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There's a war on for the heart of our party, and it seems that Speaker Pelosi has chosen sides.  In a story that lamentably hasn't recieved the coverage that it deserves, Speaker Pelosi shows that she clearly didn't get the message of last month's election.  The base of people power is populism, the sovereignty of the people.

Speaker Pelosi has a arranged a series of seminars for freshman representatives.  On Wednesday, December 5, freshman representatives will be subjected to indoctrination in economics of fucking the people who sent you to Washington over by Robert Rubin, a free trade fanatic from the Clinton administration. It gets worse, Speaker Pelosi banned Labor from sending representatives to offer an opposing view.  Never in my life did I think that I would see a Democratic speaker of the House ban Labor from talking to the people's representatives.

From William Greider writing for the Nation. Greider write about the response of Labor leaders when told that Rubin would have the stage to himself.

When labor officials heard about this, they asked to be included since they have very different ideas about what Democrats need to do in behalf of struggling workers and  middle-class families. Pelosi decided against it. This session, her spokesman explains, is only about "fiscal responsibility," not globalization and trade, not the deterioration of wages and disappearing jobs. Yet those subjects are sure to come up for discussion. Rubin gets to preach his "free trade" dogma with no one present to rebut his facts and theories.

A fundamental debate is growing within the party around these economic issues and Pelosi knows this. It is seriously unwise for this new Speaker to leave an impression she has already chosen sides. The interpretation by Washington insiders will be: Pelosi is "safe;" she is not going to threaten Rubin's Wall Street orthodoxy. Far-flung voters will begin to conclude Democrats are the same-old, same-old money party. This is the sort of party "unity" that can earn Pelosi a very short honeymoon.

But this isn't just about one seminar for freshman Representatives, it's about a war for the heart of the party.  
While I think that the dichotomy between what Sirota termed the People  Party vs. the Money Party is oversimplified, what he's trying to capture is very real and very threatening to the interests of working people.  My operating theory is that Sirota's suffering from a subdermal hematoma after hearing about Pelosi banning Labor from the seminar this Wednesday.  At this point, and after having detailed the numerous things ways that that the party leadership is betraying working people, I think all he can see is red.

Sirota's not alone though.  In chronicling the election of populist candidates in Ohio, Virginia, and Montana, the New York Times identified the players in the battle going in the party between the Clintonites and the representatives of Labor. That article is now behind a subscription wall, but from that article.

Just as the populists have organized, tentatively calling their group Shared Prosperity, so has the Democratic establishment. Its counterpart is "the Hamilton Project," formed last spring to elaborate policies in anticipation of a Democratic Congress and, in 2008, a Democratic victor in the presidential election. Mr. Orszag, who was a senior economist in the Clinton administration, directs the project. The financing comes from wealthy Democrats, among them Mr. Rubin.

Labor isn't content to sit by idly and allow the new Congress to pursue the same failed economic policies that have seen America divide economically.  Bloomberg  details the division in greater detail noting that while there are multiple cleavages at work the principal divide is over free trade deal.

Labor leaders and the nascent "Shared Prosperity" group want to see the new Congress put new trade deals on hold until labor protections can be guaranteed. The group of Wall Street backed economists organized as the "Hamilton Project" and financed in large party by Rubin want to push further trade deals, and limit personal injury lawsuits.

While Labor leaders and Rubin have been meeting on a regular basis the hostility in the air is palpable.

Speaking on Rubin's proposed economic agenda, AFL-CIO Treasurer Richard Trumka and other leaders had little good to say.

``The strategy you propose offers little, in my view, to either bolster economic growth or address the stagnating wages and living standards of American working families,'' Trumka wrote in a Feb. 7 letter to Rubin. ``I am simply astonished that you would suggest such a politically toxic agenda for the Democratic Party.''

``When the wizards of Wall Street start dictating Democratic policy, the first to be forgotten are the Democratic voters who made these election successes possible,'' said Rick Sloan, a spokesman for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. ``We get screwed every time these guys grab the handles of power. They forget the need to create jobs. They are much more interested in Chinese growth than Cleveland's growth.''

For their part the principals in the Hamilton Project have not been above deriding the concerns of labor as extremist and implying that Labor just might be Communist.

Steven Rattner, co-founder of New York investment firm Quadrangle Group LLC and a member of the Hamilton Project's advisory council, gave voice to those differences in a July Wall Street Journal guest editorial.

Rattner criticized ``more extreme factions'' of the party who ``argue that the centrism of the Clinton administration doesn't adequately address 21st-century fears.'' He said they ``offer in its place statist visions of organizing economic policy around belittling American capitalism'' while trumpeting ``unionization and protection.''

While the "Shared Prosperity" group has no web page at this time, the Economic Policy Insititute is perceived to be the think tank wing of the group.  The Hamilton Project already has a page up at which you can view some of their ideas for the country.

While both groups have tried to maintain cordial relations, the issues that divide aren't going away, and the perception by the Pelosi-Rubin wing of the party that this year's election was a mandate for the return of Clitonite economic policies is bound to create conflict.  What makes the self-entitlement of the "Hamilton Project" group all the more enfuriating is that without the $40 Million from Labor the victory of Democrat's in November's election would likely not have occurred.  The impression is that before she's even sworn in as Speaker, Pelosi deigned to stab Labor in the back.

And all this has implication for 2008 and beyond.  Hillary Clinton is the most likely heir to power for the group of interests behind the "Hamilton Project", while with the withdrawl of Russ Feingold from consideration, John Edwards is the most likely standard-bearer for Labor and the "Shared Prosperity" group. This is not the first time that the Democratic Party had this fight.

During the New Deal, Roosevelt faced considerable opposition from the DLC of that day led by Al Smith the 1928 Democratic presidential nominee, who would endorse Republicans in 1936 and 1940 to epress his oppositon the New Deal.  Searching for a fitting description of the Republicans and Demcratic traitors who fought him so vigorously on the New Deal, Roosevelt speaking to the 1936 Democratic Convention coined the term "economic royalists."

For out of this modern civilization economic royalists carved new dynasties. New kingdoms were built upon concentration of control over material things. Through new uses of corporations, banks and securities, new machinery of industry and agriculture, of labor and capital - all undreamed of by the Fathers - the whole structure of modern life was impressed into this royal service.

Against economic tyranny such as this, the American citizen could appeal only to the organized power of government. The collapse of 1929 showed up the despotism for what it was. The election of 1932 was the people's mandate to end it. Under that mandate it is being ended.

The royalists of the economic order have conceded that political freedom was the business of the government, but they have maintained that economic slavery was nobody's business. They granted that the government could protect the citizen in his right to vote, but they denied that the government could do anything to protect the citizen in his right to work and his right to live.

And so it is again.  The 1930 election saw Democrats pick up 52 House seats and 8 Senate seats.  But it was only during the 1932 Democratic primary when Roosevlt beat out Al Smith for the nomination the the New Deal and the Democratic consensus that dominated the country during the fifth party system from 1932 to 1968.

We have a decision to make. Will the Demomcratic party fall prey to the economic royalists of the "Hamilton Project" or will the party get the message the people sent last month and adopt the policy stances of the new ecnomomic populists of the "Shared Prosperity" group?  This is the fight for 2008.

UPDATE

I want to ask you all a favor.

I'd  like for Kossacks to write a note explaining they'd like Labor leaders to be included in the seminar on Wednesday.

The form is here.

Pelosi can also be reached at her Congressional email:

sf.nancy@mail.house.gov

Maybe we can make Pelosi change her mind about the importance of labor.

Originally posted to ManfromMiddletown on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 11:21 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  The problem with Pelosi (69+ / 0-)

    Even though she represents a very liberal district, she's gotten an awful lot of campaign contributions by the nearby Silicon Valley corporations who have their own agenda. Pelosi's already talking about scaling back Sarbanes-Oxley, and beyond the minimum wage hike, I really do wonder what sort of populist economic agenda will be on the table.

    Progressive Wave
    "Inconvenient truths do not go away just because they are not seen." -Al Gore

    by PsiFighter37 on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 11:22:47 PM PST

    •  her district is liberal, but not populist (46+ / 0-)

      Pelosi represents a very wealthy district and many people in this district consider themselves liberal because they don't care about gay marriage.

      But populism, not so much.

      - Why can't we have an nominee who was right about Iraq?

      by blogswarm on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 11:29:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

        •  neither (19+ / 0-)

          Pelosi doesn't represent a suburb district, she represents an urban district with some of the highest property values in America.

          The heart of the party isn't geographical (I agree to a great extent with this diary and Pelosi is my Rep).

          But we need to find the heart and keep our fingers on the pulse, which doesn't appear to be happening.

          - Why can't we have an nominee who was right about Iraq?

          by blogswarm on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 11:38:35 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  that's a weird dichotomy there (27+ / 0-)

          coastal urban areas, in particular the working class there, are a huge proportion of the party's voters. there are suburbs in every part of the country, just as there are working people in every part of the country. you've got a great point with this diary; don't botch it by starting a regional pissing war, please.

          surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

          by wu ming on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 01:21:21 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I recognize that (21+ / 0-)

            but I think that there's a real divide betwen coastal areas that feel they benefit from trade, and interior areas that feel they got the shaft.  And that's my point.

            In the interior of the country, the party is based far more on Labor, while on the coasts it seems the the cultural issues seem to be the principal divide.  That's not speaking to the people so much as the people who get elected.

            I just wasn't happy to so Rangel and Franks so willing to concede on the trade issue.

            •  i understand your upset with rangel and franks (28+ / 0-)

              and i see somewhat your point about trade being more advantageous for port city states i guess, but i assure you that it is not as simple as you're layting out, and that unions and labor are a huge part of the coastal dem parties as well.

              cultural issues cut both ways as well; aren't those heartland voters all supposed to be 'values voters,' according to the media narratives uncriticaly swallowed by far too many on the blogs?

              it seems to me that the divide you're looking at is less about voters, and more about sources of campaign funding and GOTV efforts. while coastal dem politicians might be bankrolled by free trade money, it does not follow that such ideas are necessarily all that popular among dem voters. california is a huge ag state, and the farms in the central valley are just getting killed by imports lowering their commodity prices, even as the ag industry made its millions by exporting fruit and nuts to the nation and the world.

              i just want you tyo be careful not to tar too many people with that brush of yours, and lose sight of your main point, which is solid. there are a ton of what you would call 'populists' out on the coasts; i do not think that its appeal is solely a rust belt thing, even as i accept that the cruishing pain of globalization under neoliberal agreements has hit hardest in the rust belt. there is potential for common ground to be found here; pleasedon't drag us apart on regional lines, is all i'm saying. ideological lines are fine with me, however. now is the time to fight these battles.

              surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

              by wu ming on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 01:47:17 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Party vs the people (15+ / 0-)

                The feeling that I get from Art Torres and the gang in the California Democratic party is that there a big gap between the people and the party.  I'm just disspointed by Pelosi and the people who get elected from progressive districts, and then fuck play this DLC shit.

                I'm looking forward to having Bernie Sanders in the Senate.  I'm not sure if VT counts as the coast, but his writings to In These Times are any indication, he should be a strong populist voice.

                •  CA is a basketcase of a state party (10+ / 0-)

                  the problem is that the media markets are so large, and the population so politically atomized, that campaigning statewide is prohibitively expensive, which gives great power to fundraising networks. actually, the same is true of any large state with an expensive media market. they'll likely be the last places to reform, regardless of popular sentiment. public financing could be our silver bullet to level the field, if it ever gets through.

                  sanders is a great guy. of all the senate freshmen, he's the one i trust to get it right.

                  surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

                  by wu ming on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 02:02:27 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'd like to see a system of credits (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Thom K in LA, rolandzebub, gatordem

                    set up where we had a publicly financed system, and voters would be able to assign funds from their share to a candidate of their choice.

                    And limiting most funding to the district.  If candidates could raise funds from earning the support of voters it would mean they wouldn't have to spend so much time on the phone.

                    •  And how would you address non voters (0+ / 0-)

                      how would money be credited equitably to the 1/3+ of our citizens that participate in elections? And wouldn't this only elevate the media's influence if profit were not an incentive to provide access? Profit is the equalizer, however flawed, and this has to be considered when suggesting that that incentive be removed from the process. Perhaps this is growing less critical with the blogosphere's expansion.

                  •  I was visiting LA at the end of the campaign (3+ / 0-)

                    In the area of the San Fernando Valley I was staying in, I did not see a single lawn sign, bumpersticker, or campaign visibility, or literature for any candidate for any office for any party.  

                    While materials are not the only indication of citizen participation, it was apparent to me, and from the people I encountered while there, that there was in fact, no citizen activism going on. The cost of TV does not affect citizen participation in electoral politics.  The decision to be involved, or not involved, has nothing to do with the cost of TV.

                    •  the dem party spent $3 million on GOTV (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Inky, highacidity, esquimaux

                      compared with republicans spending over $20 million. if you wanted signs, in many cases you had to order them yourself from candidates' websites, local parties didn't have any, because the money went into TV ads, or wasn't spent. many local parties barely exist, many county parties barely exist. in a system where the districts are drawn to make everybody safe and to avoid competitive seats, where the state party sits on its hands in a major election, and where the electorate is looking at its 8th statewide election in three years  because all of these damn special elections, engaged citizens were facing an uphill fight, and working against the CA dem party in some places, if they wanted to get anything done.

                      activist time and money was spent out of state, in many cases, CA-11 and CA-04 aside.

                      surf putah, your friendly neighborhood central valley samizdat

                      by wu ming on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 08:11:11 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                    •  50% of the valley don't have the right to vote (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      wu ming

                      I live in an apartment complex with 9 apartments.  6 of the apartments are rented by foreign nationals.

                      If I seem a little insensitive or clueless it is due to my having Asperger's Syndrome.

                      by altscott on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 08:41:04 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  I wouldn't be so sure they don't represent 'em (7+ / 0-)

                  Californians are not socialists or even economic populists by any stretch.  The most consistently popular sort of politician there is the social liberal who supports free-market capitalism moderated by environmental regulations and a social safety net.  Those last two (environment and safety net) are liberal but non-populist positions.  Remember, Silicon Valley is not an outlier by any stretch, but part of the heart of California.

                  The only real reasons the Democrats win the state by such huge margins are: 1) the Republican Party has alienated people by tacking too much to the right on social issues; and 2) the Republican Party is fairly anti-environmentalist.

                  "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

                  by Delirium on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 02:47:18 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  the message I just sent (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Trapper John, xerico, PaulVA

                  Speaker Pelosi,
                  Congratulations on your recent successes.  I look forward to a new congress, one that represents all Americans, not just the wealthiest and most extreme.  It is for that reason that I am concerned about your decision to bar Labor from your series of seminars being presented to the freshmen Representatives this week.  

                  Historically, Labor has been the backbone of the Democratic party and the voice of the working class.  Your choice to bar that voice from this week's seminars makes me wonder what real changes will occur in the next session.  Will it just be more of the same?  I know that is not what I voted for in the last election.

                  Please reconsider your decision to let Labor be heard.

                  Thank you for your consideration.

                •  This is a very bad sign (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ManfromMiddletown, Redbug

                  I live in Pelosi's district and I won't vote for the b*tch. I don't trust her, nor should you. Same with Feinstein.
                    Turning her back on labor will not make the Democrats any stronger. We have a very big task ahead of us - we've got to clean up the Democratic Party. We need to get a list together now and start kicking out Democrats who don't listen to their voters.

                  "A man who won't die for something isn't fit to live." -MLK

                  by gjohnsit on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 09:06:00 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I didn't remember to credit you (0+ / 0-)

                    but I liked your diary that mentioned that 27 of the 29 Republicans who were defated were "free trade."

                    We need to have a discussion about this issue, and the the Speaker has refused to allow points of view opposed to Rubinomics equal time makes me think that the Congressional leadership thinks that Labor's role in the party ends after Election day.  And that is unacceptable.

                  •  you wouldn't vote for WHAT? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    amanuensis

                    can you please explain why you feel it necessary to describe rep pelosi as a "bitch?"  

                    WTF?

                    what grounds this "assertion?"  if it is her "turning her back on labor..." well that is both an incorrect statement (not borne out in facts) and insufficient.  you don't trust her because?????

                    name-calling, especially when sexist in nature, helps the cause not at all.

                    "excuse me while i sharpen my nails" (tom waits, "who are you?")

                    by dadanation on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 03:59:49 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  This is p**r choice of w*rds. n/t (0+ / 0-)
            •  Whatever Pelosi's district (12+ / 0-)

              would prefer should reflect in her votes but not in the decsions she makes as leader, not in decisions that affect the whole House and whole country.

              I hope there is another side to this, another part, more with Labor at another time (soon). Old members might know Labor, new members need to. This one sided thing makes me nervous...

              Please, please don't let this just be a change in power and not a change in course. I keep reading and hearing things that dim some of the hope from the election night, or at least make the hope flicker. All the big companies that bought the republicans are rushing to hire Dem lobbyists.

              Middle America/workers are the heart of America, wherever they live. They've been withering. It matters.

              •  I have read that too (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                joynow

                the businesses are hiring anyone that has worked for or with a Democrat.

                What is bad about some of these lobbiests is they don't say they are lobbiests. They take their "democratic friend" out to eat and subtlely pursuade them on issues.

                We need to stop lobbying as it is now.

                Life is what you focus on. Let's focus on ending the war and economic fairness. After that the rest will be easy.

                by relentless on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 01:06:36 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  You are wrong. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wu ming, highacidity, PaulVA, d7000

              I'd listen to Wu Ming if I were you.

              "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." Albert Einstein

              by dkmich on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 03:15:53 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Wrong question. (22+ / 0-)

          Suburbs on the coast are the same as the suburbs in the midwest and west.  What people miss is just what Howard Dean said.  Everyone has to work, eat, and pee. I paraphrase, of course.   There is no region when it comes to the destruction of the working/middle class in this country.  Do you think the midwest is full of farmers or truck drivers? Do you think everyone who lost their jobs in the automotive industry was a plant worker?  Your comment is not clear to me. I did fill out the form.  This pisses me off because trade is a huge issue for me.  This is why I think the Dems all need their asses kicked, and why I love it when Sirota calls bull shit on them. I'm sick of Dems who represent the "money party" instead of the "people party".

          "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." Albert Einstein

          by dkmich on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 03:14:57 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I never knew (5+ / 0-)

            I never knew George Miller, one of the most pro-worker leaders out there was from the Midwest!  Silly me thinking he was from California.

            And who knew that Blanche Lincoln and David Pryor were actually kiving in Malibu.

            Sorry for the snark.  I'm a little disturbed by this trend I see here with what seems to be Robert Rubin trying to indoctrinate these freshmen reps.  Any word on when he'd be meeting ith the freshmen Senators like Brown, Webb, Sanders and Tester?

          •  What's money about our current manufacturing. (0+ / 0-)

            Do you think the midwest is full of farmers or truck drivers? Do you think everyone who lost their jobs in the automotive industry was a plant worker?

            This is exactly why I question blaming Nafta and free trade for the decline in competativeness of American manufacturing. I still think it has less to do with trade policy than other domestic issues such as health care and pension plans that are suffocating American manufacturers. Trade barriers will only lock us out of markets that progressive countries that consolidate health and pension expenses take advantage of and I think ultimatly would do more damage to employment and labor here by restricting sales of American goods. A path to isolationism and protectionism while other leading manufacturing countries blow the doors off emerging markets is a long run disaster for us. Incentive for efficiency, new high tech industry, and advancement in technology are all created by free trade. The fact of global disparities in labor and wage standards won't be solved by restricting trade but may only exacerbate it.

            •  Health care, pensions, environmental standards, (0+ / 0-)

              living wage are what NAFTA and free trade are all about.  Our trade policy does not require any of the countries to do anything to get access to our markets.  But our laws require business here to do all of it.  How is that a level playing field?  It isn't.  So the incentive is for companies to move off shore, lower their costs/increase profits, and ship it back to sell it.   This is exactly why all of this is about NAFTA.  In competition (sports as an example) the match up is like with like.  You don't put a light weight into a ring with a heavy weight, right?  If you don't, you don't have a competition, you have a slaughter.

              "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe." Albert Einstein

              by dkmich on Tue Dec 05, 2006 at 03:04:04 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  I can't thank you enough ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PaulVA

          ... for this diary, ManfromMiddletown.  I began my admiration for your diaries during the election season, doing diary rescue with sidinny and his team, and I see you are moving forward from there with this excellent overview of the real issues the Democratic Party is going to face in the coming months.

          I sent off my letter to Pelosi -- we've had too many years of one-sided debate, that has to change, it just has to.

        •  Shut Up (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          timber, oysterface

          and read this dairy

          Overthrow the Government ~Vote~

          by missliberties on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 08:37:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  The heart of the party is in each of its members (0+ / 0-)
      •  Not true. SF is economically left as well (12+ / 0-)

        Witness, for example, the city's move to introduce universal healthcare, its consistantly strong support for labor, its strong rent-control laws, etc.

        If the diarist is indeed correct, Pelosi is definitely not representing her constituents. To be honest, most of us here view Pelosi with a certain amount of suspicion--at least when it comes to local politics. Many of us see her as more representative of Pacific Heights than of the city at large. I vote for her for national office. If she ran for mayor here, I would never vote for her.

      •  What the hell makes you think Limo-Liberals... (4+ / 0-)

        ...are Liberals? Policies that support equality of opportunity as adverse to equality of condition and distribution of the product of progress though democratic institutions are the core of Liberalism, not feel goodism and narrow self-centered mutual masturbation among a few well educated wealthily snobs who are little more than veneered over Calvinists in their hearts.

        The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

        by Bobjack23 on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 06:51:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Perhaps you'd like to better explain (6+ / 0-)

          just who it is you're trying to insult? Is it everyone with money, or everyone who disagrees with you on the issues?

          -4.75, -5.08 Be yourself. Imitation is suicide. -Andre Gide

          by ripzaw on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 07:33:22 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm beginning to think... (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jxg, wu ming, ripzaw, gottschee, TiaRachel, d7000

          ... from the tone of this comment and those by the diarist that they are deride any Dems who are not from the midwest. Us folk on the coasts are not real Democrats... we're limo liberals now?

          I'm sorry, but that term smacks of Repub talking points and stinks of freepers.

          •  Truth hurts eh? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ManfromMiddletown

            My remark stands for itself and I'm a long time Democrat in a party that ran off and left me, at least the elitists in DC now calling the shots did.  IMO, Your comments are telling as well as absurd.  Got all those folks on both coasts on your side have you? LMAO And yes you are sorry.

            The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

            by Bobjack23 on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 10:25:24 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  And BTW... (0+ / 0-)

            ...what freeper did you ever hear attack Calvinism and by extension the etiology of that nasty syndrome? Also, is it that you never heard Liberalism concisely defined?

            The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

            by Bobjack23 on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 10:34:42 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh. My. God. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              wu ming, ripzaw, amanuensis, d7000

              Let me stop laughing long enough to answer your nonsense...

              Now I am an elitist from DC or in league with then? Oh please. Got all those folks between the coasts on your side have you? Really, you are precious.

              Your attitude and choice of language are what is freeperish--and I will add seriously for what may be the first time--something I would expect from Rove and company. Except that freepers would not understand words you use in a bad attempt at sounding educated.

              You are doing nothing to recommend your base argument... which is... what? Oh yeah, Pelosi sucks, or something like that.

              To you, your fellow holier-than-thou purity freaks, and especially to those who have actually written a respectful coherent worried-about-Pelosi comment, please take yourself to the bottom of the comments and read this:

              Labor has NO problem with the House

              The AFL-CIO did ask to be included and we were assured we would be invited January as they expand the discussion. The invite to Rubin is a longstanding one.

              We are all playing well together.

              In January, we will roll out a new group to focus on bread and butter issues supported by working families backed by loads of economists.

              The incoming members of the House are the most supportive of working family and union issues we've had in years, and we in the union movement are looking forward to working with them.

              by Tula Connell on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 09:22:09 AM PST

              Check the link for the user, a frequent labor contributor to dKos. Maybe you and the diarist should do a bit of research before making grand pronouncements.

      •  That's not true at all (4+ / 0-)

        SF has its share of economic royalists, no doubt about it, but economic populism, leftist ideas about the economy and money, are VERY strong in SF. As is labor.

        No, you can't reduce this to an overly simplistic "elite coast vs populist inland" rhetoric. We on the coasts are just as determined to fix things as folks anywhere else.

        I'm not part of a redneck agenda - Green Day

        by eugene on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 06:55:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Ummm, fuck you too. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wu ming, amanuensis

        Do you live here? What gives you the magic all-seeing sekrit geenius to make sweeping statements like that?

        I'm not going to be as well thought out as S-A or eugene, but basically, you may want to reserve judgement until you get your facts straight.

        This is borderline troll territory, and I'm a bit dissapointed by anybody actually giving mojo for a comment like this.

        The lone and level sands stretch far away. -Shelly

        by justme on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 10:44:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  The problem is... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slatsg, cosette, rolandzebub, esquimaux

      There is no 'working class' in San Francisco, no one with less than a 6 figure salary can afford to live there.  San Francisco is a liberal city socially, but it's very conservative economically.   That's one of the biggest disconnects with politics in California - the base of the Democratic Party in CA is not working class people, it's fairly well to do people in SF and LA, that's how someone like Arnold can sneak in and snatch a large percentage of votes in the Bay Area and LA.

      Recovering Intellectual. 12 days stupid.

      by scionkirk on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 11:47:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh please (55+ / 0-)

      Do I have to remind everyone here that it was Nancy Pelosi who ably lead the tooth-and-nail fight against CAFTA just less than a year and a half ago?  Here, read Pelosi's statement on the House floor on CAFTA.  She garnered 217 votes against it, that's more than there were then Democrats in the House.  Pelosi has made it very very clear that when she is in charge, agreements like CAFTA will likely not pass.  So yes, while we can disagree with her decision here, let's not throw out the baby with the bathwater.  Yes, she voted for NAFTA, but she's obviously not an all-out free-trade ga ga.

      I think what she should do is schedule a separate seminar altogether on Labor issues.  I am going to write her to do exactly that.  But she feels that this particular seminar is about fiscal sanity and a balanced budget.  Anyone familiar with the terminologies understand that fiscal policy and economic policy, which intertwined, are not one and the same.  Fiscal policy focuses on how Congress spends money, interest rates on federal loans, issuance of federal bonds, etc.  Economic policy focuses on trade deals, regulations of labor and other markets, minimum wage, tax policy (including reductions and increases in taxes, tax incentives, etc.) and so on.

      So yes, write your letters.  But please, people, Nancy Pelosi is not an enemy of organized labor.

      •  My letter (25+ / 0-)

        anyway, here's my letter:

        Dear Speaker-designate Pelosi:

        It is a great pleasure to be able to write to you as a Californian, a Democrat and an American.  You have made history by becoming the first woman speaker of the House, and as we all are counting on you, I know you will lead this country to progress.

        I have read recently that you have organized some seminars for the incoming Democratic members of Congress, and that one of those seminars are on fiscal policy, led by Bob Ruben, the Secretary of Treasury under President Clinton.  While I understand that this is a fiscal policy seminar and not an economic policy one - therefore likely to focus on the importance of a balanced budget, paying down our national debt and federal loans such as student loans - it is likely that issues of economic policy - especially trade policy, will come up.  I want to request that you either let countervailing viewpoints from Labor leaders enter that seminar or produce a new seminar for the members focused on economic and trade policy.  I believe that fair trade needs to be a cornerstone of the new Democratic Congress.

        Thank you.

      •  Do a diary on this! (5+ / 0-)

        Otherwise this smear diary will be left unchallenged.

      •  Pelosi's shown her hand (3+ / 0-)

        Pelosi is no dummy.  She knows Rubin is controversial to many Democrats for his "free trade" policies.  The fact that she is giving him a platform to preach his screw the worker doctrines without giving any other viewpoint shows that she obviously does not hold the people who won the Congress back for her any respect. Don't give me this bs about this being a discussion on fiscal responsibility.  Any discussion on economics affects workers, and if the unions who represent workers are concerned enought to request their view to be also represented, that is not too much to ask.

        I haven't been to San Francisco since I took a year off of college in 1978.  I was struck there by the strong union presence in San Francisco at the  time. The hotel workers were unionized.  The grocery workers were unionized.  I was in my early 20's, and had lots of young friends making living wages because of union contracts at their places of employment.  I was also struck by the pretentiousness of the wealthy in that city.  Apparently Pelosi represents the wealthy San Franciso, not working class San Francisco which has been driven out of the city in the past 20 years or so due to the "free trade"  and pro-business policies of Republicans and DLC Democrats like Rubin.

        "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."-FDR

        by Michigan Paul on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 09:19:18 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yeah, 80% of San Franciscans Must be Wealthy (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          taylormattd, wu ming, matt2525

          Since that's the percentage of vote Pelosi was returned to office with.  Maybe even 90%, since another 10% voted for the Republican candidate in the race.  Listen, I DO live near San Francisco, and go up there often enough.  And Pelosi is held in high regard because she represents her constituents very very capably.  Before we throw her under the bus, we should remember her opposition to the Iraq war from day one, her tremendous contribution in leading the fight against CAFTA, her leadership in sending Democrats all across the country to successfully foil Bush's social security destruction plan, her vote against Bush's budgets, her vote against the DLC-supported Republican so-called bankruptcy "reform", and her piss poor 34% rating from the US Chamber of Commerce (link), AND a 100% rating from the SEIU (2006) and a 93% rating on the AFL-CIO scorecard in 2005 (link).

          Yeah, Pelosi is the anti-labor, pro-big business Democrat.  Riiiiight.

          Again, while we can legitimately raise the issue of labor concerns here, we do have to remember that fiscal policy is NOT the same as economic policy, and I think members as well as Bob Ruben fully understands that, and I would even venture a guess that Pelosi has already cautioned Bob Ruben to stay out of economic and trade policies, and keep his presentation confined in the fiscal area.

      •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

        for being the voice of reason!

    •  As Speaker of the House, Pelosi (6+ / 0-)

      now represents every single Democrat in the United States and no longer just one city.  

      And she needs to wrap her head around that fact immediately.  Excluding Labor from the orientations is not only outrageous, it's insulting to all of us who support organized labor.

      if kindness is contagious, help start an epidemic

      by tovan on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 01:33:32 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why not Labor hold a seminar (23+ / 0-)

      Labor shd hold a seminar and invite the freshman and Pelosi.  I dont think Labor shd be on Rubin's seminar--because it is about a specific topic and trade is only one aspect.

      •  EXACTLY! (6+ / 0-)

        I could see it if Labor leaders had originally been invited, then snubbed.  But even MfM's slanted presentation of this shows that this simply isn't the case.

        Labor would have a lot more friends if some of its more vocal adherents didn't habitually resort to deceptive little stunts like this.

        •  So Pelosi (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Michigan Paul, ManfromMiddletown

          thinks Rubin's views are so important she personally holds a seminar for the freshmen reps while labor is left begging those same people to hold their own seminar--since their views aren't important enough for people like you nor should they be for Pelosi.

          Phoenix Woman would have a lot more recommends if she didn't promote deceptive little stunts like that.

          •  I'd like to know (6+ / 0-)

            How it is that everyone here knows exactly how the seminar was agreed upon, and how it was that Pelosi came to choose Rubin.  It's shocking to me that so many people have contacts in the Democratic Party that they would know Pelosi's inner thoughts when Rubin became the choice for this seminar.  

            This diary is deceptive and doesn't actually make the point it asserts.

            Disease is a liberal plot.

            by otto on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 07:32:12 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well said, Otto (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cris0000

              Plus, here we are, a month after the election, Pelosi hasn't even assumed her speakership, and we're bashing her.  Democratic honeymoons don't last very long, I suppose.  This degree of scrutiny should be applied to the Repubs and Bush. Let's give ourselves a chance, and stop bickering for just a moment.  

              I think most of the new Democratic reps are smart enough to figure out their own positions on trade issues and what constitutes economic justice and fairness.  I don't think Rubin's being brought in for indoctrination purposes.  Let's just see how this plays out.  I doubt very much if a labor issues seminar will be totally off the table permanently.

              A few weeks ago, we were sure glad to have the votes (and the donations) of our limo-ridin' liberal brothers and sisters.  

        •  Eh? (0+ / 0-)

          What the hell does that mean?  Are you seriously positing that labor is any more intellectually dishonest than any other constituency in the Democratic coalition?

          •  They think that Labor is (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PaulVA, pghred

            for funding the elections and providing the foot labor, but the moment that Labor asks for something from the party there's a disturbing tendency to denounce Labor for not allowing the Wall Street wing of the party free rein.

            This is the fight for 2008, and there's a silent majority that's against these trade deals, and the exlcusion of labor.  But that majority is silence by the vitriol of the people who challenge the right of those who oppose free trade agreements and the selling out of labor.

            The cognitive dissonance involved in seeing Labor excluded from a seminar that's going to set the agenda of the new Congress is amazing.

            I've throughly documented my case against Rubin and against the Speaker.  The people challenging me have made no such effort.  They write their opinions and call them facts.  

            The simple fact is that Pelosi excluded Labor when they asked to be permitted equal time on an economics seminar with the new represenatives.  Saying it's about deficit reduction and nothing more is just a way to set the agenda so that Labor has no say in economic policy.

    •  SOX needs to be tweaked (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Leggy Starlitz

      I work with SOX every day.  It's kind of a joke.

      While we all recognize that it's a good thing to have solid understanding of how profit/loss is calculated.  The problem with SOX is that it itself is not well defined.  We've had a few years now working with it, Congress should hold some hearings and get feedback from the business and investor community and tweak it to streamline the implementation and enforcement.

      I would not advise taking a head in the sand approach to this and claiming that any attempts to tweak SOX is anti-economic or whatever you're claiming.  All that will result in is a few years of complaints, which will build up until the general consensus is SOX is a fucking joke and then everything will get scrapped.

      Is that what you want?  To eliminate SOX entirely?

      •  Could you elaborate more? (0+ / 0-)

        In everything I've read, and in my work during the summer, the main complaint I heard about SOX was that it cost too much.

        Progressive Wave
        "Inconvenient truths do not go away just because they are not seen." -Al Gore

        by PsiFighter37 on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 06:18:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Cost is a symptom, not the disease (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sj

          Cost is probably an oversimplification.

          The reason it costs is because the rules for following are rather unclear.  If it was clear cut what you needed to do, companies could build in automated processes to their policies which would make certain we were all in compliance.

          But the problem is we're all still running around asking "But what about?", and the whole thing has to be "interpreted" by legal.  This takes months of running around in circles, and in many cases it prevents you from moving forward to get something done.

          That's where the cost comes from.

      •  SarbOx vs. the big CPA firms (3+ / 0-)

        > I work with SOX every day.  
        > It's kind of a joke.

        I think it is important to distinguish between SarbOx as written and what it actually requires vs. the implementation rules that were written by the big CPA firms and presented to CEOs as the rules they "must" follow.  The two are very different.

        sPh

    •  The problem with Pelosi (0+ / 0-)

      Is that she is an anti-union cheap labor Democrat.

      <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

      by superscalar on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 08:16:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  this is snark, right? n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        amanuensis

        "excuse me while i sharpen my nails" (tom waits, "who are you?")

        by dadanation on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 04:03:57 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nope (0+ / 0-)

          It is my opionion that, contrary to Ms. Pelosi's rhetoric, regarding her own business, she is anti-union and cheap labor.

          Auberge du Soleil, which is also a non-union shop?

          What about Piatti's, which is also a non-union shop?

          What about Pelosi's investments in Lions Gate?

          Are any investments which belong to this woman who's net worth may be upwards of ninety-two million dollars represented by unions?

          But maybe I am wrong with my comment below, and you can tell me of one of Ms. Pelosi's investments which is represented by a union?

          <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

          by superscalar on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 04:48:42 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  this IS wrong,you know (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            amanuensis

            just go to the homepage of dKos. read Phoenix Woman's front page post today.

            or read the comments in the diary, like this one:

            Don't jump to conclusions (12+ / 0-)

            Recommended by:
               dadanation, mbw, sj, Phoenix Woman, jxg, Tuffy, Heart of the Rockies, TiaRachel, Sychotic1, roubs, VolvoDrivingLiberal, fisheye

            Her employees are better paid than the unionized workers in other vineyards.

            And she cannot unionize them; they would have to unionize themselves.  If she was found to have suppressed efforts to unionize, that's one thing.  If they just haven't done it, that's another.

            I'll hug your elephant if you kiss my ass

            by beemerr on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 06:11:06 AM PST
            source: here

            it's one thing to believe persuasive commentary when all the facts are absent. it is wholly another to cling to misinformation in the face of the truth.

            "excuse me while i sharpen my nails" (tom waits, "who are you?")

            by dadanation on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 08:11:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You've got to be kidding me (0+ / 0-)

              it is wholly another to cling to misinformation in the face of the truth.

              While I have no proof I think it is fairly logical to conclude that the UFW does not represent Nancy Pelosi's winery employees because by law they cannot represent Nancy Pelosi's winery employees, much as they probably cannot by law represent many of Nancy Pelosi's employees at Piatti's.

              To assume otherwise I think is either ignorant or just willfully blind.

              Are you trying to convince me that Nancy Pelosi does not hire illegal immgrants at her winery or at Piatti's?

              <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

              by superscalar on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 09:06:07 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  i am not trying to convince you at all (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                amanuensis

                "while i have no proof" is clearly your way of being subtle and not say out loud (but still mean it) that you don't care to be educated or dissuaded from your unfounded belief.  why would i try to convince you of something you won't believe?

                are you trying to convince me that nancy pelosi only makes two seven-course meals per week for all the employees at her and her husband's establishments?  and that not one meal is ever vegan-friendly? is that what you are trying to convince me of?

                while i have no proof, i think it is fairly logical to conclude that two seven-course meals must have at least one vegan offering. i mean, fourteen total dishes and not a one vegan?

                to assume otherwise is to be either not very well-versed in seven-course meals or willfully ignorant of food.

                give me a break.

                "excuse me while i sharpen my nails" (tom waits, "who are you?")

                by dadanation on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 09:17:46 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  No (0+ / 0-)

                  "while i have no proof" is clearly your way of being subtle

                  It is clearly my way of saying 'I have no proof'.

                  As for the rest of your diatribe here, clearly either your way of also saying 'I have no proof', or 'baaaah baaaah baaaah baaaah' - I can't really tell.

                  <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

                  by superscalar on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 09:28:22 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

    •  Ironically (0+ / 0-)

      I haven't heard good things about the job market in silicon valley.  I guess it will be just where the CEO's and board members will be living.

      Oh truth, liberty and justice where art thou. I miss thee so ...

      by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 08:22:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Scaling back Sarbanes-Oxley is a good thing (0+ / 0-)

      Private Equity firms are buying up public companies right and left these days.  The main reason for this is that complying with Sarbanes-Oxley is costly enough that companies feel they can be more profitable if they are privitly hel. (S-O only applies to publically held companies.) Public companies, despite their flaws, are still far more accountable to the public than privite equity firms are.  Furthermore, the reduced availibilty of companies to the invests in reduces the opportunities for the Middle Class for stock ownership. The post-Enron reforms were necessary, but in some cases they went too far.  Making sensible reforms to the laws should be encouraged.

    •  populist economy has many meanings... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gottschee, mystery2me, Nemesis22

      I am a small business owner of a firm that employs 10 people. There is no union here and there is no sign of one coming. We provide health insurance; retirement package and a flexible working schedule.

      My point is that our economy looks nothing like it did during labor's hay-day. Most of us are not unionized and continue to take risk as small business-owners. I do not feel like I am represented by the likes of Rubin, Pelosi, or the AFL-CIO. The traditional approach no longer applies, and I have no idea who represents the interests of small businesses trying to stay afloat in a continuing hostile market where large corporations dominate.

      "War is the health of the state." Rudolf Bourne "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel."Samuel Johnson

      by american pastoral on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 08:36:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Call Nancy's office !! (0+ / 0-)

      Here are toll-free numbers to Congress, just call one of them and an operator will answer, ask to be connected to Pelosi's office.  So far not too many people are calling cause I got through after a very short wait on hold.  We need to tell her exactly what we think of her dissing the people who elected her and put her in the speaker's chair.

      Toll free numbers to Congress:

      800-828-0498, 800-459-1887 or 800-614-2803

      "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."-FDR

      by Michigan Paul on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 08:55:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Labor has NO problem with the House (8+ / 0-)

      I just saw this thread. I'm replying up here because my original reply is waaaay down the line and we want to clear up any confusion asap:

      The AFL-CIO did ask to be included and we were assured we would be invited January as they expand the discussion. The invite to Rubin is a longstanding one.

      We are all playing well together.

      In January, we will roll out a new group to focus on bread and butter issues supported by working families backed by loads of economists.

      The incoming members of the House are the most supportive of working family and union issues we've had in years, and we in the union movement are looking forward to working with them.

  •  this is an important diary (5+ / 0-)

    Highly recommended.

    - Why can't we have an nominee who was right about Iraq?

    by blogswarm on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 11:23:23 PM PST

  •  I would hope (33+ / 0-)

    that Pelosi will be organizing a similar seminar on labor-related issues that involves representatives of organized labor.

    I would hope that if she does not organize such a thing, more than a few members of Congress have discussions with her about why she did not and why it would have been desirable to do so.

    And I would hope that members who know something about labor engage with and challenge Rubin on anything he says that is not in the best interests of working people.

    •  I'm just shocked by this. (23+ / 0-)

      I think that this is what Sirota has been trying to articulate, hence the piss and vinegar.

      I just can't believe that Pelosi thinks that this is ok.  This was not the friggin message from last month's elections.

      I look at people like Sherrod Brown, Jim Webb, and Jon Tester and I see populists, candidates who articulated strong positions on economic issues.

      Why is the Democratic party unable to unwind itself from the failed policies of the Clintonites?

      How long is it going to take them to realize that "free trade" in its present form doesn't work?

      I didn't even touch Chapter 11 or Chapter 16 of the NAFTA treaty.  Both of which undermine US law.

      And why didn't this recieve more attention.

      How did we miss this?

      Normally the community catches these things pretty quick.

      •  could you be over-reacting just a tad? (12+ / 0-)

        it's just one seminar. look how trade policy did even under the last republican congress--not well at all, only winning by 1 vote after some serious hardball.  new trade deals are a non-starter right now... the DOHA round this year in Geneva was a complete failure.

      •  "Why is the Democratic party unable (9+ / 0-)

        to unwind itself from the failed policies of the Clintonites?"

        It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.  - Upton Sinclair

        Swap "salary" with "campaign contributions," and voilà.

        Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

        by Simplify on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 01:56:21 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Failed policies? (8+ / 0-)

          I'll be the first to admit that not everything about the Clinton years was an unbridled success, but those years are hardly a failure.  The failure has come in the past 6 years under Bush.  He took moderation and threw it out the window and replaced it with economic extremism which benefits corporations over all else.  Had we had a continuation of the Clinton administration in Al Gore I believe he would have handled things in a much more balanced manner which would have satisfied labor as much as anyone else.  

          In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

          by Asak on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 02:37:40 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Clinton... (9+ / 0-)

            sold labor out with bad trade deals,  but the working folks were supposed to get healthcare, better education, and job transition assistance, what we have is not what we were promised under Clinton. Rubin and the the rest of the free trade Democrats have failed to deliver what they promised but they still want us to believe them when they tell us they will look out for us with education, healthcare and job transition help.

            It is time to give Rubinomics a rest and try something else, and this is why Pelosi is wrong to exclude say an expert from the economic policy institute.

            absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limits the freedom of another.

            by jbou on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 02:55:19 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  there's a pretty good reason they didn't deliver (4+ / 0-)
              Americans elected Republican majorities in both houses of Congress in 1994.  Clinton did try for health-care reform, but after the Republican landslide, it was basically DOA.

              If Americans wanted all the rest of that, they shouldn't have voted for Newt Gingrich.

              "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

              by Delirium on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 03:00:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Puleeze (5+ / 0-)

                Clinton still had the pulpit of the Presidency to sell his agenda, instead he triangulated the Democrats right  into irrelevancy. Welfare reform and Nafta? Not exactly progressive policies.

                absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limits the freedom of another.

                by jbou on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 03:06:25 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  well, NAFTA certainly has flaws (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  jxg, d7000, mystery2me

                  But free trade is most certainly a progressive policy.  It's what is lifting hundreds of thousands of Indians out of poverty, for example, and has been a core Democratic value for nearly a hundred years.  If you want the party of the Smoot-Hawley tariffs, Pat Buchanan, and Tom Tancredo (and the honorary party of Lou Dobbs and Ross Perot), it's over on the other side of the aisle.  This one is the party of Thomas Jefferson, John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, Al Gore, etc.

                  "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

                  by Delirium on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 03:13:38 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  don't make me insult you (11+ / 0-)

                    Free trade should have been done a whole lot differently, so save your whole uplifting boats speech for someone who doesn't know what really happened.

                    The free traders fucked the people in this country, and they fucked plenty of people in other countries. I suggest you read some  Joseph Stiglitz, then you might actually understand what happened during the Clinton years. Stiglitz worked in the Clinton white house and the IMF and World Bank.

                    absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limits the freedom of another.

                    by jbou on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 03:22:41 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  It's not "Free Trade" (7+ / 0-)

                    That's the first problem with your argument.  "Free Trade" is a worthy goal, when it includes actual protections for workers on both sides along with protecting environmental conditions in all counries involved.

                    None of these trade deals do that.  

                    These trade deals lift nobody out of poverty but instead are calculated to move jobs to where they are the cheapest and workers are the most exploitable.

                  •  A, We Didn't Elect Reps to Elevate Indians, and (0+ / 0-)

                    B, if it's got conditions, it's not "free" trade.

                    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 Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 07:20:59 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  A, I did (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      d7000

                      and B, that's I say it's "certainly flawed".  NAFTA's main failing is that it's a hugely beaurocratic mess of special-case legislation with book-length lists of detailed regulations.

                      "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

                      by Delirium on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 10:28:38 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Yeah, right (6+ / 0-)

                    that's why American corporations are allying with the Communist Party of China to prevent the unionization of their workforce, becuase they're abroad to help people.  Honestly, get a clue.

                    What we want are labor union rights, health and safety rules, environmental regulations, minimum wage, etc.  What we want is an equal playing field.

                    And, honestly, I care far more about jobs in Michigan and American citizens about 100 times more than India (I'm all for helping, but not at our expense).

                    "We need to ask America to adopt a new kind of patriotism, a patriotism about something more than just war." -- John Edwards

                    by philgoblue on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 07:32:01 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  This country became a superpower while it (3+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      philgoblue, ManfromMiddletown, kuvasz

                      had the strongest unions and a healthy middle class. There was plenty of cheap labor in India when most of them were starving. Is that our goal in America? Beat down the Unions and provide trade deals that turn Americans into cheap labor? One can look historically around the world to see where we are headed. It ain't pretty.

                      "I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who conquers his enemies; for the hardest victory is over self." --Aristotle

                      by java4every1 on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 09:05:38 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                  •  Clinton (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ManfromMiddletown, kuvasz

                    actively opposed the WTO allowing environmental and labor rights provisions in trade deals.  He also gave us welfare reform without daycare, he also screwed up universal care for a generation.  He gave us a Democratic party that stood for nothing but abortion rights, gay rights and gun control.  

                    And, given Bush's record, he also gave us a party that stood for competent governence.  Doesn't change the fact that he was the best Republican president since Eisenhower.  

                    Also, despite the image of internet prosperity, there was no significant increase in the median full-time year-round employee's income under Clinton.

              •  he deliberately avoided single-payer (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                PaulVA

                Single-payer health insurance is the simplest, cheapest, and most comprehensive way to get universal healthcare, and it was deliberately avoided.  Instead, we got the birth of the HMO.  Also, the failure of Hillary's healthcare bill directly led to the Republican victories in '94.  

                •  almost no country does single-payer (0+ / 0-)

                  Single-payer health insurance essentially means banning private health practice (with some limited exceptions), which is a bit too extreme even for most Europeans, let alone Americans.  The only democratic countries with single-payer health insurance are Canada, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway.  All the others have multi-payer systems, including Germany, France, the UK, Greece, Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Australia, Japan, Portugal, Spain, Taiwan, Belgium, etc., etc.

                  I don't see why we can't follow the lead of all those countries.

                  "See a world of tanks, ruled by a world of banks." —Sol Invictus

                  by Delirium on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 10:35:50 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  The difference between (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              jbou, adigal, rolandzebub

              Robert Rubin's policies and the coprorate Republicans is Rubin wanted to leave a few scraps of job-training assistance to working people while the GOP though that was a waste of money.  

              Either way, working people get screwed.

            •  So the best economy in 50 years was bad policy?nt (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Nemesis22
              •  the best economy in 50 years... (0+ / 0-)

                had nothing to do with any politicians. It was called computers and the internet, and there was a whole technology boom that went on during the 90's and Clinton just rode that wave, and he raised capital gains taxes and balanced the budget at the same time.

                absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limits the freedom of another.

                by jbou on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 09:32:55 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Also (0+ / 0-)
                  • closed military bases, drastically reduced military budget
                  • implemented HIPAA and the Family Medical Leave Act, both creating much-needed flexibility and job mobility for working families
                  • Invested government money in promising technologies and small businesses, instead of giving tax breaks to big companies and investing in dead-end military technologies.

                  I'm not saying that I'm positive Clinton's policies are 100% responsible for the economic boom of the 1990s.  But I would be reluctant to totally divest him of any credit, either.  

                  Certainly, if Bush had been in office, he would have found a way to screw it up.

                  •  sure (0+ / 0-)

                    He reduced a military budget during the post cold war era, he did the obvious thing.

                    The family medical leave act is ok, but it could be a lot better.

                    Clinton gave plenty of tax breaks to companies.

                    absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limits the freedom of another.

                    by jbou on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 10:39:25 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  here's a better list (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      amanuensis, NeuvoLiberal

                      ... from the other diary,posted by NuevoLiberal:

                      22 million NET new jobs (1+ / 0-)

                         Clinton-Gore economic accomplishments

                             * 22 million net new jobs
                             * lowered of unemployment from 7.5% to 4%
                             * real wage growth of 6.8% (after adjusting to inflation)
                             * turned record deficits into record surpluses
                             * record low African American unemployment
                             * lowered unemployment among Hispanics from 11.6 percent in 1992 to 5.4 percent in April 2000 (lowest rate on record)
                             * lowest unemployment rate for women since 1953
                             * increase in manufacturing jobs by 391 thousand
                             * increase in IT jobs by 1 million (roughly half of which survived even the Bush's outsourced "economy")
                             * a two-step minimum wage increase in 96/97 from $4.25 to $5.15

                      Gore promised another increase of $1 in minimum wage, and would have probably a few more after it.

                      ~~~~~~~~~~~

                      but the policies Clinton-Gore put into place have been a large part of the reason for the loss of millions of good-paying, union, manufacturing jobs

                      False. The number of manufacturing jobs increased during Clinton-Gore by 391K.

                      and those didn't really become clear until after the dotcom bubble ended.

                      Cockamamie theory. As mentioned, in addition to an increase in manufacturing jobs, Clinton-Gore economy also created 1 million new IT jobs, and over 440K survived Bush's crazy outsourcing.

                      ~~~~~~~~~~~

                      Not to mention that Al Gore's pioneering work in congress helped bring the internet to the masses and in effect ushered in the information age, with tremendous benefits to the economy in addition to paving the way for direct democracy being witnessed right here at Daily Kos.

                      •  not (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        wu ming

                        Like I said, there was a technology boom that had very little to do with Bill Clinton, yes, jobs were created, a lot of jobs were created but they weren't because of Bill Clinton.

                        The manufacturing jobs that were created were not equal to the ones being lost, the were created in southern right to work states, the jobs were non union and didn't offer the same wages, but the folks were grateful for whatever they could get.

                        BTW, it isn't a good idea to link to a partisan website. The link Nuevoliberal provides is to a partisan Bill Clinton site.  

                        absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limits the freedom of another.

                        by jbou on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 11:55:44 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Umm... THIS is a partisan site. Same party too nt (0+ / 0-)
                          •  ok... (0+ / 0-)

                            maybe I should be clear, it is a site that is used to propagandize for Bill Clinton. And in my mind this site is a place for people to gather to discuss progressive ideas and elect people who want to enact those ideas into law, and yes, the Democratic party, for all their faults, is still the party for progressives, we just need to push our leaders to be more progressive, hence the bitching about Pelosi not inviting a progressive economic voice to counter Rubin.

                            absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limits the freedom of another.

                            by jbou on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 12:16:22 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

          •  "failed policies" means that (10+ / 0-)

            policies that failed.  Yes, the Big Dog had failures. Get over it.

            NAFTA screwed the people who live by working  for wages or farming  their own land in the USA, Mexico and Canada.  

            Failed to bring the promised economic prosperity to all three.

            Brought serious job loss  and big money to the top levels of certain sectors of the economy in all three.

            Caused millions of Mexican farmers to lose their land and many of them to immigrate to the USA looking for work.

            A failure, Asak.

            If Jesus came back today, He would have been born in the Superdome

            by sayitaintso on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 05:40:30 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  I think you are wrong (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        d7000, Sanuk, mystery2me

        Why shd Labor be entitled to be in a seminar about fiscal responsibility.  Labor shd have their own seminar and invite freshmen.

        •  Exactly! this is not "being banned." (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mystery2me, nicejoest

          ... it's simply that they, along with thousands of other people and interest groups that would love to share the stage at every single House function, were not invited to share the stage at this particular function.

      •  I really disagree (5+ / 0-)

        And maybe that makes me part of the "Evil" group and will get me troll rated.  We have spent years pointing out how much better off the US economy was under Clinton.   Whose responsibility was that?  Rubin may have pushed for NAFTA (which I'll address in a minute), but he also helped created the Earned Income Tax Credit, which may have been the single greatest help to poor people in this country since the New Deal.  

        Free trade is not the enemy here.  There are many (Paul Krugman among them, who I think we can agree knows more about economics than any of us here) who were in favor of NAFTA.  NAFTA failed, not because it was fundamentally a bad concept, but because it lacked sufficient labor and environmental restrictions.

        Moreover, the loopholes which have permitted the extreme level of outsourcing which has decimated manufacturing in this country were instituted by the Bush administration.  So let's not make Rubin into the scapegoat for everything that's wrong with the economy now.  Isn't that the Bushie MO?  Blame Clinton??

        I admittedly have yet to read every comment on this thread, and if I am just repeating others, I apologize.

        •  Bush's failures (0+ / 0-)

          Don't make Clinton a success.  He did balance the budget.  That's good, but without the internet bubble, it wouldn't have happened nearly as quickly or disappeared so fast.  

          Yes, when compared to Bush, 60% of Americans would make a better president.  And Clinton was very competent.  He just pushed bad policies for the average American, the third-world environment, and global labor rights.

    •  I have a better idea (12+ / 0-)

      Pelosi should organize a workshop -- or shall we say scavenger hunt -- so that the members who voted for the bankruptcy bill can find their new offices that have been outsourced from Capitol Hill to rural Virginia.

      - Why can't we have an nominee who was right about Iraq?

      by blogswarm on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 11:30:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you, Miss Laura. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Simplify

      I like a front-pager who chimes in with or against the rabble with her own views.  This is a partisan site!

      We don't have time for short-term thinking.

      by Compound F on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 11:35:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  My reaction too -- a second (and third, fourth).. (17+ / 0-)

      It seems reasonable for Pelosi to want a seminar sufficiently focused to present one way of viewing the world in detail.  That doesn't mean the freshmen all need to agree with the view, but it at least keeps the focus on one idea long enough that they can stay on task.  So I'm not sure I think it's necessary for labor to be included in that seminar.  

      Who else would want to be included also?  How many cooks would there be?  Would you get anything resembling soup when you were done, or just tomato sauce and half-cooked pasta covering the walls?

      The obvious solution is a series of seminars which, when combined, cover a wide range of ideologies as well as a wide range of technical information.  I'm happy to urge Pelosi to do this.

      •  how about competing ideas... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        eugene, philgoblue, PaulVA

        being presented at the same time? Why not have some freaking debate? this isn't congress where we here canned speeches and get pie charts and blown up NYT articles to prove points, I would love to see an honest debate about the economic issues facing this country, or at least let the new congresscritters see that debate.

        absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limits the freedom of another.

        by jbou on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 02:59:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Because to have competing ideas... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pb, AlanF

          ...you would have to get a Reagan/Bush deficit spender in there to counterbalance Rubin's talk about fiscal responsibility.

          •  That's simply not true (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jbou, philgoblue, PaulVA

            To view the only alternatives as balanced budgets or Reagan/Bush-style deficit spending is to accept what is essentially a republican frame of reference.  Labor DOES have important things to say about fiscal policy -- both on the expenditure side and on the revenue side.   Offhand, one would think that a discussion of the Federal budget would revolve around what activities deserve funding, along with a discussion of how to pay for it.  Regardless of whether the budget is balanced, these questions will have to be debated and resolved.  While Rubin is competent to address balanced versus unbalanced budgets, he hardly is comptent to address the more substantive questions of how one arrives at either one.

        •  Right! I want to be on stage too! (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Catte Nappe, mystery2me, nicejoest

          And I think my mom would like to be there too - she has a lot of competing ideas.  In fact, we should just crowd that stage with everybody we can think of!  The more "competing ideas the better!"

          And if Pelosi complains that nothing can get done that way, well, too bad - it's our party and she has to do what we say!

          Note: NOBODY has any credible evidence that freshman legislators will not hear a labor viewpoint before the session starts.  So your idea that there is no "competing view" is completely baseless.  

          •  idiot (1+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            ManfromMiddletown
            Hidden by:
            d7000

            Gee, you making a dumb ass statement about how your mommy wants to be on stage and you call this debate?

            Why do you have faith that the Democratic party leadership will invite some progressive economic voices into talk to the caucus?

            absolute freedom for one individual undoubtedly limits the freedom of another.

            by jbou on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 09:38:30 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  This came out of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slatsg, PaulVA, thepdxbikerboy

    a discussion about whether the divide that Sirota is portraying is binary on this Sirota thread.

  •  free trade good, fair trade baaaaaad! (9+ / 0-)

    baaaah...
    God forbid people be exposed to dissenting viewpoints. They might agree with them...

  •  Excellent diary (16+ / 0-)

    There will be a battle for the soul of the Democratic party. A return to the DLC neo-liberal agenda would be disasterous. If the issues of concern to working people are ignored, the acendency of the Democrats will be short lived.

    To move back to the center, the country must move left.

    by slatsg on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 11:31:25 PM PST

    •  I'd say that if the Democratic (6+ / 0-)

      Party governs according to the DLC neocon/neoliberal agenda, the lifespan of the Democratic Party is going to be pretty short.

      America elected the Democratic Party to get a sane foriegn policy and substantial relief for the middle class.

      This means at minimum a drastic rollback of the neolib/neocon agenda. If the Democrats are going to try to govern as GOP-lite. . . the party as an agent for change is going to be completely discredited.

      Major parties have faded from the American scene before and will do so again. If the Democratic Party shows itself to be about getting K-Street money instead of fixing what's wrong with the country, the Party's going to be over in Internet time.

      Looking for intelligent energy policy alternatives? Try here.

      by alizard on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 01:44:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pelosi should heed this, and take it as (11+ / 0-)

    a very clear warning.

    Her response should be very simple:

    Equal time for labor.

    There should be a seminar organized specifically for labor leaders to air their concerns, and the wall street free traders should be likewise un-invited.

    The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

    by RedDan on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 11:32:47 PM PST

    •  I half feel like putting up her (8+ / 0-)

      congressional email and asking poeple to ask for equal time for Labor. A couple of hundred emails might make the message clear.  But they'll probably just be ignored.

      I'm also interested in knowing whether Lou Dobbs has covered this.  This is right up his alley.  Some people may think Dobb's a son of a bitch but on things like this he's our son of a bitch.

      •  That's exactly what I did (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        slatsg, PaulVA, Hannibal, Compound F

        I don't think it's a bad idea.  She's accountable to us all.

      •  Labor leaders (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        d7000, mystery2me

        As someone who grew up in the heyday of organized labor, I can say without hestitation that labor leaders and labor organizations have had their own serious problems of favoring the rich, outrageous corruption, etc.  This is not the good guys vs the bad guys.  Rather than traditional labor at the table, we need new peoplewith new insights.  Progressives, populists, whoever.  Hopefully there are people like Tester and Webb in the Hof R who will bring new leadership and ideas to the labor question, not the same old, same old that came out of the industrial revolution and WW I and II.

        •  My thoughts exactly (3+ / 0-)

          I have a father-in-law who was ignored and screwed over by his own union, who's leaders were infinately more interested in their own power than in helping their members.  "Labour" is not synonymous with "all that is good".

          Thanks for finding the words to express my thoughts, HeartotRockies.

          •  We're not talking about (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wu ming, ManfromMiddletown

            people speaking on behalf of individual labor leaders who run the gamut from great to bad---as in every other part of society.  We're talking about representatives of a labor system that produces economic equality.

            For every bad apple in the labor movement, there are even more in Congress, corporate America, the church, etc.  Should we just abolish everything else too?

    •  equal time for labor? (8+ / 0-)

      How about all time for labor and stop returning the calls of the DLC types?

      - Why can't we have an nominee who was right about Iraq?

      by blogswarm on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 11:41:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What would labor have to do... (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      AlanF, mrkvica, Mikecan1978, Sanuk, kurt, NDakotaDem

      ...with a seminar about bringing the Federal budget back into balance?

      That's what this seminar is about.  Pelosi's history has proven that she's definitely on the side of the ordinary American; do you really think she would invite Rubin to talk about the larger economy without challenge?  While arguments can and should be had about Rubin's larger economic policy, it's almost beyond dispute that Rubin's fiscal policy was a resounding success, turning a massive Federal deficit into a balance and then a surplus.  Pelosi invited him to talk about that.

      Furthermore, do you really think that all our incoming Congresspersons are dim-witted enough not to know Rubin's history, and the history of the Clinton era in their own districts, to take what he might have to say about economic policy at face value?  Do you really think they aren't going to meet with labor leaders?  Do you really think any of them don't owe their election to labor's money, labor's organizing, labor's endorsement?

      The only way I think this might be an issue would be if this was in any kind of national press, but it isn't.  It's a small seminar held for Democratic Congresspeople - not open to the public, not televised, not transcripted.  The only thing that makes it an issue for the press is if labor - who certainly have more influence in this Congress than anytime in the past 12 years - complains loudly enough about how they aren't invited to a seminar about an issue they don't really have much to say about.  Then the press can jump on "the Democratic Party is fragmenting" ad nausaeum - which is exactly the message we don't want when we're agreed on almost everything.

      This is why Democrats haven't succeeded... whenever we have any success, everybody thinks that it's time to collect on what they think they're owed.

      •  First of all, (0+ / 0-)

        are you serious when you ask "what does labor have to do with a seminar about balancing the budget"???

        How can you possibly be so simpleminded?

        How about pensions? How about Social Security? How about worker protection laws? How about minimum wages? How about healthcare, medicaid, medicare, retirement, and on and on and on?

        Are you trying to tell me that those have nothing to do with balancing the budget?

        What about the structure and implementation of the tax brackets, and their impact on the budget?

        Do you seriously mean to imply that labor has no impact on, or is not impacted by those concerns???????

        Sheesh.

        Second, I do not think that Nancy Pelosi is an enemy, or is evil - she has done many good things for and with Labor in her tenure in the house.

        I think that one of the things that gets me the most upset about the Democrats is NOT their intentions, is NOT their policy stances, is NOT their proposals...it is the simpleminded thinking. You cannot separate these issues into isolated boxes and deal with them one at a time, you cannot deal with these issues in a vacuum, you cannot address the budget, the deficit, or the debt without dealing explicitly and directly with questions of labor, wages, salaries, benefits, pensions, social security, and etc. It simply will not work.

        For you to say that Labor has no say about issues of the budget makes me think you are crazy.

        Really.

        Haven't you ever heard the phrase "balancing the budget on the backs of the poor"? or "Balancing the budget on the backs of the worker"?

        Do you think those phrases came out of nowhere? Or that they are malicious propaganda worked up in a communist infiltration agit-prop shop???

        The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

        by RedDan on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 04:26:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  those are only questions of priority (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          amanuensis

          I think that the Democratic Party in general can be relied upon to give Labor a sympathetic ear. But, to answer your questions:

          How about pensions? How about Social Security? How about worker protection laws? How about minimum wages? How about healthcare, medicaid, medicare, retirement, and on and on and on?

          none of that matters until you understand the mechanisms of how government spending. Once you understand the basic economics, then you have a framework on how to address those issues.

          As I said on a nearby thread, the class is not about issues. It's about methodology. The methodologies themselves are not directly related to any special interest.

          Torture is wrong even if Christians do it.

          by Ken Comer on Tue Dec 05, 2006 at 06:19:59 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Economics is fundamental for Congress-Critters (0+ / 0-)

      It must be understood that teaching economics does not mean lobbying for big business issues. The two don't even cross over much, except that a basic knowledge of economics is necessary to be able to converse intelligently with someone from big business. Conversing intelligently includes enabling Congress-critters spot fallacies in the lobbyists' positions.

      If you look at the legislation passed by Congress, the vast majority has to do with how and how much the US government spends. A basic understanding of things like "opportunity cost", "future value", "cost of capital", "return on investment," etc., plays a key role on how competently a Congress-critter can do his job.

      Labor issues, while of key interest to Democrats (and liberals of any stripe), are not salient to equipping a Congress-critter with the tools necessary to do a competent job.

      The class was intended to be attended by all freshmen Reps. Had the subject been "Labor" issues, probably half would have shown up and the Labor speakers would have been preaching, for the most part, to the choir. Labor has lobbyists. It's there job to inform Congress-critters, and they are much more effective in discussing labor issues with Republicans

      There is only a limited time to prepare freshmen to take their positions in their jobs. A labor session would have been a waste.

      (whore alert: all links here go to my diaries)
      I do not think Pelosi's "first hundred hours" agenda or her "no impeachment on my watch" are things that will serve the liberal side, the constitutional rights of Americans, help to end the war in Iraq, or help to rehabilitate our international reputation. I think Rep. Pelosi is wimping on the key issues of the time, and I believe that her "populist" agenda will waste far more than 100 hours. Therefore, I cannot be viewed as a Pelosi apologist.

      If I speak on her behalf, then, you can tell by my writings that I am only doing so because honesty and fair-mindedness require me to do so, however reluctant I am.

      Torture is wrong even if Christians do it.

      by Ken Comer on Tue Dec 05, 2006 at 06:10:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  And, as constituents (15+ / 0-)

    who worked our asses off and donated to and voted for these candidates, we should write them, en masse, and (politely) ask:

    1. Do they know that Pelosi excluded labor reps from the orientation sessions?
    1. Do they agree with it?
    1. Would they consider holding their own, forming their own, or bucking they system somehow (constructively, of course)?

    After all, we got them elected, we want them accountable to US, not to Pelosi or Rubin.

    I have a feeling that Shea-Porter, Hodes, McNerney, and some of the others would be very, very open to such an action.

    The only way to ensure a free press is to own one

    by RedDan on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 11:35:48 PM PST

    •  I'm gonna do it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      slatsg, Compound F, Jiminy Cricket

      I'm putting up her email, and the contact form.

      •  my comment (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ManfromMiddletown, peraspera

        Thank you! Please note that if you are not a constituent, this form will not process your entry. Non-constituents should visit http://democraticleader.house.gov to learn more about Congresswoman Pelosi's role as Democratic Leader.

        [...]

        Comments: I was very disappointed to hear that you are banning Labor from balancing out the DLC views of Rubin. The deficit is important, but not nearly as important as fixing the deficits that too many families are facing because of the failed, DLC approach that thinks that corporations should be able to do whatever they want as long as there isn't a deficit. As a constituent, I am concerned that you appear not to have learned the populist lesson that the voters wanted you to hear this year. Please cancel Rubin and instead organize a briefing on why it is important for freshman members to never return the calls of DLC'ers. If you need a speaker, I am available and I'm willing to bring laminated pocket cheat sheets listing the most popular ways for members to tell DLC'ers to take a hike.

        - Why can't we have an nominee who was right about Iraq?

        by blogswarm on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 12:21:36 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's a shame that you posted this so late (6+ / 0-)

    on Sunday night.  I hope it is still around when the East Coasters wake up so they can recommend.

    It's an important diary.  I copied it and sent it to Pelosi's office with a note explaining my concern.

    Recommended.

  •  Pelosi is pacing the Democratic agenda (13+ / 0-)

    beginning with a centrist, middle-class agenda.  

    I will be gravely disappointed if she fails to move beyond this in the ensuing months, but for now I'm quite willing to give her the benefit of the doubt as she assures moderates that Democrats are ready and willing to tackle the Bush debt as a primary goal in setting the nation on a firmer economic footing.

    And frankly I hope she ignores everyone who is screaming for her to push their most revered agenda items first.  This is not a sprint; it's a marathon.

    Much better, thanks. And you?

    by Bob Love on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 11:42:16 PM PST

  •  A number of errors (54+ / 0-)
    1. This isn't an orientation session for Freshmen - its part of an ongoing series of caucus meetings for all Members of Congress with leading thinkers on issues. For example, there's also one this week with military leaders on Iraq.
    1. Labor wasn't banned from this session. Its for Members of Congress only and a special guest. To be banned implies that its open to people other than members of Congress. According to that logic, everyone who's not Bob Rubin is "banned." A better title would be "Pelosi Invites Rubin, not Labor, to Discuss Fiscal Responsibility."
    1. Whatever you think of his trade policy, Rubin knows how to make the case for fiscal responsibility, which is the subject of his talk.
    1. Labor has a friend in Nancy Pelosi, whose top lieutenant - George Miller, the author of the Employee Free Choice Act - is going to chair the Education and Labor Committee.
    1. Why are we assuming the worst about Democratic leaders before she's even said one word opposing a pro-working family agenda?

    "Be radical, be radical, be not too damned radical." - Whitman [-4.50, -5.79]

    by DemHillStaffer on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 11:52:10 PM PST

  •  mine... thanks for posting this.. recommended!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slatsg, Compound F

    Hello Congresswoman, i am writing briefly to ask for what reason you are excluding labor officials or their areas of expertise from your freshman representative seminars this week. I feel it is counterintuitive to what I would expect to happen in furtherance of a liberal/progressive ideology and I  hoped you would have felt similarly.
    thanks,
    Andy

  •  (415) 556-4862 Her District Office # (5+ / 0-)

    From her contact page

    District Office - 450 Golden Gate Ave. - 14th Floor - San Francisco, CA 94102 - (415) 556-4862

    Washington, D.C. Office - 2371 Rayburn HOB - Washington, DC 20515 - (202) 225-4965

    Sometimes hearing an actual human voice on the other end of the phone can shake things up abit in Congresscritter's offices.

    I'm not going anywhere. I'm standing up, which is how one speaks in opposition in a civilized world. - Ainsley Hayes

    by jillian on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 11:54:29 PM PST

  •  The fucked up thing is... (21+ / 0-)

    I was listening to this debate between the 'classic Smithian freemarketeer lover of freedom' and the 'big bad Communist organized labor boss' on CNBC and the 'defender of freedom' was attacking the 'communist' saying the 'communist' was saying that big government should go in and 'force' the Chinese government to 'artificially' increase the value of the Chinese currency.  Of course whoever the douchebag was mediating went off on this as to how 'big gummint' policy will never work in an era of free markets and prosperity for all, and on and on and on about how the government can't go in and change the value of a currency, so the big labor guy was full of crap.  And I was thinking - WAIT A FUCKING SECOND!!!! CHINA ARTIFICIALLY LOWERS THE VALUE OF THEIR CURRENCY!!!  If 'free market values' were allowed to work, China's currency would rise vis-a-vis the American dollar, and American industry would be more competitive.  So the big labor guy was calling for using FREE MARKET PRINCIPLES, whereas the big business guy was advocating ARTIFICIAL CURRENCY CONTROLS.  Of course you'll never find anyone pointing this contradiction in the media, because then people will realize what he have is not free markets, but GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION to keep the price of labor low.

    The Democratic Party can go a long way in helping American workers by simply not actively trying to screw them over as our economic policy has been doing.

    Recovering Intellectual. 12 days stupid.

    by scionkirk on Sun Dec 03, 2006 at 11:57:49 PM PST

  •  The Democrats haven't even taken over yet (7+ / 0-)

    and folks are debating their motives and/or successes.

    I think we should let the Democrats take office before we throw them out with the bathwater.

    The way the Wrong Wing media and our own are watching her it reminds me of Sting's Stalker Song, "Every Breath You Take".  

    I think she and Harry Reid will do just fine.  Their main focus will have to be holding the Whacko in The White House in check.

    If we can show we can govern, something at which the Republicans failed miserably, we'll hold the House and the Senate and gain the White House.  

    Then, we can bring America back.

  •  Much Ado About Nothing (23+ / 0-)

    The Rolling Stone piece quotes only 'Some labor leaders'. That's weak reporting - if this is so controversial then why aren't these labor leaders going on the record?

    The critical quotes from Labor leaders about Robert Rubin are from another matter. It's misleading to present as somehow related to these educational Caucus meetings.

    I also take issue with the idea that Labor was banned from the meeting. It's a scheduled meeting on one topic with one view, Rubin's. If you want to get a hearing of  Labors ideas within that meeting contact a member who is a big supporter of labor and ask them to bring up those questions within the meeting.

    I think this diary seeks to create controversy more than advance any agenda of Labor. Here's what the AFL-CIO economist said in part of the Bloomberg piece you don't excerpt:

    While Trumka, Sloan and others are critical of Rubin's remedies, they give him and others at the Hamilton Project credit for at least thinking about the need for a new direction.

       "It's commendable they observe this problem of the struggle of people trying to make a living and the stagnation of wages and growing inequality," said Ron Blackwell, chief economist for the AFL-CIO, who also attended this month's meeting with Rubin. "But the policies they are proposing aren't proportional to the problems."

    Commendable but not proportional. That's hardly the schism you present. I find this story much ado about nothing and I support Labor.

    I'd rather build a stronger Democratic Party by asking somebody like Rep. Tim Ryan or Louise Slaughter to bring up the concerns of unions within the meeting as planned, a meeting your characterize as orientation for freshmen but is in fact open to all Democratic Caucus members.

    If you're after getting the honey, Then you don't go killing all the bees - Joe Strummer

    by joejoejoe on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 12:47:18 AM PST

    •  civility (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mystery2me

      Ah, we have reached a point in the comprehension of discourse that being civil and understated is misunderstood as not having a deep disagreement. Although I find much to agree with in your comment, your choice of that block quote as evidence that there is no schism is really only evidence that for the most part, the pros couch their schisms in temrs that don't burn bridges - something we caould all learn from here at dKos. The Labor Movement does not consider Robert Rubin a friend. He is the ultimate poster boy for growth-fetish thrid way economic policies. But he is a damn sight more considerate of worker's needs and the environment and the concept of multiple stakeholders than just about any GOP economic thinkers.

      There is an important divide in the Democratic Party. I think we all need to learn to live with the other side on the various issue sets and that bomb-throwing language is unhelpful. However, to pretend that there aren't different clear sides is naive (not claiming you're doing that joejoejoe). I would contend that in all cases, both sides should be aired. I owuld also contend that in all cases, the side that shows the most contrast with the GOP should lead in setting the agenda and developing the public perception of the party.

      •  Fair trade (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pHunbalanced, mrkvica, Sanuk, mystery2me

        Democrats are going to have to come up with some kind of unified 'Fair Trade' policy ala Howard Dean's proposals in '04. I lean more towards grafting fair labor protections into new trade deals than scapping free trade. I'm 100% for free trade with Europe, Japan, Australia and other countries with equal environmental and worker protections. Free trade with Mexico, somewhat. Russia, Dubai and China, no.

        As for this diary I don't think union leaders care that much if they can't attend bull session with Bob Rubin. I'd rather the diarist just talked about the Hamilton Project, Bob Rubin and Labor without sticking pins in Nancy Pelosi for 'banning' Labor from a silly meeting.

        Before any trade policy gets implemented (nothing serious is happening before Jan. '09) I'd like to see the tax loopholes closed for corporations that locate overseas. Byron Dorgan probably has a bunch of great stuff ready to go out to the box in the 110th Congress and that will be hugely popular with voters.

        Trade? It's all theoretical until 2009. If free-trade Dems go too far look for the minority GOP to have lots of populist Perot-type candidates spring up and run as Republicans. That's the political danger of Third Way economics when Dems are in the majority.

        If you're after getting the honey, Then you don't go killing all the bees - Joe Strummer

        by joejoejoe on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 06:57:29 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Banning? i dunno... (6+ / 0-)

    i'll give pelosi the benefit of the doubt for now, if she brings up trade in the next session, then this story will have legs, if not, then no big deal.  these reps are big kids, they were mostly put into congress on the back of labor, they are not going to get indoctrinated by one economic session on "fiscal discipline".

    i coudn't vote in your poll because it's not either or, it's both.

  •  ALERT: WRONG LINK (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ManfromMiddletown, aimeeinkc

    I just found out that the link given in the diary to write Pelosi is FOR HER CONSTITUENTS ONLY.  Please note this.  After I wrote my letter, it clearly stated that the form will NOT be processed if you are not a constituent, and that you should contact her through democraticleader.house.gov if you are not a constituent.  Here is a link to the correct form:

    http://democraticleader.house.gov/...

    Would the diarist please correct?

  •  Maybe she (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rsquire

    didn't want to hear them talk about she totally supports workers unions that is except herself. Maybe because she accepted the Cesar Chavez Award from the United Farmworkers Unions while using non-UFW workers on her Napa Valley Vineyard. Or maybe it was because of the praise she gives to Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union and take massive sums of money from them all the while keeping them out of your Hotel and chain of restaurants.  Who knows, all politicians are hacks anyways.  

  •  This is getting blown out of proportion... (13+ / 0-)

    As stated in the diary the seminar is about fiscal policy.  If it just so happens some questions are asked outside of that purview then it will just have to slide.  I am sure the primary topic will be the major source of discussion.  When there is a discussion of economic policy then we can have both Labor and Rubin in there to present both sides.  

    Furthermore, not everything about Clinton centrism was bad.  I agree that unrestricted free trade has some serious problems, but it's also something that is complex and which cannot be easily fixed.  In recent years I have come around to the thinking that globalisation is unescapable.  

    Whether we like it or not, there's no way to level the playing field when poor people in other parts of the world can make goods so much cheaper.  The future most likely not only will not include any increases in wages and improvement in American standard of living, it will probably result in a lower standard of living, at least in terms of materialistic measures.  

    I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing.  We can't go on consuming more than our fair share of the world's natural resources.  If that is what it takes to maintain the American standard of living, then that standard of living needs to die.  It doesn't mean we can't still have a better future with such things as universal health care, retirement security and so forth.  Democrats need to focus on achieving that brighter future, not fight losing battles against imports from China and Vietnam.  

    In Britain they admit to having royalty. In the United States we pretend we don't have any, and then we elect them president.

    by Asak on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 02:25:45 AM PST

    •  It's not going to be voluntary, though (0+ / 0-)

      We can't go on consuming more than our fair share of the world's natural resources.  If that is what it takes to maintain the American standard of living, then that standard of living needs to die.

      Have you ever asked an American - Democrat, Republican, Independant - what they, personally, are willing to give up so that starving children can eat? Their vacations, their cars, their organic produce and colorful "native" fashions? I do believe that our lifestyle is going to get permanently squashed real soon here, but I'm afraid it's not going to be a result of voluntary, altruistic motives, not for too many people at least.

      "If this were a dictatorship, it would be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator." - George W. Bush

      by David Mason on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 05:44:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Blown out of proportion (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Predictor

      agreed.

      Why do people rec dairies like this???? Sheesh.

      Overthrow the Government ~Vote~

      by missliberties on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 08:46:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Pelosi's district.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeeinkc, kurt, Predictor

    elects her by +80%. She has no effective opposition, ever. In a sense, that's bound to make her less responsive to any given constituency.

    That said, SF is a labor town par excellence. Has anyone thought of ways to bring, say, the SF Labor Council, into Speaker Pelosi's decision-making considerations?

    You may want to contact them.

    "the people have the power to redeem the work of fools" --Patti Smith

    by Immigrant Punk on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 04:14:09 AM PST

  •  Sounds like something carl R might write (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sanuk, kurt, Predictor

    He uses history to justify his writings, he also reads us.

    Wait until our people get sworn into office before going off on any thing.

    I have been reading where people are upset because our  people aren't saying much on certain subjects, we do not want to count our Chickens before they are hatched.

    Once they are sworn in, THEN we have a right to demand that they represent us.

    Come on, don't let yourself get upset over something you read in the paper, we know by now how far we can trust most of what we read there, and I am sure there are those who want us to become devicive.
    Lets not give in to them.

  •  The Problem Isn't Pelosi (14+ / 0-)

    I am as big a supporter of labor than anyone else but I can see through all of this BS and tell you what I would do if I were Pelosi. I would do exactly what she has been doing and keep all special interests at bay for another month or so. Also, economics and free trade is something that democrats in high places actually do understand pretty well.

    When you've allowed China to buy up more than half of your debt there's a need to diversify fast and quickly......Pelosi has a full plate and she first needs to put up a wall to any and all lobbies...even labor for now.

    Educating the freshmen on real economics and the state of our state is a pretty smart move. If they undrestand that which many of us do not they can represent us in ernest.

    Like I said...I support labor but for right now labor needs to take a seat and let Nancey get this place in order....she's attempting to empty out the swamps and the labor folks can help or hurt....

    it's up to them

    Militia General Pajamahadeen Ohio Southwest Chapter....we sale Girl Scout Cookies also

    by JellyPuddin on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 04:28:36 AM PST

  •  Comment e-mailed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pHunbalanced, PaulVA

    Whenever I think of the disconnect between campaigning and governing, I feel faint.  Greider has their number, and so do you, ManfromMiddletown.  Thanks for this important diary.

    I'm pissed but unsurprised that labor is getting slighted again.

  •  Done (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink

    thanks for the link. Labor worked very hard to help Kirsten Gillibrand (NY 20) elected and should have a seat at the table.

  •  Sample Letter to Pelosi (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    philgoblue

    Dear Speaker Pelosi:

    While I commend your efforts to brief incoming freshmen on the goals you have set out for the 110th Congress, I am dismayed that you are not offering members of organized labor to speak with newly-elected officials.

    "Former Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin [will speak] on the need for restoring fiscal discipline and building a competitive economy to create jobs in America."  I do not have any qualms with Mr. Rubin briefing new members, but his views are lopsided at best when it comes to protecting jobs which produce a middle-class wage for American families.  I suggest that you also invite the President of the AFl-CIO, John Sweeny, to provide some perspective on Mr. Rubin's views.

    Sincerely,

    ***g ******y
    Member of Seattle Education Association

  •  You haven't said anything (5+ / 0-)

    What is it about these "opposing viewpoints" that specifically is so "very different" that the democratic congressmen need to hear.  

    You mean you didn't like the economy that Robert Rubin helped to forge of the late 90's?  

    I won't support any action without a good explanation of why.  What is so different and urgent about the Labor (who are these people by the way?  Who would you have the freshmen hear?) viewpoint that it needs to be heard?

    This Diary is rhetoric, not much substance.

    Most people are idiots... But don't tell them. It'll spoil all the fun for those of us who aren't.

    by d3n4l1 on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 04:54:48 AM PST

  •  I had (0+ / 0-)

    this to say yesterday.

    17. Ne5

    In chess you may hit a man when he's down -- Irving Chernev, on Przepiorka v. Prokes, Budapest, 1929

    by Spud1 on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 04:59:35 AM PST

  •  Not a "Free Trade Fanatic." (9+ / 0-)

    Rubin is the guy who oversaw all that NAFTA stuff, and all, but he also ran one of the most efficient Treasury Departments in US History. He is one of the most brilliant fiscal minds in the entire planet.

    I am not anti-union, but Unions are very much a special interest, and they tend to be very focused and biased. I don't blame her for wanting to keep bias out of this, and I would hope that she would require Rubin to be as circumspect. He is not a one-track man, and will have plenty to say anyway.

    If she is using Rubin only for his economic skills, then she is giving them a seminar from one of the leading luminaries in the world.

    I'm far more worried that she may try to hobble congressional investigations.

    "[T]hat I have no remedy for all the sorrows of the world is no reason for my accepting yours. It simply supports the strong probability that yours is a fake."

    by Heronymous Cowherd on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 05:09:29 AM PST

  •  IMNHO, Pelosi was weak opposition "leader" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ManfromMiddletown

    before Nov 7.

    While this is a disappointment,

    this is not a surprise.

    This is THE REAL FIGHT -

    the "leaders" on our side

    • our side being those tens of millions WORKING for less than 50 or 75 grand a year

    who are going to compromise to this right wing fake "center" and sell us out like they've been selling us out since ...

    Tip O'Neill helped cut studnet financial aid in the early 80's

    (I don't have a URL for you psuedo fact people - I know cuz I was on financial aid)

    While it is deplorable and despicable and detestable that the Bushies sell us out, ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm ... they are fucking fascists, so, should anyone expect anything different?

    The problem isn't the fascists - the problem is the fake "leaders" on my side selling me out.

    rmm.

    http://www.liemail.com/BambooGrassroots.html

    by seabos84 on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 05:36:41 AM PST

  •  Labor should not be allowed... (7+ / 0-)

    ...to come speak to the caucus. Think of it this way.

    Do you think the oil and pharmaceutical companies should send representatives to speak to the GOP caucus? Labor unions are a special interest group just like corporations.

    Robert Rubin is an economist, not a special interest. In fact he happens to be a very good economist.

    I don't have a problem with Pelosi bringing in an economist with opposing viewpoints. If she wants to find somebody that is more "pro labor" or more protectionist, that's fine with me. (Although I must say it's probably hard to find a reputable protectionist economist.)

    In my opinion, however, the Democrats should listen to Rubin. He knows what he's talking about.

    •  Go to hell (6+ / 0-)

      Robert Rubin is a walking special interest; he works for Citigroup and represents Wall Street. Labor is not a "special interest group just like corporations," though middle-class liberal twits (who think that they occupy all-knowing and privileged territory above the fray, and are never "special interests" in their own right) do love to lump the organized working class in with organized capital.

      I'll give you this, though -- Rubin does know what he's talking about. His job is to make a Democratic majority safe for the thieves of Wall Street. You are helping him do that, though it appears that you are not smart enough to understand this.

      •  Aren't you kind? (6+ / 0-)

        "...do love to lump the organized working class in with organized capital."

        Keyword ORGANIZED. Organized...organization...group!

        Organized labor is a group, a group with special interests.

        Rubin isn't speaking for Citicorp , he is speaking as an economist.

        I also don't understand the hatred of Wall Street. I understand that there are corporations that break the law, do bad things. They deserve to be punished.

        However, generally speaking economic growth and fiscal responsibility benefit everybody. I want companies to do well, just as I want the workers they employee to do well.

        •  Organization matters for people without power (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pHunbalanced, jfm

          Workers have a right to organize to defend their interests. There is nothing "special" about the interests of the working class; they are the interests of the majority of the population. The only way workers get power is by getting together and acting in concert. That is called democracy. It is the only check on the power of corporations that we have.

          If you think that organized workers are a "special interest" but Robert Rubin is some "neutral" economist without self-interest on his own, then frankly, you are an idiot.

          What the hell is "fiscal responsibility," by the way? Reponsibility to whom?

      •  hey bud... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Idioteque, mrkvica, Nemesis22

        How about you don't tell people to go to hell......this is trollish behavior and I cna't believe people uprated.

        And I'm sorry but the freaking democrats do need to know the opinion of wall street since the listed companies employ a good percentage of the workers in the country.

        Relax and don't tell people to go to hell.

    •  Love Rubin, Clinton and Pelosi, but the SEIU's (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      philgoblue, ripzaw, otto, PaulVA, d7000, Nemesis22

      Andrew Stern is actually a great, intelligent guy who understands that we need to find ways to be promote free, **FAIR** trade while at the same keeping and creating good U.S. jobs.

      And, fine, Stern clearly represents a special interest, but Rubin represents a special group that consists, roughly, of Democratic CEOs.

      I'm sure Pelosi and Stern could have found an independent economist who represents the SEIU's views in the same way that Rubin represents the CEOs' views.

      Also: I'm not at all an expert on what Rubin thinks, but he is just an economist, not a monster. He really doesn't eat babies for breakfast or want anyone else to do so. My guess is that he probably has been influenced by the Fair Trade people and might be closer to the "anti trade" people here on trade than they think.

      Because I don't think people here are really saying that China shouldn't be able to sell us silk and we shouldn't be able to sell China wheat. What people here are saying is that we shouldn't let giant corporations use rigged trade to destroy the environment in China and oppress workers in both countries.

      I think one possible solution is to get people like Andrew Stern and Jeffrey Sachs (a one-time free trade/tough love free enterprise economist who now believes in a gentler approach to economic development) to come up rules and institutions that can promote the kind of trade that respects the environment, respects workers' rights, respects the interests of other stakeholders (e.g., French people who want to save their cheese industry) and that lets businesses that do play by the rules export and import with a minimum of annoying bureaucracy.

      •  An unimaginably fair comment (0+ / 0-)

        I really did not think I'd find anything but flames in a comment thread that started with praise of teh rich guy!!!!!!!!!! Rubin.

        -4.75, -5.08 Be yourself. Imitation is suicide. -Andre Gide

        by ripzaw on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 07:22:52 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I just think that everyone here (0+ / 0-)

          would want a starving woman in Bangladesh to able to sew a shirt and sell us a shirt to keep her baby from dying.

          Not one of us -- not even really anyone at Monster Textile Inc., except a few people who've been conked on the forehead too often and have lost their conscience -- wants Monster Textile Inc. to open a slave factory in Bangladesh and pour textile manufacturing poison into the wells of Bangladesh while keep the starving woman barely alive, letting her baby die of malaria, and causing a worker in South Carolina to lose her job.

          If we just understand how much we have in common and how much goodwill there is in places where we might not expect it, we could get more done.

    •  Your name serves you well (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming

      Robert Rubin LOBBIED FOR FLIPPIN' ENRON!!!!!!!!!

      E-N-R-O-N!!!!

      and then you say this. .  .

      In my opinion, however, the Democrats should listen to Rubin. He knows what he's talking about.

    •  How about (0+ / 0-)

      I don't have a problem with Pelosi bringing in an economist with opposing viewpoints. If she wants to find somebody that is more "pro labor" or more protectionist, that's fine with me. (Although I must say it's probably hard to find a reputable protectionist economist.)

      Warren Buffett?

  •  The Aaron Burr Project (5+ / 0-)

    That's how you deal with the Hamilton Project.

  •  Well this diary is off to a Good Start.. (8+ / 0-)

    On Wednesday, December 5, freshman representatives will be subjected to indoctrination in economics of fucking the people who sent you to Washington over by Robert Rubin, a free trade fanatic from the Clinton administration.

    Strange thing.  Everybody I know did better under Clinton.  That includes blue collar as well as white collar.  The statistics prove this point, as we had a decline in the poverty rate, the crime rate, straight across the board.

    But you claim we were all fucked over.

    Reality doesn't match your ideology which to me indicates that you have a rather fucked up view of the world, so I for one am glad you aren't talking to our Congress.

    •  everyone did somewhat better (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annefrank

      But I want CEOs making no more than 2 or 3 times what the guy who comes in after work to clean the toilet makes. We need to crush economic inequality by any means necessary.

    •  OK, maybe (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming, annefrank

      but the policies Clinton-Gore put into place have been a large part of the reason for the loss of millions of good-paying, union, manufacturing jobs and those didn't really become clear until after the dotcom bubble ended.  If you lived in Michigan or anywhere in the Great Lakes you'd know that it is in no way a "fucked-up view of the world," instead you'd wake up day after day to jobs leaving from Ford, GM, Electrolux, Siemens, Steelcase, Tower Automotive, Delphi, etc, etc, etc.

      "We need to ask America to adopt a new kind of patriotism, a patriotism about something more than just war." -- John Edwards

      by philgoblue on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 07:04:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  22 million NET new jobs (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        d7000, Nemesis22

        Clinton-Gore economic accomplishments

        • 22 million net new jobs
        • lowered of unemployment from 7.5% to 4%
        • real wage growth of 6.8% (after adjusting to inflation)
        • turned record deficits into record surpluses
        • record low African American unemployment
        • lowered unemployment among Hispanics from 11.6 percent in 1992 to 5.4 percent in April 2000 (lowest rate on record)
        • lowest unemployment rate for women since 1953
        • increase in manufacturing jobs by 391 thousand
        • increase in IT jobs by 1 million (roughly half of which survived even the Bush's outsourced "economy")
        • a two-step minimum wage increase in 96/97 from $4.25 to $5.15

        Gore promised another increase of $1 in minimum wage, and would have probably a few more after it.

        ~~~~~~~~~~~

        but the policies Clinton-Gore put into place have been a large part of the reason for the loss of millions of good-paying, union, manufacturing jobs

        False. The number of manufacturing jobs increased during Clinton-Gore by 391K.

        and those didn't really become clear until after the dotcom bubble ended.

        Cockamamie theory. As mentioned, in addition to an increase in manufacturing jobs, Clinton-Gore economy also created 1 million new IT jobs, and over 440K survived Bush's crazy outsourcing.

        ~~~~~~~~~~~

        Not to mention that Al Gore's pioneering work in congress helped bring the internet to the masses and in effect ushered in the information age, with tremendous benefits to the economy in addition to paving the way for direct democracy being witnessed right here at Daily Kos.

        Unite the nation, heal the planet: Al Gore for President, 2008!

        by NeuvoLiberal on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 09:57:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  link (0+ / 0-)

          Main economic accomplishments summary for the Clinton-Gore administration is here. The link given above lists results for small businesses.

          Unite the nation, heal the planet: Al Gore for President, 2008!

          by NeuvoLiberal on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 10:08:03 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Awesome facts - thanks! n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          NeuvoLiberal
        •  NAFTA Alone Cost 1 Million Jobs + (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wu ming, ManfromMiddletown

          "NAFTA's cautionary tale: Recent history suggests CAFTA could lead to further U.S. job displacement"
          by Robert E. Scott and David Ratner

          The rise in the U.S. trade deficit with Canada and Mexico through 2004 has caused the displacement of production that supported 1,015,291 U.S. jobs since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed in 1993. Jobs were displaced in every state and major industry in the United States. Two thirds of those lost jobs were in manufacturing industries.

          http://www.epi.org/...

          And an update on how NAFTA hasn’t helped people in all three countries: http://www.epi.org/...

          "We need to ask America to adopt a new kind of patriotism, a patriotism about something more than just war." -- John Edwards

          by philgoblue on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 11:26:46 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  22 million is the NET new jobs (0+ / 0-)

            22 million is the NET new jobs with whatever the effects of NAFTA were or weren't.

            Since you pitch as if you hate NAFTA so much (I think NAFTA should be reviewed and fixed where necessary to ensure better labor and environmental protection), why do you support John Edwards, who only called for renegotiating it, and is explicitly against cancelling it?

            Unite the nation, heal the planet: Al Gore for President, 2008!

            by NeuvoLiberal on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 11:42:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yes, Edwards is for renegotiating NAFTA (0+ / 0-)

              with labor union rights, environmental regulations, health and safety rules, etc.  Why again is that bad?

              It would be a different treaty then, but we still need rules to trade with Canada and Mexico.

              Got it?

              "We need to ask America to adopt a new kind of patriotism, a patriotism about something more than just war." -- John Edwards

              by philgoblue on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 11:47:33 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Gore also called for reviewing all trade deals (0+ / 0-)

                Gore also called for reviewing all trade deals to ensure labor union rights, environmental regulations, health and safety rules, etc.

                Unite the nation, heal the planet: Al Gore for President, 2008!

                by NeuvoLiberal on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 12:12:11 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  I wrote and poiltely complained (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    philgoblue, a gnostic

    Please do the same!

  •  Last time I wrote Pelosi, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    philgoblue

    I got a mail back stating that the letter was redirected to my own representative, because I was not a constituent of hers.

  •  I just think she should pick another economist (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ripzaw, tryptamine

    Rubin was a bad pick, but I don't think bringing labor in to give their side is the right thing to do.

    Rather, they should just agree on an objective economist.

    I mean, I support labor strongly, but you let one constituent group in, you have to let them all in.

    Besides, if they just sit up there and debate, nobody's going to get anything acoomplished.

  •  Let's Get Out of the Circle and Put Our Weapons (12+ / 0-)

    down.

    Does anybody know if there is a Labor seminar scheduled?  Does anybody doubt that the Freshaman lawmakers who received the help of Labor to get elected will not be hearing from Labor? Does anybody doubt that if Labor organized their own seminar that the Freshmen lawmakers would not show up? Does anybody know if Labor is organizing its own seminar?

    It seems more than a little bit unseemly to me that all this vitriol is being directed at Pelosi when nobody seems to know the answers to these questions.

    Here's another question for you:

    Does anybody want the Dem agenda derailed over a pie fight where we don't have the answers to these other question?

    I'm just asking?

    You can't govern if you can't win.

    by gatordem on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 06:07:22 AM PST

  •  Sent (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ManfromMiddletown, PaulVA, esquimaux

    As a middle-aged man facing an uncertain job market, the erosion of earning power in our country is a significant issue.  I was disheartened to learn that you effectively barred representatives of organized labor to address the freshman Democratic congressmen in the forum you granted Robert Rubin.  The dogma of "free trade" pushed by Rubin and Wall Street is resulting in a wholesale transfer of wealth from the middle and lower class Americans (who voted these Democrats into office) to the ultrarich.  Free trade is anything but free for those of us whose standard of living is being pushed down.

    Don't sell us out, Ms. Pelosi.  

    I'll hug your elephant if you kiss my ass

    by beemerr on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 06:08:58 AM PST

  •  Calling Bullshit On This Diary (11+ / 0-)

    Jesus Fucking Christ, schedule a luncheon or something for another day. These guys are busy and probably didn't have enough time for BOTH unions to seperately present their own take (that's what you get when you throw hissy fits and divide the organized labor movement). This is much ado about nothing. I call bullshit on this concern troll diary. Life is too short to get all wound up about nothing.

    FYI, Nancy was staunchly opposed to CAFTA, as was Murtha. It was Steny who refused to whip the vote and thus allowed CAFTA to succeed. So if anyone is to blame for this, it is Steny.

    FYI II, Fast Trak is DOA. Byron Dorgan has promised that he's rather burn in hell then allow the reauthorization to get through the Senate. Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan have the ability to bottle it up in their committees and fully intend to do so.

  •  Rubin is the one who should be barred (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming, PaulVA, esquimaux

    FDR must be rolling over in his grave.

    The Republicans. The party of fear and smear.

    by Paleo on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 06:19:41 AM PST

  •  It’s financializaton of the economy, stupid (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming, Leggy Starlitz, jfm

    I am chagrined at how people flounder about on economic questions.

    Sirota at least is barking up the right tree. But the scope of the problem is shown by the fact that not a single professional economist has taken a position against free trade. There must have been some, but their dissent was probably buried by the corporate-controlled main media.

    The divide is also not fully captured by railing against corporate power. Eliminating all corporations would not make the problem go away, and in fact would critically impair our economy and our ability to reform and manage the economy (though I do think corporate power has to be reigned in, and revoking the charter of one or two large corporations that are most odious would deliver a very healthy SHOCK to the system).

    The basic problem is an acceptance of the post-industrial drift of our society and economy, and the corresponding financializaton of the economy. Kevin Phillips pinpoints the problem of financializaton in his book American Theocracy, but I don’t believe Phillips goes far enough.

    To just what extent has the economy been financialized? You think that the stock markets are the epitome of financial markets? Consider these statistics. In 2000, the U.S. Gross Domestic Product was $9.817 trillion, while the dollar value of equity trading an all exchanges (New York, NASDAQ, American, etc.) was $14.552 trillion.

    However, financial trading in U.S. Government Securities was $67.056 trillion, according to the Bond Market Association.

    Foreign exchange (currency) trading amounted to $60.960 trillion, according to a Federal Reserve sponsored study of that market.

    I have done a very rough estimate of futures trading of $343.136 trillion.

    And we haven't even looked at trading of state and munincipal bonds, options, mortgage derivatives, swaps and forwards, and overnight commercial paper.

    What does financialization look like in summary?

    U.S. GDP = $9.817 trillion.

    Financial trading = over $485.0 trillion.

    Just to give you an idea of what has happened to the U.S. economy: in 1960, the U.S. GDP was $526.4 billion, and financial trading was $795.3 billion. Go ahead and figure the ratio of GDP to financial trading in the two years I provide data for.

    What we should all be asking ourselves, is: How does an economy of $9.817 trillion support financial trading of over $485.0 trillion?

    Telling a conservative the truth does about as much good as shoveling fleas across a barnyard. - The shade of A. Lincoln

    by NBBooks on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 06:24:43 AM PST

    •  Because one is income and one is assets (0+ / 0-)

      The trade vs. domestic product comparison isn't really very appropriate.

      It's the same as asking what is your income vs. what is your retirement account worth.  While they are both relevant, they are not directly comparable when considering financial or professional decision-making (like retirement).

      9/11 didn't change the Constitution!

      by Prof Dave on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 06:33:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Greg Palast is a professional economist (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ManfromMiddletown, PaulVA

      He was trained at the University of Chicago, the same place that turned out so many "free trade" yes-men.

      Paul Krugman is another professional economist who calls bullshit on "free trade" and has a pretty big megaphone.

      They hate us for our freedoms. So if we stop being free, they stop hating us? Is THAT the plan?

      by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 08:00:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  More bi-patricianship n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats give you the Bill of Rights; Republicans sell you a bill of goods!

    by barbwires on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 06:31:32 AM PST

  •  My letter to Speaker Pelosi (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    philgoblue, boadicea, a gnostic

    Dear Speaker Pelosi,

    As a constituent, I am pleased that you are going to the the Speaker of the House, a House with a Democratic majority. This is a long day coming and it is time to set many wrongs to right.

    A major issue desperate for change is the economy and the financial welfare of the middle class and labor. I know that you are on the side of such Americans, many of whom helped catapult the Democrats into power.

    I understand it is tempting to try to recreate the prosperity of the Clinton years by reviving the economic theories and policies of that time. However, no president is perfect, and Clinton's policies, in the form of Robert Rubin, hurt more than helped the very Americans that are now most in need.

    Naturally Mr. Rubin has important ideas about directions for our future economic policies. However, he cannot be the only voice. This election was a populist one, as you are no doubt aware, and those elected need to make good on their obligations to those who elected them by  implementing an economic system that favors all working groups.

    To this end, I strongly plead you to include the voice of labor in the upcoming series of seminars for freshman representatives. Let's not turn our backs on one of the Democratic Party's keystone groups, not at a time when we are finally coming back into power and have a real chance to make positive changes for millions of struggling Americans. Invite labor to speak to our freshmen representatives, and send a message to this country that the Democrats support all classes, not just the capitalists.

    You currently own a great deal of political capital yourself. Please use it to get the new Majority off on the right track.

    Sincerely,
    etc.

    Democrats, the Party of Common Sense, Common Decency, and the Common Good. GOP, the Party of Debt, Dobson, and Destruction.

    by Ashami on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 06:33:20 AM PST

  •  "barred from speaking" (8+ / 0-)

    every one of those congressperson's agendas are controlled by themselves. this diary is rank hyperbole. pelosi likes rubin so she gives him an opportunity to preach to them. fine. every one of them is an adult capable of making up their own minds about anything they so choose.

    •  your position on FTAs? disclosure? (0+ / 0-)

      methinks you like them.

      as to the hyperbole, actions speak louder than words and the actions of Speaker Pelosi are what is rank.

      it is indeed a knife in the back and if you don't like that language, tough shit.

      as to their making up their minds?  well, when their "leader" sends such a clear message as this, don't you think their minds might be swayed, with next election in mind, by such hints from the "leader" of the House dems?

      as to "barred from speaking," here's some healthy reading that should provide you with a means of removing your foot from your mouth after you apologize of course for attacking the good diarist who make some damn good points.  

      anyhow, pelosi only voted against CAFTA.. all others she voted FOR:

      http://www.ontheissues.org/...

      •  listen (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        d7000

        my foot is not in my mouth. pelosi permitting rubin to speak need be taken as nothing more than mere courtesy by any member who is put off by that. as far as her voting record, nobody is deceived, IMO, by pelosi- the  notion she was some "wild SF liberal" has been known to be an ignorant talking point for some time now.

  •  What eles did you expect from a poser and... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jfm

    ...and the richest woman in Congress. Pelosi's and  that giant of a man Rubin's version of "free trade"  is big business establishment alter worship to the core and a certain effing over of the average working American. Meet the new boss same as the old boss, but a lot slicker, like Willie.

    The young man who has not wept is a savage, and the old man who will not laugh is a fool. George Santayana

    by Bobjack23 on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 06:39:01 AM PST

  •  Here is the actual (7+ / 0-)

    letter Pelosi sent out to House Dems:

    Dear Democratic Colleague:

    Congratulations again on your election. The American people have asked for change, and with your leadership, we are going to take our nation in a New Direction. I am deeply honored and grateful for the opportunity given me by the Democratic Caucus to serve as the next Speaker of the House. Thank you so much for your vote of confidence in me. We will accomplish so much together.

    During the week of December 4th, we have scheduled presentations on two of the most critical issues we will confront in the 110th Congress. I urge your attendance at both.

    • On Tuesday, December 5, at 9:00 a.m. we will hear a presentation on Iraq. Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, and Major General John Batiste will be among the presenters.
    • On Wednesday, December 6, at 9:30 a.m. we will have a presentation on the economy by former Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin on the need for restoring fiscal discipline and building a competitive economy to create jobs in America.

    You will be receiving additional materials from my office on these two sessions soon. In the meantime, I hope you will add both to your busy schedules.

    We all have so much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving, and I hope that you have a wonderful holiday. I look forward to seeing you in early December.

    best regards,

    NANCY PELOSI
    Speaker of the House-Designate

    As you can see, Rubin's presentation is more than just fiscal discipline and responsibility.  It is also about creating jobs.  Will Rubin trumpet free trade as the way to create jobs?  I am sure labor would have something to say on job creation and how free trade means job loss in this country.

    To say my country right or wrong is something no patriot would utter; it is like saying my mother drunk or sober. -- G.K. Chrsterton

    by commonweal on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 06:39:07 AM PST

  •  The stated topic for the seminar (5+ / 0-)

    sounds terrible:

    ... on the need for restoring fiscal discipline and building a competitive economy to create jobs in America.

    Discipline and competitive are corporate buzzwords that make me think benefit cuts and working longer for the same wages.

    I wrote my note.  Thanks for the diary.

    Hey ... get up ... and remember ... 9/11 changed nothing.

    by CalbraithRodgers on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 06:49:20 AM PST

    •  I guess it's a matter of perspective. (6+ / 0-)

      When I read those words I took them to mean a return to budgetary sanity (Federal, State and personally) and working to make our own economy stronger in the US to make us more competitive in a global economy.  <shrug>

      Guess we'll just have to wait and see and then come dowm like a ton of bricks if it really is all about corporatism.....

    •  Yup ... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tryptamine, Sanuk

      And create jobs is corporate speak for slave labor ;)

      Please let us wait for the legislation before we unequivocally give up on the Dems ...

    •  Fiscal Discipline (0+ / 0-)

      See, when I hear that, I think not turning the largest surplus in American history to the largest deficit overnight, including spending countless billions on a stupid war which is only made worse by disastrous tax cuts.  

      And create jobs means create jobs to me.  I don't know what you think that means.

      Right on, Dr. Dean.

      by Mikey on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 10:42:09 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

        with your first paragraph all the way.  The problem as I see it is that there appears to be a link being made in her description between discipline and competetiveness and jobs.  I worry that when those words are all used in the same sentence, the workers end up with the short end of the stick.  

        Dems should never talk about the economy without including the worker perspective.  Republicans won't do it and corporations are naturally opposed to anything that they think with harm the yearly report.

        Hey ... get up ... and remember ... 9/11 changed nothing.

        by CalbraithRodgers on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 01:34:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  You're jumping the gun (4+ / 0-)

    This is the crux of your argument:

    This session, her spokesman explains, is only about "fiscal responsibility," not globalization and trade, not the deterioration of wages and disappearing jobs. Yet those subjects are sure to come up for discussion.

    That's shaky at best.  If it is true that fiscal responsibility and not trade is the topic de jeur, then labor is irrelevant.  Adding labor to the seminar to answer questions on trade issues, as the author implies, detracts from the point of bringing all of the freshmen together.  

    I buy The Nation from time-to-time, but take it all in with a grain of salt.  This is one of those times I will take it with a tablespoon of Na.  

  •  Initial signs from Pelosi, Frank, and Rangel... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    philgoblue, wu ming, PaulVA, rolandzebub

    are not encouraging.  We already knew that Hoyer, Emanuel, et al favored a K Street agenda.  I was hoping for the likes of Pelosi, Frank, and Rangel as counterbalances.

    Pelosi invites Rubin as the sole speaker at this seminar.  Frank states that inequality is a good thing, and he wants to compromise w/ corporate interests on trade even before the battle is waged.  Rangel says that he doesn't want to revisit W's tax cuts for the wealthy.

    It's still very early, but what I'm seeing thus far is fairly discouraging.

    Some men see things as they are and ask why. I see things that never were and ask why not?

    by RFK Lives on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 06:54:55 AM PST

    •  They, too, can be sent home in 2 years (0+ / 0-)

      This is one of the most important issues we have: the growing inequality between the rich and poor, and the protection of corporations by our representatives. Our reps don't always get it because they come from wealthy families, good schools, and great neighborhoods.

      Interestingly, even die-hard Republicans get pissed when I talk about corporate-welfare killing our country.  A candidate for President who really get his voice out about this will win the '08 election in my opinion.

      My file on RedState.org: Adigal: Another one of them left wing girls way too smart for our own good. Her phones need to be monitored.

      by adigal on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 09:49:52 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I already wrote Pelosi and suggested she (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    philgoblue, ManfromMiddletown, PaulVA

    include someone from the Economic Policy Institute.  Not that she will.  

  •  Give Pelosi a chance (7+ / 0-)

    to do it her way. You say:

    Pelosi decided against it {labor coming}. This session, her spokesman explains, is only about "fiscal responsibility," not globalization and trade, not the deterioration of wages and disappearing jobs.

    Why don't we take her at her word? It is about the budget.  It could just be that Rubin will see the need for fairer globalization if he sees the actual figures of salaries and job losses.

    Pelosi shouldn't have to fight us and the republicans and many in the MSM who are ready to pounce.

    I am one hundred percent for the workers of this country, but I have my doubts about the labor leadership. Labor shouldn't fight the Democratic leadership harder than they fight the Republican leadership.

    Rubin is aware of the problems with globalization. An article from the Nation about Rubin shows this:

    Labor rights, I counter, do not prevent the very poorest countries from developing on the advantage of their cheap labor, but reform would require all developing countries to operate so that wage levels can rise proportionate to the economy's rising productivity and profit, however that is measured.

    "Something like that ought to be an objective of the global system," Rubin agrees. But he says he has never seen a convincing model of how this might work. He remains skeptical. He admits it is disturbing that economic advances in some countries "still have had very little effect on the poverty rate, and middle-income people haven't done all that well either. So the political economic elites had all this economic benefit, and they were indifferent to poverty, to the poor." Pg 4 The Nation

    They need to focus on solving the problems in the budget. Will that lead to the conclusion that more jobs are needed here? Yes, it will, if they don't already know it. Commonsense will tell them that. Give them a chance.

    Globalization isn't set in iron.  They have pushed the rest of us about as far as they can.  Argue against unfair trade not what Pelosi is doing in having a meeting.

    Labor can schedule later.

    Life is what you focus on. Let's focus on ending the war and economic fairness. After that the rest will be easy.

    by relentless on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 07:00:06 AM PST

  •  Gods, am I pissed (0+ / 0-)

    What is this?  Are we the party of the working class or are we not?  Do we have to vote Green in two years to teach these cats a lesson?

    If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always got.

    by Diana in NoVa on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 07:04:32 AM PST

  •  Let's not get bunched undies over this. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Delta Terp

    We're not talking about Pelosi barring reps from meeting with disgruntled Walmart employees. She's barring the reps from meeting with Labor's equivalent to the big Pharma lobbying organization. You don't think Labor has the same glad-handing, palm-greasing group of parasites that they can run to Washington, just like Oil and Pharma? Don't be utterly naive. And yes, the national teacher's union really does have all sorts of things on its agenda other than fair pay for school teachers.

  •  A WITCH! (9+ / 0-)

    BURN HER!

    Say hello to my little subpoena!

    by The Termite on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 07:07:31 AM PST

  •  Rubin's policies balanced budgets, increased wages (16+ / 0-)
    for all.  The 1990's economy was good for everybody.  Listen to the guy.  That does not mean you don't listen to labor.  But don't throw out the baby with the bathwater.

    The 1990s economy was really good for everybody

    "You think you can intimidate me? Screw you. Choose your Weapon." Eliot Spitzer

    by bonddad on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 07:09:50 AM PST

    •  Have to disagree with you on that (4+ / 0-)

      According to the Economic Policy Institute the middle class didn't get a whole hell of a lot from the economy of the 1990s.

      For example:

      The average American worker now produces about 12% more in an hour's work than he or she did back in 1989, but, after adjusting for inflation, the typical worker's wages have increased only 1.9%. The typical woman (up 3.4%) did better than the typical man (down 1.8%), but she still earns only 77 cents for every dollar earned by her male counterpart. Given that wages and salaries are the main source of income for middle-class Americans, it's not surprising that the inflation-adjusted income of middle-income families grew just $285 between 1989 and 1997 (the most recent available data).

      And concerning health care:

      Meanwhile, the share of middle-income workers with some form of employer-provided health insurance (on their own or through their spouse) actually fell between 1989 and 1997, leaving almost 30% of those in the middle without coverage.

      To say my country right or wrong is something no patriot would utter; it is like saying my mother drunk or sober. -- G.K. Chrsterton

      by commonweal on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 07:20:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Federal Reserve and Census Disagrees (8+ / 0-)

        From the Survey of Consumer Finances 1998:

           In the 1998 survey, inflation-adjusted mean and median family incomes continued the upward trend between the 1992 and 1995 surveys; they also surpassed the levels observed in the 1989 survey toward the end of the previous expansion....

           From 1995 to 1998, the proportion of families with incomes of $50,000 or more rose from one-fifth to 33.8%, while the proportion with incomes below $10,000 fell about one-sixth to 12.6%.

        From the 2001 Survey:

        Between 1998 and 2001, inflation-adjusted family incomes rose notably faster than they did in the 1995-98 period. The median rose 9.6% percent (2.5 percent during the 1995-98 period) and the mean rose 17.4% (12.2 during the 1995-98 period).

        Also see median income stats from the Census on that.

        Or, click on the link I provided at the bottom of my previous comment.

        "You think you can intimidate me? Screw you. Choose your Weapon." Eliot Spitzer

        by bonddad on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 07:35:04 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your looking (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          philgoblue

          at a very short period of time.  You need to look at pre-recession wages and determine if American workers got back to that level.  Yes there were some wage gain in the 1990s, but many workers were left behind pre-recession levels.

          The wage trends of the 1990s, despite dramatic improvements in recent months, have still left many workers behind their pre-recession levels. In this regard, getting back to the level of 1989 serves as a minimal benchmark, but even this measure of success sets a low standard given the higher productivity of the 1990s economy. Certainly the median worker has played a nontrivial role in the 9% increase in productivity over the 1990s, and one might expect his or her compensation to reflect that growth. By this measure, the economy's performance falls short.

          The entire article can be found here

          To say my country right or wrong is something no patriot would utter; it is like saying my mother drunk or sober. -- G.K. Chrsterton

          by commonweal on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 07:54:53 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you read what I wrote (5+ / 0-)

            you will notice I was writing about the entire decade of the 1990s, not just certain parts.  

            For example:

            In addition to the beneficial effects of balancing the budget, Clinton's economy was geared toward helping the middle class attain a better life. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the hourly pay for non-supervisory workers increased from $10.63 in January of 1993 to $14.26 in December 2000 for an increase of 34.14%. Over the same period, the inflation measure increased from 138.1 to 174 for an increase of 25.99%. Therefore, the inflation adjusted hourly wage increased 8.15%.

            Non-supervisory wages represent about 80% of the workforce.

            "You think you can intimidate me? Screw you. Choose your Weapon." Eliot Spitzer

            by bonddad on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 08:03:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  hey, don't let facts (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TXdem, oysterface, Mikecan1978

              get in the way of these people bashing Democrats.

              Don't start a blog, build a community with SoapBlox - the NEW blog framework.

              by pacified on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 08:15:23 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I did not deny (3+ / 0-)

              there were wage increases in the 1990s.  But when you compare those wage increases to the wage wage loses between the mid 1970s to the recession of the early 1990s, the American worker is still behind.  

              For instance, over the 1989-99 period productivity, which might be considered the economy’s "ability to pay," or its yardstick to measure good growth, rose 20.5%. However, typical workers received virtually none of this increase—the median hourly wage among men was slightly less in 1999 than in 1989, while for women it was up just 4%.

              To say my country right or wrong is something no patriot would utter; it is like saying my mother drunk or sober. -- G.K. Chrsterton

              by commonweal on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 08:21:27 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                TXdem, oysterface, Mikecan1978

                Clinton was only President for the 1990s.  During those years, his policies -- created in part by Rubin who is currently being villified -- helped a lot of people.  

                People are quick to forget what happened in the 1990s.  It's vital that we don't.  Rubin has an established track record.  Let's listen to him.

                "You think you can intimidate me? Screw you. Choose your Weapon." Eliot Spitzer

                by bonddad on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 08:29:13 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  It was the internet bubble that drove (0+ / 0-)

                  so much of the Clinton economy.

                  I have no problem listening to Rubin, but only if Labor has a voice there as well.

                  We both know that this is going to end up as a broad based economic discussion, and this is a deliberate attempt to exclude Labor.

                  I'd like to see Jared  Bernstein from the EPI there to present an opposing view to Rubin.

                  •  You can just as easily blame Greenspan (0+ / 0-)

                    as Clinton for that.  Easy money will do that to an asset class.

                    I would also bet that like most people you benefitted from the economy to a large extent.

                    "You think you can intimidate me? Screw you. Choose your Weapon." Eliot Spitzer

                    by bonddad on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 10:03:17 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  It was the internet bubble? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    d7000

                    Clintons policies where failures and all our prosperity was based on a sham? Pelosi wants to fuck over the people who put Dems in control. Ideological extremists made the difference in this election because America was convinced that the most pressing problems of our day are about labor standards. This is all a bunch of crap.

                    Every sector of our economy boomed in the nineties, the tax structure was way more progressive. Job growth exploded, and poverty shrunk, the middle class expanded, and, the money people made accross the economic spectrum allowed them to invest it on tech stocks, which made America preeminant in internet technologies, marketing, and information distribution. Ideological extremes were shut out of this last election, thank god. And your endless claims of credit that a devisive faction made the Dem majority is bullshit. However accurate of the candidates, Dems gained control with a very moderate to conservative leaning image and control was achieved by getting undecideds to change course, not by getting rabid egalitarian ranters, who bash the party leaders as intently as Republicans did, to change their vote from Democrat to People Party.
                    No one who said Nancy Pelosi wants to fuck over the people who vote for Democrats helped win us a majority.

                  •  This is a GOP talking point (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    bonddad

                    "It was the internet bubble that drove so much of the Clinton economy." -

                    If it's all just bubbles and recessions and policy has zero impact on the economy, then why did you even post this diary?  

  •  Freshman Dems (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tryptamine, relentless

    I believe that most of the current crop of newly-elected Dems are several notches above your typical political hack, including Pelosi.
    Most of them ran for the same reasons that many of us would run...for selfless love of country.
    I have to assume that these folks were amazed at the number of volunteers who rallied to their cause.  If they weren't amazed, they should be.

    And all politicians, the new ones included, should take heed of the effectiveness of netroots and people-power.  They are now well aware that primary challenges can and will be executed when necessary.

  •  Inflammatory language not needed, unproductive (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pb, tryptamine, paul minot, Sanuk, teddy22

    I really think this diary contains some poorly chosen words that don't actually reflect the events.  

    Does the diarist think that labor will actually be banned from meeting with freshmen representatives?  I doubt it.  The reps probably have already heard from labor.  

    Disease is a liberal plot.

    by otto on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 07:20:06 AM PST

  •  Sent email.. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    philgoblue, ManfromMiddletown, PaulVA

    ...talk about starting the week off on a bad note...

    I am indeed seeing red as well.

    This will NOT stand.

  •  There is a big difference (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ManfromMiddletown

    between the rest of us living a grim life and the rich and the CEOs getting fat checks.  There is a difference between us getting our meager Social Security and the elected government getting fat pensions and retirement plans and free insurance.

    The playing field can be a lot leveler. I don't doubt that for a moment.

    This is in answer to an earlier comment that said we needed to accept the fact that we will get less because the poor in other countries need it.

    Those poor have their essentials covered like health care.

    Life is what you focus on. Let's focus on ending the war and economic fairness. After that the rest will be easy.

    by relentless on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 07:36:10 AM PST

  •  I sent it to Polosi (0+ / 0-)

    and one thing I told her was to stop worrying about the botox around her mouth and think about the mouths and stomachs of working class people.

  •  Why should they be there? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yerioy, Sanuk, Nemesis22

    A commenter upthread mentioned this, and I'll go a step further:  why should any special interest be at such a seminar, no matter what your view on the subject?  

    If I wanted information on global warming, I would ask scientists to come and talk to me.   I would get the acknowledged experts to explain the science and the ramifications to me.  I would NOT ask the Sierra Club, nor would I ask representatives of the oil industry.  As it happens, my meager knowledge of the situation would put me strongly in favor of the Sierra Club representatives, but that's not the point of the seminar.

    Likewise, I would call in the economists best able to explain the economic front when I wanted to talk about fiscal responsibility.  The Secretary of the Treasury from the White House with the only balanced budget in the last 3 decades isn't a bad place to start.  What would labor add to that seminar?

    As I said in Mr. Sirota's diary, why this need to create semantic divisions that don't have to exist?

  •  Meet the new boss, Same as the old boss (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ManfromMiddletown, PaulVA

    This story reminded me of the the last line of this song.

    We Don't Get Fooled Again
    =================================

    We'll be fighting in the streets
    With our children at our feet
    And the morals that they worship will be gone
    And the men who spurred us on
    Sit in judgement of all wrong
    They decide and the shotgun sings the song

    I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
    Take a bow for the new revolution
    Smile and grin at the change all around
    Pick up my guitar and play
    Just like yesterday
    Then I'll get on my knees and pray
    We don't get fooled again

    The change, it had to come
    We knew it all along
    We were liberated from the fold, that's all
    And the world looks just the same
    And history ain't changed
    'Cause the banners, they are flown in the next war

    I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
    Take a bow for the new revolution
    Smile and grin at the change all around
    Pick up my guitar and play
    Just like yesterday
    Then I'll get on my knees and pray
    We don't get fooled again
    No, no!

    I'll move myself and my family aside
    If we happen to be left half alive
    I'll get all my papers and smile at the sky
    Though I know that the hypnotized never lie
    Do ya?

    There's nothing in the streets
    Looks any different to me
    And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
    And the parting on the left
    Are now parting on the right
    And the beards have all grown longer overnight

    I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
    Take a bow for the new revolution
    Smile and grin at the change all around
    Pick up my guitar and play
    Just like yesterday
    Then I'll get on my knees and pray
    We don't get fooled again
    Don't get fooled again
    No, no!

    Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

    Meet the new boss
    Same as the old boss

    -The Who

    Verify before Rec'ing a diary. Click username. Check prior diaries and comments. Ask yourself: is this a trustworthy user?

    by joel3000 on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 07:53:34 AM PST

  •  Misconceptions & Falsehoods... (10+ / 0-)

    A couple of points to clear up misconceptions & falsehoods

    1. Like the article said, all Bob Rubin is going to talk to them about are fiscal policy issues. Not other economic or trade issues.
    1. Even if by some chance he broke decorum and started "preaching" his "Free Trade Values", you act as if the Democratic congressmen are wilting, psychologically vulnerable sailors in danger of being seduced by his siren's song. Last I checked, all the Democratic congresscritters, including the freshmen, are all grown ups who already have adult opinions on these issues, many of which they campaigned on. Give them credit. This is hardly "indoctrination."
    1. Robert Rubin is not a "free trade fanatic". Robert Rubin & many (but not all) of the economists in the Hamilton Project are in favor of open trade but they are hardly fanatics about it. Any perusing of the Hamilton Project's statements on open trade (modest support) or even just reading Rubin's interview with Greider in the nation will give a clearer picture of his, and their views on trade. If you're looking for "Free Trade Fanatics" look at Cafe Hayek or the Adam Smith institute.
    1. "The Hamilton Project" was formed first. And has been in existence for upwards of 2 years.
    1. Last I checked, the policies of Rubin, Sperling, Stiglitz, Orszag, DeLong, et al. Were pretty smart & had a decent track record in the 90's. And it isn't like the new crew plans to follow that path verbatim; prescriptions change as circumstances do. But they could hardly be characterized as "failed."
    1. As was mentioned, the principal divide is over Trade. The Hamilton camp being pro trade, their antagonists being anti. On a broad swath of issues from universal healthcare, to beefed up unemployemnt insurance, to raising the minimum wage & expanding the EITC, to strengthening the Family Medical leave act & government funded vacation; the camps are more in lines.
    1. "Wall Street Backed" is a cheap smear demonstrating a destitute argument. The types of policies the Hamitlon Project is recommended are no different from, & have been endorsed by many in our progressive economic blogosphere; from Brad DeLong, Mark Thoma, Angry Bear, Kash @ The Street Light, Stirling Newberry & even Bob Reich. Are they all tools of wall street too? Instead of smears, why don't you engage their arguments on their merits.
    1. The assessment by Steven Ratner of the opposition is not inaccurate or is it especially infammatory. I don't see the AFL-CIO types disagreeing with that assessment. Moreso even if it were, are we playing by some kind of rules whereby they can be cheap shotted & smeared but not hit back?
    1. The work organized labor did certainly helped. But It's false to claim that the Democrats wouldn't have won without the 40 million from organized labor. That's like claiming they wouldn't have won without the big millions from Rahm Emanuel's big donors. Organized Labor would certainly like to have that meme spread. That's why they do these things, so they can steer the agenda. Moreover, the 40 million they contributed this cycle was less than the 53 million they contreibuted in 2004 & less than half of what they contributed in 2002 & 2000. In fact, it's the least they've done for the party since the 80's, yet somehow less productivity correlates to more control over policy.
    1. Lastly but not least, the fact that you are pilloring Nancy Pelosi, who has always been a friend to organized labor, should demonstrate that maybe this issues is more nuanced & not to dichtonomous as you pretend it to be. If Nancy Pelosi is supposed to be anti-labor, then all that tells me is this crowd antagonizing her is more concerned about it's sectional interests than the public good.
    •  Wrong (4+ / 0-)

      On Wednesday, December 6, at 9:30 a.m. we will have a presentation on the economy by former Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin on the need for restoring fiscal discipline and building a competitive economy to create jobs in America.

      MfromM is just asking for equal time for a second viewpoint (one that is not GoldmanSachs').  Why is that so hard for so many to understand?  Economic populists won the Hill for hte Democratic Party, it's time they get their seat!

      "We need to ask America to adopt a new kind of patriotism, a patriotism about something more than just war." -- John Edwards

      by philgoblue on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 08:21:56 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The diary title is misleading... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pb, paul minot, nicejoest, Nemesis22

    ... and overblown.  So a seminar is being held and you don't like the speakers? Is that a good reason for this hysterical response?

    It isn't as if Rep. Pelosi is actually barring Labor from meeting with Freshman Reps at all!!

    I'm embarrassed this diary is on the Recommend list.

  •  ALWAYS put "free trade" in quotes (4+ / 0-)

    There's nothing "free" about "free trade" as practiced by DLC triangulators and the GOP.  The quotes are a reminder and a subtle mockery of that corporate lie.

    They hate us for our freedoms. So if we stop being free, they stop hating us? Is THAT the plan?

    by Leggy Starlitz on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 07:58:13 AM PST

  •  Will freshmen attend the seminar? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Austin in PA

    Perhaps labor leaders would like to arrange for a seminar of their own to take place, which newly elected Democrats, but not Wall Street, will be invited to attend.  Not necessarily at the same time, but to give equal time on their own territory.

    Perhaps certain newly elected representatives, who campaigned and won on a platform of prosperity for all of their constituents instead of just for the privileged few, might decide they're not interested in listening to Robert Rubin advise them to break their promises before even being sworn in. Perhaps some of them might wish to make a statement by avoiding Rubin and going instead to a labor seminar. Perhaps we might encourage said new representatives to do just that.

    Not all of them, I expect.  There will be some blue dogs who either agree with Pelosi or who will want to play cautious by not offending Dear Leader.  But I imagine some solid blue district populists might want to let their constituents know that they've got their backs.

    WWWD--What Would Webb Do?  He's a Senator, not a Representative, but I'd be interested in his reaction...

    We won! And we have YOU to thank for it!

    by AdmiralNaismith on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 08:05:56 AM PST

  •  This diary is hyperbolic BS (14+ / 0-)

    Nancy Pelosi hosted a seminar for freshmen members featuring RObert Rubin.  She is not BARRING labor from speaking to House members.  To imply that that's what she doing is INSANE.  Labor has their knickers in a twist because they tried to barge into this session which was set up for Rubin.  Labor has had scores of opportunities to meet with freshmen and will continue to do so.

    I really wish Kossacks would use critical thinking skills and realize when they are being played.   This is an "inside baseball" story about an organization throwing a tantrum because they were excluded from a single event.  It says nothing about the relationship between Pelosi and Labor, which has been and will continue to be strong.

    Kossacks, if you've recommended this diary, please think through the issues carefully and analyze whether you are bring played over an internal, inside baseball dispute.  I submit that this is what is going on, and strongly suggest that you unrecommend this diary.

    Is Karl Rove still entitled to "THE MATH"?

    by pontificator on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 08:15:29 AM PST

  •  The diary is BS (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mikecan1978

    but I think there are some valuable comments on here so I recommended it.

    There are a lot of trolls on here. 51 people (8%) voted for wallstreet on the poll.  One half of those are probably the trolls.

    I think we are being invaded by the dark side trolls or sneaky little rats that want to undermine every Democratic leader and confuse all the issues.

    Life is what you focus on. Let's focus on ending the war and economic fairness. After that the rest will be easy.

    by relentless on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 08:24:18 AM PST

    •  So you recommended the diary anyway? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrkvica, lizpolaris

      Seems like an odd choice to me.  Anything with this kind of hysterical hyperbole in its second paragraph:

      On Wednesday, December 5, freshman representatives will be subjected to indoctrination in economics of fucking the people who sent you to Washington over by Robert Rubin, a free trade fanatic from the Clinton administration.

      sounds a lot like one of those that wants to undermine every Democratic leader and confuse all the issues, to me.

      •  Well, at least we have (0+ / 0-)

        beat the diary writer over the head with facts about Rubin and Pelosi. Even Labor said they were getting along with Pelosi.

        She/he hasn't succeeded in his/her endeavor.

        Life is what you focus on. Let's focus on ending the war and economic fairness. After that the rest will be easy.

        by relentless on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 11:44:02 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  false argument? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrkvica, kck, Nemesis22

    Perhaps it's because I'm a businesswoman - currently without a company, which never paid any benefits - but it seems to me that this post confuses several issues.

    All of us want financial security.  Labor won't have anything to talk about unless there are jobs in America.

    The Clinton years saw the greatest expansion of jobs ever in America.

    Fiscal responsibility means several things, not just free-or-less-free trade agreements.  As in, balancing the budget, reining in earmarks, closing tax loopholes - all of which are appropriate for members of Congress to discuss.

    A friend recently quoted Nancy Pelosi as saying, 'When I'm cut, my blood runs the color of labor.'  Pelosi is adamantly pro-labor.

    I've heard Rubin speak.  Rubin understands that losing manufacturing jobs in America undercuts our collective financial security.

    Seems to me that creating conditions for growth and opportunity in America is the common ground here.  Let's talk about creating industries with high-paying jobs in America, through a combination of vision, tax incentives, and leadership.

  •  Please pass the salt . . (4+ / 0-)

    Why must we always eat our own?

  •  Reminds me of the old joke (0+ / 0-)

    What's the difference between a Republican and a Democrat?

    Republicans want to keep the n****** in their place, while Democrats want to keep the knee-grows in their place.

    Lip service but no actual bold action.

    Sad.

    News is what they don't want you to know. Everything else is publicity. --Bill Moyers

    by RobLewis on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 08:30:31 AM PST

  •  At best (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    philgoblue, ManfromMiddletown

    Pelosi erred in this.  At worst, she is giving an indication of where her true loyalties lie.  

    I sent a note on her form.  However, I think it's pointless.  If she adds Labor now she opens herself to charges that she is a weather-vane-politician.

    I think we should also write the incoming freshmen and ask that they boycott the Rubin seminar.  Alternatively, Pelosi should bar all lobbyists from the seminars and have them presented by the Congressional Research Service or other Democratic Representatives.

    I don't think she'll do either though so I think asking the freshmen to not attend Rubin's seminar will be the most effective.

    - 8.88/- 7.08 OMG! Everyone else is a conservative to me!

    by zedaker on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 08:31:36 AM PST

  •  free traders (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    philgoblue, PaulVA

    have had free reign on economic policy long enough.  We all know the policy, stay the course...outsource like madness run the country into bankruptcy (notice them lovely deficit numbers)
    Nobody needs to hear their tripe anymore.

    I would like to know how is it that American labor is supposed to 'compete' with 10 cents/hr unskilled labor and $3-6/hr skilled and educated labor in foreign countries?  If free trade is not destroy not only the standard of living in the US but the tax base ultimately as well..that includes rich people...their kids or grandkids I mean.

    I don't see anyone in Washington actually paying attention or listening to the Economic Policy Institute, its an excellent site.

    Oh truth, liberty and justice where art thou. I miss thee so ...

    by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 08:33:33 AM PST

    •  Rubin is a Democrat (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nemesis22

      Most want free trade, but they want it to be fair trade.  The Democrats will try to make it fairer.

      You are right, there is no way we can compete with workers in certain countries because of low wages and they get free health care and other breaks, so maybe we can close some loopholes and get  more benefits.

      The dollar and foreign money is supposed to be leveling out to where there isn't so much difference in wages, but many multinationals are doing so well, they aren't pushing for it.

      Life is what you focus on. Let's focus on ending the war and economic fairness. After that the rest will be easy.

      by relentless on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 09:41:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Unrecommend (6+ / 0-)

    The diarist has obiously lied in this Diary.

    Hill staffer's have responded in the diary, read above and the Diarist everyone is recommending commited ratings abuse.

    This diary is a overstatment at best and a fraud at worst.

    •  You mentioned it ten times (0+ / 0-)

      already.  You're bordering on spam now.

      •  6 posts on this Diary, Paul (0+ / 0-)

        Each one was different.....and this was the first.  This was a horrible diary and well there where some comments that no one had challeneged.

        relax, look at my comment history and read each one.

        2 where yes preatty much repeats...the other dealt largly with other issues...like commenter telling people to go to hell, of furthing the false info, one dealt with the actual letter from Pelosi....yes this diary and some of the comments pissed me off, but I was specific in my comments...so don't say I'm spamming.

  •  Al Smith=DLC???? (0+ / 0-)

    You lost me with that line.  

    Al Smith opposed the New Deal publicly because he had a personal vendetta against FDR.  But he actually invented the New Deal, something which FDR even admitted privately.  

    "All my soldiers in the field I will wish you safe return/ but only love kills war, when will they learn" ~Jay-Z

    by Roatti on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 08:34:47 AM PST

  •  OMG get a grip! n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mikecan1978
  •  Sent an email (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    philgoblue, PaulVA

    Regardless of the details about the nature of these seminars, it's never an inappropriate time to tell the Democratic Party that labor issues matter.

  •  Labor (D) = Evangelicals (R) (3+ / 0-)

    Hmmm - -
    For the last 20 years do ya wonder if the Dem Party has taken labor for granted?
    When was the last time the Dem Party did something really important for labor?
    Of course, we'll take their money and their GOTV work -
    But, hey, labor is soooooo 20th century.

  •  way down at the bottom here, doesn't matter - (4+ / 0-)

    This diary is pure bullshit, at the least circular firing-squad material, although personally, I'm thinking this is a pure, straight up trolling attempt.  Pelosi is not labor hostile.

    Right now, she is trying to put together a governing coalition, and she needs to speak with Rubin.  Are gay rights folks invited?  No.  The illegal immigration crowd?  Nope.  Gay rights people?  Nope.  Why?  Because it's a conference on monetary policy!

    Everyone will get a seat at the table; they just need to wait their turn.  Sheesh.

    •  Folks ability to fly off the handle is really (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arbiter

      amazing.  Just jump to conclusions, don't wait.

      Also, why does pro-labor = anti-business and vice versa?  Can we get off the scarcity mindset and consider being both pro-labor and pro-business?  Rubin is not the devil.  Cheesh.

      •  you have to make a choice (3+ / 0-)

        Liz, your "scarcity" argument is bogus.  In the real world, in the capitalist system business's main goal is to maximize profit.  They do so by keeping costs down and part of keeping costs down is keeping wages down.  For you to pretend that one can be pro-labor and pro-business at the same time is not credible.

        Unfortunately, the number of conscientious business owners who really seek to share prosperity with their employees is very small.  That is why unions are formed in the first place, to give the workers a voice and give them strength through collective bargaining.

        One has to decide who one's loyalties and sympathies lie with-the workers stuggling to get by, or the corporations.  It all gets down to how much preferred stock one owns.  For most middle-class people, they make most of their living from wages and not from stock and unearned investment income.

        "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."-FDR

        by Michigan Paul on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 09:06:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree. (0+ / 0-)

          Organized labor is a great thing (when not corrupted), provides a benefit to employees and stability.  Some companies' employees don't choose to or need to be organized because they feel they are being treated fairly (unless the company is illegally preventing them from organizing).

          What I'm essentially saying is that you need some modicum of both.  Unions to protect workers from bad companies.  You want companies to do well - to exist to provide good jobs.  Companies which pay poorly, take excessive profits, rip off consumers, too generously reward top executives and board members are a bad thing, needing regulation.

          So I like both:  pro-union and pro-business.  I'm not pretending.  Capitalism works but not if it's just unregulated greed.  I think we can both agree on that.

          •  then why? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            philgoblue, buckhorn okie

            Well then why would you defend Pelosi's decision to only include the corporatist view at her seminar for the freshmen congress?  The number of companies which really concern themselves enough with workers interest so that a union is not necessary is very very small.  I agree with your premise, in the abstract what are saying is true.  But you are not living in the real world.  In the real world, one has to make a choice.  Corporations do-their choice is to maximize their own profits at whatever costs to their workers-and workers interests are only protected through government intervention or union contracts.

            Pelosi's decison to only include the corporatist viewpoint is incredibly offensive to me.

            "The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."-FDR

            by Michigan Paul on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 09:27:15 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Believe me, I'm working in the real world (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              arbiter

              every day, making the tough decisions.  Also, lots of companies have no unions.

              As for Pelosi, she chose a speaker for the topic she wanted to discuss.  I'm willing to see if she also brings in labor; doesn't sound like that was on the agenda at that meeting.  Big deal.  From other posts in this diary, her past would indicate labor is not anathema to her.

  •  I filled out the form (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee

    This issue is too important not to.  Pelosi, of all people, needs our input.  They are party that represents us, right?  They'd better be listening.

    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it - Aristotle

    by gatorcog on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 08:57:00 AM PST

  •  What I wrote: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    philgoblue

    Speaker-Elect Pelosi --

    It is with great distress that I write to you, after hearing that there will be no labor representation during the meetings being held with the freshman class coming into Congress in January.  Labor has been ignored too long to the detriment of the workers who helped build this country, and the unions who helped create the most vibrant middle class in the world after the Great Depression in the 1930s.

    While I know it's being said that Robert Rubin will be the only speaker is a "fiscal responsibility" meeting, Mr. Rubin represents only one side of the discussion; that of capital.  Labor has a large stake in how the federal budget is developed, where the revenues come from (corporations vice individuals and small businesses), and how the revenues are spent.  We the People are the electors of the government; and We the People are largely laborers, not holders of large amounts of capital.  

    Please reconsider keeping labor out of this discussion.  I look forward to hearing from you about this matter.

    I wouldn't believe Bush if his tongue became notarized (h/t to shanti2)

    by billlaurelMD on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 09:09:01 AM PST

  •  More Pelosi-D bashing, eh? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    murphy, dadanation, highacidity

    Your premise is defeated here:
    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Perhaps you should spend your diary writing time by sticking to maps instead of bashing my Congressperson & our Party Majority Leader & West Coast Democrats, with baseless assumptions..

    "Bush is in command. And when he heard that sectarian militias had killed hundreds of Iraqis, he called for an immediate invasion of Sectaria." - Bill Maher

    by Predictor on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 09:10:12 AM PST

  •  Pie fight. I love Key Lime! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poemless, B man

    -6.13 -6.15 There are lies, damn lies, accounting lies, statistical lies and Republican lies; nothing tops the GOP

    by ecostar on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 09:19:08 AM PST

  •  Labor has NO problem with the House (14+ / 0-)

    The AFL-CIO did ask to be included and we were assured we would be invited January as they expand the discussion. The invite to Rubin is a longstanding one.

    We are all playing well together.

    In January, we will roll out a new group to focus on bread and butter issues supported by working families backed by loads of economists.

    The incoming members of the House are the most supportive of working family and union issues we've had in years, and we in the union movement are looking forward to working with them.

  •  My letter to Pelosi: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SarahLee, philgoblue, buckhorn okie

    Congresswoman Pelosi:

    I am writing to let you know how disappointed I am that representatives of labor and working Americans will not be included in the economic discussion sessions you have organized for incoming fresmman representatives.

    First, I am disappointed because before I am anything - a liberal or a Democrat - I am a worker.  We've been getting our asses kicked (excuse the language, but it is justified) by Reaganomics/Rubinomics since the 1970s.  We need something new.  We need policies that come from working people, not from Wall Street.

    To present the same old trickle-down theories without any chance for working people to offer our own ideas is not only morally reprehensible, but politically stupid.  In case you hadn't noticed, labor unions turned out the vote in large numbers in 2006, and a much higher percentage voted for Democrats.

    By ignoring us, you are guaranteeing your own failure in 2008.  Please reconsider this ill-conceived plan and include working people in these sessions.  Thank you,

    Matthew Cross
    Detroit, MI

    "While there is a lower class, I am in it. While there is a criminal element, I am of it. While there is a soul in prison, I am not free." - Eugene Debs

    by matthewc on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 09:29:37 AM PST

  •  OK, I sent a short note... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie

    ...asking for a labor spokesperson to present at that seminar or a follow-up seminar.

  •  If she doesnt care about labor... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie

    then perhaps she wont mind if we fire her?

    Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.

    by kwestone on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 09:33:42 AM PST

  •  I saw this yesterday and was really (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie

    depressed over it.  I wrote her to let her know.  Hope others are doing the same.

  •  Either (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie

    she should let labor present in this seminar, or organize an equally well-promoted and required seminar series on what can be done to help workers in the new economy

  •  good thing. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    amanuensis, d7000

    we should congratulate.

    Organized labor is a lobby. Rubin isn't.

    Inviting organized labor to an economics seminar is like inviting the oil industry to a talk on environmental issues.

    The point is here to listen to experts, not to lobbyist.

    Where should we congratulate Pelosi ?

    •  You are wrong on so many levels (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      buckhorn okie

      that it's almost mind blowing.

      Organized labor does not exist to lobby members of congress.  It exists to represent working Americans of whih lobbying members of Congress is only a part.

      Robert Rubin has lobbied for both Citigoup whern he helped bail out the Mexico peso with US dollars and he lobbied for Enron in 2001.

      Yes, Enron.

      So stick it down your throat.

      •  oh well (0+ / 0-)
        what you propose is the democarit version of Bush's oil policy talks. Great - have "your" lobbyists always on the table when there is policy making.

        You also want a democratic version K-Street Project ?

        Face it - organized labor is an interest group. This is not bad in itself - but to ignore that means ignoring reality.

        Ive seen enough organized labor in action to know that they are neither holy nor always right. A good part of union activists live in economic la la land, and are pretty selective in their perception of reality.

        •  You say (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          PaulVA

          Face it - organized labor is an interest group. This is not bad in itself - but to ignore that means ignoring reality.

          There is a difference in groups who want a living wage and those who want to add to their coffers of riches. Unions aren't like Business lobbiests.

          Pelosi knows that. Let's give her a chance.

          Life is what you focus on. Let's focus on ending the war and economic fairness. After that the rest will be easy.

          by relentless on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 12:45:55 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Rubin may have helped Citigroup, (0+ / 0-)

        but he also helped a lot of small investors.  A lot of us bought CifraV which is the Mexican Wal-mart stores. We would have lost every penny of it, had that deal not been made.  

        I didn't realize we were even losing money, I didn't have a computer then and I heard them talking about the Mexican deal, but didn't realize it was anything to do with us until a lot later.

        The stocks still went way down, but gradually went up over the years. Wal-Mart eventually bought all of it and it has been renamed Walmart De Mexico.

        I thought it was Clinton that did it.

        Life is what you focus on. Let's focus on ending the war and economic fairness. After that the rest will be easy.

        by relentless on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 12:39:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Wow... what a fact free eating our own (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wclathe, amanuensis

    diary, laden with back-stabbing bullshit.

    Way to go!

    cheers,

    Mitch Gore

    Help Speaker Pelosi clean up the House

    by Lestatdelc on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 10:33:58 AM PST

  •  Get used to free trade (0+ / 0-)

    Rubin was a great treas. sec.  He was the one who devised the budget that actually produced a budget surplus and unparalleled prosperity.

    Free trade is not going away.  As Pres. Clinton said, and I paraphrase, in this shrinking world, the role of government is no longer to "protect" its citizens but to give them the tools to compete.  That's why Pelosi and most of the democrats want to increase spending on education and training and try to make college and health care more affordable, among other things.

    •  Tell that to (0+ / 0-)

      an unemployed factory worker, or a white collar software developer.

      •  I will tell that (0+ / 0-)

        to factory workers and white collar software developers.  My point is that although the private sector and government know that free trade is inevitable, many in the labor movement have not accepted this fact and adjusted their agenda.  

        I believe, as did Rubin and Clinton, that government can do a lot to prepare its people for free trade via education, retraining, infrastructure improvement, etc.  This is something that the Rethugs and Bush have not been willing to do.      

        •  The current system does not hold up (0+ / 0-)

          Agreements like NAFTA, CAFTA and GATT are not even trade agreements at all-and that is where the big lie begins. They are economic integration agreements intended to guarantee the rights of global corporations to move both goods and investments where ever they wish-free from public interference and accountability.

          That is why the only thing that is inevitable in this equation is that systems such as that, which are called free trade, and which leave so many losers on both sides will inevitably stop being passed and something more akin to actual "free trade" with respect to labor, human and environmental conditions will eventually take its place.  

          Tossing a few crumbs to the unwashed masses in the form of job training, etc. is quick way to becoming extinct as a political cause.  People get sick of it really really quick.

    •  I wish you had interviewed (0+ / 0-)

      as many advance degreed American workers as I have in the past 5 years that are having a terrible time finding jobs. I interviewed well over a hundred...multiple degrees, several advanced degrees, honor students...

      Saying it is just about education levels and healthcare costs is not true and very deceptive

      educated skilled worker in foreign country: $4/hr
      educated skilled worker in America: start at $22/hr

      The truth: priceless

      Oh truth, liberty and justice where art thou. I miss thee so ...

      by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 11:43:43 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Did (0+ / 0-)

        the individuals you interviewed get retrained for new jobs, or was retraining even offered to them?

        •  The original comment (0+ / 0-)
          I wish you had interviewed as many advance degreed American workers as I have in the past 5 years that are having a terrible time finding jobs. I interviewed well over a hundred...multiple degrees, several advanced degrees, honor students...

          Your reply

          Did the individuals you interviewed get retrained for new jobs, or was retraining even offered to them?

          It is my considered opinion that you should probably read what is written before you reply with the talking points.

          What exactly do you re-train someone with a masters degree in electrical engineering to do - and what is the possibility that this job will pay more than the job which that engineer lost?

          You are simply parroting the 'education will fix everything' talking point. Education will not fix the wage disparity.

          You cannot retrain your way into competing with ten cents on the dollar labor - to think that you can - or that anyone can, is the highest form of stupidity.

          The issue is not re-training nor is it education at all, because problem is not smarter competition. The issue is labor arbitrage; plain and simple - the issue is cheaper competition.

          <div style="font-size:10px;text-align:center;background-color:#ffd;color:#f33">If the terriers and bariffs are torn down, this economy will grow - G. Bush

          by superscalar on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 01:14:05 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I didn't (0+ / 0-)

            know I was replying with talking points, especially since I asked a question and did not parrot anything.  My point is that in this ever shrinking world, free trade will continue to expand, no matter what.  I am sorry that the government let down the electrical engineer but it is impossible to "protect" his/her job from the global market forces or cheaper competition.  What is possible is for the government to help him/her re-tool his or her skill set, whether it's by training or further education, etc.    

  •  This is not bs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    buckhorn okie, PaulVA

    Yes, I have heard and read things about individual democrats saying trade is killing jobs for Americans but on a national level as a unified party message, the democrats have not come out of the closet and say they want to work to save working american jobs by taking on the issues of trade that are destroying these jobs and directly causing horrendous trade deficit.

    There is nothing to learn from the rubin's of the world unless you don't give a damn about a massive trade deficit, he planted the seeds for it.

    Oh truth, liberty and justice where art thou. I miss thee so ...

    by FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 11:01:35 AM PST

  •  Thanks for the diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PaulVA, FreeTradeIsYourEpitaph

    This is a seriously important issue ...

  •  Nice poll (0+ / 0-)

    I thought the "Either you're with us or you're against us" was the domain of the wingnuts.

    This diary is equally unhelpful.

  •  They are importing highly educated people (0+ / 0-)

    from other countries, now. They say we don't have enough. I don't believe a word of that.

    Maybe we could all learn a foreign lanquage and work as interpreters.

    Another poster, on here, quoted Pres. Clinton as saying:

    Free trade is not going away. In this shrinking world, the role of government is no longer to "protect" its citizens but to give them the tools to compete.  .

    I don't like Clinton's Republican thinking. The world has not shrunk and fairness is still fairness.

    Until workers are eating from the same plate as far as health care, the cost of housing and food there is no tool that will help.

    The only thing that has changed is that too many are listening to lobbiest instead of the people. Sure we do more trade with other countries, but it is not impossible for the rich to make a little less profit and the workers get more pay. Just because you are dealing with more people is no reason to change the rules of fair play.

    Life is what you focus on. Let's focus on ending the war and economic fairness. After that the rest will be easy.

    by relentless on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 12:24:23 PM PST

  •  Right on ManFromMiddleTown (0+ / 0-)

    Well, now we've got the counter to your diary but the reality of corporate donors and them buying representation in congress is real and the fact that money and power are controlling congress is real.

    Good job and this is a fine post because the election is over and we're back to getting real representation for working America out of the Democratic party.

    http://www.noslaves.com http://forum.noslaves.com

    by BobOak on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 12:32:54 PM PST

  •  See my diary on this 'controversial' diary (0+ / 0-)

    If you can stand more on this topic and the over-reaction to it.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    David Sirota or Stephanie Miller for President, screw the wonks and whimps.

    by fairleft on Mon Dec 04, 2006 at 06:18:38 PM PST

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