

    I just think it’s a huge missed opportunity for Democrats. They could have coupled it with infrastructure investment. That goes along with the free trade argument and it”s HUGELY popular. …. I don’t know why we can’t get any benefit.

    I don’t understand that either.

    Actual people who will — you know, vote for Democrats — support that overwhelmingly. And even people who won’t vote for Democrats, but like the idea of jobs and better infrastructure — and there are a lot of them — would go for it.

    Is a mystery. Unless it has to do with Democratic incumbents getting campaign cash.

    ETA: Or lack of courage? Or misreading their constituents, because the GOP screamers get outsize response?

  68. 68
    Kay says:

    @Loviatar:

    Although, in the ever-shifting argument for the deal, yesterday they came out with how it would “lower tariffs” for manufacturing (exports) which kind of contradicts the President’s argument that most trade barriers for manufacturing are gone.

    http://www.politico.com/agenda.....ffs-000059

    I’m baffled by how they’re shocked by the opposition. I sat here and listened to Obama and Clinton go to war over NAFTA in Ohio in 2008. Now I know Democrats lie about trade constantly, so maybe they were both politicking, but they had to know there was huge anger out there. They thought people would be less upset now that there’s more economic insecurity?

  69. 69
    Zandar says:

    @cahuenga:

    When it comes down to who do you believe, Liz or Barack?? Well, that’s not even a close call.

    Guess it was a terrible idea for him to hire her in the first place then, the untrustworthy bastard.

  70. 70
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    For those who haven’t seen it, the White House has a big spread on the TPP.

    I’m still in the “wait and see” mode about TPP, myself. I don’t think “fast track” is a huge deal, either. That’s the way these complex, multiparty agreements have to be addressed if one is ever to be passed. And if it shouldn’t be passed, then our leaders should and can vote the agreement down.

    I do think that Obama’s most compelling arguments are that economic growth is going to be driven by the Far East for years to come and that US exports are good for the economy. Whether this agreement will significantly help US exports is unknown, but sitting back and not being part of multiparty trade agreements likely won’t help.

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  71. 71
    cahuenga says:

    @Zandar:

    Damn, you really are in-the-bag for the guy. And here I thought a couple blog-snipers just had a vendetta.

  72. 72
    elm says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    And if it shouldn’t be passed, then our leaders should and can vote the agreement down.

    By a Republican House and Senate? Please name the five (5) Republican Senators you think can be persuaded to vote against a pro-corporate bill.

    I do think that Obama’s most compelling arguments are that economic growth is going to be driven by the Far East for years to come and that US exports are good for the economy. Whether this agreement will significantly help US exports is unknown, but sitting back and not being part of multiparty trade agreements likely won’t help.

    Has the U.S. not been trading with Asia before now? I could have sworn the U.S. trades extensively with Japan, China, Vietnam, etc… right now, without the TPP.

  73. 73
    Betty Cracker says:

    @cahuenga:

    When it comes down to who do you believe, Liz or Barack?? Well, that’s not even a close call.

    For me, that depends on the issue. Obama has been a great president on many issues, but he does tend to get rolled on economics, IMO. Warren and Brown have been consistently on the side of working people, so they have my confidence on this issue too. But it sucks that we can’t assess the terms on their own merits ourselves.

  74. 74
    Elizabelle says:

    @Betty Cracker: What Ms. Cracker said.

  75. 75
    Kay says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    I actually think it goes to a more basic argument among Democrats right now. There are a lot of us who think the Democrats’ approach is exactly like the GOP approach, where they’re selling “equality of opportunity!” because that’s a way to side-step the structural (and politically dangerous) issues of economic inequality.

    Larry Summers is actually raising questions about the wisdom of promising economic gap narrowing based on “equality of opportunity”, which shocked the hell out of me. It’s the difference between saying “we’ll help you play the game so you win” and saying “the game is rigged”

  76. 76
    cahuenga says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Right there with you…. Hence the: “who’s judgement on labor issues I trust implicitly”.

  77. 77
    Knowbody says:

    @cahuenga: as they are so fond of saying around these parts, “Hoocoodanode!”

  78. 78
    Loviatar says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    I’m still in the “wait and see” mode about TPP, myself. I don’t think “fast track” is a huge deal, either.

    As someone who seems pretty blase on the subject I hope you can answer a few questions for me so I get my head around the wait and see attitude.

    – Do you believe past behavior is an indicator of future actions? (not a predictor an indicator)

    – Do you believe NAFTA is a driver of Jobs and Wages? positive or negative?

    – Do you believe that 60 days is sufficient enough time to read and review a 1,000+ page legal document?

  79. 79
    Rommie says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I have a no-reason-to,-but-still gut feeling that the President won’t lose much sleep if it fails. He’s savvy enough to know ODS is a real thing, and well, he’s made sure to have his stamp all over TPP. Combine that with his Wonka-level efforts to stop the Democratic resistance, and I really think he’s in the catbird’s seat on this.

  80. 80
    srv says:

    Only Nixon could go to China, only Obama can go to the Ferengi.

  81. 81
    Elizabelle says:

    @Rommie: LOL. Perhaps true!

  82. 82
    gene108 says:

    @Corner Stone:

    We have recorded history that we can review to determine that trade bills in the modern era have never net benefited working class people in our country.

    Trade deals are the whipping boy for bad domestic governance.

    There’s a lot of stuff that happened over the last 35 to 40 years to leave people economically vulnerable. How much is directly related to free trade? Eh…I can’t put a number on it…but I can say the following helped get us where we are and has nothing to do with trade deals:

    1. The minimum wage not keeping up with inflation

    2. Decades long refusal to adopt universal healthcare of some sort

    3. Green-lighting M&A deals, going back to the 1980’s, when it wasn’t just good enough to be profitable, but you had to maximize profits or else you’d be a take over target; did a lot to change corporate behavior towards workers

    4. Not valuing service sector jobs as anything other than what kids do in the summer to make a few extra bucks, i.e. manufacturing was not always “good paying jobs”, it took a decades long labor movement and the Great Depression for employees to get steady pay from factory jobs;

    5. Many Americans rabid hatred of unions, as seen when employees at VW’s plant in Tennessee voted against unionization (with a strong push from the Tennessee legislature) despite VW actually preferring a union structure as it would more mirror what they deal with in Germany

    The list probably goes on and on and on, but in short, irrespective of trade deals, the problems we face, with regards to economic insecurity would still exist even if we scrapped all our trade deals.

    To close, India outsource manufacturing to China. It’s not just wage arbitrage that is behind China’s rising dominance in global manufacturing. They have a very deliberate government policy to support the manufacturing sector, which is not comparable in other countries.

    Markets across Indian towns and cities that are flooded with Chinese products, more so around festivals such as Diwali, are grim reminders of how Made-in-China has come to dominate our offices and homes.

    Last Tuesday, Tata Motor’s Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) opened its first plant in Changshu, China. The luxury car-maker’s $1.78-billion Make-in-China push has come a little over a month after Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry confessed to be greatly encouraged under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership to join the “Make In India” programme that, he said, brings together industry and government for crafting a new future.

    http://www.thehindu.com/sunday.....533575.ece

  83. 83
    low-tech cyclist says:

    @MomSense:

    I really can’t think of any negotiations between multiple nation states that are made public before the negotiations are finalized.

    Well, sure. But there’s no reason why the United States’ initial proposal couldn’t be made public.

    Sure, you don’t want to make public the back-and-forth of negotiations in progress. But our government’s initial ask represents us, and should have been put forward not only with our knowledge, but really with some degree of consent.

  84. 84
    MomSense says:

    When it comes down to who do you believe, Liz or Barack?? Well, that’s not even a close call.

    Just thought this should be repeated. It boils down to who you trust.

    I would love the rust belt staters on this blog to tell me just how bad President Obama has been for them on economic issues. I’m so old I can remember when the President summoning the auto industry CEOs to the White House was proof that he was about to sell out the auto workers. The reality was the opposite.

    Maybe I’ve had too much crying wolf about President Obama selling us out to believe or trust anyone at this point.

    Also too the President has had infrastructure proposals languishing in Congress for years. Why the hell didn’t the Democrats campaign on those infrastructure bills in 2010, ’12, and ’14?? Let’s just put all the blame on our President as per usual.

  85. 85
    JPL says:

    @MomSense: My knowledge or lack there of, about the trade bill has kept me from commenting but I agree with on this point. The President might have tried much to hard to compromise with the Republicans, but he certainly didn’t sell us out.

  86. 86
    catclub says:

    @Sherparick: I thought this link from Digby was more interesting. Also more appalling. Your link has a puppy.

    http://digbysblog.blogspot.com.....files.html

  87. 87
    SatanicPanic says:

    yeah, I don’t know if I care. Manufacturing sucks. I mean, who wants to work in a factory? It used to be the left’s goal to automate everything so people wouldn’t have to do these jobs. Now we want to keep them? Institute a minimum basic income (we can afford it) and let these jobs go somewhere else. I don’t know, maybe it’s impossible.

  88. 88
    Knowbody says:

    @MomSense:

    Maybe I’ve had too much crying wolf about President Obama selling us out to believe or trust anyone at this point.

    Six years of trying to convince Republicans to go along wasn’t exactly time well invested by Obama, either.

  89. 89
    piratedan says:

    @MomSense: perhaps this is a case of the incremental change for the good being the enemy of what we would like to see? My glimmer of understanding about this is that Obama is trying to keep a US presence in the Asian Rim markets and expand our business position there but it’s not labor friendly. The supposed gist is to keep the US a player there rather than cede that field to the Chinese. Does it supposedly help US business interests, yes, but it’s not US Labor friendly other than indirectly at best. I can understand why Warren and the others want a better agreement, but I also wonder if this isn’t a similar situation as single payer, what we want versus what we can realistically get.

  90. 90
    Betty Cracker says:

    @MomSense: I don’t think Obama maliciously sells out working people on economic issues. Rather, it seems to be a weak point for him, and he relies too heavily on Wall Street wankers for advice, IMO.

    As for specific examples, how about the massive underestimation of the stimulus required to right the economy, which played into the hands of the austerity bombers? How about the failure to require banks to help out distressed homeowners as a condition for assistance when they (bankers) were rattling the begging bowl and the government was in a great position to set terms? How about buying into wingnut memes (deficit hysteria, for example, Social Security needs “fixing,” for instance) instead of calling out the false premises of the debate?

    Other Democratic presidents have been MUCH worse (Bill Clinton) on economic issues. But it has been a stumbling block for Obama too, and it’s not like his left-wing critics are just crying wolf when they are suspicious of this trade deal.

  91. 91
    SatanicPanic says:

    @MomSense:

    Maybe I’ve had too much crying wolf about President Obama selling us out to believe or trust anyone at this point.

    This. Are internet progressives ever right about anything?

  92. 92
    DougJ says:

    Great title!

  93. 93
    cahuenga says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    “he relies too heavily on Wall Street wankers for advice,

    A Venn diagram of Goldman Sachs alumni and Obama’s advisors looks more like a bullseye.

    In spite of that, obviously a big labor supporter. /snarkily

  94. 94
    Chris says:

    @cahuenga:

    Elizabeth Warren, who’s judgement on labor issues I trust implicitly, HAS read the bill and strongly, STRONGLY opposes it.

    When it comes down to who do you believe, Liz or Barack?? Well, that’s not even a close call.

    My view has always been a bit like this, with more nuance. It’s not just Elizabeth Warren vs. Barack Obama; if it were that, I’d probably be more on the fence. It’s Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown and Paul Krugman (hardly an opponent of free trade, historically he’d be more likely to be on the other side), versus the corporate wings of both parties, with Obama virtually the only person on the pro-TPP side that I generally trust.

    Even then, I’ll listen to Obama if he makes a good case, but, well…

    @low-tech cyclist:

    Excuse me, Mr. President, but who the fuck is suggesting that we should “draw a moat and pull up the drawbridge around our economy” or “not trade anymore” or “not trad[e] with Japan” ?

    Nobody, that’s who. This is bullshit.

    @Corner Stone:

    The president went on to add, “And it strengthens working families by mandating X is in place, regulations are enforced for Y and we have significant influence on how Z is installed.”

    Oh, wait. He didn’t say anything about anything. Just “trust me”.

    @Loviatar:

    The Obots got by on the first 6 years with this attitude they’re trying to squeak by with another 2 years. Its the old; trust me we’re doing 12th dimensional chess and you’re to stupid and emotional to understand it.

    That, that, and that. The White House has been merrily deflecting objections with exactly the kind of hippie-punching with which the powers that be in Official Washington always greet objections to which they don’t have a good answer.

    Even hippie-punching isn’t inherently a deal-breaker for me, as long as the argument doesn’t just rely on that. There were similar cheap shots taken at the “professional left” back in the health care debate (and hey, it’s not like the hippies don’t dish it out too), but there was also a fairly simple and understandable rationale for Obama’s ACA – single-payer might be better, public option might be better, but neither was realistically achievable given the makeup of Congress and it was imperative to pass something, because health care costs were rising at an alarming rate and it would be decades before we had an opportunity like that again. Hence, the ACA, which might not solve everything but is still a massive improvement over the previous system. There.

    What’s the similar argument/rationale here? What terrible situation are we facing that makes it so goddamn important that we pass the TPP? What’s being done differently now (as opposed to NAFTA or other previous trade deals) that should make us believe that the American middle and working class will really benefit this time?

  95. 95
    Archon says:

    I guess I can understand the argument that he’s getting incorrect information on how this deal negatively effects workers. The idea though that he’s intentionally selling working people out on behalf of his “corporate masters” is absurd and it’s frankly coming from a lot of the same people that argued Obamacare was a corporate sellout that wouldn’t help people.

  96. 96
    Patrick says:

    @MomSense:

    Also too the President has had infrastructure proposals languishing in Congress for years. Why the hell didn’t the Democrats campaign on those infrastructure bills in 2010, ’12, and ’14?? Let’s just put all the blame on our President as per usual.

    Amen. The same goes for Gitmo where all the people are blaming Obama when in reality it was the senate and progressive heroes such as Sanders that helped block the closure of Gitmo.

  97. 97
    Knowbody says:

    @SatanicPanic: so you’re saying that there’s no concern over an issue where 80% of D’s oppose it but 80% of R’s support it in Congress? Given what we know about the Goopers?

    Do you really want to take that position?

  98. 98
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Knowbody: sure, why not? It’s quite possible that Republicans are just as uninformed on the issue and are supporting something not bad by accident.

  99. 99
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Betty Cracker: Trade and education are issues on which Obama is not particularly strong IMO. It doesn’t mean he hasn’t been a good president or that he is a bad person. I just happen to disagree with him in those areas.

  100. 100
    cahuenga says:

    @Archon:

    I guess I can understand the argument that he’s getting incorrect information on how this deal negatively effects workers. The idea though that he’s intentionally selling working people out on behalf of his “corporate masters” is absurd

    So…. Mistakenly selling working people out is somehow better?

    The facts are that he surrounds himself with Wall Street advisors, including advisors for TPP which have been overwhelmingly corporate execs and lobbyist. It’s no “mistake”, HE chooses this.

  101. 101
    Zandar says:

    @Patrick:

    The same goes for Gitmo where all the people are blaming Obama when in reality it was the senate and progressive heroes such as Sanders that helped block the closure of Gitmo

    And they did it repeatedly, and for completely self-serving bullshit reasons, and then made it impossible to close Gitmo at all. And a lot of those particular Democrats are still in Congress.

  102. 102
    Betty Cracker says:

    @SatanicPanic: Yeah, and maybe climate change deniers are just accidentally right too.

    @Omnes Omnibus: Stop taking a nuanced position, damn it!

  103. 103
    The Other Chuck says:

    So WikiLeaks is promising a monetary reward ahead of time. That’s not leaking, that’s outright espionage. I do think things like the TPP should be fully transparent from the start, but the ends here very fucking much do NOT justify the means.

  104. 104
    Kay says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    That isn’t really the argument. The argument is that the trade deals don’t benefit any sector of the middle class. As far as I can tell, the biggest labor opponents are communications workers.

    Labor union membership has changed, and their issue-based advocacy has changed along with that. Fight for Fifteen workers aren’t 60 year old guys who work on an assembly line. I tink people forget that labor is international too. Trumpka isn’t complaining about union organizers getting murdered in Detroit. He’s talking about how we were promised labor protections in other countries and didn’t get them. That’s why the idea that is somehow “protectionist” is also nonsense.

  105. 105
    elm says:

    @Zandar: Several posters have requested that you substantiate and source your allegation that

    emolicious “this will destroy millions of jobs” viewpoints.

    are a significant part of opposition to the TPP. Which of the TPP’s high-profile opponents have done that? Was it Bernie Sanders? Elizabeth Warren? Paul Krugman? Joseph Stiglitz? Eric Loomis?

  106. 106
    NobodySpecial says:

    @SatanicPanic: How weaksauce Reagan Democrats have been since they Third Way’d the Democratic Party? Pretty spot on about that one…

  107. 107
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Betty Cracker: I sided with Republicans in my state when the subject of GMO labeling came up. Our side is occasionally wrong.

  108. 108
    Kay says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    They’re international. They DON’T just want labor protections for US workers, because they rightly recognize that won’t stop race to the bottom.

    This is the AFL-CIO challenging Obama on a trade deal Obama made.

    “As to Colombia: we want to know what action the US is taking if it thinks killing trade unionists is actionable, given that 105 have been killed since the Labor Action Plan went into effect.”

  109. 109
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Kay: Fair enough, that’s a good point.

  110. 110
    Knowbody says:

    @SatanicPanic: Obama is misinforming Republicans to pass a trade deal he knows he can’t get Democratic support for?

    GTFO.

    @Zandar: You don’t want to go down the road of “Democrats doing the wrong things for self-serving reasons” when Obama is involved. It’s not an argument you can win, but I’ll see your D’s stopping him from closing Guantanamo and raise you an illegal drone war, years of spying on Americans, and refusal to put even one mortgage bank executive behind bars.

    These are reasons why I no longer trust Obama on anything.

  111. 111
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Kay: That’s something I can get behind. I know it’s not a popular viewpoint, but the argument “we need to keep these jobs here” just doesn’t resonate with me. If jobs are so great, then why should we be hoarding them? I just fundamentally don’t get that. Could just be me.

  112. 112
    Knowbody says:

    @elm: Zandar, stop ignoring this. You said the words. Back them up or leave.

  113. 113
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Knowbody: haha, no, why would anyone need to misinform Republicans? They do that job for themselves. That’s the thing they’re best at. I’m just saying I’m not going to take it on faith that progressives (who haven’t had a great track record in the last 6 years) know what they’re talking about. Republicans are probably wrong is a good starting point, but you can’t end there.

  114. 114
    Kay says:

    @Knowbody:

    I love how the same people who forced the US to put labor protections in trade deals for other countries and the workers in those countries are now the people who only care about assembly line workers in the US.

    It’s upside down world. No wonder they’re insanely angry. It’s the opposite of the truth.

  115. 115
    Archon says:

    @Knowbody:

    I suspect pure politics is the main reason the Senate Republicans support this deal. Having Obama’s name on a trade deal with the type of optics it currently has blunts any future “The GOP is sending your jobs overseas” argument. That’s a card Dems will be giving up in the short to medium term with the passage of TPP.

    I suspect that’s why a lot of Democrats oppose it too. The benefits will not be tangible anytime soon and it made every elected Dems political argument against a Republican more difficult.

  116. 116
    Betty Cracker says:

    @SatanicPanic: I agree that it’s not generally a good idea to judge a proposed action’s merits by the makeup of its supporters, but since it’s a classified trade deal, we don’t have a whole lot else to go on. We have the leaked portion, which looks bad for labor, the make-up of the drafting committee, which looks incredibly unbalanced in favor of corporate interests and the fact that the president seems to be misrepresenting the deal’s critics and making implausible claims for its “job creation” mojo. Maybe it smells like roses to you, but it smells like horseshit to me.

  117. 117
    elm says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I agree that it’s not generally a good idea to judge a proposed action’s merits by the makeup of its supporters, but since it’s a classified trade deal, we don’t have a whole lot else to go on. We have the leaked portion, which looks bad for labor, the make-up of the drafting committee, which looks incredibly unbalanced in favor of corporate interests and the fact that the president seems to be misrepresenting the deal’s critics and making implausible claims for its “job creation” mojo. Maybe it smells like roses to you, but it smells like horseshit to me.

    We also have statements from Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who have had some access to the current draft (though not as much as they would like, nor with the ability to consult about it with their own preferred advisers). We have statements form the AFL-CIO, who have had some access to the draft and don’t have good things to say about their influence on the process or its protections for labor. Additionally, we have statements from the U.S. Trade Representative acknowledging that Investor-State Dispute Settlement is part of it and we know the sorts of cases that are currently under litigation under ISDS.

  118. 118
    Kay says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    They’re not arguing that. It’s simple. They’re asking “what is the benefit for working people?” Barney Frank says there won’t be any gain, so his question is why not condition support of the trade deal on something that will benefit working people?

    That’s the honest argument for this deal. Promising trickle down gains might have cut it in 1992. It doesn’t work now.

  119. 119
    Zandar says:

    @Knowbody: OK Internet Tough Guy, take your best shot.

  120. 120
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @Betty Cracker: Bingo! That principle explains almost all, if not all, Republican policy positions.

  121. 121
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @Belafon: Where’s the “like” button when you really need it!

  122. 122
    Howlin Wolfe says:

    @Iowa Old Lady: I was out choppin’ cotton and my brother was bailin’ hay-ay-ay-ay.

  123. 123
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Kay: Working people where? Here or in general?

  124. 124
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Betty Cracker: It could be. I could totally be wrong about this too. That’s not impossible.

  125. 125
    japa21 says:

    @elm: Sanders has admitted he hasn’t looked at it. He is against all trade deals in principle.

    Warren has, although how much of it she has seen, I don’t know.

    Frank definitely hasn’t.

  126. 126
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Kay: Dunno about Larry. He’s seemingly been all over the place over the last 8 years or so despite his widely reported “brilliance”. Here’s some excerpts of a March FT piece where he argues that the right TPP is in America’s interest.

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  127. 127
    Cervantes says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    An hour ago:

    Are internet progressives ever right about anything?

    Twenty minutes ago:

    I could totally be wrong about this too.

    I think I see your point now.

  128. 128
    Kay says:

    @I’mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet:

    Right, but he said that the argument that “upskilling” will solve income inequality was avoiding the issue.

    We know this. You saw the Disney workers laid off yesterday. “Learning to code” in first grade isn’t going to solve this. I quibble with the whole STEM worker shortage argument.

    You know who started this line of argument? Scott Walker. That tells me something. People can “skill up” and they should. But pretendng that income inequality is due solely to inequality of opportunity is a lie. Worse, it’s a lie that protects all the people who have everything.

  129. 129
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Cervantes: the difference is I’m not tearing my hair out about something for the 100th time

  130. 130
    Kay says:

    This is great:

    Yesterday, more than 100 Gawker Media editorial employees voted on the question of whether to be represented by the Writers Guild of America, East for the purpose of collective bargaining—that is, whether we want to form a union. The results are in.
    Yesterday’s votes were cast electronically and tallied by VoteNet, an independent online voting system. Out of 118 eligible voters, 107 cast votes. The results are:

    Yes: 80 votes—75%
    No: 27 votes—25%
    The next steps: determining what we want to bargain for; forming a bargaining committee; and negotiating a contract.
    We are unionized.

    No matter how hard they try, they can’t kill the IDEA of workers organizing, because no one has ever come up with a replacement.

  131. 131
    Knowbody says:

    @Zandar: so you don’t have a response that’s actually an explanation as to why you’re choosing to forfeit your remaining credibility.

    other than a feeble insult.

    I think you’ve firmly settled the debate over who is right and who is wrong about the TPP.

  132. 132
    Cervantes says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    the difference is I’m not tearing my hair out about something for the 100th time

    I’m glad you’re not tearing your hair out about it for the 100th time — for if you were, imagine the hyperbole you might be forced to use!

  133. 133
    Corner Stone says:

    @gene108:

    but I can say the following helped get us where we are and has nothing to do with trade deals:

    It is correct to state that you “can” say this. However, the things you then go on to list have everything to do with trade and policy surrounding the issues related to trade.
    Minimum wage stagnation, corporate inversions (M&A), devaluing of service workers – all that is related to trade law and policy.

    The list probably goes on and on and on, but in short, irrespective of trade deals, the problems we face, with regards to economic insecurity would still exist even if we scrapped all our trade deals.

    Undoubtedly we would encounter other issues with economic insecurity, but to out of hand dismiss trade deals seems disingenuous.

    It’s not just wage arbitrage that is behind China’s rising dominance in global manufacturing. They have a very deliberate government policy to support the manufacturing sector, which is not comparable in other countries.

    Hmmmm…hmmm…

  134. 134
    Corner Stone says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    It’s quite possible that Republicans are just as uninformed on the issue and are supporting something not bad by accident.

    Republicans are strenuously backing a trade deal Obama has been really going to the walls for, and they are doing it because they may be uninformed and it’s accidental.
    I don’t even know what to do with this.

  135. 135
    Southern Goth says:

    The only “informed” discussion I’ve heard at any length about TPP has been from Stiglitz.

    To paraphrase, TPP is a back-door way of extending and exporting our busted-ass patent laws. When this is applied to drug patents and shutting out generics for an even longer time, TPP will literally, not figuratively, kill people.

    Since this is Stiglitz, you really want the paraphrase.

  136. 136
    Corner Stone says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    If jobs are so great, then why should we be hoarding them? I just fundamentally don’t get that. Could just be me.

    It’s not just the “jobs”, it’s the wages those jobs pay here. When we do this deal we will be exporting wages.

  137. 137
    Archon says:

    @Corner Stone:

    If Obama and the Dems were united on this deal and the optics of it looked like it might help the Democrats electorally, Republicans would be fighting tooth and nail against it regardless of the benefits to big business.

    Bet your bottom dollar on that.

  138. 138
    Corner Stone says:

    A Fortune 200 CEO wakes up each morning wondering how he can eliminate jobs. The two biggest fixed costs are real estate and people. Eliminate people and you reduce the need for real estate. Move that position to a lower cost jurisdiction and the real estate becomes cheaper as well.

  139. 139
    I'mNotSureWhoIWantToBeYet says:

    @Kay: It’s not a profound insight to recognize that there’s no huge shortage of skilled workers, even in STEM fields, because wages continue to be stagnant. I’m sure Larry can read the BLS data, also too. ;-)

    Supply and Demand says that wages should go up in in-demand fields, yet…

    BLS data shows that total compensation indexes for a wide variety of industries have only increased ~ 20-30% in the last 10 years. 2-3% a year is not a sign of a huge shortage.

    Those that argue that there’s a huge shortage of STEM or other workers simply don’t want to pay (or can’t pay – but that’s another issue) the wages needed to get the people they want. Companies always want to pay as little as possible for their staff – it’s hardly surprising that they would always scream for a larger supply to choose from.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  140. 140
    Corner Stone says:

    @Archon:

    If Obama and the Dems were united on this deal and the optics of it looked like it might help the Democrats electorally

    I would feel better about included terms but still want to know what the F is in there.
    We already have low tariff deals with these countries/trading partners. I think Japan is still keeping a lock on the automotive market.
    Who are we exporting goods to? Textiles? Electronics? Drugs?
    Nobody can afford our goods. This deal is a big fucking ripoff.

  141. 141
    Archon says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Actually when it comes agreements involving agriculture, trade deals with America usually put other countries farmers out of business.

    That’s Japans trepidation with the TPP.

  142. 142
    Southern Goth says:

    The link, with hat tip to commenter JL, of Stiglitz discussing the TPP is here.

  143. 143
    Loviatar says:

    You notice how quickly the discussion in some parts have denigrated to a Obama good vs. Obama bad talking point.

    Certain TPP supporters (Zandar, etc.) want you to focus on that aspect instead of the particulars of the deal itself. They know in this particular case because of the shittiness of the deal what will garner the most Democratic support is not the deal itself but the deal maker.

  144. 144

    At the risk of coming off tin-foily, after listening to the Marketplace interview, I think it’s really about China. The ‘containment’ policy of the Cold War won’t work in today’s world, we’re all too interconnected. So any control over China has to be done through economic policy, nee trade:

    The fact is that if we have 11 of the leading economies in the Asia-Pacific region, who have agreed to enforceable labor standards, enforceable environmental standards, strong I.P. protections, non-discrimination against foreign firms that are operating access to those markets, reduced tariffs, then China is going to have to at least take those international norms into account. And, we are still pursuing strong bilateral economic relations with China, we still pressure them around issues like currency, or the subsidies that they may be engaged in, or theft of intellectual property.

    We still directly deal with them on those issues, but it sure helps if they are surrounded with countries that are operating with the same kinds of high standards that, by the way, we already abide by. So, part of what we’re doing here is we’re leveling up, as opposed to a race to the bottom, which means no labor protections, no environmental protections. We want to make sure that there is a level playing field that’s going to allow us to be successful, and will help to shape trade and commerce, not just in the region, but in the world for a long time to come.

    When the most populous country on the planet decides it wants to expand its hegemony by building islands, I expect a lot of American policy makers to awaken in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. And it also explains the heretofore-un-Obama-like behavior from the Chief Executive. Using the TPP to build a ‘bamboo curtain’ of treaty around the Chinese may serve to contain them, rather than allow them to expand, both literally and figuratively, unchecked.

    The Wikileaks thing is just grandstanding, the Legislature can’t pass TPP into law without it being wide-open to the brilliant sunlight of scrutiny. Anything the Wiki’s get their hands on now is going to be the drafty drafts, the finalized language won’t be around until after negotiations are completed.

    This roll of aluminum foil is empty, I have to go get more…

  145. 145
    Valdivia says:

    @BruceFromOhio: I didn’t find that very tin-foily at all. Trade negotiations have for a long time been used as a foreign policy tool to achieve international relations goals. Hell the whole idea of an economic trade union in Europe in the 50s and 60s was about incorporating/containing Germany. Not that worked out exactly how they thought it would once it became a complete political union.

  146. 146
    Kay says:

    @BruceFromOhio:

    the Legislature can’t pass TPP into law without it being wide-open to the brilliant sunlight of scrutiny.

    But it won’t be open to modification.

    The reason they want it before Fast Track is because Fast Track = passage.

    The President keeps saying there will be this “debate” but there’s no debate. It’s yes or no to his deal, no changes. What are we debating? The thing can’t be modified.

  147. 147
    Kay says:

    @Loviatar:

    If Democrats thought it was politically popular Democratic Senatorial candidates would be running on it.

    They’re not. They’re running away from it. This idea that is is just “the Far Left” or “the internet” is really contradicted by the behavior of Democrats.

    They’re also kind of desperately trying to get back to some semblence of a middle class agenda. They’re proposing all kinds of worker-friendly laws. That’s to get as far away from the trade deal as they possibly can.

  148. 148
    Corner Stone says:

    @Archon:

    Actually when it comes agreements involving agriculture, trade deals with America usually put other countries farmers out of business.

    NAFTA certainly didn’t help small family farms in the US but it destroyed farming industry in Mexico.

  149. 149
    Corner Stone says:

    @Kay:

    This idea that is is just “the Far Left” or “the internet” is really contradicted by the behavior of Democrats.

    I think you mean, “the emolicious”.

  150. 150
    Loviatar says:

    @Kay:

    If Democrats thought it was politically popular Democratic Senatorial candidates would be running on it.

    Thats why Zandar and his ilk are falling back on the “we must support our president against the far left, emolicious, internet viewpoint”. Like I said they’re believing their own hype; Obama’s playing 12th dimensional chess and everyone else is too stupid and emotional to understand it.

    Its a shitty deal and they can’t even be bothered to lather it with an infrastructure bill or two to make it go down easier. Instead they would rather hippie punch. Notice, none of the TPP supporters has responded to the content of Barny Franks Op Ed; why not pair TPP with bills which directly address income inequality and stimulate the economy?

  151. 151

    @Kay: But it won’t be open to modification.

    Understood. My civics are rusty, but isn’t that the way it is with treaties? Someone else negotiates, Legislature passes or rejects what is negotiated.

    To be clear, I’m uninformed on this, so I can’t come down as for/against. But after the Marketplace interview, it’s a lot clearer to me what seems to be motivating the President’s actions, and that is the first building blocks of a China containment policy.

  152. 152
    Southern Goth says:

    Just had to add that in regards to more and better education being a fix to inequality:

    If all us workers bees are too fucking stupid to design, build, maintain or operate the machines, how exactly is all this wealth being generated in the first place?

  153. 153
    Cervantes says:

    @Loviatar:

    why not pair TPP with bills which directly address income inequality and stimulate the economy?

    Why is this not happening? What is your understanding (or best guess)?

  154. 154
    cahuenga says:

    @Loviatar:

    For the life of me, I will never understand blind idolatry.

    Worship of candidates, political parties or any other brand name is just ridiculous in mind.

  155. 155
    Kay says:

    @BruceFromOhio:

    But the idea that there will be sufficient “transparency” after the deal is done is just not helpful. They want a debate before it passes so they can influence it.

    The whole point of transparency is so someone can do something with the information. I mean, of the argument is “you will be able to determine the provisions of this trade deal after it is in place” that just doesn’t seem like “an offer” at all to me.

    “Thanks Mr. President! Here I was assuming it would be locked in a room forever”?

  156. 156
    Corner Stone says:

    @BruceFromOhio:

    But after the Marketplace interview, it’s a lot clearer to me what seems to be motivating the President’s actions, and that is the first building blocks of a China containment policy.

    The cri de couer that if WE don’t do this deal it will be CHINA setting the terms is bullshit. China is the 800 Godzilla in the region. They are already playing in the other sandboxes. There’s no way to “contain” them while opening our market up to their currency manipulated goods.

  157. 157
    Corner Stone says:

    480 negotiators on behalf of big business. Yay!

  158. 158
    Kay says:

    @Southern Goth:

    If all us workers bees are too fucking stupid to design, build, maintain or operate the machines, how exactly is all this wealth being generated in the first place?

    Good question! I have another one. If we’re all so fucking stupid why are the people making that argument not also stupid? How did Scott Walker manage to get to run a state?

    They sort of exempt themselves from the “US workforce is stupid” category. Puzzling, how certain people are exempt!

  159. 159
    Kay says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Most. Progressive. Ever. Ever

    Leading with that sort of shut down debate, too, didn’t it? “It can’t possibly be made more progressive”

    Oh, okay. Sorry I asked.

  160. 160
    Southern Goth says:

    @Kay:

    Why is Scott Walker cribbing neo-liberal arguments about the state of our workforce? I don’t know. Maybe he just finished the cliff notes to The World is Flat.

  161. 161
    Knowbody says:

    @Loviatar: I would at least say that if there was any appearance that Obama would get anything positive out of this deal, R’s would kill it. But there’s nothing.

    So either he’s eating this turd sandwich raw and knows it, or he’s the worst negotiator ever. Neither option makes me feel like trusting Obama at all.

    Remember that IDGAF Obama means he’s no longer caring about his base either.

  162. 162
    Knowbody says:

    @Kay: the TPP is a gentleman’s agreement on who gets screwed over the next decade or so. It will not be any of the people actually negotiating.

    20 years from now we’re going to be as mad at Obama as we are now about Bill Clinton’s middle-class destruction during the 90’s, but I’m sure another couple of Republican presidents will make us long for yet another Third Way neoliberal flim-flam artist about 2032 or so.

  163. 163
    Loviatar says:

    @Cervantes:

    Why is this not happening? What is your understanding (or best guess)?

    Its not that important to Obama or the Democratic elite who are negotiating these agreements. Obama talks a good game when it comes to economics, but when the rubber hits the road he usually acquiesces to Wall Street and the Corporatist crowd.

    —–

    @cahuenga:

    For the life of me, I will never understand blind idolatry.

    Its an easy way to outsource thinking, responsibility and blame. Thats why I’ve never gone for it myself, my thoughts, my responsibility and my blame.

    —–

    @Knowbody:

    Remember that IDGAF Obama means he’s no longer caring about his base either.

    What made you think he ever cared about the progressive base? His policies and positions have been pretty much center to center right, they only seem relatively “leftist”, because the Republicans have gone batshit crazy and gone off the right end of the spectrum. Any clear eyed review of his policies would make him a moderate 80s era Republican, the last of what we used to call Rockefeller Republicans.

  164. 164
    Loviatar says:

    For those in the “wait and see mode” please help me wrap my pointy headed, far left, emolicious, internet progressive mind around why you’re so blase about this deal. A few questions.

    Do you believe NAFTA has been a net positive or a net negative on Jobs and Wages?
    Do you think 60 days is sufficient to read and review a 1000+ page legal document?
    Do you think 60 days is enough time to organize against a determined opposition?

  165. 165
    Kay says:

    @Knowbody:

    I also love how no one is talking about all the agricultural interests at the table, because those aren’t anyone’s idea of “good jobs”.

    “We’ll be able export more chicken and import cheap sugar!” will just make people think -“chicken and sugar? Those don’t sound like very good JOBS” :)

  166. 166
    MomSense says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    As for specific examples, how about the massive underestimation of the stimulus required to right the economy, which played into the hands of the austerity bombers?

    I don’t think the problem was underestimation, I think it was simply a problem of what the politics would allow. Remember Pelosi was calling for 150 billion in October of 2008 and by early 2009 many prominent Dems were thinking in the 400 – 500 billion range. Also keep in mind that the data on the recession was still being adjusted six months and more later.

    Here’s a 2011 interview with Larry Summers from Marketplace.
    http://www.marketplace.org/top.....debt-limit

    HOBSON: Well you mentioned payroll taxes. You recently called for a new stimulus in the form of a payroll tax cut. But it’s been reported over and over again that within the Obama administration — when you were in the administration — you were actually on the side of a smaller stimulus back in 2009.

    SUMMERS: Not accurately. Not accurately.

    HOBSON: That’s not true? You weren’t pushing for a less-than $1.2 trillion stimulus?

    SUMMERS: No, I mean it’s a much more complicated story, but those reports are not accurate. It was my judgment as an economist that there was no danger of doing too much stimulus and one should achieve as much stimulus as possible. There were a set of political calculations having to do with what the Congress could accept that were mostly determined by the president’s political advisers and ultimately by the president which pointed towards the size of the program that was ultimately passed. But the economic advice that I gave was that the stimulus program should be as large as it could be.

    HOBSON: Do you think it was too small in the end?

    SUMMERS: I think it in the end we would’ve been better served if there had been more push to the economy. We would’ve been better served if the measures that the president put forward in the fall of 2009 for expanded infrastructure investment, for expanded support for state and local governments that passed through the House had also passed the Senate. But the choices that were made were made in a given political context and I think given the slender margins of one vote by which the Recovery Act was passed I suspect an effort to push it to a higher level might well have backfired and resulted in legislation not passing. And at that moment that would’ve have catastrophic consequences in terms of depression. [emphasis added]

    HOBSON: Well politics aside, do you think there’s anything that the administration should’ve done differently in the midst of the financial crisis or the depths of the recession?

    SUMMERS: I don’t know what you mean by politics aside. Administrations exist in a political context. I’ve already indicated that I think that the imperative was to push the economy forward. I think the administration was successful in achieving as large a fiscal program at was possible in the political environment they faced. That it would’ve been desirable if it was still larger fiscal program could’ve been passed.

    [emphasis added]

  167. 167
    MomSense says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    How about buying into wingnut memes (deficit hysteria, for example, Social Security needs “fixing,” for instance) instead of calling out the false premises of the debate?

    If it had only been a wingnut meme he wouldn’t have had to at least feign a proposal that he could sell as pissing off his base. It wasn’t just a wingnut meme however as unfortunately stupid things like the stimulus didn’t work, social security is bankrupt, etc were being repeated all the time. I even heard them on my call lists from a lot of voters with D and I after their names. I’m pretty sure that Reid, Pelosi, and Obama were confident that Boehner would never be able to pass a grand bargain. It was a bluff and it worked.

    A good rundown of the issue can be found at this link.
    http://www.thepeoplesview.net/.....ut-to.html

    Let’s keep in mind that the president would accept such a deal, only if seniors and other recipients closest to poverty can be protected from adverse effects, while boosting benefits for the most needy. And, as with each of the previous iterations of this proposal, it will likely come with a new special minimum benefit to ensure that for the first time ever, no senior on social security has to live in poverty. Actual liberal policy think tanks (as opposed to screamtastic loudmouths) like the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities and the Center for American Progress have endorsed approaches exactly along these lines. And Leader Pelosi, who has more progressive bona fides in her left toenail than all the howling “Left” groups combined, just let the cat out of the bag:

    Asked whether she considers chained CPI a benefit cut, Pelosi told reporters Wednesday, “No. I don’t. I consider it strengthening of Social Security.”

  168. 168
    Corner Stone says:

    @MomSense:

    I’m pretty sure that Reid, Pelosi, and Obama were confident that Boehner would never be able to pass a grand bargain. It was a bluff and it worked.

    It worked to do what? What?
    Obama was stumping on austerity and belt tightening for two years.

  169. 169
    MomSense says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Were Social Security benefits cut?

  170. 170
    Zandar says:

    @Loviatar:

    What made you think he ever cared about the progressive base?

    Jesus fucking Christ.

    We’ve gone from “I think the TPP is a bad deal for American workers” (which is a reasonable argument) to this.

    You know what? If nothing this guy has done has qualified as “caring about the progressive base” then to hell with it all.

    We deserve to lose.

  171. 171
    Betty Cracker says:

    @MomSense: No, SS benefits weren’t cut, but now Democrats are on record as agreeing that it’s on the table. And they gained nothing in return. Nothing.

    If it was a bluff, it was a stupid one. And speaking of stupid bluffs, let’s recall the brilliant sequester strategy. How much more needless suffering has that caused?

    As for the size of the stimulus, I realize estimates of the recession’s depth were being adjusted, but there were people in real time (Krugman, for one) arguing for a much larger initial proposal, not only because that’s what the economy required but because the opening bid has to be bold if you expect to reach a reasonable compromise. They were right.

    I like Obama. I think he’s been a good president — a great one, even. But when it comes to economics and education, he seems to go out of his way to step on rakes. It’s unfortunate.

  172. 172
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Zandar: Cheer up! That commenter always plays Eeyore and is hardly representative of Democratic opinion.

  173. 173
    Loviatar says:

    Jesus fucking Christ.

    We’ve gone from “I think the TPP is a bad deal for American workers” (which is a reasonable argument) to this.

    You know what? If nothing this guy has done has qualified as “caring about the progressive base” then to hell with it all.

    We deserve to lose.

    And this is the standard Obama supporter response and defense. Question in any way Obama’s handling of a subject and you’re deemed insufficiently loyal. Question in any way Obama’s “progressive” bonafides and you’re a hater and you’re the reason why Democrats can’t win elections. Its almost like they are not defending a politician and his policies, they’re defending their messiah and his scriptures.

  174. 174
    Loviatar says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Do you consider Obama a progressive? Is he center left or as I believe center right?

    I’m not insulting him by pointing out he never cared for the progressive base. You’ve already acknowledged repeatedly that he is not progressive in his economic and educational policies. His foreign policy can be summed up in the statement “at least he is not Bush”. While that is a “progressive” view its not a huge hurdle to jump. However, when looking further into his foreign policies the realization is that he is an interventionist or at his least worst unwilling to stand up to the interventionist in his party. These again are not “progressive” views, they’re center/center right views at best and to be honest leaning a little towards the neo-con point of view. As I’ve said Obama may seem “center left” because the other side has gone of the right edge of the screen, but take a harder look at his record and you’ll may come along to this Eeyore’s opinion.

  175. 175
    Corner Stone says:

    @MomSense: If this is your fallback position may I suggest you move on to another.

  176. 176
    Corner Stone says:

    @Zandar:

    We deserve to lose.

    Speaking of “the emolicious” position.

  177. 177
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Loviatar: Overall, I’d classify Obama as a slightly left of center (by US standards), bog-standard Democrat. He never claimed to be anything else.

    Anyone who expresses disappointment with his failure to follow a strictly progressive agenda wasn’t paying attention to what he said during his campaigns. He’s less liberal than I am. So is 90% of America.

    But to call him a moderate Republican as you did is wildly off target, IMO. He’s a cautious, pragmatic Democrat who has some impressive accomplishments in the face of absurd obstruction, more than any Democratic president in the last 50 years or so.

    I’m sure one of his Legacy Keepers will be along to enumerate them shortly, so I won’t bother; some folks are over the top in their devotion. Others — like you, IMO — are over the top in their disdain.

  178. 178
    Loviatar says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I’d classify Obama as a slightly left of center (by US standards), bog-standard Democrat. He never claimed to be anything else.

    Agree up to a point, I’d say more right of center. However, why do Zandar and the other “Legacy Keepers” become defensive and in some cases downright hostile when its pointed out that Obama and his policies are not progressive.

    —–

    But to call him a moderate Republican as you did is wildly off target, IMO. He’s a cautious, pragmatic Democrat who has some impressive accomplishments in the face of absurd obstruction, more than any Democratic president in the last 50 years or so.

    Again, I agree up to a point. Obama has faced massive, unprecedented obstruction not seen by any president in our history. I’d say more due to to his race than due to his political affiliation, but you say tomayto, I say tomahto, same difference. However, when you’re saying Obama is a center left/ cautious pragmatic Democrat you’re using today’s skewed political spectrum which the Republicans have yanked to the right. When I say Obama is a center right/ Rockefeller Republican I’m using the traditional political spectrum which has been in place since the 1964 Civil Rights act reorganized the parties. Obama’s economic and educational policies are center right, Obama’s foreign policy is center right, Obama’s signature domestic policy is a center right healthcare plan. Has he signed some left/center left policies, yes but Nixon also created the EPA, so what.

    —-

    Others — like you, IMO — are over the top in their disdain.

    Great points up until this, then had to end with whats become the standard for an Obama defender, an insult.

  179. 179
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Loviatar: You must walk around with a screaming case of butt-hurt 24/7 if you consider that an “insult.” It’s an opinion, and a pretty mildly expressed one at that.

  180. 180
    Loviatar says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    You must walk around with a screaming case of butt-hurt 24/7 if you consider that an “insult.”

    My comment was a marker, it was a statement of fact of who you are and how you interact with those who happen to disagree with you. Insults and demeaning statements, which while annoying really aren’t much in the butt-hurt category.

    Unfortunately, in the past 6+ years Obama supporters have defaulted to insults pretty quickly when challenged, you’ve previously has been one of few to respond appropriately to disagreements, however I see you’ve joined your fellow Obama supporters on the path to winning friends and convincing others of your superior argument.

    Please proceed, Governor random internet person.

  181. 181
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Loviatar: Yeah, no butt-hurt there. Jesus, get some therapy.

Comments are closed.