Tag Archives: McConnell

With Friends Like This Trump Doesn’t Need Enemies

By Jim O’Neill
Geeze Louise, to listen to Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and a host of other fair-weather friends you would think that President Trump has started eating aborted fetuses for breakfast.  Get a grip people, he signed a short-term Omnibus spending bill, he didn’t give away the keys to the kingdom.
President Trump remains in my opinion the greatest POTUS to come down the pike since the early days of the republic.  I thank God every day that Trump is president, and consider America blessed indeed to have such an intelligent, street savvy, compassionate, stalwart, and courageous patriot at our helm.
How soon we forget.  Do you have ANY idea what America would look like today if Hillary Clinton and the corrupt globalist cabal had won the presidential election?  DO YOU REALLY?  I seriously doubt any of the sunshine patriots and summer-time soldiers who are so quick to dismiss President Trump’s myriad and impressive accomplishments have any real grasp of how closely the USA came to being killed off for good in November of 2016.
In my article “Trickle-Down Trump” I mentioned that one of the qualities that President Trump possesses is a “an unflagging positive attitude.”  The importance of such an attitude on our individual lives and the life of America as a whole cannot be overemphasized.  The famed philosopher William James put it succinctly: “Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power!”
He expanded on this theme during a series of lectures he gave at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland during the fin de siecle of the 19th and 20th centuries.
The attitude of unhappiness is not only painful, it is mean and ugly.  What can be more base and unworthy than the pining, puling, mumping mood, no matter by what outward ills it may have been engendered?   What is more injurious to others?   What less helpful to others as a way out of difficulty?  It but fastens and perpetuates the trouble which occasioned it and increases the total evil of the situation.  At all costs then, we ought to reduce the sway of that mood: we ought to scout it in ourselves and others, and never show it tolerance.  But it is impossible to carry on this discipline in the subjective sphere without zealously emphasizing the brighter and minimizing the darker aspects of the objective sphere…. (italics added)
William James “The Varieties of Religious Experience” (p. 86, paperback)
So, lighten the f—k up and give President Trump some breathing room.  Save you “pining, puling, mumping” moods for those who deserve it – say Congress.

SCALIA DEATH AROUSES SUSPICIONS

“The probability of a certain set of circumstances coming together in a meaningful (or tragic) way is so low that it simply cannot be considered mere coincidence.” ― V.C. King
The Loss of our Greatest Justice
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From the very instant we heard Justice Scalia had died, we had our suspicions.  Justice Scalia was a pro-life, Christian Constitutionalist who was also an originalist.  He was what all justices on the high court should be.
Cibolo Creek Ranch owner, John Poindexter’s account of how Scalia was found, is beginning to add fuel to the fire as he told the press that Scalia was discovered with “a pillow over his head.”  That certainly sounds strange to me, and obviously to many others.
Scalia was just the latest newsworthy guest to visit the celebrity hideaway that covers 30,000 acres near the Chinati Mountains. Mick Jagger, Julia Roberts and Tommy Lee Jones have also partaken of its scenic vistas and luxury accommodations.  The Justice was there with several other friends for a short weekend.  He was scheduled to return home on Sunday.
Established in 1857 by Milton Faver, known as the first Texas cattle baron west of the Pecos, the ranch retains 19th Century constructions, including “El Fortin de Cibolo,” a primitive fort designed to protect settlers from Apaches.
Apparently the judge’s physician was traveling with him among other friends.  When the judge didn’t awaken at 8:30 Saturday morning, Poindexter went out for several hours.  He returned and there was still no response from Judge Scalia’s room.  Poindexter found him and was the one who made the appropriate calls.
Presidio County Judge Cinderela Guevara told WFAA news on Sunday that Scalia had likely died from a heart attack, but she did so without looking at the body.  The county judge stated that his death was most likely a heart attack.  However, an autopsy was not ordered or performed.  Before Judge Scalia’s body was flown home, he was embalmed.  This is the law in Texas as well as many other states, before a body can be taken outside the state.
Questionable Relations

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The photo is Barack Obama shaking hands with John Poindexter, the Texas millionaire businessman also noted for being a donor to the Democrat Party, and who also received an award from Barack Obama related to his military service in Vietnam.
Poindexter is the owner of the Cibolo Creek Ranch where Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was found dead earlier this week.
Remember too that in 2014, Judge Scalia ripped into Obama’s self-interested use of executive power. Link
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Schumer Flashback – 2007
Almost immediately after Scalia’s death was announced Saturday evening, Republican lawmakers and presidential candidates began arguing the appointment of his successor should be left to the next president. Democratic Senator Charles Schumer lamented this outlook as pure obstructionism.
Funny, because in 2007, Schumer advocated doing the same exact thing if any additional Supreme Court vacancies opened under former President George W. Bush.  How opinions change when the shoe is on the other foot!  Link
“You know, the kind of obstructionism that [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell ‘s talking about, he’s hearkening back to his old days,” Schumer said, according to The Hill.  McConnell has said, “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”
Notice he said, “should not,” which means he can easily change.  Had he said “will not,” I’d be a bit more convinced, just a bit.  Unfortunately, I haven’t much faith in the despicable GOPe sellout, Mitch McConnell.
The Court Count
The Court was 5 to 4 with fair conservatives, Scalia being the most prominent and finest Constitutional scholar.  Should Obama actually appoint another justice, it will mean decades of draconian liberal (read communist) decisions.
I hate to think of what another Obama appointee could do to this country and our Constitution…Federal takeover of the police (a la Nazi Germany), elimination of the Second Amendment, radicalized school discipline according to race, chipping away at the Bill of Rights.  The federal overreach would be totally out of control.
Obama’s Appointees
Attorney General Loretta Lynch has been mentioned as one appointee.  According to the Huffington Post, CNN legal analyst and New Yorker writer Jeffrey Toobin has his money on Judge Sri Srinivasan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Obama fought to appoint the 47-year-old native of India to a seat on the D.C. Circuit court, and the Senate unanimously confirmed him in 2013. Srinivasan has joined liberal colleagues on the court in several cases, and seems to be of a similar ideological bent as Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
The latest name mentioned is Elizabeth Warren. Link
Here is what Donald Trump said when asked about Scalia’s replacement:
“If I were president now, I would certainly want to try and nominate a justice, and I’m sure that, frankly, I’m absolutely sure that President Obama will try and do it. I hope that our Senate is going to be able to…do something about it. This is a tremendous blow to conservatism, a tremendous blow, frankly, to our country.”
“I think it’s up to Mitch McConnell and everybody else to stop it. It’s called, delay, delay delay.”
He is absolutely right, and if the American people ignore this, it will be at our own peril.  Lord have mercy!
 
 
 

ANTI-LEADERSHIP INSURGENCY COULD THREATEN MITCH MCCONNELL ALLY MARCO RUBIO

BY JULIA HAHN FOR BREITBART.COM

While Breitbart News has been reporting for months that John Boehner’s speakership was in jeopardy, the Washington media was stunned on Friday with the historic announcement of Boehner’s resignation.

The anti-leadership sentiment seems to be growing as the Washington Times is now reporting that a top Republican party official, Louisiana GOP Chairman Roger Villere, has called for Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) resignation.

The populist, anti-establishment groundswell could spell trouble for the presidential campaign of donor-class darling Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).

—who has twice fearlessly ignored voters and risked his political career to advance the goals of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The populist backlash has been developing for quite some time. Earlier this year, Boehner received more votes against him than in any other speaker’s election since 1923. The revolt came shortly after the historic electoral defeat of Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor—the first majority leader to lose his seat in a primary since the position was created in 1899.

Both Boehner and Cantor’s demise were closely tied to a blue-collar voter insurgency connected to trade and immigration—two issues where the Republican leadership has sided with its party’s donors over its base. Cantor, for instance, was largely taken downdue to his support for Marco Rubio’s plan to grant amnesty to illegal minors known as DREAMers.

Now that the Republican base has its sights set on Mitch McConnell, it could pose a serious problem for the campaign of Sen. Marco Rubio, whose two notable accomplishments are closely tied to Mitch McConnell’s agenda—namely co-authoring the Gang of Eight amnesty bill and casting the 60th and deciding vote for Obamatrade.

According to the Washington Post, it was Mitch McConnell who encouraged Rubio to join the Gang of Eight.

The senator from Florida [Rubio] was added to the group after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) made clear to Graham and McCain that Rubio’s participation would be critical to winning conservative support… Graham and McCain initially attempted to recruit conservative Sen. Mike Lee, R-UT, but he declined to endorse a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants… [so] McConnell suggested Rubio, who expressed interest.

Indeed, countless reports have confirmed that it was Rubio’s job to launch a “charm offensive” that would sell conservatives on Obama’s immigration agenda.

As The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza reported at the time, “[Sen. Bob] Menendez told me that Rubio’s role was to ‘work over the conservative universe, particularly the conservative opinion-maker universe,’ in order to ‘neutralize them’ and, in some cases, ‘proselytize them.’”

This process was aided and encouraged every step of the way by Mitch McConnell. McConnell created the very circumstances possible for Rubio to take on the role of“salesman” and to make innumerable misrepresentations about his immigration expansion bill—misrepresentations, which to this day, Rubio has never retracted.

Although the Republican base overwhelmingly opposed the policies in Rubio’s amnesty bill, Mitch McConnell refused to block the bill from coming up to a vote—a stark contrast from Sen. Harry Reid,  who has blocked numerous bills that were Republican priorities, but were opposed by the Democrat voter base.

Although McConnell eventually cast his vote against the Gang of Eight bill, he did so only once it was clear that the bill would easily pass the Senate and after he had done everything that was necessary to ensure its smooth passage.

One of Republican voters’ many frustrations with its leadership is not only that GOP leadership fails to advance conservative priorities, but that they often times engage in elaborately staged Kabuki theatre to ensure that Republican donors’ agenda is enacted—even if it comes at the expense of the economic and physical security of everyday voters.

As Georgetown University professor Eric Gould has documented:

The overall evidence suggests that the manufacturing and immigration trends have hollowed-out the overall demand for middle-skilled workers in all sectors, while increasing the supply of workers in lower skilled jobs. Both phenomena are producing downward pressure on the relative wages of workers at the low end of the income distribution.

Indeed, as Breitbart News has exclusively reported, not one Republican leader in the House or Senate is willing to reduce immigration levels. Moreover, a Senate leadership internal messaging document exposed by Breitbart News failed to make any mention of immigration whatsoever. The leadership’s messaging memo instead encouraged Republican Senators to meet with business groups to tout the GOP’s support for Obama’s unpopular globalist trade pacts.

Obamatrade is one of Rubio’s signature accomplishments. Despite casting the 60th critical vote for the passage of the wage-depressing bill, Rubio has yet to provide any evidence that he read the bill prior to authoring an op-ed in support of it, delivering speeches in favor of it, and passing multiple votes to advance it.

While Democrat donors and leaders fight hard to pursue the priorities of their progressive base (such as mass immigration, expanding welfare, etc.), Republican donors and leaders frequently work against the interests of the Republican base.

Some worry that Republican leadership and the donor class seem to be actively working to minimize the social and economic power of the people voting for them—both by refusing to advance legislation supported by the base (such as legislation to stop sanctuary cities) and by pushing through legislation opposed by the base (such as the Rubio-Schumer bill and Obamatrade).

Perhaps the crux of the voters’ frustration with Republican leadership is the palpable anxiety amongst Republican voters that, with each passing year, their ability to control their own affairs, protect their communities, maintain their schools, and provide for their children, is eroding as the people donating to the Republican party grow wealthier and more powerful and promote their globalist agenda.

Only days before Boehner’s resignation announcement, Rubio seemed to defend John Boehner and Mitch McConnell—arguing that Republican voters were expecting too much when they sent their elected officials to Washington to represent them.

“Expectations were raised unnecessarily high,” Rubio said in an interview with Fox News host Bret Baier.

Rubio told Baier, “The idea that you would win the Senate, control the agenda never was true,” he said. “You need a president. It’s one of the main reasons why I decided to run for president.”

Indeed, even though Rubio was able to pass Republican leadership’s immigration agenda through the Senate, the bill went down in flames as a result of mass public opposition. From the Oval Office, Rubio would have a much greater vantage point to enact Mitch McConnell’s agenda and increase the admission of foreign workers, which Republican donors desperately want to lower wages and reduce their cost of labor.

Given the strong desire of Republican voters to remove Mitch McConnell, it remains to be seen whether the voters will be willing to give over control of the Republican party to the young presidential hopeful who has been one of the most ever faithful champions of the McConnell-Boehner agenda.

 

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Trotskyites

trotskys

House passes ‘fast track’ trade bill

My Comments:  No, the Republicans do not listen to their constituents, and they don’t care, they are no longer our servants, they are our masters and tyrants.

Susan Davis, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON–The U.S. House narrowly approved, 218-208, a six-year renewal of trade promotion authority in an ongoing effort to revive President Obama’s trade agenda in the face of stiff Democratic opposition.

Republicans, working closely with the White House, are executing a new strategy to pass the authority, also known as TPA or “fast track,” as well as trade adjustment assistance (TAA), an aid program for displaced American workers.

Last week, House Democrats voted down TAA, a program they historically support, in a concerted strategy to derail fast track. The two bills’ fates were linked to each other because they passed as one piece of legislation in the Senate last month.

Now, House Republicans will send the fast track bill back to the Senate, where supporters hope they can muster the 60 votes necessary to pass it as a standalone measure. Senate Majority Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, pledged to bring trade adjustment assistance back to the floor soon after fast track passes.

The White House is eager to enact TPA because it provides an expedited process to get trade bills through Congress, allowing them only to be approved or rejected, not amended. Obama has made trade a significant focus of his foreign policy legacy in his final months in office.

“We are committed to ensuring both … get votes in the House and Senate and are sent to the president for signature,” Boehner and McConnell said in a joint statement Wednesday. Obama also met privately Wednesday with Democratic lawmakers who support his trade agenda to shore up the votes.

Supporters want to try and wrap up the trade debate before Congress adjourns for the July 4 week-long recess.

Separating the two bills is intended to renew pressure on House Democrats, who could be faced with a worst-case scenario of reauthorizing fast track with adjustment assistance set to expire Sept. 30. The risky maneuver relies heavily on Democrats trusting GOP leaders to keep their word to pass TAA.

Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who joined the majority of House Democrats in voting down the trade bill last week, told reporters Thursday that she still did not see a path forward for TAA. “I don’t think so, no,” she said, dismissing questions about frayed Democratic relations with the White House.

“We have a deep relationship of trust with the president,” she said.

Democratic opponents are backed by labor unions and liberal activist groups who oppose fast track because it will make it easier to enact the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation trade pact with Asia-Pacific nations. The pact is one of the largest trade deals in history, and opponents say the shrouded negotiations could negatively affect American jobs, as well we human rights and environmental standards.

Liberal groups also threatened to hold Democrats accountable at the ballot box if they support the latest gambit.

“Any Democrat in Congress who trusts John Boehner or Mitch McConnell to pass trade adjustment assistance, that will actually help working families, deserves to lose their job,” said Jim Dean, chair of the liberal advocacy group Democracy for America.

Democratic opponents acknowledged Thursday that if TPA is enacted, TPP is likely to pass if it comes up for a vote later this year. “A ‘yes’ vote on TPA is a ‘yes’ vote on TPP, it’s that simple,” said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass.

House passes 'fast track' trade bill

My Comments:  No, the Republicans do not listen to their constituents, and they don’t care, they are no longer our servants, they are our masters and tyrants.
Susan Davis, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON–The U.S. House narrowly approved, 218-208, a six-year renewal of trade promotion authority in an ongoing effort to revive President Obama’s trade agenda in the face of stiff Democratic opposition.
Republicans, working closely with the White House, are executing a new strategy to pass the authority, also known as TPA or “fast track,” as well as trade adjustment assistance (TAA), an aid program for displaced American workers.
Last week, House Democrats voted down TAA, a program they historically support, in a concerted strategy to derail fast track. The two bills’ fates were linked to each other because they passed as one piece of legislation in the Senate last month.
Now, House Republicans will send the fast track bill back to the Senate, where supporters hope they can muster the 60 votes necessary to pass it as a standalone measure. Senate Majority Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, pledged to bring trade adjustment assistance back to the floor soon after fast track passes.
The White House is eager to enact TPA because it provides an expedited process to get trade bills through Congress, allowing them only to be approved or rejected, not amended. Obama has made trade a significant focus of his foreign policy legacy in his final months in office.
“We are committed to ensuring both … get votes in the House and Senate and are sent to the president for signature,” Boehner and McConnell said in a joint statement Wednesday. Obama also met privately Wednesday with Democratic lawmakers who support his trade agenda to shore up the votes.
Supporters want to try and wrap up the trade debate before Congress adjourns for the July 4 week-long recess.
Separating the two bills is intended to renew pressure on House Democrats, who could be faced with a worst-case scenario of reauthorizing fast track with adjustment assistance set to expire Sept. 30. The risky maneuver relies heavily on Democrats trusting GOP leaders to keep their word to pass TAA.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who joined the majority of House Democrats in voting down the trade bill last week, told reporters Thursday that she still did not see a path forward for TAA. “I don’t think so, no,” she said, dismissing questions about frayed Democratic relations with the White House.
“We have a deep relationship of trust with the president,” she said.
Democratic opponents are backed by labor unions and liberal activist groups who oppose fast track because it will make it easier to enact the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a 12-nation trade pact with Asia-Pacific nations. The pact is one of the largest trade deals in history, and opponents say the shrouded negotiations could negatively affect American jobs, as well we human rights and environmental standards.
Liberal groups also threatened to hold Democrats accountable at the ballot box if they support the latest gambit.
“Any Democrat in Congress who trusts John Boehner or Mitch McConnell to pass trade adjustment assistance, that will actually help working families, deserves to lose their job,” said Jim Dean, chair of the liberal advocacy group Democracy for America.
Democratic opponents acknowledged Thursday that if TPA is enacted, TPP is likely to pass if it comes up for a vote later this year. “A ‘yes’ vote on TPA is a ‘yes’ vote on TPP, it’s that simple,” said Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass.

Boehner Purges Conservatives Who Defy on ObamaTrade Votes

My Comments:  Why is it that American citizens still believe the Republican party will save us?  They are worse than the democrats, but both have the same agenda.  That has been a fact for many many decades.
Written by  for THE NEW AMERICAN MAGAZINE
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) have taken swift retribution against House members who dared to break ranks with “the team” on a rule vote for Trade Promotion Authority (Fast Track). On Monday, June 15, Scalise booted GOP Reps. Cynthia Lummis (Wyo.), Steve Pearce (N.M.) and Trent Franks (Ariz.) — all members of the House Freedom Caucus (HFC) — from the whip team.
Boner
Reps. Lummis and Franks both issued conciliatory statements saying they completely “respect” Chairman Scalise’s decision — perhaps to avoid further retribution. Rep. Pearce was less tilted toward appeasement. “Not much has changed in the House. I came here to represent the people of the Second Congressional District of New Mexico. That means considering each vote on its merits and striving to do the right thing for them,” Pearce said in a statement. “Sometimes that demands casting hard votes, as I did last week. I always strive to vote on principle and that won’t change.”
House Freedom Caucus Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told Congressional Quarterly Roll Call that it was “unfortunate” HFC members were getting booted from the whip team. “I think it’s wrong,” he said.
Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) is another HFC member who was among the 34 House Republicans voting against the TPA rule. He sees the Boehner-Scalise revenge going deeper and attacking their donor base. “Because voting against the rule is almost like a capital crime here, and we know what’s going to happen to us,” Labrador told Congressional Quarterly Roll Call. “We know that the leadership is going to come against us, we know that they’re already telling our donors not to give money to us, which, by the way, I think is unethical. We know exactly what they’re doing.”
According to Labrador, there is mounting dissatisfaction with the current House GOP leadership’s iron-fisted rule. “That’s not leadership,” Labrador said. “That’s tyranny.”
On Tuesday, in his weekly conference with House Republicans, Speaker John Boehner gave a tongue lashing to those who had voted against the trade rule the previous Thursday. “I made it pretty clear to the members today I was not very happy about it,” Boehner told reporters after the closed-door meeting at the Capitol Hill Club. “You know, we’re a team. And we’ve worked hard to get the majority; we’ve worked hard to stay in the majority.”
“And I expect our team to act like a team, and frankly, I made it pretty clear I wasn’t very happy,” he added.
In the meeting, Boehner told his fellow Republicans it was “nonsense” that some of them had voted against leadership, according to The Hill, which quoted an unnamed GOP lawmaker who was in the room.
Team Obama-Boehner-Wall Street
But, to which “team” is Speaker Boehner referring? Quite obviously he, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the other GOP Congressional leaders have teamed up with the Obama White House, Goldman Sachs and other corporate globalists to foist the secret, sovereignty-destroying TPP/TTIP/TISA treaties on the American people before they find out about them and develop widespread organized opposition. However, the outrageous lengths to which Team Obama-Boehner-McConnell has gone to keep these agreements secret and to rush them through Congress has, in the end, worked to stir public anger and unify resistance across the political spectrum. The defeat of the Trade Promotion Authority/Trade Adjustment Assistance package in the House last week, and the failure of Obama, Boehner, Scalise, and company to twist enough arms or bribe enough support for a revote on Tuesday is a hopeful sign that more members of Congress are Choosing Team America over Team Obama-Boehner-McConnell.
Photo of Rep. John Boehner: AP
Related articles:
Mr. Congressman, READ the Secret ObamaTrade Bills BEFORE You Vote!
7 Reasons Why Trade Promotion Authority/Fast Track Must Be Defeated
10 Reasons Why You Should Oppose TPP and TTIP
Paul Ryan’s Pelosi-style Freudian Slip Exposes Truth About ObamaTrade
Corporations Bribe Senators to Vote for TPP Fast-Track
CFSFTA-720x90-ad
 

GOP Chief Is Bailing Out the Surveillance State, Top Democrats Say

As one of my cyber buds said, “Did the people of Kentucky really reelect this moron police state puppet?”
Reposted from THE DAILY BEAST
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The Senate’s Republican leader is pushing to give the government new authorities to snoop. Some civil libertarians are calling it ‘Patriot Act 2.0.’
Just when you thought the fight over government surveillance powers was over, the Senate is poised for another battle, this time over a cyber security law that some civil libertarians have dubbed “Patriot Act 2.0.”On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that he would attach a bill aimed at improving U.S. cyber security to a mammoth defense policy bill, rather than let senators vote for the cyber measure on its own. That in and of itself is a risky move, given that the White House has already threatened to veto the defense bill. But it’s also raising the hackles of some lawmakers, who see the cyber legislation as an attempt to expand government surveillance of Americans while posing as a move to fight hackers and spies.
“I will be fighting to ensure the Senate has a full debate and a chance to offer amendments to add vital protections for American privacy and address the threats to our cybersecurity,” Sen. Ron Wyden said in a statement Tuesday. Wyden, who was the only member of the Senate Intelligence Committee to vote against moving the bill forward to a full vote last March, seemed to leave open the possibility of using filibuster-style tactics to hold up the measure, just like his fellow surveillance opponent, Sen. Rand Paul, used parliamentary procedures to force some surveillance powers under the Patriot Act to expire earlier this month. The Senate voted to reinstate most of them a few days later.
Keith Chu, a Wyden spokesman, told The Daily Beast that the senator hasn’t made a decision about how he will proceed. “But he’s making clear that [McConnell] should allow debate on the bill.”
One key member of the House of Representatives, which has already passed its version of the cyber bill, is worried about a repeat of the late-night, eleventh-hour dramas that accompanied the Senate’s debate over the Patriot Act, and in particular the authority it gave the National Secuirty Agency to collect Americans’ phone records.
“Unfortunately, there’s every indication that that’s likely to happen” with the cyber bill, Rep. Adam Schiff, the senior Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told The Daily Beast.
Schiff said he didn’t foresee the White House withdrawing its opposition to portions of the defense bill just to ensure that the cyber legislation passes. “I think if it’s an effort to bootstrap onto [the defense bill] to force the president’s hand, it won’t work,” he said. “And it will set back the time it takes to pass cyber information sharing.”
But the stage appeared set for another showdown in the Senate. In a letter to McConnell, the chamber’s four most senior Democrats called his effort to sandwich the cyber and defense bills together “ridiculous.”
“While we must ensure America’s national security, we cannot trifle with Americans’ civil liberties,” they wrote.
The bill before the Senate, called the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, would provide a framework for companies and the government to exchange data about cyber attacks on private computer networks, in the hopes of increasing awareness about hackers who are trying to steal to Americans’ financial information, probe critical infrastructures such as the power grid, and infiltrate important computer networks in the government. But critics worry that it will create another route for companies to hand over even more personal details about innocent Americans than they already are.
Continue reading at: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/06/11/gop-chief-is-bailing-out-the-surveillance-state-top-democrats-say.html#

GOP-run Senate Rescues ObamaTrade, Puts TPA Back on Fast Track

Written by  for THE NEW AMERICAN MAGAZINE

President Barack Obama’s trade agenda took another step forward in the Republican-controlled Senate today (May 21), thanks to wheeling and dealing by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his lieutenants, who engaged in a flurry of deal-making activity on the Senate floor. Struggling against the clock, with a jam-packed legislative schedule and a looming, week-long Memorial Day recess, Sen. McConnell put together 62 votes, 2 more than the 60-vote threshold needed to break the filibuster that was holding up the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill, also known as Fast Track.

McConnell may bring up the actual TPA bill for a full Senate vote as early as Friday, May 22, or, according to some reports, may even keep the Senate in session next week for a vote, skipping the Memorial recess. Today’s vote once again displayed the odd Republican-Democrat alliance, with the Obama White House and the GOP leadership in Congress uniting to win over Democrat votes and push globalist trade deals favored by Wall Street corporatists and world government advocates.

The one deal that was critical to securing the votes needed for cloture on the filibuster was McConnell’s promise to schedule a vote on renewed funding for the Export-Import Bank, the federal boondoggle that subsidizes loans to major corporations and funds projects in communist and socialist nations. Authorization for the Ex-Im Bank is scheduled to expire on June 30, and Democratic Senators Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, both from Washington State, as well as Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) emphatically demanded a pledge to bring up an Ex-Im vote as the price for their cloture votes.

The other Democrats who voted to end debate were Sens. Tom Carper (Del.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Chris Coons (Del.), Mark Warner (Va.), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Tim Kaine (Va.), Bill Nelson (Fla.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.), the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee.

Five Republicans voted against ending debate: Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Richard Shelby (Ala.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Mike Lee (Utah), and Rand Paul (Ky.).

ObamaTrade “Fast Track” Still Alive Despite Senate Smack Down

Written by  for the NEW AMERICAN MAGAZINE

Opponents of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnersdhip (TTIP) rejoiced over the Senate’s May 12 thumbs-down vote on Trade Promotion Authority (TPA), but another TPA/Fast Track match is looming, as lobbyists, the White House, the GOP, and Dems work out backroom deals.

The 52-45 cloture vote  in the Senate on Tuesday fell short of the 60 votes needed to cut off the Democrats’ filibuster and bring the Trade Promotion Authority bill to the Senate floor. The vote, which pitted the Obama White House and Senate Republicans against the president’s own party, has been reported in most of the establishment media as a “stinging defeat” for President Obama on one of his top agenda items. However, all is not as it seems on the surface, and some analysts who have been following the TPP/TTIP negotiations and legislation very closely warn that unless opponents keep up the pressure — and increase it — the next Senate Fast Track vote (which may come before the Memorial Day break) is likely to flip in the other direction.

Larry Greenley, who tracks legislation for The John Birch Society, says the May 12 cloture vote is positive in the sense that it has delayed Fast Track and shows that there is sufficient public opposition to the pseudo-free trade agenda to make many Democratic politicians nervous about voting for it. But, he told The New American, the “Nay” votes include Democrats who have already committed to supporting TPA and TPP, and who will likely switch to the “Yea” side on the next TPA vote. He points, for instance, to Senators Bennet (Colo.), Cantwell (Wash.), Feinstein (Calif.), McCaskill (Mo.), Murray (Wash.), Nelson (Fla.), Warner (Va.), and Wyden (Ore.) as likely flip votes in the next round. “Opponents of the TPA and TPP/TTIP should not read too much into this vote, or think that it means we’ve defeated Fast Track” and the ObamaTrade bills, Greenley said. “The real tests on these issues are yet to come.”

Why, then, did the Democrats vote en masse against giving President Obama Fast Track authority? Leverage, for one thing; protective coloration for another. The Democrats that favor the Trans-Pacific Partnership want to expand it, to wrap several more features into it. They insist that the TPA must contain Trade Adjustment Assistance, to provide government assistance to workers and businesses adversely affected by the TPP; a customs bill; and measures against foreign currency manipulation.

Also, many of the Democrats who intend, ultimately, to vote for the TPA and TPP know that doing so will cause a large chunk of their base — particularly organized labor — to retaliate against them on election day. To soften that backlash, they need to have a vote they can show to union voters indicating that they opposed TPA. The May 12 vote has provided them with that cover; they can point to that roll call and declare that they fought to make the TPP/TTIP work for the little guy, not just for the big corporate interests.

The Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) bill, as we have explained in more detail in previous articles (see here and here), is essential for passage of the TPP and TTIP. Virtually all of the pseudo-free trade agreements have depended on the TPA/Fast Track process to rush the complex agreements through Congress on an up-or-down, high-pressure vote, with very little time to examine or debate the text, and with no amendments or filibusters allowed.

The truly bizarre element in the TPA battle is the fervor of the Republican leadership in Congress demanding that their supposed arch-enemy, President Barack Obama, be given TPA powers to ram through, on the Fast Track, the secret TPP/TTIP agreements that he won’t even allow members of Congress full access to. With ObamaTrade, they would be handing him far more power than they did with ObamaCare. Republican Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader who has led this strange and destructive effort, sounded like an Obama White House sock puppet after the vote. “This is not a game,” McConnell said after the vote. “This is about trying to accomplish something important for the country that happens to be the president’s No. 1 domestic priority.”

McConnell and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) will be leading the GOP charge in this odd “bipartisan” effort to help President Obama round up the Senate Democrat votes he needs. Expect another vote on TPA very soon.

Editor’s note: On May 14, just hours after this article was published, the Senate agreed to invoke cloture and proceed with the TPA measure by a vote of 65 to 33.

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