Category: Labor & Employment

Democrats Embrace Citizens United in Defense of Clinton

Democrats Embrace Citizens United in Defense of Clinton.

Hill just loves her some big money in politics. And the party machinery that spent years on end crying foul about it before? Suddenly they just loves ’em some big money in politics.

I think Hill should just stick with a snappy one-liner that’s served her well so far.

“What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?”

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Exclusive — Documents: Republicans In Congress Cook Up Phony Poll-Tested Talking Points To Push Obama Trade Deal – Breitbart

Exclusive — Documents: Republicans In Congress Cook Up Phony Poll-Tested Talking Points To Push Obama Trade Deal – Breitbart.

I’m not sure which is more disturbing to me, that the Wall Street Journal and NBC are relying on cooked polls to peddle the TPP, that the GOP is relying on this gimmick to drum up support, or that I’m finding it necessary to rely on Breitbart for this kind of analysis. Where is the rest of the coverage? Good luck finding it.

Wall Street Titans Who Crashed Global Economy in 2008 Go Big for TPP | Common Dreams

Wall Street Titans Who Crashed Global Economy in 2008 Go Big for TPP | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community.

The new economic statistics, explains Public Citizen, offer a damning indictment of the promises on which such deals are sold:

“U.S. goods exports to Korea have dropped 6 percent, or $2.7 billion, under the Korea FTA’s first three years, while goods imports from Korea have surged 19 percent, or $11.3 billion (comparing the deal’s third year to the year before implementation). As a result, the U.S. goods trade deficit with Korea has swelled 104 percent, or more than $14 billion. The trade deficit increase equates to the loss of more than 93,000 American jobs in the first three years of the Korea FTA, counting both exports and imports, according to the trade-jobs ratio that the Obama administration used to project gains from the deal.” […]

Record-breaking U.S. trade deficits with Korea have become the new normal under the FTA – in 35 of the 36 months since the Korea FTA took effect, the U.S. goods trade deficit with Korea has exceeded the average monthly trade deficit seen in the three years before the deal. In January 2015, the monthly U.S. goods trade deficit with Korea topped $3 billion – the highest level on record.

The administration has tried to deflect attention from the failure of its Korea FTA by claiming that its poor performance has been caused by economic stagnation in Korea. However, Korea’s economy has grown during each year of the Korea FTA, while U.S. exports to Korea have not.”

Just providing signal amplification here. From everything I’ve seen, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is being offered to us all but forced upon us under cloak of secrecy, and we’re just supposed to take the administration’s word for it that it’s a good thing for American workers. Comparative data like this takes me out of safely skeptical territory and plunks me down squarely in a bog of cynicism.

Ending radio silence with…

Lee Camp. By all means, give this clip from Redacted Tonight a view. There’s an important part. You’ll recognize it. You should know it and let it affect your judgment accordingly. If you like the idea that trade agreements should erode sovereignty here, there, and everywhere, then the TPP and its ilk may be right for you. See your doctor.

This is what self determination looks like

Stranded in a food desert, Greensboro, NC residents make their own oasis

From Yes!: After Years Without a Grocery Store, Greensboro Neighbors Are Building One Themselves — And They’ll Own It

After learning about cooperative businesses, they decided to open a community-owned grocery store. The store would meet local residents’ needs for access to quality food and dignified, well-paid jobs. And now it’s going to happen. When the Renaissance Community Cooperative opens in 2015, it will be a conventional grocery store (like a Food Lion or Kroger) where wages start at $10 per hour.

 

What President Obama didn’t mention in his immigration address

There’s a sequence of 6 letters that appears nowhere in the transcript

President Obama finally addressed the nation today regarding the executive actions he’s taking in regard to our broken immigration system. If you’re looking for a strident pro or con piece, this isn’t it. If you’re looking for a call to see him impeached, yeah, good luck with that. If you’re acting like this is the first time a sitting president has ever had the temerity to go it alone on the issue, maybe you might want to bone up on the administrations of Ronnie “Golf? I NAP! Reagan” and creepy ex-chief of the secret police George “I Threw Up on Helmut Kohl and All I Got Was this Lousy T-Shirt” Bush, the Elder. Even so, I’m here to throw our friends on the right a bone. (more…)

If corporations are people, what about the 4th amendment?

From Moyers & Company: 10 Supreme Court Rulings — Before ‘Hobby Lobby’ — That Turned Corporations Into People

Here’s a head-scratcher:

“The Future: If a corporation has First Amendment rights, could it also claim Second Amendment protections? Amazingly, this is a question some scholars are seriously pondering. As Darrell A.H. Miller wrote in his 2011 article Guns, Inc. in the NYU Law Review, “If Citizens United is taken seriously, the Second Amendment, like the First Amendment and like many other provisions of the Bill of Rights, guarantees liberties to natural and corporate persons alike.” Bang!”

Forget corporations and 2A. What about corporations and 4A? To what extent might they press to no longer be required to reveal anything to the public unless there is first probable cause for that information to be subpoenaed? No more publicly-available quarterly filings, no more transparency on which to base investment decisions. Heaven help us if they seek that kind of opacity.

That, to me, is a far graver threat.

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Image credit: Cory M. Grenier @ flikr.com. Licensed under Creative Commons.