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Is it possible that some Democrats will do the right thing and sink the Fast Track sell out of the American economy? New meaning to the value of divided government.


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SARTRE is the pen name of James Hall, a reformed, former political operative. "Populism" best describes the approach to SARTRE's perspective on Politics. 

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BATR RealPolitik Newsletter

MMXV Vol. 86 - May 14, 2015

Dems Balk at Trade Deal

Senate Democrats filibustered Tuesday to block the first major free-trade vote in years, dealing a blow to President Obama and GOP leaders who were pushing a deal in a rare show of bipartisanship, but who once again find themselves struggling with the political fringe.

Unlike the last few years’ worth of conservative objections, this time it was liberals who balked and pulled moderate Democrats with them, putting the brakes on the bipartisan push and imperiling the rest of the spring congressional agenda.

The ensuing Democratic filibuster sank the legislation on the Senate floor, 52-45, with 60 needed to pass. Trade proponents in both parties vowed to try to put the pieces back together, but with little more than a week before a Memorial Day recess and several expiring laws still to be addressed, the immediate future of Obama’s trade agenda is uncertain.

Republicans and White House officials have argued that enacting fast-track Trade Promotion Authority is critical for Obama’s ability to strike a massive trade deal with Pacific Rim countries.

“What we just saw here is pretty shocking,” said Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) immediately following the vote.
Obama's Secret Deal Could Sneak Gun Restrictions Into Trade Agreement
Senate Democrats Block Progress on Obama’s Trade Authority
Tuesday’s vote scrambled partisan alliances that have dominated Congress in the Obama era. Democrats, opposing their own president, united around demands that trade promotion authority be paired with a series of other measures, not only to crack down on currency manipulation, but to assist workers displaced by globalization, tighten child labor law and fortify the government’s response to unfair trade practices.

At the heart of Democrats’ demands is a measure that would force the government to respond when trading partners artificially depress the value of their currency to make their exports cheaper and United States exports more expensive.
After the stunning defeat, the White House hastily convened a meeting between Mr. Obama and 10 Senate Democrats, including Sens. Ron Wyden of Oregon, Patty Murray of Washington, Ben Cardin of Maryland, and Tim Kaine and Mark Warner of Virginia. The White House said the discussion was “constructive.”
Senate Democrats Block Obama's Fast-track Authority for Trade Pacts

President Obama’s performance in pushing for approval of fast track legislation of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal, in which he’s allied with Republicans and has spent the last week castigating and insulting liberal Democrats, has been one of the most bizarre and ill-advised performances of his presidency.

Mr. Obama’s tirades on trade have included accusations that these liberal Democrats are ignorant about trade policy, insincere when offering their opinions, motivated by politics and not the national interest, and backward looking towards the past. Obama’s repeated attacks against Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), in which he charged that Warren’s concern about the trade bill is motivated not by a reasoned view of what is right for America but by her personal political motivations, is one of the most dishonest and repellant examples of character assassination and contempt by any American president, against any leading member of his own party, in my lifetime.
Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) recently claimed that sexism plays a part in Obama’s blithe dismissal of Warren’s opposition. He further said that Obama’s comments about Warren are “disrespectful.”

“I think by just calling her ‘another politician,'” Brown said on Tuesday after the president’s trade deal suffered a defeat in the Senate. “I’m not going to get into more details. I think referring to her as first name, when he might not have done that for a male senator, perhaps?

"We are not going to send American workers out on their own to navigate the choppy waters of global trade without protections that make this a fair fight," Schumer said. "If the people who favor this trade want to move it forward, the answer is to bring all four bills to the floor."

Gillibrand's spokesman, Marc Brumer, said in an email, "She has serious concerns about it and about how previous trade deals have been implemented, many of which have had negative long-term impacts on upstate New York manufacturing jobs."
The bottom line is that, while Obama may be doing more lobbying on trade than lawmakers have seen since the health care overhaul, his targets of opportunity in both halves of the House are smaller than they were for his predecessor. Given the Republican complaint he’s already claimed too much power that belongs on the Hill, Obama won’t have much success at beseeching Republicans for even more executive leverage. Given how few Democrats are in re-election trouble next year, and how few of them will ever consider siding with the companies in their districts over the laborers, Obama can’t expect much good to come from his West Wing meetings, rides on Air Force One or promises of 2016 fundraising help.
Democrats freeze fast-track authority for Asia trade deal

Every Republican present voted to move the measure forward except Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, for procedural reasons — including some Republicans who’ve expressed ambivalence over the measure. The Democrat who voted to advance the bill was Tom Carper of Delaware, who’s been a strong ally of Republicans and the president on the issue.

Paul expressed frustration about the lack of access to the text of a massive Asia-Pacific trade agreement in explaining why he would oppose fast-track, which is backed by Republican leaders in the House and Senate.
“I’ve told leadership I’m a 'no' vote” on trade promotion authority,” Paul said during a campaign stop in New Hampshire. 

“I’m hesitant to give blanket authority on stuff we haven’t seen,” he said. 
According to several Senate sources — whose accounts match up with what some reporters are spilling forth on the twitters — the deal between Senate Dems and Republicans looks something like this:

1) The Senate would vote first on a package that includes a measure stiffening enforcement on foreign companies evading import duties and a measure that would force the administration to take action against countries manipulating currency to juice exports. Those were chiefly sought by Senators Ron Wyden and Chuck Schumer. There might also be a vote on a measure that would favor U.S. imports of some products from certain African countries.

2) Then the Senate would proceed to a vote on whether to move forward with Fast Track, which would mandate that a final Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is subject only to an up-or-down Congressional vote, with no amendments or filibusters. The vote on Fast Track would also include Trade Adjustment Assistance, which helps workers hurt by trade policies. Presumably, if the first two above items sought by Dems pass, a group of around a dozen pro-trade Democrats — who helped block Fast Track yesterday — would then vote to move it forward.

The Secretive Bank of England 
With the enactment of the privately owned central bank, the Bank of England provided the model for the financial enslavement of governments, and their citizens. Well before the conflict for establishing a National Bank in America or the eventual surrender to the money changers with the betrayal in instituting the Federal Reserve, the history of the Bank of England needs to be studied. Relying on British historians may seem to invoke a cultural bias; however, the range and wealth of information on this topic comes from an earlier age. Further research will expand this understanding and many of the sources cited can fulfill this objective.

George Soros $6.7 billion tax bill 

Hedge Fund schemers are the modern version of robber barons. At the top of the list of unscrupulous manipulators is the Nazi collaborator, George Soros. With reports like in Forbes that George Soros May Owe Billions In Taxes, an alarm should go off to all investors. 

Read the entire article "Corporatocracy" archives

College Education Economics 
For previous generations, the dream of a college education for their children was a primary motivation. Gaining access to the teachings of higher learning is certainly a laudable objective. While this goal still holds true, there is a systemic disconnect from attending institutions that cost a king’s ransom and having marketable skills to earn a generous income in the post industrial economy. When government employment becomes the most sought after occupation, the economic future of the country sinks into deep decline. The old correlation with the higher your education, the greater your income, is no more.

The Game Politicians Play 

The career political class is the quintessential predatory clique. If you remember and understand any aspect about politics, let it be the nature of the people who devote their lives to a band of thieves. Forget about the seeming dissimilarities in ideology, the political culture maintains a common conduct. Ignore the rhetoric that resembles opposing viewpoints, the club of controllers protect each other. And if you ever believed in heroes and are still waiting for a savior, your disappointment will eventually turn into despair. What sustains the process of government is the deception of its vice and the refusal of the public to admit that the game never changes. 

Descartes and Western Civilization Individualism

The philosophical condemnation of the supremacy in individual liberty verses the reigning doctrine of collective dominance, is a primary cause for the destruction of Western Civilization principles. Rene Descartes preferred to do his radical doubt thinking in solitude. In today’s society, thinking is about as foreign as rational behavior. In order to understand the timeless values and precepts that fostered the underpinnings of our Western thought and heritage, the significance of Descartes needs a close examination.

Read the entire essay from the "Solitary Purdah" archives


During a trial that revolved around Washington spin about specters of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, the government was able to shield the CIA and the former secretary of state from scrutiny, even though—and precisely because—testimony in the courtroom could have illuminated their actual records of crying nuclear wolf while laying the groundwork for war. During cross examination, the government was able to nip in the bud an effort by defense lawyer Barry Pollack to provide the jury with some key background on the Bush administration that Rice served:

Labour's nightmare is complete: Margaret Thatcher has returned to Government
“I believe passionately in free enterprise, that free enterprise is the lifeblood of any successful economy,” he said after David Cameron appointed him to his new role.

“What we do know is that sometimes when government creates new rules and regulations they make things worse not better. We are clearly on the side of business.” - Sajid Javid

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Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), chairman of the Finance Committee, who brokered the deal with Wyden, said the Oregon Democrat must vote yes Tuesday if he’s going to abide by the agreement they reached last month.

“Let’s hope that he remembers what he did and goes back to what he promised to do,” Hatch said, referring to an April discussion where the two agreed to move the fast-track trade bill and a Democratic-backed Trade Adjustment Assistance plan on “parallel” tracks. “Sen. Wyden has always been straight up on things — until now. And it worries me, because you’re only as good as your word around here.”

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