With these four new trump cards on the table, the odds against fast-track get better -- and almost certainly the next Presidential election will put the candidates of both parties to the test. Trade diplomacy's House of Cards looks ever shakier -- even if it doesn't topple in the next few months.
Nearly everyone honors our war dead. More ignored are the military dead who died following the wars. Far too often, family and loved ones were abandoned to cope with wounded who would never really recover. Perhaps it is time to discuss when politicians ignore veterans when no one is watching.
We must recognize that striking the "right" balance between personal liberty and national security requires constant attention and reassessment. This is especially true following periods of crisis, when there is understandable pressure to tip the scales in favor of national security.
It's one of those rare weeks in Washington where Congress deigns to actually do their job and vote on some stuff... before lapsing back into their default status, which is of course: "taking weeks and weeks off, on vacation."
History shows that it only takes a dedicated few to gain the momentum from many more to enact change. The major drives to give women the right to vote, workers the right to form unions and secure numerous protections, and farmers regulation of railroads and banks did not require more than one percent of seriously active champions.
It will be interesting to see how the 2016 presidential campaigns operate in an environment where everyone is a reporter who can move information in real time.
Journalist and talk show host Bankole Thompson interviewed me about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (aka Obamatrade), a trade bill being fast-tracked through the U.S. Senate. To listen to our conversation, please click on the audio player here.
I've stated repeatedly that a massive amount of stimulus has been required to generate GDP growth of just 2.0%-2.5% annually since the end of the Great Recession (June 2009). We have further said that the removal or reversal of some of these stimulants will be a tough hurdle for the economy to overcome.
We must make certain that America remains a leader on the world stage. This will happen when we take the necessary time and money to advance our transportation system, which is an investment in our people and the future of America.
If you were to look at my past and present passports, you'd see a host of nations stamped on it that the White House has historically considered an adversary, an "axis of evil" state, or a security threat.
This is not "free trade." This is the race to the bottom. While we must help poor people around the world improve their standard of living, we can do that without destroying the American middle class.
Unless our top political officials, including our president and key Congressmen, as well as out civic executives, somehow transcend their current trajectories, it is unlikely that the state of our collective moral backbone will improve significantly in the coming decade.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.V., recently joined with other longtime climate deniers to introduce a bill that would derail the Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Power Plan. The plan when finalized this summer would set the first-ever federal limits on the biggest source of carbon pollution: existing power plants.
Senate hawks like Lindsey Graham and Mark Kirk do not like diplomacy with Iran. Graham has repeatedly threatened war with Iran, whereas Kirk prefers to starve the Iranian people. Yet, given that most Americans do not want another military adventure in the Middle East, the hawks are pivoting.
Think how 50,000 hungry Syrians in the besieged town of Al Waer must be feeling right now. They have just received their first food packages in months! They have been blocked from aid because of the ongoing civil war. Now who is WFP's largest donor in Syria to provide this life-saving food aid? It's the U.S. Food for Peace program.
They say timing is everything in life. Well, if that's true, the timing of this legislation to approve fast-track trade authority could not be worse for middle-class families.