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December 14, 2015 07:14 AM UTC

Monday Open Thread

  • by: Colorado Pols

“The progress of rivers to the ocean is not so rapid as that of man to error.”



29 thoughts on “Monday Open Thread

  1. The Labor Advisory Committee for Trade Negotiations and Trade Policy (LAC) is the official advisory committee to the USTR representing workers in the trade negotiation process that led up to the TPP.  The have just released their report to President Obama condemning the TPP.  The report is fairly long, but I encourage all of you to read it.  However, David Dayden does a quick review of the report: Labor Advisory Committee Report on TPP Synthesizes Everything Wrong About the Trade Deal.  Anyone who suggests that TPP is good for America is nothing more than a lapdog of the 1%.

    1. You are absolutely correct.

      This is why I keep reminding Pols-sters of Michael Bennet's lie regarding this issue and Colorado Pols' blasé attitude in passing along the lie in service to Colorado's Senior Senator – a Democrat.

      Yeah, the powers that be are bigger than all of us. We can't do anything about it. It would be worse with a Senator Beauprez or Suthers or Whohaa. But I expect just a bit more from our side, not the base political calculation that only cares if our senior senator has a (D – Mongo like), or an (R – Mongo no like) behind their name on the ballot.

      Leo Gerard spells it out in a more rational way than I can, and as the circus of the Republican nominating process attracts nearly all our attention, the remainder being concerned with those evil and violent moslommen, corporations will be building bigger vaults in which they can horde their cash:

      For too long, average citizens worked harder and produced more, yet corporations cut pay and benefits, off-shored community-sustaining factories, killed family-supporting jobs and crushed opportunity. 

      GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump stokes that fire by urging Americans to blame anyone but corporations and corporate honchos like himself. One-percenter Trump and his fellow GOP candidates exhort average Americans to hate and fear Muslims, Syrian refugees, Black Lives Matter activists and undocumented immigrants.

      This is a divisionary tactic. The intent is to split workers into small sub-groups so they lose strength in numbers. And it’s a diversionary tactic. The ungodly wealthy like Trump, who have taken for themselves all the economic gains from increased worker productivity, finger someone other than one-percenters as the culprit for middle-class wage stagnation and provoke workers to fight among themselves.

      Division and diversion help the one percent capture government, securing policies that further enrich the rich, like trickle-down economics under which no benefits ever actually descend, bailouts for Wall Street but not Main Street and job-destroying trade deals like NAFTA and the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In a real democracy, one where government serves the 99 percent, the smoldering in America would be piles of discarded TPP texts.


      Burning it was advised last week by the Labor Advisory Committee on the TPP, a group established by Congress that includes representatives of every major labor union and labor coalition in America, among them mine, the United Steelworkers (USW). In a 120-page report, the committee detailed exactly how the proposed TPP would injure working Americans and foster the closing and off-shoring of vital American industry, such as steel, aluminum and vehicle manufacturing.

      TPP negotiators should start over, the Labor Advisory Committee said. They should produce a deal that puts workers first, not corporations and the one percent.

      Unlike labor groups, giant multinational corporations, especially those like Nike and Walmart that exploit slave-wage labor overseas, love the TPP proposal. They hype it using diversion. Look, the U.S. Coalition (of massive corporations) for the TPP says, here’s a map showing how much each U.S. state exports to the 11 other Pacific Rim countries in the proposed deal.

      Same as it ever was. Until we vote lying creeps like Michael Bennet out of office.

      1. "why I keep reminding Pol-sters of Michael Bennet's lie…….until we vote lying creeps like Michael Bennet out of office."

        Thank you, Zappatero, for your unspoken endorsement of Tim Neville for US Senator. 

        1. To be clear: there will most likely NEVER be a Republican in Colorado who could get my endorsement, even with Donald Trump waterboarding me on the 18th of St. Andrews while Dr. Chaps ogles the scene.

          But that doesn't mean I'll be a nice little CPols-ster who never criticizes one of his fellow Democrats. You know me better than that. 😉

          1. Bennet is far better than an anti-abortion/anti-contraception jihadist like Tim Neville.

            And interesting that you can’t find a Republican worth endorsing; while I can find Dems that can get my vote. As in the 2014 election when I voted for Cheri Jahn; Senate District 20; since I live in that district. Of course, the awful Republican alternative was Larry Queen…….

            1. Why would any one who doesn't agree with the 21st century Republican agenda consider contributing to another toxic Republican majority by voting for any Republican considering the uniformly toxic legislation that comes out of every majority Republican legislative body?  Zap and I disagree about his jihad against Bennet who is pretty much entirely in line with Obama and other Dems he tolerates well but we agree on not voting for any Republicans. Unless you like what Republican majorities pass, what their execs sign into law, their Secs of State who help them win those majorities and the AGs who sue over legislation we like, that's really a no brainer.enlightened

              1. BlueCat: I guess we will continue to have this conversation. Have you visited the Conservation Colorado scorecard for the 2015 session of the state legislature? I've already pointed out, in another thread, that Senator Crowder broke with the caucus and voted to kill one of the bad public land bills earlier this year. Some Republicans scored fairly well, despite being Republicans.

                I also just visited the 2015 scorecard for Planned Parenthood, which is highly relevant in these times. Two Republicans; Don Coram and Bob Rankin; scored 67 on a 0 to 100 scale. There are other scorecards, if you just do some basic research.

                I'll continue to make the case that there are reasonable people in both parties. The areas where I do strongly disagree with my party are on religion & womens' reproductive rights. So, I'll see you at the Statehouse early next year when Senator Neville starts again with his b.s. bills.

                1. I don't care about some Republicans. I care about the over all horrible performance of  the Republican majority legislative bodies natinwide and at federal level and the Governors, Secs of State, AGs and potential Presidents who enhance their power.  

                  And of course, besides the issues on which you and Dems share common ground, unlike you, we think the classic conservative economic theory you love is a disaster as well so we really have no reason for voting Republican, especially if doing so could create or help maintain a Republican majority as certainly is the case here in Colorado with both houses often so close. So, thanks, but I'll continue to just say no.

                  1. Once again, CHB,  no answer to my point because you can't deny that what I say about majority Republican legislative bodies and their partners in other branches is true and that's why you always refuse to address that point and just find some nice Republicans doing some decent things to point to.  

                    But they don't have the slightest relevance to my point because the only effect they can have if elected is to increase the number of Republicans in any legislative body, thus increasing the chances of those bodies being controlled by Republican majorities that pass horrible legislation.

                    It doesn't help to have couple of powerless "good" Republicans on some issues in those majorities even where a few are actually available. They rarely come over and vote with Dem minorities. The best way to block horrible majority R legislation is to deny Rs majorities and the only way to work toward that is to vote only for Dems and hope enough Dems win to deny majority status to Rs or, in the Senate, to be enough to block R majorities.

                    I'd have to be an idiot to vote for any individual who contributes or even just potentially contributes to turning over the power inherent in our system in holding the majority and those executive positions which enhance that majority’s power to the 21st century GOP when I know exactly what that will get us. It won't be any of the good stuff you tell me your examples support.  

                    And you refuse to address that reality not because you're an idiot but because you can't handle the truth. 


  2. "anyone who suggests that TPP is good for America is nothing more than a lapdog of the 1%…….."   Really, dude, really?  Your thinking then is that people can't think for themselves? That people aren't smart enough to see that developed nations like Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Chile, are part of this deal.  Wait, wait…….it's that sucking sound I just heard; American jobs being sucked away to New Zealand…..   Wow!  And of course, a report generated by big labor is going to be biased towards big labor. Another surprise for the unwary.

    I'll offer; you won't like it; that the alternative to TPP is to turn over economic dominance in the western Pacific to China. How will that work out for American jobs?

    Regards,   C.H.B.

    1. TPP has problems, what treaty of piece of legislation ever hasn't?  Perfection is a demanded chimera of fools (and an ex-wife I once knew).  That's why there is, and should be, procedures to address grievances and unintended consequences.  

      As you correctly point out, the unacceptable alternative to TPP at his point in time, is a Chinese hegemony.

      Thurston still sucks, nonetheless . . . 

      1. Sorry, but there's nothing preventing us from coming back around with a different trade proposal than TPP.

        TPP is bad for no good reason other than corporate greed; it's bad for intellectual property, it's bad for the availability of drugs, it's bad for aggressively fighting climate change… It doesn't deserve to be ratified.

        1. I'm sure that China's rulers don't mind another decade, or even two, of delay, until American liberals can put together a treaty that would be acceptable to all the other nations that may be party to an agreement?

          1. China is, IMHO, mostly a red herring in this argument. We have trade. They have trade. The other nations have trade. Are you suggesting that if we don't have a new treaty that forces corporate crap down our throat that China will simply come in and take over our trade with all of these nations?

            China will need to make the same type of trade negotiations. We don't need to give in to the fear on this any more than we need to give in to the fear calling for the banning of all Muslims entering the country.

            1. Red herring, conflation, and straw men are obviously a problem for you …

              I'm "suggesting" that, surprise, China's interests don't always necessarily reflect this country's concerns or sensibilities.  And, whether a China reaches agreements (likely) with other nations to the detriment of American workers and interests, or not, doesn't really matter given their natural sphere of influence advantage and the trajectory of history over the past 50+ years.

              Nations almost always fail themselves when they fail to engage with other nations and choose self-isolation instead, regardless of the nobility of their underlying intentions. 

  3. On a lighter note, Republican Humorist (yes, a rare beast) P.J. O'Rourke gives his take on the GOP Clown Car occupants (via the Colorado Independent):

    The Half-Hearted Case for Rubio

    P.J. O’Rourke tries to figure out why he should support the best of the Republican lot.

    I must, I can, I will be positive about Marco Rubio. I’m a Republican. Rubio is the least insane candidate (low bar) with the best chance (faint hope) of actually beating Hillary.

    The patients have taken over the GOP psychiatric ward. The shrink is on the couch. The loonies are thoughtfully stroking their chins asking the sane Republican, “Why do you think Barack Hussein Obama, who bows to Mecca five times each day, wasn’t raised by KGB agents in Karjackistan?”

    Rubio’s all I’ve got left.

    Some of the reasons O'Rourke gives (this guy could sell refrigerators to Eskimos!):

    Marco Rubio is a Washington outsider!

    Well, actually, he’s a U. S. Senator. But he’s missed a lot Senate votes, and I assume that was because, during the voting, Rubio was outside Washington. This counts.

    Marco Rubio’s finances are a mess!

    Rubio owns houses that he has trouble paying for. We, the American people, own two houses (of Congress) and the White House that we have trouble paying for.

    Rubio emptied his retirement account to meet current expenses. This is exactly the way Social Security works.

    Rubio bought a boat he couldn’t afford. The U.S. Navy does so all the time.

    When it comes to dealing with the federal budget, Rubio has the kind of experience that counts.

    1. If you get a chance, get O'Rourke's "Holidays in Hell" and "Republican Party Reptile" from the library. Hilarious (I have Holidays, which is about vacationing, in the 1980s, in such neat places like Lebanon and Nicaragua. Dodging bullets makes your vacation more fun).  

      And speaking of Navy ships, John McCain had some choice comments about the USS Milwaukee breaking down at sea and having to get towed back to port; less than a month after it got commissioned. But hey, think of all those great jobs provided by defense contractor scew-ups and cost overruns. 

      1. Thanks for the recommendations.  I've actually followed O'Rourke since his National Lampoon days 40 years ago, as well as his occasional contribution to Car and Driver magazine.

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