Department of Bust Out Profit Models and Vampiric Capitalism
The intensity of the conflict over the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) has died down since last June, after the Administration won its victory in getting Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) through Congress. During the Intervening months, the efforts of the Special Trade Representative (STR) to complete TPP negotiations have continued. Read more about Who Needs Balanced Trade? Who Needs Balance Budgets: A New Book on Trade and Fiscal Policy
The Eurozone is an instrument of the globalization process that is setting financial elites over all nations of the world, including the democracies. The situation in Greece exposes the true nature of the Eurozone institutions as a naked fact, beyond spinning, for all to see. They are popular sovereignty-thieves and democracy-killers, with the power necessary to shut democratic governments down. Read more about Austerity, Greece’s Debt Crisis, and the Death of Democracy: A Book about Greece and Much More
Donald Trump, Prince of Kleptocracy, Apostle of greed, Duke of Bombast and Braggadocio, Earl of Envy, Baron of Bigotry, Count of Cronyism, is the apotheosis of Republican party political culture. Going back at least to the Goldwater campaign, the Republican party has stood for two things, worship of wealth and hatred of minorities. Trump is the logical conclusion of that. Read more about Donald Trump, Prince of Kleptocracy, apostle of greed
Can we reverse the ageing process by putting young blood into older people?
A series of experiments has produced incredible results by giving young blood to old mice. Now the findings are being tested on humans.
This will not end well. Read more about Elizabeth Báthory lives
The trade agreements currently being negotiated by the Obama Administration are potentially enormously important in their possible impact on the United States. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is being negotiated by 12 Asian-Pacific nations, and, if agreed to by Congress could be expanded in membership later on under the President's sole authority. Read more about Declarations of Dependence: A New e-Book on the Neoliberal Nation-Subjugating “Trade Deals”
Step one, make a huge loan that has no possibility to be repaid.
Step two, when your victim can't repay demand the state, federal, EU, IMF, or whatever entity applies bail you out, but call it a bail out of Detroit, Greece, or whatever applies.
Step three, game the bailout authority into collecting its money by insisting on draconian measures.
Step four, snap up assets at fire sale prices as jurisdiction is forced to sell everything to make debt payments.
Lather, rinse, repeat. Read more about The financial coup
TPP: 13 Democratic Senators Invite Republicans to Make Them Laughing Stocks and More Serious Matters
The cloture vote in the Senate is now done, making the TPA vote itself a mere formality. The vote was 60 – 37 in favor of cloture with 13 of the 14 original Democratic defectors (Ben Cardin was the exception) sticking with the multinational corporations, the President, and all but five of the Republicans in supporting cloture. Supporters of cloture celebrated the bipartisan nature of the vote, as if Americans who lose their jobs and their sovereignty as a consequence of it, and the things it enables, will look more favorably on what they did because both major parties did it. Read more about TPP: 13 Democratic Senators Invite Republicans to Make Them Laughing Stocks and More Serious Matters
– Step one: the House passes a TPA bill without passing Trade Adjustments Assistance (TAA); then
– Step two: the Republicans in the Senate give assurances to Senate Democrats that TAA will be passed by the Senate and later the House;
– Step three: the Senate then passes the House's TPA bill, and then sends it to the President; then Read more about TPP: Will Voters Re-elect Laughing Stocks to the Senate?
Well, that didn't take too long. The wonks in White House, the Republican Leadership. And the “free trade” Democrats, have hatched another devious process for passing the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill. It has the following steps
– Step one: the House passes a TPA bill without passing Trade Adjustments Assistance (TAA); then
– Step two: the Republicans in the Senate give assurances to Senate Democrats that TAA will be passed by the Senate and later the House; Read more about TPP: Fast –Track Is Back: Shall It Pass?
The roll call 126-302 vote (Roll call 361) defeating the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) bill was a result worth a little celebrating on Friday, since it was a very decisive victory on that particular vote, and also stopped the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) fast track bill from being sent to the President's desk for signature. If the vote on TAA hadn't failed, it would have been far more difficult (I don't say impossible as many do) to defeat all manner of “free trade” agreements (aka multinational sovereignty agreements), including the currently scheduled Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Trade in Services (TiSA) agreements over the next year or so.
Everything we know about these agreements is that they would have been a disaster for all but an extremely small segment of the people of the United States. So, we ought to be overjoyed that, for now, fast-track is stalled in the House, and may get pigeon-holed there for quite some time to come, if the re-vote on TAA fails. Still as Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, and Bill Black say in their recent posts, this stall may be short-lived if we don't keep up the pressure and make sure that the Republicans and Democrats in Congress, along with the President are, unsuccessful in reversing Friday's vote on the TAA. Read more about TPP: Fast –Track, the Next Rounds In Congress
There are 246 Republicans and 188 Democrats in the House. Republicans, led by John Boehner and Paul Ryan, say they are confident about having enough votes to hold a successful floor vote on Friday, June 12th.. However, Politico reports that Republican sources are saying they will get anywhere from 180 – 200 votes for fast-track, which doesn't sound very different from their at least 190 vote estimate as of June 3rd.
So, that leaves anywhere from 46 – 66 Republican opponents of the legislation. The top of this range is very near the maximum of 57 Republicans that TPP opponents have previously estimated could vote against it, except that on the high side it acknowledges the possibility that Republicans may have lost ground compared to a week ago.
Last week, also, supporters of the bill reportedly could not count on more than 17 Democrats to vote for it, and no more than 20 after all the maneuvering and politicking has occurred. Today, the number of committed TPP Democrats seems to be 20, with the recent addition of Don Beyer (D-VA), Kathleen Rice (D-NY), and Jim Himes (D-CT). So, it appears not much progress has been made toward the 218 votes required to carry the fast-track authority in spite of all the activity and much posturing from the pro-TPP forces. Read more about Fast -Track: It Looks Like It's In Pelosi's Lap or Maybe Not!
This is another in a series on Democratic Representatives who recently decided that pleasing their President, and their minority leader in the House, and protecting the expectations of potential profits of multinational corporations, was more important than protecting democracy, national, state, and local sovereignty, American Jobs, the environment, the climate, the capability to regulate corporate behavior for the public good, and net neutrality, among may other valuable things. In my previous posts I covered the statements of Don Beyer, Democrat of Virginia's 8th District and then Kathleen Rice, Democrat of New York's 4th.
This time the focus of my attention will be Jim Himes (D-CT) who represents the 4th Congressional District in Connecticut. I'll be doing a point-by-point critique of his reasons for announcing his support of the TPP. Read more about TPP: Jim Himes (D-CT), Another Putting “Free Trade” Above National Sovereignty and Democracy
TPP: Kathleen Rice (D-NY) Is the Latest to Put “Free Trade” Above National Sovereignty and Democracy
I blogged a critique of Don Beyer, Democratic Representative in the Virginia 8th Congressional District to protest his announcement of support for the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill followed by the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) legislation. This past Saturday, Kathleen Rice (D-NY, 4th Congressional District) became the latest to join President Obama's effort to elevate corporations above the people through the TPA, followed by the TPP legislation, and, he hopes the passage later on of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA). This post is my reply to Congressman Rice's justification, in talking point/response format, for joining the pro- fast track-TPP forces. Read more about TPP: Kathleen Rice (D-NY) Is the Latest to Put “Free Trade” Above National Sovereignty and Democracy
Recently, my wife, Bonnie, sent an e-mail to Don Beyer, our Democratic Representative in the Virginia 8th Congressional District to express her opinion opposing fast-track/TPP and to tell him that she wanted him to vote against it in Congress. In reply, she received a form e-mail which was non-responsive to hers, but also stated his support for all four trade bills and his talking points on the subject.
Congressman Beyer's e-mail made her angry and she asked that since I'm the writer in the family, I write a reply from both of us for him. Since drafting this reply, I've learned that Don Beyer has announced his support for fast-track in a statement on his web site. Below is our reply to him, in talking point/response format, sometimes cast in the first person, for his consideration, and anyone else's who is interested in “free trade” agreements. Read more about TPP: Don Beyer (D-VA) Puts “Free Trade” Above National Sovereignty and Democracy