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Every time I hear Lori Wallach speak, it is better than sex.  I heard her again the other day, this time on "Sly," a Wisconsin talker.  Hear Lori Wallach, (also from Wisconsin), speak against the TPP*.  Lori Wallach, trade expert and superhero, has an expressive, articulated voice, similar to that which develops in some artsy-progressive females.  I think of the woman on, "This American Life"; or Rachel Maddow; or Lois Lane, or the reporter on, "Hudsucker Proxy." It's a dorky, indie-kind of sweet - (possibly exclusive to women who have graduated from women's colleges in western Massachusetts).  Her voice made me think that Lori Wallach was in her thirties - but she's in her 50's.  And her hair isn't jet-black.
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Lori wallach 5263485.jpg

But it is what Lori Wallach has to say which I find most attractive! She is really the main voice speaking out against the TPP, and similar sham-wows, and the whole scam referred to as "FREE trade." In the interview with Sly, Wallach warned that President Obama will be pushing for a vote on the TPP during the lame-duck session of Congress. Traditionally, lame-duck presidents have not been able to get a lot done, especially when opposed by the majority. However, there are a lot of people in Congress who will be on their way out, and they are looking for nice cushy jobs with mega-corporations, so they are likely to do a little quid-pro-quo voting. And Obama just might pull it off - this, the major goal of his presidency, apparently. If Obama passes the TPP, he won't have to grovel, giving speeches to Goldman-Sachs - he'll be set for life. (And ya know what? It disgusts me).

Wallach also mentioned that the Wisconsin Congressman from La Cross, Ron Kind, is very pro-TPP. You might also be surprised to know that so-called progressives, Howard Dean and Ron Wyden, who has supported other "free" trade swindles. (One reason why? Port cities). .  (Jeff Merkley, the OTHER progressive Senator from Oregon, was the first Senator to endorse the venerable Bernie Sanders - Why I’m Supporting Bernie Sanders - by Senator Jeff Merkley).  I think the Democratic Party has achieved its ultimate goal, which was to morph into a slicker, $icker version of the Republican Party, hiding this behind its resort to liberal social issues and identity politics. Thus we have even seen Russ Feingold and Tammy Baldwin turn away from Bernie to support Hillary, and all her corporate baggage.

Let me mention something I have been a little suspicious of - because now it makes more sense.  Why would Hillary Clinton disavow the TPP, when she worked so hard to help build it?  A duty-free NeoLiberal, (and interventionist NeoCon), she has supported "free trade" in the past; she has debated that TPP should merely be tweaked, and she chose a pro-TPP Vice President, (who, um, dutifully flip-flopped on this when chosen) - and: Hillary’s Top Choice for VP Just Assured Big Banks He Has Their Back.  And THIS:

New Clinton Transition Head Has Some TPP 'Splainin To Do
Hillary Clinton has appointed Former Colorado Sen. Ken Salazar, a big supporter of TPP, to lead her transition team, should she be elected President. Politico has more, in Clinton campaign transition chief has pushed for TPP: "The new chairman of Hillary Clinton's transition team has been an outspoken supporter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership and works for a firm that lobbied for trade policy issues as recently as this spring, a review of congressional lobbying records and articles shows.

After Bernie Sanders gained serious credibility for denouncing the TPP, and Trump's anti-TPP stance threatened to be too costly to argue against, Hillary Clinton knew that she had to make it appear that she NOW opposed the TPP, (this being her latest flip-flop on "free trade"). She had to appear to oppose the president, who is the head of the Democratic Party, (who spent 6-7 years secretly negotiating the TPP - so he could exit with his golden parachute).

So, what Hillary Clinton said was, ESSENTIALLY, that, IF the TPP LOOKED like it might destroy jobs, then she would be against it - (in that form). But economic forecasts and analysis can be based on highly variable factors, so that very bad plans can be fudged to look like very good plans. A lot of powerfully self-interested people around her would urge her that the TPP would be good - (just like the advisors who goaded Obama for years). So, she could announce that she was VERY CERTAIN that the TPP would not destroy jobs, and sign it with a little fake shuffle on fake issues, and then be out of office before the devastation occurred - just like Bill did on the highly destructive NAFTA "treaty". "Look at how popular Bill is despite that hypocrisy!"

And, besides, some jobs are lost, some are gained - Clinton would certainly emphasize her predicted GROSS GAIN.

But, what she did not say was that, even if she guaranteed that the TPP would not destroy jobs, she would SIGN the TPP even if it portended other disasters: like a loss of sovereignty; of the loss of legal rights of Americans and smaller business; of environmental damage, of health and safety issues, of military and judicial pacts. SHE DID NOT SAY ANYTHING ABOUT ANY OF THIS. That is because the corporate-bankster-NeoLiberal establishment is calling the TPP a mere trade agreement, (though defining it as a treaty, when convenient). This is NOT what the TPP is. The TPP is a massive, secret, mega-corporate JUGGERNAUT, affecting all aspects of life. That includes laws for internet use and privacy.

Something this big does not spend years building momentum, backed by billionaires and airheads, and suddenly decide to go away. There is no way that Hillary Clinton intends on abandoning the TPP. Look at Obama. He knows how unpopular it is, and yet he is going full force on it in his lame-duck term! So: the bottom line is this to Hillary Clinton: "I can't lose if I say I oppose the TPP. If Obama succeeds in getting it passed, then I won't have to worry about it when I am president. If he fails on it, then I will have been on the side of the majority." (Later, she will do the dance, described above, to get it passed). For now, she is aping Bernie Sanders, and gaining many of his supporters.

Who would trust this? After hiring the DNC's Wassermann-Schultz onto her campaign, when Schultz had consistently sought to torpedo Sanders? After the quid-pro-quo corruption in the Clinton Foundation scandal? After NAFTA and the deregulation by her husband, which later tanked our economy? (Much more about her corruption can be found in posts in my journal; in bernie2016, or via liberal_plus.

Hillary Supports TPP Despite Campaigning Against It, Says Advisor
Donald Trump has warned Bernie Sanders supporters that, if elected, Hillary Clinton will betray them by supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership after Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said she will ultimately flip-flop on the trade deal.

Here's a view from another angle: Clinton Should Tell Obama To Withdraw TPP To Save Her Presidency
Along with McAuliffe, who is the governor of Virginia, Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue has said she will reverse herself. And it was Clinton delegates who blocked putting specific TPP opposition in the Democratic platform. So yes, there is a credibility problem.

Don't bet on it.  This is Obama's full court press: Obama provokes progressive outrage with all-out TPP push.
The White House is making an all-out push to win passage of the deal in the lame-duck session of Congress, organizing 30 events over the congressional recess to gin up support for the agreement, considered key to Obama’s strategy to counter China in the Asia-Pacific region. The strategy is to offer support and cover to the small flock of Democrats who supported legislation to fast-track the deal and to remind wavering Republicans that they oppose it at their own peril because of its strong business support.

Despite his embrace of [Hillary] Clinton, Obama has been unwilling to abandon a deal that he regards as central to his legacy simply to avoid political fallout for her campaign. Although Clinton came out against the deal last fall, she supported it while secretary of state, making her vulnerable to attacks—first from Bernie Sanders and now from Donald Trump—that her opposition is politically motivated and therefore changeable.

“Well, right now, I’m president, and I’m for it,” Obama said at a press conferenceearlier this month. “And I think I’ve got the better argument. And I’ve made this argument before. I’ll make it again: We are part of a global economy. We’re not reversing that.”


[Note] - And we have an article from the Washington Post, [no link], (which sounds like a plant), to wit: "If not the TPP, then what do you propose?  This is a global economy, etc." - Oh, oh!  Zero-sum game again!

Obama Pushing for TPP: Misinformation and Big Lies, His Strategy
US trade deals are jobs-killing weapons of mass destruction. They destroy fundamental economic and social structures. They ignore eco-sanity...  Obama intends going on the offensive publicly to get Congress on board for its passage. Last October, he touted it in his weekly radio address... He claimed (then and now) TPP is “the best possible deal for American workers.”

This "mainstream" article from The Guardian is a little naive on Clinton; 'free trade', and China: Trump and Clinton's free trade retreat: a pivotal moment for the world's economic future
For politicians back in Washington, the trick will be to convince voters that deals can be in their interests... “The problem is that over the years the interest of American corporations and the interests of Americans have diverged,” Alden, of the Council on Foreign Relations, said. “One of the mistakes is that corporate American has just said: ‘If it’s good for us, it’s good for America,’ and the approach needs to be more sophisticated than that. They need to show how it will help workers, too.”

So, here's some balance: The Tin Ear of Free Trade Advocates
This is typical of the conventional tin ear case for free trade which usually goes something like this: "All the experts and important people agree that free trade is a good thing, because our theory says so, so you yahoos need to quit your griping and listen to your betters." Unfortunately for free trade advocates, voters in Flyover Country aren't policy wonks, and I highly suspect that most of them wouldn't know David Ricardo from Ricky Ricardo, and neither do they take too kindly to experts and mouthpieces of the conventional wisdom telling them that a neat theory trumps what they see with their own eyes.

I am reposting this little blog because I like it: Why Say No to the TPP? Corporations Already Have Too Much Power
What does the TPP have to do with pipelines? After being negotiated in secret, the substance of the agreement finally became public. As many had feared, the TPP, like NAFTA, contains a controversial provision that allows foreign corporations to sue governments when regulations or permitting decisions deprive the company of profits.


[Note] - Although economist Robert Reich has backed Bernie Sanders, he now advocates Clinton, using the Bernie message.  I consider him a normative Democrat.  Here, he seeks to resolve the vast cognitive dissonance between the Clinton NeoLiberals and the Bernie Progressives, saying that Clinton needs to, e.g., oppose the TPP, etc., or else lose Bernie's supporters.  I like his historical tangent...

Why President Hillary Clinton Will Need Bernie's "Political Revolution" to Get Anything Done - Robert Reich
As economist John Kenneth Galbraith noted in the 1950s, a key legacy of the New Deal was creating centers of economic power that offset the power of giant corporations and Wall Street: labor unions, small retail businesses, local banks, and political parties active at the state and local levels.

These alternative power centers supported policies that helped America's vast middle and working classes during the first three decades after World War II -- the largest infrastructure project in American history (the Interstate Highway program), a vast expansion of nearly-free public higher education, Medicare and Medicaid, and, to pay for all this, high taxes on the wealthy. (Between 1946 and 1980, the top marginal tax rate never dipped below 70 percent.)

But over the last three decades, countervailing power has almost vanished from American politics. Labor unions have been decimated. In the 2012 presidential election, the richest 0.01 percent of households gave Democratic candidates more than four times what unions contributed to their campaigns...

The most promising source of a new countervailing power in America was revealed in Bernie Sanders's primary campaign: millions of citizens determined to reclaim American democracy and the economy from big money. (Donald Trump's faux populism tapped into similar sentiments, but, tragically, has channeled them into bigotry and scapegoating.)

That movement lives on. Organizers from the Sanders campaign have already launched Brand New Congress, an ambitious effort to run at least 400 progressive candidates for Congress in 2018, financed by crowd-sourced small donations and led by a nationwide network of volunteers. Sanders himself recently announced the formation of "Our Revolution," to support progressive candidates up and down the ticket.

Hillary Clinton has been relying on big money to finance her presidential campaign, but she's always been a pragmatist about governing. "A president has to deal in reality," she said last January in response to Sanders. "I am not interested in ideas that sound good on paper but will never make it in real life."

The pragmatist in her must know that the only way her ideas will make it in real life is if the public is organized and mobilized behind them.

Which means that once she enters the Oval Office, she'll need the countervailing power of a progressive movement -- ironically, much like the one her primary opponent championed.


[Notes] - You can read and hook up w/ Our Revolution by joining bernie2016.  The movement officially begins Wednesday, AUGUST 24 - so be sure to look into what events are going on across the country and in your area!

The final 'Rock Against the TPP' West Coast tour date will be: September 9 - San Francisco, CA - Free tickets! - Click for more details - and petition against the TPP.!

SEPTEMBER 17 - What's this? It's the 5th anniversary of #occupywallstreet! - o_c_c_u_p_y

* - Hear more of Sly's podcasts, including today's discussion with Matt Rothschild concerning Scott Walker's version of, "campaign finance reform," in Wisconsin.  (This will be posted in a few days).  -   Sly's Podcasts.

You can view many more posts on the TPP: in my journal tags; in bernie2016;  in o_c_c_u_p_y;  and, of course,  in the_recession


Lori Wallach is the founder of Global Trade Watch, [explore site further], not to be confused with Global Research, (Michel Chossudovsky).  You can hear and see her in action, just search "Lori Wallach youtube" - (past year).




'Disappointed' in Obama, Sanders Calls on Top Dems to Drop Lame Duck TPP Push
TPP will cost American jobs, harm the environment, increase the cost of prescription drugs, and threaten our ability to protect public health



Hillary Clinton may not have heeded progressives' call to clearly say she'll urge the White House and her fellow party members to oppose a "lame-duck" vote on the Trans Pacific Partnership, but Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has done just that, calling on Democratic Congressional leadership to publicly oppose a post-Election Day vote on the "job-killing trade deal."

Comments:


Ninja Nick
nick_101 at 2016-08-24 05:17 (UTC) (Lien)
I wouldn't vote for anything that makes my brain hurt. #noTPP
where hypotheses come to die
madman101 at 2016-08-24 18:19 (UTC) (Lien)
They are crafty villains, spinning these tangled webs. Plus, you have to deal with the smoke out there on the edge of the world.

It took me a long time to research and arrange, and then a day to "write" it - which made my brain hurt terrifically.

So, I try to be like a computer: take one bit at a time.
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