Progressive groups are sure to be fuming over the agreement among congressional leaders on approving “fast track” authority:
In what is sure to be one of the toughest fights of Mr. Obama’s last 19 months in office, the “fast track” bill allowing the White House to pursue its planned Pacific trade deal also heralds a divisive fight within the Democratic Party, one that could spill into the 2016 presidential campaign.
With committee votes planned next week, liberal senators such as Sherrod Brown of Ohio are demanding to know Hillary Rodham Clinton’s position on the bill to give the president so-called trade promotion authority, or T.P.A.
“NAFTA on steroids” may have bipartisan support, but the secret trade agreement — congressional staff must have security clearances to view the draft trade pact text — also “enjoys” bipartisan opposition. A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll in January showed Americans were in no hurry to expand trade: “59% said it could be delayed until next year and 16% said it shouldn’t be pursued at all.” Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, said in a press release yesterday, “Congress is being asked to delegate away its constitutional trade authority over the TPP, even after the administration ignored bicameral, bipartisan demands about the agreement’s terms, and then also grant blank-check authority to whomever may be the next president for any agreements he or she may pursue.”
What’d I miss in Asheville this week?
“The populists capture the Democratic Party,” declares the headline on Dana Milbank’s Washington Post column. “Can Hillary Clinton manage those rowdy populists?” asks Katrina vanden Huevel.
Well, not so fast. The big split to be managed soon is over a Senate resolution to give the president “fast track” trade authority for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. Milbank writes:
Twenty years ago, half of Senate Democrats and 40 percent of House Democrats voted for the North American Free Trade Agreement. This time, even if Sen. Ron Wyden (Ore.), top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, signs off on a fast-track deal, proponents say a best-case scenario has them winning only 10 of the 46 Democrats — and an even smaller percentage of House Democrats, despite aggressive lobbying by the usually passive White House.
Progressive Senators and Representatives from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA) to Rep. Alan Grayson (FL), alongside labor leaders, may have staged a protest outside the Capitol yesterday, but the Obama administration has so far not flinched on supporting TPP. Milbank’s headline writer may have jumped the gun.
Former Clinton Labor Secretary Robert Reich isn’t worried about Hillary Clinton’s values or ideals. “I’ve known her since she was 19 years old,” he writes, “and have no doubt where her heart is. For her entire career she’s been deeply committed to equal opportunity and upward mobility.” The question Reich poses is: Will she fight?
If she talks about what’s really going on and what must be done about it, she can arouse the Democratic base as well as millions of Independents and even Republicans who have concluded, with reason, that the game is rigged against them.
The question is not her values and ideals. It’s her willingness to be bold and to fight, at a time when average working people need a president who will fight for them more than they’ve needed such a president in living memory.
Hillary Clinton gave a nod to the vocal and enthusiastic “Elizabeth Warren Wing” of the Democratic party in her announcement video, echoing Warren by saying “the deck is still stacked” against ordinary Americans. In 2008, she spoke about “invisible Americans,” but she couldn’t make the sale. There is an “Elizabeth Warren Wing” because Warren is credible, and she’s credible because she’s proven she’s a fighter. The question is will Hillary Clinton come out swinging or will she follow Bill and “triangulate”?
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) – Police released dash cam video showing how a police officer used his cruiser to put an end to a crime spree in February that stretched from Tucson to Marana.
You know you’re in trouble when life starts resembling a Schwarzenegger movie. What with economic insecurity, huge income disparity, severe drought in California, massive NSA surveillance, a virtual
war on the poor, police firing on unarmed civilians, and a population pacified with reality TV, The Running Man (1987) comes to mind. In a dystopian, near-future police state, Ah-nold gets framed as “The Butcher of Bakersfield” after a police helicopter crew (following orders) fires on food rioters.
But that was 2017. Today, the Air Force is hot to open your friendly skies to its large Predator, Reaper, Global Hawk, and Sentinel drones. A few weeks ago, I wrote about that at Crooks and Liars. The press focus has been on the FAA’s congressionally mandated commercial drone testing, yet “there is no funding from FAA to support the test sites.” Plus, everywhere you look, the people involved in the testing program seem to include Department of Defense, ex-military, Air National Guard, or members of the defense industry. I wrote:
It’s not that commercial drones aren’t of interest to the private sector. Ask Amazon. But the military and U.S. defense contractors want access to civilian airspace for testing exportable military hardware and for keeping their drone pilots’ skills sharp. Several drone testing programs are fashioned as university research programs and appear as civilian efforts. That might be understandable after George W. Bush’s speech about drones attacking civilians with “chemical and biological weapons,” and after revelations about widespread domestic surveillance here and abroad.
Jonathan Chait offers five reasons why Hillary Clinton will win the presidency in 2016. But in the end, his sixth reason may be the only one that matters:
The argument for Clinton in 2016 is that she is the candidate of the only major American political party not run by lunatics.
(Cross-posted from Hullabaloo.)
Senator Elizabeth Warren’s keynote speech at the “Know Your Value” event in Philadelphia:
Hillary Clinton is “a pretty good person,” according to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. Today seems like a fine day for starting the competition for the best 2016 out of context quotes, so that’s my entry:
“Hillary Clinton is actually a pretty good person for us to run against,” he said in an interview on Fox News. “She unites the [Republican] Party, she allows us to raise a lot of money and allows us to recruit a lot of volunteers.”
There is much Sturm und Drang on the left over Hillary Clinton’s second run for president (the announcement is expected any minute). Clinton is not well liked on the left, considered yet another corporate Democrat, and in spite of hints that she might be “significantly to the left” of her husband on some issues. Elizabeth Warren’s economic populism is much more in keeping with the left’s sensibilities (mine included). But I wanted to play the contrarian this morning.
Publicly anyway, Republicans seem to relish the thought of running against Hillary Clinton. With its new “Stop Hillary” web ad and more: