The Soft Blanket Of Memory: Memorial Day 2015

Great national holidays, such as the Fourth of July, usually remind citizens of great victories or focus attention on valiant leaders, such as former presidents, long gone. More than any other national commemoration, even more so than the Thanksgiving holiday, Memorial Day invites us to cover ourselves in the blanket of memory. Memory – which can be pain-filled or awe-inspiring.

Memorial Day is a time to recall darker days and armor ourselves with memory for battles to come even if all we see is a future of despair:

On Memorial Day 2008 we explained the origins of the holiday. The day to remember the fallen began during the Civil War.

Since then on the last Monday in May the nation remembers. From the Civil War to Afghanistan, the nation remembers.


No Flag Salute

This Memorial Day 2015 we draw inspiration from our cousins across the sea.

At a time of trial, a great pivot point in history, not just for Great Britain, but for all of Western civilization, the British throne was occupied by a vain and treacherous beast. Along with his ambitious nasty concubine whose main concerns appeared to be garish fashion and spectacles for herself and the man who would be King the loyalties of both were in question.

Many believed that the coronation of that King would lead to a traitor on the throne. A traitor whose sympathies were more to the pagan religion of the almost fully grown military threat English speaking peoples would soon face on the battlefield was soon to sit on Saint Edward’s Chair.

A weak uncertain stutterer and the might of British history saved the empire in 1939. In 2010 the story of King George VI who overcame his disability to rally the nation and the world of freedom loving peoples became the cinematic The King’s Speech.



Eventually the broadcast speech by King George VI became available via YouTube.



On this Memorial Day we remember that even in the darkest hour a candle can be lit even if that candle is far from perfect.

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61 thoughts on “The Soft Blanket Of Memory: Memorial Day 2015

  1. Obama–breathes there a man with soul so dead, who never to himself hath said, this is my country, and I owe everything I am to it.

  2. Admin: Hillary can–and will–run out the clock on Benghazi. You can see it happening now. Even if they elevate the issue to the Speaker’s level with a request that she be held in contempt, I am pretty damned sure nothing will come of it. They know the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, who is an Obama flack will take no action. And his motive will not be to protect Hillary but to protect Obama. With that in mind, I do not worry about Benghazi. As long as they cannot tie Obama to it, it is in my rear view mirror. Where she does have political exposure however is with the Libya policy which has been a disaster, and Benghazi is an outgrowth of it. Sooner or later, after they realize the Benghazi investigation is going nowhere, and big media is helping bury it, the party of stupid will tap its way through to the Libya debacle, and then the missing emails will not be an issue. Powerline agrees with this assessment.

    http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2015/05/hillarys-real-benghazi-problem.php

  3. Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer.
    Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past.
    Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.

    John F. Kenned

  4. I am celebrating Memorial Day working on the TPP Treachery. I got through the House Democrat List. Here is what I can tell:

    188 Democratic Representatives
    19 Non-Commited
    15 Supporting
    154 Opposing or raising objections

    So far, I have found 6 Republicans opposing.

    Here are the Democrat Traitors:
    John C. Carney Jr.
    Ami Bera
    Brad Ashford
    Debbie Wasserman Schultz
    Gerry Connolly
    Gregory W. Meeks
    Jim Cooper
    Mike Quigley
    Nancy Pelosi
    Ron Kind
    Suzanne Bonamici
    Earl Blumenauer
    Henry Cuellar
    Joaquin Castro
    John Delaney

    And here are the Democrats on the Fence:
    Cedric Richmond
    David Price
    Denny Heck
    Derek Kilmer
    Don Beyer
    Rick Larsen
    Susan Davis
    Suzan DelBene
    Xavier Becerra
    Steny Hoyer
    Doris Matsui
    Gwen Graham
    James A. Himes
    Jared Polis
    Jim Costa
    John Sarbanes
    Marc Veasey
    Kurt Schrader

  5. When Assad falls,(big media will undoubtedly) argue that Obama really played a deep game from his first day in office, perhaps intending all along to single-handedly destroy the Islamic world by withdrawing from the region.

    But the refutation for this hypothesis surely lies in his single-minded determination to let Iran acquire a nuclear weapon. What sense does it make to trap Iran in a corner then give them a bomb? Especially since the Saudis (will be) buying their own nuke in turn?

    More probably there was no deep calculation behind the events unleashed by administration. They simply blundered into the position they find themselves in now. As Daniel Halper notes, president Obama formally greeted the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia by the wrong name, getting the names of his ancestors wrong too.

    Incompetence, rather than deep genius, may be more important in history than we would like to admit. The apparent randomness of history should remind us, on Memorial Day, of how great an act of faith our forefathers made in carrying us to this point. The men who crossed Omaha Beach or took Mount Surabachi with Bibles in their pockets and simple belief that they could make the world right didn’t know that America would win the war, just as the men who took Ramadi didn’t know that politicians would give the city back. They only knew they had to try, armed with a wisdom the Great rarely learned: that neither the future nor heaven can be treated like a business proposition. You give without knowing what comes next.

    Perhaps the worst effect of the modern infatuation with the Narrative is how it encourages leaders to assume they’re “in control”. Politicians are perpetually required by the media to reconcile their past statements with their current actions as if there were no room in the universe for God or chance. Yet in any complex system effective anticipation is strictly short term hence it is men of character who fare the best simply because in an unpredictable system to consistently do the right thing always maximizes the payoff.

    The word for that attitude once was faith. But in a secular sense it is simply the realization that the optimum strategy is keep making the best move. You can’t think ten moves ahead of history. Perhaps the earth will vanish and the earth will burn out, as Allen says, but until then … we’ll see. The worst mistake anyone can make is Assad’s: to assume you can write the ending, when in fact you can’t.

    When you’re cutting over from a replacement system you’re convinced was programmed by it idiots, it pays to do it by phases or at least keeping the old server on standby so you can fall back on it in case your genius new system crashes and burns.

    What is generally inadvisable is to have the old system carted away to the shredder before irrevocably switching to your new, untested code. Yet to a certain extent, this is what the supersmart Obama administration did. They deconstructed the old order, so sure were they in the excellence of its replacement. They were sure it would work. Maybe eventually it would have worked.

    But it better work now, because it’s all they have.

    Read more: http://pjmedia.com/richardfernandez/2015/05/25/faith-of-our-fathers/#ixzz3bAFRhNad

  6. Here is a Fax I put together:
    VOTE NO!
    TPP = Death of Working Middle Class America
    The anticipated net outsource of labor income sure to come from the TPP agreement is likely to be similar in results as past global renditions initiated with NAFTA. Other areas in Americans’ lives will also be affected or threatened, from food safety standards, to the environment, to increases in the already astronomical cost of drugs, to the protection of rights and sovereignty that we’ve inherited from the sacrifice of past generations.
    Do Not Betray Your Electorate for the Banksters!
    The Voters WILL Remember!

    Parts taken from: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-05-24/another-decapitator-chief-americas-working-class

  7. What sense does it make to trap Iran in a corner then give them a bomb? Especially since the Saudis (will be) buying their own nuke in turn?
    ———
    It makes perfect sense to Obama.

    The word for it is Obamasense.

    Here is what Obamasense looks like:

    HE (The big media beloved messiah–who else?) makes choices that are impossible to either understand or explain. These are not the errors of the poor dope who can’t grasp the essentials of a situation, or the neurotic who ruins things out of compulsion, or the man suffering chronic bad luck.

    HE (The big media beloved messiah) has a genius for discovering solutions at perfect right angles to the ordinary world. It’s as if he’s the product of a totally different evolutionary chain, in a universe where the laws are slightly but distinctly at variance to ours. When given a choice between left and right, the flake goes up — if not through the 8th dimension. And although there’s plenty of rationalization, there’s never a logical reason for any of it. After awhile, people stop asking.

    HIS (The big media beloved messiah’s) rise has been widely portrayed (by big media, who else?) as a kind of millennial Horatio Alger story — young lad from a new state on the outskirts of the American polity, a member of once-despised minority, works his way by slow degrees to within arm’s length of the presidency itself. That’s all well and good — we need national myths of exactly that type.

    But what has been overlooked is the string of faux pas marking each step of Obama’s journey, a series of strange, inexplicable actions, actions bizarre enough to require some effort at explanation, through such efforts have rarely been offered. It’s as if the new Horatio made it to the top by stepping into every last manhole and open trapdoor in his path. And we, the onlookers, the voters who are being asked to put this man in the White House, are supposed to take this as the normal career path for a successful chief executive.

    (See: the 2008 article which profiled him to perfection, and foretold the unmitigated disaster he has turned out to be. Sort of refutes Dana Bash’s contention that over the course of time it has become obvious that his lack of experience is a tetch of a problem. It was right there in black and white, big media knew it at the time, and they decided to perpetrate the big lie to get him elected. There is no other explanation for their malfeasance.)

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/08/the_odd_choices_in_barack_obam.html#ixzz3bAaiU3tq)

  8. Lu4PUMA
    May 25, 2015 at 12:46 pm
    Here is a Fax I put together:
    VOTE NO!
    ——
    Very nice.

    And you might add: The political question is clear. Which is more important to you: the money the banksters will slip in your pocket for when no one is looking? Or the vendetta which your constituents will extract from you at the polls, if you vote for this bill. They are not the fools you play them for. They know as well as you that this bill will adversely affect their economic survival. Don’t waste our time with sermons on the benefits of free trade. Look at the impacts. Since passage of NAFTA, and MFN, 55,000 American Manufacturing companies have gone out of business, and 7 million Americans and their families have been displaced. Today we have 93 million of Americans of working age who are not working. Forget this global model nonsense. Focus on the welfare of your constituents. You took an oath to protect their interests. That is why you are in congress. If you support this bill, then you will be breaking that oath. In that case, you will find that your own economic survival is at risk. Yes, the bankers have money. But the question you must ask yourself is how many votes do the banksters have?

  9. Which is more important to you: the money the banksters will slip in your pocket for when no one is looking?

    Let’s not pretend that extortion/corruption/pay for play is somehow a one-sided affair. Your question could just as accurately be rephrase:

    Which is more important to you: the money the unions will slip in your pocket for when no one is looking?

    There are no angels in Washington. They all know they can raise their asking prices in direct proportion to the heat of the rhetoric and the closeness of the vote.

  10. hwc
    May 25, 2015 at 1:39 pm
    ———-
    I have been dancing with myself for a while.

    I am glad the last comment drew you out of the bat cave.

    By the way, I know that Texas relies on exports.

    Surely you are not suggesting that without NAFTA exporting would dry up.

    Surely you are not suggesting that the current volume of exports go to TPA signatories.

    Surely you are not suggesting that the only ones who have a vested interest in protecting the wages of American citizens are the unions.

    OMG–that IS what you are suggesting.

    That dog won’t hunt.

  11. holdthemaccountable
    May 25, 2015 at 1:52 pm
    This post is such a really nice blend of fact and emotion.
    ——-
    Far be it from me to quote that lounge lizard Robert De Niro (sic. dinero $).

    However.

    He did tell the graduating class at Columbia that when emotion tells you go, and facts tell you don’t go, go with emotions.

    I can think of no better example than the co-ed who claimed she was raped, and carried around a mattress to prove it.

    Many liberals lined up and told her how brave she was to stand up to the patriarchy.

    Only one problem: it was a complete lie.

    That being the case, you will be happy to know that the accused is suing the university for promoting this thing.

    Okay. I admit it. Like Frank Capra, I love a happy ending.

  12. Surely you aren’t suggesting that, without NAFTA, America would not have lost any of those 55,000 manufacturing plants? 🙂

    As for Texas trade: The TPP countries account for 41% of total US foreign trade. It’s a huge chunk. With Mexico and Canada as the two largest TPP partner countries, I would guess of the top of my head that TPP is probably MORE than 41% of Texas foreign trade.

    Australia
    Brunei
    Canada
    Chile
    Japan
    Malaysia
    Mexico
    New Zealand
    Peru
    Singapore
    Vietnam

    I think we already have bilateral free trade agreements with all but a few of these countries. The new countries not currently covered by free trade agreements with the US are Vietnam, New Zealand, Malaysia, Japan, Brunei.

  13. Surely you aren’t suggesting that, without NAFTA, America would not have lost any of those 55,000 manufacturing plants?
    ———–
    Oh but I am.

    And the worst part of it is they went first to Mexico and from there to China.

    This was a make it or break it issue at the time this nation was established.

    Britain wanted free trade.

    Hamilton realized this was a trap, and opted for economic nationalism.

    The dim wits always say economic nationalism = protectionism = Smoot Hawley = depression.

    Bullshit.

    I say fair trade, not free trade.

    Free trade under this bill will produce a race to the bottom.

    That great sucking sound Perot talked about.

  14. hwc
    May 25, 2015 at 2:49 pm
    ——-
    Those statistics cut no ice with me.

    The question is this:

    Would you bet your job that this bill will produce more job gains than job losses?

    You would be a fool to do so.

    I say that for 93 million reasons.

    We are in a depression.

    This will only make it worse.

  15. And the worst part of it is they went first to Mexico and from there to China

    The companies I worked for at the time shifted much of their production to Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Hong Kong/China before Clinton was elected and long before NAFTA. The shift to Asian manufacturing was essentially completed long before NAFTA. If anything, NAFTA was part of a trend manufacturing back to North America as Sony, as one example, started assembling large TVs in Mexico.

    You are giving government and government trade agreements far too much credit for influencing underlying economic forces. You could see the unstoppable economics when Japan lost its potent manufacturing base to SE Asia, just as the US did. I doubt that Sony or Panasonic build any tv or computer monitors in Japan now. Generally, economies like Western Europe, the US, and Japan manufacture high end, value added, R&D intensive products. Commodity products go where labor and compliance with lax government regulation makes for cheaper costs.

    Restrictive trade tariffs simply lead to inefficiencies: higher consumer prices and uncompetitive manufacturing companies that result from restrained competition.

  16. Would you bet your job that this bill will produce more job gains than job losses?

    How would you ever know against a backdrop of government new regulations that are killing jobs faster than anyone could possibly create them? Oh, wait…. I forgot about all the new jobs added by Solyndra…

  17. The TPP is not a trade bill. It is a power grab. The intent is to disempower the populous.

    For instance:

    “The TPP would empower companies from New Zealand, Australia and Japan with new rights to attack our federal and local laws,” said Patrick Woodall, Research director and senior policy advocate for Food & Water Watch, in a statement released Thursday. “For example, one natural gas company has already challenged a fracking moratorium in the Canadian province of Quebec under NAFTA’s investment provisions.”

    Woodall added, “These corporate lawsuits have a chilling effect on communities that want to protect their citizenry but lack the resources to defend against a colossal corporate lawsuit, including the more than 250 localities (including New York state) that have banned or imposed moratoriums on fracking.”

    http://www.commondreams.org/news/2015/03/26/tpp-vs-democracy-leaked-draft-secretive-trade-deal-spells-out-plan-corporate-power

  18. And More

    How could foreign corporations attack domestic health, environmental and financial protections that local companies have to follow? The TPP would give foreign firms special privileges, including the ability to challenge new policies – from Wall Street regulations to climate change protections – because they frustrated the corporations’ “expectations.”

    The TPP would also grant these privileges to U.S. firms that offshore American jobs. The deal’s special protections for foreign corporations would eliminate many of the usual risks that make firms think twice about moving to low-wage countries, incentivizing a new wave of offshoring

    http://www.citizen.org/tppinvestment

  19. And More

    Now we’re worrying about Corporate Statehood.

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) threatens to topple the laws and regulations that protect the food we eat, air we breathe and jobs we work. Under the proposed deal, multinational companies just have to demonstrate a threat to their “expected future profits” from laws and regulations in order to bypass our court systems and directly sue national governments in private international tribunals that are accountable to no one. It’ll enable big business to challenge increases in the minimum wage, on-the-job protections, environmental regulations, consumer safety laws and more. This corporate power, taken from sovereign nations, is called investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS.

    Yikes.

    02_Money_in_Politics CWA members protesting big money in politics.

    The Supreme Court’s disastrous 2010 Citizens United decision, which granted corporations the same rights as people and opened the floodgates to unchecked corporate political spending, has a lot to do with how we got here.

    For instance, members of the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Intellectual Property Rights are among a handful of people who can actually read and comment on the draft text of the trade agreement. Members of Congress, journalists, labor representatives, environmentalists and others have not been allowed to see the 2,000-plus-page agreement. Membership in the committee is coveted and partly based on recommendations made from members of Congress. Coincidentally, it is entirely comprised of business and industry groups who are top political donors. A MapLight analysis found that the organizations represented on ITAC gave nearly $24 million to lawmakers between 2003 and 2012. They’ve also given a combined $758,295 to lawmakers sponsoring Fast Track legislation, which would speed trade deals like the TPP through Congress without debate or any opportunities for amendments.

    In summary: Corporations that can directly benefit from the TPP are the exact same businesses that can now contribute unlimited sums of money thanks to Citizens United. And they’ve used those political war chests to lobby for a trade deal that will help them make even more money and give them new powers.

    Read more at: http://www.cwa-union.org/news/entry/stopping_another_corporate_power_grab/

  20. What most people are missing is that Globalization is a failure on a world scale. Income inequality has increased throughout the world and World Powers are empire building. Financially, they have inflated assets to ridiculous levels and have an unsustainable system consisting of bubbles that pop. They have found ways to delay the pop, but that will just make them worse when they happen. The biggest pop in all recorded history is in progress with China.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/03/31/chinas-stock-market-sure-looks-like-a-bubble/

    The TPP is all about more sacrifices of the populous to the fail globalization system of Tyrants and Empires. Failed leadership on a global scale. They will sacrifice our health, safety and wealth to keep their system going as long as they can.

    If you think there is anything in it for anyone besides the Banksters, you are a chump.

  21. The agitprop of the Bolshevik era provides a distant mirror of what Obama is doing—from controlling the press, to producing political theater, to monitoring school lunches, to armies of revolutionaries. There is nothing new under the sun.
    ——-
    Agitprop (/ˈædʒɨtprɒp/; from Russian: агитпроп [ɐɡʲɪtˈprop], derived from agitation and propaganda)[1] is stage plays, pamphlets, motion pictures and other art forms with an explicitly political message.

    The term agitprop originated in the Russian SFSR (which later joined the Soviet Union), as a shortened form of отдел агитации и пропаганды (otdel agitatsii i propagandy), i.e., Department for Agitation and Propaganda, which was part of the Central and regional committees of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. The department was later renamed Ideological Department.

    In the case of agitprop, the ideas to be disseminated were those of communism, including explanations of the policy of the Communist Party and the Soviet state. In other contexts, propaganda could mean dissemination of any kind of beneficial knowledge, e.g., of new methods in agriculture. Agitation meant urging people to do what Soviet leaders expected them to do; again, at various levels. In other words, propaganda was supposed to act on the mind, while agitation acted on emotions, although both usually went together, thus giving rise to the cliché [according to whom?] “propaganda and agitation”.

    The term agitprop gave rise to agitprop theatre, a highly politicized leftist theatre originated in 1920s Europe and spread to America; the plays of Bertolt Brecht being a notable example.[2] Russian agitprop theater was noted for its cardboard characters of perfect virtue and complete evil, and its coarse ridicule.[3] Gradually the term agitprop came to describe any kind of highly politicized art.

    In the Western world, agitprop often has a negative connotation.

    After the October Revolution of 1917, an agitprop train toured the country, with artists and actors performing simple plays and broadcasting propaganda.[4] It had a printing press on board the train to allow posters to be reproduced and thrown out of the windows if it passed through villages.[5]

    During Russian Civil War agitprop took various forms:

    Bolshevik Propaganda Train

    Censorship of the Press: Bolshevik strategy from the beginning was to introduce censorship over the primary medium of information in the former Russian Empire in 1917 , the newspaper.[6] The Provisional Government born out of the March Revolution against the tsarist regime, abolished the age old practice of censoring the press. This created free newspapers that survived on their own revenue. The Bolsheviks power over the Provisional Government lay in the Petrograd Soviet of Workers’ and Soldiers’ Deputies, because they could shut down industry and government by calling in workers and soldiers to strike and demonstrate. This ability to orchestrate strikes was especially helpful in the newspaper printing factories because a strike would mean a large loss in revenue, and the inability to continue to operate. The capability of strikes allowed the Bolsheviks to shut down any newspaper it wanted, creating a highly effective censorship mechanism that put a stop to the voice of the opposition. Lenin took control of the socialist newspaper Pravda, making it an outlet to spread Bolshevik agitprop, articles, and other media. With the Bolshevik capability to censor and shut down newspapers of opposing or rival factions, Pravda was able to become the dominate source of written information for the population in regions controlled by the Red Army .[7]

    Oral-Agitation Networks: The Bolshevik leadership understood that to build a lasting regime, they would need to win the support of the mass population of Russian peasants. To do this, Lenin organized a Communist party that attracted demobilized soldiers and others to become indoctrinated in Bolshevik ideology, dressed up in uniforms and sent to travel the countryside as agitators to the peasants.[8] The oral-agitation networks established a presence in the isolated rural areas of Russia, expanding Communist power.

  22. A MapLight analysis found that the organizations represented on ITAC gave nearly $24 million to lawmakers between 2003 and 2012. They’ve also given a combined $758,295 to lawmakers sponsoring Fast Track legislation, which would speed trade deals like the TPP through Congress without debate or any opportunities for amendments.

    MapLight also shows that labor unions gave $44 million to congress members and congressional PACs in the 2014 election cycle alone.

    http://maplight.org/us-congress/contributions?s=1&office_party=Senate%2CHouse%2CDemocrat%2CRepublican%2CIndependent&election=2014&business_sector=Labor&business_industry=any&source=All

    Let’s not pretend that the votes against trade deals aren’t bought and paid for just like any other vote.

  23. But enough bickering. Back on topic, what is Secretary Clinton’s position on the Trade Promotion Authority and the Trans Pacific Partnership?

    Here’s what she said in Australia while Secretary of State:

    We’re on the right path. Since the U.S.-Australia Free Trade Agreement entered into force seven years ago, bilateral trade and investment between our countries has steadily increased, and we’re very proud to be Australia’s third largest trade partner and your leading investment partner. Now, sometimes it may not always be reflected in the press, but American investment is the biggest source of investment in Australia.

    American firms have $136 billion in direct investment in Australia ranging across many industries, including Chevron’s gas projects off the cost of Western Australia, and I heard a lot about that in Perth yesterday, or the IBM data centers across Australia, or Boeing, GE, Citigroup, Exxon Mobile, dozens of other American companies whose names I have seen both here in Adelaide and in Perth and of course in Melbourne and Sydney and Canberra on previous visits.

    Australia is also a growing market for growing exports even as we welcome more trade from you. In fact, our exports to Australia jumped more than 40 percent between 2009 and 2011 raising from under 20 billion to more than 27 billion, and in the first nine months of this year, they’re up another 20 percent. President Obama set a goal of doubling U.S. exports within five years, and we’ve seen extraordinary progress in our relationship with Australia.

    So it’s fair to say that our economies are entwined, and we need to keep upping our game both bilaterally and with partners across the region through agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership or TPP. Australia is a critical partner. This TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field. And when negotiated, this agreement will cover 40 percent of the world’s total trade and build in strong protections for workers and the environment.

  24. For reference, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama opposed the Columbian Free Trade Agreement being negotiated during the 2008 campaign:

    http://articles.latimes.com/2008/apr/09/nation/na-penn9

    Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton pledged Tuesday to defeat a free-trade agreement with Colombia, even as her presidential campaign was kept on the defensive by disclosures related to the proposed pact.

    Her camp acknowledged reports that Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, supports the deal with Colombia. The New York senator’s campaign also was hit by another call for the outright ouster of longtime aide Mark Penn.

    Penn was demoted last weekend from his job as the campaign’s chief strategist over his business contact with the Colombian government in his role as head of the public relations firm Burson-Marsteller.

    Speaking about the Colombia trade deal at a Washington meeting of the Communications Workers of America union, Clinton proclaimed: “As I have said for months, I oppose the deal. I have spoken out against the deal, I will vote against the deal, and I will do everything I can to urge the Congress to reject the Colombia Free Trade Agreement.”

    Her Democratic rival, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, spoke to union members moments after Clinton left the stage, saying that he also is against the treaty, which President Bush sent to Congress on Monday. Obama said he opposed the pact “because when organizing workers puts an organizer’s life at risk, as it does in Colombia, it makes a mockery of our labor protections.”

    Apparently both Sec Clinton and President Obama changed their minds. As Secretary of State, Clinton praised the Columbian Free Trade Agreement. Obama finalized the negotiations, got the agreement passed in Congress, and signed it into law in 2012.

    http://www.ibtimes.com/colombian-oil-money-flowed-clintons-state-department-took-no-action-prevent-labor-1874464

    Yet as union leaders and human rights activists conveyed these harrowing reports of violence to then-Secretary of State Clinton in late 2011, urging her to pressure the Colombian government to protect labor organizers, she responded first with silence, these organizers say. The State Department publicly praised Colombia’s progress on human rights, thereby permitting hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. aid to flow to the same Colombian military that labor activists say helped intimidate workers.

    At the same time that Clinton’s State Department was lauding Colombia’s human rights record, her family was forging a financial relationship with Pacific Rubiales, the sprawling Canadian petroleum company at the center of Colombia’s labor strife. The Clintons were also developing commercial ties with the oil giant’s founder, Canadian financier Frank Giustra, who now occupies a seat on the board of the Clinton Foundation, the family’s global philanthropic empire.

    The details of these financial dealings remain murky, but this much is clear: After millions of dollars were pledged by the oil company to the Clinton Foundation — supplemented by millions more from Giustra himself — Secretary Clinton abruptly changed her position on the controversial U.S.-Colombia trade pact. Having opposed the deal as a bad one for labor rights back when she was a presidential candidate in 2008, she now promoted it, calling it “strongly in the interests of both Colombia and the United States.” The change of heart by Clinton and other Democratic leaders enabled congressional passage of a Colombia trade deal that experts say delivered big benefits to foreign investors like Giustra.

    As I try to decide who to vote for in 2016, I’m inclined to vote for a candidate who supports free trade agreemments. Can any of you shed some more light on Clinton’s position? As far as I can tell, the only candidates on the record in opposition to the TPP are Rand Paul, Warren, Sanders, and O’Malley.

  25. hwc
    May 25, 2015 at 6:27 pm
    ———-
    You are blind to the dangers imposed by this trade agreement.

    They lie not only in the area of economics but also in the area of law.

    And you have not refuted the contentions of those who object.

    You close your eyes and pretend they do not exist.

    You are kind of a Grover Norquist type–open borders, free trade etc., and no middle class.

    There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

  26. As I try to decide who to vote for in 2016, I’m inclined to vote for a candidate who supports free trade agreemments.
    ————
    Wunderbar.

    You have been very thorough.

    Would it be too much to ask you to prepare a spread sheet on the subject?

    On the x axis you could break down trade into its sub components.

    On the y axis you could list the declared candidates and the potential candidates.

    You could assign a number from 1 to 10. (Note: 1 would be protectionist, 10 would be give our country away to the third world)

    Since safety, unemployment and sovereignty are not part of your analysis, feel free to ignore them.

    Once you have that work product prepared, make sure you get it notarized.

    After you have done that work, you can take heart in the fact that someone who has done no research can cancel out your vote.

  27. I have followed Drudge for many years, just as the rest of you have. He is the greatest threat big media has to contend with. And they know it. By presenting a marketplace of ideas, rather than a straight top down set of talking points from Obama, he shatters the illusion that they are journalists. To Tapper’s earlier point, it materially misleading to assert as he does that journalism is in a bad place. Journalism is just fine thank you–for those who practice it. But that does not include big media. So if it is their condition that he is really talking about, then the reason they are not trusted is because they censor and distort the truth in ways that are now obvious to everyone. They give us no options. We must accept what they say if we hope to be in the mainstream of political discussion.By contrast, Drudge makes no demand that we think a certain way. He has more respect for our intelligence. He gives us multiple view points and lets us decide. And where, as here, he he opines, I find nothing which I do not endorse and totally agree with. By the way, Lu, thanks for staying on top of this issue. You are on the money.
    ————–

    By Kellan Howell – The Washington Times – Saturday, May 23, 2015

    Media giant Matt Drudge blasted Republican leadership on Twitter Friday night after the GOP-led Senate approved a new free trade bill.

    “Twisted DC: Electing Republicans is guarantee of MORE powers for Obama… of course none of them read ‘secret’ bill!” Mr. Drudge tweeted.

    The Drudge Report founder slammed House Speaker John Boehner who expressed support for the bill after the Pacific trade bill passed the Senate.

    SEE ALSO: Obama’s prestige rests with wary House after big win from Senate on trade authority

    “Disrespect for voters is staggering. Boehner will not make public ‘most important’ trade deal in history? Hides behind ‘classified’ status..,” Mr. Drudge tweeted.

    “BOEHNER: We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it…,” another tweet reads.

    Calling it the “night of the Republican suicide,” Mr. Drudge said a GOP loss in 2016 could be “traced to tonight’s trade deception.”

    The Senate voted 62-37 Friday to endorse the president’s request for more negotiation authority. The bill would let Mr. Obama present trade agreements that Congress can either ratify or reject, but not change.

    Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/may/23/matt-drudge-rips-gop-leadership-night-of-the-repub/#ixzz3bFjJtCLY
    Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

  28. I don’t believe there are any protectionists on the Republican side. Rand Paul is a supporter of eliminating trade barriers. He voted against fast-track authority on constitutional grounds, not wanting to hand increased power to Barack Obama. That is certainly a logical concern.

    He has strongly supported prior free trade agreements and encouraged Obama to hurry up and get the TPP done, so I would expect him to be a supporter of the underlying trade bill.

    So, as far as I can tell, all of the Republican candidates would be yes votes on the final TPP treaty, unless it comes in with some unusual language.

    Generally, speaking they want to get the economy going by making it easier to do business in the United States. Part of that is making it easier to export goods and services, simplify regulatory compliance, reduce tariffs and taxes, etc.

    ———–

    On the Dem side, I assume that Warren, Sanders, and O’Malley would all buck their party’s leadership and vote against the TPP deal. Presumably, they would do so as “protectionists”, but those of you who support their position would be better explaining their logic than I could.

    As for Hillary, you tell me. It appears that she was for free trade before she was against it before she was for it again and before she is now not sure and taking a wait and see approach. She supported TPP as SecState, but now has declined to take a position either for or against the fast-track authority or the TPP. I suspect her position could depend on whether or not she’s wrapped up the nomination when TPP is finalized.

  29. Democratic Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders suggests 90% top tax rate:

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/102694365

    SANDERS: Sorry, you’re all going to have to pay your fair share of taxes. If my memory is correct, when radical socialist Dwight D. Eisenhower was president, the highest marginal tax rate was something like 90 percent.

    HARWOOD: When you think about 90 percent, you don’t think that’s obviously too high?

    SANDERS: No. That’s not 90 percent of your income, you know? That’s the marginal.

    France tried a 75% top tax rate in 2012 and had to quickly abandon it as it drove high income earners out of the country and threatened to lower tax revenues.

    What happens to jobs with these kinds of tax rates?

  30. But wait, there’s more:

    You don’t necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different pairs of sneakers when children are hungry in this country.

    I’m not sure exactly what Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is suggesting here. It sounds like he thinks there should be some kind of central planning apparatus (Department of Commerce?) that should decide which deodorant and which style of sneakers we should all use and be legal for sale in the United States.

    But, the Republicans are the ones with “extreme” views…

  31. Do any of you long term Big Pinkers remember a time when we used to come to this site as a safe haven, not to worship or even agree with everything Hillary said or did but to have discussions without an agenda and to get away from the Republican and far left media who spewed… Hillary is guilty by association, Hillary is guilty by innuendo and just plain old Hillary is guilty, guilty, guilty of everything you could think of?

    Do you ever feel discussed these days and begin to get the feeling that you might as well watch FOX NEWS? At least you know FOX hates Hillary and they don’t try to pussy foot around trying to PRETEND they just have little “honest” questions about her while hiding their real agenda.

  32. Southern Born
    May 26, 2015 at 11:43 am

    ———
    In other words, do I miss the blog before hwc has run a muck with his endless posting showing he doesn’t agree with much of Hillaryis44 or anyone on this blog?

    When he doesn’t get enough attention, he types in all bold for his own thoughts and now puts them in a pink box.

    He doesn’t get enough attention because most of us are done with his antics.

  33. wbboei
    May 26, 2015 at 11:54 am

    Okay. I am with the rest of you now. I will no longer feed the troll.

    ———
    Hallelujah Wbbs, I would give you a big hug if I lived in Seattle.

  34. Southern Born
    May 26, 2015 at 11:43 am
    ———
    I try to differentiate between people who dislike Hillary for personal reasons vs. those who do not want Obama III.

    I find it easier to debate the first group than the second.

    The reason I say that is because Obama has ruined the country, and Hillary appears to agree with everything he says and does.

    So how do you defend that?

    It was much easier in 2008 because she had an agenda that made sense.

    Today, it gets back to the old admonition: never defend an indefensible position.

    FOX News has nothing to do with it.

    You know, at some point some of this is self inflicted by Hillary.

    Yes they pile on, but why give them an opening?

  35. Calling it the “night of the Republican suicide,” Mr. Drudge said a GOP loss in 2016 could be “traced to tonight’s trade deception.”

    The Senate voted 62-37 Friday to endorse the president’s request for more negotiation authority. The bill would let Mr. Obama present trade agreements that Congress can either ratify or reject, but not change.
    ——
    I would call this kristallnacht conducted by the dirty fucking RINO against the base of his party.

    On an infinitely more positive note, I see where the geriatric RINO from Mississippi is marrying the staffer he swore he never had an affair with. Obviously, they are saving themselves for marriage, and rumors of drunken orgies are figments of tea party imagination. We see so little of this kind of moral rectitude today, therefore it is cause for celebration that these two young people have taken the high road on fidelity. The senator in question has always been a godly man, except his god is that fat ass Haley Barbour.

  36. Wbb, I hear what you are saying. “…and Hillary appears to agree with everything [Obama] says and does.” The key word is APPEARS. I’m waiting to see what Hillary will do when or if she gets the nomination. Right now I think she is in a tough position and is forced to walk a fine chalk line by her own party if she wants to win. We shall all see in the next months. I’m not ready to pile on and abandon her.

    As for FOX, they would pile on and attack Hillary even if she were saying the same things she did in 2008. Even if Hillary held a press conference this afternoon and said that BO is a lying, stinking rat who can’t be trusted by anyone and then started spouting the Republican party agenda, she would still be attacked.

  37. “On an infinitely more positive note, I see where the geriatric RINO from Mississippi is marrying the staffer he swore he never had an affair with. Obviously, they are saving themselves for marriage, and rumors of drunken orgies are figments of tea party imagination. We see so little of this kind of moral rectitude today, therefore it is cause for celebration that these two young people have taken the high road on fidelity. The senator in question has always been a godly man, except his god is that fat ass Haley Barbour.”
    _______________

    Could it be that those were daily Bible readings and just mistaken for orgies? 😉

  38. Could it be that those were daily Bible readings and just mistaken for orgies? 😉
    ———
    As I understand it, they were reading the Book of Exodus, and were re-enacting the golden calf orgy which Moses beheld when he descended from the Mountain with the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments. The Senator can be forgiven for his excessive zeal. At least I can forgive him for that. Whether his wife and his bum ticker will forgive him is another story. I wonder how the law in Missippi treats bigamy. Since that is not a state with a strong Mormon tradition, it may be frowned upon. In any event, someone needs to caution that old crustacean that whether shaken or stirred, vodka/coumadin/viagra are a potentially lethal cocktail. No bartender worth his salt would recommend it–except, perhaps, to a RINO.

  39. I don’t really begrudge a 77 year old geezer marrying his 77 year old girlfriend. His wife had been in a nursing home with Alzheimer’s for 16 years before she passed away last winter. To be honest, it sounds like the sort of thing that’s none of my business.

    I’ve heard of more sordid office liaisons than that in Washington.

  40. Well, hwc, if you have heard of more sordid office liaisons in Washington, please share and provide a little amusement.

  41. Senator Thad Cochran came into irreversible notoriety when McConnell gave 50K to a PAC which proceeded to smear sure winner young Conservative Chris McDaniel in a Mississippi runoff election last year.

    Other contributors according to Senate Conservative Fund, were Sen Bob Corker 30K sen rob portman 25K Orrin Hatch 25K Senator Burr 20K Roy Blunt 5K & Crapo.more

    People’s choice Chris McDaniel would have been clear winner had Mitch not decided to save the geezer’s hide largely through racist accusations.

    Thad assumed office December 27, 1978 and due to the GOP save, still maintain Chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations.

    There was a helluva twitter uproar at the time of the runoff, and the hashtag Remember Mississippi serves as a reminder.

  42. Appeals court refuses to lift hold on Obama immigration action

    —That’s good news Hold’um

  43. Southern Born
    May 26, 2015 at 12:32 pm
    Wbb, I hear what you are saying. “…and Hillary appears to agree with everything [Obama] says and does.” The key word is APPEARS. I’m waiting to see what Hillary will do when or if she gets the nomination. Right now I think she is in a tough position and is forced to walk a fine chalk line by her own party if she wants to win. We shall all see in the next months. I’m not ready to pile on and abandon her.

    As for FOX, they would pile on and attack Hillary even if she were saying the same things she did in 2008. Even if Hillary held a press conference this afternoon and said that BO is a lying, stinking rat who can’t be trusted by anyone and then started spouting the Republican party agenda, she would still be attacked.
    ____________

    Hold’em, you took out your hammer and nailed it! Spot on!

    HWC, if in saying “I don’t think you guys really want to go down that road”, you’re referring to the BJ in the WH… Please! Grow up and get over yourself.

    I’ll bet Trent did a wonderful job with the wedding vows. His biggest talent is repeating words others have told him to say

  44. Shadowfax
    May 26, 2015 at 11:56 am
    Southern Born
    May 26, 2015 at 11:43 am

    ———
    In other words, do I miss the blog before hwc has run a muck with his endless posting showing he doesn’t agree with much of Hillaryis44 or anyone on this blog?

    When he doesn’t get enough attention, he types in all bold for his own thoughts and now puts them in a pink box.

    He doesn’t get enough attention because most of us are done with his antics.
    __________

    Amen.

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