2:00PM Water Cooler 6/9/15

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.


“Emails: corporate lobbyist thanks US Trade Rep for pasting his wish-list right into TPP” [Boing Boing]. In case you were in any doubt about the level of corruption involved:


“10 Reasons the TPP Is Not a ‘Progressive’ Trade Agreement” [Ralph Nader, HuffPo].

House vote this week? [Politico]:

The House is expected to vote on the legislation this week if Republicans leaders and Democratic supporters can secure the 217 votes needed to pass the measure — a likely scenario as pro-trade lawmakers are increasingly confident they’ve marshaled enough votes. Rice’s announcement [below] that she plans to vote for fast track pushes the number of Democrats planning to support the measure into the 20s.

No sourcing on the whip count, though.

“Top 10 undecided House members to watch on trade” [The Hill]. Most of the contact forms filter by zip for constituents.

  1. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) (contact; DC: 202-225-2665)
  2. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) (contact; DC: 202-225-4831)
  3. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.)  (contact; DC: 202-225-4131)
  4. Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich.) (contact; DC: 202-225-2106)
  5. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) (contact; DC: 202-225-6401)
  6. Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-Texas)  (contact; DC: 202-225-3236)
  7. Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.)  (contact; DC: 202-225-2165)
  8. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) (contact; DC: 202-225-2165)
  9. Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.) (contact; DC: 202-225-4876)
  10. Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas)  (contact; DC: 202-225-5071)

House member flips: “Freshman Rep. Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., had publicly opposed [TPP], but in an about-face over the weekend, she said she’d finally been persuaded by the president’s case. She said too often, Washington politics muddies arguments about what’s really best for the middle class” [AP]; Rice contact info. “The President is Right on Trade” [Kathleen Rice, The Hill]. AFL-CIO makes six-figure ad buy against her; Rice unrepentant [Politico].

Weak (declared) support for TPP in California the result of “a ham-fisted campaign of political intimidation spearheaded by organized labor” [Daily Beast]. The more ham-fisted the better, so far as I’m concerned. Congress critters who would sell out our national sovereignty deserve polite treatment only for tactical reasons. (I’m concerned about the “labor muscling Democrats” line for a couple of reasons; First, it’s if not exactly untrue, not the whole truth; there’s plenty of opposition to TPP across the political spectrum. Second, it sets labor up as the single point of failure in case of defeat, a narrative beloved by our famously free press.

“At the end of last month, the AFL-CIO launched an ad buy just under $85,000 in [TPP supporter Ami Bera’s] California district, where a narrator warns, ‘Congressman Ami Bera will do anything to keep his job, including sending your job overseas'” [National Journal]. Local Democrats ticked, labor ticked, national Democrats (of course) ride to Bera’s rescue. Bera won his last election by 1,455 votes. If he doesn’t recant on TPP, he needs to lose the next, and be seen to have lost because of labor.

About those high standards: “Section 103(b)(2) of the Trade Act of 2015 says a trade agreement will be considered under the expedited rules of TPA “if such agreement makes progress in meeting the applicable objectives described” (emphasis added)” [The Hill]. Oh. “Makes progress.”

Yes, the Senate is cutting Medicare for the so-called Trade Adjustment Assistance scam [Wall Street Journal], in a good summary of issues raised, except — bad Wall Street Journal! Bad! Bad! — ISDS and loss of national sovereignty. Must be the one they have no answer for, not even a talking point.

House Democrats are displeased that the Senate bill would increase automatic budget cuts to Medicare by about $700 million to help cover the $2.9 billion cost of Trade Adjustment Assistance. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) called the offset a “non-starter,” while Mr. Boehner and Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said they were open to changing the way trade adjustment assistance is funded. Lack of an agreement could jeopardize the whole package.

Not sure if this means Fast Track has to go to conference or not; I doubt it.

Timeline may mean that if TPP is passed, the next President may sign it [Politico]. Former US Trade Representative Susan Schwab:

We should note that even if TPP were closed tomorrow, it still takes a very long time — months, six months or more, to clean up, I mean literally clean up tariff schedules, clean up chapters and turn it into something that’s signable. And under TPA the text is going to have to be made public for 60 days before it is signed, you’ve got to have hearings, it has to be submitted. Depending on how long this takes, we’re beginning to look at the possibility that this legislation gets introduced and voted on not in this Congress, but in the next Congress.

More on timeline: “[A]nalysts say their research already shows signs that supply chains are beginning to shift ahead of TPP [Just Style] (apparel industry view).

While the content of the final agreements remains unclear, including the timing of potential duty phase-outs and exclusions, the analysts suggest TPP implementation in 2018 is the most likely scenario–but that mid-2017 also possible.

The fact that 2016 is an election year could also complicate matters, and perhaps push out the time line for implementation. This is because Republicans running for President may move away from trade deals to a more populist/protectionist position that could, in turn "start a cascade of Republicans lining up against TPP." On top of this, public sentiment could change quickly as details of the final agreement are released.

“[W]hy doesn’t Congress just subpoena the entire contents of the documents and publish them on the website of the Library of Congress?” [Chronicles] (from the right). “[T]he real problem is … GOP leaders in Congress.”



“Bernie Sanders to hold 6 Iowa events next weekend” [Des Moines Register].

“Don’t Pay Attention To That Wisconsin Straw Poll” [FiveThirtyEight]. “A few more highly motivated Democrats in Wisconsin cast their lot with Clinton than with Sanders. That’s it.”

“[Sanders] is campaigning like a cannonball on a shoestring budget against seemingly impossible odds … but objects in your mirror are closer than they appear” [William Rivers Pitt, Truthout].

Axelrod: “Voters appreciate someone who has a point of view and goes out and fights for it” [Wall Street Journal, “What Bernie Sanders’s Campaign Is Really About”]. Also, standing-room-only crowd of 800 in Keene. Not bad for 518 days before the election.

The S.S. Clinton

On the trail, Clinton downplays personal ties and interests on issue of epidemic of prescription drug deaths [Reuters].

Clinton campaign requires staffers to take the bus, not the Acela [WaPo]. Including Podesta (at least for this story), a sign of support for campaign manager Mook.

Clinton strategy could yield an election win but no mandate [National Journal]. Yep.

Republican Establishment

Jebbie to git tough on Putin [AP].

Jebbie switches campaign managers [NBC]. So much for the juggernaut.

Republican Principled Insurgents

Rubio “struggled financially” until “a publisher” (who?) paid him $800K for his book [New York Times]. Of course, the $80,000 boat didn’t help any.

Republican Clown Car

“One voter shows up at Santorum event in Iowa” [Politico]. I actually have compassion for the guy. Electoral politics is not an easy calling.

“Louisiana GOPers In Fiscal Mess Beg Grover Norquist To Relax No Tax Pledge” [Talking Points Memo]. I know! Let’s call a meeting of the Estates General!

“Several presidential hopefuls are getting help from allied tax-exempt nonprofit groups that have anonymous donors” [Wall Street Journal, “Tax-Exempt Groups Give 2016 Hopefuls a Boost”]. Funny how all this money was on the sidelines ’til people could give anonymously. Why is that?

Herd on the Street

Bonds and equities now moving in tandem (charts) [Bloomberg].

“Waning breadth” in the market [Bloomberg]. But then I’m a bear, temperamentally and from life experience. In case you hadn’t noticed.

Stats Watch

Portuguese 10-year bonds: “GSPT10YR:IND Yield 2.997; up 0.012; change: 0.40% ” [Bloomberg]. Still up. Mr. Market’s worries on contagion are real, but very mild.

Redbook, week of June 6, 2015:  “continues to report depressed sales” [Bloomberg]. “One factor behind the latest disappointment is this year’s calendar shift for Father’s Day.”  Now that the weather is good…  “It’s up which is good, but not even back to q1 January high and below historic ‘good economy’ levels” [Mosler Economics].

NFIB Small Business Optimism Index, May 2015:  “well above expectations” [Bloomberg]. “[H]ints at the big second-quarter rebound that many have been expecting.” Contrast: “Nothing to Write Home About” [NFIB]. “Back to normal levels.”

JOLTS, April 2015: “[H]ighest reading in the history of the series” [Bloomberg]. “[W]ill boost talk among the hawks that slack in the labor market is evaporating.” Heaven forfend that wages should rise. Then workers could buy stuff. But: “The problem with this data series is the backward revisions which makes real time analysis problematic” [Econintersect].

Wholesale trade, April 2015: “inventories up 0.4 percent but far below a giant 1.6 percent surge in sales” [Bloomberg].

US NABE Survey: Economists Downgrade Growth Outlook For 2015 [MNI].

Black Injustice Tipping Point

Chicago: “Rep. Monique D. Davis, D-Chicago, has put forward House Bill 5395 that will privatize the eviction process” [Rolling Out]. 

Key FBI informatant in Black Panthers [Reveal]. As usual, the one who knows where to get the guns is the cop.

“15-Year-Old Who Shot McKinney Pool Party Video Speaks Out” [CW33]. Good for him!

Class Warfare

“How Big Is the Penalty For Not Paying a 34-Cent Bill?” [Kevin Drum, Mother Jones].

“The Messy Link Between Slave Owners And Modern Management” [Forbes]. Stale, but still useful. The beatings will continue until morale improves.

News of the Wired

  • “Why Technology Hasn’t Delivered More Democracy” [Foreign Policy].
  • “David Graeber and the Bureaucratic Utopia of Drone Warfare” [The Intercept].

* * *

Readers, feel free to contact me with (a) links, and even better (b) sources I should curate regularly, and (c) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi are deemed to be honorary plants! See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. And here’s today’s plant, the second of Gardens, Week Six (Matthew Crabbe):


Matthew writes:

Greetings from chitownrdh. Most beautiful peonies brought to you from the South Pond Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo.

Readers, the weekend’s discussion for “Open Thread on Water” was terrific. So many interesting projects! Please, send me pictures of your projects, at least if plants are involved, and when aren’t they? If only of maple twirlers in gutters!

If you enjoy Water Cooler, please consider tipping and click the hat. I need to keep my server up! And pay the plumber….


(Readers will notice that I have, at long last, improved the hat!)

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Garrett Pace

    “Electoral politics is not an easy calling”

    Makes me wonder when they’ll be getting rid of it.

    From Gibbon:

    As long as the emperors condescended to disguise the servitude which they imposed, the consuls were still elected by the real or apparent suffrage of the senate. From the reign of Diocletian even these vestiges of liberty were abolished, and the successful candidates, who were invested with the annual honours of the consulship, affected to deplore the humiliating condition of their predecessors. THE SCIPIOS AND THE CATOS HAD BEEN REDUCED TO SOLICIT THE VOTES OF PLEBIANS, TO PASS THROUGH THE TEDIOUS AND EXPENSIVE FORMS OF A POPULAR ELECTION, AND TO EXPOSE THEIR DIGNITY TO THE SHAME OF A PUBLIC REFUSAL; while their own happier fate had reserved them for an age and government in which the rewards of virtue were assigned by the unerring wisdom of a gracious sovereign.

    1. Ed

      Gibbon is a great prose stylist and underrated as a historian. But there has been more research on classical Rome and the actual story is as usual more complicated, and somewhat more interesting.

      The sort-of-not-really democratic procedure to elect magistrates in the Roman Republic broke down completely in the 50s, with the annual elections often just not happening. Octavian made sure elections happened on schedule and constructed fancy new facilities to hold them. His claim to “restore the Republic” was somewhat more than propaganda, at least the forms continued and this wasn’t even happening during the civil wars. But the whole thing depended on someone like Octavian to supervise to continue. When Tiberius transferred the election of the magistrates to the Senate it seems that there was no outcry or no one noticed much. The offices had lost any real power and no one cared.

      Tiberius, Diocletian, and Justinian who abolished the offices entirely were reformers, and trying to save money by abolishing traditional parts of the government that no longer had any function. The key part was when these offices and forms were emptied of their content, not their formal abolishment.

      1. Garrett Pace

        Quite right, the power of consuls and plebes and senate changed a lot throughout the Republican years, and were corrupted by the ambitions of incumbents more than the impositions of some big man from outside the system.

        Qua Gibbon’s statement however, I believe most of the Scipios and Catos were before the period you are talking about. The offices had plenty of formal content then.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          At least from the History of Rome podcast, the offices had plenty of formal content in the days of Cato and Scipio. Caesar ended the Republic when he crossed the Rubicon, and the offices were finally emptied under Augustus, though they retained their existence as Imperial fig leaves.

          1. James Levy

            The question that intrigues me is why the norms and limitations that Roman society had created to hedge its magistracies and representative bodies broke down so catastrophically after Sulla’s march on Rome in 88 BC. The Scipios and the Catos had been content to exercise the authority granted them for the times prescribed and leave it at that. But from 88 to 27 you see the whole thing come crashing down as individual ambition and competition came to trump all other social norms. It’s the how and the why of that cultural shift that fascinates and perplexes me.

            1. Garrett Pace

              Histories available to me suggest that the prerogatives of the offices came from how they had been used traditionally. A new office holder went about his business about the way the guy before him had, and not necessarily according to any guidebook or portfolio.

              The various public bodies and offices made up a highly eccentric political system that it appears worked pretty well for a long time, but was not very well codified or limited. Once incumbents started thinking about the POTENTIAL their positions held, tradition went away and the offices held whatever power the holder could get away with.

              Also, the introduction of political violence had an interesting effect on offices in which you had to be in a specific place at a specific time to fulfill your office and carry out your policies. If you couldn’t go outside for fear of being knifed, you could not conduct the business of your position.

              (An interesting introduction is Garrett Fagin’s History of Ancient Rome “Great Courses” series. Should be available at your public library.)

            2. nippersdad

              IIRC, the magistracy ultimately became an enforced hereditary position whose sole function was to collect taxes with little power to back them up. As more and more taxes were expected and fewer of the upper strata of Roman society elected to pay them, the economic burden soon came to rest on the plebian class. The position became so hated by those that held them that many ran away to join the army rather than stay to face the ugly masses, and intermediate officialdom retired to their estates. Rome rotted from the bottom as well as the top.

    2. frosty zoom

      “Makes me wonder when they’ll be getting rid of it.

      makes me wonder when they’ll reinstate it.

      1. Garrett Pace

        I know I know, kindred soul. But even taking a cynical point of view, seeing the amount of money put out to buy elections is proof positive that they matter.

  2. Vatch

    Kathleen Rice’s constituents should give her staff an earful (politely) about her flip flop on fast track and the TPP. Here’s additional contact information:

    Washington, DC Office
    1508 Longworth H. O. B.
    Washington, DC 20515
    Phone: (202) 225-5516
    Fax: (202) 225-5758

    District Office
    300 Garden City Plaza
    Suite 200
    Garden City, NY 11530
    Phone: (516) 739-3008
    Fax: (516) 739-2973

  3. allan


    A committee representing the interests of former students of Corinthian Colleges, Inc., one of the nation’s largest for-profit college systems before its recent closure, has requested that the court handling Corinthian’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy place a hold on all efforts to collect on obligations that are currently considered “student loan” debt. …

    In May, the U.S. Trustee’s Office granted the request of an ad-hoc group to recognize a special committee representing the interests of students in the proceedings, the first known instance of a student group being given a seat at the table in the bankruptcy of an educational institution.

  4. David

    If TPP is as sovereignty depleting as reported, won’t it end up in front of the Supreme Court?

    1. jrs

      The Supreme Court gets to decide which cases to hear. It certainly doesn’t hear all the cases appealed to it. So what is the argument it would necessarily hear a case against TPP?

      The argument can’t be just that it’s unconstitutional, as the Supreme Court refused to hear the 2012 NDAA case, which is certainly unconstitutional. So yes the TPP may very well be every bit as much unconstitutional. But so what?

      Worth noting that a court that won’t bother to hear about due process rights (NDAA), which are really the most basic liberties, will take cases about corporate speech, and companies paying for birth control.

      1. different clue

        The Supreme Court would only hear such a case if it came to them saying that TPP was indeed unconstitutional. In that event, the SC would certainly hear it in order to declare it to be constitutional. Reasons would be invented, but the real reason would be the upper class allegiance of the Roberts Court and Roberts himself most of all.

        That same theory leads me to predict that the Roberts Court will uphold the legality or constitutionality or whatever of subsidies to insured people who got covered through the Federal Exchange. To declare it unconstitutional would jeopardize all those revenue streams reaching Big Insura, and Roberts didn’t exert himself upholding the Forced Mandate to begin with only to turn around and find for cancelling the revenue streams. So the Roberts SC will uphold Obamacare as is.

    2. frosty zoom

      If the supreme court is as sovereignty depleting as seen by the naked eye, won’t it end up in front of the ISDS TRIBUNAL if it dares tamper with CHAPTER 13, PARAGRAPH 17,353,498, SECTION 2.A BETA (INVESTOR SERF OBLIGATIONS) of the Trans Plutocratonian Pard’nership?

      1. frosty zoom

        you know, i think they’re trying to confuse us with so many acronyms that begin with “T”. it’s like they’re hackers generating random combinations:


        i mean, haven’t you mixed up the names in conversation or had to correct someone about the correct name of the secret treaty?

        1. ProNewerDeal

          Perhaps the acronyms were “developed” by the right-wing 0bamabot propagandist TBogg The DBagg

  5. diptherio

    So….our elected officials have to go through some eldritch procedure to get a look at the TPP, but apparently some guy from xyzchemical company can have it emailed to him?!? WTF? Isn’t that what this line implies:

    Hi Barbara–John sent through a link to the P4[*] agreement…

    So our representatives could just be sent a link in an email, but instead are forced to read it in a hermetically sealed room in a State Department sub-basement or whatever…wow….I’d be pretty pissed off if I were an elected representative, with a security-clearance and everything, and found out some joe schmoe business man has better access to documents of state than I do…

    Here’s my message to Congress: you are a bunch of cowards for letting them get away with this. I’m not impressed with complaints. Put the full text in the public record, leak it, or you are entirely worthless to us. You should be ashamed for having let it go on this long.

    *I had to look up P4–it’s the original name for TPP.


    The P4 negotiations were launched by Chile, Singapore and New Zealand at the APEC Leaders’ Summit in 2002. After attending a number of rounds as an observer, Brunei joined as a “founding member” for the fifth round in 2005.


    The countries negotiating the P4 agreement aimed to provide a high-quality vehicle for economic integration in the Asia-Pacific region. This means that the P4 agreement was designed so that other countries could later come on board. In 2009, negotiations were launched to expand the agreement beyond its original four members. The shortened Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) title is being used for this process.

    1. Vatch

      Funny! The Chinese hackers must know more about the text of the TPP than members of the American public do!

    2. hemeantwell

      Put the full text in the public record, leak it, or you are entirely worthless to us

      Agreed. I was surprised to find out that Alan Grayson had actually gone into the Twilight Room of Democracy, read the thing, and felt that he couldn’t say anything specific. What are the penalties, as opposed to the threatened penalties, that could be imposed? Are there precedents? I’ve no idea what Grayson’s pollsters tell him, but he would make Jimmy Stewart’s Mr. Smith look like a piker.

      1. Vatch

        One problem is that the guard(s) would prevent him from removing the document from the secret room. They also confiscate electronic devices before a Congress person is allowed to see it.

      2. different clue

        Grayson or any other such Congressional “leaker” could also be informally and privately threatened with assassination to himself or members of his family by the “Kennedy Killers” . . . who are still out there and awaiting orders. It is unfortunate that no officeholder sees fit to make an issue out of that problem itself. Perhaps even raising the issue is to risk assassination?

        1. Chris

          Maybe they are shown a video of Wellstone’s and JFK Jr’s planes’ uncontrolled landings.

      3. Calgacus

        I was surprised to find out that Alan Grayson had actually gone into the Twilight Room of Democracy, read the thing, and felt that he couldn’t say anything specific. What are the penalties, as opposed to the threatened penalties, that could be imposed? Are there precedents?

        There are NO penalties that could be imposed on Grayson if he said whatever he wanted. As a member of Congress, he has parliamentary privilege under the Speech & Debate Clause of the US Constitution. This has been tested, most relevantly in the case of Senator Mike Gravel & the Pentagon Papers. The Supreme Court was unanimous on this point. Also, since Gravel is dyslexic, he had an aide help him, and the aide is protected too in performing such tasks. So ruling out electronic devices is extremely dubious.

        The problem may not be lack of guts, but of knowledge. These guys swore to support & defend the Constituion. Is it too much to ask that they read it?

    3. Ulysses

      “you are entirely worthless to us” is a conclusion that most Americans have already drawn about their Congresscritters– hence the Congresscritters’ consistent failure to even break into approval ratings higher than 15%.

      It has been very clear for some time that our current regime does not enjoy the consent of the governed to its rule. The kleptocrats are not all stupid, and indeed know that the people consider their political puppets illegitimate, thus the vast sums feverishly being spent to make the U.S. an even more oppressive police state.

      We are deluding ourselves if we think that U.S. national politicians “respond” to “public pressure,” in any meaningful sense. That said, further exposing the vast gulf between rhetoric and reality is still useful, as it will allow the last 15% of the American populace who still think they are “represented” in our system to realize, once and for all, that the U.S. government is now a wholly owned subsidiary– of a handful of super-wealthy families and powerful multinational corporations.

  6. curlydan

    Why do I have a perverse fascination with reading FOIA’ed email chains? If you’re like me, you can delve further into the TPP emails. For example on page 39 of part 1, “If you, Nucor, and/or others would like a briefing on the language, I’d be happy to arrange it.” And if you’re a Congressperson or ordinary schmuck, we’d be happy to throw you in jail

    Lots of briefings, meetings in San Diego and Tokyo–all of which I’m sure were well attended by labor and environmental groups

    Please note that all these were originally deemed matters of “national security”





  7. Katiebird

    How long can Obots pretend that a president has now power without 60 solid Democrats in the Senate.

    Doesn’t this TPP activity prove that when a President really, really wants something, he can get it passed? (Or damn near?)

    I wanted to see this arm twisting for Expanded Medicare for Everyone… And consider it a tragedy that it never happened.

    1. frosty zoom

      whoa, mr. obama has more power than ever now he finally has his solid majority in both houses.

    1. frosty zoom

      that’s easy!

      see: chapter 19.3, stanza 0.1, clause 17 (buffet clause) of the trans platonic prickleship.

      1. Pepsi

        Ahhh the recorsisif tabletaure of scheduling, fees, fines, fabs, dips, and cold berry blasters. Thank you for the directive.

  8. curlydan

    I saw Lambert quoted Federalist Paper #75 recently, so I went to read it. This other quote seemed to fit not only Fast Track/TPP but our friends the Clintons (past and present):
    “A man raised from the station of a private citizen to the rank of chief magistrate, possessed of a moderate or slender fortune, and looking forward to a period not very remote when he may probably be obliged to return to the station from which he was taken, might sometimes be under temptations to sacrifice his duty to his interest, which it would require superlative virtue to withstand. An avaricious man might be tempted to betray the interests of the state to the acquisition of wealth. An ambitious man might make his own aggrandizement, by the aid of a foreign power, the price of his treachery to his constituents. The history of human conduct does not warrant that exalted opinion of human virtue which would make it wise in a nation to commit interests of so delicate and momentous a kind, as those which concern its intercourse with the rest of the world, to the sole disposal of a magistrate created and circumstanced as would be a President of the United States.”
    Alexander Hamilton

    1. Eureka Springs

      That’s comedy gold. And a pretty good reason to thank the twitterverse for limiting space for blowhards.

  9. Anon

    Re: TPP

    If it’s as easy as filing a subpoena and reading the contents, why hasn’t anyone done it, especially if (AFAIK) there aren’t any legal repercussions? It’s either cowardice or indifference at this point. To that end, I wonder how much the fund to leak the TPP is at right now. Maybe it’ll go better than the Snowden leaks went.

      1. Anon

        To become a hero/pariah for 59k…it’s tempting, but sadly I am not in a position to leak said document. Also, I can only think of a small number of countries where one could successfully escape to and not have to worry about facing the wrath of the President, just about every lobbying group and a huge number of Congresscritters.

        Maybe if they doubled it…

          1. different clue

            $59k, even in singles, wouldn’t stop a hail of bullets or a mugging gone wrong or an unfortunate cancer or some other such event. One would have to have a better escape and survival plan than just $59k and a legal defense fund if one were to leak a document like that.

  10. C

    Regarding Rep Rice’s opinion piece, I found this part to be quite telling:

    Several labor unions have made it their priority to kill fast-track authority and any potential trade deal that would follow its lead. Stung by the crippling effects of NAFTA and trade deals that have only exacerbated the plight of the American worker, these labor leaders have voiced nearly unprecedented opposition to what could be the signature economic accomplishment of an inarguably worker-friendly president. (emphasis mine).

    First it makes it again personal and all about how this is a “signature accomplishment” rather than actually a good deal. And secondly President Obama’s claim to be “inarguably worker-friendly” is debatable if not risible. Given his support of Wall Street, his opposition to actual prosecution for home mortgage fraud, his prior trade deals, and his failure to ever put on the comfortable shoes for, well anything, I seriously doubt that this view of him is shared outside of Washington.

    The remainder of the piece goes on to make the claims of strong standards and punishing violators but, predictably, gives no actual documentation to back this up, just the word of someone who sees the President as “inarguably worker-friendly.”

Comments are closed.