Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Great Day for Obama and Corporate America

But a day which will live in infamy for American workers and the labor movement.

The vote to pass fast track yesterday all but ensures approval of mammoth trade deals like TPP, TTIP and TiSA — trade deals that will further erode wages, offshore more American jobs, and give more power to multi-national corporations over governments.

U.S. polling showed strong opposition to fast tracking trade deals (from Independents to Republicans to Democrats alike). But yet, Congress still voted against the will of the American people. Over half the people in Congress must be just plain evil bought-and-paid for; and President Obama (if not evil himself) must be gullible for believing his manipulative advisors and advocating for fast track, Nike and bad trade agreements.

So far, there wasn't that much coverage on the topic on Fox News or CNN — but yesterday on MSNBC (11 minute video below) Ed Schultz and his guests — including Senator Sherrod Brown — had a lot to say on the subject (as did Senator Bernie Sanders). [Editor's note: Besides Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown might also make a great running mate for Bernie Sanders.]

And on that same day, on his 25-minute radio podcast, Ed Schultz called Obama "a turncoat". He was joined by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and United Steelworkers International President Leo Gerard — who was so upset, you could hear his voice crack. (Download the MP3 here).

The younger generation (those in college today and younger), as a worker in the future, now have a much more dismal future to look forward to.

There were many citizen groups, labor unions, letters to the editor, personal blogs and petitions pushing AGAINST fast-track and these trade agreements. But it was mostly big corporations, their lobbyists, their lawyers, their "conservative" think tanks, their right-wing "trickle-down" economists, and their in-the-pocket politicians who were all in favor of it. And as usual, democracy failed — and America's plutocrats had won the day.

It was reported on MSNBC that Republican President Barack Obama was so happy to get fast-track, that after seeing it passed on C-SPAN, he hugged Vice President Joe Biden (who also supported fast track and the TPP trade deal.)

So essentially (again, and as usual) the majority in Congress have voted AGAINST the will of the American people — and in favor of major U.S. multi-national corporations. Money in politics has been destroying democracy in this once "exceptional" country, and has been destroying the livelihoods of American workers for the past 30 or more years.

But these members of Congress don't ever fear being hated or rejected by voters in the next election cycle, because they were probably either paid off already — or they were offered better-paying jobs as lobbyists for the very corporations they had just voted for. American voters don't elect "representatives" to Congress, they elect apprentice lobbyists. (427 former members of Congress have already become lobbyists).

Lobbyists on K St. paid like CEOs on Wall St.
Congressional lobbyists

Oddly, over half the members in Congress are already millionaires themselves (so they don't even need to be bribed). But how many were millionaires BEFORE they were elected to Congress —and how did they get to be so rich ... by making American workers more poor? We even have Democrats — the supposed party of the workers — who voted against raising the minimum wage!

The U.S. political system is corrupt from the bottom up and from the top down. It can be no more apparent than yesterday's vote on fast track for trade deals.

Per the Nation: Here are the 13 Democrats in the Senate who voted "Yea" for fast-tracking bad trade deals yesterday — which, with these 13 votes, had passed. We can always assume Republicans will vote in favor of corporations — so there's little outrage for them here. When we vote for a Republican, we expect this type of vote; but when we vote for a Democrat, we don't. But again, we have a Democrat as President (just like we did with NAFTA and PNTR for China). So who can American workers trust anymore?

1) Michael Bennet of Colorado
2) Maria Cantwell of Washington
3) Patty Murray of Washington
4) Tom Carper of Delaware
5) Chris Coons of Delaware
6) Dianne Feinstein of California
7) Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota,
8) Tim Kaine of Virginia
9) Mark Warner of Virginia
10) Claire McCaskill of Missouri
11) Bill Nelson of Florida
12) Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire
13) Ron Wyden of Oregon

Here are the 14 Democrats in the Senate who voted "Yea" for fast-tracking TPP the first time (with phone numbers and twitter handles):

1) Michael Bennet (CO) 202 224 5852 @senbennetco
2) Maria Cantwell (WA) 202 224 3441 @cantwellpress
3) Ben Cardin (MD) 202 224 4524 @senatorcardin (Changed his vote to "nay" in the last vote.)
4) Tom Carper (DE) 202 224 2441 @senatorcarper
5) Chris Coons (DE) 202 224 5042 @sencoonsoffice
6) Dianne Feinstein (CA) 202 224 3841 @senfeinstein
7) Heidi Heitkamp (ND) 202 224 2043 @senatorheitkamp
8) Tim Kaine (VA) 202 224 4024 @senkaineoffice
9) Claire McCaskill (MO) 202 224 6154 @mccaskilloffice
10) Patty Murray (WA) 202 224 2621 @pattymurray
11) Bill Nelson (FL) 202 225 5274 @senbillnelson
12) Jeanne Shaheen (NH) 202 224 2841 @senatorshaheen
13) Mark Warner (VA) 202 224 2023 @markwarner
14) Ron Wyden (OR) 202 224 5244 @ronwyden

Here are the 28 Democrats in the House who last voted "Yea" for fast-tracking TPP, sending the bill to the Senate:

1) Debbie Wasserman Schultz FL (DNC Chairperson)
2) Earl Blumenauer OR
3) Gerry Connolly VA
4) Jim Cooper TN
5) Henry Cuellar TX
6) John Delaney MD
7) Eddie Bernice Johnson TX
8) Ron Kind WI
8) Rick Larsen WA
10) Susan Day CA
11) Sam Farr CA
12) R Hinojosa TX
13) Gregory Meeks NY
14) Scott Peters CA
15) Jim Costa CA
16) James Heinz CT
17) Jared Polis CO
18) Kurt Schrader OR
19) Mike Quigley IL
20) Terri Sewell AL
21) Suzanne Bonamici OR
22) Suzan DelBene WA
23) Ami Bera CA
24) Beto O'Rourke TX
25) Derek Kilmer WA
26) Brad Ashford NE
27) Kathleen Rice NY
28) Donald Beyer VA

This list of "free traitors" should live on in the U.S. history books for ever, and never be forgotten.

True democracy died a long time ago with a phony two party system that doesn’t allow any other voices to participate widely. Now with so much money allowed in elections, each time Congress votes, it votes for the money (for very wealthy individuals and their large corporations) and against The People — no matter what political party is in control.

That's why Americans should only vote for presidents and members of Congress who mostly favor ideas advocated by those in the Congressional Progressive Caucus. Vote for Bernie Sanders in 2016 and ONLY vote for Democrats for Congress — but ONLY for Democrats who didn't vote for fast track and more bad trade deals. Otherwise, your job could be outsourced to someone in Asia or Africa who is willing to work for 50 cents an hour.


  1. UPDATE:

    House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) waved the white flag today, telling her caucus she would support "fast-track". Her support all but guarantees that the measure will succeed, thereby handing Obama a major victory on trade.

    Pelosi and House Democrats were the last obstacle against efforts to grant Obama so-called "fast-track" authority to clear major trade deals. The clean fast-track bill, already passed by the House, is expected to sail through the Senate later Wednesday and then on to Obama's desk.

    Next, the Senate is supposed to move to pass TAA for displaced workers (who lost jobs from offshoring), which is also attached to an African trade bill, after which it will be sent back to the House. And with Pelosi's support, TAA should have the votes for passage.

    With fast-track legislation expected to reach Obama's desk Wednesday evening and be signed into law, the public will have only two months to read and understand deals such as the TPP after they are negotiated and before the president signs them. Congress will have to approve the deals as quickly as one month after that, with no changes allowed.

    * Editors note: It should be noted that TAA (assistance to retrain workers) does apply to white collar workers, and trains them in jobs that pay much less than the jobs they had offshored. Most displaced workers don't benefit from TAA, and the ones that do, benefit very little. It's a BS program. See the post after this for more on the subject.

    1. Congress Admits Jobs will be Lost in Trade Deals

  2. The whole scoop is at Naked Capitalism: "TPP: 13 Democratic Senators Invite Republicans to Make Them Laughing Stocks — and More Serious Matters"

    * Editors' Note: 13 Democrats, Obama, and all (but 5) Republicans in the Senate wanted fast-track for trade deals. That makes 13 Democrats in the Senate "free traitors" to working Americans and makes Obama a Republican president.