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Hometown: Xenia, OH
Member since: Tue Sep 19, 2006, 03:46 PM
Number of posts: 24,691

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"Partnership agreements" (like the EU) should include high enforceable human rights, labor rights,

environmental standards, business regulation, consumer protections, etc.

We all know that our right would freak out if the US ever thought about joining any "EU-like" partnership with other countries. The "high standards" would freak them out since they are not exactly business-friendly. The "enforceable" part would make them very unhappy too since national sovereignty would take a back seat to "human right, labor rights, etc."

Great graph on confidence level that climate change caused by humans - 110%!

But wait. How could 110 percent of the warming since 1950 be due to human activity? As Schmidt explained way back in 2009, “Over the last 40 or so years, natural drivers would have caused cooling.”

These cooling natural drivers include:

In recent decades, volcanoes have released particles that partially block the sun and cool the planet slightly.
Only recently have we come off “the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century,” which also cooled the planet slightly.
The underlying long-term trend — driven largely by orbital changes — had been cooling (see Human-caused Arctic warming overtakes 2,000 years of natural cooling, “seminal” study finds).

In short, “human factors are most likely responsible for all the warming we’ve seen and then some (110%),” as environmental scientist Dana Nuccitelli put it in the UK Guardian

Moscow Times: "Putin Classifying Troop Losses Proves They're in Ukraine – Analysts"

Legal amendments introduced Thursday that classify as state secrets any losses sustained during peacetime special operations are further confirmation of Russia's direct involvement in the Ukraine conflict, legal and military experts told The Moscow Times.

The amendments, signed by President Vladimir Putin, make "information disclosing the loss of personnel … during special operations in peacetime" a classified state secret.

Military servicemen who are killed, injured or go missing can be considered military losses, meaning their relatives will be forced to keep information about their deaths a secret, lawyers said Thursday.

"Even a death notification sent to parents or other relatives [of a soldier] can be considered a secret under this decree," Ivan Pavlov, a leading lawyer in the field of government transparency who has successfully defended treason suspects, told The Moscow Times.


Had never seen this before. Thanks for posting it. n/t

Tariffs on imports from Mexico averaged 4% before NAFTA.

It is doubtful that removing a 4% tariff is what caused Detroit's downfall. Detroit's auto industry employment was at its highest in the mid-1970's with a sustained decline after that along with mini-recoveries in the mid-1980's, mid-1990's and in the past few years. It is doubtful that NAFTA caused the 40 year decline in Detroit's auto employment.


"Globalization is not inevitable. It has come and gone before. In the early 20th century, the level

of global trade that existed was comparable to today, and was seen by the leading thinkers of the time as a permanent fact of life. But due to protectionism, globalization collapsed.

Globalization requires conscious government action. The idea that globalization occurs when governments get out of the way and let the markets operate is not accurate. In fact, the opposite is true. Globalization is a manmade creation brought about by the conscious efforts of governments to work together: to negotiate trade agreements (such as GATT), reduce tariffs, and create structures that enable global trade to occur.

Because globalization is manmade, sustaining it requires conscious effort and action. It can be reversed and destroyed if governments choose not to support it.

Whether globalization is the cause for these economic issues is not clear. What is clear is that many Americans blame globalization. This is fueling increasing protectionist views. History shows that a protectionist backlash can sweep in quickly and it routinely begins with a backlash against immigration, as is being seen in America today.


Globalization is a natural process and standing in the way is like trying to block the flow of the Amazon River.

I'm not sure the elites are quite that clueless but it is possible. Perhaps they do not read history or believe in that great mantra "history does not matter. Things are different now."

FDR understood that republicans had killed globalization that had flourished in the early part of the 20th century under Woodrow Wilson by rejecting US membership in the League of Nations and raising tariffs 3 times in 10 years from 1921 to 1930. He seemed to realize that national governments naturally look inward rather than outward when it comes to politics and economics so he created international organizations to somewhat institutionalize internationalism - the UN for politics, the ITO for trade, the IMF for finance and the World Bank for banking. He must have believed that these international institutions could help prevent a return to republican policies of the 1920's with respect to US involvement with the rest of the world.

The "backlash against immigration" is certainly evident on the right in the US and on the far-right in Europe today. The author did not explain why "a protectionist backlash" "routinely begins with a backlash against immigration". Both are evident on the right. The "us" Americans vs "them" foreigners attitude of the right plays some role undoubtedly but the author does not really explain the link.

You make a good case that enforcement should be outside the sole control of politicians.

If a labor union or environmental group could bring a case against a country such as Qatar, we would not have to wait for politicians to do their usual balancing act with politics, foreign policy, national security, etc. before taking any enforcement action.

Of course, when you involve groups outside of national governments involved in the enforcement process, the issue of national sovereignty arises. Should an American or European labor union be able to challenge labor practices in Qatar, for example, if an international agreement allowed it to do so? (Should a European union be allowed to challenge our 'right-to-work' laws since they weaken our unions and lower our wages, thus hurting European unions?) Should we wait until American or European politicians decide that the balance of issues merits a government-backed challenge? Or should we just leave workers in Qatar to the tender mercies of their government since it is a sovereign nation?

The first option seemed to be what FDR and Truman envisioned for the ITO which would have relied on arbitration to resolve disputes, including those with regard to labor rights, business regulation, investor protection, full employment, etc. Having witnessed the level of corporate control over government that existed under republicans for the 12 years before FDR was elected (and that we see today), they realized that relying solely on government to challenge labor practices (and by extension environmental practices in our time) in other countries, was a recipe for inaction.

ANOTHER international agreement that has stirred the ire of the right.

9 Members of Idaho Legislature Block International Child Support Treaty

An international agreement to make it easier to enforce child support orders throughout the world is in danger of not being ratified in the United States because of nine conservative lawmakers in Idaho. The Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance has been approved by 32 countries and 19 U.S. states.

But when the treaty came up in the Idaho legislature, nine members of the House Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee balked at sending legislation endorsing the agreement to the full House for consideration. Without Idaho, the treaty will be dead in the U.S. because all 50 states must approve it.

Republican Sen. Sheryl Nuxoll led the opposition to the measure, testifying to the House committee that it would subject Idaho to Sharia law, according to the Associated Press. Ironically, the measure easily was passed by the state senate.

Still other state lawmakers may have reacted negatively to the treaty because of “Idaho’s ornery streak, the part of the state’s identity that does not like the federal government — or, worse still, foreign governments — telling it what to do,” according to The New York Times’ Kirk Johnson. Rep. Ryan Kerby said he voted against it because he felt the federal government was implying, “You need to sign it, and if you don’t we’re going to beat the crud out of you. They were incredibly rude.”


It looks like this international treaty on enforcing child support might fall victim the conservative nativism mixed with its usual does of Islamophobia. Add this treaty to the long list of international agreements that the right hates: the Law of the Sea treaty, the UN Disability Rights treaty, the Arms Trade treaty and a host of others. Diplomatic negotiation of international issues is just not part of the right's way of doing things.

The far-right started calling it Obamatrade long ago. In fact, there is an Obamatrade.com

run by the right and full of quotes from right-wing politicians, if anyone is interested in their take.

I'm not sure who the author of the Dkos post is but they did not do much research before posting it.

More Republicans than Democrats currently support the treaty ...

In congress, Yes, but not among folks in the respective bases.

... start calling it "Obamatrade" with a message tailored to conservatives:

"If you liked Obamacare, you'll love Obamatrade:
this secretive pact will send millions of American jobs overseas
and surrender American sovereignty to the rulings of Unelected Judges."

It's too late to start calling it that: http://obamatrade.com/ And it is definitely already tailored to conservatives.

It would be a headline grabber if Sen. Bernie Sanders starting referring to the TPP as "Obamatrade."

I doubt very seriously that Sanders would start using a term invented by the tea party faction of the republican party. Pandering to the right in that manner is not his style.

Wonderful graphic on "Voting Republican". Thanks for posting it.

The problem is that the whites are blaming all the wrong people for the situation in which they find themselves. And they have been endlessly propagandized to be willfully blind to the people who are actually inflicting their suffering upon them. They have also been given a vast number of scapegoats.

Well said, hifiguy.
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