Is Hillary Double-Talking on Trade Deals?

Hillary Clinton is promising to take a tougher stand on U.S. trade deals, but is that just campaign talk to appease supporters of Bernie Sanders and steal some backing away from Donald Trump, asks JP Sottile.

By JP Sottile

Did perennial Clinton rainmaker and current Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe let the cat out of the bag? The “cat” is the widely-held suspicion that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton isn’t really opposed to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). The “bag” is the campaign narrative that frames her election year reversal on the controversial trade accord as the outcome of an honest re-examination of a deal that she once hailed as “the gold standard in trade agreements.”

Just to add to the confusion, Hillary Clinton failed to declare her opposition to the TPP in her historic acceptance speech. Instead, she asked assembled Democrats to join her if they “believe that we should say ‘no’ to unfair trade deals” and “stand up to China.”

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Arizona, March 21, 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Carl Hayden High School in Phoenix, Arizona, March 21, 2016. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

It was an understandable omission given the grievances of Bernie loyalists poised to pounce on her every misstep. By avoiding the minefield completely she disappointed union leaders and deferred the issue until she debates Donald Trump.

Until then, she — and notable surrogates like economist Joseph Stiglitz — will try to convince a trade-weary public that she’s truly committed to renegotiating the increasingly unpopular deal. She’ll also be beating-back the ghost of trade deals past.

United Auto Workers President Dennis Williams claims Hillary assured him during the primary that she’s also committed to reopening the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Like the TPP, she was for it before she was against it. And like Hillary’s campaign promise to tweak NAFTA, McAuliffe suggested in an interview with Politico that – if she wins the White House – Clinton would make a few tweaks in the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal and then support it.

These caveats fit into a long pattern of trade policy triangulation that raises the question: Is this policy reversal truly a switch or just another bait and switch? There is good reason for the buyer to beware.

“Once the election’s over, and we sit down on trade, people understand a couple things we want to fix on it but going forward we got to build a global economy,” McAuliffe said.

Trading Places

NAFTA is America’s most notorious trade deal. Although It was negotiated by the first Bush Administration, it was Bill Clinton who closed the deal. At the end of his first year in office he guided NAFTA through the House and Senate by offsetting Democratic resistance with significant Republican majorities. Its ratification fit perfectly with the “centrist” mission of the Clinton-led “New Democrat” movement incubated by the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) during the preceding decade.

From its inception in 1985, the DLC triangulated against the Democratic Party’s “liberal” moniker that the GOP so effectively turned into an epithet after Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980. The historic loss of “liberal” former Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis in 1988 set the table for the DLC’s corporately-minded “New” Democrats. The election of DLC star Bill Clinton in 1992 was the turning point.

With the DLC’s best salesman and former chairman in the Oval Office, the Democratic Party was open for business. His wheeling-dealing economic team opened a whole new avenue for Wall Street to influence U.S. government policies. The Democrats were no longer a political roadblock.

Even if these New Democrats weren’t completely trading places with the GOP, Team Clinton was certainly willing to triangulate against Democrats’ traditional constituencies … particularly on trade.

The biggest signal of Clinton’s brand new deal was Al Gore’s smug dismissal of Ross Perot’s NAFTA warning on Larry King’s CNN show about the trade deal causing a “giant sucking sound” of American jobs going to Mexico. In dismissing Perot’s worries, Gore fired the starting gun for the go-go globalization of the 1990s.

The Morning NAFTA

For the first decade of NAFTA, Perot’s “sucking sound” seemed to go in reverse. As Sonali Kolhatkar detailed on TruthDig, big U.S. agribusinesses flooded Mexico with cheap, subsidized corn and seven other market-crushing products. That tidal wave put small Mexican farmers out of work. Ironically, they flooded back across the border to work in — surprise! — Big Ag’s burgeoning factory farming operations in states like Iowa, North Carolina, Alabama and Arkansas. Go figure.

Former Vice President Al Gore, a founder of Current TV. (Photo credit: algore.com)

Former Vice President Al Gore. (Photo credit: algore.com)

According to a 2014 assessment by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Mexico is still waiting for the promise of NAFTA’s economic leveling effect to be fulfilled. It’s actually lost ground on economic growth and GDP per person. And the poverty rate remains essentially unchanged.

But NAFTA did offer another low wage alternative to manufacturing in the United States. That helps keep retail prices low enough to match the eroding purchasing power of American consumers, which suffers because their wages are, like Mexican workers, flat or declining. The one thing that hasn’t suffered? Corporate profits and the executive compensation it is predicated upon. Again, go figure.

Where Credit Is Due

Although NAFTA is the usual target of ant-trade fervor, it simply doesn’t compare with the transformative impact of Bill Clinton’s biggest “trade deal” — securing Most Favored Nation (MFN) trade status for China. Repeated approval of Chinese access to U.S. markets set off a wave of job losses in America’s industrial heartland. It stoked corporate profits and consumer debt. And it ushered in the often-lamented era of the big box store.

Rising retail titans like Arkansas-based Walmart rushed into China’s incredibly favorable labor market. The cheap products they made turned the 1990s into a decade of plenty. Big box stores were stocked with cheap plastic stuff and consumers gobbled up the bargains with one or more of the credit cards they’d been given during an unprecedented era of ubiquitous consumer credit.

A study by Demos published in 2003 found that during Bill Clinton’s tenure the “average American family experienced a 53 percent increase in credit card debt, from $2,697 to $4,126.” Low-income families experienced a “184 percent rise in their debt.” And, despite the rise in income inequality during his presidency, even “high-income families had 28 percent more credit card debt in 2001 than they did in 1989.”

Demos also found a sharp rise in credit card direct mail solicitations from 1.52 billion in 1993 to a staggering 5 billion in 2001. Monthly minimums where lowered from 5 percent to 2 percent, thus making it easier to carry debt. And the consumer credit industry “tripled the amount of credit it offered customers from $777 billion to almost $3 trillion” by the time Clinton left office. It was a bill of sale first written by Bill Clinton on the campaign trail in 1992.

Promises, Promises

When Bill Clinton ran for president, the Cold War was over; the Savings and Loan scandal had exploded; the economy was mired in a sharp recession; and incumbent President George H.W. Bush couldn’t do a damn thing right. He seemed bored by people’s “pain.” He looked woefully out of touch in a grocery check-out line. And he’d broken the infamous “no new taxes” pledge that helped him defeat “Taxachusetts” Governor Michael Dukakis in 1988.

With Reaganomics on the ropes, Team Clinton scored repeatedly with their “It’s the Economy, Stupid” campaign. But Clinton also exploited another weakness — the Bush Administration’s quick embrace of the Chinese Government after the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989. That embrace was sealed with a discomfiting handshake by Bush’s national security advisor Brent Scowcroft.

Shortly thereafter, President Bush renewed China’s “Most Favored Nation” trade status, which, among other things, lowered tariffs on Chinese imports into the U.S. He was widely criticized, often from within his own party, for cutting a deal with a regime some called “The Butchers of Beijing.”

In the 1992 campaign, Bill Clinton exploited Poppy’s “kowtowing” to great effect. Clinton accused Bush of “indifference toward democracy” in China. And Clinton famously said Bush was willing to “coddle dictators.” On March 9, 1992, Clinton proclaimed, “I do not believe we should extend ‘Most Favored Nation’ status to China unless they make significant progress in human rights, arms proliferation and fair trade.”

Of course, that all changed after he took office. On March 28, 1993, the cagey President announced he’d cut a deal with a Congress to extend a waiver that effectively approved MFN while deferring human rights-related conditions to the following year. Clinton even outlined other concerns, including China’s “$18 billion trade surplus” with the U.S.

But all those concerns, along with his campaign pledge, where jettisoned on March 27, 1994 when Clinton made the economy-changing decision to “de-link” China’s MFN status from human rights. That decision buried Tiananmen Square in the crowded graveyard of America’s often-trumpeted “advocacy” for human rights around the globe.

It also unleashed American corporations to dive headlong into China’s vast, cheap pool of low-wage labor. By the time Clinton made his state visit to China in the summer of 1998, MFN was becoming a footnote to the amazing story of China’s skyrocketing industrial output. Facing charges of hypocrisy on human rights, Clinton countered, “I’m going because I think it’s the right thing to do for our country.”

That may be a debatable point. What’s not in doubt is that it, like MFN, was the right thing to do for the bottom line of American business. And it was specifically beneficial for an emerging retail behemoth that had a long, close relationship with the Clintons.

The Power Greeter

Alice Walton likes Hillary Clinton. That’s a fairly safe assumption given the $353,400 check she cut for the Hillary Victory Fund during a mad dash of pre-election year fundraising at the end of 2015. And she also kicked in another $25,000 into the “Ready for Hillary” SuperPAC. Those big donations are, like the estimated $130 billion net worth of Walton family, a legacy handed-down from Walmart founder Sam Walton.

President Bill Clinton, First Lady Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea parade down Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 1997. (White House photo)

President Bill Clinton, First Lady Hillary Clinton and daughter Chelsea parade down Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 1997. (White House photo)

That legacy dates back to Bill’s time as Governor — when the Walton family began a long history of financial support of the Clintons, according to Bloomberg. It made sense given Walmart’s supersized role in Arkansas.

It also made good political sense that, as Michael Barbaro of the New York Times reported back in 2007, Hillary was brought onto Walmart’s Board of Directors back in 1986 at the behest of Walton’s wife Helen. That effort to add a woman to the boardroom turned into a six-year stint that cemented the long relationship between Arkansas’ most famous corporation and its most famous political family.

As Brian Ross of ABC News reported in the lead-up to her 2008 run, Hillary notably left that glass ceiling-shattering appointment out of her biography. She basically “de-linked” herself from a stridently anti-union company that was also a notoriously thrifty spender on employee wages and benefits. The ABC report also referenced a 1992 report showing her trumpeting Walmart’s “Buy America” campaign in spite of Walmart’s reliance on children working in sweatshops in places like Bangladesh. That’s a practice Walmart continued into the 1990s.

It came to a head in 1996 when All-American “sweetheart” Kathie Lee Gifford got embroiled in a child labor scandal in Honduras. Coincidentally, that scandal broke the same year Walmart entered China “through a joint-venture agreement.” And that was just two years after Bill Clinton “de-linked” human rights from MFN.

It was also the same year that he successful renewed MFN with an overwhelming vote of support by the House of Representatives. The timing couldn’t be better for Walmart. They’d auspiciously formed their international division in 1993 and were poised to profit off Bill’s broken promise to “not coddle dictators.”

But, as with all things Clinton, there really isn’t a “smoking gun” linking Bill’s MFN reversal with Walmart’s amazing good fortune in China. There is just the lingering miasma of happy coincidences. Bill Clinton’s crowning coincidence before exiting the Oval Office was Congressional approval of his proposal to give China permanent Most Favored Nation trading status in 2000.

The New Normal

On Oct. 10, 2000, he signed the U.S.–China Relations Act of 2000 into law. Most Favored Nation status officially became Normal Trade Relations. Also in that year, the $18 billion trade deficit he decried in 1993 ballooned to $83 billion. Meanwhile, Walmart rode low-cost Chinese manufacturing to the top of the retail heap. Walmart’s massive workforce is now the third largest in the world behind the U.S. Defense Department and, ironically, China’s People’s Liberation Army.

Amazingly, the U.S. trade deficit with China more than tripled to $263 billion in the eight years after Clinton secured “Normal” trade relations in 2000. Meanwhile, Walmart’s infamous low-wage practices at home were subsidized annually to the tune of “an estimated $6.2 billion in public assistance including food stamps, Medicaid and subsidized housing,” according to 2015 report in Forbes.

Also amazingly, the Clintons’ wealth skyrocketed to $111 million in the years after Bill left office. Hillary spent those years in and out of “public service” and the former President turned the Clinton Foundation into a $439 million powerhouse by 2014.

While the Foundation’s philanthropy is demonstrable, criticisms of it as a de facto slush fund remain. But the link between political promises and trade policy persisted. This time it was Hillary running for president. The trade deal was with war-torn Colombia. And the campaign trail leads back to the Clinton Foundation.

Rinse, Repeat

There is a strange symmetry between China’s MFN status, the TPP imbroglio and a notable “flip-flop” on the Colombia Free Trade Agreement by first-time presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in 2008. Then like now, she was competing against a movement candidate in newcomer Barack Obama. And then like now, she struggled to protect her “left” flank on economic issues.

Ex-Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. (Photo credit: World Economic Forum)

Ex-Colombian President Alvaro Uribe. (Photo credit: World Economic Forum)

At issue in 2008 was a sweeping deal negotiated by the second Bush Administration with the U.S.-supported, civil war-wracked narcostate of Colombia. Obama “vowed” to oppose the deal. To keep pace with her high-octane opponent, Hillary repeatedly reassured labor leaders of her opposition to the deal.

The rub was two-fold. Not only did she have a decidedly pro-free trade voting record as a senator. But both her free-trading husband and her chief campaign strategist were on record supporting the deal. She ditched her Colombia-linked strategist and matched Obama’s anti-deal stance. But, just like China’s MFN before it, the trade agreement with Colombia eventually became a “big win” for a Democratic President who was for it before he was against it.

This time it was a flip-flopping President Obama. With the help of his flip-flopping former foe and then-current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he scored a trade deal trifecta on Oct. 12, 2011. That’s when Congress approved the United States-Colombia Trade Promotion Agreement (CTPA) and separate deals with both South Korea and Panama. Obama called the trio of trade deals “a major win for American workers and businesses.” Alas, it turned out that there was a lot more change on trade than reason to hope Obama or Hillary would keep their promises.

Mining The Depths

Meet billionaire mining magnate Frank Giustra. According to the New York Times, the financial power-player’s global interests have included philanthropy and a $45 million stake in a deal to sell strategic uranium mines in Central Asia and the United States to the Russian atomic energy agency Rosatom. Strangely enough, those two interests — charity and strategic resources — fit together nicely. That’s because the uranium deal required U.S. agencies — including the State Department — to sign-off before it was approved.

The eight-year process for the uranium deal required approval by the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment of which the State Department is a member. That approval finally came in 2010 when Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State and while the Clinton Foundation was continuing to collect millions of dollars from related investors.

Throughout, Giustra’s wheeling and dealing continued with his close friend and private jet-setting partner Bill Clinton, who gave a $500,000 speech to a Russian investment bank that gave the stock a buy rating.

Since 2005, Giustra has lavished the Clinton Foundation with repeated donations, adding up to in excess of $100 million. Yet, putting Bill Clinton’s oddly remunerative, but not uncommon $500,000 speech in Moscow aside, there still is no smoking gun linking then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the actual approval of the deal. Once again we just have that miasma of happy coincidences.

More troubling, though, is the coincidence that her husband’s friend Frank Giustra did benefit from the Colombia Free Trade Agreement deal’s “extreme” protections for foreign investors and special rights for corporations engaged in “resource extraction,” according to an eye-opening exposé by David Sirota, Matthew Cunningham-Cook and Andrew Perez of the International Business Times.

At issue is a company formerly known as Pacific Rubiales, an oil company founded by (you guessed it) Frank Giustra. The State Department repeatedly fielded accusations of workers’ rights and human rights abuses, particularly related to strike targeting Pacific Rubiales in 2011. Strangely, the State Department not only ignored these accusations, but actually praised the Colombian government’s stellar progress on human rights. Was this Hillary Clinton’s “de-linking” MFN moment?

Maybe it’s worse. It looks like there’s a little smoke coming out of this gun. As Sirota, Cunningham-Cook and Perez reported:

“At the same time that Clinton’s State Department was lauding Colombia’s human rights record, her family was forging a financial relationship with Pacific Rubiales, the sprawling Canadian petroleum company at the center of Colombia’s labor strife. The Clintons were also developing commercial ties with the oil giant’s founder, Canadian financier Frank Giustra, who now occupies a seat on the board of the Clinton Foundation, the family’s global philanthropic empire.”

Those “commercial ties” include the “Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership” which its snazzy website calls a “pioneering an innovative approach to poverty alleviation” that “generates both social impact and financial returns by addressing existing market gaps in developing countries’ supply or distribution chains.”

Really, doesn’t that “pioneering approach” sound a lot like the long-term project of the Democratic Leadership Committee?

The “pioneering” privatization of “poverty alleviation” was a big part of then-President Bill Clinton’s famous “welfare reform bill” of 1996. Profitable privatized prisons grew to match the skyrocketing demand created by infamous “crime bill” of 1994. The “financial returns” flowed as the prison “market gap” was closed. And like neoliberal trade policy, deregulation of Wall Street and the media, it’s all symptomatic of the Clinton-led move of the party toward the corporate-friendly “center.”

As Frank Giustra said in a 2006 profile of Bill Clinton for The New Yorker, “All of my chips, almost, are on Bill Clinton. He’s a brand, a worldwide brand, and he can do things and ask for things that no one else can.” Based on a Giustra’s latest venture in Colombia — a big financial play in the Gran Colombia Gold Corporation — he’s still reaping the “free trade” rewards of his bank-shot bet on Hillary Clinton.

In fact, he’s not just going for the gold … but some silver, too.

Big Box Democrats

Back in 1992, the phenomenal Clinton political machine successfully sold the “new,” improved Democratic Party to Reaganomics-starved political consumers. He felt their pain. He also changed his party and opened the door to the big-box consumerism. Now that same sharp messaging machine is repackaging Hillary’s free-trading past, pulling Bill’s mixed political record from the shelves, and hard-selling her latter-day transformation on trade and economic policies.

The question is: Will suspicious voters buy her “Come to Bernie” moment as a wholesale conversion on the road to the White House? Disgruntled and disaffected voters have to buy into the idea that she’s truly changed on trade and is not, as Terry McAuliffe implied, simply repeating a well-worn pattern of bait and switch.

Simply put, she’s got a long, demonstrable history of supporting trade agreements. And by one account she specifically “pushed” the Trans-Pacific Partnership 45 times. But that was then and this now. And now she’s got a disillusioned cadre of #BernieOrBusters to her left and a new army of anti-trade Trumpsters to her right. That’s left her stuck in the “centrist” middle with the corporate donors, financiers and loyalists who’ve been shopping in the supermarket of political influence ever since the Clintons transformed the Democrats into the party of Big Box-style democracy.

JP Sottile is a freelance journalist, radio co-host, documentary filmmaker and former broadcast news producer in Washington, D.C. He blogs at Newsvandal.com or you can follow him on Twitter, http://twitter/newsvandal.

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34 comments for “Is Hillary Double-Talking on Trade Deals?

  1. Bill Bodden
    August 1, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    Is Hillary Double-Talking on Trade Deals?

    Is there any political issue on which she is not double-talking? Several weeks ago I predicted that we would be shown what Hillary’s real agenda would be on November 9th. I should have said her real agenda would be obvious to all but the most gullible on November 9th. It has been apparent to many people who can think for themselves for a long time. She has proved on many occasions her words are just that – words of base coinage. Bernie Sanders’ popularity pushed her to talk left and claim she was progressive. What did she ever do from the time she was co-governor in Arkansas, co-president in the White House, senator from New York and secretary of state that was progressive? Acting as liaison between Wal-Mart and governor Clinton sure as hell wasn’t progressive. Going along with president Slick Willie on “welfare reform” and mass incarceration certainly wasn’t progressive. As one of the “we” in Madeleine Albright’s statement about “we thought it was worth it” with the first “it” referring to the estimated half million Iraqi children who died because of sanctions she most assuredly wasn’t progressive then. Facilitating the coup against President Zelaya in Honduras after he proposed a raise in the minimum wage was vile and squalid in the minds of many progressives.

    • Joe Tedesky
      August 2, 2016 at 2:03 am

      You know Bill, with all the voter angst on who we should vote for, it sure would be a nice thing if we leaderless voters could have a candidate we could believe in. Between the two major parties who have a monopoly on America’s political scene, neither represents the people as in ‘we the people’ who these politicians claim they want to give a voice to in Washington. Although it would be profoundly restrictive to not have an opportunity to cast a ballot, it would be less insulting to if we the people would just hand over our right to vote to the Electoral College. Here again, without our useless constituency, just think about how much the media would lose in revenue with the loss of a voting public to put the next group of liars in political office. We are all being played big time. This unconstitutional condition we are left with, is so huge of a lying apparatus that it would take something equally big, or something so overwhelmingly larger to overtake this gross destruction of the United States of America. Until someone, or a group of somebody’s comes along to undo this mess, we are all stuck at a minus zero on a scale of nothing. Be ready, for the many as may come trade agreements, and then sit around the bond fire and tell our grandchildren of a better time there once was for all the working class in America.

      • Bill Bodden
        August 2, 2016 at 12:45 pm

        … with all the voter angst on who we should vote for, it sure would be a nice thing if we leaderless voters could have a candidate we could believe in.

        Jill Stein is someone we can believe in. The odds against her being elected president are high, but there is a possibility. A Look At The Numbers by John Rachel – http://jdrachel.com/2016/07/26/a-look-at-the-numbers/

        If not elected, at least she is someone the decent minority(?) of American people can promote as a candle of hope for a change of direction for our barbaric American empire. America needs a breath of fresh air to counter the current polluted political atmosphere. We need to get as many people as possible to support Jill Stein and bring her to the attention of the American people who are running like lemmings to the cliffs over the Clinton and Trump abysses.

    • Realist
      August 2, 2016 at 5:19 am

      How about deregulating the banks? Was that progressive? Eliminating Glass-Steagall? Progressive or no? What about deregulating the media in the Telecommunications Act of 1996? Was anything about that progressive? The roots of the Enron Crisis which surfaced in 2001 under Dubya lay back in deregulation of the energy sector during the 1990’s. Progressive leadership under the Big Dog or something else? Mobilizing NATO for the very first time on the battlefield to make war on Yugoslavia (or what was left of it): a bold progressive move redounding to all the world’s benefit this very day, or yet another tragic mistake by a pseudo-progressive huckster? If Hillary thinks that any Clinton policy has ever been progressive, she needs to go buy a dictionary.

      • Bill Bodden
        August 2, 2016 at 10:28 am

        If Hillary thinks that any Clinton policy has ever been progressive, she needs to go buy a dictionary.

        Hillary’s dictionary consists of words that suckers will fall for, and there seems to be a Pandora’s box of people gullible enough to believe her spiel. Forget the meaning of words. It’s what people believe they mean that counts as far as Hillary and her unscrupulous accomplices are concerned.

  2. Christene
    August 2, 2016 at 12:05 am

    Here, let me make it really, really simple.
    Is Hillary lying?
    If her mouth is open and words are coming out then yes………Hillary is lying.

    Any questions??

    • Bill Bodden
      August 2, 2016 at 11:03 am

      A good rule, but like most rules there is an exception. You can bet that Hillary will live up to her promises towards Israel and that there will be no limit to her loyalty to that nation. Whatever Bibi wants, Bibi gets.

      The exception to this rule? Not likely to happen, but if the Arabs outbid pro-Israel moneybags for Hillary’s affections then it is goodbye Haim, goodby Sheldon. ‘Been nice to know, ya.

  3. LondonBob
    August 2, 2016 at 3:59 am

    Peter Brimelow says a British official discussed NAFTA with some White House officials, they knew NAFTA would devastate Mexican agriculture and the sop to the Mexicans was that the displaced farmers would be allowed to cross the border and become cheap farm workers in the north. Both peoples got screwed by NAFTA.

    Hillary will do what her donors tell her to.

  4. Reed
    August 2, 2016 at 4:35 am

    By now, surely we know not to believe a word that Hillary says during a campaign.

    Hillary has a long and proven track record and history that teaches that during a campaign she’s is lying. During a campaign, Hillary is lying and simply saying whatever it is thinks will get her elected.

    Then, after the election, she’ll be Goldman Sach’s girl. The Clinton’s started the current trend of putting Wall Street directly in charge of the economy. Hillary will do whatever the bankers or another big donor wants. And whatever she said to get elected will be a distant memory for the suckers who believed it.

    And, don’t forget, the first Clinton years ended with key advisor going straight to Fox News because they were so right-wing. And Hillary has filled key positions at the State Dept with people who came from Dick Cheney’s staff.

    So, expect a Hillary administration to be comprised of bankers, banker-friendly people, and a bunch of Dick Cheney/Fox News right-wingers.

    • Realist
      August 2, 2016 at 5:33 am

      Oh, it cracks me up to say it, but… yet the right wingers will conspire to investigate her endlessly in congress (maybe Ken Starr will even get a second bite at the apple) and will ultimately impeach her just like her husband. Apparently, bringing home the bacon to their corporate masters is not good enough, not if there’s the fixin’s of a juicy scandal that may advantage the “rightful” owners of the White House. They’re just gonna let her keep the seat warm until they can leverage Jeb or someone from the Club into the position. This whole soap opera would be a hoot if it weren’t so fraught with existential danger.

  5. exiled off mainstreet
    August 2, 2016 at 4:56 am

    We know she’s lying and is ready to do away with sovereignty and the rule of law as regards to corporate power. As a war criminal based on Libya and betrayer of the public interest through these trade deals she is by far the most undesirable major party candidate ever.

    • Bill Bodden
      August 2, 2016 at 10:34 am

      The mother of the young man who was killed in Benghazi got it wrong about Hillary’s action or inaction then. It wasn’t so much Benghazi that got him killed. It was the overthrow of Gaddaffi that Hillary pushed for that caused the deaths of those four Americans in Benghazi – and thousands of other people before and since.

  6. Realist
    August 2, 2016 at 5:02 am

    “Standing up to China” really means standing up to the trans-national mega-corporations that have abandoned American workers under these trade agreements, like MFN, to go exploit Chinese workers. Anybody here think that will happen? Anyone? Buehler?

  7. Sally Snyder
    August 2, 2016 at 7:16 am

    Here is an article that looks at how much money the Clintons have received from one sector of the economy:

    http://viableopposition.blogspot.ca/2016/06/the-clintons-big-banks-and-big-bucks.html

    We already have a pretty good idea of what will happen should the United States suffer a repetition of what happened during the Great Recession.

  8. MD
    August 2, 2016 at 8:53 am

    Taken together, TPP, TTIP, and the even more insidious Trade in Services Agreement these investor/capital rights deals which the Empire of the Exceptionals falsely referrer to as “trade deals” represent the institutionalization of of the global economic empire as fronted by the US government. The deals strip the sovereign economic control of nations and replaces it with corporate law and authoritarian corporate rule.

    There is little doubt they will all pass along with other agreements supporting the Imperial rule of the oligarchs who own the corporations.

    The US owns and controls the global financial system, it owns and controls the internet, it has a military budget of 30+ billion dollars per day. The Empire of the Exceptionals exercises full hegemonic control of the entire planet except for Russia and China which are surrounded with US nuclear weapons.

    Clinton is in reality an Imperialist and an Imperial apparatchik she will do all in her power to advance the interests of the Empire of the Exceptionals. These deals are critical to the Empire and will eventually “pass” unless something really powerful and disruptive happens to stop them.

  9. OH
    August 2, 2016 at 9:49 am

    With the TPP, foreign billionaires will sue the USA to reduce Americans standard of living, health, income, rights, representation, and sovereignty. But, hey it’s fair, because “OUR” billionaires also get to sue foreign countries to reduce their standard of living.

    Clinton is for it, Trump is for it, Kaine is for it, and Pence is for it. The only candidate who was against it was Bernie Sanders. The others all got a hall pass from the donors to speak against it in order to deceive the American people otherwise they can’t get elected. For being against the TPP and other Centrist-Conservative priorities, the Democratic Party conspired against Bernie Sanders in the primary, which was proved beyond any possible denial by DNC emails leaked through WikiLeaks.

    Trump should just totally hypocritically trash the TPP, all he has to do is out-bash the TPP and Trump wins. Then, Emperor Trump can sign it and say over and over that he fixed it before he signed it.

  10. Roch
    August 2, 2016 at 10:28 am

    CrookdClinton DOUBLE CROSSES EVERYONE, WHY THINK THIS IS DIFFERENT? Puts USA NationalSecurity in jeopardy for four years and nothing? CIC Obama did not ORDER her to comply?

  11. Zachary Smith
    August 2, 2016 at 10:49 am

    People who believe Hillary’s temporary flip-flop on the TPP is real will end up with a fishhook dangling from their lips. The current buzz words are “fair” and “present form”. All President Hillary will have to do – assuming she doesn’t “pull an Obama” – is to change the position of a couple of commas and correct some of the grammar, and all of a sudden the TPP treaty will be something truly wonderful. In the words of Hillary’s web site, it’ll then create “smarter, fairer, tougher trade policies that put U.S. job creation first and get tough on nations like China that seek to prosper at the expense of our workers. This will lead to the creation of good-paying jobs and raising pay.

    What’s not to like? First woman in the White House, and the return of Utopia in the Job Markets.

    The Clinton Foundation has been the conduit for the bribes of Big Business and Foreign Governments.

    http://freebeacon.com/blog/as-hillary-stays-mum-on-pacific-trade-deal-corporate-backers-donate-millions-to-clinton-foundation/

    The Big Bankers wanted and got Obama, and Big Corporate of all types desperately wants Hillary.

    Given that Trump keeps playing to lose, it’s likely going to happen.

  12. Bill Bodden
    August 2, 2016 at 12:06 pm

    The Democratic Convention (hagiographic) Film on Hillary Clinton Lied to America By Robert Scheer – http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/does_morgan_freeman_know_he_lied_to_us_at_democratic_convention_20160801

  13. Bill Bodden
    August 2, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    It isn’t Hillary alone:

    Sanders delegates recount ‘Orwellian’ message control by Clinton supporters during DNC by Wilson Dizard – http://mondoweiss.net/2016/08/delegates-orwellian-supporters/

  14. August 2, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    From Stock at NukePro blog:

    “Clinton Email Prove She Made a Shady Deal With Japan on Kissinger’s Advice, Buying Fukushima Radiation Infested Food W/O Testing”
    https://nukeprofessional.blogspot.ca/2016/07/clinton-email-prove-she-made-shady-deal.html?showComment=1470030987493#c2036466550347744712

    Clinton will almost certainly have to reverse her position on the TPP, again.

  15. August 2, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    Hillary will support the TPP
    Hillary will support the TPP and all other deals of the same ilk. She has always subscribed to every hegemonic effort to extend American control to the whole planet. The TPP would realize the cherished American objective of Full spectrum domination over those countries foolish enough to be seduced by the TPP’s false promise of increased wealth for all partners. It is only very slightly and incidentally a trade deal. It is, in fact, along with NAFTA and the Central American free trade area, another achievement of the long dreamed confederation of as many client states as possible, all led by the United States of America, forming a new empire controlled not by the American people, but solely, by the united largest predatory multi-national American corporations on the planet. The Purpose of the TPP is to reduce the wages, and increase the indebtedness of all workers and other citizens in the new empire to the lowest common level possible, to reduce their social safety nets and public services, to establish the reduction of the activities of all public bodies to the minimum required to defend the property of the corporations, and to remove all private or publicly purposed impediments that might hinder corporate freedom to conduct business: how, when, where and as they would like, to maximize their profits, free of all courts of justice or lower orders of political control, to privatize all activities, all property: of small holders, of co-ops, of indigent peoples, of any public institution, to minimize taxes of every kind, to use the commons, air, water, land not belonging to themselves, as reserves for dumping. In this way, eliminating the costs of cleaning up the consequents of production. An important purpose of the TPP is to roll back all international and national environmental treaties and regulations, especially as regards fighting climate change, ocean acidification, conservation of environments and species and national or sub national cultural agreements. The TTP also changes criminal laws in all partner countries to make uniform protection of intellectual property owned by American corporations working in digital, literate, visual, audio, health, agricultural, food safety and other areas, making penalties harsh, extraditable, and applicable without exception for: educational institutions, personal use, or other non-commercial purpose. It also aims aggressively to fatally hurt the ability of Russia and China to exercise their legitimate influence in their regions under international law, and to limit their freedom to do business everywhere. To pass this treaty will lead the world toward impoverishment, destruction of the planets ecosphere and eventually, world war. Hillary Clinton’s people passionately desire all of these results.
    Michael Fish,
    Longueuil, Canada

  16. John
    August 2, 2016 at 4:17 pm

    America is the #1 consumer nation on the planet…… Buying things using credit……Buying things you don’t really need….Buying things just because it feels good….. The only growth in America is debt growth…..American citizens are really the ones in control of the destiny of your country….Bankers and multinational corporations love the American consumers most……You could be free but it feels so good to buy something…

    • Bill Bodden
      August 2, 2016 at 7:28 pm

      America is the #1 consumer nation on the planet

      Because the training of Americans and anyone else exposed to capitalist-sponsored media begins as soon as they can understand the spoken word, and the indoctrination never stops. Priority One is to become a consumer. Citizenship is relegated to a much lower priority.

      • John
        August 2, 2016 at 8:21 pm

        This is the beginning and the end of the problem…….The trade deals……If you don’t continuously buy buy buy…. it’s good-by to the flow that keeps their system going…….my take some time…..it’s all you have to break their back…. Your government isn’t on the side of “We the People” sorry …..Hello……

        • SFOMARCO
          August 3, 2016 at 12:28 am

          {After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President Bush didn’t call for sacrifice. He called for shopping. “Get down to Disney World in Florida,” he said. “Take your families and enjoy life, the way we want it to be enjoyed.”}

          Yes, shopping is your patriotic duty.

  17. Zachary Smith
    August 2, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    McAuliffe – 7/26/16: “Once the election’s over, and we sit down on trade, people understand a couple things we want to fix on it but going forward we got to build a global economy,”

    Obama – 8/ 2/16: “Hopefully, after the election is over and the dust settled, there will be more attention to the actual facts behind the deal, and it won’t just be a political symbol or a political football…”

    It looks to me that McAuliffe knew what he was talking about. A Lame Duck passage would be perfect – Hillary would mildly protest while secretly assisting in every way possible.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/news/politics-government/white-house/article93319012.html#storylink=latest_side

    • SFOMARCO
      August 3, 2016 at 12:40 am

      “… there will be more attention to the actual facts behind the deal…”

      Typical disingenuous deflection from Obama, even more transparent than his usual. There will be no attention paid to the facts, as absolutely zero provisions of the TPP will be disclosed.

  18. J'hon Doe II
    August 3, 2016 at 6:41 am

    The Trilateral Commission will not back down!!!
    The race for World Economic Domination is at stake… .
    ::

    What is the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement?

    The TPP is a trade agreement between 12 Pacific Rim countries, led by the United States and also including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Peru, Japan, Singapore, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam. Others such as Taiwan and South Korea have expressed an interest in joining.

    The 12 signatories account for more than 40 per cent of global GDP and a population of nearly 800 million, making it the largest trade agreement since the creation of the World Trade Organisation. Negotiations were concluded on 5 October 2015, but the conclusions must first be sanctioned by each member country before the agreement comes into effect.

    It is a comprehensive and high-level regional agreement, covering customs administration and trade, intellectual property, state-owned enterprises and designated monopolies, e-commerce, competition policy, investment, financial services, the environment and labour rights.

    ::

    What is “One Belt One Road”?

    OBOR is an initiative launched by President Xi Jinping in 2013 to focus on building upon and creating trade routes and business opportunities within China and across South-East, Central and South Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

    It has two main elements:

    The Silk Road Economic Belt, a land route, which will link China with Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe; and
    The 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, a sea route, which will connect China with South-East Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, North Africa and Europe.

    A long-term initiative, OBOR encompasses some 60 countries, which account for 60 per cent of the world’s population and a collective GDP equivalent to 33 per cent of the world’s wealth.

    OBOR is not only an economic initiative, but a major geopolitical one, which is expected to go on for several decades.

    http://www.cbbc.org/news/the-trans-pacific-partnership-agreement-vs-the-one/

  19. Ol' Hippy
    August 3, 2016 at 2:33 pm

    These deals, TPP&TTIP are environmental disasters. Then it also has corporate rights above any other one that may currently exist and essentially gives business free reign to do as they please and to hell with humanity and the Earth. You know, profit, unregulated, unadulterated capitalist greed with a capital G. I’m paying close attention to the upcoming debates because a lot of Bernie folks won’t go with Clinton if she backs out of the denying the bill. Really!…a secret f**king deal that destroys the world in one fell swoop. I’m watching…..

  20. elmerfudzie
    August 4, 2016 at 1:43 am

    I have two comments here, one of which, is a re-post that appeared during CONSORTIUMNEWS articles earlier this year. Hillary Clinton and Al Gore are part of the same international corporate Uber Bohemians. Initially I had respect for Al Gore and gave him a B+ as presidential material, but then learned ‘ol Al was setting up a new Medieval confessional of sorts, where “polluters” would admit to their excessive carbon belching and pay a fee (dollar indulgence) for doing so, SINS FORGIVEN! with cash payouts instead of true penance! This was uncovered by Paul Joseph Watson’s article, published on 11/03/09 at the New York Times. He has lifted the lid on just how “Al Gore stands to benefit to the tune of BILLIONS of dollars if the carbon tax proposals he is pushing come to fruition in the United States, while documenting how he has already lined his pockets on the back of exaggerated fear mongering about global warming. Example; “Kleiner Perkins and its partners, including Mr. Gore, could recoup their investment many times over in coming years,” states the report, highlighting the fact that Gore is in a great position to profit from this green transformation. Secondly, when I put Hillary, side-by side with a truly sincere and real political leader like The Canadian Action Party representative, Connie Fogal,… Weeellll Clinton’s enough to make me nauseated and disgusted. Instead of outlining her opposition to a tri-national political entity (USA-Canada-Mexico fusion), opposing the Security and Prosperity Partnership Agreement, opposing the North American Union, we get this sort of political tripe! Why isn’t she talking about opposing the NAFTA superhighway? and in so doing, preserving unionized jobs all along Coastal California’s deep water ports? Why hasn’t she aligned herself with those sixteen states that created resolutions within their state government(s), opposing any North American Union of the USA, Mexico and Canada? Will the real, electable,first female, presidential hopeful PLEASE step forward!

  21. Robert Billyard
    August 4, 2016 at 3:09 am

    With Killary on trade deals and everything else, it’s easy. You are utterly foolhardy to believe a word she says. Wall Street and the Pentagon own her that’s all you need to know.

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