Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap Year Political Post

There was a time when this blog featured politics more often. I decided those accomplished nothing and birdie/dog/etc. pics were better for my blood pressure. As February 29th doesn't come around too often, there I go again.

1. TPP, TTIP, TISA (i.e. the agreements covered by Fast Track)

2. Journalism and Journamalism

3. Election 2016

Part One

Since my last post on the TPP, Our President managed to get Fast Track passed through Congress, primarily with Republican votes. There were two separate votes in the House, one for Fast Track and one to pair it with the TAA (Trade Assistance Authority, a fig leaf bit of legislation for pro-Fast Track Democrats who want to pretend to care about workers). The first passed 219-211, with 28 Democrats joining 191 Republicans. The second passed 218-208, with the same 28 Democrats joining the GOP (and Our President).

Thirteen Democrats joined the Republicans to get reach the required 60 votes in the Senate. But they could have rounded up a few more if needed...for instance, Chuck Schumer did everything he could to make this vote possible, then voted against it. If it had come down to the wire, you can be sure Chuck the Schmuck would have put his bloody fingerprints on that knife. That's why you can't rely a simple summary of a congresscritter's voting record to see where he or she really stands. You have to follow the play by play.

The TPP is a horrendous piece of legislation. Thanks to WikiLeaks, we see just how bad TPP trade deal is for regular people.

The TTIP is at least as bad. And then there is the TISA. The most secretive, and SURPRISE, the worst.

G.W. Bush began negotiations on the TPP. It took a sellout Wall St. Dem like Obama to get that stinker past our first (and best) chance to stop it.

Part Two Spotlight won the Oscar for best picture. It is a movie about journalism working the way it is supposed to.

Media coverage of Syria is an example of the opposite.
Inevitably, this kind of disinformation has bled into the American presidential campaign. At the recent debate in Milwaukee, Hillary Clinton claimed that United Nations peace efforts in Syria were based on “an agreement I negotiated in June of 2012 in Geneva.” The precise opposite is true. In 2012 Secretary of State Clinton joined Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Israel in a successful effort to kill Kofi Annan’s UN peace plan because it would have accommodated Iran and kept Assad in power, at least temporarily. No one on the Milwaukee stage knew enough to challenge her.
Part Three

Sanders 2016



Jim H. said...

You go, girl!! Preach on.

mikey said...

Yes, the TPP is bad. On the merits, it is unnecessary and offers no benefits to the people, only the corporations.

It is not, however, the apocalyptic event you describe - it will have a very minimal effect on America jobs - all that low-hanging fruit has been picked already, and there's just not that many low wage skilled labor jobs left in town. And c'mon, the crazed nationalists in the US Congress are going to nip any sort of extra-national dispute resolution authority in the bud as soon as it tries to come home to roost - unless, of course, it is US applying it against THEM. It's true that the IP regulations are absurd, but they were absurd before, and technology keeps rendering them moot. They can cry about copyright all they want, but now, in addition to computers there are consumer grade 3d printers - owning the rights to IP in a truly digital age is tantamount to owning a warm bucket of spit.

And in those terms, trade regulation's impact on American employment is a drop in the ocean compared to workforce automation. By 2025 the number of American workers permanently out of work due to intelligent machines will be FAR greater than the number of jobs exported in the last fifty years. Then the owners of capital will LITERALLY own the workers, and there's not a goddam thing anybody can do to stop it.

My point has always been the same - I just can never get you to acknowledge it. Is Obama the great bringer of freedom and hope? Nope - not even close. Neither, by the way, is Sanders. I just looked at the 2012 ballot and I saw exactly, precisely TWO human beings on the planet who could be president of the United States. One of them was certainly going to be in the White House for the next four years. So I picked the lesser of two evils. Why? Because it would have been pretty fuckin stupid to pick the GREATER of two evils. As much as you hate the TPP, browse through Paul Ryans 'Path to Prosperity' budget and tell me it wouldn't have been orders of magnitude worse if Ryan wrote it and President Romney was handed fast track authority to negotiate it...

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

The TPP is about more than jobs, mikey. It's about putting corporate interests above a nation's own ability to regulate its own environment, labor, and safety laws. And it is designed so that once passed, it will be hell for any signatory to worm back out.

Especially one whose government is already corrupted by big money as our is. Obama has been part of the problem, not the solution, since the start.

My point, which you never acknowledge, is it's the corporate Dems who have kicked their voters in the face over and over. And that is why we have GOP majorities in both houses of Congress, as well as so many statehouses.

""Republicans fear their base, Democrats despise theirs." - a David Frum paraphrase which is sadly apt.

And it'll never get better as long as the Wall St. wing of the party can rely on the lesser evil vote and keep collecting that sweet corporate payola.

mikey said...

Then I should remedy that immediately and acknowledge your point - yes, the massive growth of inequality and corporate power has happened with the complicity of many Democratic politicians, although I believe you choose to blame them and absolve the Republicans to far too great a degree.

Now, will you finally, at long last, acknowledge my point that things would be much, much worse under the Paul Ryan Republican governance which is outspokenly pro-corporate and anti-worker rather than stealthily so, and that voting for the lesser of two evils has been a necessary holding action during this period of the collapse of our fragile, crippled, obsolete and corrupt system?

Rambling Woods said...

I grew up in a very politically active family and follow current events pretty closely looking for more information when I need it to decide an issue. I know the people you speak of, but not as much about this issue so I am off to find out more...

Rambling Woods said...

I like to go and read the very first post of a new blog I read which I never did with your blog so I went and read several of them.. And the point was..there was no point really.. This election year forced me to trim my Facebook list which was pretty small to begin with even though I don't do politics (directly) on my blog or in Facebook as it leads me into head banging episodes which aren't good for my blood pressure or my head..I wish my Mom was still alive. She would have loved this election year.. Sorry Mom....Have fun.. don't bang your head...