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Obama’s Dizzying Spin on the Environment and Trade


#1

Obama’s Dizzying Spin on the Environment and Trade

Ben Lilliston

The Obama Administration claims that the new round of secret trade deals will be the greenest ever. Its latest attempt to sell that story was released earlier this week in a slick new report titled “Standing Up For The Environment: Trade For A Greener World.” As with most of the spin coming from the U.S. Trade Representative these days – there’s a lot of “trust us” bluster in the report, marketed with unattributed numbers and fancy graphics.


#2

Obama is a sleazy, cynical corporatist, like his predecessors. I'm not sure anyone better could be elected to President given the corrupted nature of our system but I'm backing Sanders just in case and, more importantly, in hopes that his message will rally and strengthen the progressive movement and show the massive support for economic justice and climate sanity.


#3

Just as expected. USTR issues a white paper that says "trust us."


#4

"sleazy, cynical corporatist". You beat me to it. I would add warmonger and shameless liar as well. They used to call the other sellout Dem, Bill Clinton, "slick Willy" but he has little on this POS in the Oval Office. Barry's ass was bought and sold from the moment he won in 2008. He had already betrayed those of us who actually believed that he would work for a "public option" in healthcare reform and his very first appointment was the loathsome Rahm Emmanuel who ended up calling us "fuckin libtards". It was mostly downhill from there and by the end of 2009 I felt deeply betrayed and ashamed that I had voted for this hack.
Things are so bad in DeCeit that Obummer has recently been accused by some Rethug as pulling the Demo party to the "far left". Yeah, right.
I will also support Sanders although he can't possibly get the nomination from the corrupt party bosses who call the shots. Sanders can be of real use in the debates when he will show Shillary for the sellout that she is. "Team Clinton" is quite worried about that and they should be. The Dems have sold us out and I have considered myself an Independent for some time. People who still think that the reform that our country desperately needs can come from Washington, DeCeit are deluded.
I should add that I am adamantly opposed to the TPP and I have found out that all three of my "representatives" in Congress - Murray, Cantwell and Kilmer, are all in favor of it AND Fast Track. I have informed their offices of my disgust and that I will never vote for any of them again. The TPP and its European version will threaten millions of American jobs, our environment and our very sovereignty as a country. It is unconscionable to vote for something like this because it might create some more local jobs.


#6

Some background: Fitch on Obama


#7

These days, I tell people, "Don't listen to what he says, watch what he is doing." As others have noted, he is the sleaziest of traitors to the 99%. Trouble is, too many still can't face the truth about him.


#9

Although I worked on campaigns opposing Nixon in 1960, 1962 (Calif. Governor race), 1968 and 1972, Nixon cannot be objectively categorized as being to the right of Obama. Put their track records side by side and you will see Obama is to the right of Nixon on the environment, economy and just about everything else.

Seeing how Obama has compared himself to Raygun and praised Raygun more than any other politician, he is indeed a Raygun Republican making every effort to outdo Raygun's oppression of the 99%.


#12

We must not let Obama's mob put us in a box by dignifying their allegation that TPP and TTIP are trade deals, especially the BS that "if we don't write the rules, China will" a statement that former Maryland governor Martin O'Malley recently charitably characterized as "juvenile".

The "trade" facade is just Obama's lubricant for transferring judicial authority from governments to corporations.

Dave Johnson's May 26 CD article presents several economists and journalists analysis that confirms Obama's motive.


#13

Our legislators are maneuvering to grant the president authority to sign treaties that we are not allowed to see, and the details of those treaties will affect our lives. If we had a democracy, every single legislator, regardless of left-wing vs. right-wing persuasion, would as a matter of principle refuse to pass this law. In fact, the White House would not remotely even think of asking for the passage of such a law, so terrible would be the political embarrassment that would follow.

But how different is the country we actually live in. I think the most telling detail in all of this is the fact that our political class knows they can get away with this sort of outrage. I just keep wondering, what extremes will their impunity reach?


#14

i've written and phoned Cantwell and Murray about my "utter disgust" at their actions, and yesterday i again wrote to my rep Smith. He sent out a newsletter bragging on his work to stop jailing immigrant families, and i replied:

Thanks Representative Smith,

i really appreciate this pro-active effort of yours to improve policy and improve people’s live in meaningful and concrete ways.

Will you consider making a public commitment to vote NO on Fast Track and TPP / TTIP? Our trade policies must stop feeding the forces that are DRIVING immigration. Cheap subsidized corn imports under NAFTA drove millions of people off the land in Mexico; CAFTA has helped fuel record numbers fleeing from
Central America. “Corporate globalization” that privileges the rights of investors to earn profits above the rights of communities and the environment is not just bad for our trading partners, it is BAD for the USA.

Also outrageous are the ISDS (investor-state dispute settlement) provisions, which set up an unaccountable quasi-judicial branch entirely outside the democratic purview of our voters. ISDS panels under the WTO recently ruled that COOL (Country Of Origin Labeling) for meat products is an “unfair restraint on trade.” Our right to know where our food comes from is NOT a “restraint on trade” it is an unalloyed public good, and these rulings demonstrate the very unhealthy bias against community rights and environmental priorities under these agreements. Will popular and democratic “Farm-to-School” preferences in WA soon be deemed an “unfair restraint on trade”?

Please let me know if you will take a public commitment to vote NO on Fast Track, the TPP and the TTIP, or if you are interested in more background and resources on these treaties.

Thanks for your work,

Your 9th District constituent,

webwalk [name changed to protect the innocent]


#15

Nice sharp assessment.


#16

During the Dubya Regime we expressed concern that so many GOP fans voted against their own interest as they demonstrated symptoms of terminal denial syndrome for which there is no known cure.

The past seven years have confirmed that just as many Democratic Party fans are afflicted with terminal denial syndrome.


#17

i don't think that struggle is going to go on very long. The USA has done so much to undermine and destabilize its own economy and society and political culture. Too many weak points, the question is just where and when does the unraveling really begin to take off in earnest, and then just how will it play out. But the USA will come undone, and not in some distant future.


#18

Having worked in the construction industry up and down the west coast for the past 45 years I noticed that since NAFTA any location within 50 miles of Interstate 5 many subcontractors' crews, especially drywall, have gone from no hispanics to 100% hispanic within 20 years. Come to find out that most of the drywallers were successful family farmers in Mexico until NAFTA enabled US agribusiness to dump crops at cost in Mexico just long enough to drive the family farmers out of business, at which point agribusiness increased prices.


#19

My youngest son recently took a job building Ryan Homes in the 'burbs of Pittsburgh. After several weeks I asked how he was getting along with the other workers. He said: "Well OK I guess, but I don't speak Spanish."

Before I quit working in the fracking fields I worked in Indiana county, Pa where active seismic testing was under way. It seems the seismic apparatus is hauled through the countryside in a regular dense grid by teams of SA immigrants. I never encountered any of these human mule teams myself, but some of my contemporaries did and what they reported was, that these poor souls seemed very afraid that they might be encountering someone from Immigration.

After spending several years trekking through the wilderness of northern Marshall county, W.V. I had been sent into Ohio to work. A dispute over a claim on a piece I had worked in Marshall necessitated I return to verify our original resolution. I found the property in the midst of a giant pipeline construction operation and had to cross the area of active work. As I tried to signal my intent to cross to the worker directing the operation in the trench I found that it was utterly impossible since he didn't speak English and I don't speak Spanish.

I don't enjoy being a habitual crank, a perennial malcontent, and a constant naysayer - really I don't. But what other conclusion is there when EVERYTHING the establishment says is an utter lie: "Energy security;" "secure jobs into the future;" "environmental responsibility" - all of it utter fucking bullshit. When the TPP and TTIP are passed the gas that this region is being so thoroughly abused in pursuit of will be shipped overseas faster than you can say "global warming."


#20

I'm reposting my comment to David Michael Green as of yesterday because it is germaine to Ben Lillistons article on free trade.

Well, DMG welcome back. I thought you had retired to a DLC gated community down in Florida where every morning you all sing the litany of wrongs that that those bad cops regressive republicans are guilty of while praising your side of the duopoly: the Pure Positive Progressives who like any good cop always offer us coke and cigarette right before throwing us in the same anti-democrat slammer we have more or less been sleeping in for the last 35 years.

Oh, that's right there's a big presidential television media event that about to commence and sheer volume of $$$ flying about could even bring me out of retirement.
Thanks for the refresher course on the Bush nasties. Like most of the readers here on CD's I had completely forgotten all the details of this madness. Guess I was just to busy trying to dodge all drone attacks from the Oh-Bummer while feebly clinging on to my last social security check. Thankfully O-B is laying the ground work to take care of all the political mess and gridlock by streamlining all the complication down to those three infinite wisemen (wise-guys): The Corporate/CEO/Lawyer/Judge Tribunal. Of course we will never see these three individuals directly (they will never be on the David Lettermen Show or any other show), but instead see some vague Rushmoresque images behind the universal smiling hologram face of Queen Hillary.... Bows, genuflections and fainting.

"Thanks again, and thanks for the cigarette (even though I don't smoke) and that delicious GMO corn sweetend Coke! No I won't need a hood."


#21

It is a progression. You can't compare someone on a 70's timeline with someone who's been groomed for the corporately-controlled new millennia.

The entire spectrum has been force-fitted to the right by boosting National Security, The Homeland Surveillance State, Corporate tax benefits, an evisceration of the wall separating investment banking from Wall St. Speculation (Glass-Steagall), the corporate purchase/capture of mass media, the corporate (Monsanto and friends) control of the food supply, the "temp." conversion of our nation's economy into a 3rd world workforce, the forced engineering of wealth to the top of the fiduciary food chain, and all war, all the time added to macho domestic policing.

This is all planned. Obama is the Ed Sullivan (master of ceremonies) of The Big Show. He is not its author and whomever comes in next, unless Mr. Sanders manages to rally a pre-New Deal moment--will continue the progression to the Right. It IS part of The New World Order.

In the same sentence that the David Frum's and Cass Sunstein's belittle "Conspiracy Theories" aimed at mocking our "transparent Democracy," trade deals that can effectively anesthetize labor, health, and environmental laws are advancing behind closed doors.

When a poster as intelligent as you takes a far more complex set of objectives and paints it as a People Magazine style "race" between one former politician and another, he is purposely turning the troubled state of systemic corruption into the WORK of a bad apple or two.

If this isn't purposeful dis-information, it ought to be.


#22

Obama is a person who has built a career out of pretending to be the friend of poor and powerless people and then basically taking whatever it is they have of value and giving it to the wealthy with a smile.


#23

The trade deals systematically make every single New Deal program i have been able to think of FTA illegal, so there will be no jobs programs, no infrastructure construction to create jobs, none of that would have the desired intent, it would likely only create jobs for low wage guest workers and funnel more money to multinational corporations, basically the FTAs make it illegal for the government to help people. So even if Sanders were to be elected, he would be powerless to change anything. thats the way these three FTAs are written, to irreversibly and move all the power to make changes way from the Senate/Congress/presidency/prime ministers/Parliaments of the world and into the board rooms, for good.


#24

Must read- what the Obama Administration is really pushing for on the environment: More fracking, deregulation of toxic chemicals- global paralysis of much needed regulation.

CIEL's Lowest Common Denominator report

A Toxic Partnership report

Public Citizen's TTIP (TAFTA) Chemicals fact Sheet - has good history of US chemical deregulation

No Fracking Way - About the TTIP energy chapter- a push to irreversibly expand fracking and drilling and export it until its gone for huge profits

Estimating Burden and Disease Costs of Exposure to Endocrine-Disrupting Chemicals in the European Union (200 Billion Euro Cost each year!)

Do we really have to prevent people from getting good healthcare and education because of this?