Jobs Fix Economy, Cuts Cut Economy

The President is pushing a jobs agenda to grow the economy “from the midddle out.” Insider DC is mocking him because the ideas — infrastructure, American manufacturing, fund our schools — are not “new.” Here is what else isn’t new: budget cuts take money out of the economy, costing millions of jobs and harming our country’s future competitiveness.

The President’s Jobs Campaign

The President has launched a series of weekly campaign-style speeches pushing jobs instead of austerity. He is again trying to break the DC logjam. But this time he is starting to name the problem so the public can bring pressure to bear where it is needed. The idea is to pressure Republicans to back off their insistence on cutting government and start supporting programs that will bring jobs, higher wages and some degree of security to American workers.

But before we can move forward we have to stop backing up. That means we have to stop cutting back.

Cuts That Cut

In a democracy government spending is, by definition, things that We the People decide to do to make our lives better. But instead of supporting doing things that make our lives better Republicans have been forcing cuts in government so taxes can be lower for the wealthy few. They have even been using hostage tactics to force those cuts. They keep losing elections but are using their ability to block and obstruct things to keep the country from moving forrward.

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Fight TPP

I received this message from the TradeReform people. It’s about fighting the Trans-Pacific Partnership — read it or just click here to fight it. (For details on TPP read my post, TPP: The Coming Fast-Track Trade Outrage)

Dear Dave:

President Obama’s Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is negotiating an agreement on trade and global government matters called the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

They won’t let us see what’s in it.

But persistent demands to know the content of that agreement are starting to make headway. It’s working!

Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member, Sander Levin (D-MI), gave a comprehensive speech on trade at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. He unveiled a detailed proposal for Japan’s entry into the TPP negotiations. He is trying to support the interests of his constituency.

The more that we demand that this trade agreement and all future agreements come out of the shadows, the more our Representatives are able to see to our interests in these global governance deals.

Help end the secrecy by requesting a copy of the new trade and global governance deal from your Members of Congress.

Obama is negotiating the TPP with a large number of countries: Singapore, Chile, New Zealand, Brunei, Australia, Peru, Malaysia, Vietnam and Japan. It’s really big, economically. And much of it is about globalizing government by giving authority over U.S. food safety, financial industry regulation and other laws to unelected international tribunals who become more powerful than our Supreme Court.

Vietnam and Singapore have many state-owned and subsidized enterprises. Japan is a currency manipulator. All the countries impose value added taxes on our exports, showing no willingness to eliminate those VAT tariffs or even freeze them at current levels.

In short, the biggest trade distortions of our generation are largely ignored by the Obama Administration in the TPP talks.

If we ask our Representatives and Senators to let us see the TPP text, it becomes much harder for them and the Obama administration to ignore us.

CPA is making it easy. Help end the secrecy by requesting a copy of the new trade and global governance deal from your Members of Congress.

If we’re going to grow the American economy and create jobs, we need to act now.


Michael Stumo, CEO
Coalition for a Prosperous America

Must-Read: Banknado

Absolute must-read: Richard Eskow at Campaign for America’s Future, Banknado.

“Our leaders stand motionless, one hand covering their eyes and the other outstretched for cash.”

Why isn’t Richard writing for the NY Times?

Virtually Speaking Tonite at 9ET/6PT

I’ll be on Virtually Speaking at 6PT with Americablog’s Gaius Publius talking about a number of things. Gaius has a great writeup over at Americablog: Programming note: Gaius & Dave Johnson on Virtually Speaking Sundays tonight

6p PT/9p ET Listen live or later:


Time: 9pm ET tonight (Sunday)
Who: Dave Johnson, Jay Ackroyd, myself; satire by Culture of Truth
Where: Virtually Speaking at Blog Talk Radio

Pledge To Vote, Not Withhold Vote

I have a post over at CAF, Republicans Sabotaging, Not Governing. This Is Who They Are Now., that is gaining traction at other places.

I want to emphasize the last paragraph:

“The answer is not to threaten to withhold your vote when you don’t get everything you want. The answer is for all of us – every single alienated, ignored, disillusioned citizen – to promise to always vote. Then the people you would actually want to vote for will have some assurance they can win, and take the risk of running, even if they can’t raise a poop-load of corporate cash.”

Don’t withhold your vote. Instead pledge to always vote. It’s collective power, and we can beat the corporations if we all pledge to always vote.

Back Up Your Computers

In general. Keep your computers backed up. I just talked to ANOTHER friend who lost everything because a drive died with no backups. This makes three in a couple of months.

“I know I should do that,” they said.

Just do a backup every now and then. OK?

Not Sexist Summers, Please

Larry Summers for the Fed? Seriously? There are better choices for Federal Reserve chair; in particular, Janet Yellen is more than qualified and would do a great job.

Ezra Klein writes in, “Right now, Larry Summers is the front-runner for Fed chair,” “The word among Federal Reserve watchers right now is that the choice is down to Janet Yellen or Larry Summers as Ben Bernanke’s replacement.”

The White House is not actively shooting this down and this is just an insult to American women.

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The Coming Fast-Track Trade Outrage

Trans-Pacific Partnership – the corporate sovereignty treaty – is coming and they’re going to try to push it through Congress with “Fast Track.” It’s really, really important to pay attention to this one.

You have seen what the “free trade” agreements have done to cities like Detroit and Flint, along with entire regions of the country, several key industries, the middle class and ultimately our democracy. Now a super-treaty is coming down the pike and corporate forces are asking Congress to give up their Constitutional authority to act as a check-and-balance with something called “Fast Track.” We have to stop this before it is too late.

Next Up: Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

The super-treaty coming down the pike is called the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This is a mega-agreement involving several Pacific-rim countries at the same time, with a special “docking” provision that lets new countries join without new negotiations.

Only a small part of this “trade” treaty is about trade at all. Most of it is about elevating corporate rights above the rights of citizens and sovereign countries to reign them in. Much of TPP is about “investor rights.” “Investor” in this case means people with tons of money, and this is about giving them rights so their interests come above what citizens and their meddlesome laws might try to do to mess things up for them. Minimum wages, environmental protections, workplace safety and other “regulations” are all things citizens do to make their lives better but that make trouble for investors.

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Conservative Is Not An Ideology – It Is Corruption

I should do a series… Is keeping the minimum wage low really part of an ideology? Or is it really just big companies paying legislators to keep their profits high at the expense of We, the People?

Is that ideology, when giant companies pay legislators to boost their profits? Is it ideology when big companies fund conservative “think tanks” that are really just propaganda machines, to tell people that there is an “ideology” that demands that wages be lowered?

Or is this just corruption?

I have been thinking that a lot of the fight going on isn’t about ideology at all, it is about corruption and the influence of money and how money uses its ability to influence society behind a MASK of ideology. You can justify a lot more if what you are doing is seen as an ideological effort, because that is about ideas and the clash of ideas and free speech, where money is just about money and power and force.

When it is ideas, it is ideology, when it is money it is just corruption. But calling it ideology keeps you out of jail.

I am just back from England… Toured a lot of castles, etc. and studied a lot of the history of the monarchy. The royalists used to justify their rule by saying God mandated it, etc.. So there was an “ideology” that kings should rule and royalty was sacred etc., but really it was about thugs who were stronger than other thugs, and then it was about keeping that power in the hands of a chosen few.

Was that really ideology?

Compare Detroit And Wall Street

Compare the Detroit bankruptcy with the Wall Street bailout. The banks got trillions for bailouts. The bankers even got huge bonuse out of that bailout money

But in Detroit old people will lose pensions.

It’s about priorities.

Compare how the different situations were handled, who was helped, who paid. Detroit will have to “restructure” and sell off public property. Which banks were restructured, had to change the way they did business, give their property to the government, etc?

Will people in Detroit get bonuses like the bankers got?

Oil Company That Started Tea Party Now Fighting Tea Party

The “Tea Party” was started and funded by Koch Oil and its owners. But now the Tea Party in Georgia supports free market alternatives to oil monopolies, and Koch Oil is fighting them.

Summary: Georgia Power wants to expand its use of solar energy as the price of solar goes down. Georgia’s Tea Party likes the idea because it means consumers will get free-market choices. Of course Koch Oil has been fighting solar, wind, high-speed rail, electric cars and efforts to fight climate change because all of those hurt their lucrative oil business, and their front group Americans For Prosperity — the group behind the Tea Party in the first place — has launched a typical misleading smear campaign.

Think Progress has the story, in Koch Brothers Fund Effort To Undermine Tea Party Support Of Solar Energy in Georgia,

Tea Party members supporting the solar expansion see it as a simple free market issue. They believe consumers have the right to choose where their electricity comes from and shouldn’t be forced to remain dependent on a single source, especially in light of the rapidly declining cost of solar.

Despite the Tea Party’s support, Americans For Prosperity, a conservative group funded by the Koch brothers, came out against the proposed solar measure last week — launching what it calls “a multi-pronged, grassroots driven initiative” urging activists to pressure members of the PSC to reject the solar expansion.

In an email to its 50,000 members across the state, AFP Georgia director Virginia Galloway asks, “What if I told you something you’re not even hearing about in the news is about to raise your electricity bill by more than 40 percent and reduce the reliability of every appliance and electronics gadget in your home? That’s what will happen when your Georgia Public Service Commission (PSC) votes on July 11th if you don’t take action today!”

Go read the rest