So let’s see…Obamacare has infused the health insurance companies with heaps and heaps of taxpayer dollars. Big Pharma has done almost equally as well under the cronycare regime. Premiums for terrible policies – which as I see it could largely be bought for the same or lower prices before Obamacare – are going up.
Yup, this thing worked out great.
Again, I ask. Why does anyone live in these cities? The governments are corrupt. They are violent. They are crowded. They are dirty. They are running out of money. They are dysfunctional. They are expensive. And yet people stay.
There are highways. You can leave. I don’t have much sympathy if you stick around and let the local government just abuse you.
You’ve got to hand it to Obama in a weird way. He does a good job of placating his populist flank while his administration does the bidding of large corporations. Obamacare is one example, net neutrality is another, the TPP yet another.
One of the reasons we have generally opposed the Trans Pacific Partnership, even though we are big fans of international free trade, is because the agreement is likely chock full of crony deals. There’s a reason why so much secrecy surrounds the thing.
But we have been getting glimpses of the paper beast. The most recent comes from Politico.
Looks like the drug companies are about to have a big (and ongoing) international payday. Thing is this payday comes not from innovation and the satisfaction of customers but from privileges written into the TPP for pharma. At least they appear to be in the agreement at this point.
Obama is arguably the best friend Big Pharma ever had.
Things are not going well in the old US of A, despite what the official mouthpieces are saying. There is a sense that the grownups are gone. That the thing which makes America, America, is under serious threat. There is a sense that taxpayers are not valued. Indeed that some people resent taxpayers even though the taxpayers are funding the welfare state. There is a sense that the crony class is shutting people out. (Which it is.) That the “you didn’t build that” mentality has truly taken hold in large swathes of America, even while the cronies pillage away.
In the attached video the narrator says that the results of of the survey are “surprising.” I don’t know that they are.
Of course the next question is, “Where are you going to go?”
Hey, he had a good week. Obama appeased both his corporate sponsors with the passage of fast track authority for the TPP and the Supreme Court rewrite of Obamacare. Then he appeased the West Coast folks with the gay marriage ruling. Add in a couple of other factors which we will not comment on and there you go, the bourgeois, middle class, flyover country people are put in their place.
You better believe it. If they can. There’s is so much money and power behind keeping the corporatist boondoggle going it is hard to see how the Ex-Im dragon could be slain for good. (It can be slain however.) The corporations are for it. The unions are for it. The President is for it. The Democrats in Congress are for it. Many of the Republicans in Congress are for it.
Who’s against it? The taxpayers, a few modern liberals like Ralph Nader, and some scrappy freemarketeers.
But we are darn scrappy.*
Like we said earlier the “light on the hill” is flickering. We need to make sure it stays lit.
Click here for the article.
And a little bit of history. Contrast the below clip with the crew we have running the country today. It is stark and it is damning.
King vs. Burwell decided whether Obamacare subsidies extend to those who live in states where “healthcare exchanges” haven’t been set up.
In what Justice Scalia says amounts to a “rewrite” of the law, the Supreme Court decided today, that such subsidies do in fact extend to people in all states whether or not they live in a state which has established an exchange.
The full text of the ruling can be read HERE.
The Republican House and Senate leadership have a lot invested in the TPP, and so do many very powerful industry interests. The “free trade” agreement has been in negotiations for years. Many a lobbyist has a bonus riding on this legislation.
As we said a couple of weeks ago some of the worst bills become law just before summer vacation or Christmas when no one is paying attention and all the lawmakers just want to go home.
I remember in college my professor explaining to us that the US system of government was too slow. That it was inherently difficult – too difficult he argued. A parliamentary system was much better and would allow “things to get done.” My professor, it was clear resented the restrictions placed on government by the Constitution.
One gets the sense that Obama feels the same way.
It’s not over (the House could move to reconsider the bill on Tuesday) but this was a real win and it happened largely because of a bizarre libertarian/conservative/liberal coalition we (and others) had identified as emerging a couple of weeks ago around the TPP.
Though this vote is only on a piece of the Trans-Pacific trade pact, basically a bone thrown to liberals which allocated money for the retraining of displaced workers, it is an important vote because it means that fast track authority will almost certainly not be granted by Congress. If Dems aren’t going to vote for fast track authority with such money for training, they are very very unlikely to vote for fast track authority without such funds.
And if there is no fast-track authority given, it is unlikely that after debate and amendments the TPP will make it through Congress.
A strange moment in American politics.
This folks, is what 2 decades of politically correct, anti-intellectual academic coddling has wrought. The sensitivity police are running around universities (and elsewhere) like Mao’s Red Guard*, attacking anyone who makes them feel uncomfortable or just doesn’t agree with their childish, materialist, hierarchy obsessed worldview.
This is the guy who heads up the TPP talks. Nice that Citibank has one of its guys working on behalf of the American people in these negotiations. Only thing which would have been better would have been if Froman was from Goldman Sachs. Then we’d REALLY know that we are in good hands.
Any vote in the House on the continued existence of the Ex-Im Bank will show pretty clearly which members are on the side of the cronies and which are on the side of the taxpayer citizens. I sure would’t want to be a Congressman who voted with the cronies and the lobbyists. That could be a real political liability.