Mirabile Dictu! Reid Tells Off Obama on Fast Track, Killing Toxic Trade Deals for 2014

Obama made yet another pitch in State of the Union Address for his gimmies to multinationals known as the TransPacific Partnership and the TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. Today that idea went down in flames, at least as far as getting the deals done this year are concerned. From Huffington Post:

“I’m against fast track,” [Harry] Reid told reporters Wednesday on Capitol Hill, before suggesting a fast-track bill introduced by Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) may not get a vote.

“We’ll see. Everyone knows how I feel about this. Senator Baucus knows, [potential backer] Sen. [Ron] Wyden knows. The White House knows.”

Indeed, Reid cautioned the president and his allies to back off.

“I think everyone would be well advised just to not push this right now,” the majority leader said.

Although Reid was known to be opposed to fast track, it’s quite another matter for him as a Democratic Congressional leader to tell Obama to take a hike. I can’t recall such frontal and public opposition to an important Administration initiative before. This is really humiliating.

And it also checkmates Obama, at least for now. From the Wall Street Journal:

Fast-track authority is seen as crucial to cementing a trade deal known as the Trans Pacific Partnership because of the reassurance it would provide negotiating partners in a last, tough round of talks. Other nations are typically reluctant to make trading concessions unless the U.S. can offer assurances that trading pacts won’t be amended or rejected at the last minute….

“You can kiss any new trade deals goodbye,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas.) “I think the majority leader’s focus is on the November elections and he doesn’t want to expose his vulnerable members to controversial votes.”

And from a later Wall Street Journal story:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid broke publicly with the White House Wednesday on trade policy, instantly imperiling two major international trade deals and punching a hole in one piece of the economic agenda the president outlined in his State of the Union address a day earlier.

And although it received much less media coverage, matters for Obama got even worse because Ron Wyden signaled he’s not on board either. This matters because Wyden is taking over as the chairman of the Finance Services Committee when Max Bacus becomes Ambassador to China.

The Administration absurdly tried claiming it would continue to push for fast track, otherwise known as trade promotion authority. Really? Over Reid’s dead body?

Politico contends that the Administration still has alternatives:

A blocked Senate leaves the Obama administration with two options: wait until after November’s election and try its luck with a new Congress or push for passage of the Pacific Rim deal – which is likely to contain a host of contentious provisions – while insisting that lawmakers not change a word.

But my Congressional correspondents think another gambit is more likely: to make some cosmetic changes and try to get the bill passed during the lame duck session, on the assumption that some Democrats (particularly those who are leaving office) will use the cover and change positions.

However, that cheery view assumes that the situation is static, when opposition to these bills is becoming even more pronounced. Politico again:

Reid’s comments come amid mounting Democratic opposition to the bill. On Monday, 550 labor, environmental and consumer advocacy groups – including the United Autoworkers, which has lent Obama critical backing on previous free trade pacts such as the South Korea deal – sent a letter to Congress urging them to reject the fast-track bill.

And the repudiation by Reid and the stiffening resistance to these bills won’t go unnoticed overseas. The Wikileaks publication of drafts of two critical chapters showed a wide gap between the US positions and that of many of its supposed partners. Our reader Clive has also described how the Japanese media (and Japan is essential to the TPP being consummated) is being uncharacteristically direct in saying the US was not negotiating, and it would need to make significant concessions to reach an agreement. The TPP was already going pear shaped, and whatever sense of momentum the US had been able to create is now kaput.

Admittedly, the European trade deal is in much better shape, but the specter of a blunt rejection by Congressional leaders of the Administration’s own party may strengthen the hands of opponents. Remember, much can change in a year in politics.

So NC readers should pat themselves on the back. Your calls and e-mails to your Representatives and Senators helped deal the Administration a visible, embarrassing, and thoroughly deserved defeat. If Obama can’t deliver a deal that corporations lobbied for heavily, he’s firmly in lame duck territory.

I also hope you’ll thank your Congressmen for their opposition to these deals, and encourage them to keep up the good work. And be sure to thank Reid and Wyden. Good work!

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  1. different clue

    We should send phone calls and letters of genuine gratitude to Senator Reid’s various offices. We should express the hope that “not now” means “not later” and “not ever” as well. And everyone should offer their own reasons why, so as not to read like a bunch of astro-turf letter and phone calls.

    1. different clue

      Well! If I’d read all the way to the bottom of the post, I wouldn’t have written my redundant comment.

  2. Carla

    Good work, indeed…Thank you, Yves, and also Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese over at FlushTheTpp.org. They really did a terrific job. And I know one of my Senators, Sherrod Brown (D-OH), has consistently opposed Fast Track, the TPP and TAFTA. Thank you, Senator Brown.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      The people who really deserve credit are at Public Citizen. They’ve been doing heavy digging on trade deals for years, and they know the technical details cold.

      1. Ulysses

        Yes, they are an awesome group! I am cautiously optimistic in the short term, but the TPP/TAFTA supporters will not give up and we cannot afford to relax our vigilance. My guess is that the next hard push for fast-track will come in the immediate aftermath of some major distraction, when the Congresscritters think people are no longer paying close attention.

    2. savedbyirony

      Agree about Senator Brown! His office has been sending out email notices about the TPP since at least late last winter, and earlier this year while he was visiting in my county talking with local people about the effects of unemployment cuts to our local social services, he brought up TPP, TTIP and fast track and urged people to become involved motivating others to contact their political reps against these deals. He had also written at least one fairly substantial letter to local papers abut the TPP and what it is. His piece, though short, was one of the clearest and most accurate accounts of the dangers of these deals to have appeared in any of our local news sources.

  3. Ancient Brit

    Der Spiegel weighed in on this a week ago. The article was entitled:
    Corporation Carte Blanche; Will U.S. – E.U. Trade become Too Free?

  4. NotTimothyGeithner

    Was Harry Reid abducted by pod people in recent weeks? I am floored. Perhaps, the Democrats are starting to realize “Dear Leader” is a tad deranged. I can’t imagine Reid would break publicly with the President unless the President treated pleas for minor changes as affronts to his infallibility.

    Of course, the Democrats may be coming to the realization that an unpopular Obama won’t exactly help their reelection chances especially when O’s groupies can’t be bothered to do anything other than discuss photos Obama’s family.

    Retiring Congressman Jim Moran is bashing ACA (he isn’t some woeful liberal but a devoted servant of the MIC) by pointing out the whole system was based on young people have extra income to buy crappy insurance. Perhaps, the Democrats are just tired of only shouting “the Republicans would be worse” as an excuse.

    1. David

      Yes, perhaps they are realizing that Obummer was always about Obummer, and
      not the party, let alone the country. At some point Obummer may rationalize his failures
      by indicating that the people were just not good enough for him.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        There was a post at Fire Dog Lake yesterday about the terrible nature of Myra Accounts already, and three names (alantx1, mulp, and a newer one) of the usual Obot suspects* all defended the President and held Americans and their big spending ways as the cause of the retirement crisis. Clearly Obama plans to blame his voters.

        *They have the same arguments, phrases, pop culture references, and out of context historical examples.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      It could astonishingly be the case that there are some things that are so loathsome that you can’t even get Democrats to do them.

    3. LucyLulu

      As I recall, Reid was equally outspoken several months ago about not cutting entitlements such as SS and Medicare.

      It will be good to see Baucus head off to China. China can keep him and return the more patriotic Snowden instead. It was Baucus and Blue Dog Democrats (and Liebermann) that killed single-payer. As long as a national plan was passed to claim for his legacy, I don’t think Obama cared what kind it was.

      1. different clue

        Obama himself wanted Single Payer and Public Option pre-killed just as much as Baucus and Lieberman did. That is part of what the insurance companies are going to pay him for after he leaves office. I realize that “China return Snowden” is just a figure of speech given that Snowden is in Russia. But if Snowden returns he will be guantanamized for life. If he is decieved into coming back with a cardboard replica “amnesty” he will be left alone for a few years till he feels personally safe and then he will be assassinated. His personal and physical survival depend on not ever coming to the US or a US ally for the rest of his life. He should also not go to any country which doesn’t have an intelligence establishment big enough and expert enough to protect him from assassins sent to whatever unsecured country he might make the mistake of going to. He should probably just stay in Russia for the rest of his life if he wants a chance at staying safe.

  5. Marko

    Sweet !

    This is great news. Now what we need is for Snowden to capture the Nobel Peace Prize , giving Obama another well-deserved serving of humiliation.

  6. psychohistorian

    I think Yves, Lambert and the NC commentariat need to take a bow as well. Having such an excellent forum stimulated by stellar postings and thoughtful commenting is very powerful….and read by an increasing number of the public.

    NC rocks!

  7. vlade

    “Really? Over Reid’s dead body?” – well, he does have the authority to have the Enemies of the State assasinated… So you just add another name on the list.

      1. ambrit

        Dear Blogatrix;
        That calls to mind the wonderful scene in “Beckett” where Peter O’Toole as the King asks his henchmen; “Will no one rid me of this meddlesome priest?” The rest is History. Obama does exhibit many of the signs of an Authoritarian mindset.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          When it comes to Obama, I’m reminded of the wonderful scene in Black adder when King Richard IV is telling the Beckett story to his wife.

      2. different clue

        Hopefully the thought has occurred to Reid as well. Hopefully he will arrange his life to make it harder for Obama’s assassins to reach him. Hopefully also he will mention from time to time how great he feels and how good it is to be alive (in case Obama’s assassins think of staging a suicide).

    1. Dean

      If Reid suffers a heart attack or is in a plane/car crash between now and the election, I will be a little more than skeptical of the circumstances.

  8. BIll Ragsdale

    Well I just signed up for Harry Reid after reading this, although I do think there may be ulterior motives involved here. As was stated in the article:

    “You can kiss any new trade deals goodbye,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas.) “I think the majority leader’s focus is on the November elections and he doesn’t want to expose his vulnerable members to controversial votes.”

    You see the reason I found Bill Moyer’s wonderful expose on this subject (which features Yves), is because I actually ran across the subject on a TEA PARTY website.

    The TPP is apparently a big Tea Party issue of government corruption and secrecy and on this subject I agree! If any democratic candidate were to vote for this bill it would be major Tea Party fodder in the 2014 elections.

    Either way this deal is no where near dead.

    Get the word out! Watch Bill Moyer’s Journal. Ask your co-workers, family, and friends if they know what the TPP is.

    Nafta on steroids???…I think not, not this time. Fool me once…

    1. Klassy

      When I wrote my congressman, I appealed to him to join his 22 Republican colleagues who have signed off against the TPP. I thought that was better than talking about IP or environmental regulations. I suppose I could have talked about national sovereignty.

      1. Spring Texan

        Yes, I always take similar tacks when calling my Republican congressman — whom I also called about the TPP.

      2. ambrit

        Dear Klassy;
        Just tell him/her that lots of his/her constituents will be put out of work by it, and that recently unemployed people strongly tend to “vote the bums out” at the next election. Hit them where it hurts; in their polling numbers.

        1. Klassy

          My district is one of those recent wacky carve jobs. It was always a safe seat for the Repubican, but now it’s a rout. I’m not sure the job loss argument would resonate with him.

  9. Paul P

    Public Citizen Global Trade Watch has a list of papers with contacts to make it easier to write a letter to the editor. And, sample letters if you need a prompt.

    Fast Track and the TPP and the TTIP are still under the radar of most people. A lawyer in a progressive Democratic reform club in Brooklyn could not believe that the US would waive sovereign immunity in the TPP. After 20 years of Chapter 11 of NAFTA, in which the US had done just that, even an informed politico is unaware of what ‘free trade’ is about.
    So please don’t relax. These people never sleep and never stop. Write some letters to the editor before you take a victory lap.

    1. susan the other

      Thinking about a comment yesterday by “An Australian” here on NC saying that Australia thinks the TPP is unconscionable trade policy and furthermore Australians generally like trading with China because China deals fairly, something the US never seems to do. The US is always out for an unjust enrichment. It’s the business model of our international corporations, just like it is the business model of all military organizations backed by a powerful state. Trade is war by peaceful means. It looks like Obama wants to go down in history as the president who ended America’s “war footing.” He told us in the SOTU that the military will only be used to defend and promote “democracy” around the world. But we’ve all heard that one non-stop for 6 decades. And it’s no secret that our biggest export is a line of arms, tanks and jets, now drones, that serve only to subdue and murder people who disagree with capitalist extraction and pollution tactics. The usefulness of trade should be questioned. How much do we really need? And what are the parameters of fair trade? One thing we definitely do not need is to be gagged by trade pacts that do us, and other countries, no discernible good at all. Dump the TPP.

  10. Z

    I am certainly no fan of Reid and a lot of criticisms of him are well-justified, but there’s a lot of evidence that it was Reid who reigned in all the talk about ss benefit cuts as well. Obama was like a desperate, needy school-child to cut ss benefits, Pelosi was all in, Boehner was working with Obama to use the tea partiers to set up the new compromise: ss benefit cuts for keeping obamacare and increasing the debt ceiling/passing a budget and getting rid of the sequester (the tax increases for the rich for ss cuts wasn’t selling), and McConnell was certainly no barrier to ss cuts, but as soon as Obama was forced to go to Reid to work something out on the budget/debt ceiling, the talk of ss cuts just about disappeared and haven’t resurfaced since. Coincidence? I doubt it. Reid had been insistent that there would be no ss cuts on his watch (though admittedly he’s also damn near made an art-form of caving), which is why IMO that Obama kept trying to work around him through the House and the wining and dining of Senate republicans.

    Again, there is a lot of about Reid to be critical of and it is difficult not to succumb to cynicism with these corrupt national politicians and maintain some sense of objectivity about them. but if we survive the Obama era without ss benefit cuts, Reid will be the biggest reason why and he would deserve huge props for that because Obama was relentless on trying to cut ss until Reid got a seat at the table.


  11. John

    One thing at a time. First up, flooding this country with millions and millions of foreigners to drive wages down and make the American worker desperate.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Obama has at this for a some time. I think the Dims expected a groundswell of Hispanic support which won’t come because of Obama’s INS brutality and concerns with the economy not corporate bottom lines. The only reason the Dims haven’t given up is they are desperate for any kind liberal sounding legislation to distract from ACA. Of course W and Ted Kennedy couldn’t pass the same legislation 8 years ago despite W’s best efforts. It’s unlikely Boehner can bring the GO along because there are enough Democrats who won’t for this appalling legislation combined with the conservative Dims who are desperate for guest spots on Duck Dynasty.

  12. Banger

    I don’t think Mr. Obama was all that gung-ho on those agreements. We know, for example, he didn’t have much faith in the surge in Afghanistan because he isn’t stupid–Afghanistan has been run by a Monty Pythonesque assortment of clowns and he had no reason to believe this time it would be different. Yet he agreed to it because of political pressures from men with guns so to speak. I also doubt he had much interest in the current trade talks–the populace is against them and they are a blatant attempt by corporations to seize even more political power from sovereign states. Could it be that the alleged “hard” stance by American negotiators was an attempt to sabotage the talks? Who knows?

    At any rate, Reid knows perfectly well the agreements would be DOA–the people still have some voice in our society–I hope this is one of many “no mas” from the American public.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Obama had such little faith in the Surge that he championed it on the campaign trail well before he appointed Gates. Gates tell all was about trying to lay the blame for policies he is wedded to at the feet of others in a desperate bid for some kind of legacy.

    2. bobh

      Of course Obama wants this. The size of his fees for addressing corporate gatherings after 2016 will depend on how many of these sweetheart deals he can deliver in his eight years. He has already preserved obscene profits for health care industries and headed off efforts to control bank fraud. ACA would put him up there in the Bill Clinton range, although Bill’s fees will go up if his wife becomes fixer-in-chief for the multinationals.

      1. Banger

        Obama knows what he has to do on this and he’s already allowed the Wall Street crowd (who I don’t believe care about those trade agreements) to now be officially a new class of citizens who are immune from criminal prosecutions and has helped the HC industry–he can afford to drag his feet on trade. I don’t, btw, believe that Obama is malevolent–I believe he has a sense of morality and will do what he can to improve the health of the country–but we have to understand that modern Presidents have a lot of de jure but little de facto power. To put it another way, there are forces within the country that can make offers any Presidents cannot refuse.

        1. different clue

          You believe Obama has “some sort of morality”? Why do you believe such a silly thing? Because of his desperate ongoing efforts to degrade Social Security?
          Because of his deliberate conspiracy with Boehner to make the Bush Tax Cuts permanent? Is that what you consider “morality” and “making the country better”?

          1. Sierra7

            And, the “Chief Decider” on which US citizen to assassinate??????
            What, “Morality”!!!!????

  13. Chris

    Now I am all confused. You usually save Mirabile Dictu for things that are not surprising. You need multiple catchphrases.

    1. Vatch

      I can’t speak French, but I seem to recall that “quelle surprise” is the sardonic NC catchphrase for “not a surprise at all”.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      No, Mirabile Dictu is for things that ARE surprising and positive. Quelle Surprise is for things that aren’t.

  14. BondsOfSteel

    If the President is serious about fast tracking these treaties… then he should remove the secrecy around them. He wants to limit debate when negotiating,.. and limit debate when passing it. Basically, he just wants the ability to dictate trade policies.

    It’s outrageous to fast tract anything that’s secret.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Without the secrecy, no one intending to run for reelection will put their name to it. Obama planned to pass his in the dead of night, but the A A debacle took us to 2012 so quickly he didn’t have time for legislation so hideous.

      The MIC budget was passed during the height of the Website failures because people weren’t watching.

  15. TarheelDem

    I agree that the strategy likely goes to the lame duck session, which during the Obama administration has been very busy. Time for a critter-call to your Congress-critters to tell them that if they were instrumental in Reid’s display of spine (unless you know they weren’t) they deserve a thank you. And to remind them that you have already considered the possibility of a lame duck reversal and that they better see that this initiative is indeed dead before the election.

  16. kaj

    Reid is an old codger;;;;; he is just holding out for more time. He did the same thing with the public option. don’t cheer yet.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      They are moving into election season. Dem challengers seem poised not to carry baggage, but Senator JP Morgan….Warner is at 50% in a recent poll. He won by the largest margin in 2008, but he hasn’t been governor of VA since Jan 2006. His great achievement was in 2003-2004. Does a figure with the highest rate of absenteeism in a do nothing Congress and connections to a criminal outfit JP Morgan want or need a controversial vote?

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      This is a direct challenge to the President who has dispatched sycophants to smear any critic. This is a big deal, and Reid carries out the wishes of the caucus.

  17. Jackrabbit

    I dunno. I am deeply suspicious of this gang of crony crooks. It seems to me that Reid is not saying ‘never’ – just that this is not a good time. Is this more ‘foaming of the runway’?

    With Democrats facing a difficult election in 10 months, this could just be about politicking. Publicly tabling a contentious issue but using it to raise money behind closed doors (?). Everyone knows that only the Democrats can betray the working/middle class deliver a trade agreement like this one. And I doubt that they have worked _years_ on this deal without being serious about it.

    We’ve seen so much propaganda, redirection, and shaping of public opinion from the Obama Administration that I’m wary of falling for any surprisingly hopeful development.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      Obama will never be liked again which is important, and despite the performance of stocks, Americans are sour about the economy. Screaming Dow Jones is being perceived as a losing strategy. If there is a wave, there aren’t cushy jobs available. No one wants to hire a loser, and they aren’t threats to win in the future.

      No Democrat running for President will want this, and election season will be upon us soon. Combined with the fleeing from a faux humanitarian mission In Syria, there is a state where Obama won’t be able to pass anything which might be perceived as a bel weather vote. Only one Democrat voted for the Iraq War and advanced a political career through an election. Black became governor of Illinois after the vote in October 2002. The Iraq War vote has been a killer for Dems. It’s why Hillary isn’t President, and TOP would prevent a Democrat from being able to build a winning coalition without a major change in public perception which isn’t happening when the great orator references television shows with smaller audiences than c able reality shows in major policy speeches.

    2. Banger

      Reid is a political animal and knows that if the provisions of the trade deal are made public and secret or no secret negotiations they will be made public that people will roundly reject the pacts as they roundly rejected the calls for war in Syria. That was a great turning point in America history–every media outlet favored military action but the American people were firmly opposed. The radical nature of the trade agreements is well understood by many both on the the left and right and it’s just not going to get votes as things stand. Plus, frankly, I believe both parties are deeply divided and very little is going to happen in Congress for some time. I also don’t believe the business community is 100% on board either.

    3. Jackrabbit

      Well, sorry to be such a buzz-killer but all this really does is provide cover for those running for office that support the trade deals. They can now say that the issue is not relevant.

      At the same time, those who oppose the trade deals will find it more difficult to oppose candidates that support the trade deals.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        TPP is dead until there is a new President. Hillary will be hounded on the subject, and one of the would-be Presidents will take a no stance. Much like the Iraq War vote kept Hillary out of the White House, TPP will be a similar stance. No Democratic candidate wants it on their record except for thugs like Baucus who are leaving to breathe the smog of China.

        Reid just challenged the sitting, black President of his own party on a nominally foreign policy issue after the State of The Union Address which is like Versailles on the Potomac Prom. This is a huge deal, and Reid doesn’t do anything without taking orders from the caucus as a whole.

        1. rps

          I’ve seen this show and it’s a rerun. Simply, I don’t TRUST Reid. Reading about Reid breaking from the Obama ranks sent me to the wayback time machine. Tom Daschle came to mind as did his cohort Nancy Pelosi as they put on a fine public showing of rebuffing Bush, up until a cushy pillow of deals for Pelosi and a tow the line warning to Daschle were offered as they knelt before him. Reid’s primary interest is numero uno and he will sell out the American public to Obama once he gets whatever he wants while holding the TPP hostage for now.

  18. damian

    Also should give a big round of applause to Ed Shultz on CNBC – he gave a huge forum nite after nite – he is a warrior and not like the rest of the captured pundits on that channel

  19. Francois T

    Apart from either future personal enrichment or ideologically-driven stupidity, why would Obama push so hard for a deal that is a lose-lose-lose for workers, the environment and taxpayers?

  20. NotTimothyGeithner

    This seems like such an odd shot across the bow considering the temerity of the Democrats. I wonder if Reid and his supporters told Obama not to bring this up in the SOTU because Reid could table TPP with the do nothing Congress. I think Caligula III can’t be told no at least by his perceived subjects.

  21. beerdignado

    As to the TTIP, which you caracterised as “being in much better shape” – I have more great news: the EU commission has decided to put the investor-state dispute settlement chapter up for public review, starting in march, for three months. So that’s a major hiccup and delay. I also think it’s a tactic to allow debate, but meanwhile letting the ugly rest fly under the radar. ISDS is bad enough, but the rest is equally bad (GMO food, chorinated chicken, fracking, IP rights etc).

    This was reported, but very limited. I only saw it in belgain and german media. Not a peep on the Guardian, for example. The reason for the review, of course, is that there was a blockade of the EU summit in Brussels over the TTIP, and a 30.000 people demo against it in Berlin, and a petition in Germany that garnered hundreds of thousands of signatures in days.

    But I concur with other posters: now is the time to NOT relent, to push as hard as as possible and get the deals OFF the table and the “free trade” myth exposed.

  22. different clue

    What if TPP/TTIP start generating enough news to have some articles in every “links”? Would it make sense to give them their own indented watchspace and call it something like Obamatrade Watch or whatever else one would rather call it?

  23. different clue

    Jackrabbit’s caution a little upthread makes sense in terms of Yves Smith’s lame duck scenario theory. It could be that Reid is only saying “delay” a fast track vote so that the pro-Obamatrade Democrats can join the pro-Obamatrade Republicans in the lame duck session to bring it up and pass it then.
    The only guarantee that won’t happen is if it is brought up and voted down before the election. And if it is brought up, can Reid or anyone else believe Obama’s Baucus Caucus won’t join the Republicans to vote for fast track?

    1. different clue

      One good thing about avoiding the risk of a yes vote by bringing it up before the election is that it does give us time to make the rejection build and spread to a level of genuine popular rage and hatred.

  24. TedWa

    Yes !!! Excellent news. The reason this TPP and TTIP has to be negotiated in the dark is because they won’t stand the light of day.

  25. Paul Tioxon

    Holy Mother of God!!! Call yr Congressmen and Senators to stop the TPP. Sounds like politics to me. Good, it’s about time. Maybe even, a get out the vote and get registered drive? Picking a side. Not a permanent home, but a side in a battle..


    Jimmy Hoffa Jr is on the war path against TPP and TAFTA, the two trans: Pacific and Atlantic trade pacts are running concurrently. But now, with the raw experience of NAFTA and its toxic results, we know we expect intended and unintended consequences leading to unemployment, underemployment, more WAGE SUPPRESSION than you can shake a stick at and general disurption of the social order in general and the middle class in particular.
    Lots of people are coming together from the left, right, center, non-voting disgusted and all points on land and ships at sea. The trans pacts are the re-negotiation of the new world order now that the pax Americana didn’t work out like it was supposed to after shock and awe left as big of a mess behind than the one it was trying to clean up.

    Cleverly, the republicans know that there will be no neo-=liberal nods to financial interests in the upcoming months to elections. The primaries especially find everyone extra touchy to their base of voters who tend to be more alert and come out and vote in bigger numbers than in the general elections come Nov., when everyone else who votes comes out to vote due to larger media awareness and prompting. Also, there is always hope springing eternal that this time things will be different. That the dems will take back congress or the republicans will take back the Senate and impeach the Der Diktator Obama. Of course, that will remain to be seen. But, with $10.10 the rallying cry of the Pres himself, he can hardly be seen giving any hope the future of America has to make anything more than $10.10/hr if the two trans pacts get ratified on a fast track and stab every last one of the remaining middle class in the back and relegate them to perpetual menial status and and peonage.

  26. Steven Greenberg

    I have created a petition on the Whitehouse.gov web site, “Remove everything from the TPP that promotes income inequality and promotes obscene advantages to multi-nationals.”

    Here is the text:

    President Obama is promoting The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) as a trade agreement. It has little to do with fair trade, but it has a lot to do with giving huge powers to multi-national companies to overturn any of our laws and regulations that they do not like.

    If it weren’t for leaks from whistle-blowers we wouldn’t have any idea what the administration is insisting on putting into this agreement.

    If President Obama didn’t already know the American public is dead set against these proposals, he wouldn’t be putting so much effort into keeping it secret.

    This may be the last straw for many supporters of President Obama.

    1. different clue

      While this is a noble gesture, if the White House pretended to follow the petition’s advice, it would only be to change the wording to preserve every pro-upperclass anti-lowerclass item in the Obamatrade Pacts under lawyerly cover language pretending to say the opposite. Anything less than total rejection of Obamatrade will become total submission to Obamatrade in the end.

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