On Thursday June 18, 2015, twenty eight corporate "Democrats" in Congress voted with their Republican chums to help pass fast tracking for the TPP and other future "free" trade agreements. This disaster for American workers and their families will go to the Senate for a vote. Call or write your Senators and let them know that voting for TPP fast track guarantees that you won't be voting for them when they are up for reelection and will be actively seeking to primary them.
Speaking of primarying, here's a list of the corporate Democrats who voted with the Republicans in Congress to pass TPP fast track.
Brad Ashford, NE-02
Ami Bera, CA-07
Don Beyer, VA-08
Earl Blumenauer, OR-03
Suzanne Bonamici, OR-01
Gerry Connolly, VA-11
Jim Cooper, TN 05
Jim Costa, CA-16
Henry Cuellar, TX-28
Susan Davis, CA-53
John Delaney, MD-06
Suzan DelBene, WA-01
Sam Farr, CA-20
Jim Himes, CT-04
Ruben Hinojosa, TX-15
Eddie Johnson, TX-20
Derek Kilmer, WA-06
Ron Kind, WI-03
Rick Larsen, WA-02
Gregory Meeks, NY-05
Beto O'Rourke, TX-16
Scott Peters, CA-52
Jared Polis, CO-02
Mike Quigley, IL-05
Kathleen Rice, NY-04
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, FL-23
Kurt Schrader, OR-05
Terri Sewell, AL-07
Note that one of them, Debbie Wasserman Schultz just happens to be the chair of the Democratic Party. That should speak volumes about our "two" party system and why we need to elect candidates like Bernie Sanders.
On Friday June 12, 2015, our elected representatives in Congress heard our voices and voted to defeat Trade Adjustment Assistance, a component of the TPP sellout of American workers that gives it the veneer of compensating workers for jobs that the TPP helps corporations ship overseas. That defeat threw a temporary monkey wrench into the plans of the GOP and Obama to get TPP fast track passed quickly. Rest assured that both Obama and the GOP will be back in action this week to lobby Congress and attempt to get TPP fast track passed so that their corporate backers are well served.
I want you to keep those cards, letters and phone calls coming in to Congress to let your representatives know that your vote counts for more that corporate money.
Friday, June 12, 2015 is the day that Congress will vote on Fast Track/TPA. A yes vote opens a Pandora's box that will get all manner of "free" trade agreements enacted now and in the future. I have spoken out against "free" trade agreements for years, now it's your turn. Here is a link to the Congressional website, use it to contact your representative in Congress and express your displeasure with the TPP and the idea of fast tracking it without public scrutiny.
Tell your elected representatives that they can no longer count on your vote or support if they vote for fast track.
Let's face it folks, begging for a job isn't and shouldn't be part of the collective psyche of American workers! Sadly, that's what proponents of the TPP would effectively have our workers do. Nothing illustrates this more than President Obama's visit to the corporate headquarters of Nike Shoes, a business that has according some reports, a million or so contract workers overseas manufacturing its products compared to 26,000 U.S. workers in supporting roles. They made an offer to add a whopping 10,000 U.S. workers over the next 10 Yrs. if the TPP is signed. With their corporate HQ as a backdrop, Obama exhorted Democrats is Congress and the Senate to give him fast track authority to proceed with forcing yet another “free” trade agreement on American workers.
Obama keeps citing the exporting opportunities that the TPP could help bring about. He keeps misleading us into thinking that exporting is the only path to future prosperity. If the truth be known, the real export that “free” trade agreements enable is our jobs! The TPP adds a new dimension to the exporting concept by also exporting our right to self govern by setting up an international corporate kangaroo court to second guess any U.S. regulation that interferes with a foreign corp. doing business here.
Our nation has had the formula for middle class prosperity for years and that is to build it here and buy it here. You make that happen by instituting and or increasing trade tariffs back up to pre-Reagan era levels (gasp from conservatives) and tearing up many existing “free” trade agreements. Corporate owned propagandists call trade tariffs “protectionist” and in one sense, they are right, trade tariffs protect our jobs, our manufacturing infrastructure and our standard of living.
The free traitors who stand to profit from the job offshoring that the TPP would inevitably bring want you to think that exporting is the only path to jobs and prosperity. The truth is that if protected, we have more than enough self-generated supply and demand economic activity to insure a prosperous nation for many years to come without begging third world nations to buy small quantities of our products. It worked for our parents and grandparents, it can and will work for us. Remember, our jobs are ours to keep if we just hold onto them, without begging any foreign nation to buy our stuff.
Yesterday, much to my disgust, I read a couple of news stories about Barack Obama (a.k.a. President Hope And Change) using a visit to the corporate headquarters of Nike Shoes as a photo opportunity/press conference to hawk the Trans Pacific Partnership and slam Elizabeth Warren (an elected who truly represents “hope and change”) for opposing fast tracking the TPP. During the speech, Obama used Nike's advertising slogan in reference to the TPP to tell Democratic electeds who oppose TPP fast track to “just do (approve) it.” Nike promised Obama that it would add 10,000 new jobs in the USA over the next ten years if the TPP was approved. Hmm, 10,000 U.S. jobs added to an existing 26,000 U.S. jobs seems paltry when compared to the one million contract workers overseas that the article stated Nike uses to make its products. Some quid pro quo huh?
In my humble opinion, the bottom line is that Nike wants a reduction in import tariffs on its shoes via the TPP. You see, like I've said all along, the TPP is a grab bag of goodies for lots of corporations, in exchange for a can of worms for our nation and we, the people. Call your electeds and tell them to oppose the TPP!
There's been lots of talk about the Trans Pacific Partnership that many of you seem to be mentally tuning out. I have been surprised by the level of apathy on social media websites. It seems like progressives and union people are the only ones who are actively fighting the TPP. That's unfortunate because the TPP is the mother of all “free” trade agreements that has something in it that will hurt almost everyone except for billionaires and corporate CEO's.
I feel that the reason that many of you are so indifferent to the serious problems that the TPP will bring about is that the mainstream media has done a successful job of not covering stories about or discussing the implications of that agreement. The fact is that, for various reasons, the mega-corps that own the mainstream media want the TPP fast tracked because they stand to gain from the onerous intellectual property parts of it that will seriously restrict the free flow of ideas on the internet. Therefore, it is up to me and other alternate media folks to get the truth out before it's too late.
Since enlightenment requires active participation, I am going to ask you a few questions that will help you draw your own conclusions.
If the TPP is going to benefit the average American:
• Why is it being negotiated in secret where the only details that are available are whatever has been leaked? If the agreement is really good for us, why keep it a secret? I think that we all know the answer to that question!
• Why are only a handful of people, most of whom are corporate CEO types, involved in the super secret negotiations? Are they the only ones affected by the agreement? Don't labor unions deserve to have input on an agreement that will adversely affect their members and all workers for years to come? Don't we, the people deserve to have a say in our future?
• How can we believe our electeds when they claim that the TPP will bring jobs to our country when previous “free” trade agreements like NAFTA were also ballyhooed as bringing jobs here, but actually cost us many jobs? How often do they expect us to fall for that lie? Why do supposedly pro-labor Democrats Like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama always seem to join hands with corporate Republicans in trying to foist job killing “free” trade agreements on us?
• How can any politician who considers him or herself a real American support an agreement that gives up our country's sovereignty by setting up a mechanism that lets a foreign corporation sue U.S. regulatory agencies in an international kangaroo court if the agency enforces any regulation that interferes with the foreign corporation making a profit? The founding fathers of our country declared independence from England to become a sovereign nation, how can we allow our electeds to give up our sovereignty to foreign corporations?
I leave you with one final question to carefully consider.
If the TPP is so good, why does it need to be fast tracked and rushed past any scrutiny? I think that you know the answer to this question and all of the previous questions and now know that you have to take an active part in stopping a disastrous agreement before it's too late.
I hate hypocrisy, especially in politics because in essence, it usually amounts to people who have sold you a false bill of goods just to get in office. When I see hypocrisy in action, it's probably the only time that I believe in taking a bipartisan approach and will call out hypocrites regardless of their party affiliation. In my last post (Are Centrist Dems. Democrats Or Demorats?) I called out 28 Democratic congressmen who voted with GOP congressmen to authorize the Keystone XL Pipeline. In this post, I'm going to take a look at the GOP vote in the Senate concerning Keystone to show their hypocrisy and illustrate why Democrats who side with the GOP, in light of what it represents aren't worthy of their office.
The Keystone XL was approved by the Senate and now goes to the President's desk, hopefully for a veto. Here's some of the GOP sausage making that went into it:
Much activity took place on Senate bill S1, a bill to approve the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Since the GOP has the majority in both houses, the Democrats tried to mitigate the damage that the bill causes by adding amendments. Sadly, there were some Demorats who voted with the GOP.
As I said in the beginning of this post, I hate hypocrisy. I hate it regardless of the source. That's why when I heard the President refer to people who oppose job killing “free” trade agreements as living in the past, I realized that his disingenuous theme of “income inequality” made his State Of The Union speech nothing more than an unhealthy helping of his baloney washed down with a cocktail of his supporters' denial! The people that the President mentioned are not living in the past, they have long memories and remember another period of history when Democrats joined hands with Republicans to sell out American workers by passing NAFTA! Folks, no matter which party spouts the hypocrisy, we are the ones who are betrayed.
I'm hearing lots of talk lately from high union officials and Democratic electeds of the progressive persuasion complaining about this or that aspect of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and various other "free" trade agreements. These people who want our loyalty, votes and trust should know better. They focus on one specific aspect or another of the agreements and want it fixed or removed. That narrow perspective implies that they find "free" trade agreements to be acceptable with some minor tweaks and that "free" trade agreements in any form are acceptable to the average working American or for that matter, anyone who isn't a one percenter.
NAFTA and other "free" trade agreements were proven job killers that helped greedy corporations ship countless American jobs to foreign countries. They helped destroy America's manufacturing infrastructure. They were passed and signed under the Clinton administration. They came with the false promise of creating jobs. As I've often said, it takes Republicans to lower the economic bar for working people, the middle class and the poor and Democrats to keep it lowered! I expect corporate owned Republicans to promote and defend "free" trade agreements and corporate leased "compromising" centrist Democrats to do likewise, but I become appalled when progressive Democrats and union officials give those agreements an air of respectability by attempting to change small bits and pieces of them but leave the main parts, the job killing parts intact!
Phone, email or write your elected officials and union officials and let them know in no uncertain terms that you have had it up to here with all "free" trade agreements! Tell them that you will vote anyone who supports them out of office! PERIOD!
After watching the President's state of the union address, two things immediately came to mind:
1- If he is going to use executive orders to circumvent GOP electeds in Congress and the Senate who are trying to sabotage his initiatives, why didn't he do it sooner? If his Presidency were a football game, we would say that it is now well past halftime. The President's attempts at trying to take a “bipartisan” approach with the Republicans have diluted most of his initiatives, helped their obstructionist tactics succeed and allowed their lies to become the ongoing dialog among many low information voters.
2- The theme that pervaded his state of the union was that of fixing income inequality. The cold hard truth is that the main driving force behind income inequality has been high paying manufacturing jobs that “patriotic”, “job creating” U.S. corporations have shipped overseas to places like China. The loss of those jobs created a buyer's market for employers by generating desperate workers willing to work for lower wages and less benefits. From actual experience, we know that “free” trade agreements have been the driving force behind job offshoring, less jobs in the U.S.A. And by extension, income inequality. President Obama has expressed strong support for fast-tracking the mother of all “free” trade agreements, the Trans-Pacific Partnership commonly known as TPP. He was strangely silent about it during his state of the union.
The interesting thing about fast-tracking the TPP is that it would make an end run around public congressional debate. That's sort of combines the worst aspects of item one and item two above. He's making an end run around Congress but doing so to foist a “free” trade agreement us that will cause more income inequality.
Experience has proven that in the case of President Obama's State Of The Union addresses, what he doesn't say is far more significant than what he does say. Judge his latest speech accordingly!
Have you noticed that there's no one on Talk Radio who speaks for John and Jane Q. Public? I want to change that situation. When I go into the studio and get on the air, I say the things that you've always wanted to say. The big corporate interests have their lobbyists, I want to be your voice. Just think of me as your guy fighting for your interests.
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