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Member since: Sun Feb 9, 2014, 12:43 PM
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Obama’s push on trade splits Democrats along economic lines

Obama’s push on trade splits Democrats along economic lines


But the TPP also aims to strengthen patents for pharmaceutical, financial and information technology companies, extend copyrights for entertainment studios, and safeguard the free flow of data across borders for Internet and software firms. It is in those areas, independent economists have said, that the TPP could have the biggest impact in the United States....

“If we are going to capture the future, then we’ve got to open up markets to the kinds of things that we’re really good at, that can’t be duplicated overseas,” Obama said at the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce in April. “We’re good at innovation. Were good at services. We can create things that other countries can’t create.”

Over the past decade, high-tech industries and those that rely heavily on intellectual property have dramatically outperformed traditional manufacturing, Labor Department statistics show. From 2002 to 2012, the combined economic output of Hollywood and “high-tech” industries – including pharmaceutical production, engineering services, and computer and aerospace manufacturing – grew by 30 percent, after adjusting for inflation. Traditional manufacturing shrank by 1.1 percent.

Martin O’Malley: You heard it here first: I’m running for president

Things are almost ready here in Baltimore, where I’m about to step on stage to officially announce my candidacy. But first, I want to take a quick moment to thank you for all of the encouragement you’ve given me over the last few weeks. Our nation faces big challenges—from an economy that is severely out of balance to ever-changing threats to our national security. I know we can address these challenges and rebuild the American Dream as long as you’re standing with me.

(Social) Liberals are enjoying a comeback


That’s according to a new Gallup poll that finds the shares of American adults considering themselves “socially liberal” and “socially conservative” each total 31 percent. (The remaining respondents either called their views “moderate” or had no opinion.) Gallup has been tracking these categories since 1999, and the latest numbers simultaneously signify the highest share ever recorded for liberals and the lowest recorded for conservatives.

Let's examine some of these assertions....

... in a bit more detail.

1) I oppose the local food movement ....

I don't oppose the local food movement, I just don't support it, and I don't want to be part of it. I don't think there is anything wrong with a preference for local food, and I'm glad there are folks who are able to serve a need in their community and to profit from it. I don't think it will ever be anything other than a niche market, but I've got nothing against it.

2) I support and defend the corporate factory farm meat industry....

Yes, I support it in so far as it puts food on the table. I put my money where my mouth is, so to speak. In a country of 322 million people, 81% of whom live in large urban areas, large scale industrialized agriculture is a necessity. And providing larger, global markets for our country's agricultural products drives our costs down by allowing economics of scale.

3) I oppose point-of-origin labeling, and call it a protectionist ploy.

No, I don't oppose it in an absolute sense. I oppose it being advocated for reasons of "health and safety". It isn't a health and safety issue, its an issue of solidarity with our fellow citizens as opposed to citizens of another country. That is, it is a protectionist policy.

Is there anything wrong with promoting solidarity with your fellow citizens? No, not in general. In the specific context of a trade agreement that is of mutual benefit to both "us and them", however, there may be. If that was the deal (apparently it was) then it is reasonable to protest it if the deal isn't kept up by both sides.

4) Those opposed to TPP (and NAFTA) are "protectionists"

"Protectionist" is the proper, normal, technical term for those who support trade barriers and oppose their reduction. Trade agreements like NAFTA and TPP tend to reduce and attenuate those barriers. Those who oppose them are, in fact, protectionists.

Protectionism is the economic policy of restraining trade between states (countries) through methods such as tariffs on imported goods, restrictive quotas, and a variety of other government regulations designed to allow (according to proponents) fair competition between imports and goods and services produced domestically.... The term is mostly used in the context of economics, where protectionism refers to policies or doctrines which protect businesses and workers within a country by restricting or regulating trade with foreign nations.


5) You seem to like the word "protectionist", and use it as a derogatory term

I don't believe that "protectionist" is a pejorative term. It's purely descriptive and appropriate to use in the context of discussing trade agreements. Protectionism is a tactic, and may be a useful tactic in some circumstances while not being so in others. For instance, copyright and patent laws can be protectionist. The TPP is, in this regard, protectionist in our favor. Generally, protectionism is a useful tactic for second-tier, struggling economies, and more disadvantageous for top-tier, global economies. Since we are a top-tier, global economy, protectionism does not tend to be to our advantage.

Some administration officials defend trade pact as national security policy

The Democratic Party’s civil war on trade has taken a sudden national security turn.

Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said President Obama’s Pacific trade deal was as important to the military as a new aircraft carrier.

Former State Department official Kurt M. Campbell warned that U.S. diplomacy in Asia would earn a failing grade if the pact, known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), perishes in Congress.

“The Asia-Pacific is the single most dynamic part of the globe today and where much of the history of this century will be written,” Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Tuesday during a speech on the trade at a Boeing plant near Seattle. “There’s a need for American leadership.”

Some administration officials defend trade pact as national security policy

What Caused Capitalism? Assessing the Roles of the West and the Rest

The dichotomy between internalists and externalists is harmful because it creates a pressure to rely on just one of their heroic and unheroic duelers to explain capitalist development. In fact, the payoff from global history comes from thinking about capitalism in multiple ways and on multiple scales. Surely, the travails of the rest serve as a reminder that the isms of the West are neither as inevitable nor as durable as their chroniclers or critics believe


( Not behind a pay wall, but you do have to establish an account. )

Just got an update from my homeslice, Obama...

I understand the skepticism about this. I want to set the record straight.

Right now, we have an opportunity to set the most progressive trade agreement in our nation's history -- with enforceable labor and environmental protections we simply can't count on other nations to pursue.

Here's why this means so much to me: I want to make sure that any deal we reach reflects our nation's values, in a way that hasn't always been true in the past. That's why I've said I'll refuse to sign any agreement that doesn't put American workers first.

But as long as 95 percent of our potential customers live outside our borders, we don't have the option to sit back and let others set the rules. We need to take this opportunity to level the playing field -- because when we're competing on equal ground, American workers win.

If you agree it's important for America to lead on trade, join OFA supporters by adding your name today.

I've staked my presidency on middle-class economics, and fought hard for policies that ensure that anyone who's willing to work hard and play by the rules can get a fair shot.

We've made a lot of progress over the past six years -- rebounding from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, strengthening our manufacturing sector, and growing forward-looking industries like renewable energy.

We can't go back -- and we can't leave it to nations like China to write the rules for the global economy.

This is personal for me. I understand the skepticism about this, or any, trade deal. I've met folks across the country who still feel burned by agreements of the past. Those are the people I came to Washington to fight for.

That's what this is about for me. This is our chance to do better, to get it right.

I hope you'll agree. Over the last few months, OFA supporters across the country have stood up to ask the hard questions on this issue -- to make sure the outcome is good not just for our economy, but for working families.

If you want to see America lead the way to establish a truly progressive trade agreement, add your name with OFA today:


Thank you,

Barack Obama

Insider view on the "secret" TPP

Dick Sadler runs a fruit-packing plant in Dundee, a few miles from the Sokol Blosser winery in Yamhill County, shipping jars of Oregon blueberries to Japan. Unlike Sokol Blosser, Sadler does not have to take the TPP’s benefits purely on faith; he is on a federal advisory committee on agricultural trade and has received confidential briefings on the negotiations.

Sitting in his farmhouse surrounded by hazelnut trees, he said he has heard little from trade officials that gives him pause. “You can’t negotiate something as complex as this in public,” he said. The benefits will be more meaningful for small players like himself, he added, than for big exporters who can more readily deal with the current complications of international trade — the labeling rules and the ingredient certifications and so forth.

“The TPP is designed to give us structure to deal with all of that,” he said. “It’s hard to say what’s bad about it.”

Why Obama went to Oregon to push Congress on trade agreements


Obama’s quiet nuclear deal with China raises proliferation concerns

Source: Washington Post

Obama’s quiet nuclear deal with China raises proliferation concerns


Read more: http://wapo.st/1Qzuty8

Bizarre fake police force included Kamala Harris aide, prosecutors say

Source: Los Angeles Times

“When asked what is the difference between the Masonic Fraternal Police Department and other police departments, the answer is simple for us. We were here first!”

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-aide-harris-accused-rogue-police-force-20150505-story.html
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