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

Journal Archives

How Trump or Clinton could kill Pacific trade deal (if it passes under Obama)

Between the voluminous TPP text and the “fast-track” trade promotion authority law passed last year, there are a pair of provisions that allow the president to slow-walk or even kill the landmark 12-nation pact. The next president could refuse to verify that other countries have implemented their early commitments under the pact. Or he or she could simply delay sending the paperwork to inform other TPP members that the United States has completed its own implementation.

“A Trump administration would use all available options to ensure the TPP will never be implemented, even if Congress betrays the American public and votes for it in a lame-duck session,” Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro said when asked whether the Republican nominee would use the provisions to block the deal.

Clinton's campaign did not respond to an email asking whether she would block implementation of the agreement if Congress passes it in the lame duck. But the Democratic nominee has been equally forceful about her opposition to the deal on the campaign trail, although she supported it as a member of the Obama administration.

Right now, of course, there’s plenty of reason to believe Clinton or Trump won’t have to make the decision to use executive authority to put the pact on ice. Just last week, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell again said Congress would not vote on the deal.


This is the first I have heard of these provisions.

Is the past or present better for people like you? Trump/Clinton supporters differ.

Overall, voters remain divided over whether life for people like them in the country today is better or worse compared with 50 years ago: 36% say that life today is better for people like them, 47% say it is worse and 13% say it is about the same.

But these perceptions are starkly different among supporters of the two major party candidates: About eight-in-ten (81%) Trump backers say that things have gotten worse for people like them compared with 50 years ago. Just 19% of Clinton supporters say the same. A 59% majority of Clinton supporters say life is better for people like them; only 11% of Trump voters think this.

As was the case earlier this year, there are significant demographic differences in these views. About half (51%) of black voters say life is better today for people like them and just 20% say it is worse (23% say it is about the same). By contrast, white voters are more likely to say life has gotten worse (52%) than say it has gotten better (33%); 12% say it is little different. Hispanics are divided on this question: 40% say life is better for people like them than it was a half-century ago, while about as many (39%) say it is worse (17% say it is about the same).

Overall, voters’ opinions on this question are little changed since March, but a wide partisan divide has grown wider: In March, 66% of Republican and Republican-leaning voters said that life was better for people like them 50 years ago; today, 72% express this view. At the same time, Democrats’ assessments have become more positive: In March, 48% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters thought that life is better today compared with 50 years ago; currently 55% say this.


Given that the republican party is largely white, it is not surprising that Trump supporters are the most negative when comparing their status now compared to 50 years ago. Since Democrats are more diverse, it is not surprising that their attitudes are different.

"Trump's deal was straight up: He would secure the government programs — Social Security, Medicare —

that benefit older, whiter tea party voters while chasing younger, browner Americans away from the public trough. He would even clear out of the country anyone who failed to prove citizenship."

The tea party has gone to meet its maker

The tea party is now indistinguishable from the Trump Party. Liberals have had a rollicking good time watching Trump peel the Indian paint off the erstwhile rebels. Brian Beutler of the New Republic routinely responds to racist outbursts among Trump supporters with a mock lament for the "economic anxiety" purportedly driving their allegiance to Trump.

Competing arguments that Trump supporters are motivated by declining economic prospects versus racial resentment are not mutually exclusive. But a deep analysis of Trump supporters released last week by Gallup shows that the economic angle is the more convoluted and uncertain one.

The evidence "is mixed as to how economic hardship affects Trump's popularity," wrote economist Jonathan Rothwell. "Racial isolation and lack of exposure to Hispanic immigrants raise the likelihood of Trump support. Meanwhile, Trump support falls as exposure to trade and immigration increases, which is the opposite of the predicted relationship."

That last part was the bomb. Trump's signature issues are trade and immigration. Yet his supporters appear less exposed to negative effects from trade and immigration than people who don't support him. Rothwell's findings didn't eliminate economic anxiety as a factor in support for Trump.


So there is an inverse relationship between a person's exposure to trade and immigration and their support for Trump. Even though trade and immigration are key elements of Trump's spiel, the more a person is exposed to them - the LESS likely they are to support Trump.

It makes one think that other factors explain the support from tea party types for Trump.

Pew: repubs worry most about immigration and terrorism. Dems - inequality and the environment.

On the list of seven issues, immigration and terrorism stand out as especially serious problems among Trump supporters; nearly two-thirds cite each as very big problems in the country (66% immigration, 65% terrorism).

Clinton supporters express far less concern about both issues. Just 17% describe immigration as a very big national problem; 40% say it is a moderately big problem, while 42% say it is either a small problem or not a problem at all. In addition, only about a third of Clinton supporters (36%) say terrorism is a very big problem in the country.

Trump supporters also are more likely than Clinton backers to say that crime (52% vs. 42%) and the availability of good-paying jobs (48% vs. 33%) are very big problems.

Far more Clinton supporters (70%) than Trump supporters (31%) view the gap between rich and poor as a major problem in the country. And while 43% of Clinton supporters rate the condition of the environment as a very big problem, just 16% of Trump supporters say this. While 43% of Trump backers say the condition of the environment is a moderately big problem, 38% say it is a small problem or not a problem.


Trump supports see immigration as our greatest problem followed closely by terrorism. Clinton supporters see inequality and the environment as the biggest issues. None of that surprises anyone here but it is good to see it confirmed by the Pew study.

Thanks for posting this, Eugene. "There is growing frustration in rebel-held Aleppo that grief

at the plight of Omran has not been accompanied by rage at those who dropped the bomb."

The image brought renewed global focus to the suffering of civilians in the eastern part of Syria’s largest city, living under near-siege conditions and a constant bombardment of barrel bombs dropped from government aircraft and more targeted Russian airstrikes.

Civilian casualties from Russian bombings have overtaken civilian deaths at the hands of Isis for the first time, the activist group, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said last week.

By ignoring the political and military context of Omran’s plight, they are cheapening his suffering and that of all the people who have chosen to stay on in opposition-held areas of Aleppo, or have not had an opportunity to leave.

“We don’t want the world to know we are dying as civilians here, that is not enough. We want the world to know who is killing us, who is targeting us,” said an English-language professor at the university, whose six-month-old daughter was born in one of the city’s few remaining hospitals. “If people in Britain and United States know that Russia and Assad are doing this, they will help us, they will do something with their government to help us. But if they don’t know, what kind of help can we get?”
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