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Just saw Senate voting on Motion to Advance on CSpan, Durbin a no, but next two brought vote to 60.  Not sure how many are Dems, vote is continuing.

Damn.

How does this continue to happen, and what are the consequences?
Alan Grayson's email today on why:
Dear [divineorder]:

A week ago last Tuesday, the Senate voted against taking up the "Fast Track" trade giveaway bill. Hooray! Every Republican expressed support, but every Democrat except Sen. Carper (D-DE) voted against it.

But just two days later, 13 Democrats switched sides. They were against it, before they were for it.

What happened during those forty-eight hours? Well, an awful lot of corporate lobbyists billed an awful lot of hours. But the official explanation was that Mitch McConnell had agreed to a separate vote on a currency manipulation bill. Which may never pass the Senate. And may never come to a vote in the House. And may never pass the House. And may never be signed by the President. And if all those things somehow do come to pass, it can join the utterly ineffective existing laws against currency manipulation.

But that was the cover story for those 13 switched votes.

And yesterday, on another Senate vote, 13 Democrats wandered off the reservation. As a public service, I am providing their phone numbers, e-mail addresses and office addresses below.

Q. If we don't stick together, then how can we possibly win?

A. We can't.

There's one last Senate vote today. Tell them "NO" on Fast Track! Call or e-mail - right now. Below is a list of every Senate Democrat who voted to let Fast Track steamroll over us. Pick one, pick them all, and MAKE THEM LISTEN.

Courage,

Rep. Alan Grayson

Bennet, Michael F. - (D - CO)
Class III
261 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5852
Contact: www.bennet.senate.gov/contact/

Cantwell, Maria - (D - WA)
Class I
511 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3441
Contact: www.cantwell.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-maria

Carper, Thomas R. - (D - DE)
Class I
513 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2441
Contact: carper.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-senator-carper

Coons, Christopher A. - (D - DE)
Class II
127A Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5042
Contact: www.coons.senate.gov/contact/

Feinstein, Dianne - (D - CA)
Class I
331 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3841
Contact: www.feinstein.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/e-mail-me

Heitkamp, Heidi - (D - ND)
Class I
110 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2043
Contact: www.heitkamp.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact

Kaine, Tim - (D - VA)
Class I
388 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-4024
Contact: www.kaine.senate.gov/contact

McCaskill, Claire - (D - MO)
Class I
730 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-6154
Contact: www.mccaskill.senate.gov/contact

Murray, Patty - (D - WA)
Class III
154 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2621
Contact: www.murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactme

Nelson, Bill - (D - FL)
Class I
716 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5274
Contact: www.billnelson.senate.gov/contact-bill

Shaheen, Jeanne - (D - NH)
Class II
506 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2841
Contact: www.shaheen.senate.gov/contact/

Warner, Mark R. - (D - VA)
Class II
475 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2023
Contact: www.warner.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Contact

Wyden, Ron - (D - OR)
Class III
221 Dirksen Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5244
Contact: www.wyden.senate.gov/contact/


Not to late for action says anneli in the comments, and I agree with all  Grayson wrote. You?
Continue Reading

Progressive ideas have been getting a metric fck ton of increased media coverage due in a large part to the efforts of PCCC, DFA, and Dkos to get the word out on the courageous work of Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Swiftboating Warren Finally Here?

Meteor Blades has a story on the FP just now about a Politico industry hit piece on EW.

Democracy for Americais also critical of the Politico smear:

Matthew Yglesias called the Politico story "baffling and nonsensical":

    She worked to help the government try to beat back an ISDS claim, and now she wants to make new ISDS claims impossible. It's the very model of consistency.

He's right. In fact, that story shows that Elizabeth Warren knows what she's talking about when she criticizes ISDS. She has defended our democracy against it for years. Now she's taking the lead in the fight against the big corporations whose lobbyists wrote the TPP. That has made a lot of people angry at her, and now they want to undermine her.
We knew this crap was coming. That's how the Kochist press rolls, and worse, the way dark money we never get a full accounting of does as well.
But DFA fundraising email this morning says there's an even more distasteful fail article on her husband.  

Democracy for America email
https://secure.actblue.com/...

The second story is even more disgusting. It's a personal attack on Warren and her husband involving her home equity line of credit. This too is a ridiculous story, as Senator Warren has followed all the rules properly and correctly in how she handled reporting this part of her personal finances.

What's even more disturbing is that someone had to research obscure property records to find this out. Someone is being paid to dig up dirt on Elizabeth Warren and feed it to the press.

I shouldn't be surprised. When you take on the rich and the powerful, they tend to fight back -- especially when you're as effective as Elizabeth Warren. The establishment likes to use unfair attacks like this. They've done it to Howard Dean, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton. Do you remember John Kerry and the "swiftboat" story?

Now, in the middle of the TPP battle, they're coming after Elizabeth Warren with smears and personal attacks. The stakes couldn't be higher.

Stop the swiftboating of Elizabeth Warren: Stand with her against the TPP.
Was disappointed that DFA did not include the link for the second article but did find Boston rag doing just as they described: http://www.bostonherald.com/...  .  Its been gleefully passed around   by numerous blogs and what not.

Warning: if you read the comment section on the Boston Herald, you may require some brain bleach or at the least a beer to wash the disgusting taste out of your mouth.   But, sadly, you will also see the Kochpuppet comments that are swiftboating at its finest (fckest).

Elizabeth Warren Walks the Talk for Progressives, Deserves Of Support

Recently Hillary Clinton came out in support of Elizabeth Warren's work in a major way.
http://www.cnn.com/...

CNN)Hillary Clinton used Times Magazine's 100 Most Influential People list to pay tribute to Elizabeth Warren, a lawmaker some liberals hope will challenge the former secretary of state for the 2016 Democratic nomination.

In the short piece, Clinton touts Warren as a champion for the middle class and nods to the duos interesting relationship when she writes that Warren "never hesitates to hold powerful people's feet to the fire: bankers, lobbyists, senior government officials and, yes, even presidential aspirants."

"Elizabeth Warren's journey from janitor's daughter to Harvard professor to public watchdog to U.S. Senator has been driven by an unflagging determination to level the playing field for hardworking American families like the one she grew up with in Oklahoma," Clinton writes. "She fights so hard for others to share in the American Dream because she lived it herself."

Was glad to get the heads up on this from Democracy from America and support their work for progressives like Elizabeth Warren.  
What We're About
We are a grassroots powerhouse working to change our country and the Democratic
Party from the bottom up.
Tools For Progressive Change
that our members have access to.
Training
Learn skills and tools for grassroots activitists.
Petitions

Start change on important issues at local and national levels.

Groups

Start change on important issues at local and national levels.

Continue Reading

Just in for me, this 2016 sh*t just got more interesting.

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos
 Democrats convene --Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times-- "Run Warren Run" merchandise being sold before the first panels at the Democratic convention in Anaheim on Saturday.
LATimes
http://www.latimes.com/...

Well no, she is not going to run so....

'wait wait wait wait a minute.'  :)    Sorry for the title.

 Please.

Ahem.  Lessee here.

What I wanted with the title was to rope you into sharing the joy of Elizabeth Warren running around the country working for progressive Democrats, spanking the Republican Party,  working to rebuild/strengthen the Democratic Party.  And doing it well!

 

This is not a diary about electing Elizabeth Warren president.

This is not a diary about electing Elizabeth Warren president.

This is not a diary about electing Elizabeth Warren president.

Supporting Progressives to Run in States and Localities

Whew. Thought I better repeat that.  Thank you.

The purpose of this diary is to support the idea of how progressives like Warren go about generating enthusiasm for progressives at State Conventions and elsewhere toward the goal that Meteor-Blades pushes for, working at all levels to put progressives in local and state offices, Congress, etc.    

I like to think of it as progressive coverage 'From precincts to President.'  

Elizabeth Warren has such gravitas and a strong sense of propriety.

 And she has been stumping for liberals and progressives around the country, this time for AG Harris in her bid for the Party's nomination to replace Sen. Barbara Boxer.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren delivered a tub-thumping speech to delegates at the California Democratic Party convention in Anaheim on Saturday, touching on the policy themes that have made her the increasingly popular champion of her party's liberal wing and bestowing conspicuous praise on state Atty. Gen. and U.S. Senate candidate Kamala Harris.
Warren on Harris:
"That woman was fearless" in helping combat unscrupulous lending and foreclosure practices in California, Warren said of Harris, whom she endorsed for the Senate seat earlier this year.
There's more
Anyone hoping for Warren to call out President Obama by name over a controversial trade pact was disappointed. But she did make caustic remarks about the deal, saying it would benefit multinational corporations and "leave American workers in the dirt."

And she made abstract attacks on those who place politics above principle, comments that could be seen as indirect criticism of White House leadership on some core Democratic causes.

"When we stand together, when we make it clear what we believe in, America is ready to stand with us," Warren told the rapt crowd at the Anaheim Convention Center. "This isn't just about politics. It's about values."
Later, she added, "We don't win what we don't fight for."
EW on The Republicans:

 EW was out in California dishing out the red meat/spicy Vegan Thai to the Cali Dem Convention, and pumping them up for the heavy lifting back home.

And of course she gave Republicans no quarter:

Taking advantage of the convention center's proximity to Disneyland, Warren had less kind words for the crop of contenders for the Republican presidential nomination.
"Some of these guys took one spin too many on the teacups ride across the street," she said.
More:

 

In her speech, Warren also sketched the historical narrative that has helped fuel her rise in public life, portraying the U.S. as a country whose middle class, after close to a century of prosperity, has been hollowed by conservative policies from the 1980s on.


Put Reagan In Proper Perspective

 
She said the governorship of former President Ronald Reagan in the Golden State was "the epicenter of the earthquake that shook the middle class

 "Trickle-down economics was nothing more than political cover for helping the rich and powerful get richer and more powerful," she said.

 Today, Warren said, "This country isn't working for working people. It's working only for people at the top. That's not the American dream. That's the American nightmare."

###

Great work, Senator Warren. Inspiring job you are doing modeling for progressives courage and hard work win.

 

Discuss

My wife just read a startling email from DFA about medicare cuts.  Stunned, I went to read it myself.  Thought I would put up a diary but stopped when could not find a source for this very serious DFA accusation:

http://act.democracyforamerica.com/...

The Senate is about to vote again on Fast Track for the TPP. President Obama is pressuring Democrats to vote for it, even with this cut to Medicare. We have just a few days to stop them.
Say it ain't so!

I did some frantic searching --nothing in news search about what should be major breaking news? WTF?

Then Jakkalbessie found another petition that did link a source, this one from Credo Action:

Stop the sneak attack on Medicare

71%
We've reached 53,278 of our goal of 75,000.
Sign the petition

Sign the petition to Democratic leaders in Congress:

“Don’t let Republicans use the debate over Fast Tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership to force cuts to Medicare.”
Name*
Email*
Zipcode*

You'll receive periodic updates on offers and activism opportunities.

Stop the sneak attack on Medicare
On Tuesday, something happened that no one expected: Thanks to the leadership of Senators Harry Reid, Elizabeth Warren, Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders – who were powered by the activism of hundreds of thousands of CREDO members and our allies in the progressive community – Democrats were able to slow down the progress of Fast Track trade authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) by blocking a key test vote.

But now the bill is moving forward as part of a rotten compromise package that would pay for Trade Adjustment Assistance for displaced workers with $700 million in cuts to Medicare funding.

We’ve stopped backdoor cuts to our vital social safety net programs before – and with strong grassroots pressure, we can do it again.

Sign the petition to Democratic leaders in Congress: Stop the sneak attack on Medicare.

The Trade Adjustment Assistance program, originally implemented in 1974, provides training, benefits and job-placement assistance to American workers whose jobs are offshored or eliminated because of import competition. But paying for Trade Adjustment Assistance by raiding Medicare would put our country’s most vulnerable senior citizens at risk.

The proposal currently being considered to fund Trade Adjustment Assistance includes an extension of the sequester on Medicare payments into the second half of 2024, which amounts to a $700 million cut to Medicare funding.1 While this isn’t a direct cut to Medicare benefits, it could still have devastating effects for America’s seniors. As the American Medical Association explained in a letter to Congress, these cuts would “impede improvements to our health care system” and “could lead to serious access to care issues for Medicare patients.”2

Sign the petition: Stop the sneak attack on Medicare.
Thanks to your activism, we were able to slow down the Fast Track bill’s progress in the Senate earlier this week. Fighting back against the Medicare cuts in the Trade Adjustment Assistance bill with grassroots activism gives us the opportunity to turn up the pressure even more.

The Fast Track and Trade Adjustment Assistance bills need 60 votes in the Senate to move forward, so if Democrats stand together as they did on Tuesday we can still stop these heartless cuts to Medicare, and potentially derail the rotten compromise to Fast Track the TPP.

Sign the petition: Stop the sneak attack on Medicare.
1. "What Does Sequestration Mean to Medicare?," The Medicare Newsgroup, May 15, 2015.   http://www.medicarenewsgroup.com/...

2. "Healthcare groups object to Medicare cuts in trade bill," The Hill, April 21, 2015.  http://thehill.com/...

 photo 150420RREI4792.jpg

Even if its a case of I missed it and its been covered before its worth talking and acting on today imo.

Hope those that think Medicare should be strengthened, not cut, will comment and push back.

Updates below the kos kwahsant thingie

Continue Reading

Its almost embarrassing to say how much we have enjoyed these past 10 years of retirement because so many do not and will not have the wherewithal to do what we have done because of the 'theft,' if you will,  of private pensions-- and some public pensions-- in the United States.

http://www.cnbc.com/...

 

To be sure, tax-advantaged 401(k) plans have provided a means for millions of retirement savers to build a nest egg. More than three-quarters of employers use such defined contribution plans as the main retirement income plan option for employees, and the vast majority of them offer matching contribution programs, which further enhance employees' ability to accumulate wealth.

But shifting the responsibility for growing retirement income from employers to individuals has proved problematic for many American workers, particularly in the face of wage stagnation and a lack of investment expertise. For them, the grand 401(k) experiment has been a failure.
"In America, when we had disability and defined benefit plans, you actually had an equality of retirement period. Now the rich can retire and workers have to work until they die,"said Teresa Ghilarducci, a labor economist at the New School for Social Research who has proposed eliminating the tax breaks for 401(k)s and using the money saved to create government-run retirement plans.

Now that news really sucks.  They are talking about my brother's future there, and maybe yours, or surely someone you know.

Sure we're probably more frugal than most. Jakkalbessie says most people we know would not stay in a $35 a night un-airconditioned plywood cabin in Costa Rica with the bathroom outside at night, or in a tent with elephants and hippos dining just outside as that middle of the night call for the toilet beckons.  Nor would many even want a life like ours, with no TV, no new car (ever), etc.

Sure we were worried about becoming bankrupt when we each experienced hospitalizations and major health challenges but we had enough savings after insurance  to pay our part of the huge bills and so far still have a little left over.  

Of course if the Republicans and their Corpadem little buddies ever get their way in Texas we might loose our secondary insurance or have premiums increased to the point they will no longer be affordable. But so far we Texas teacher retirees have fended them off.  The teacher health benefit fund is billions in the hole this biennium but so far the Republican dominated Texas House and  Senate have issued pledges to make up the shortfall.  Maybe they want to increase the base of senior voters by doing this without a fight. Maybe they are saving it to end of session as part of some Grand Bargain to further lower corporate taxes in TX.   We will see.

Defending Government Pensions
So far we Texas Retired Teachers have also fought off efforts to privatize our fixed benefit pension, but other states have not been so fortunate. That is scary and the fat lady has yet to sing but ....

Climate Change and Retirement

And now we have the most recent Climate Change studies showing the shit going to get real much sooner than predicted, not to mention the possible further loss of our democratic control of protections and regulations through the Investor State Dispute Resolution revelations in the TPP.

 ###

Its a cold rainy day here in the desert mountains of Santa Fe, NM, so Jakkalbessie and I took a down day from a very active lifestyle and binged on DailyKos and other readings.  

Following a link from one of those diaries got into this article

Could the carbon bubble ruin your retirement?
Remember the subprime mortgage bubble? The carbon bubble might be our next $6 trillion nightmare.

Read more: http://www.mnn.com/...

We have participated in some protest actions with 350NM and heard Bill Mckibben speak about divestment via live video feed at the UNM campus in Albuquerque.

Reading this article reminded me to got check and Teacher Retirement of Texas fund. Though Texas teachers rank down there with Mississippi when you take into account salaries, health benefits, and retirement benefits, the Pension fund is huge and does pretty well.

Large
 – With a market value of over $130 billion as of December 2014, TRS manages the seventh largest US public pension fund. The fund’s size enables TRS to pursue large attractive opportunities not available to a majority of the marketplace.

The new brochure and video should be an example for all states facing attack on government pension funds because it shows the benefits to local economies of each dollar spent on pensions.  

Divestment Good For Pensions?

Was quite surprised to the that in bloody Texas only 3% was invested in Energy and Natural Resouces.  And up until recently on a pure money basis that area was probably doing amazingly with all the mega profits raked in.

The Raiders of Your Lost Retirement: Carbon Bubble?

Could not find anything about divestment moves on the TRS fund like I found for other states. But the article surely makes the case for getting out of oil and minerals and into alternatives.

What is the carbon bubble?
Despite how it may sound, the term does not refer to a bubble of carbon dioxide gas. Instead, it refers to the idea that as the world gets serious about moving to a low carbon economy then we are going to have to leave a large quantity of fossil fuels in the ground. And leaving a large quantity of fossil fuels in the ground leaves companies that are invested in the extraction, processing, transport or use of those fuels — not to mention the individuals, banks and pension funds who are invested in those companies — vulnerable to the risk of "stranded assets."

In much the same way as the financial crisis of 2008 rendered huge quantities of home loans largely worthless, a new energy landscape could render investments considered prudent under one set of assumptions substantially less lucrative and/or not worth the paper they are written on if those assumptions prove wrong.
 

One would think that surely the oil and gas movers and shakers are on top of this and won't let it happen. But apparently they got so used to the megatons of profit they have made in recent years that they are not changing their business plan and hoping that the joy ride continues.

The article talks about how the Saudis have been spanking the tar sands frackers' butts by lowering the price , and also how the Saudis are getting into solar and may thereby contribute to a Carbon Bubble?
 

Adding to that complicated picture, there is much speculation that Saudi Arabia's role in keeping oil prices low is a direct attempt to throw a spanner in the works of tar sands oil production and fracking,  thus preserving its market share in a limited-carbon future and maintaining the medium-term value of its less carbon intensive oil reserves. This school of thought gains added credence when you consider that the Saudis are investing heavily in solar power, and a Saudi Arabian solar company recently shattered records for the lowest-cost solar anywhere in the world. Could it be that the desert kingdom is crafting its exist strategy?

Surely, the fossil fuel industries are aware of this threat?
Whenever I talk about the carbon bubble, somebody usually pipes up that fossil fuel industries, not to mention the banks that finance them, employ some of the smartest minds in the world. Wouldn't they be aware of, and planning for, such an existential threat as this?

Hope you get a chance to read the article in full.  Who knows, as the author argues,  the dead ender fossil fuel plutocrats might  not change quick enough and will tip  up into another huge fail downturn of the world economy.

 IF that happened, it would surely have an impact on our pensions and 401ks.

What to do?

 

>What can I do to protect myself?

Whether the carbon bubble deflates slowly or blows up with a bang will depend very much on how the world manages the transition to a low carbon economy, assuming we make that transition at all. (If we don't make the transition, the idea of a functioning economy becomes pretty much moot anyway.) Luckily, the same things that investors need to do to protect themselves are the same things that will help to encourage a managed (and manageable) transition. They look something like this:

   Divest from fossil fuels: Whether it's an individual meeting with his or her financial advisor to reduce fossil fuel exposure, or a gigantic corporation like The Guardian Media Group divesting its £800,000,000 investment fund, the sooner we move our money out of the bubble, the smaller that bubble will be.
    Invest in alternatives: It is not, of course, enough to simply take our money out of fossil fuels. The world needs energy. So we need to invest in the alternatives. That's why divesting from fossil fuels must be combined with investing in renewables, efficiency and other clean tech.
    Walk the walk: Investment is just one piece of the puzzle. How we use (and don't use!) energy in our daily lives sends an important message to the markets about where our future is headed. So install solar panels if you can, buy green energy if it's available, turn off those (LED!) lights, ride a bike (when you're not driving your electric car), and support businesses who are committed to clean energy too.
    Demand change: From voting for politicians who support a stable, low carbon policy environment to pressuring polluting businesses (and their backers) to mend their ways, what you do with your time and voice is as important as what you do with your money.
Advocacy groups like 350.orghave been at the forefront of building a global climate movement, providing a myriad of ways that you can engage on the local, regional, national and international level. Heck, even corporate CEOs are making their voices heard — demanding substantial climate action and severing ties with organizations who are standing in the way.

Read more: http://www.mnn.com/...

As was pointed out in a diary here recentlythe President seems to be like some of the rest of us (hi, its me the frequent flyer!) , in denial about Climate Change with recent Administration actions showing this as so, his great recent speeches and his tepid deals with China nothwithstanding.  

But really, what can we do to stave off this attack of The Raiders of Our Lost Retirement, this carbon bubble?

Guess me and Jakkalbessie will at least continue to work for divestment of fossil fuelsdeadenders and other transnational attempts at expanding their power through the TPP and TTIP while undermining our own economic well being.  We also donated to Bernie Sanders run for the nomination and support his opposition to the corporate socialism that the trade agreements and tax breaks for big corporations . YMMV

Yes --- other countries have prospered at the expense of American workers.Shanghai, China - 1987 and 2013
 photo bk05.jpg_1.gif Credit:http://www.economicpopulist.org/...

Your thoughts?

Discuss

Tue May 12, 2015 at 04:45 PM PDT

OMG Obamatrade Is On Facebook

by divineorder

Have read several commenters recently  joking calling TPP "Obamatrade".

I never have liked calling ACA 'Obamacare' and I don't like this moniker either.

For me the President's selling of the TPP has been his final coming out of the neo-liberal closet.  After years of widespread Democratic base opposition to another dead ender trade deal, he and other DLC Third Way/ Corpadems are waving the 'FU' finger, pushing ,  a secret deal which a draft exposed by Wikileaks shows on Investor-State Dispute Settlements which  could  give corporations even more freedom from national regulation than they already have, taking the world further toward rule by bad actor multinationals and their .01% owners.  YMMV

Many Dems are opposed, and WaPo thinks that even HRC has deserted Mr. Obama on this, minutes ago publishing:

Hillary Clinton’s hedge on trade leaves Obama without political cover
 
Regardless it seems that most  Congressional supporters are Republicans, and that's another sign that this deal is not good for the 99%.

"Obamatrade?"  Really?

 

 "Obamatrade" Label Is Gaining Traction w Rightwing (32+ / 0-)

according to participants on the Thom Hartmann radio show few minutes ago.

RW is starting to oppose it based on the Obam-opposite Rule that forbids them supporting even their own policies if he supports them.

We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

by Gooserock on Tue May 12, 2015 at 12:41:27 PM MDT

I got curious after seeing the comment above earlier today and did some looking.

And whatdayuhknow, yep, there is a Obamatrade websiteAND a Obamatrade Facebookpage.

 photo obama_promises_4.jpg.png Credit: http://obamatrade.com/...

One could guess from the image this is a RW site, their little disclaimer at being non-partisan notwithstanding.

Who put it up? Well the American Jobs Alliance.  Who?  No wiki page I could find.  But did
go to http://www.americanjobsalliance.com/... and discovered their Board of Advisors

American Jobs Alliance Board of Advisors

AJA Advisory Board

Buddy Roemer, former Governor of Louisiana, former U.S. Congressman

Clyde Prestowitz, President, Economic Strategy Institute, counselor to Secretary of Commerce in the Reagan Administration

John “Rick” MacArthur, author, The Selling of Free Trade, publisher, Harper’s Magazine

Greg Autry, co-author, Death by China, Merage School of Management, UC-Irvine, Senior Economist AJA

Pat Mulloy, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Adjunct Professor of International Trade Law, Catholic University and George Mason University, former commissioner US China Economic and Security Commission

Meh. Yeah well, okay. Suggest that if you are interested to check them out just so you'll know what they are up to.

Website page : "Why No Obamatrade"

Here's a sampling:

Obamatrade aka the TransPacific Parthership (TPP) is misleadingly called a “trade agreement.” But only two of its 26 chapters actually cover trade issues such as tariffs and quotas. Obamatrade is really an expansive system of enforceable global government that the Obama administration is negotiating with eleven Pacific Rim nations: Vietnam, Brunei, Singapore, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Canada, Mexico and Peru. Obamatrade would impose one-size-fits all international rules to which U.S. federal, state and local law would be forced to conform. It would also give preferential treatment to foreign banks and other firms operating here, exempting foreign companies in the US  from financial, environmental and land use regulations that US businesses would still be required to obey. Obamatrade would subject the U.S. to the jurisdiction of two systems of foreign tribunals, including World Bank and United Nations tribunals. These foreign tribunals would be empowered to order payment of U.S. tax dollars to foreign firms if U.S. laws undermined the foreign firms’ new special privileges.

    Facebook92Twitter4GoogleRedditEmail

Well well well.

 But when you get to the site's home page they have posts centering on a whole host of  stellar fellers like Trump, Sessions, and Lou Dobbs.

Check it out if you dare, and share your take on it with us.

Discuss

Thu Apr 23, 2015 at 02:37 PM PDT

HRC Goes OWS? 1% Requires Toppling

by divineorder

Well kiss my grits, the HRC for President Campaign REALLY goes populist, with HRC even reportedly calling for the 'toppling' of the 1%!

http://www.nytimes.com/...

Politics
Campaign Casts Hillary Clinton as the Populist It Insists She Has Always Been

By AMY CHOZICKAPRIL 21, 2015

In a meeting with economists this year, Mrs. Clinton intensely studied a chart that showed income inequality in the United States. The graph charted how real wages, adjusted for inflation, had increased exponentially for the wealthiest Americans, making the bar so steep it hardly fit on the chart.

Mrs. Clinton pointed at the top category and said the economy required a “toppling” of the wealthiest 1 percent, according to several people who were briefed on her policy discussions but could not discuss private conversations for attribution.

Still, Mrs. Clinton will pitch that “toppling” with a very different style from Ms. Warren, a bankruptcy expert whose populist message has been laser-focused on holding Wall Street accountable. Mrs. Clinton will present proposals for changes in the tax code as a way of also investing in education, infrastructure and communities.

Mrs. Clinton “wakes up asking how she can accomplish real things for families, not who she can attack,” said Gene B. Sperling, an economic adviser in the Clinton and Obama administrations. He added, “When she shows that fighting populist edge, it is for a purpose.”

Maybe she said it, maybe she didn't.  But the campaign has not backed totally away from it:
Zach Carter Become a fan
zach.carter@huffingtonpost.com

Hillary Clinton Calls For 'Toppling' The 1 Percent

The Clinton campaign told HuffPost they could not confirm the precise language of the quote, but did not distance themselves from its populist essence.

“No one in the room remembers this quote, and it doesn't sound like language she'd use," a Clinton aide emailed to HuffPost. "That said, our economy was nearly toppled in 2008 because the deck was stacked for those at the top and Hillary Clinton has said she's running to reshuffle the deck for everyday Americans so that it doesn’t topple again and people can actually get ahead. It’s a belief at the core of her entire career fighting and at the core of this campaign.”

But while Clinton may be focusing on the wealthy, the Times article also seemed to underscore a lingering tension between some of her top advisers and Warren herself.

Color me skeptical.  Talking populist retoric is one thing in a campaign, following through with real measures,  hmmmmm.
A rift between Clinton and Warren emerged when Clinton,as a New York senator, later voted in favor of the bankruptcy reform she, Warren and Sperling had all been fighting against during the Clinton administration.
We need a primary to get more specifics from our Dem candidates. Badly need one.

###
For a video of clips of  HRC and EW on Inequality :  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

Discuss

For those who want Congress to have more input from constituents on TPP and TTIP
there's still time to stop TPP  Fast Track Authority in the House!

http://www.oregonlive.com/...

Senate panel OKs 'fast track' trade legislation, but battle awaits in House
The Finance Committee's actions Wednesday were delayed for hours because liberal Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., invoked an often-ignored Senate scheduling rule in protest. "This job-killing trade deal has been negotiated in secret," said Sanders, who made a lengthy Senate speech denouncing the legislation.

The trade debate turns to the House on Thursday. Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., estimates that about 180 to 200 House Republicans will vote for fast track, along with 15 to 30 Democrats. "This is the president's initiative," Cole said. "He's going to have to work his side of the aisle pretty hard."

The low end of Cole's estimate would leave Obama short of a majority in the 435-seat House.

Time to make some calls?
https://www.stopfasttrack.com/
Congress: Don't betray democracy!
No "Fast Track" for the TPP!

Congress is pushing legislation right now that would "Fast Track" the Trans-Pacific Partnership—a secretive agreement negotiated behind closed doors by government bureaucrats and more than 600 corporate lobbyists. It threatens everything you care about: democracy, jobs, the environment, and the Internet. [Learn More]
 

https://www.stopfasttrack.com/ provides dialer and talking points, or DIY !
224-3121
Go to the website for the member of Congress you wish to contact to find a postal address and mail a letter. Call the United States Capitol switchboard at 1-202-224-3121. The switchboard operator will connect you with the office you request.
Contact the U.S. Congress and the White House | USA.gov
http://www.usa.gov/...  
 photo 150420RREI4792.jpg  
Discuss

Tue Apr 21, 2015 at 03:23 PM PDT

Saudis Ending Yemen Bombing Fail

by divineorder

Hey, let's go bomb somebody!  Then lets go invade on the ground!

Middle East
Saudis Announce Halt to Yemen Bombing Campaign
By RICK GLADSTONEAPRIL 21, 2015
Civil war. Religious War.  GWOT.  Which is it?

Recently  a Catholic blogger asked this key question:

Will the US join a religious war in the Gulf?
Drew Christiansen Ra'fat Aldajani  |  Apr. 20, 2015 NCR Today

Although Saudi Arabia is a key ally to the United States, it is important that the U.S. have honest conversations with the Saudis about issues that have been considered too sensitive to Saudi sensibilities, namely the long-term risk to the U.S. and the West from Saudi Arabia's missionary Wahhabism (a strict version of Sunni Islam). The worldwide network of madrassas (Quranic schools) and Wahhabi mosques funded by the Saudis have in many cases provided the theoretical and religious basis for militant and terrorist groups around the world who have turned theology into violence.

The conflicts across the Middle East have lately defied any coherent and meaningful U.S. policy. Getting embroiled in a religious war would be to step into a viper's tangle. Drone warfare against terrorists has moral complications all its own, and they need to be resolved. But the rationale for counterterrorism is clear.

Involvement in the Saudi-Sunni war vs. Iran-Shiite battle for regional power, by contrast, is a destination amply marked with signs: Danger ahead. Under these conditions, President Barack Obama's caution and deliberation are qualities the American public should welcome.

[Jesuit Fr. Drew Christiansen is former editor of America magazine and a professor of ethics at Georgetown University. Ra'fat Aldajani is a Palestinian-American writer and commentator.]

More troubling news along with the announced end to bombing is the sending in of the Saudi Kings' forces. For a gung ho but interesting history of how this control force came about check out:
Military & Defense More: Saudi Arabia Military Defense Bahrain
Saudi Arabia's elite National Guard has been ordered to take part in the war in Yemen

    Jeremy Bender

    Apr. 21, 2015, 11:32 AM    2,388 4   

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/...

Many would like to see diplomacy take the place of bombing and killing of civilians.
UN chief urges immediate ceasefire, political solution in Yemen
WASHINGTON – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Yemen, saying a political solution is the best way out of the conflict in the Arab country.

“I am calling for an immediate ceasefire in Yemen by all parties. It is time to support corridors for lifesaving aid and a passage to real peace,” the secretary-general said in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, DC on Thursday night. “The United Nations-supported diplomatic process is the best way out of a drawn-out war with terrifying implications for regional stability.”

The UN chief also said the government in Riyadh is aware of the importance of dialogue in resolving the Yemeni crisis. “The Saudis have assured me that they understand there must be a political process,” he pointed out, calling on all Yemenis to participate in diplomacy. Ban further said that he was trying to find a new representative who can be immediately deployed" to the violence-wracked country. Jamal Benomar, the UN envoy to Yemen, has Wednesday resigned.

Hundreds have been killed while deliveries of humanitarian supplies were being blocked and UNICEF recently reported that one third of fighters in the country were children. “It is time to support corridors for lifesaving aid and a passage to real peace. The United Nations-supported diplomatic process is the best way out of a drawn-out war with terrifying implications for regional stability.”

The US policy in Yemen has been an abject failure, with drone deaths of civilians and even US citizens.  That needs to change, but apparently now Obama admin is more concerned about pleasing the Saudis.

According to Politico   (with apologies)

“Our involvement in Yemen is a direct function of the talks, and it’s a decision by the administration to try to reassure our Arab partners,” says Ilan Goldenberg, a former Obama State Department and Pentagon official specializing in the Middle East. “I’m not sure what we’re doing in Yemen is good Yemen policy. In fact I would probably venture that it’s bad Yemen policy. But I would say that it’s good U.S.-Saudi relationship policy.”

Any American effort to interdict arms shipments to Yemen would have the imprimatur of the United Nations: Last week, the international body approved an arms embargo authorizing member states to “immediately take necessary measures to prevent direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer” of arms to the Houthis, according to a U.N. news release.

Read more: http://www.politico.com/...

Just two hours ago Reuters reported more civilian deaths:
World | Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:13pm EDT
Related: World, Yemen
Two air strikes in Yemen kill at least 40 people, mostly civilians
http://www.reuters.com/...
Good to see the Saudi say they are ending the bombing, not so happy to see they are sending in ground forces.

Supporting the Saudis needs to end.  We need a sea change in US foreign policy.

 It has to come with working from the ground up to get a Congress that works for this instead of letting the War Profiteers fill   pockets and complicate policies with their greed.

We also need a Democratic President who will lead in that direction.  Who will that be?

Discuss

The Wall Street Journal is all excited about the latest deal between some Corpadems and Repubs in the Senate:

The Wall Street Journal

A Lift for Free Trade
The Hatch-Wyden compromise deserves Congress’s approval.
April 16, 2015 7:13 p.m. ET

The big news Thursday was that Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee had reached a deal to produce a compromise bill that would give President Obama the ability to negotiate free-trade agreements with the rest of the world. The deeper news, in our view, is that there are still Members of Congress fighting free trade’s progress, even as the clouds darken over the global economy. Consider:

Hell yeah there is opposition.  A secret 'deal' in Congress to provide cover for the secretly negotiated TTP.

http://bizbeatblog.dallasnews.com/...

Fight looms in Congress as many Democrats oppose fast-track trade authority
Michael Lindenber
ger Email mlindenberger@dallasnews.com
Published: April 16, 2015 6:11 pm

WASHINGTON–America’s largest companies cheered Thursday’s introduction in the Senate of a bipartisan bill granting President Obama the trade negotiation authority he’s asked for. Not cheering? Members of the President’s own party, especially in the House, who say the bill would cede too much authority to the presidency and fast-track what they say could be a disastrous free trade deal with Asia.

Thursday’s bipartisan bill would grant trade promotion authority to the president, who has said he wants to use it to speed approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The authority means that trade deals worked out by the executive branch can only be approved or rejected, but not edited, once they are submitted to Congress.

As MB posted earlier there were6 Dem Senators unhappy with the 'compromise' plan.  Wyden's bandaid to 'retrain' displaced workers is a non-starter.  Ask my brother whose good middle class union factory job went south after NAFTA passed, and the retraing he received was for entry level jobs that flat did not exist.  He's working night retail stocking, didn't lose his house but has had bouts with depression and alcoholism along with his financial challenges.

Republicans in teh House Represent Your District?

There are quite a few Dems in the House against any effort to Fast Track, but now is the time for those in Republican districts to join in as well:

Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., said the ability to kill the bill in 2015 will likely come down to Republican members of the tea party or other populists.

“The key is whether we see organization and opposition among the Republican populists,” he said.

Several House members predicted that will happen. Among the reasons they believe some Republicans will oppose the bill and the TPP: The former cedes too much constitutional authority to the executive branch, they said. What’s more, the TPP would put too much downward pressure on wages for American workers and give foreign companies the right to protest environmental laws without having to sue in U.S. courts.

But for big business, the trade authority makes sense no matter who is in the White House. America’s largest companies see the prospect of easier trade with some of the largest and fastest-growing economies in the world as a major plus.

Oh. Big business sees it as a major plus. Greattttt.  BB, with the CEO's already rolling in dough in the 'recovery', who pay few taxes and high wads of cash offshore instead of creating jobs here.  Yeah, they absolutely would LOVE what we have learned is a stepping stone to multinational corp rule against environmental and labor regulations.

So if you live in a Republican represented district, call.  Dem district, call.  Write a letter to the editor.  Congratulate those who are opposing Fast Track.  Protect our chance to have Congressional debate on TPP!

From Fight For the Future
https://www.stopfasttrack.com/
 

Congress: Don't betray democracy!
No "Fast Track" for the TPP!
Congress is pushing legislation right now that would "Fast Track" the Trans-Pacific Partnership—a secretive agreement negotiated behind closed doors by government bureaucrats and more than 600 corporate lobbyists. It threatens everything you care about: democracy, jobs, the environment, and the Internet.[Learn More]

 

Discuss

Rachel Maddow had Elizabeth Warren on last night for a great segment where EW talks about issues that should be front and center in campaigns going forward.

Warren was clearly a Democratic Party partisan with her comments, obviously intent on rallying the base around issues that matter to progressives and wanting the party to focus on them as well.  

Maddow showed the letter penned by Warren after Citi and others threatened to cut off funding to Dems because of Warren's criticism.  Rachel said that when that letter went out supporters who often respond with as much as $100,000 Warren asked them to contribute the $30,000 to the DSCC that Citi and others were threatening to withhold if she did not pull back from her criticism.

Rachel told Warren something to the effect ' the reason  there is such a clamor from people who are after you to run for President  even though you don't want to is  because they are worried about the Democrats chances of holding on to the Presidency and it going Republican and the Senate staying  Republican, would put you in a position of   having no leverage at all .'

EW says that issues are what truly divide us from the Republicans, and that's where we should spend our energy. Republicans already attacking Dodd Frank this soon after the financial crisis. Give us a chance, give us a majority, and we will bring down student loan rates and more. On Social Security we will take care of funding, EXPAND Social Security. We had a vote on this, now can go to American people and campaign on this. There is a clear difference on this between parities, accountability of financial sector....

Hmmmmmmm.

 And for some reason cannot get the vid to embed. Copied and pasted it just below here and now cigar. There was  no https so no s to remove. Anyone able to help?

Good stuff.  Sorry, no transcript yet.

The Rachel Maddow Show 3/31/15
Senator Elizabeth Warren pushes Democrats to compete on issues
Senator Elizabeth Warren talks with Rachel Maddow about the differences between Democrats and Republicans on popular issues like student loans and the minimum wage, and why she thinks emphasizing those distinctions is key to Democratic political success.
Duration: 9:45
Discuss

Many times.

My apologies for the snarky title.

But yes, HRC said she was not running! 'No, I am not running, need time away.' ' Not going to run. '  Remember those times?

Lost count of how many times.  Still, looks like she didn't mean it, or at the time she said it she meant it, or? Who knows?

But she said it many times.

http://www.runwarrenrun.org/

Hundreds say Run Warren Run

300,000 people have signed a petition to get Warren to run.   Press releases have gained national attention. Voters are learning more and more about the progressive wing of the Democratic Party and its courageous leaders.

Dem leaders are watching this effort. Will it influence them to change? Get better results than the last election?

It's an effort to restore enthusiasm, put progressive influence on the Democratic Party, lobby for a primary, an effort to bring together many who are unhappy with the PTB, who want to work with, as Warren once said"....people who want to fight back."  

The effort can only strengthen support for Elizabeth Warren, who is under attack by the right wing, by the banks, by the oligarchs. This effort can strengthen her voice in the Senate as she continues to introduce progressive legislation, on the national stage as she calls out Wall Street and works for the people. People want her to run for
President. She got creds!

A similar campaign produced her Senate run and can help get her re-elected when the time comes.  

http://www.runwarrenrun.org/
Discuss
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