What’s Good for Apple Is Good for America

Were you one of the lefties who thought the “stunning defeat” (as the Villagers breathlessly reported it) that House Dems supposedly dealt to President Obama’s trade deal a while back was really a thing? Haha, joke’s on you:

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday narrowly voted to end debate on legislation granting President Obama enhanced negotiating powers to complete a major Pacific trade accord, virtually ensuring final passage on Wednesday of Mr. Obama’s top legislative priority in his final years in office.

The procedural decision barely cleared the 60 votes needed — the tally was 60 to 37 — but final passage will need only 51 votes. It was the second time the Senate blocked a filibuster of the so-called trade promotion authority, but this time the bill was shorn of a measure to offer enhanced retraining and education assistance to workers displaced by international trade accords. That measure faces a crucial procedural vote on Wednesday as well.

The only mystery that remains is will the “free-trade” Dems, including the president, repackage the “enhanced retraining and education assistance” bill — a long-existing band-aid on a sucking chest wound — as some new concession to labor to make the medicine go down a little easier and persuade the Republicans to pass it. Could be! But maybe not.

If the Senatortoise from Kentucky is a crafty old bastard — and he is — he’ll make sure his caucus celebrates this on the QT so the Dems can fully own it. Victories such as this, where your donors reap the benefits and your enemies bear the blame, are rare and sweet.






83 replies
  1. 1
    some guy says:

    Fuck Bill Nelson. Fuck DiFi and Patty Mu%ay and fuck Ron Wyden. Fuck em

  2. 2
    max says:

    Haha, joke’s on you:

    Actually, I was rather expecting it to go that way. (‘Big money pull a million strings/Big money hold the prize/Big money weave a mighty web/Big money draw the flies’)

    The procedural decision barely cleared the 60 votes needed — the tally was 60 to 37 — but final passage will need only 51 votes.

    And fuck you too, Mr. Wyden.

    repackage the “enhanced retraining and education assistance” bill — a long-existing band-aid on a sucking chest wound — as some new concession to labor to make the medicine go down a little easier and persuade the Republicans to pass it.

    It won’t matter. Trade assistance doesn’t work very well – not enough money, not enough spread, not enough individual help.

    Victories such as this, where your donors reap the benefits and your enemies bear the blame, are rare and sweet.

    This is the part when the House kills TAA and pro-trade Democrats then indulge in some hippy punching.

    max
    [‘If you’d just cooperated and bent over the first time, your ass wouldn’t be so bloody and you’d have gotten the lollipop.’]

  3. 3
    some guy says:

    And when the DSÇ seems us a donation envelope we will be sure to send it back with a big Fuck You scrawled on the begging form.

  4. 4
    mac007 says:

    This is why the perception of Democrats as spineless wimps is not entirely untrue.

  5. 5
    Kay says:

    @some guy:

    Oddly enough, I can’t find any bragging about this on Mr. Trade Deal’s Wyden’s twitter feed:

    https://twitter.com/RonWyden

    Well, at least the opponents forced them to read it. Maybe.

  6. 6
    Kay says:

    @max:

    If the only thing they had to sell a trade deal was reauthorization of a program that has been in place since 1974 they were really in trouble selling this thing on the merits.

    The sad part is anyone who thinks it’s important will not be fooled. At all.

    It will just further enrage them.

  7. 7
    VidaLoca says:

    Any of you here who are baffled why poor and working-class voters don’t show up for the Democrats in the off-year elections might want to think about this.

  8. 8
    Punchy says:

    I havent a clue what any of this trade pact is about. Anyone wanna supply a 10 second skinny on the broader points?

  9. 9
    different-church-lady says:

    @Punchy: No. Just accept that it’s outrageous and express that outrage. Anything else is just gumming up the bird chatter.

  10. 10
    Kay says:

    The “bipartisan” vote is a kind of immunization. None of them will be held accountable for it because both Parties are complicit.

    This always happens with the really “long arc” deals. It happened with Iraq and it also happened with finance dereg. They give each other cover.

    I am just left wondering how the hell Democrats distinguish themselves from Republicans on economic issues. They can’t run on (not) increasing the minimum wage forever. Now that they’ve jettisoned what’s left of organized labor in pursuit of this deal I don’t know what they replace that with.

  11. 11
    some guy says:

    Vidalia nails it. What’s the matter with Kansas? Working class voters understand that at Crichton time the Democratic Party stands solidly with the 1%

  12. 12
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Punchy: American IP holders get clubs to go after infringers in Asia. All big businesses get the chance to persuade unelected panels to invalidate laws that protect humans and cut into profits. Doesn’t really do much to tariffs, but what it does do will result in the loss of American jobs. Oh, and it sister souljahs the hell out of labor.

  13. 13
    Kay says:

    @Punchy:

    Sure. We finally got some real projections from the pro-deal pundity and analysts immediately prior to the vote. I don’t know why they didn’t release “winners and losers” earlier!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06.....&_r=0

  14. 14
    some guy says:

    Sorry, VidaLocation nails it. The edit function apparently does not work on a phone browser

  15. 15
    Betty Cracker says:

    @some guy: Haha, damn autocorrect to hell!

  16. 16
    Kay says:

    @VidaLoca:

    Oh, Democrats don’t need to run state governments, Vida. They’re going to influence the 90% of law on the things Democrats care about like criminal justice reform and education and health care and wages that is state law from the federal level.

    By administrative actions, I guess, because of course we don’t need Congress either.

    They have 18 states. They’re going to make themselves irrelvant if they don’t control more state law than that.

  17. 17
    srv says:

    We can all be sure those foreign donations will be rolling in for the Obama Library and Foundation now. The folks in Chicago were about to turn blue.

    Priorities, people.

    And wait till he anounces a foreigner for architect. Heck, maybe the Bin Laden Group will bid for the construction.

  18. 18
    Corner Stone says:

    Ahhh, nothing smells as good as unfettered free trade in the morning!
    I’m always curious when the only regulations we seem to get passed are the ones that lock in more BigCorp profit. I thought true free enterprise was against BigGov interference?

  19. 19
    Corner Stone says:

    @some guy: I’m concerned you may have had a little mini-stroke. Don’t try to hide behind auto-correct, get to a Dr.!
    I blame Obama.

  20. 20
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Punchy:

    Anyone wanna supply a 10 second skinny on the broader points?

    2 words: Screw you.

  21. 21
    beltane says:

    I didn’t follow this too much, mostly out of self-preservation. The passing of trade pacts that serve to enrich the .001% at the expense of everyone else residing on this planet is something I have come to see as inevitable, much as I regard death and the decrepitude that comes with old age.

  22. 22
    SteveinSC says:

    Congress and Kabuki, Contrast and Compare, 35 points.

  23. 23
    some guy says:

    Hopefully Wyden will get a primary opponent. The thing about a Bernie Sanders surge is it will let progressives know there are numbers out there to support their candidacy against people like Wyden and Murray and Cantwell

  24. 24
    Corner Stone says:

    @Kay: I love that the breakdown in NYT uses the actual categories of Winners and Losers.
    Hey, I have an idea. Let’s not pre-emptively throw a fit because “it can not be known” (said in the voice of Blind Ivan from Gravity Falls). Instead, let’s just trust that this deal won’t fuck us right in the ass like all modern trade deals have. How’s that for a, may I say, Grand Bargain?

  25. 25
    Kay says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I’m always curious when the only regulations we seem to get passed are the ones that lock in more BigCorp profit

    Everything else was a “poison pill”. Besides, they announced right at the start it was the most progressive deal possible so that really left very little room for discussion. On to the fake-debate and the rubber stamp.

  26. 26
    Corner Stone says:

    @some guy:

    Fuck DiFi and Patty Mu%ay and fuck Ron Wyden. Fuck em

    I’ve been anti-Patty ever since she cut that oh so sweet budget deal with the Zombie Eyed Granny Starver. You know, the one that did not extend UI?

  27. 27
    Kay says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I love that the breakdown in NYT uses the actual categories of Winners and Losers.

    I do too. I swear if I were selling one of these deals I would take a different approach. “Losers! Step forward! Here’s how it’s going to be for you”

    I think people might find that refreshing.

  28. 28
    beltane says:

    Look what’s happening to Greece right now. They elected a genuinely left wing government, something that will never happen here, and Big Money pulls the mafia moves. There is no hope.

  29. 29
    Corner Stone says:

    I’m sure this is the takeaway the WH was looking for:
    “Democratic critics, including union leaders, generally charge that the trade package could hurt U.S. workers.

    Obama and GOP allies, though, say it will be a boon for the economy. ”

    Democrats Yes

    Bennet, Colo.; Cantwell, Wash.; Carper, Del.; Coons, Del.; Feinstein, Calif.; Heitkamp, N.D.; Kaine, Va.; McCaskill, Mo.; Murray, Wash.; Nelson, Fla.; Shaheen, N.H.; Warner, Va.; Wyden, Ore.

  30. 30
    srv says:

    Do you Stand With Rand?

    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Tuesday called the Confederate flag a “symbol of human bondage and slavery” and lauded South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) for pushing its removal from her state Capitol grounds.

    “I agree [with Haley],” Paul, a 2016 contender, said on WKRO radio’s “The Kuhner Report” in an interview flagged by Buzzfeed.

    “I think the flag is inescapably a symbol of human bondage and slavery, and particularly when people use it obviously for murder and to justify hate so vicious that you would kill somebody, I think that that symbolism needs to end and I think South Carolina is doing the right thing,” he said.

    Obots channel Cheney:

    enhanced retraining

  31. 31
    Linnaeus says:

    @beltane:

    There is no hope.

    Despair is counterrevolutionary. :)

  32. 32
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @srv: No. he is standing with me.

  33. 33
    El Caganer says:

    @Corner Stone: Is Dr.! related to Jeb!?

  34. 34

    One of the byproducts of the fall of the Soviet Union has meant that the predominantly capitalist countries have decided that there is no downside to screwing over their workers. We seem to be regressing towards an era of unfettered capitalism just after the dawn of the industrial revolution.

  35. 35
    beltane says:

    @Linnaeus: I read that Greece just capitulated to the bankers.

  36. 36
    Kay says:

    Depending on how quickly TPP negotiations get concluded, you probably won’t see Congressional votes on it until November/December.

    So, around Christmas Eve. Midnight or thereabouts.

    If you are ashamed to promote something you’re voting for, doesn’t that give you pause on voting for it?

  37. 37
    Linnaeus says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I thought true free enterprise was against BigGov interference?

    Concepts like “free trade” and “free markets” are best understood as abstractions and models. They’re useful for explaining some things about how capitalist economies work, but no one in actually functioning capitalist economies believes in them in practice, at least not to the fullest extent of those concepts.

  38. 38
    Linnaeus says:

    @beltane:

    Is there a final agreement? I’ve seen news of a new proposal by the Greek government, but nothing else. And even if there is some capitulation, it’s one stage in a much longer fight.

  39. 39
    Corner Stone says:

    @Kay:

    If you are ashamed to promote something you’re voting for, doesn’t that give you pause on voting for it?

    Only long enough to count the campaign contributions.

  40. 40
    beltane says:

    @Linnaeus: It’s only a preliminary agreement and has not won the approval of the Greek parliament. We’ll see.

  41. 41
    Sherparick says:

    This is also about a Senator voting his state’s and his state’s principal interests first. They might be getting nasty e-mails from the netroots, but Murray, Wyden, Murray’s etc. are not unpopular in their states with big export and software industries. The donors in Silicon Valley will love them a lot. Fundamentally, I don’t know how any deal that is supported by as zealously as this one was by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce can’t be about further shifting income and wealth distribution even further from labor to capital.

  42. 42
    Sherparick says:

    @beltane: At least in the short term, true. Basically, the Greeks were told by the Troika “accept more austerity and another 10 years of depression or become a failed state” as we will do everything possible to freeze your economy and ability operate in the world economy and import essentials if you default on your debt and try to leave the Euro.”

  43. 43
    ArchTeryx says:

    @Corner Stone: A decision I’m still suffering for a year and a half later. *I* would have starved – and I ain’t no granny – if not for the help of a friend.

    Fuck Patty Murray. I’d phonebank for any primary challenger she had.

  44. 44
    Mandalay says:

    @srv:

    I think that that symbolism needs to end and I think South Carolina is doing the right thing

    Paul is utterly shameless. Five days ago he was throwing his hands up in despair and insisting that there was absolutely nothing government can do to help:

    There’s a sickness in our country. There’s something terribly wrong. But it isn’t going to be fixed by your government.

  45. 45
    VFX Lurker says:

    @srv: I will not Fall with Paul.

  46. 46
    cahuenga says:

    Obama seemingly unconcerned with being in total agreement with McConnell and the rest of the cat food merchants

  47. 47
    Kay says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Penny Pritzker says we’re going to expand the cheesy popcorn export sector:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/.....story.html

  48. 48
    Corner Stone says:

    @Kay: God, the Chicago Trib is annoying. Have to read that later.

  49. 49
    Mandalay says:

    @beltane:

    They elected a genuinely left wing government, something that will never happen here, and Big Money pulls the mafia moves. There is no hope.

    Greece owes the Mob bigtime. Payments have been missed, the Mob is getting very twitchy, and the Mob want their money.

    Sending a couple of lefties full of false bravado to negotiate with the Mob won’t change anything. If they’re lucky they’ll make it back to Athens without having their cocks hacked off and stuffed down their throats, but the Mob is losing patience. And that’s how the IMF rolls.

  50. 50
    Kay says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Don’t read it. It’s along the lines of the boutique, hand-crafted greeting card sector we’re also expanding. General idea.

  51. 51
    BobS says:

    @some guy: Save some wrath for the whore in the White House who’s shown who he considers his real constituency by pushing so hard on the TPP.

  52. 52
    gene108 says:

    @Kay:

    It happened with Iraq and it also happened with finance dereg.

    Financial deregulation passed the Senate something like 90-9.

    There was very little opposition to it.

    EDIT: There seems to be a lot more opposition to this.

    The “bipartisan” vote is a kind of immunization. None of them will be held accountable for it because both Parties are complicit.

    Any of the Senate Democrats, who voted in favor of it and are vulnerable will surely have ads run against them for supporting this “job killing legislation.”

    Republicans ran ads about Democrats gutting Medicare by $500 million after the ACA passed.

    Logical consistency is not needed for this to be used against Democrats.

  53. 53
    beltane says:

    @gene108: The problem is that there is no real downside for Democrats who vote for this. Yes, they will lose their seats on account of their votes, but in exchange they will gain a lifetime of grade A slop at the piggie trough.

  54. 54
    Kay says:

    @gene108:

    Rob Portman was vulnerable on trade against Ted Strickland in Ohio so they put a special anti steel dumping provision in just for him.

    They pretty much got all their bases covered.

    Groups of voters don’t matter unless you’re a political Party that relies on a diverse, duct-taped together coalition and needs every bit of that in certain states. We don’t have national elections. We have 50 state elections.

  55. 55
    Kay says:

    @beltane:

    What I heard here was there was no downside to labor opposing pro-deal Democrats in the House because they don’t think Democrats will take back the House anytime soon. They’re no use to labor in the House. The Senate they still care about.

  56. 56
    beltane says:

    @Kay: I am not shocked by the cynicism, but I am disgusted by it. We laugh about Republican politicians and the big grift, but many Democratic elected officials are not much better. I really cannot give them credit for being not-crazy on the social issues when they are just as bad as Republicans on economic issues.

  57. 57
    Tree With Water says:

    Democrats get what they deserve. If they’re disgusted by today’s vote it should be at themselves. Yet according to the polls, they are poised to nominate yet another republican-lite politician as their 2016 presidential candidate- a former senator who is owned lock, stock, and barrel by Wall Street, and who supported the Bush-Cheney plot to wage war. Go figure.

  58. 58
    David Fud says:

    @Kay: I would argue that labor, if they want influence within the Democratic party, might consider getting their rank and file to actually vote for Dems. Some of them do canvas and help the campaigns and vote heartily for Dems, but the Reagan revolution cratered both their support of Dems and their influence with anyone. Not that trade deals will get them back into the Democratic fold, but they gave up their influence long ago willingly.

  59. 59
    cahuenga says:

    @Tree With Water:

    Republicans have always played the long game. No doubt infecting liberals with the ‘hold your nose’ strategy was their masterstroke. After that all they needed to do is crank up the crazy, keep moving that window.

  60. 60
    Mandalay says:

    @David Fud:

    I would argue that labor, if they want influence within the Democratic party, might consider getting their rank and file to actually vote for Dems.

    The problem with that argument is that black voters have been solidly behind Democrats, but received very little in return. Why would labor not get taken for granted as well?

  61. 61
    Kay says:

    @beltane:

    The US isn’t any kind of world leader on treating workers decently anyway:

    LAPORTE, Texas —Four workers killed by a lethal gas in November 2014 would be alive today had their employer, DuPont, taken steps to protect them, a U.S. Department of Labor investigation found.
    The department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration today cited DuPont for 11 safety violations and identified scores of safety upgrades the company must undertake to prevent future accidents at its Lannate/API manufacturing building in La Porte. The company employs 313 workers who manufacture crop protection materials and chemicals there.

    “Four people lost their lives and their families lost loved ones because DuPont did not have proper safety procedures in place,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Dr. David Michaels. “Had the company assessed the dangers involved, or trained their employees on what to do if the ventilation system stopped working, they might have had a chance.”
    The fatal incident occurred as one worker was overwhelmed when methyl mercaptan gas was unexpectedly released when she opened a drain on a methyl mercaptan vent line. Two co-workers who came to her aid were also overcome. None of the three wore protective respirators. A fourth co-worker — the brother of one of the fallen men — attempted a rescue, but was unsuccessful. All four people died in the building.

    The company was fined $99,000. It’s a repeat violation. We can’t or won’t enforce in Texas but we’ll be enforcing in Vietnam. Sure.

    http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/p.....150912.htm

  62. 62
    Tripod says:

    This war ended in 1972. White male run political machines (north and south), and labor got kicked to the curb.

    Suburban white collar liberals, women and minorities won.

    Claims of perfidy to the previous party system, after forty years is a reach.

  63. 63
    Linnaeus says:

    @David Fud:

    I would argue that labor, if they want influence within the Democratic party, might consider getting their rank and file to actually vote for Dems.

    They still do. Union membership is still a reasonably reliable predictor of voting for a Democratic candidate (especially among white males – white males who are union members still vote for Democrats in majority numbers). It’s not the most significant predictor by any means (if a voter is African-American is particularly salient in that regard), but it’s still important enough to be meaningful in most elections. Not to mention the fundraising and organizing for Democratic candidates that unions still do. There’s a reason that the Republicans have been going even harder after unions in recent years, and it’s not because unions support Republicans so much.

  64. 64
    Tree With Water says:

    @cahuenga: There was a sea change in political perceptions after 1980, and it was a sea of green. Bill Clinton sailed on it all the way to the White House. GW sailed us across it and into Iraq- with Hillary and the democrats in question manning the sails. People pissed off about the economics of this trade deal should pause sometime to calculate how much treasure has yet to be drained from our national coffers because of that great treason, that successful plot to wage war (forget what we’ve already spent). The long view informs me that 2016 will reveal an schism within the party rank and file, and those willing to continue support for republican-lite candidates…

  65. 65
    Corner Stone says:

    @Kay:

    We can’t or won’t enforce in Texas but we’ll be enforcing in Vietnam. Sure.

    And if we miraculously did pass something to better enforce good regulations, we’d most likely get sued for damages.

  66. 66
    Kay says:

    @Tripod:

    Suburban white collar liberals, women and minorities won.

    Well, the trade deal might help suburban white collar liberals. There’s that.

    Probably not though.

  67. 67
    Kay says:

    @Tripod:

    Also, minorities don’t care about wage stagnation and income inequality?

    Why not?

  68. 68
    karen marie says:

    Victories such as this, where your donors reap the benefits and your enemies bear the blame, are rare and sweet.

    You’re kidding, right? This is a specialty of the GOP, and Dems do them the favor of taking the offered weapon and shooting themselves in the foot.

  69. 69
    Tree With Water says:

    My online connection began slowing down a few weeks ago. There was reason for that, as the Guardian explained in yesterdays online edition (search: internet slowdown). I say the democrats should pick a fight and straighten these clowns out:

    http://www.theguardian.com/tec.....neutrality

  70. 70
    White Trash Liberal says:

    Containing Chinese economic power by collectively deciding to become like them. Great job, Obama.

  71. 71
    gene108 says:

    A lot of balls are in the air, but a final Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement is getting closer. It may be closer than we think, with a crucial meeting of top officials from all 12 negotiating countries slated to begin this week in Guam.

    Some final horse-trading is needed. For one thing, the Americans have not yet struck a market access deal with Japan, a key component that will become part of a final TPP deal.

    But the trans-Pactific agreement is definitely getting closer, and if the U.S. Congress agrees to give President Barack Obama his long-sought trade negotiating authority for these talks, things will really start to move.

    Even at this late stage, apart from some leaked documents here and there, no one outside the negotiating room has detailed knowledge of the deal’s core contents. That’s unfortunate, since governments need to pave the way for public acceptance.

    SNIP

    Apart from regular encouragement by a few business organizations, including the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives and the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, the private sector seems largely absent from engagement.

    I have not seen many major CEOs standing up to champion a TPP deal – unlike, say, when key executives voiced loud support in the 1980s for a free-trade deal with the United States.

    Why bother, cynics might ask. They point to failed examples, such as the World Trade Organization’s Doha Round negotiations, which ground down after 10 fruitless years.

    Some might note that even the Canada-EU trade deal is encountering pushback, with powerful voices opposing ratification on the other side of the Atlantic, and Mr. Obama still facing an uncertain mandate on the TPP talks.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com.....e24378924/

    Canada’s take on the deal.

  72. 72
    p.a. says:

    @cahuenga: well, he has floated the entitlement reform balloon several times, too. (Grand Bargain Screwjob and all…)

    Personally, I don’t get the political reason the O admin is pushing this. It’s a shit law and it’s hardly a legacy issue. Bomma himself doesn’t need corporate cash; he’s done in Jan. 2017.

  73. 73
    Betty Cracker says:

    @p.a.: My radical theory is that he honestly thinks it’s the right thing to do. He seems to have shitty advisers when it comes to economics. Oh well. Aside from that, he’s been a damn good president.

  74. 74
    Corner Stone says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    My radical theory is that he honestly thinks it’s the right thing to do. He seems to have shitty advisers when it comes to economics.

    It’s not an accident that he keeps picking those shitty advisers. Just like HRC worked for the boss, and Arne Duncan works for the boss, so do all those shitty advisers.

  75. 75
    Loviatar says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Aside from that, he’s been a damn good president.

    Aside from that, he’s been a damn good Republican president.

    Fixed it for you. No thanks needed.

  76. 76
    J R in WV says:

    @Kay:

    If its a first time violation, I’m good with a fine, but $99K is stupidly small even then

    For a second offence, that is criminal homicide, 4 counts, and the plant manager (and his boss, that that guy’s boss, etc) should all be in jail right now. Until we hold management responsible for their managerial actions, this will just get worse. Don Blankenship needs lots of company – we could build a special wing for once-wealthy killers who lost it all to confiscation of criminal gains.

    4 counts of murder in my book. Fuck those lazy cheap arrogant bastards! Tar (hot) and feathers, and tossed into a tank of methyl mercaptan, to find out what it was like for their murder victims.

  77. 77
    BobS says:

    @Betty Cracker: Just like Mrs. Lincoln thought Our American Cousin was a damn good play.

  78. 78
    Kay says:

    @gene108:

    Gene, it’s just nonsense, the way they’re selling this. This is the guy in charge:

    Froman made TPP sound so rosy for U.S. companies that I finally asked him: What’s in it for the other countries? The answer, he said, is a combination of improved access to U.S. markets, greatly improved access to Japan, the opportunity to lure U.S. businesses away from a restrictive China, and a kind of Good Housekeeping seal of approval as a member of the free-trade club.

    I mean for God’s sake. He sounds like an infomercial. Everyone already has access to US markets. They gave that away and got nothing in return in past trade deals. That means he’s left with this ridiculous notion that other countries are going to play by these rules for membership in the free trade club.

    The whole framing is nonsense. These huge companies are no more “US” companies than any other giant global company.

    It doesn’t inspire a whole hell of a lot of confidence, this constant lying they’re doing.

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

    I’d also like to know how talking about the specifics is illegal. What US law makes members of congress talking about a trade deal illegal? Which law? What section?

  79. 79
    glasnost says:

    Someone asked what the primer is on this law. It’s damned hard to know for sure, but it seems to involve raising the prices of pharmaceuitical drugs by making it less legal to create generic versions, granting greater powers to seize the properties those claimed to commit IP violations by companies who claim to own said IP, granting unelected tribunals the power to fine governments for passing any law that in any way makes any company’s business plan more expensive (This is not even an exaggeration, google investor-state dispute settlement), and a similar wild and obscure grab bag of the surrender of national sovreignity into the hands of private interests.

    The general theme is, “make more voluntary exchanges illegal”, “protect monopoly status granted to multi-national corporations”, and “limit the power of governments in this treaty to make laws”. Very vague summary, but that’s what you should expect from amateur comment section threads writing about secret agreements on highly obscure subjects. There’s a lot of discussion out there, but homework is required.

  80. 80
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @VidaLoca:

    If anybody here thinks poor and working class voters give a shit about this issue, I have a bridge to sell you.

  81. 81
    GHayduke (formerly lojasmo) says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    Boy howdy…the economy is sure in the dumps. Damn you, Obama, and your shitty advisors too.

  82. 82
    Betty Cracker says:

    @GHayduke (formerly lojasmo): The economic recovery has been great for the 1%, so it can´t be said that the shitty advisers produced shitty outcomes for everyone.

  83. 83
    Jimgod says:

    @GHayduke (formerly lojasmo): I want a new bridge!! It better be in California though. Seriously, free trade means screwjob in the minds of working class voters. Especially in the Rust Belt post-NAFTA. Say free trade and they all split blood. “This deal is a free trade deal. The Democrats pushed it. Both parties are screwing me, I’m not voting.” Why certain people here don’t understand that this is exactly the thought process of these voters is beyond me. Obama and the neo-liberals are absolutely trashing the Democratic Party here. I have grave concerns for 2016.

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