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In Reversal of Previous Win, Fast Track Trade Measure Moves Forward


#1

In Reversal of Previous Win, Fast Track Trade Measure Moves Forward

Deirdre Fulton, staff writer

Progressives reacted with dismay as the U.S. Senate on Thursday approved a motion to begin debate on the Fast Track authority President Barack Obama needs to advance controversial trade deals like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The measure passed 65-33.


#3

The picture says it all, a cast of nature-hating misogynistic corporate white male clones. THAT is NOT the indication of a Democratic or Diversified society. It's the usual scum running things and running them aground.


#4

Let he who is without sin among you cast the first stone.

No need to tarnish the few individuals WITH microphones who honestly speak up to inform the public about these diabolical policies--this one (TPP), a declared war on Nature, Labor, and Human Rights.


#6

Money has murdered representative democracy.


#7

Another fine example of short sighted legislation by a group of individuals who are clueless, generally pretty ignorant, and indifferent to the long term consequences of their misguided choices. Every time I tell myself things can't get any worse, they find a way to do just that.


#8

Revolution now now. Leave no one with wealth standing. End the great human tyranny. Concentrated wealth forever.


#9

Boy, that was certainly the shortest leftish progressive-lite wet dream of kicking the Empire's ass that ever threw a skunk into a Democratic presidential garden party celebration, eh?

How do you spell "steam-rolled" by the Disguised Global Capitalist 'Empire' that the alt media never dares to mention?


#11

Letter to Senator Wyden...

Dear Senator Wyden,

Why did you back track this Thursday, and allow the Senate to advance on Fast Track? This is not a matter of competing special interests, but rather one of principle. Trade treaties negotiated in secret between governments and large corporations and where the Senate and House cede the right to vote on its specific provisions, are pernicious. They erode the rights of the peoples of all participating nations- whether economic, political, environmental or at the basic level of human rights. The weak "protections," you brokered in the negotiations are unenforceable and will likely be skirted by this and future Administrations.

If you continue to fail to protect the interests of Oregonians and workers in general, I will not only oppose your reelection, but work diligently to expose the abuses you have helped codify in law.


#12

Letter from Dianne Feinstein dated 4/16/15:

Dear Ms. Wolfson:

Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns regarding Trade Promotion Authority. I appreciate the time you took to write, and I welcome the opportunity to respond.

First, please know that as a United States Senator, I carefully review each free trade agreement that comes before me to ensure that the best interests of American workers and businesses are served, and that the agreement will not adversely affect the U.S. economy, human rights, labor rights, and environmental standards.

As you noted in your letter, the U.S. Constitution provides Congress with the authority to regulate commerce with foreign nations. Since the Trade Act of 1974, Congress has exercised its constitutional responsibilities regarding foreign trade agreements by providing the President with Trade Promotion Authority, previously known as fast-track authority.

Trade Promotion Authority is a temporary statutory mechanism under which Congress defines trade objectives and Congressional notification procedures for the President to then negotiate trade agreements. Once the final trade agreement is presented to Congress, it is considered under expedited legislative procedures, including limited debate, no amendments, and an up-or-down vote. The most recent such Authority expired on July 1, 2007.

Please be assured that I have been working to ensure that trade negotiations are conducted in the best interests of the American worker and U.S. industry, and I will keep your concerns in mind should Congress consider reauthorizing Trade Promotion Authority in the future.

I understand that you also have general concerns regarding free trade agreements. As you may know, the United States currently has free trade agreements with 20 other nations. I do not believe that economic cooperation indicates or necessitates a political union, nor do I believe that these past trade agreements have resulted in any loss of U.S. political independence or sovereignty.

Once again, thank you for writing, and I hope that you will continue to keep me informed about issues of importance to you. Should you have any further comments or questions, please feel free to contact my Washington, D.C. office at (202) 224-3841, or visit my website at www.feinstein.senate.gov. Best regards.

Sincerely yours,

Dianne Feinstein
United States Senator

It was pretty obvious that she would flip.....


#13

OK - i want to know which Senators switched their vote from NO to YES ....


#14

This is how you know we live in a corporate oligarchy.. Bernie Sanders for the win!!


#15

Oops - Bernie is running as a Dem - what does that tell you? He has no intention of being a Dem "spoiler" - he will be dealt with the way Kucinich was ....

If you want to really fix this mess, you have to toss the duopoly, and their enablers, out of office ...


#18

They are not ignorant and indifferent. They know that people like the Koch brothers and other billionaires have dumped hundreds of millions in spare change to buy them, and will throw huge sums to keep them bought.
* The next election will again pit one corporate sock puppet against another. The American People will vote for one or the other, then sit down to bitch about what the winner is doing to them for four years when they get to chose another sock puppet.
* The only way that We the People are going to force change will be to get rid of the sock puppets, empty the sock drawer, remove the puppeteers by whatever means are necessary, put their endless wealth to work for the people and the planet and, try to rebuild this nation and the world.
* Sadly, good intentions seem to be quickly overridden by buckets of cash, bestowed by the wealthy, in the right places; in this case, the three branches of government, their SA, SS, Gestapo and the Wehrmacht.
;-})


#19

I love Zinn and agree that mass social movements are needed. However, they don't exist and the damn left has been utterly pathetic and inept at organizing people in opposition nationally, even though the policies of the left are very popular. Sanders and Warren, as flawed as they might be, at least are doing SOMETHING while most of the left does dick or talks among themselves. They might do what they always do, get a few dozen people together to protest, chant, hold up signs. Zinn, Chomsky and others like them thought the solution resided in social movements, and they're right. However, for those movements to actually cause change they have to be led by the left and rooted in working class and middle class neighborhoods. Right now, that isn't the case. The left simply doesn't go to many parts of the country, does not have a coherent alternative they are organizing around (although they exist in theory and in practice here or there) and many in the left seem keen on staying within the Democratic Party and the system until the end of time. So, given this, I have no romantic notions about social movements and I also downplay people like Sanders or Warren for saying what needs to be said (on economic issues at least) far less than I used to. It isn't their fault that we on the left don't exist on the national level and that these movements aren't around to push these changes through. We have failed to this point, with our ideas being popular, with proven solutions to these problems, with our accurate predictions and critiques of existing policy and with an environment conducive to our success. No damn excuse for our pathetic state.


#20

" Just because Warren and Sanders talk a good line of feel-good rhetoric." BINGO!

Even if Warren and Sanders mean right, they are being used as the fake opposition for the criminal cabal called Congress. The Amerikan Government is sooooo corrupt that it cannot be changed from the inside.

When I said that Obama was just telling you what you wanted to hear, in 2008, I was castigated by many well meaning folks. Folks, do not be fooled again! Warren and Sanders may not be consummate, cons like Obama; nevertheless, you are being conned just like in 2008/2012 . Nothing will ever change until there is a complete regime change.


#21

"The 13 Democrats who voted with big business and the Republicans Thursday are: Michael Bennet (D-CO), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Tom Carper (D-DE), Chris Coons (D-DE), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Patty Murray (D-WA), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Mark Warner (D-VA) and Ron Wyden (D-OR)."

I understand this deal was brokered by Reid and Schumer, notice neither voted for cloture. A case of their being able to have it both ways, strike the bargain, vote against the bargain knowing enough votes were whipped into shape to pass without their votes.


#22

How in the hell does Chapter 11 of NAFTA not result in a loss of sovereignty? How does the WTO not result in a loss of sovereignty? Does she know how these deals operate? Right now the US is involved with India at the WTO regarding "local content". Basically, the state puts in place policies that ask the government to buy a percentage of its purchases from local producers, which the neoliberal/neoclassical economists regard as a trade distortion. So the US is going after India doing this and India has said they may want to go over individual US states doing this. So, it is possible that India can challenge what California does to support solar panel producers within the state. Are rats like Feinstein aware of this? Of course.

Public Citizen (which I will link below) did a study on cases at the WTO regarding public interest laws and 100% of the time when a corporation at the WTO challenges a US law at the WTO, the WTO decides in favor of the corporation. There have been numerous cases tried using Chapter 11 of NAFTA, one impacted California with the MTBE gasoline additive. So, again, the rat Feinstein is aware of this stuff.

I also find it odd that she calls deals like NAFTA "economic cooperation" and not an investor rights agreement. If anything, it is economic integration (with countries with far lower wages and environmental policies) but without any type of political integration. That is downright criminal, to link together countries economically but to not allow for anything like actual, true labor and environmental mechanisms similar to investor-state disputes. There are no secret courts, dominated and run by union officials regarding labor violations or secret courts run by Greenpeace regarding environmental infractions.

https://www.citizen.org/documents/WTODisputesSummaryOnePagerwtables.pdf


#23

I wouldn't be so quick to dump on Warren and Sanders ~ thay are not perfect, nor do they claim to be, but they are among the few American politicians willing to challenge those sour faced prestenders who posed for the photo that was posted with the article. I'd say a little gratitude is appropriate. We need them to participate in order to bring issues that make Hillary uncomfortable, so she'll have to choose more carefully about whose deep pocket bucks she fills her coffers with; and as long as they keep pushing she's going to have to adopt a more & more progressive stand to keep the base, or whoever else she may have.


#24

Yes, I have noticed the same ganggroup over and over though the names change. The reversal of the vote on TPP in the senate actually made me nauseous.

More and more I think we need a new government, more parlimentarian where we can get rid of leaders who are not representing us and get rid of them fast. I think the people in Congress have been there much too long. It is time for passive civil disobedience.

I have this vision of hundreds of thousands of people sitting in front of the White House in the streets. Just sitting until we, the people are heard and until the leaders of we the people arise and tell Congress we want our voice to be heard and we want it now. I am too old to lead anymore but I sure as hell can sit.

Frankly I think we should have a constitutional congress and start over, shut down Wall Street, put a hold on the military, bring our troops back home, fix our infrastructure, really improve our schools (yes there are people who know how to do that but they are not in government}, etc. .Make sure all our children have decent food and a place to actually live. Elders need help, too.

I am really, really sad that our country has become a fascist (read the dictionary definitions) dictatorship. We must rebel or we will starve. {We may starve anyway. But perhaps we can develop the underground economy to the point we won't survive.}

Oh, yes, we need to stop selling our lands and businesses to people overseas. Stop it immediately.

I bet there are lots of people out here away from the Beltway who have really good ideas of what we should do. We should have a forum for that talk.


#26

I wish I had saved the letter I got from Tom McClintock. It was even worse. Monday night on his district conference call he was extolling the virtues of trade agreements, and even had the gall to say that this would increase wages here in the US. He's supposedly Mr. all about worshipping the Constitution. Makes me sick.

Thanks for the link....