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Mitch McConnell
(Jim Young/Reuters)
Mitch McConnell devotes a Washington Post op-ed to pressuring President Obama to send free-trade deals with Colombia, South Korea and Panama to Congress for passage. "What's the real holdup," according to McConnell?
For three years, the administration has delayed finalizing these deals because unions have been extracting concessions in exchange for their support. Early on, they demanded further concessions and political reforms from our trading partners, all of which have been satisfied. Now, they’re demanding taxpayer funds for worker training programs that many believe are not only duplicative and costly but may not even be effective. Still, I and others have told the president we are prepared to allow this program to move ahead for a vote as a sign of good faith and to move the trade deals forward.

Ah, those dastardly unions, holding out for trade deals that include minimal worker protections. The nerve! And asking for inclusion of funding to help workers who lose their jobs because of these allegedly jobs-creating trade deals? An outrage!

Of course, these trade deals will not only cost Americans jobs, but Americans know they will cost jobs, as brooklynbadboy's roundup of polling showed. But Republicans have learned that threats to paint Obama and congressional Democrats as opposing an unpopular policy will usually get them to turn around and support the policy, so McConnell is just going with what works for him, here.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 07:37 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Well, he's right of course. (11+ / 0-)

    If not for union opposition these treaties would be ratified already.  It's just a question of whether you think that's good or bad, but I can't really see contesting The Turtle's claim.

    Let us resolutely study and implement the resolutions of the 46th Convention of the Democratic Party!

    by Rich in PA on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 07:40:37 AM PDT

    •  And Laura links Union shills (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rcnewton

      for her figures that these trade deals will cost jobs.

      The US government estimates, for the South Korean trade deal for instance, show it is neutral jobs and positive on revenue, the link she cites points to the Economic Policy Institute - the Board of Directors consisting of all union presidents and executives!

      Geez..

      And I find Obama's stance on this a bit duplicitous.  He has been harping for weeks now that one solution to the jobs crisis is for Congress to enact these trade deals - something they can do immediately.  But, the problem is, Obama is still sitting on them!

      Yeah.. McConnell is correct on this one.. I just wish Laura hadn't felt the need to show a photo of the Turtle.. yikes!

      •  Neutral on jobs... (3+ / 0-)

        Sure, if you want to ignore that the manufacturing jobs lost are higher paying than the service jobs they will be replaced by.

        Out of twenty eight of the board members of the EPI, nine are current union officials. The rest are academics. Characterizing these people as "shills" is bullshit, IMHO.

        Free trade deals suck. You can't point to one that isn't full of protection for the profits of multinational corporations at the expense of worker rights and national sovereignty.

        They trade good, living wage manufacturing jobs for crappy service jobs, empty promises, and downward pressure on the fortunes of the middle class. Holding out for at least some protection for working Americans is the least that should be done.

        "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

        by happy camper on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 10:49:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  McConnell blames them; (4+ / 0-)

      We credit them. Keep it up, unions!

      Non enim propter gloriam, diuicias aut honores pugnamus set propter libertatem solummodo quam Nemo bonus nisi simul cum vita amittit. -Declaration of Arbroath

      by Robobagpiper on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 10:26:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  you got a problem with that, Rich Mitch? (6+ / 0-)

    i mean, come on.

    It's not a fake orgasm; it's a real yawn.

    by sayitaintso on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 07:59:55 AM PDT

  •  Colombia "Free Trade" Deal (14+ / 0-)

    It's shameful.  Shameful that unions are only trying to delay or mitigate the Colombia "Free Trade" Agreement.  If unions were actually standing up for working men and women everywhere, they would be unalterably and irrevocably opposed to any trade deal with the Colombian regime.

    For those "moderates" and "centrists" and "pragmatists" who want to ram through the Colombia "Free Trade" Agreement so that Dems can claim a "victory" for "job-creation" I offer this challenge: find out what nation annually leads the world in the largest number of murders and "disappearances" of union organizers and activists.  here's a hint:  It's not Syria, it's not Zimbabwe, it's not Belarus or the People's Republic of China.  Though like China, it does begin with a "C".  

    Solidarity (and simple human decency) means just saying "No" to any Colombia "Free Trade" deal.  But the neoliberal race to the bottom means opening the floodgates, to making the "prevailing labor standards" of Colombia into the "prevailing labor standards" to what we can now with laughing contempt refer to as "the free world".

    Fight the Shock Doctrine--abolish the "debt ceiling"!

    by ActivistGuy on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 08:04:05 AM PDT

    •  The labor movement opposes the current template (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happy camper

      for these FTAs, so I don't know what you're complaining about.  They oppose all three of the current FTAs.

      Plus, pretty sure the labor movement has made it clear there is a zero tolerance policy for murders and violence against union/human rights activists in Colombia.  The corruption down there will take years, if not decades to fix.  There is no mitigation or delay tactic on Colombia, but a desire for that country to put an absolute end to the violence against unionists.

    •  Panama isn't much better because of the Tax dodge (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happy camper

      http://www.google.com/...

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

      HuffPost's Zach Carter appeared on MSNBC's 'The Dylan Ratigan Show' to discuss the controversial trade agreement between the U.S. and Panama. Carter recently reported that the deal could provide wealthy Americans with a tax loophole by allowing them to "hide" their money in Panama-based companies and banks.

      "It's just very easy to set up an offshore corporation and bank account in Panama," he said. "It only costs about $2000 and it takes about three or four days for that process to be complete."

      Criticizing the trade agreement as irresponsible, he said, "Panama's got some of the most secretive and restrictive bank secrecy laws in the world and ... a very long history of refusing to cooperate with tax authorities in the U.S. so it's very perplexing that you'd want to even engage with this country in a trade deal to begin with."

      So it's The Why do you hate this country You're Obsessed with misquoting me out of context while I was in the process of misspeaking with the sun in my eyes while chowing down and bashing Sharia law God Bless America defense.......

      by JML9999 on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 10:15:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I sure hope so (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, tb mare, happy camper

    At least, and especially, with respect to Colombia.

    Rick Perry is a monstrous lie.

    by Paleo on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 08:23:13 AM PDT

  •  these are all rigged trade deals, nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happy camper, happymisanthropy

    Please do not tell me you are involved by being a member of DK4....really get involved...... http://october2011.org/frontpage.....The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

    by Mindmover on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 09:41:17 AM PDT

  •  Things would go so much more smoothly... (10+ / 0-)

    if people just didn't object to bad ideas

    Reality is the leading cause of stress among those in touch with it. Lily Tomlin

    by DavidW on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 10:03:51 AM PDT

  •  More proof that unions work.... (9+ / 0-)

    Kind of nice to have someone fighting to keep jobs here in the country.

  •  DeMint isn't pushing that shiv hard enough... (0+ / 0-)

    ...Mitch still can spread bullshit!

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 10:07:47 AM PDT

  •  Gosh, how shrewd the Dems are!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tay, rcnewton, happymisanthropy

    And at which level of multi-dimensional chess does this all take place and win us votes and our super duper extra huge majority that stops the Republicans from scaring us into total compliance with what they want??

    Republicans have learned that threats to paint Obama and congressional Democrats as opposing an unpopular policy will usually get them to turn around and support the policy, so McConnell is just going with what works for him, here.

    "Repeatedly he [Voltaire] dwelt on the folly and credulousness of the masses and the selfishness and unscrupulousness of the ruling few." 'nuff said.

    by caseynm on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 10:07:52 AM PDT

  •  workers are (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tay, willie2011

    supposed to be our own willing executioners.....

    "never trust a rich man when he offers you a truce"

    by KibbutzAmiad on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 10:10:26 AM PDT

  •  Would you buy a used car from McConnell??? nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sentinalnode
  •  Trade deals (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tb mare, Tay, happy camper, TimmyB, willie2011

    So...we've got a history of "trade deals" helping America and Americans?  No...not some isolated examples where some section of our country...a relative few workers got employment...I'm talking about how trade deals have made our country stronger, economically better, created more jobs and so forth.

    Someone got that?

    I don't see it.  If there's one thing I agree with when it comes to Ross Perot (remember him?), it was his statement that NAFTA would be the ruination of America.

    So...how has NAFTA worked out for us, anyway?

    - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

    by r2did2 on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 10:12:29 AM PDT

  •  Will Obama give a rebuttal? Will he correctly (4+ / 0-)

    point out that trade deals encourage American employers to outsource jobs - thereby causing Americans to lose their jobs?

    Will Obama use his bully pulpit to rally the American people by pointing out how many jobs "free trade" deals have cost American workers?

    Will Obama use his gift of rhetoric to pound home the message that "free trade" deals only allow businesses to exploit people in other countries, paying them less, treating them disdainfully and eliminating good paying American jobs which resulted from the Progressive and Union movements?

    No, he won't.

    Why not?

    Because the people Obama represents benefit from "free trade".

    And those people aren't Working Americans.

    Congress drags Obama down just like my friends make me drink on weekends.

    by Johnathan Ivan on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 10:17:26 AM PDT

  •  Refusing support to extract concessions? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happy camper, happymisanthropy

    Who do they think they are?  Mitch McConnell?

    Inland: A privately held corporation spun off from the Womb Division of MomCo a half century or so ago.

    by Inland on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 10:17:36 AM PDT

  •  Free Trade and South Korea (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happy camper

    This free trade agreement with South Korea would effectively destroy that nations agricultural and fishing  industries throwing tens of thousands out of work.

    •  The US worker is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy, willie2011

      not the only one getting screwed by these deals. All those illegal immigrants working in the US used to have jobs in Mexico until NAFTA decimated the Mexican small farmers who can't compete with Monsanto's subsidized wares, and subsequent trade deals sent Mexican manufacturing (that they got from us) to even lower wage nations.

      "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

      by happy camper on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 10:56:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It is sad that the man (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rcnewton

    whose face adorns a ad at the bottom of this story is even pushing these rotten "deals".

  •  These lousy trade deals cost U.S. jobs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happy camper, TimmyB

    They might create a few but more are lost.  Here's a clue: if the GOP is pushing them, you know they need a second look.  At this point, I trust the unions on "free" trade.

  •  McConnell is such a jerk (3+ / 0-)

    The trade deals are what is hurting unions (and job creation in the U.S. in general). When we make it more cost advantageous for companies to operate outside the U.S., no one should be surprised that these same companies will do so...

    "That's quite a jump. But you keep it up, I'm sure one day you'll clear that shark."

    by Steve In DC on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 10:24:55 AM PDT

  •  "For three years"? more Obama Time Travel? nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happy camper

    So it's The Why do you hate this country You're Obsessed with misquoting me out of context while I was in the process of misspeaking with the sun in my eyes while chowing down and bashing Sharia law God Bless America defense.......

    by JML9999 on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 10:24:58 AM PDT

  •  Yay, unions! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rcnewton, happymisanthropy

    Let's see if we can get Obama to capitulate to good policy.

    The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

    "It takes balls to execute an innocent man." -- anonymous GOP focus group member on Rick Perry

    by Punditus Maximus on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 10:25:35 AM PDT

    •  please do not hold your breath, nt (0+ / 0-)

      Please do not tell me you are involved by being a member of DK4....really get involved...... http://october2011.org/frontpage.....The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

      by Mindmover on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 12:39:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Unions....ugh (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GOPGO2H3LL, happy camper

    Okay...I'm pro-union...previous member of the Teamsters...so don't take this wrong, okay?

    What I mean by "Unions...ugh" is that the right seems to be successful in making the actual word "Union" a bad word just as they were successful making "Liberal" a bad word...getting many to change it to "progressive" or "left".

    Not sure how to counteract it.  We dems are trying our best to do the same thing with the word "teaparty", and it's working.  

    And, the games go on.

    - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

    by r2did2 on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 10:26:19 AM PDT

    •  How you change it? Stand up to them... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      r2did2, happymisanthropy

      ...grow a back bone.  Give as good as you get.

      Stop pussy footing around.  Get some Congressional leaders that spit fire.

      I wish Biden was President.  He'd roast the Tea Bags alive....

      •  Can't argue that ! (0+ / 0-)

        Enough with the milquetoast responses to those against democrats and our presentations and policies.  We're better than that.  We're stronger than that.  At least, I hope we are....I truly think we are.

        Now...with regard to Biden being prez?  Well...um...he's got "foot-in-mouth" disease, although I think he is right in most of what he says and shows the fire we truly need.  Obama needs to take his fire and present it with his great speaking ability.

        Good presentation, DemonDuck.  It's a "wouldn't it be nice" thing, though, I think.

        - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

        by r2did2 on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 10:39:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  you are delusional thinking that Biden (0+ / 0-)

        would stand up to anything that is happening right now....

        Please do not tell me you are involved by being a member of DK4....really get involved...... http://october2011.org/frontpage.....The goal is not to bring your adversaries to their knees but to their senses. -- Mahatma Gandhi

        by Mindmover on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 12:40:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Fuck that asshole. (0+ / 0-)

    Get these motherfucking Republicans off my motherfucking country!

    by GOPGO2H3LL on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 10:27:59 AM PDT

  •  What is wrong with that guy? (0+ / 0-)

    He looks like his mother fucked a pig.

    Just as prostitution is the world's oldest profession, religion is the world's oldest scam.

    by Agent420 on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 10:28:18 AM PDT

  •  McConnell does look like a turtle.... (0+ / 0-)

    .

  •  His wife (0+ / 0-)

    Didn't Elaine Chao say that American have a poor work ethic and don't dress properly. I think it was in 2007. Audacity!

  •  What (0+ / 0-)

    a sleazy little creep McConnell really is!

    "Power is a fleeting thing. One day your souls will be required of you." Bishop Peter Storey---Central Methodist Mission, Johannesburg, June 1981

    by lyvwyr101 on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 10:33:41 AM PDT

  •  If this is right, then.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    keep up the good work, unions!

    How The Doctor does redistricting: 'I'm going to need a SWAT team ready to mobilize, street-level maps covering all of Florida, a pot of coffee, twelve jammie dodgers and a fez.'

    by KingofSpades on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 10:38:03 AM PDT

  •  What concessions have unions extracted? (0+ / 0-)

    I know the UAW got the pending trade deal with S. Korea to include Korea buying more of our cars, but what else?

    How The Doctor does redistricting: 'I'm going to need a SWAT team ready to mobilize, street-level maps covering all of Florida, a pot of coffee, twelve jammie dodgers and a fez.'

    by KingofSpades on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 10:42:03 AM PDT

  •  His head looks like a big cyst about to explode (0+ / 0-)
  •  What. The. FUCK?! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy

    Mr. Obstruction himself?  Who damn near orchestrated a shut down of the entire freaking government in order to get concessions out of the administration?  Who admittedly gummed up the works of HCA in hopes that it would die on the vine or morph into some horror show no close to what it needed to be?

    He who has presided over a historic rise in the use of filibusters DARES to bitch about unions demanding that basic human dignity be a component of our foreign exploitation/American job destroying trade deals?

    I wouldn't piss down this man's throat if his gums were on fire.

    Democracy is often an indictment of the voting populace.

    by electricgrendel on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 11:17:00 AM PDT

  •  Trade Deal (3+ / 0-)

    Is just another way to screw American workers.  We need to abolish the one's we're in, and only sign deals that promote prosperity for workers, not wealth for the capitalists.

    Sarah Palin's greatest desire is to make sure that George Bush does not go down in history as our worst President.

    by rhonan on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 11:38:51 AM PDT

  •  Free trade is a disaster. (0+ / 0-)

    The agreement with South Korea will cost at least a quarter million jobs.
    Just be glad that South Korea is nowhere as big as China.
    How many jobs have been outsourced to China?

    Obama support of these Republican trade deals is about the last straw for me.

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