Monday, May 18, 2015

Some Final TPPs

The First Words:

"Obama, Japan leader express commitment to sealing trade deal; President faces pressure on jobs from Democrats" by Jim Kuhnhenn Associated Press  April 29, 2015

WASHINGTON — President Obama acknowledged Tuesday the challenge he faces winning congressional support for a major Asia-Pacific trade deal that has become a cornerstone of his second term agenda.

Yes, this final gift to multinational corporations is to be the cornerstone of his populist administration. He will literally say anything to get it passed while dismissing those who oppose, as do others on the "left," “the most progressive trade agreement in history.”

If so, how come it is being kept a secret, sir, and as for "us" writing the rules.... everything out of Obummer's mouth is a $elf-$erving lie (and the Globe's, sob). It's also being pimped by that liar Deval Patrick (lot of money out there, but he left us a $2 billion budget hole) as the Globe does a rehabilitation job on Bain capital and beyond:

"The cheers by labor and environmental groups in Washington were met with silence by companies back in Massachusetts, where the state’s thriving life science and tech sectors consider the trade pact critical to the region’s economic prosperity."

And the same day, despite millions from the state, Canton biotech loses jobs. How ironic.

But it gets wor$e: 

"A nearly completed 12-nation Pacific Rim trade agreement may require taxpayers to finance settlements worth billions of dollars with multinational corporations that claim US regulations hurt their companies, Senator Elizabeth Warren said Wednesday. The Massachusetts Democrat said the Trans-Pacific Partnership has a clause that would allow overseas companies to challenge US laws before international arbitrators. Payouts would be funded by the US government, and such challenges could lead to a weakening of environmental, safety, and labor rules, she said. “With more and more multinational corporations headquartered abroad, it is only a matter of time before such a challenge does serious damage here in the United States,” Warren said. The provision “should raise alarm bells for everyone.” President Obama, who is pressing to complete the trade deal, also seeks a fast-track process for congressional approval of trade accords. So far, much of the backing has come from Republicans, putting him at odds with typical allies like Warren and Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada. The White House said Obama will not sign a deal unless it is “clearly in the best interest of American businesses and American middle-class families.”

Yup. I guess that is why things mu$t be kept $ecret. All he can say is she's wrong in the most insulting manner!

And check this out: 

"Obama said liberal opponents of his trade deal were living in the past. “Their arguments are based on fear,” he said, “or they’re fighting NAFTA, the trade deal that was passed 25 years ago, or 20 years ago.” He added: “I understand the emotions behind it. But when you break down the logic of their arguments, I’ve got to say there’s not much there.”

But he keeps on making them!

Obama defends the pact, a far-reaching agreement to tear down trade barriers between the United States and 11 other nations. He says it would help cure the ills inflicted on American workers by trade pacts of the past, particularly the North American Free Trade Agreement. The trade legislation would give Obama the “fast track” authority to complete such trade deals and speed them through Congress without amendments. During a speech to Democratic activists last week, Obama said that because the Pacific trade deal includes Mexico and Canada, “it fixes a lot that was wrong with NAFTA when it was passed back in the 1990s.”

He talks out of both sides of his mouth better than Nixon! 

Btw, we WERE TOLD that the trade deals would be a WIN-WIN when they where SOLD to us! So place your bet, place your bet. 


Senate vote seen as key volley in fight over trade deal

Who is writing the TPP?

The u$ual $u$pects.

Now back to the table, 'er, regular scheduled article:

‘‘It’s never fun passing a trade bill in this town,’’ the president said as he and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan declared their determination to see the deal through.

Yeah, and we know the rea$ons why.

Obama and Abe face domestic pressures on trade that have created sticking points between Japan and the United States and complicated Obama’s ability to win support for a broader 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

With Japan and the United States as the largest economies in those negotiations, resolving their differences could go far in paving the way for the more extensive trade deal.

‘‘I know that the politics around trade can be hard in both our countries,’’ Obama said, Abe by his side, during a Rose Garden press conference.

While Abe’s visit to the White House was not expected to yield a trade breakthrough, the lack of a final accord nonetheless stood out given agreement in other areas, particularly on changes to US-Japan defense guidelines — an area where both countries share more common ground. The new rules boost Japan’s military capability amid growing Chinese assertiveness in disputed areas in the East and South China Sea claimed by Beijing.

This is the summer WWIII really gets going.

Referring to trade barriers on vehicles that have been one of the main sticking points in the US-Japan trade talks, Obama said: ‘‘There are many Japanese cars in America, I want to see more American cars in Japan as well.’’

Abe said he is eager to see ‘‘the early conclusion’’ of the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, adding that on outstanding issues over trade barriers ‘‘we welcome the fact that significant progress was made.’’

Before completing the deal, Obama must win expanded negotiating authority from Congress, a difficult task given opposition from liberals and labor unions who fear the loss of US jobs. As a result, Obama’s stiffest resistance has come from members of his own Democratic Party.

I love by code-corporate pre$$, don't you? (Btw, he has the authority)

Abe faces his own trade politics at home. Japan has longstanding protections for politically powerful farm interests.

Not really free trade, is it?

Moreover, an aging population and changing tastes have lowered the consumption of rice, resulting in significant surpluses that Japan has protected with tariffs and other supports.

Still, Obama said: ‘‘I know that Prime Minister Abe, like me, is deeply committed to getting this done, and I’m confident we will.’’

China’s economic and military footprint hung over the Abe visit. In the face of China’s rise, Obama has sought to display more US economic and security might in the Asia-Pacific region.

Something being thrown in our face all right.

He said the United States sees China as a booming potential market and partner for US development overseas, noting that hundreds of millions of Chinese have been pulled out of poverty in recent years. But he acknowledged tensions over China’s maritime claims.

‘‘They feel that rather than resolve these issues through normal international dispute settlements, they are flexing their muscles,’’ he said. ‘‘We’ve said to China what we should say to any country in that circumstance: That’s the wrong way to go about it.’’ 

Yeah, only the dictator of AmeriKa is allowed to toss missiles around, order airstrikes, and conduct covert destabilization and overthrow campaigns in other sovereign nations. What an asshole!

In one closely watched development, Abe sidestepped a question on whether he would apologize for the sexual enslavement of women by Japan’s army during World War II. Abe instead said he was deeply pained by the suffering of ‘‘comfort women,’’ using a euphemism for tens of thousands of Asian women who were forced to serve Japanese troops.

I'm not trying to downplay it in anyway, but I've had enough of WWII. It's all over my TV, all over the paper, and we got WWIII in progress. Thanks.



Senate Democrats buck Obama and stall trade agenda

Except it was not “the end of the story.”

After lobbying by Obama, Senate agrees to vote on trade bill after all

The first link was page A1; the second, page A7. 

Sick of the $hit show fooleys yet? I sure am.

"President Obama has preached economic opportunity and equal access to education as cornerstones of the legacy he wants to leave. But in the contest to host his presidential library this week, the Obama foundation let it be known that it was displeased with Chicago’s proposals — still, the blunt warning through the media appeared designed mainly to light a fire under the University of Chicago to fill holes in its proposal. At the University of Illinois Chicago, student trustee Danielle Leibowitz said, ‘‘If he wants to be consistent with the message he’s given throughout his presidency, it really only makes sense to give it to us. To suddenly hand over your legacy to a private institution seems rather hypocritical.’’ 

What, that he shook down the city for economic incentives to get his library put there?

He didn't even bother to read the Barney Frank's letter (nor did I).

"In globalization, the costs are just too high, some say" by Binyamin Appelbaum New York Times   May 18, 2015

GALESBURG, Ill. — Even in this city of abandoned factories, it is possible to see some of the benefits the United States reaps from increased foreign trade: at the rail yard, where boxcars of bargain-price Asian goods are routed to US consumers; at the nearby slaughterhouse, where pigs are packaged for the global market; and at Knox College, where almost 10 percent of the students now come from foreign countries.

It is also hard to miss the enduring costs. In 2004, Maytag shut down the refrigerator factory that for decades was Galesburg’s largest employer and moved much of the work to Mexico. Barack Obama, then running to represent Illinois in the Senate, described the Maytag workers as victims of globalization in his famous speech that year at the Democratic National Convention.

A decade later, many of those workers are still struggling. The city’s population is in decline, and the median household income fell 27 percent between 1999 and 2013, adjusting for inflation.

George Carney, who drove a forklift until the day the factory closed, and then found work as a bartender, is now receiving federal disability benefits. He said he is bitter that US policy makers smoothed Maytag’s road to Mexico by passing the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, in the early 1990s. 

Oh, don't worry; this pact will fix all that.

“I don’t believe in laying someone off, in taking away someone’s livelihood just so other people can make more money,” Carney said. “Why would I want to destroy that person? Why would I want to destroy lives?”


It is one of the basic principles of economics that trade is good and more trade is better. But as Obama presses Congress for the authority to negotiate a new generation of trade deals, the struggles of Galesburg illustrate why some economists have come to doubt the relevance of that orthodoxy.

Globalization’s costs have been greater and more enduring than they expected, and government efforts to mitigate the effect on US workers have often proved insufficient. 

Yeah, what a mystery that the government isn't on the side of workers and that these trade deals have become what critics said.

“I think what we’ve learned is that US labor markets aren’t as flexible and self-correcting as I think we had presumed,” said Gordon Hanson, an economist at the University of California San Diego. “The uneasiness I have about the way we’ve handled globalization is not so much globalization itself. It’s that if you don’t have the right safety net, you’re going to impose an enormous amount of hardship.”

What $afety net? It's in $hreds. We all know where the money is going.

There is also mounting evidence the benefits of globalization have accrued disproportionately to upper-income households, while the costs have fallen heavily on the less affluent, contributing to the rise of economic inequality.

No kidding?

The Obama administration has presented the proposed agreements — one with nations that border the Pacific Ocean, the other with Europe — as, in part, a shield against globalization that would require other nations to move closer to US standards for environmental protection, worker rights, and intellectual property.

Flat-out lies.

The administration and many outside economists say further trade, despite the negatives, is still clearly beneficial.

Then why can't we see it? Why is it cla$$ified?

David Weinstein, a Columbia University economist, said the image of downtrodden Galesburg should be set alongside the prosperity of Silicon Valley, because the decline of manufacturing helped free resources to feed the high-tech boom.

Related: Homeless in Silicon Valley

Homeless told to clear out of Silicon Valley home 

Crews break up homeless camp in Silicon Valley

At least you can stay on the beach

Weinstein(!) was saying?

“There was a sense that by losing the ability to produce computer chips, we were going to see the American electronics industry collapse, and it turns out that those cheap imported electronic components were just the thing that all of these companies needed,” he said. “What these critiques miss systematically is that the losers know who they are, but the winners don’t know who they are yet.”

At least I didn't lose $2 dollars on a Globe this morning.

A 2005 study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a research group that is a strong proponent of trade deals, estimated that embracing trade had added 7.3 percent to America’s economic output — or about $10,000 in annual income for every household in the United States.

But the benefits are not distributed evenly. Trade increases overall prosperity by eliminating less-productive jobs.

In theory, the workers find new jobs. In practice, studies by Hanson and other economists show that in cities like Galesburg, global competition is increasing unemployment and reducing wages.

Let's have more of that though!

Josh Bivens, an economist at the liberal Economic Policy Institute, estimates that increased globalization, aided by a strong dollar that led to a persistent trade deficit, reduced the annual earnings of the roughly 70 percent of US workers without college degrees by about $1,800.

And those with degrees? (Oh, wait, job market just got better)

Joseph Stiglitz, a Columbia University economist and Nobel laureate, said the magnitude of these losses was large enough that increased trade may now be harming the US economy.

Not everyone, though!

“The argument was always that the winners could compensate the losers,” Stiglitz said. “But the winners never do. And that becomes particularly relevant when we have a society with as much inequality as we have today.”

Richard Lindstrom, whose family has owned an appliance store on Galesburg’s Main Street for 89 years, said sales fell when Maytag left. But that was about the same time he started selling large numbers of imported high-definition televisions.

“We rode that crest, and it really offset the drop in appliance sales,” he said. 

Yeah, big screen TVs will save us all.

Some Maytag workers were able to find better jobs. Mark Semande is now a foreman on the BNSF railroad, which has prospered greatly from increased trade.

He made $14.50 an hour at the factory. Now he makes $28.93. With overtime, he estimates his pay has tripled.

But many of the 1,600 Maytag workers were not as fortunate, said Chad Broughton, a lecturer in public policy at the University of Chicago who chronicled Galesburg’s struggles in his recent book, “Boom, Bust, Exodus.”

Tracy Warner, who worked at the factory 15 years, has not come close to matching her former salary of about $37,000 a year. She works as a teacher’s assistant by day and a janitor by night and makes about $21,000.

Maybe the kids at Tufts can help her out (at least Globe cares about janitors, 'eh).

Semande, whose father also worked at the factory, said he expected that his two daughters, 13 and 15, would move away when they grow up.

“Maybe they could find jobs and live in the community,” he said, “but not if they want to do as well as us.”

Trade also tends to reduce prices, and there is evidence that lower-income households may benefit disproportionately, because they spend a larger share of income than wealthier households on the goods with the largest price declines.

Yeah, you REALLY ARE BENEFITING, really! Your PURCHASING POWER is $HIT, but please believe the propaganda pre$$ that YOU REALLY ARE DOING BETTER from all the CHEAP STUFF FLOODING the country from faraway shores.

This Walmart effect may partially offset the distribution of income gains.

They just raised the minimum wage to $9 an hour, too!

Walmart opened a supercenter in Galesburg in 2007, but Broughton said the store could hardly offset the loss of the factory.

“The decline in the quality of life for working-class families has not been nearly matched by the low, low prices,” he said. “Maybe those diffuse benefits have benefited America more generally. But it’s not the case in Galesburg.”

It's all relative, right? You aren't getting poorer even if the quality of products is worse. You get what you pay for.


Also see
Elizabeth Warren’s rise is at Obama’s expense

They made sure to mention she avoided the fringe, did you see?

I'm going to give this guy the last word:

"The Great Experiment is Slipping Through Our Fingers – Fast Track Sneaks Through Senate

Posted on by willyloman
by Scott Creighton

“The establishment of our new Government seemed to be the last great experiment for promoting human happiness.” George Washington, 1790

Our fake-left President Obama got his Fast Track Promotion authority passed through the senate at 1:55 pm on Thursday, May 14th, 2015 with the help of all the republican senators and 13 Vichy dems.
the President submits to Congress a description of those changes to existing laws that the President considers would be required in order to bring the United States into compliance with the agreement ” treasonous Trade Promotion Bill amendment 1221
That is a date that should live in infamy.
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us —  that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. A. Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, 1863
Eric Zuesse rightly summed up the importance of this moment in history as the beginning of a globalist effort to “ transfer to international corporate panels America’s democratic national sovereignty over the laws and regulations on the environment, workers’ rights, consumers’ rights, and finance ” and to put a finer point on this treachery, he adds:
A “Nay” vote meant that the Senator opposed this transfer of democratic national sovereignty, away from elected representatives of the public, to international corporate panels, whose members will be appointed solely by executives chosen by the controlling stockholders in large international corporations. A “Yea” vote meant that the Senator favored this transfer of democratic national sovereignty over to international corporate panels. Eric Zuesse
It’s important to note that of those Democrats President Obama had over to the White House just prior to the passage of this treason, all of them voted for it this time around. Their temporary indiscretion of siding with WE THE PEOPLE on Monday was put behind them and they will now be forgiven their sins against the real masters of the universe.

Rand Paul voted for this undemocratic bill and though they talk a big game, it should also be noted our “heroic” senators Warren and Sanders did NOTHING to stop the process going forward. They didn’t filibuster it. They did nothing but vote “no” knowing full well Obama and the corporate masters at the Business Round Table and the US Chamber of Commerce had all the votes they needed. Instead now they pretend to focus on a new minimum wage law as if that will appease their constituents.

This Fast Track bill itself was so heinous, our glorious senators decided they needed to attach it to another bill as an amendment (SA 1221) so they didn’t go down in history as supporting the end of this Great American Experiment of government of the people, by the people and for the people. They attached it to something called the “Ensuring Tax Exempt Organizations the Right to Appeal Act,” and it passed the U.S. Senate as “H.R. 1314” by a measure of 65 to 33. H.R. 1314 has already passed in the House and now it has to go back to them with this rider attached for another vote. It will certainly go right on through.

At this point I would like to give you a little example of what was included in amendment 1221 that they attached to H.R. 1314 because it is so much more than simply a “fast track” authority bill. Basically, it is the foundation on which all the undemocratic measures in the coming TPP and TTIP will be rooted upon. It sets into law justification for a number of very undemocratic measures so that when our constitutional rights are to be violated in the near future, those actions will have a legal footing on which any defense of them can be based.

As to the matter of the ongoing BDS campaign:
(19) Commercial partnerships.–
(A) In general.–With respect to an agreement that is
proposed to be entered into with the Transatlantic Trade and
Investment Partnership countries and to which section 103(b)
will apply, the principal negotiating objectives of the United States regarding commercial partnerships are the following:
(i) To discourage actions by potential trading partners that directly or indirectly prejudice or otherwise discourage commercial activity solely between the United States and Israel.
(ii) To discourage politically motivated actions to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel and to seek the elimination of politically motivated nontariff barriers on Israeli goods, services, or other commerce imposed on the State of Israel.
(iii) To seek the elimination of state-sponsored unsanctioned foreign boycotts against Israel or compliance with the Arab League Boycott of Israel by prospective trading partners.
(B) Definition.–In this paragraph, the term “actions to boycott, divest from, or sanction Israel” means actions by states, non-member states of the United Nations, international organizations, or affiliated agencies of international organizations that are politically motivated and are intended to penalize or otherwise limit commercial relations specifically with Israel or persons doing business in Israel or in Israeli-controlled territories.
Killing off the BDS Movement with a trade bill. That’s nice isn’t it? No wonder Bernie Sanders didn’t filibuster this bill. He just loves Israel.

As if silencing dissent in America and the whole of the European Union via a “trade” bill promotion authority rider wasn’t bad enough, here’s the meat and potatoes part of the bill, the actually Trade Promotion Authority itself. You’re going to LOVE this:
(a) In General.–
(1) Notification and submission.–Any agreement entered into under section 103(b) shall enter into force with respect to the United States if (and only if)
(A) the President, at least 90 calendar days before the day on which the President enters into the trade agreement, notifies the House of Representatives and the Senate of the President’s intention to enter into the agreement, and promptly thereafter publishes notice of such intention in the Federal Register;
(B) the President, at least 60 days before the day on which the President enters into the agreement, publishes the text of the agreement on a publicly available Internet website of the Office of the United States Trade Representative;
(C) within 60 days after entering into the agreement, the President submits to Congress a description of those changes to existing laws that the President considers would be required in order to bring the United States into compliance with the agreement;
(D) the President, at least 30 days before submitting to Congress the materials under subparagraph (E), submits to Congress–
(i) a draft statement of any administrative action proposed to implement the agreement; and
(ii) a copy of the final legal text of the agreement;
(E) after entering into the agreement, the President submits to Congress, on a day on which both Houses of Congress are in session, a copy of the final legal text of the agreement, together with–
(i) a draft of an implementing bill described in section
(ii) a statement of any administrative action proposed to implement the trade agreement; and
(iii) the supporting information described in paragraph
(F) the implementing bill is enacted into law; and
(G) the President, not later than 30 days before the date on which the agreement enters into force with respect to a party to the agreement, submits written notice to Congress that the President has determined that the party has taken measures necessary to comply with those provisions of the agreement that are to take effect on the date on which the agreement enters into force.
(2) Supporting information.–
(A) In general.–The supporting information required under paragraph (1)(E)(iii) consists of–
(i) an explanation as to how the implementing bill and proposed administrative action will change or affect existing law; and
In the process listed above, you will notice that there is no congressional debate process and no ability for congress to amend future trade bills coming out of the White House. This authority will be in place if not extended through 2018 giving the next president two full years to enact even more TPP and TTIP “trade bills”

Notice what I have highlighted: two processes by which this Trade Promotion Authority bill allows for US laws to be changed if they stand in opposition to measures spelled out in current or future “trade bills”;
  • either by congressional action called for by the president to appease the writers of a “trade bill” or…
  • by Presidential ‘administrative action’
Also notice that the changing of existing US laws takes place PRIOR to the “trade agreement” going into effect. That’s very important for the next section:
(a) United States Law To Prevail in Event of Conflict.–No provision of any trade agreement entered into under section 103(b), nor the application of any such provision to any person or circumstance, that is inconsistent with any law of the United States, any State of the United States, or any locality of the United States shall have effect.
(b) Amendments or Modifications of United States Law.–No provision of any trade agreement entered into under section 103(b) shall prevent the United States, any State of the United States, or any locality of the United States from amending or modifying any law of the United States, that State, or that locality (as the case may be).
(c) Dispute Settlement Reports.–Reports, including findings and recommendations, issued by dispute settlement panels convened pursuant to any trade agreement entered into under section 103(b) shall have no binding effect on the law of the United States, the Government of the United States, or the law or government of any State or locality of the United States.
Section 108 attempts to placate those of us who fear these “trade bills” are an attack on the sovereignty of the United States and the other nations involved by claiming our local, state and federal laws will still be respected with regard to the ISDS rulings but that really isn’t the case is it if President Sell Out can simply change existing laws by decree prior to the trade agreement going into effect.

It should be noted, this law itself, this section of the Trade Promotion Authority bill, could be modified by the president as well right before the TPP and the TTIP goes into effect. It could in fact be completely removed by either the House when they review this legislation or by the president via executive action anytime in the near future.

So this is how the Great Experiment dies. Not by invasion from the Ruskies or the Chinese or North Korea. Not by bio-terrorism or at the hands of secret “ISIS” infiltrators from Mexico. Not even by a re-invasion by the Red Coats.

No. The Great Experiment dies a quiet death at the hands of a tiny group of Vichy senators and representatives dedicated to the notion of government of the corporations, by the corporations and for the corporations and all those blessed oligarchs who own them.

We are one step closer folks and the MSM is quietly complicit as they have always been. So too is much of the alternative media. Mores the pity.

But there are a few of us who remember and will continue the fight started not all that long ago.
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us —  that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth. A. Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, 1863


"Time for the Truth on TPP and Fast Track - Kevin Zeese

We are the crunch period right now on TPP and fast track. The senate begins debate on Tuesday, it could go days or longer than a week. The two parties are fighting about that right now.
This article is about the moment and about how Sen. Sessions did the right thing -- read the TPP and then told about it -- a no-no since the Obama administration has threatened telling people about the contents of TPP could bring criminal charges. Other elected officials should follow Sessions lead and get the truth out -- especially with Obama telling opponents they don't know what they are talking about.

Here is a link to the article: And, attached is a word format for the article.


Also seeElizabeth Warren has Obama on the defense 

That is who the hero is up here, not Sessions. Looks like they are kissing and making up anyway, right?