Thursday, May 14, 2015

Last Call For Fast Track Back, Jack

Oh look, the Senate passed fast track authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement anyhow.

The U.S. Senate advanced a measure allowing President Barack Obama to expedite approval of trade agreements, a bill with bipartisan support in that chamber that may run into strong opposition from House Democrats. 
The 65-33 vote Thursday followed separate votes sought by Democrats to pass proposals curbing currency manipulation and boosting imports from sub-Saharan Africa. The Senate plans to consider amendments to the fast-track trade proposal next week. 
A rebellion Tuesday among Senate Democrats seeking the currency provision previews what may be fiercer battle ahead between Democrats and House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican. 
“There’s a broad feeling we have to do something against China” on currency manipulation, New York Senator Charles Schumer, the chamber’s third-ranking Democrat, told reporters before the vote on advancing the trade bill. He called the currency measure “a shot across China’s bow that we’re not going to just sit there and do nothing.” 
The fast-track bill would allow Obama to submit trade agreements to Congress for an up-or-down vote without amendments. He hopes to complete a 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership and send it for fast-track approval.

So after all the "name calling" and the fighting and the "Democrats in disarray" and the "Obama suffers stinging rebuke" fast track authority passed.  There will be amendments, and sure, the deal could still die in the House or in negotiations, especially with the currency manipulation provision, should it pass.

But 48 hours ago, it was "Senator Warren stops Obama's bad trade deal!"

No, she didn't.

President Obama wins, and nobody cares.

Funny how this works, huh?

Voice Of Iron, Feet Of Clay

Never forget that your heroes will always have very mortal flaws.

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, the outspoken, populist Democrat who thunders against Wall Street fat cats,and used to to joke about Mitt Romney's low tax bill, incorporated a couple hedge funds in the Cayman Islands so investors could avoid taxes. 
Grayson Fund Ltd. and Grayson Master Fund were incorporated in 2011 in the Cayman Islands, a well known tax Haven that Romney used as well, records show.. That was the same year he wrote in the Huffington Post that the IRS should audit every Fortune 500 company because so many appear to be "evading taxes through transfer pricing and offshore tax havens." 
In a phone interview Wednesday, Grayson said the funds were incorporated in Grand Cayman at the advice of an attorney he declined to name. It was a vehicle for foreign investors to invest in his funds while limiting their tax liabilities, he said, but no money had been invested in them yet. 
"There are no investors in those funds or that fund as the case may be," said Grayson, who said he thought only one fund was incorporated in the Caymans. 
"When I set up my investment funds I set it up like everyone else," Grayson said, complaining about the Tampa Bay Times looking for "some stupid, bull---- story. ... You want to write sh-- about it, and you can't because not a single dollar of taxes has been avoided," he snapped. 
Grayson's financial disclosure statements indicate he has between $5-million and $25-million invested in the Grayson fund, and he lists no income from it.

Sure Alan.  Not a single dollar.

Problem Child

Jeb Bush will never be able to escape the sins of his older brother, as a college student in Nevada displayed for all the world to see.

She added: “Your brother created ISIS.” 
Mr. Bush interjected. “All right. Is that a question?” 
Ms. Ziedrich was not finished. “You don’t need to be pedantic to me, sir.” 
“Pedantic? Wow,” Mr. Bush replied. 
Then Ms. Ziedrich asked: “Why are you saying that ISIS was created by us not having a presence in the Middle East when it’s pointless wars where we send young American men to die for the idea of American exceptionalism? Why are you spouting nationalist rhetoric to get us involved in more wars?” 
Mr. Bush replied: “We respectfully disagree. We have a disagreement. When we left Iraq, security had been arranged, Al Qaeda had been taken out. There was a fragile system that could have been brought up to eliminate the sectarian violence.” 
He added: “And we had an agreement that the president could have signed that would have kept 10,000 troops, less than we have in Korea, could have created the stability that would have allowed for Iraq to progress. The result was the opposite occurred. Immediately, that void was filled.” 
He concluded: “Look, you can rewrite history all you want. But the simple fact is that we are in a much more unstable place because American pulled back.” 
Mr. Bush turned away. The conversation was over.

And so, I might add, are his prospects of winning in November 2016.

Then again, at least 60 million American voters will buy that fantasy and vote for whomever the GOP candidate is...


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