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?”
Given everything that’s gone down up in Washington in the past few weeks lobbyist knuckles must be getting pretty sore.
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.*
The Ultimate Crony Capitalist State is feeling a bit unstable right now. Instability is the great enemy of the Chinese Communist Party. The market mechanism continues to bleed through all across the Chinese economy and Beijing is getting (more) nervous. The state “capitalism” miracle is looking a lot less miraculous these days.
The Chinese stock market is off over 20% since mid June. (Though still up more than that for the year.) A property bubble continues to pop. Exports have slowed. Change is in the air. Of course it’s been in the air before.
Now it looks like China may have deployed its own version of the “Plunge Protection Team” to hold back reality. Thing is reality is reality.
The filibuster is an important tool which, as many have observed, has halted more bad legislation than good legislation. Getting rid of it would constitute a major change, and potentially a very bad one.
Even if it meant undoing Cronycare, eliminating the filibuster would likely come back to haunt fans of small government.
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.
Rove, the big government Bushite operative, is a man wandering through a political landscape in which many others now hold higher ground.
His nastiness and tenacity has gotten him far, and may yet get him farther. But most people in the GOP know to avoid Rove. He’s like a wounded badger. Not exactly the partner one would want.
But the guy can still raise money. Not as much, but still a lot.
So the people will decide. That’s good I suppose. Is the EU about to retreat from its frontiers? Will the Greek people capitulate? What will equity and debt markets do? Which country is next? If you have the answer to any of these questions please feel free to contact me in short order.
Seems pretty darn reasonable to me. They’ll love it.
It’s time to get creative.
I still think that those emails are hanging out there somewhere. Dead hard drive or not. There have got to be traces of her communications on many machines. But perhaps these hard drives have also been through the shredder at this point.
Either way, with the Supremes rewriting laws, the Federal Reserve failing to comply with subpoenas, and the executive branch pulling this sort of thing, Congress had better start asserting itself. But one wonders if Congressional leadership is particularly concerned at all.
What is going on in the USA right now? There is no “charting a way forward with this.” There seems a very clear path forward. No charting needed.
As far as I am concerned Nick Gillespie, editor of Reason.com, is one of the good guys. He is smart, fair, funny, and just generally a good read. Years ago he published one of my articles at Reason when I had a readership of about 5. I like him and we feature his work regularly.
We are alarmed by his account of a recent run in with a federal judge.
It seems this judge didn’t like that some of Reason’s commenters used over the top language about her. Soon Reason was presented with a subpoena. The Feds wanted the information, IP addresses etc., of the commenters. Then the Feds instituted a gag order around the subpoena.
We reported on this earlier HERE.
(From The Daily Beast)
Is there anything more likely to make you shit your pants out of a mix of fear and anger than getting a federal subpoena out of the blue?
Well, yes, there is: getting a gag order that prohibits you from speaking publicly about that subpoena and even the gag order itself. Talk about feeling isolated and cast adrift in the home of the free. You can’t even respond honestly when someone asks, “Are you under a court order not to speak?”
Far more important: talk about realizing that open expression and press freedom are far more tenuous than even the most cynical of us can imagine! Even when you have done nothing wrong and aren’t the target of an investigation, you can be commanded, at serious financial cost and disruption of your business, to dance to a tune called by the long arm of the law.
Click here for the article.