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Profile Information

Name: William Rivers Pitt
Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 58,179

Journal Archives

Amazing Grace


Capstone speech.

Perfection distilled.

I ain't no fanboy, as you all well know ... but the eulogy delivered just now by President Obama was pretty much the most remarkable bit of oratory I have been privileged to witness.

Amazing grace.


"The GOP race is filling up faster than the toilets at Arby's."

-- Jon Stewart's opening line on The Daily Show last night

Please turn off the planet. We're done here. Thank you.

The Roof, The Roof, The Roof Is On Fire

We don't need no water
Let that motherfucker BERN
BERN motherfucker

Hillary Clinton's lead over N.H. Democrats shrinking, poll finds

... probably not an appropriate campaign song, but I likes it, me.

Still don't think he's a used-car salesman?

TPA survived cloture and is about to pass.

TAA ... who knows? It's up to Mitch, thanks to Obama. Who cares about "trade adjusted" workers, anyway, right?

TPP ... coming down the pike one way or the other, and will sail thanks to TPA.

Next up: Keystone ... and the legacy will be secured.

Go ahead and yell at me if it comforts you.

Killing a Nation With Euphemisms: TPP-Eats-Medicare Edition

President Barack Obama leaves a meeting with House Democrats on Capitol Hill, June 12, 2015.
The existence of the Trade Adjustment Assistance bill - which will draw $450 million from Medicare
to provide "assistance" for those losing their jobs because of the Trans-Pacific Partnership - underscores
that people in DC know the trade bill will be a job-destroyer in the US.
(Photo: Stephen Crowley/The New York Times)

Killing a Nation With Euphemisms: TPP-Eats-Medicare Edition
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Tuesday 23 June 2015

This week, legislation to give President Obama fast-track trade agreement authority (TPA) will take its star turn in the GOP-controlled Senate. The cloture vote is said to be taking place on Tuesday, and if the 60-vote threshold is reached, the final vote on the bill will happen the same day, or on Wednesday.

More importantly, however, is the following vote, scheduled for Wednesday or Thursday, on "Trade Adjustment Assistance," (TAA), also known as the "We sent your job to a Pacific Rim sweatshop in a country with no labor laws where people work for $2 a day during 18-hour shifts making the clothes you used to be able to afford before we laid you off, so here's ten dollars so you can take in a movie and get your mind off things, but no popcorn for you" bill.

In other words, TAA is a bill to provide "assistance" for all the people who are absolutely going to lose their jobs if the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement (TPP) passes ... and the passage of that trade bill is what all this TPA and TAA mishigas has been about.

"Trade Adjustment Assistance" ... isn't language just such wonderfully malleable putty? It would not in any way surprise me if, somewhere in the dank bowels of a building in Washington DC, there exists a think tank solely dedicated to the crafting and deployment of crass yet terribly effective euphemisms. "The Clear Skies Initiative," also known as "Let the polluters pollute as much as they want." "No Child Left Behind," also known as "Conformity over creativity and critical thinking." "PATRIOT Act," also known as "We're watching you, bub."

And now, this. You're not fired, laid off, outsourced, downsized, removed, erased, kicked to the curb, bounced, deleted, expunged, cut, dismissed, chucked, or even screwed. Nope. You've been "trade adjusted," right out onto the sidewalk with a box of your stuff in your arms and a disorienting buzzing noise rattling the inside of your skull. Such a kind euphemism for so traumatic an event. The boys in the bowels of that building sure put the work in on that one.

Let's say the TPA survives cloture and is passed ... and let's even say that Mitch McConnell trips over his soul in the men's room and actually allows a vote on TAA, and it survives cloture and then passes ... guess what? The money to "assist" people who suffer "trade adjustment" upon passage of the TPP will come from ...

Wait for it ...

Wait for it ...


That's right! Probably the most successful, well-run social program in US history will take it in the teeth to help support people who lose their jobs to the trade bill that necessitated this "assistance" in the first place.

... and here's the best part. The original plan was to "sequester" - another brilliantly vile euphemism - about $700 million per year from Medicare to fund "assistance" for everyone who gets "trade adjusted" by the TPP. Republicans balked at the number, not because it was stealing from Medicare, but because it was Just Another Government Welfare Program Argle Bargle Blah. After a series of negotiations between congressional Democrats, Republicans and the White House, they settled on carving out $450 million per year to "assist" the "trade adjusted."

It's beautiful, in the way an avalanche on a snow-capped mountain is beautiful before it buries and smothers you.

First, the very existence of the TAA bill means these people in DC know the trade bill will be a job-destroyer in the US. Otherwise they wouldn't bother, period.

Second, $700 million per year isn't nearly enough to help all those who will have to hit the bricks once their jobs go away, so $450 million is basically a bad joke.

Third - and this is where the true poetry of evil finds its clarion cry - everyone put on the street by the TPP will someday qualify for a Medicare that is less capable of serving them, because the program has been compensating for the way they lost their job in the first place.

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/31521-killing-a-nation-with-euphemisms-tpp-eats-medicare-edition


Um...pssst...this is, for all practical purposes, primary season.

Primary season is the most important season. It is when the voters get to choose from a much wider variety of candidates.

It's vital, and the fact that the average turnout for primaries all across the country hovers below 40% is a large part of the reason we're being "governed," by and large, by shitheads.

This is when we really, really get to do some choosing.

It's also when we debate the relative merits of the candidates. Sometimes with heat, because it's that important.


When a supporter for Candidate X makes salient and accurate points about your Candidate Y, or vice-versa, please don't deploy "Well, you're just a hater" or some brain-absent permutation thereof.

You sound like a jackass, and have thoroughly missed the point of the exercise.

This is important. If you don't like it, find another hobby.

What's the word on The Magistrate?

There was a thread on The Magistrate having been absent for an uncomfortably long time, but I can't seem to find it. Any word?

Here's a White guy about to stab a Black guy in the chest with an American Flag.

This didn't happen in Charleston, or Montgomery, or Tallahassee, or Richmond, or Biloxi. This happened in downtown "liberal" Boston during the busing riots, which happened because White Bostonians didn't want Black kids going to school with their kids.

Just a quick reminder to all the non-Southerners who may be feeling a bit superior after recent events. If you think your town isn't riddled with racists, too, you're badly deluding yourselves.

He's a damned racist. Period, end of file.

The fact that this is even being debated in this country is a noxious, fetid astonishment ... and sadly, no surprise at all. Erick Erickson, peerless fuckwit, actually attempted to conflate the slaughter of nine people in a church and the assassination of a state senator with Caitlyn Jenner and the very existence of transgender people ... because they're both evil, don'tcha know.

Roof a racist, period. He killed those people because they were Black, period.

... and this country needs a goddam enema.
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