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Sunday, October 23, 2016

The left’s success in denying President Obama fast-track authority to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership is ugly to behold. The case put forth by a showboating Sen. Elizabeth Warren — that Obama cannot be trusted to make a deal in the interests of American workers — is almost worse than wrong. It is irrelevant.

The Senate Democrats who turned on Obama are playing a 78 rpm record in the age of digital downloads.

Did you hear their ally, AFL-CIO head Richard Trumka, the day after the Senate vote? He denounced TPP for being “patterned after CAFTA and NAFTA.” That’s not so, but never mind.

There’s this skip on the vinyl record that the North American Free Trade Agreement destroyed American manufacturing. To see how wrong that is, simply walk through any Walmart or Target and look for all those “made in Mexico” labels. You won’t find many. But you’ll see “made in China” everywhere.

Many of the jobs that did go to Mexico would have otherwise left for low-wage Asian countries. Even Mexico lost manufacturing work to China.

And what can you say about the close-to-insane obsession with CAFTA? The partners in the 2005 Central American Free Trade Agreement — five mostly impoverished Central American countries plus the Dominican Republic — had a combined economy equal to that of New Haven, Connecticut.

(By the way, less than 10 percent of the AFL-CIO’s membership is now in manufacturing.)

It’s undeniable that American manufacturing workers have suffered terrible job losses. We could never compete with pennies-an-hour wages. Those low-skilled jobs are not coming back. But we have other things to sell in the global marketplace.

In Washington state, for example, exports of everything from apples to airplanes have soared 40 percent over four years, to total nearly $91 billion in 2014, according to The Seattle Times. About 2 in 5 jobs there are now tied to trade.

Small wonder that Sen. Ron Wyden, a liberal Democrat from neighboring Oregon, has strongly supported fast-track authority.

Some liberals oddly complain that American efforts to strengthen intellectual property laws in trade deals protect the profits of U.S. entertainment and tech companies. What’s wrong with that? Should the fruits of America’s creativity (that’s labor, too) be open to plundering and piracy?

One of TPP’s main goals is to help the higher-wage partners compete with China. (The 12 countries taking part include the likes of Japan, Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, and New Zealand.) In any case, Congress would get to vote the finished product up or down, so it isn’t as if the public wouldn’t get a say.

But then we have Warren stating with a straight face that handing negotiating authority to Obama would “give Republicans the very tool they need to dismantle Dodd-Frank.”

Huh? Obama swatted down the remark as wild, hypothetical speculation, noting he engaged in a “massive” fight with Wall Street to get the reforms passed. “And then I sign a provision that would unravel it?” he told political writer Matt Bai.

“This is not a partisan issue,” Warren insisted. Yes, in a twisted way, the hard left’s fixation over big corporations has joined the right’s determination to undermine Obama at every pass.

Trade agreements have a thousand moving parts. The U.S. can’t negotiate with the other countries if various domestic interests are pouncing on the details. That’s why every president has been given fast-track authority over the past 80 years or so.

Except Obama.

It sure is hard to be an intelligent leader in this country.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at [email protected] To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at 

Photo: Edward Kimmel via Flickr

  • The lucky one

    “It sure is hard to be an intelligent leader in this country.” How would we know that. it’s been so long since we had one. Obama is certainly more intelligent than Bush but no less of a corporate sell out. The whole “fast track” concept is anathema to democracy.

    • itsfun

      Will never agree that Obama is more intelligent than Bush. Bush was not a great President, or even a good one, but not to blame for all of our problems as Obama has tried to sell to us.

      • The lucky one

        It’s probably true that Bush is not as stupid as he sounded and may be true that Obama is not as intelligent as his articulation and credentials would seem to indicate. The bottom line is that they are both corporate whores who have sold out the American people for their own personal gain.

        • itsfun

          Selling out the American people to get rich seems to be the goal of many politicians today.

          I would like to see Obama’s transcripts to see just what his credentials are.

          • ldbf

            I’m pretty sure that as an intelligent person you should know the transcripts much be pretty good to qualify for Columbia and then Harvard Law, graduating from there Magna cum Laude.

          • itsfun

            I still want to see them. If they are so good, why does Obama refuse to let anyone see them? I wonder what he is hiding.

  • The lucky one

    Oh and I forgot to say, what is irrelevant here is the blather from partisan pundits like Froma Harrop. But I guess that is the role of court jester, flatter the king.

  • itsfun

    Obama wants to eliminate any and all of our checks and balances in government. To remain a free people we must have a system of checks and balances. Removing them will result in a dictatorship.

    • MrsRealism

      Nope. That’s a pretty dumb thing to believe.

      • itsfun

        Are you saying he doesn’t want to make trade agreements without the input of Congress, or he wants to make a treaty with Iran without the approval of Congress. He wants to call the treaty a “agreement” so he doesn’t have to bother with Congress. Isn’t than ignoring our system of checks and balance?

        • Independent1

          Why are you and the majority of other posters here missing the point that NO TRADE DEAL WILL BECOME OFFICIAL WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF CONGRESS!!


          • idamag

            My problem with that is what we have in Congress.

        • MrsRealism

          Yes, just like ALWAYS. It is the president’s duty to negotiate the agreement. Congress gets to vote on it once the negotiations are done. The president doesn’t get to vote on it, so he wants to make it appealing for those who vote. This is about TRADE, not about Iran, though..

      • idamag

        itsfun is not really a Rhodes Scholar. I doubt he could pass a SAT.

  • ram1020

    It is hard to take any stance on this when the content is secret. I don’t blame the AFL-CIO for worrying it would be as harmful as NAFTA. I don’t even blame the Tea Party for worrying about immigration impacts after Abe’s comments. How can we believe that Elizabeth Warren’s concerns are irrelevant when she may have had access to the bill and National Memo, as well as many congressional staff, do not?

  • Clifford Terry

    This article is one of those unfortunate cases in which the author brings undereducated, preconceived ideas to the fore upon which to expound. I recommend to her, as I do anyone who argues from such positions, that they FIRST EDUCATE themselves properly on the subject before speaking. When they do not, then, as this author has done, they appear to be fools. Worse still, as such arguments often position themselves, they attempt to create ‘straw men’ to knock down instead of speaking directly to the heart of the issue – or in the case of the TPP, the hearts of the issue due to the large number of truly salient problems. The problems that will be created by the TPP are extremely serious and will negatively affect not just the US economy, but will negatively impact government at ALL levels which is why the trade deal has been steeped in such secrecy. It NEEDS to be opened up for public scrutiny and debate to fully understand and either accept or reject the various machinations it will bring into play.

    I find too, that it is unfortunate that THE NATIONAL MEMO, which I respect, would have printed such a piece under their auspices. It is a very poorly written polemic which stands WAY outside the standards of the vast majority of articles they have offered. I do hope they will take more time in the future to insure that such as this will not darken their page space.

    • Eleanore Whitaker

      I’m more educated about this topic than you ever will be. 10 years in 2 international chemical companies as an assistant to the VPs….sorry..I know international business and unless you have a TPP treaty signed in blood, there are NEVER any guarantees that terms will be carried out to the letter of the agreement.

      The reality is that every country the US has traded with is better off and NOW…the US is not. Proof of this is a span of more than 2 decades of trade agreements that pumped up the economies of trade partners like China, India, Mexico, Canada and Thailand.

      Where are all of the customer service, tech service and accounting departments today? Pick up your telephone and you’ll hear that trans Atlantic bounce to India. If you can’t admit that trade deals should NEVER be a labor deficit for the US, you are not as superior as you are trying to impress the rest of us on this thread.

      • Clifford Terry

        Interesting that you claim greater knowledge than me without knowing anything about me. This is the usual approach when one’s arguments are poorly understood and thus poorly stated. Attack the doubter, not try to attempt to educate the doubter. Thus, you appear to be all the more the fool. OK, for the last time, PLEASE properly educate yourself on the issues before attempting to argue the issues. DO not use ad hominem attacks as they immediately reduce the perception of creditability of your argument. Speak directly to the issues, which in the case of the TPP are NUMEROUS – I could easily write a thousand page article on the serious issues presented by the TPP, but think it much preferable that the document be unsealed for public viewing and the ‘Fast Track’ request be turned down so that the public can openly debate what they desire – after all, if agreed upon, it will have a serious impact not just on things now, but well into the future. Remember, the current approach to passing the TPP is designed to make it appear that that public is being hoodwinked (in my opinion the TPP, if agreed upon, does just that), so free and open debate is the best cure! In the end, I inherently believe it should be the public’s right to determine the bill in all aspects – DO YOU NOT AGREE TO THIS BASIC PREMISE?

        • Eleanore Whitaker

          Clifford Terry…you are one of those men who loathes the idea that ANYONE is more educated than you. Your response and your original post prove that. First of all, get off that pedestal you put yourself on. You are NOT more educated than me when it comes to business. My former employer was the late Senator Lautenberg and the former umbudswoman to the SBA.

          I’ve spoken out of past experience which a man like you hates most of all. I know international business, hands on. Akzo was my first international employer with clients all over the world . The other was ADP and a third was a chemical company that had ONLY international clients.

          No I do not agree and I’ve already stated why. The US is a super power and that includes world trade. With the warnings from both Janet Yellen of the Federal Reserve and Christine LaGarda, CEO of the IMF, that stocks today are overvaluated, this will inevitably adversely affect any trade deals of the future. When you have every bank in the world linked to the Big 5 US banks, you see how easily a TPP trade deal can be impacted.

          I agree that something smells badly about the TPP’s secrecy. If you want my personal opinion on why it is such a secret? I’d say that the deal is big into oil trade in the Middle East with countries the US has not been in good favor with.

          • Clifford Terry

            I have personally been witness to the economic/business changes in the US over the last fourty-five years and have some understanding as to the reasons why. Despite your experience as you have stated – and I do not attempt to dispute them as I know you not – your arguments appear to lack a substantive understanding because of your focus on polemic. At no time have I attacked your arguments on the basis of your being a female as this would be both foolish and contemptible. Instead I have attacked your arguments on the simple basis that they fail to demonstrate adequate understanding of the subject at hand thus your piece is little more than an impolitic polemical hack at someone with whom you disagree. As such it definitely lacks the merit I wish to see published in this arena and as such I am VERY disappointed with The National Memo.

            Still, I do recommend that you gain more insight and knowledge before speaking on this topic and there are a number of readily available, legitimate sources where you can begin to build your base. So, please by all means build a good base of knowledge. Once you have enough understanding then you truly will be able to openly debate. Remember that to argue from ignorance is but to make one appear to be a fool. Worse still, once you begin utilizing ad hominem attacks to ward off criticisms you truly are playing the role of a fool You should never desire such appearance.

            Finally, since you also seriously lack debate skills, before you openly argue any position on any topic, consider bringing it to a group of people (not friends) in the form of a moot court type session. This will help you to understand your arguments strengths and weaknesses such that your arguments can be revised accordingly.

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            Wrong again. First of all, in any debate there are pros and cons. I know this as a former member of my high school debate team. Second? Any debate is via facts only. Not your pushy aggressive insistence on your own delusionary facts.

            I have more experience in economics and business than you. I posted my experience and my former employers. I am quite proud of my past experience and feel fortunate to have numerous high level politicians, bankers and business owners with whom I formerly associated. You need to rethink your position and do us all a favor and get off that superiority addiction you are on.

            I don’t debate. I present facts….just facts. Facts I know I can prove in a court of law and you can’t.

          • Clifford Terry

            Once again, you claim to know more than I on this issue when you know nothing about me. That speaks to the fact that you realize your knowledge limitations and you are simply hoping that mine are greater. If you are an experienced debater then you already know that you have lost this round.

            I have not denigrated your experience one iota. Since this is an open discussion you, and anyone else for that matter, are free to look back to see that for yourself.

            Next, I am NOT pushing any facts. I have given my opinion that the TPP has many, many substantive issues – issues that will impose significant consequences and, in my opinion, will cause long term damage not only to the US economy, but to all levels of US governance as well. AS such, I think that the secrecy issue exists for the sole purpose of passing a bill that would otherwise fail.

            Thirdly, you have offered NO substantive facts to support your position. Again, had you any real debate experience you would know this. As such, your piece is little more than the kind of polemic hack job that is often issued by The Heartland Institute.

            SO, for the final time, I SERIOUSLY RECOMMEND TO you that instead of trying to personally attack me that you spend your time educating yourself on issues before writing about them. You do not realize how poor your arguments have been but had you been debating under me I would have been forced to give you a failing grade.

            When debating:
            Present your pertinent credentials in a clear and straightforward manner (which you have done)

            Use facts to create a basic understanding for your arguments (You have yet to present ANY)

            Then use these facts as a basis for presenting your opinion to sway the audience to your argument

            Never argue at your opponent (ad hominem style arguments – which are all that you have offered to this point)

            Never create straw man arguments – those of some education will consider you silly and may dismiss your argument outright

            Be respectful to those you might argue against – this you not only were disrespectful to me but to Ms. Warren as well. Thus your piece, lacking facts, was a simple attack on Ms. Warren, and thus, a polemic.

            Ms. Warren’s attack on the TPP, by contrast, came from the knowledge she had acquire from her background, AND she did use facts in presenting her opinion. As a result, she has successfully persuaded a large number of people to her position. Had you bothered to educate yourself to some degree then you might have been able to use that information plus your work background to sway the argument in your favor. That you will probably influence few is the result of demonstrating your lack of knowledge about the subject at hand. In this since – this being the original argument that appeared in The National Memo – what I know (or do not know) is of little relevance because I am not arguing so much against your position (though I have indicated open disagreement with it) as I am arguing against the polemic that you offered as an argument. I have seen too much of this in recent discourse and I find it disheartening that at such a critical juncture in history, people are so prone to using it – both in support of as well as arguing against positions. Such arguments may generate heat but they will generate NO light.

            SO, please fully EDUCATE yourself in the future before taking to writing about it. In this way you will serve the public in a far superior capacity. REALLY! So please do begin hitting the books.

            In the meantime, please understand also that you cannot successfully pull your cloak of darkness over me to hide your failings. As you have seen attacking me gets you nowhere for you are but attacking a shadow. You know nothing about me, my knowledge, my history, or even where I live. In fact, attacking me is simply to digress from the main issue of our discourse. And that issue is the one of your apparent lack of credibility due in major part to your failure to fully understand and speak to the issues surrounding the TPP to which Ms. Warren successfully spoke.

            Stay Well my friend!

          • The lucky one

            Some free advice Mr. Terry – The mere fact that Mr. precedes your name is sufficient for EW to discount any thing you say as well as to try to belittle you in every way possible. I’ve gone through this before as have many others. Don’t waste your time. I’m not a Doctor but it seems to me that she is psychotic.

          • Clifford Terry

            Thank you, your advice is appreciated. I do think the real issue with her though, is not that she is psychotic as much as in my opinion, stemming from a desire to be received in an enhanced perception – that is, that she desires to have people think better of her than she thinks they do. I have witnessed this before in others and all such people react in pretty much the same way as she has manifested here. Not being well studied in psychology or psychiatry I can only guess – and I could be very wrong.

            Still, she is an intelligent woman and her opinion, if well spoken, can have weight and be persuasive. So, I give her that and I hope she takes my advice and sincerely makes effort to working for a better future for all. At my age, I am now beyond all that but I do understand that the US is now in a very critical period and educated voices are more important now than ever. AND I am disappointed that I see so few of them out there. Inside, I am sincerely hoping that somehow I have missed seeing them.

            For you, stay with things, engage when you can, and do your best. Now, more than ever, your voice may be the one to disperse the darkness to help others clearly see.

            Stay Well my Friend!

          • mike

            You are far to generous to Eleanore Ferranti Whitaker. Google her!
            She is one piece of work. Quite a Misandrist. If she doesn’t like your opinion she writes about every part of your body. She is quite funny in her own way.

          • Clifford Terry

            Thank you for the suggestion. Unfortunately, I have not the time to take up your suggestion – but this note does further inform me about her. I will use this knowledge to allow this sleeping dog to continue its slumbers.

            Stay Well Friend!

          • mike

            I haven’t seen you on here before and find your approach quite refreshing. Look forward to more of your posts.
            Friend, to you also,

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            The problem with a man like you is that you DO NOT KNOW ME. You want to pretend, like all men do, that you know women so well. You couldn’t be more wrong.

            I am at an age now where I got fed up trying to reason with men. YOu boys never grow the hell up. You push, you insist, you battle and you never are better off.

            Women in the US are paying taxes equal to yours. Women are not earning salaries equal to yours, are they? Women don’t get the top positions because men like you don’t believe women are “strong” enough to be CEOs. So, you make examples of some of the smartest women in the country and think, “HA HA …I got her!” NO sir…you got zip.

            It is high time men like you stopped thinking like men and started thinking like persons. You can’t do that. So set is your mind on masculinity and the empowerment of your gender. No decision you make ever is made without your “masculine” take on it.

            Sorry in this day and age that’s no longer acceptable. That “Father Knows Best” BS is not going to force every woman back to becoming “Donna Reed.” Not on MY tax dollars.

            The left is not left anymore…It’s female and it will persist in pushing for equal rights for all…not just equal rights for Mr. MAN. Grow the hell up.

            I know who I worked with and for…mostly an ALL MALE dominated world. But the way I managed to succeed was to let men fall on their butts when they make stupid decisions. YOu make the mess? YOU clean it up.

          • Clifford Terry

            You are, once again, attempting to leave the topic by shifting issues. The problem you present in your responses is that you have as yet not spoken directly to the issues presented in and by the piece published in The National Memo. Since you have completely failed to do so I can only assume that failure comes from a significant lack of understanding and knowledge surrounding the issues in question. Your job experience that you mentioned does provide you with some basic understanding but is not adequate to speak to the full range of issues. Thus, I strongly recommended, and continue to recommend, that you begin to to research to fully educate yourself on the topics prior to attempting further comment. In this way your writing will not be as this comment was – which was as we used to say ‘way out in left field’ – but instead, on point which is essential if there is to be any illumination. And, real illumination about the issues presented by the TPP is essential at this moment, not obfuscation and redirection as you seem to desire.

            This does not in any way demean the issues you wish to present which stem from a society and culture that is paternalistic in nature, but again, these issues, which to some degree will be impacted by the outcome of the TPP proceedings, are not the MAJOR issues of debate surrounding the TPP which form the core of the TPP problem itself.

            So, if you wish to continue speaking about the TPP to me and others who are observing this conversation, which you are very welcome to do, PLEASE confine your comments to the issues of the TPP and make good effort not to digress.

            Thank You, friend!

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            Once again MR> MAN thinks he can tell anyone he want that they, never he, are wrong. Try again. First of all, you don’t get to tell me what to do. So therefore, you can either suck it up and pay attention to what others tell you or you can’t DUH your way through life with that dunderheaded attitude.

            The TPP is a trade deal is it not? Can your guarantee that the TPP deal will not sour should another CON BS Financial Meltdown take place in another 5 years?

            Men like make me laugh. You are so sure you have ALL the answers and then have to beg for help on the toilet.

            Both Janet Yellen, head of the Federal Reserve and Christine LaGarde CEO of IMF have warned that due to overvaluation of stocks, the Wall Street roaches are taking on heavier and more serious risk. So..risk? Mr. Know it All? and what happens to trade when there’s a crash? You know nothing pallie…You just like to be one of those bossy, overbearing bullies who mouths off with ALL the wrong info and then slinks away like Bush did when 2008 proved all of the GOP CON policies sucked.

          • Clifford Terry

            You need to understand that the TPP, if passed, under the US Constitution becomes “the law of the land”. It literally becomes federal law and becomes fully binding and enforceable at all levels in this country. It’s repeal becomes incredibly difficult. As such, even if things go awry, the US will be stuck with this package so the souring of the US and/or other economies will not impact its’ implementation in any way. So, any such agreement MUST be looked into by the public with great care and great detail prior to passage and the processes of ‘fast tracking’ is specifically designed to avoid such scrutiny.

            Your other points of submission have absolutely NO bearing on the argument. I might suggest that prior to another posting that you seek the advice of a friend to give a quick read to your proposed writing prior to submission to ensure that all of your arguments are focused and on point. In this way you can both improve your skills in debate as well as learn something more about the subject matter. If you have a friend who is willing to assist you in this way you might look back at all of your previous posts as well to dissect them for better understanding as well.

            As yet though, my earlier recommendations to you exhorting you to learn more upon the subject before posting stand. You demonstrate but little knowledge about the subject and, as such, endeavor to simply attempt to cover that lack by ad hominem attacks on others. This only makes you look a fool and I know that you are an intelligent person so I would think that you might want to change your approach. Read, learn, understand, then speak. An educated argument is the only argument in an open forum that can bring real force. All other argument styles simply fall away.

            Stay Well!!

          • ebonystone

            “Any debate is via facts only.”
            Ha. Nor hardly. Debates are also based on the logic of the argument, the clarity of presentation, and the persuasive power of the speaker.
            Also, if you’re a former debater, you should know that insults and ad hominem attacks are improper, yet you engage in both.

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            Wrong again. As a member of the high school debate team, I state without hesitation that you have NO idea what the hell you are talking about.

            Here is how you prepare for a debate. First, the issue is stated by the debate moderator. Then, teams are split into two: Pro and Con. The teams then do their research on the specific issue as stated by the moderator. This includes supporting evidence of claims for or against the issue. This is not a matter of logic or argument. It is a matter of allowing issues to be factually provided to encourage those taking part to see 2 sides of an issue.

            I insult those who dare to try and tell me I don’t know what I know I do. That would be you. If you think you can debate an issue and not provide supporting evidence of your suppostions, think again. That’s airheaded ideology of which your posts are replete.

          • ebonystone

            Again, insults, and ad hominem attacks. Some debater you are.
            And your posts are replete with boasts, brags, unsupported claims, and insults. Stay away until you have something worthwhile to contribute.

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            Yes…I am insulting…YOUR intelligence or the lack thereof. You are not a debate expert. At no time during my instructions on debating, have I EVER had a judgmentalist like you insist your CON issues are the only CORRECT versions.

            Do yourself a favor and check your jeans…I think you may be missing testicles. When a man like you refuses to admit he has been bested by a woman who has MORE experience and knowledge than you, all you prove is that you are a big baby. Furthermore, I will NOT do one thing you suggest. And where do you get off telling ME to stay away when you are the jerk who has no ability to face your errors.

          • ebonystone

            Most of your posts are insults to anyone’s intelligence.

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            Written like a true blockhead. Most of us don’t sit on our brains like you do. Your kind only want to see and hear what YOU YOU YOU YOU want to see and hear…Sorry …that’s far too much sociopathic narcissism for me.

            Your posts have yet to prove one single fact. Not one you can support in a court of law…ooohh….and doesn’t that HURT?

          • ebonystone

            You are really so funny. Don’t you realize just how ironic your posts are? You continually rant about how debates are won by facts; yet all of your posts consist of nothing but boasts, brags, insults, and name-calling. Not a fact to be seen. You should look in the mirror and see how every one of your posts really apply to you.

            O.k. now it’s your turn to call me names and brag about how smart you are. Let’s see if you can come up with any new insults.

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            You are NOT so funny. Your posts all purport to advocate lies, deception and lack of integrity or honesty. Not to mention feasts at the table of denial when convenient.

            I know that every debate has to be based on facts that eventually must be proven. I could debate that your BS is a pack of lies with you and your moron response would be…No, my BS is truth. To which I would then require you to prove it.

            I call you names because your attitude of hierarchy in your self created Kingdom as Grand Pubbah of Upper Butt Crack is ripe for attack.

          • ebonystone

            Hey, you’re getting even better at this! I’m sure you’re a real expert on “Butt Cracks”.

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            Most women are. Who the hell changed YOUR pampers?

          • ebonystone

            Well, well, whaddaya know! A reply from you without insults or boasts. I didn’t think you had it in you.

          • Eleanore Whitaker

            There’s your first, though not “only” problem…thinking. Some men should never even try to think. They assume it’s a lot of work, overtax their brains and then, implode their own brain cells for the effort.

            In case no one ever told you, it’s a very dangerous thing to assume you know what others “have in them.”

          • ebonystone

            Ah, I knew it wouldn’t last.

          • InsideEye

            Eleanore, you are a character , immediately you characterize the intelligence and experience of other responders, when you do not know them..,,and if they are male..,, whoa to him. Get some more testosterone shots to neutralize your preMenopausal estrogen therapy and cool it , you detract from your occasional good points by yelping as female dog.

          • Clifford Terry

            I sincerely hope she understands the point that I have been making all along. Her inability to focus on the main points of contention with knowledgeable and pertinent comments have made her appear as a fool. Not just to you, but to many others as well, as I have witnessed in this thread. She is a woman of intelligence but she does not use her given intelligence in a wise manner in argument.

            So, once again, I would say to her, and to anyone, male or female, that bringing knowledge and understanding to an argument will generate the kind of respect she desires from others. Bombast and ad hominem attack generate nothing of value for oneself or for others. Try, as I do, to always bear in mind the idea of connection. Our souls are all one, only our bodies divide us. Therefore, one who places body before spirit can never experience true love nor true friendship.

            All that exists is the infinite and you. Everything else is just interface. In your world, all that exists is the infinite and you,
            and everything else is just interface, a means to connect.

            Everything is one of three – A means to connect, a path to fall away, or neutral ground awaiting you to transform it into connection. But, if something were not part of your purpose it would not exist in your world. In the world of your neighbor, all that exists is the infinite and him. Yet his world is just as true as yours. In the world of the cow, all that exists is the infinite and it.

            So it is with the insect, so it is with the plant, and so it is with the rock. Every seat of consciousness constitutes a world. And each world is true. Knowing this is also a part of your world; the knowledge that in the other person’s world you are only an accessory, an interface by which he connects. And now you know how to enter his world.

            Still, we cannot truly know each other’s worlds. You cannot see with the eyes of another, think with the brain of another.
            But you can appreciate the path another may follow and the difficulties another may encounter. We are one, yet we are different.

            Still, all things that exist in your world are one of three: a means to connect; a path to fall away; or neutral ground awaiting you to transform it into a connection. All things in your world are a part of your purpose. Any things that are not part of your purpose would not exist in your world.

            Every person you meet has a wellspring deep inside. If you cannot find it the fault is yours. Remove the rust from your shovel, sharpen its blade, and dig harder and deeper.

            Though many of these words are not mine, I remember them well that I might never disrespect others, no matter their behavior towards myself or others.

          • InsideEye

            Our experiences are only our truths and they are the facts that we should use to inform others . These are neither right or wrong they just are , and should be respected . .in each other and add these to our life’s pages as we make it to infinity.

          • Clifford Terry

            Thus you can truly understand why I have spoken both to Eleanore Whitaker as well as about her as I have. She is a member of the community and as such she has a voice. That she has not yet learned to use her voice in positive ways is something that can change. Once changed she will find, as you and so many others have already found, that she too can light candles to diminish the darkness about us.

  • FT66

    You can’t know how strong you are, until you opt STRENGTH as a first choice. US can’t be a strong nation if it doesn’t be one of those countries in Global Market.

    • Eleanore Whitaker

      If the Global Market prices on goods and services were equal to that of the US, I’d agree. Is labor in China, Thailand, Mexico, or even Canada equal to that of the US? You bet it isn’t.

      Since NAFTA, the US lost thousands of jobs and businesses. I should know…two of the businesses located in the business complex I worked in for 2+ decades moved their businesses to Toronto Canada. Not to mention that goods shipped to the US from Mexico are not at bargain prices.

      When do Americans face the fact that our American money is bigger, better and more reliable to foreign businesses than theirs?

      • FT66

        I think there is a BIG confusion here. We are not talking about OUTSOURCING, we are talking about TRADING. Of course the labor in China, Thailand, Mexico or even in Canada are not equal to that of the US. Their Demostic Grand Products (GDP) is far less of the US one.

  • John S.

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a very important trade agreement and it should be approved, after proper vetting. Conversely, not knowing what is in the TPP or what is proposed to be in TPP, congress should not approve it.

    The congressional fast track authority seems to be a congressional effort to undermine the general welfare of the nation and to overcome the dysfunctional nature of the U.S. Congress. Additionally, the fact that Republicans seem to be the primary supporters of fast track authority and the history of harmful economic effects to many Americans of previous trade agreements negotiated using fast track authority are major reasons to be skeptical about the benefits of such agreements.

    • MrsRealism

      Congress will know everything about it LONG BEFORE they cast a vote on it.

      • idamag

        The Congress we have now?

        • MrsRealism

          Yes. It will be made public for two months then congress gets another 90 days before they get to vote on it. So there is plenty of time for all of us to see it.

    • idamag

      It should not be approved until the people have a chance to know what it is.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    My experience of a decade working for 2 Fortune 500 International companies is that trade agreements rarely benefit the US. Once you understand that “credit” is involved in massive trade deals, you immediately see where these trade deals can sour.

    I was not happy with NAFTA when it passed. It was of most benefit to Canada and Mexico. Is the US better off for that trade deal? You bet it isn’t. In terms of Mexico, the Mexican government is a corrupt and drug allied as it was back when I worked for the first international company in 1987. The reality is that Mexico is NO better off since its people are jumping over border fences to leave a drug ridden government that is fed by NAFTA trade agreements.

    Then came CAFTA and SAFTA. But the one thing most people who have NEVER dealt with foreign business forget is this: Central and South American banks fail each time a new regime is in place. This is what happened in Argentina, Chile, Honduras, Haiti and the Dominican Republic back in the 1980s on a regular basis. Try to recoup revenues lost the minute one of their government regimes shuts banks down. Not going to happen.

    Then, there’s the matter of the VAT taxes, the lack of safety for goods imported and the reality that if you trade with a country with a traditionally weak economy, the US is nothing more than economic support of that economically weak country.

    Look at what happened to India. It was formerly one of the world’s poorest countries prior to the US trade deals. Today, 50% of American customer service, tech service and accounting services are in India. How many American jobs were lost to this type of trade deal?

    • mike

      And yet it is your guy that wants this secret agreement on trade. Where is Hillary on the deal? Her silence is deafening! She was part of the negotiation when she was Sec. of State, and now is silent because of those on the left that are against it and the labor unions. Merely voicing her concerns will not cut it in this political climate.
      From the start of her tenure as Sec. of State, Clinton made Asia a priority; her first trip in office was a swing through Japan, Indonesia, South Korea and China. Early on, Clinton and her top aides endorsed the TPP to balance the Pentagon’s military buildup in the Asia Pacific region. Hillary elevated the trade pact in October 2011, as the administration’s “pivot” to Asia. And yet now, not a word!

      We see it has renewed life by a separate bill intended to protect U.S. firms from currency manipulation and unfair trade practices-which Obama doesn’t want.

      • idamag

        Why in the h can’t you discuss an issue without turning it into something political. Who do you think is going to profit from the deliberate division of this country against itself?

        • mike

          Obama isn’t political, Right?
          Why did he want to bypass Senate on Iran treaty?
          Why won’t he let the rest of America know what’s in this trade agreement.
          Why does he do everything political??
          Ask Obama about the division within the country. He has deliberately divided this country for political gains. War on Women, which is a lie, Income inequality, blacks against whites, ILLEGAL immigrants against Americans, blacks against the police.
          Forget that purple state sh$t. He is a divider not a uniter.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    Here’s an example of cause and effect. Remember when the US placed an embargo on Kuwait? A lot of good it did. Most US businesses were prohibited from doing business with Kuwait. The chemical company I worked for just ignored the embargo and went on shipping water flocculent chemicals to Kuwait. They just used the back door by shipping it to a non-embargo country first and then setting up transport into Kuwait. I know this because in that company I was the executive assistant to the VP of international sales and marketing.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    I think what I recall most about my days working in those 2 international companies was the shock of how easy it was for foreign countries to change governments nearly every 3 years. In one case, the company I worked for had an agreement with a client in Chile. In those days, foreign exchanges of currency were strictly paid in letters of credit. For those who are not familiar. A letter of credit is an authorization from a foreign bank to a foreign exchange bank in the US to issue payment of funds. However, the letters of credit then were issued for payment in 60 and 90 day terms of payment. If a foreign client’s bank went belly up during the terms of payment, the US company just ate the loss.

  • fortytwoleaf

    “the hard left’s fixation over big corporations has joined the right’s determination to undermine Obama at every pass.”
    Really? every pass?

    • charleo1

      Interestingly enough, not this pass. Eh? My opposition, since I’m not privy to any of the details. Is based almost entirely on the Republicans near perfect record of selling out, and screwing the American worker at every turn for the past 40 years. So why would this time, this deal, be all that different? I saw a robot filling orders at Amazon the other day. How long before those jobs aren’t coming back either? The question on this trade deal is one a lot of workers may be asking in their own jobs before too long. “Would you like us to super-size that for you?

    • MrsRealism

      Uh, yeah.

  • Fleagus Gustafario

    I’m sure we’ll figure out it’s a bad deal after it’s too late and we’re experiencing the Great Depression 2.0. This article is light on the facts. I can’t believe it’s making the point that the American people shouldn’t be able to know what’s in a trade deal that totally affects them!

    It’s being negotiated in secret….Intellectual property is crap, you can’t own an idea, you should be free to reverse engineer whatever you want.

  • Gene Howard

    Froma Harrop can usually be depended on for a factual & intelligent analysis. Not this time. She sounds like Fox News…….

    • MrsRealism

      Why? Because she’s not following the left’s talking points and marching orders this time, but instead has elected to think this through without their ‘advice’? It’s an excellent article. We have a president who is intelligent and thinks things through, and who loves the country as much as we do. And to those of you who seem to keep forgetting this fact, that president is aware that congress, NOT HE, will choose to pass it or not. And just look at the congress we have. You think those jackasses should have a say in an international trade agreement? Seriously? Froma makes many good points here. Obviously she didn’t get them from a wickileaks interpretation but from using her head and her experience.

      • Gene Howard

        MrsRealism? That’s funny. BO plans to keep the details of this rip-off quiet and pass it with one of his “Executive Orders”. He’s not the guy
        I thought I was voting for (twice). Be sure to come back and give us more of your lessons in “Realism” after TPP has been in effect for 6 months.

        • MrsRealism

          // BO plans to keep the details of this rip-off quiet and pass it with one of his “Executive Orders”.//

          LOL Oh really? And how do you know this? Paranoid much?
          I believe that executive orders are for in-country issues.

  • Clifford Terry

    TO: The National Memo

    RE: The Left Is So Wrong On Trade

    Please note this piece of polemic is well below the standards I have come to expect from you! If you need more time for proper vetting of pieces you wish to publish I will gladly offer some free time to assist and thus you can hopefully avoid such mistakes in the future. – CT

    • CrankyToo

      I absolutely concur. This may be one of the worst pieces of journalism ever to darken the pages of the National Memo. It belies everything I thought I knew about the subject and the personalities involved, and suggests to me that the author’s either not done her homework or that she is, for whatever reason, deliberately obfuscating the facts.

      As to the debate itself, I tend to give our president the benefit of the doubt, but not in this case. The refusal of his administration to shed some light on the details of this proposed agreement certainly suggests that, however many dogs there are in this fight, there’s not one representing the American working man. Ergo, he’s probably going to have to take it in shorts again.

      • Clifford Terry

        Thank you for your comment. If you read through the comment section a little further you will find this to be a common thread. I do hope that The National Memo takes note and more properly vetts pieces prior to publishing in the future.

        In regards to this item, if you read a little further on you will find I get into a discussion with the author about this piece. I criticized her for her apparent lack of knowledge (because to me, that must be the reason behind the piece being so terrible) and she was unable to defend her position by offering anything in the way of evidence for effort at information collection other than to tell me a little about her job experience. To some degree that experience had some value, but to base an argument offered for national attention on that alone – especially when that experience only touched to a small degree on the issues at hand was terribly inadequate wherein the issues are of great significance and vast complexity. Read that part of the discussion and you will gain more insight.

        IN the meantime, perhaps a more formal complaint might be offered up to The National Memo for this polemic hack job since it was so bad that it served none, not even its author.

        • CrankyToo

          I think you’re operating under a misconception vis-à-vis your discussion with Eleanor Whitaker. She’s not the author of the piece; she’s the disturber of the peace.

          • Clifford Terry

            Thank You greatly! I was doing just as you stated and I sincerely appreciate being corrected!

          • CrankyToo

            Happy to be of service.

          • mike

            What an understatement!!! 🙂

          • CrankyToo

            Easy, Bro. You got no business pointing fingers in that regard…

          • mike

            Oh, but I do. All I did was acknowledge your statement about Eleanore.
            It’s her way or the highway.

          • idamag

            I agree with you there.

  • Don51

    If even one third of this article were true then releasing the TPP for open discussion should be desired!

    Cherry picked the protection of copyrights to countermand the whole thought process of Companies deciding against accepted law.

    Funny how the US Chamber of Commerce has advertised for years that they have classes on shipping jobs overseas… and all the abuses of Halliburton and its subcontractors (deaths, rapes, etc.) go unpunished since their contract was with the US government and the US government could not be sued!

    Release the TPP for open discussion!

    • idamag

      Yes, yes, yes. All of you ask that we open TPP for discussion.

  • corvinus

    Come to think of it, why the hell do we trade with China? They sell us a bunch of cheap crap, we sell them… what? A few airplanes?

    • CrankyToo

      Do you think you might be oversimplifying the issue just a skosh?

  • Tim Brown

    The Left is so right on trade.

  • toptwome

    All republicans are always happy to see American jobs go overseas. I am tired of it. We need to make sure that Americans have jobs and can compete in some ways with these other countries. It is no on the TPP and I am a supporter of President Obama, but not this time. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are right and this is not a good trade deal. I don’t think there will ever be a good trade deal.

    • idamag

      The bad thing about jobs going overseas is that American workers have to compete with Chinese workers and Indian workers. India uses slave labor and child labor. I read a documentary on India that show eight year olds doing factory work. Without industry, in this country, we will become a third world country. I say no to TPP.

  • The best evidence for the truth of this article are the comments. Especially those condemning the author for ignorance of the topic, while failing to refute with anything other than ‘no, you’re wrong and stupid!’

  • Many of the jobs that did go to Mexico would have otherwise left for low-wage Asian countries.

    Not if we had closed the borders to all foreign goods or raised import tariffs to impossibly high levels.

    Foreign trade destroys American jobs. Close the borders! Americans should make the things Americans use.

    • MrsRealism

      America is not an isolationist xenophobic country, but nice try.

      • A rational policy of protectionism is not xenophobic.

  • Those low-skilled jobs are not coming back.

    They will if we close the borders to all foreign goods or raise import tariffs to impossibly high levels.

    Foreign trade destroys American jobs. Close the borders! Americans should make the things Americans use.

  • Small wonder that Sen. Ron Wyden, a liberal Democrat from neighboring Oregon, has strongly supported fast-track authority.

    Small wonder, indeed. A politician taking care of himself is not a surprise at all.

  • Some liberals oddly complain that American efforts to strengthen intellectual property laws in trade deals protect the profits of U.S. entertainment and tech companies. What’s wrong with that? Should the fruits of America’s creativity (that’s labor, too) be open to plundering and piracy?

    If we have to give up decent jobs for millions of American to protect the fabulous incomes and extravagant lifestyles of the Hollywood glitterati, there’s plenty wrong with it. I never would trade-away Joe Sixpack’s job so some record artist can have another mansion.

  • Trade agreements have a thousand moving parts.

    That’s the problem!

    Or, at least, one of the biggest problems. No matter what safeguards are built-into TPP, we can’t be sure they’ll work as expected. Look what happened with PPACA (Obamacare.) The very poor were supposed to get health coverage through Medicaid. Then the Supreme Court took it away from them by making State participation voluntary. Now, Americans who live in States which didn’t set-up their own exchanges may lose their subsidies because the Supreme Court may take them away, too. What’s buried in TPP? Are Americans going to lose their jobs because some foreign court will take them away?

  • InsideEye

    ‘ By the way, less than 10 percent of the AFL-CIO’s
    membership is now in manufacturing”.

    Wow , you think so? What a Fn conclusion, that is why the unions are against this and the NAFTA, if you want to make cheap goods do it in your own country and by it also . Do not send it across our borders . Our government and politicians are taking us for a ride folks! We need a fresh face to support.

  • Budjob

    As a union member and a damn good American,I have but one remark to offer to the author of this nonsensical,irresponsible,piece of trash.You are as ignorant as the back of my balls!!!

  • Budjob

    I have just one more thing to add to my previous post.I thought China,being a COMMUNIST COUNTRY was allegedly OUR enemy!!!

  • @HawaiianTater

    If this deal was so good for the American worker, then it wouldn’t be getting support from the Republicans and the big corporations. Republicans hate Obama with every fiber of their being. There is one reason and one reason only they would ever support him on ANYthing and that’s because their corporate masters have told them to. The simple fact alone that they are supporting him on it should tell you how bad a deal this is for everyone not in the 1%.

  • idamag

    The things that look wrong about TPP is first, everything was done in secret and if you are wondering what it really is, that information has been kept from you. The second thing is that it gives foreign corporations power over our own legislation. Elizabeth Warren is one smart lady and if she warns us, we shouldlisten.

  • SamAdams2010

    This administration lost all credibility when it refused to throw any bank CEO into jail to rot and instead protected criminals. This administration failed the American people by eliminating a single payer healthcare system. This administration demonstrates it cannot be trusted when it creates secret rooms in which the American legislators must crawl to even see ant trade treaty.

    • MrsRealism

      What baloney. You must feel terrible that we do not live in a dictatorship where Obama gets to just implement whatever he wants but instead has to wheel and deal with a crazy congress. We got the best health care system congress would allow and millions are benefiting. Bankers were prosecuted and some were denied their salaries and bonuses. The US trade Office is not a secret room.

  • Jack Hughes

    I trust Obama to make the right decisions on policy but previous trade deals have not served the interests of American labor. The secrecy surrounding the specific details of the TPP are troubling.

    • MrsRealism

      This is not the previous trade deals. This is newer and better with more protections FOR EVERYBODY. It’s secret because it’s still in negotiations, just like union negotiation=s are secret. It will be available for public viewing for 5 whole months before congress gets to vote on it.

  • palsifar

    How in the world can anyone justify the ISDS process … the idea that corporations can sue American political jurisdictions in secret, unaccountable, unelected international tribunals … as anything other than an utter abrogation of our popular sovereignty … we should have the right to rule ourselves as we see fit … even if that does result in costing some corporations some cash …