Free trade with higher wage countries & the China card

As Democrats make a political point of rejecting the free trade agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership–to the point of defying the Democratic President–Charles Lane clears up the disinformation being spread about the treaty.

He says that, contrary to the rhetoric,  it won’t lose American jobs by sending industries to lower-wage countries.  Our biggest partners in this agreement, who would open their markets to us, would be Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.  All of which pay  higher wages than the United States!  There are low-wage countries in the pact, such as Mexico and Peru, but we already have free trade agreements with them!

Also, in a column criticizing Hillary Clinton for being silent on a treaty she helped to create, Robert Kagan gives the underlying strategic reason for the Trans-Pacific Partnership:  forging an alliance to counter China. [Read more...]

Obama and Republicans lose on free trade bill

A major priority for President Obama is the passage of the Pacific trade accord, a free trade bill that would open up markets in Asia.  But a proposal to fast-track the treaty–allowing a single up-or-down vote, rather than risking death by a thousand amendments–was defeated in the Senate.  All but one Republican took the President’s side, but all but one Democrat voted against him.  The measure fell short of the 60 votes it needed.  Lots of interesting issues here, which I raise after the jump.

UPDATE:  A deal seems to have been struck that will give the bill another shot.

[Read more...]

Obama delays amnesty until after the elections

President Obama had said that since Congress won’t pass immigration reform, he will push it through using executive action.  Though he had said he would do so by the end of the summer, he has decided to wait until after the midterm elections in November.   He and other Democrats are worried that if he grants some kind of amnesty to illegal immigrants, which he is apparently planning to do, the public outcry would be so great that it would hurt Democrats in the elections.

But if they think the American people are going to react that way, why are they still going to do it?  And do they really think the public is so stupid that voters who would be up in arms over this issue would vote for Democrats, knowing their post-election plans?  And if the President is doing this in the name of a noble principle, why doesn’t he just do it, instead of playing politics with the issue?  Isn’t this an embarrassingly cynical political game?  Interestingly, now even immigration activists feel betrayed. [Read more...]

Democrats hold big lead in PAC fundraising

Democrats make a big show of bemoaning the influence of big corporations in elections and the Supreme Court ruling that allows for the formation of super-Political Action Committees that threaten to buy elections.  But guess what?  Democrats currently hold a 2 to 1 advantage when it comes to super PAC contributions.  The biggest such fund?  Americans for Responsible Solutions, which is supporting candidates in favor of gun control. [Read more...]

Senate fails to nullify Hobby Lobby ruling

As we blogged about, Democrats in the Senate, which they control, fast-tracked a bill that would nullify the Supreme Court’s ruling that Hobby Lobby and other privately-held companies could opt out of the Obamacare contraception mandate by citing their religious objections to abortifacients.  The bill would prevent the Religious Freedom Restoration Act from applying in such cases.  And since Republicans would probably oppose it, the bill would advance the Democrats’ narrative that Republicans are engaged in a “war against women.”  Well, the bill was defeated in the Senate, though House leadership says it may come up again. [Read more...]

Senate bill would reverse Hobby Lobby ruling

Democrats in the Senate are fast-tracking a bill to reverse the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision.  The measure would say that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act would not apply to contraceptive coverage so that religious organizations would be forced to provide them.

Though the Republican-controlled House of Representatives would surely not pass the bill, the Democratic-controlled Senate probably will, giving more ammunition for the Democratic propaganda that Republicans are engaged in a “war on women.”   [Read more...]


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