Friday, May 22, 2015

Washington Women Sell Out Warren

Related: Some Final TPPs

"Senator Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington, a linchpin in securing the last votes needed for the victory.... and Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington."

Thanks, ladies.

"Obama Pacific trade plan clears key hurdle in Senate" by Paul Kane and Mike DeBonis Washington Post  May 22, 2015

WASHINGTON — Republicans and a small band of Democrats rescued President Obama’s trade agenda from the brink of failure Thursday, clearing a key hurdle in the Senate but leaving the final outcome in doubt.

Supporters must still navigate a set of tricky-but-popular proposals that could torpedo the legislation’s chances, and its fate in the House remains a toss-up because Obama faces entrenched opposition from his own party.

But Thursday’s victory kept alive Obama’s bid to secure a broad trade deal with Pacific Rim nations by advancing legislation that would give him expanded authority to complete the accord.

On a vote of 62 to 38, the measure for fast-track authority received just enough Democratic support to keep it moving, following a last-ditch lobbying effort by Obama and his top advisers. The fate of the legislation, known as the Trade Promotion Authority, hung in the balance for more than 30 minutes during the vote.

In unusually dramatic fashion, more than a dozen senators from both parties negotiated the last details of the legislation and side issues, trading paper amid long conversations that moved throughout the Senate. At one point during the vote, according to a senator and senior aides, Obama made one more phone call to make a final pitch to Senator Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington, a linchpin in securing the last votes needed for the victory, who was huddling with other Democrats in the cloakroom just off the Senate floor.

During an afternoon meeting with his Cabinet at the White House, Obama thanked the senators who supported his push for fast-track powers, calling the vote ‘‘a big step forward this morning on a trade agenda that is consistent with strong labor standards, strong environmental standards, and access to markets that too often are closed even as these other countries are selling goods in the United States.

‘‘It’s an agenda that is good for US businesses, but most importantly, it is good for American workers,’’ Obama said.

Then why can't we see it?

The AFL-CIO denounced the vote as ‘‘shameful’’ in a graphic that featured the names and photos of each of the 13 Democratic senators who voted for the bill.

Some are calling them traitors.

The bill is now more likely to pass the Senate, but supporters still must defeat a few amendments that administration officials say would draw a veto.

The measure would then head for an uncertain fate in the House, where Democratic opposition to Obama’s trade agenda is deeper.

Obama has said he needs fast-track authority to complete the deal with the other nations, which represent about 40 percent of the global economy. If that authority is approved by Congress, it would allow for a trade deal to be presented to the House and the Senate under strict timelines and require a simple up-or-down vote without any amendments or requirements of a Senate super-majority to end debate.

Senate leaders hope to finish the legislation over the weekend, possibly as early as Friday.

This week’s near-breakdown came as about 10 Democrats — who wavered over the legislation last week — issued a demand that congressional GOP leaders assure them that they would approve an extension of the federally backed bank that helps US corporations sell their goods abroad. Many conservatives, particularly in the House, oppose renewing the charter of the Export-Import Bank because they consider it a form of corporate welfare that favors large, well-connected businesses, particularly Boeing.

I love corporate Democrats, don't you?

Republicans, who have worked unusually closely with the Democratic administration over the past few months on their shared goal of advancing global trade, warned before the vote that those senators supporting the Export-Import Bank should not expect help from Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, if Thursday’s vote failed.

As the roll call blew beyond the originally planned 15 minutes, the lawmakers reached a deal on the Export-Import Bank that tipped the scales for Cantwell and Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, which relies on the thousands of jobs at Boeing plants that are tied to Export-Import Bank loans.

Working with Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, whose state also has large Boeing factories, they brought with them four additional Democrats to clear the 60-vote hurdle.


Meanwhile, over in the House:

"Nancy Pelosi balances Obama, constituents’ wants on trade deal" by Erica Werner Associated Press  May 21, 2015

WASHINGTON — As House speaker, Nancy Pelosi delivered the signature achievement of President Obama’s first term: his health care bill. Now Obama’s top second-term goal, a major trade deal, hangs in the balance on Capitol Hill and Pelosi is again on the spot.

But this time, the California Democrat, now minority leader, finds herself out of step with her party’s president — caught between his ambitions and the overwhelming opposition of her Democratic caucus to a free-trade deal that many fear could harm American workers.

And it remains to be seen whether the 75-year-old Pelosi, in her 15th term and perhaps approaching the end of her congressional career, will help Obama get his trade bill over the finish line or side with the labor unions and liberals opposing the legislation, even though its failure would constitute a humiliating defeat for Obama.

It will be strong-armed through. It's a corporate government.

Democratic lawmakers point out that there’s little political upside for Democrats to grant Obama ‘‘fast track’’ authority to negotiate trade deals, yet despite their historic majority in the House, Republicans don’t expect to be able to muster the votes necessary to pass fast-track next month after expected Senate approval this week.

What? Some Repuglicans actually against the mon$tro$ity?

They are counting on Democrats to supply some two dozen votes; whether Pelosi would weigh in to help move an additional half-dozen or more Democratic votes is not yet clear — nor is whether she herself will vote yes in the end, though many fellow lawmakers would be surprised if she did. She is trying to maintain her leverage, insisting that as the majority party, Republicans have the responsibility to supply the votes.

‘‘It is something that corporate America wants very much. They have their friends on the Republican side. They should be able to produce this victory,’’ Pelosi said. Of House Speaker John Boehner, she said: ‘‘He’s speaker. . . . It’s up to him to produce the votes.’’

Passing the trade bill is a top priority for Obama, who after years of hands-off relations with Congress has launched an all-out lobbying campaign for the legislation, offering House Democrats everything from political cover to rides on Air Force One.

For now, Pelosi is declaring herself open to all sides, hoping to get to “yes’’ but also voicing the concerns of her House Democrats on worker and environmental protections and demanding repeat briefings from administration officials who might otherwise be disregarding the concerns of the House minority.

Print ended there. 

He’s leaning heavily on Pelosi, pulling her into the Oval Office for lobbying last month when she was at the White House to celebrate passage of Medicare legislation; including her on the guest list about a week later for a state dinner for the prime minister of Japan; and hosting her for a one-on-one lunch.

She’s called for a shorter deal than the six years contemplated by the fast-track agreement but has kept the White House apprised of her moves.

That has seemed to satisfy White House officials, who note the contrast with Pelosi’s Senate counterpart, Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who has declared himself a ‘‘hell no’’ on the trade bill.

Easier for him now that he is leaving the Senate. 

‘‘Leader Pelosi has indicated that she’s going to keep an open mind when it comes to trade legislation, and I think that is all that the president has asked,’’ White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday.

Pelosi’s predicament is not unprecedented. A similar dynamic reigned in the late 1990s, when Bill Clinton was president and trying to get a fast-track bill through Congress with Democrats in the minority in the House. Amid backlash against the North American Free Trade Agreement, then-House Democratic leader Richard Gephardt led the opposition, and fast-track ended up failing in the House in 1998. Pelosi was among those voting no.

But she has supported some subsequent trade bills, creating uncertainty about where she will come down this time with the stakes sky-high for Obama — and for Pelosi herself.

‘‘I would never want her role,’’ said Rep. Mark Pocan, Democrat of Wisconsin, a free trade opponent. ‘‘I think she’s probably under enormous pressure to make sure she’s leading and working with the president and the White House on what their goals are, but also representing her caucus. . . . In the end I just hope she votes with us.’’


Will Pelosi also betray Warren?


"Bipartisan Senate passes trade bill sought by Obama; Measure seen as aiding talks with Pacific partners" by David Espo and Charles Babington Associated Press  May 23, 2015

WASHINGTON — In a victory for President Obama, the Senate passed bipartisan legislation Friday night to strengthen the administration’s hand in global trade talks, clearing the way for an unpredictable summer showdown in the House.

The vote was 62 to 37 to give Obama authority to complete trade deals that Congress could approve or reject, but not change.

A total of 48 Republicans supported the measure, but only 14 the Senate’s 44 Democrats backed a president of their own party on legislation near the top of his second-term agenda.

At this point I realize I'm looking at another butchered reedit.

Among the Democrats voting no were Massachusetts Senators Edward J. Markey and Elizabeth A. Warren. Obama hailed the vote in a statement that said trade deals ‘‘done right’’ are important to ‘‘expanding opportunities for the middle class, leveling the playing field for American workers, and establishing rules for the global economy that help our businesses grow and hire.’’

That didn't make my print, and the rest is not verbatim.

Separate legislation to prevent parts of the antiterror Patriot Act from lapsing, and a bill to prevent a cutoff in highway funding, also awaited action by lawmakers.

The Senate appeared headed for a vote early Saturday on whether to change the way the National Security Agency handles US calling records, raising the possibility of a halt to that program and two less controversial surveillance techniques to track spies and terrorists.

Senate passage of the trade bill capped two weeks of tense votes and near-death experiences for legislation the administration hopes will help complete an agreement with Japan and 10 other countries in the Pacific region.

Oh, for crying out loud! Like the goddamn legalized corporate rape is some how alive!

Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky, who was Obama’s indispensable ally in passing the bill, said it would create ‘‘new opportunities for bigger paychecks, better jobs, and a stronger economy.

‘‘The tools it contains will allow us to knock down unfair foreign trade barriers that discriminate against American workers and products stamped ‘Made in the USA,’ ’’ he said.

A fight is likely in the House.

Why? It's solid Republican.

Speaker John Boehner supports the measure, and said in a written statement that Republicans will do their part to pass it.

But in a challenge to Obama, the Ohio Republican added that ‘‘success will require Democrats putting politics aside and doing what’s best for the country.’’


Dozens of majority Republicans oppose the legislation, either out of ideological reasons or because they are loath to enhance Obama’s authority, especially at their own expense. 

It's been the great unmentioned in the debate so far, and it is those icky Tea Party people! Not Rove Tea Party or Koch Tea Party, but true Tea Party.

And Obama’s fellow Democrats show little inclination to support legislation that much of organized labor opposes.

But I bet it will squeak through (with some turncoat Tea Party, too).

In the run-up to a final Senate vote, Democratic supporters of the legislation were at pains to lay to rest concerns that the legislation, like previous trade bills, could be blamed for a steady loss of jobs.

‘‘The Senate now has the opportunity to throw the 1990s NAFTA playbook into the dust bin of history,’’ said Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon. He referred to the North American Free Trade Agreement, passed two decades ago, and a symbol to this day, fairly or not, of the loss of unemployment to a country with lax worker safety laws and low wages.

And make things even wor$e.

Like Obama, Wyden and others said this law had stronger protections built into it.

To mollify Democrats, the bill also included $1.8 billion in retraining funds for American workers who lose their jobs as a result of exports.

That's called a BRIBE!

Senator Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, said the program duplicated other federal efforts, but his attempt to strip out the funds was defeated, 53 to 35.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest prodded the Senate to accept a House-passed bill renewing antiterrorism programs due to expire June 1. He said that to do otherwise would put at risk "the ability of our national security professionals to keep us safe." 

Yeah, except if you follow the news they HAVE NOT!

But the House bill included a provision to eliminate the NSA’s ability to collect mass telephone records of Americans. Instead, the material would remain with phone companies, with government searches of the information allowed by court order on a case-by-case basis.

Sounds better, but I'm suspicious.

‘‘The untried — and as of yet, nonexistent — bulk-collection system envisioned under that bill would be slower and more cumbersome than the one that currently helps keep us safe,’’ McConnell said on the Senate floor. At worst, he added, ‘‘it might not work at all.’’

The highway bill was the least controversial of the three on the Senate's prevacation agenda, but only because lawmakers had agreed on a two month extension of the law.

Because of the Amtrak crash?


Another female fa$ci$t:

"Benghazi issue follows Clinton to N.H." by James Pindell Globe Staff  May 22, 2015

HAMPTON, N.H. – With cases of beer and kegs serving as Hillary Rodham Clinton’s backdrop, a chorus of vibrating phone news alerts interrupted her roundtable with small business leaders at Smuttynose Brewing Co.

Later during her trip Friday, her second to the state since launching her campaign for president, she went to a grass-roots event in Exeter. She made an unannounced stop at Moo’s Place, an ice cream shop in Derry, where she ordered a kid-size cup of chocolate peanut butter fudge after mingling with a friendly crowd. She ended her state trip at another grass-roots event in Amherst.

Related: Did You Make Clinton's List?

Earlier in the day, the Clinton campaign hoped she could seize some attention in calling for Republican presidential candidates to back reauthorizing the US Export-Import bank.

That was used as a bribe to pass the TPP.

The bank helps underwrite loans for American businesses selling abroad. Some Republicans say the bank doesn’t create American jobs, arguing that the bulk of the loans benefit just a handful of major companies such as Boeing and Caterpillar.

Hey, it's our economic $y$tem, the best ever devi$ed (for a few).

At her noontime event at the brewery, Clinton argued that Republicans who espouse this position are “embarrassing.”

She start drinking before then?

About 50 people attended her appearance at the brewery, which was invitation only — like the rest of her announced events so far as a candidate. The Clinton campaign has been criticized for not holding a single open event in Iowa or New Hampshire.

It is LITERALLY a staged and scripted campaign!

Clinton addressed some of that criticism at her second stop of the day, at Water Street Bookstore in downtown Exeter.

“Some people had asked me, particularly in the press, when are you going to have really big events. And I said later, later, later. I want to listen to people. I want to talk to people in small groups,” Clinton said. “What I want to do is to make sure that we have a conversation about what we want to accomplish in our country, and this is the way I feel most comfortable doing it.”

How you liking the campaign imagery and illusion?

Dozens of supporters gathered outside the bookstore on the sidewalks for her arrival. More fans awaited inside, including one with a sign that read: “Welcome home to New Hampshire.” 

I'm disgusted by the celebrity that now surrounds politics.

Apparently, those who show initiative can make their way onto the guest list. 

The reporters have to win their way by lottery.

For example, earlier this week, Trinette Hunter, 13, of Henniker, N.H., told her mother it was her dream to have dinner with Clinton. When she was 5, her mother, Jessica Gorhan, took her into the voting booth to pull the lever for Clinton in the 2008 New Hampshire primary.

This week, Gorhan called the brewery to ask how to get in, and the Clinton campaign got in touch with her. After the event, Hunter and her mother were among about 50 people lined up to take pictures with Clinton and get her autograph.

“It was awesome,” Hunter said.


Oh, yeah, the e-mails:

"Clinton received sensitive e-mails on private account" by Lisa Lerer Associated Press  May 23, 2015

WASHINGTON — Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton received information on her private e-mail account about the deadly attack on US diplomatic facilities in Benghazi that was later classified ‘‘secret’’ at the request of the FBI, according to documents released Friday.

The revelation underscored lingering questions about how responsibly she handled sensitive information on a home server.

We are never going to get to the bottom of what happened there when it comes to propaganda pre$$; however, what is important to remember is the government initially blamed it all on a video that didn't even exist, and if "terror" groups were involved it was a false flag gone wrong.

The nearly 900 pages of her correspondence released by the State Department also contained several messages that were deemed sensitive but unclassified, detailed her daily schedule, and contained information — censored in the documents as released — about the CIA that the government is barred from publicly disclosing.

Taken together, the correspondence gives examples of material considered sensitive that Clinton, a front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, received on the account run out of her home. She has said the private server had ‘‘numerous safeguards.’’

She wiped that home server clean!

Clinton’s decision while secretary of state to opt out of a State Department e-mail account has become a political problem for her, as the Republican-led House committee investigating the Benghazi attacks has used the disclosures of her e-mail usage to paint her as secretive and above scrutiny.

It is not clear whether Clinton’s home computer system used encryption software to communicate securely with government e-mail services. That would have protected her letters from the prying eyes of foreign spies, hackers, or anyone interested on the Internet. 

In any case, the NSA would have gotten them all and turned them over to Israel.

Last year, Clinton gave the State Department 55,000 pages of e-mails that she said pertained to her work as secretary sent from her personal address.

Only messages related to the 2012 attacks on the US diplomatic post in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans, including US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, were released by the department on Friday. The 296 e-mails had already been turned over to the House Benghazi committee.

A Nov. 18, 2012, message about arrests in Libya was not classified at the time, meaning no law was violated, but was upgraded to ‘‘secret’’ Friday at the request of the FBI to redact information that could have information damaging to national security or foreign relations.

Twenty-three words were redacted from the message, which detailed reports of arrests in Libya of people who might have ties to the attack.

The redacted portion appears to relate to people who provided information about the alleged suspects to the Libyans. That part of the e-mail had been categorized by the State Department as ‘‘NOFORN,’’ meaning that foreign nationals were not allowed to read it, including close US allies.

Clinton also appeared to send and receive protected information about the CIA, which was withheld on Friday because the State Department said law prevented its disclosure. It gave no details on the data....