Category: Law & Government

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.

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Americans want the government to “redistribute wealth by heavy taxes on the rich” – Vox

Americans want the government to “redistribute wealth by heavy taxes on the rich” – Vox.

The summary of Gallup’s recent poll results are interesting enough, but the video addressing the nature of wealth inequality earns this piece bonus points. Naturally, the Gallup analysis available by link in the article addresses the nuances more completely. One thing I wish had been discovered is the degree to which proponents of each view changed their minds over time.

It should come as no surprise, I think, that the cluster of changing attitudes on the accompanying graph corresponds so closely to the elections of 2008 and 2012. It’ll be interesting to see if the two plateaus behave differently when the poll is repeated in 2016 leading into the election.

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.

‘Too Big to Exist’: Sanders Introduces Bill to Break Up Big Banks | Common Dreams

‘Too Big to Exist’: Sanders Introduces Bill to Break Up Big Banks | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community.

Under the proposal, called the Too Big to Fail, Too Big to Exist Act, regulators on the Financial Stability Oversight Council would compile a list of institutions which say they are so large that their collapse could trigger an economic crisis—otherwise known as “too big to fail.”

The Treasury Secretary would then have a year from the bill’s passing to break them up.

“If an institution is too big to fail, it is too big to exist,” Sanders said Tuesday. “No single financial institution should have holdings so extensive that its failure could send the world economy into crisis.”

Sure, this bill stands a snowball’s chance in hell of passing, but when it comes time for your Senator to beg for your vote, just be sure to remember who he or she supported, you or the banks that line their pockets.

Why Gov. Pence bothers me more than the so-called “religious freedoms” law

“Texas and Missouri specifically protect civil rights laws in their state RFRAs.  Why can’t Indiana?”

That’s from The clash of “religious freedom” and civil rights in Indiana. And it cuts right to what really bugs me about Gov. Pence and Indiana’s putatively “religious freedom” act. (more…)

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.

Hillary vs Brian Williams: stolen valor on the campaign trail

One of these things is not like the other

If you’ve been following the latest scandal du jour, you already know that Brian Williams has been caught in and called out for a long series of big, fat, juicy lies. The “shot down” lie was one he put on heavy rotation for over a decade, according to Variety:

In multiple retellings over the years, though, the NBC anchor has gone from saying he was “on the ground” when he learned about the RPG threat to suggesting the copter immediately in front of his took the hit to saying his own chopper was battered by both the RPG and AK-47 fire.

Called out for it recently, he vaguely admitted to the, shall we say, botched recollection, and poorly at that, at least in context of Variety’s claim. (more…)