Friday, June 19, 2015
The Time For Changing Is Now
The Republican leadership today managed to threaten or bribe enough GOP congressmen to pass something most Americans overwhelmingly did not want passed - 'Fast Track' authority, the TPA for President Obama on his top secret trade bill that mostly isn't one.
The vote was 218-208, with 28 Democrats voting for it.
The fast track authority for President Obama was originally paired with another bill called the TAA, a bogus welfare crumb for all the American workers whom will lose their jobs thanks to Obama's secret trade bill. The combination legislation was voted down last week, but the TPA fast track was shoved through on its own and now goes to the Senate.The GOP leadership has promised to put the TAA provision, which expires in September to a separate vote, which the GOP leaders have promised will be nearly simultaneous.
Oh, I'm sure it will be...after the rest of the secret trade bill gets passed. And of course, as RINO Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan, the Republican Gruppenführer for Obama's trade agenda tells us, the peasants like you and I will find out what's in it when it's passed, since on a need to know basis, we're not even on the list.
Neither is most of congress, since the administration our president told us would be "the most transparent in history' is anything but. Only a handful have actually seen it, because it's locked in a secret room and no one is allowed to take notes or photograph any of it. Based on Wikileaks and a few things Senator Jeff Sessions has said, it's pretty easy to extrapolate why Barack Obama wants this so bad, and very little of it is actually concerned about trade.
According to the draft provisions,a brand new, unelected international bureaucracy is to be formed, in which America would have the same vote as Qatar. Countries could be barred from trying to control where their citizens’ personal data is held or whether it’s accessible from outside the country.
The Healthcare Annex, according to WikiLeaks, “seeks to regulate state schemes for medicines and medical devices. It forces healthcare authorities to give big pharmaceutical companies more information about national decisions on public access to medicine, and grants corporations greater powers to challenge decisions they perceive as harmful to their interests.”
In other words, congress would no longer have sole authority to over reforming MediCare and of course, ObamaCare. And the FDA would be subject to this international bureaucracy that's being set up as well.
Immigration is a big part of this too. U.S. laws, what remains of them, would now be subject to this international agreement. It calls for special fast tracking of visas that essentially would turn ICE into a rubber stamp. If this passes, look for thousands of American jobs to be replaced by foreigners at vastly lower wages and benefits as fast as corporate America can process the paperwork. And it allows much easier fast tracking of corporate off shoring of American jobs, putting Americans in competition with workers happy to receive less than a dollar an hour in countries like Vietnam.
Of course, there are also provisions to steal billions of dollars from America's tax payers in the name of global warming as well, while driving utility costs sky high.
Even more shocking, TPA gives congress no leeway on changing any of this. No amendments are allowed, simply a yes or no vote.
Overall, it's a great plan to finish bankrupting America's middle class and subject our sovereignty to the 'international community.' No wonder this president wanted it so bad and worked so hard to push it through. None of this was possible without the fast track TPA authority. And a GOP majority House just gave it to him.
Here's Louie Golmert (R-TX), one of the House's honest men, trying to stem the tide (H/T The Noisy Room and The Right Planet):
So did Senator Jeff Sessions, who is one of the few congress members who has actually seen the proposed trade bill locked in that secret room:
“It is essential that there be no misunderstanding: fast-track preapproves the formation of not only the unprecedentedly large Trans-Pacific Partnership, but an unlimited number of such agreements over the next six years,” Sessions said. “Those pacts include three of the most ambitious ever contemplated. After TPP comes the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the United States and the European Union, followed by the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA), seeking as one its goals labor mobility among more than 50 nations. Together, these three international compacts encompass three-fourths of the world’s GDP. Including the nations whose membership is being courted for after enactment, the countries involved would encompass nearly 90 percent of global GDP. Yet, through fast-track, Congress will have authorized the President to ink these deals before a page of them has been made public. Then, the Executive sends Congress ‘implementing’ legislation to change U.S. law—legislation which cannot be amended, cannot be filibustered, and will not be subjected to the Constitutional requirement for a two-thirds treaty vote.”
“According to the European Commission, the TiSA agreement—which most House and Senate members did not know about when they voted—will follow in the footsteps of the WTO’s Trade in Services Provisions, which has already inhibited the U.S. from making needed immigration changes,” Sessions said. “The European Commission says the EU ‘wants as many countries as possible to join the agreement.’ We have already seen how the EU has curtailed sovereignty in Europe; we do not want to follow in its footsteps.”
With regard to TPP, Sessions warned that America has “never seen” anything like it before—and that it’ll force the United States into a version of the European Union he calls “a new Pacific Union.”
“This nation has never seen an agreement that compares to the TPP, which forms a new Pacific Union,” Sessions said. “This is far more than a trade agreement, but creates a self-governing and self-perpetuating Commission with extraordinary implications for American workers and American sovereignty. Such a historic international regulatory Commission should never be fast-tracked, and should never be put on a path to passage until every word has been publicly scrutinized, every question answered, and every last power understood by Congress and the American people.”
This is still going to be bounced back and forth between the Senate and the House, but the fix is likely in for this colossal betrayal. We're being told that this 'free trade bill' will benefit American workers. It will not. Actually, it will cost many of them their livelihoods as visas for foreign workers to replace them at cheaper wages are rubber-stamped. One more time - this isn't primarily a trade agreement at all.
I just heard Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) trying to sell it that way on one of the talk shows, saying we didn't have trade agreement with Japan, or China, or a number of other countries. Well and good senator. What's wrong with the normal process of sending diplomats to negotiate them on a per country basis and submitting them to congress for approval as we've done in the past?
Or is it just that your corporate donors want it done this way, in stealth and secrecy? Because it isn't going to benefit the American economy so much as milk it dry for the benefit of the well connected...and of course, their servile toadies in congress.
So once again, we're faced with outright betrayal. Virtually everything the Republican Party campaigned on in 2010 and especially in 2014 was an outright lie. Instead of being 'pulled out root and branch' as Mitch McConnell told voters in 2014 in Kentucky, ObamaCare is being funded by congress and the GOP establishment is already plotting to save it in case the Supreme Court declares it unconstitutional, which it always was.
President Obama's amnesty of illegal aliens by executive order? In spite of all the rhetoric, that's being funded too. We essentially have no borders anymore, or any standards whatsoever on whom we let stay here.
Shutting down President Obama's appointments of radical judges and federal appointees at offices like the FCC? Or his radical new racialist attorney general? Using the nuclear option, the way Harry Reid did to stop over 200 bills the house passed from even going to committee? Nothing. The GOP's congressional leaders have made sure that President Obama has gotten whatever he wanted.
Barack Obama's EPA war on coal? Same story.
And forget about congress using the power of the purse to compel the release of documents and the testimony of those involved in major scandals like Benghazi, the IRS targeting political opponents or the Clinton Foundation's dealings.
I have speculated on these pages that with all the warrentless NSA spying and data collection going on, it's quite possible this president has something juicy on key Republicans like McConnell and Boehner. Or it may be they're simply being paid off in one way or another.
In the end, it really doesn't matter. What does is the realization of this foul betrayal and to look at Tolstoy's eternal question; what then must we do?
I'm still putting together some of the answers for myself, and perhaps you are too, But here are some obvious takeaways.
The GOP as it is has evolved into an institution that is no longer to be trusted and certainly not worth saving. And yes, I fully understand the implications of that. But I'm also tired of being gamed to vote for the lesser of two evils only to find out there's not that much difference between them anyway.
The well established Whig Party participated in their last presidential election in 1852 and fell apart over the slavery issue. Many ex-Whigs like Abraham Lincoln actually quit politics until the new Republican party debuted in 1856. The Republicans lost that election to Democrat James Buchanan, perhaps one of our worst presidents, but they won every presidential race after that until 1884.
The early Republicans were considered radicals, impractical trouble makers and rebels against the established order of things. What they had going for them was something the Whigs did not - an adherence to principals. And principals, along with achieving power to implement them are the key to the political success of any party or movement.
Not only does the leadership of today's GOP lack adherence to principles, but they are all to willing to take advantage of those that do by pretending, a cynical shell game,
Any of you actually seen how a real shell game works? The guy moving the cups around is an expert at making you believe the peanut is really under that cup when it's not.The object of the game is to deceive and distract you and to keep you in the game as long as possible by any means necessary to take your money.
That's exactly what we're dealing with here, and the way to win is to stop playing their game and concentrate on our own.
We basically have been acting the part of the naive hooker who believes at first that her pimp really is telling her the truth about how he loves her and that he just needs her to turn a few more tricks until she earns enough money for him to take her away with him from all this.
'Just get us the house, just get us the senate baby. Everything will be beautiful then, trust me.'
So the first step is to decide you're not going to be pimped out or conned anymore. And how to best realize your new independence.
The second step is to decide what principles you stand for, and what you're not willing to compromise on.
And the third step? To organize with like minded folks to do what all political movements should do...to work towards achieving the power to put the principles you stand for into practice. That likely includes Republicans like Gohmert and Sessions willing to declare their own independence and make the move forward
To my mind, the biggest failure of the Tea Party was its lack of organization. Without that, it was far to easy for too many people to grab on to their own small piece of turf and to spend their energies competing for funds and attention rather than unifying and focusing on the real opposition.And it was harder for them to accomplish things as small, barely connected groups.
Ronald Reagan, notorious for his successful accomplishments in spite of a hostile, Democrat-dominated congress had a secret. He famously said, "There's no limit what you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit."
Becoming independent and refusing to be conned again, deciding on principles, ironing out petty differences and organizing for unity and power, concentrating on cooperation with like minded allies and accomplishing common, concrete goals rather than focusing on whom gets the credit.
Putting these principles into practice is the secret of real Hope and Change for America and the renewal of our Republic. And in fact, if we wish to continue to live as a free people and control our own destiny, we have little choice. We certainly can't depend on most of the politicians in Washington we elected so trustingly to do it.They have proven themselves disgraceful and unworthy of our trust or the offices they hold.
Read this document carefully. You will be shocked at how many similarities there are to our present situation.
Am I talking revolution ? No, not a bloodstained revolution, but certainly a political one, which is still possible. The existing set up simply doesn't work for us anymore.
It's time we banded together to secure our right to life, liberty,and the pursuit of happiness before we lose all of them for ourselves and our future generations. It's past time. That is what we should be concentrating our energies on now.
Stay tuned. More later.
UPDATE,June 23rd - Today, the Republican majority senate voted to shut down debate on ObamaTrade with a cloture vote. The official vote will likely pass, after which it will go to President Obama for his signature. And America will be well on the road to no longer being a free republic, but a collection of serfs ruled by unelected bureaucrats at home and abroad.
Here's what Jeff Sessions had to say about this. Notice what I emphasized:
“Americans increasingly believe that their country isn’t serving its own citizens. They need look no further than a bipartisan vote of Congress that will transfer congressional power to the Executive Branch and, in turn, to a transnational Pacific Union and the global interests who will help write its rules.
"The same routine plays out over and again. We are told a massive bill must be passed, all the business lobbyists and leaders tell how grand it will be, but that it must be rushed through before the voters spoil the plan. As with Obamacare and the Gang of Eight, the politicians meet with the consultants to craft the talking points—not based on what the bill actually does, but what they hope people will believe it does. And when ordinary Americans who never asked for the plan, who don’t want the plan, who want no part of the plan, resist, they are scorned, mocked, and heaped with condescension.
"Washington broke arms and heads to get that 60th vote—not one to spare—to impose on the American people a plan which imperils their jobs, wages, and control over their own affairs. It is remarkable that so much energy has been expended on advancing the things Americans oppose, and preventing the things Americans want.
"For instance: thousands of loyal Americans have been laid off and forced to train the foreign workers brought in to fill their jobs—at Disney, at Southern California Edison, across the country. Does Washington rush to their defense? No, the politicians and the lobbyists rush to move legislation that would double or triple the very program responsible for replacing them.
"This ‘econometarian’ ideology holds that if a company can increase its bottom line —whether by insourcing foreign workers or outsourcing production—then it’s always a win, never a downside.
"President Obama, and allies in Congress, have won this fast-track vote. But, in exchange, they may find that they are losing something far greater: the trust of the American people. Americans have a fundamental, decent, and just demand: that the people they elect defend their interests. And every issue to come before us in the coming months will have to pass this test: does this strengthen, or weaken, the position of the everyday, loyal American citizen?”
Senator Sessions does a good job of laying out the problem here. The solution is in our hands.