29 July 2016

Hillary Clinton for President

I remain a devoted Progressive and Sanders Wing Democrat. But Clinton's speech was far and away the best she ever gave, and gives me some sense of reassurance that she will indeed be able to pull this off. And we, as Progressives, will have our work cut out for us pressuring her administration to follow through on her words.

I've argued with
​Jill ​
Stein voters till I'm blue in the face. But the stark choice is this: Centrist Democrat who's had to make some concessions to her Left Wing, or an Actual Fascist, the first to be a nominee of a major party in the US ever. At least since 1964, when there was real fear that Goldwater might use nuclear weapons, there has not been such peril in a presidential election.
​ The election of Hillary Clinton is imperative. 

26 July 2016

What the back of my car looks like as of this week

The bumper stickers, and the license plate, are both to note. 
Got driver's license, too. Officially Oregonian. 
And I couldn't find the "OK, Hillary then" bumpersticker featured in a recent New Yorker cartoon. 

25 July 2016

Re: Reality

"Trade deals will happen," but it's our job as progressive, and even not-so progressive, Democrats to make sure they aren't structured as corporatist giveaways that make environmental and product safety regulation almost impossible and cede judicial sovereignty to corporate friendly arbitration processes that actually take sovereignty away from states and local governments trying to enact sensible sustainable energy and materials legal structures. TPP is not a "trade deal;" it's an anti-competitive pact designed to circumvent the regulatory ability of governments in favor of multinational big business.

Again, it's not about free trade. It's about keeping the ability to regulate the marketplace to ensure sustainability, labor standards, and sovereignty. And it is the job of the US to lead in this arena as well, and ensure that any international pacts are designed to improve trade, not make it more difficult to regulate in sweetheart deals actually written by lawyers from Big Oil, Big Pharma, etc., by and for their own interests. Which is the fact of the matter. As I've noted before, we already have free trade with almost all of the potential signatories to TPP. What we don't have is anticompetitive extralegal regimes designed to disadvantage ordinary citizens in favor of large corporate interests. And THAT we do NOT need. See citizen.org's global trade watch page. 

On Mon, Jul 25, 2016 at 4:55 AM, Jim *+*+  wrote:

It's nice to trash TTP, which may be a job killer, but
globalization including trade deals is hard to stop.
American weakness in education and training for
21st Century jobs is exposed for all to see: 
High school drop outs, phony Dean's Lists in
Universities where most students get A and B
grades.    And where science, math and technology
have minimal attraction to students creates issues
in the present scene of global competition.   

Look at the high-tech companies and their hiring
practices.   They cannot find nearly enough US
citizens to fill the jobs so they lobby Congress to
expand the number of visas for foreigners so they
can fill those empty positions.

Trade deals will happen.  The US in the period from
1945 to 2000 could pretty much dictate to the rest
of the world who was or who was not eligible to belong
to the World Trade Organization.   Those days are long

The World moves on and the US must move with it
or lose.


24 July 2016

Selection of Kaine a huge mistake because.... TPP

I already commented on this issue, but here's another aspect. Clinton's choice of Kaine, if she were truly serious about trying to reconcile the divisions in the party, was a huge mistake. And the reason can be summed up in three words: TPP. This is not a minor issue. The TPP is far worse than NAFTA, and is a deal killer for a lot of working people. And Kaine is a big supporter. Clinton claims to have decided not to support it "in its current form," but this VP choice is going to be seen by a lot of Progressives as a signal that she only said that to get votes, and that in fact she intends to allow this huge corporate giveaway to go through. You should realize that the TPP actually has next to NOTHING to do with free trade (we already have virtually tariff free trade with nearly all the signatories); and EVERYTHING to do with corporate control and deregulation of international standards (especially environmental standards) for the benefit of large business. (See http://www.citizen.org/tradewatch for more information). 

I see TPP as the single worst policy position taken by Obama in 8 years, and this just confirms that Clinton intends no change in this area. And here's the thing: these are "mainstream" REPUBLICAN positions. No daylight between them. But while he's probably lying about it, TRUMP says he's against it, and a lot of people will believe him. If Clinton's at all worried about people on the left of her party just not voting in this election (most will not vote for Trump, of course), she could hardly have made a worse choice. 

(I am not one of them; I will of course vote for her, because the stakes are so high. But some will NOT.)

23 July 2016

Tim Kaine... meh

First, I am supporting Clinton. So please don't read this as Bernie or Bust.

But I have to say that, while he is OK on human rights issues and generally a reliable Centrist Democrat, I'm less than thrilled with Clinton's choice of Tim Kaine. First, I think it's not a good idea to keep picking presidential and vice presidential candidates from the ranks of senators and former senators. Historically, former governors of big states make the best executives. And a veep is a president in waiting, pretty much no more no less.

But mainly, come on. The primary was a relatively tight race between the first real Roosevelt progressive in years and the first woman
​major ​
candidate, who garnered quite a number of progressives herself for just that reason. The Democratic party has been trending left ever since Kerry's loss to Bush in 2004. Clinton should have picked someone who symbolized her embrace of that fact, and its policy consequences. AND SHE DID NOT. This bodes ill for party unity, and will make it harder for her to win, and with the spate of terror attacks and red meat for right wingers we've been seeing this summer, we Democrats cannot afford to cede ANY advantage.

10 July 2016

Bernie will endorse HRC soon

In furtherance of my prediction that Bernie will endorse HRC next week, I saw this quote posted by Joshua Holland on FB just now. 

"We now have the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party" 

--Bernie Sanders

♦ David Studhalter