The White House has released the text of the much-loathed and feared Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal.
You can read it for yourself, but fair warning you don’t want to print it at 2,000 pages and 30 chapters, it will make HP filthy rich in ink alone.
The way I understand it from the article, Congress (and the public) have 90 days to read this thing, and then there’s another 90 days for Congress to dis/approve it. So 180 days total starting now.
And this makes for an interesting sideshow for the 2016 Goat Rodeo as that 180 days will put the vote smack-dab in between the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire primary.
So for our amusement, here is the 2016 Goat Rodeo state of play around the TPP as I understand it:
- All three of the Dims’ candidates are opposed to the deal (yes, even Hillary Clinton, who probably participated in some of the negotiation as Secretary of state). The TPP should be a neutral issue since they all are in agreement, at least for now.
- Short-fingered vulgarian Donald Trump (thanks Spy Magazine!) and Uncle Sugar hisself Mike Huckabee have stated opposition to it. Uncle Sugar, if he’s still in play, is running as a populist and sees the TPP as crony capitalism.
- Cruz, Rubio, and Jindal have been negative on it because it was negotiated by The Kenyan Usurper, and so they will have to clarify where they stand if the press does its job (always doubtful).
I don’t think it’s a stretch of the imagination to say that the bidness interests of the Republican Party is going to be putting a lot of pressure on their candidates to support this thing, and so seeing who falls on which side should be really revealing for Cruz and Rubio. As for Jindal, he’s already out of the race, he just doesn’t know it yet.
Zombie-eyed Granny-starver Paul Ryan explains to us why it is that members of Congress deserve work-life balance, well him anyway, but the rest of us don’t:
Personally, I want my representative to be exactly like the rest of us: in a hurry, harassed, exhausted and living in fear from paycheck to paycheck (but considering that most of them are multi-millionaires this is unlikely).
I’d like them to feel exactly what the rest of us feel as they chop away at the safety net and set the ammosexuals loose against the rest us.
I’d also like to think that they care, but they are clearly sociopaths.
Once again we must thank the Supreme Court for telling us that Money=Free Speech and that there is no corruption or appearance of corruption in politics.
Which is why it seems like really bad timing that Jon Hammes contributed $125,000 to the 2016 Goat Rodeo campaign coffers of Scott ‘Hot Ham’ Walker on the day that Walker threw his support behind building a new stadium—with tax payer dollars—for the team that Hammes co-owns. Another co-owner
sweetened the bribe donated an additional $50K to Walker’s campaign. What’ the chances of that happening?
So that $125K works out to $250M Ameros in tax money for a new arena, and the old arena has not paid off its bonds yet, and now probably never will.
Pretty impressive 2,000% return on their investment, n’est-ce pas?
Oh, and about that $250M? What a strange coincidence! That’s the same amount Walker cut from the University of Wisconsin’s budget. Go figure!
But the pièce de resistance is that Eiron, the Goddess of Irony, laughed so hard she farted: the name of the team getting so much sweet, sweet money: the Milwaukee Bucks.
News That Will Drive You To Drink
The money chase
Oh, goodie: the 2016 Goat Rodeo contenders are already bought and paid for and then some. No one seems to be sure if money=success, but I’m guessing it doesn’t hurt. So the shocking news for this report period is that Senator Ted Cruz, the Canadian-born latino and immigrant-hating southern white supremacist raised the most Ameros from Wingnuttia.
- Ted Cruz: $14.3 million in hard dollars was more than any other candidate raised during the quarter.
- ¡JEB!: $11.4 million raised in just 16 days, more than 90 percent of which is available for the primary.
- Novelty candidate Ben Carson: $10.6 million for his campaign, more than Rubio and Senator Rand Paul, and 68 percent of that was from small-dollar donors.
- Rodham-Clinton: $47.5 million was more than anyone, Democrat or Republican, and the vast majority of it will be spent in the primary season.
- Bernie Sanders: $15.2 million raised, including $10.5 million from small donations, Sanders can live off the land for a quite a while.
Bloomberg also spends some time analyzing the losers, which to me is a blur with all the different entities and reporting rules. That said, here’s their list:
- Marco ‘Big Gulp’ Rubio
- ‘Schrödinger’s Candidate” Rand Paul
- Rick ‘3-Departments’ Perry
- Mike ‘Uncle Sugar’ Huckabee — it sounds more and more like he’s grifting while on his book tour.
But the best part of the article has to be this ‘graf:
“In San Francisco on Thursday, Bush shrugged off the lack of donations he received of less than $200, an indication of grassroots excitement. “We had 16 days and we wanted to send a statement of seriousness about the campaign,” Bush told reporters, referring to the time between his June 15 campaign announcement and the end of the filing period on June 30.”
The grass roots hates him as much as they hated 2012’s candidate, The Stench. The dynamics look much the same.
Raw Story has a breakdown of how the TPP went down, and no surprise they bought the votes. But it was clearly a Blue Light Special in the Dim’s aisle:
- Out of the total $1,148,971 given, an average of $17,676.48 was donated to each of the 65 “yea” votes.
- The average Republican member received $19,673.28 from corporate TPP supporters.
- The average Democrat received $9,689.23 from those same donors.
Jeeze, Dims, have a little pride when you sell out the constituency! You coulda gotten a better deal than that.
Take off them lo heels, and put on them ho heels:
- In just 24 hours, [Ron] Wyden and five of those Democratic holdouts — Michael Bennet of Colorado, Dianne Feinstein of California, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Patty Murray of Washington, and Bill Nelson of Florida — caved and voted for fast-track.
- Bennet, Murray, and Wyden – all running for re-election in 2016 – received $105,900 between the three of them. Bennet, who comes from the more purple state of Colorado, got $53,700 in corporate campaign donations between January and March 2015, according to Channing’s research.
No surprise that McCaskill would go to the lowest bidder, I suppose. Her entire career has been about benefitting herself.
Ooh, fun times! So instead of not voting for Diane Fienstein (my long-standing tradition while living in California) this time around, I will not vote for Patty Murray. Thanks Patty for the warm welcome to Washington.
Taking off the low heels and putting on the ho heels
Show Landrieu the cheddar
We are pleased to report that former Senator Mary ‘$20 Bucks in Town’ Landrieu is joining the Washington lobbying firm Van Ness Feldman
, where she can finally draw an honest paycheck:
“Landrieu said the job will provide her with the “flexibility” to continue her work for the Walton Family Foundation, advocating on education issues, such as support for charter schools in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and nationally.,[sic]
“…Landrieu said she’ll be working on coastal restoration issues, as well as energy policy matters, for Van Ness Feldman, a firm that includes both Democratic and Republican lobbyists.”
You bet she will.
Taco Bell Lobbyists Thank Congressional Staff With 6,000 Tacos
“Taco Bell franchise owners are lobbying Congress to help prevent their workers from organizing a union or qualifying for employer-based healthcare. They’re also asking for assistance with real estate tax credits and other issues on their legislative agenda.”
“On Tuesday afternoon, to thank congressional staffers for all they do on behalf of the fast food industry, franchisees hosted their annual reception at the Rayburn Office Building on Capitol Hill, a free food giveway in which staffers and interns gorged themselves on unlimited free Taco Bell tacos and nachos.”
This gives me heartburn: Taco Bell had their under-paid workers make free food for the congressional staff who have been working on novel ways to to keep them down.
…the latest status symbol is your own, personal, 2016 Goat Rodeo contender?
“When the primaries are over and Scott Walker gets the nomination,” Mr. Koch told the crowd, the billionaire brothers would support him, according to a spokeswoman. The remark drew laughter and applause from the audience of fellow donors and Republican activists, who had come to hear Mr. Walker speak earlier at the event, held at the Union League Club.
“Where are the rabbits, George?”
It seems like what we’ve been saying all along, that Walker is already an employee of Koch Industries is being verified. What sounds interesting is that they are not committing to funding him during the primary, and in fact, they have suggested that they are auditioning others.
“The Koch brothers may not be settling on a Republican presidential candidate just yet. One day after The New York Times reported that the Kochs were getting behind Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, a “top Koch aide” tells Politico the billionaire brothers are going to give Jeb Bush a “chance to audition for the brothers’ support.”
The Smart Bush®
“The reason for the reconsideration, according to Mike Allen: “Bush is getting a second look because so many Koch supporters think he looks like a winner.”
“It’s possible the Kochs really are undecided. It’s also possible they’re doing some damage control to contain the fallout from the Times story.”
It’s a good thing that Citizen’s United proved to the SCOTUS that there is no corruption from the cash tsunami sweeping away our democracy. I was worried for a moment.
Poor Representative Aaron Schock is having a bad week. Besides having his flamboyantly decorated office outed in the national press, ethics violations charges leveled against him for the free services of the designer who made it look like Lindsey Graham’s shoe closet, and the resignation of his baptist minister spox who posted on Facebook some Strom Thurmond-esque views of his non-white neighbors, Aaron might be in even bigger trouble if this report is accurate:
Now there’s this: the month before the 2012 elections, Congressman Schock sold his house to a major Republican donor who was also one of his campaign supporters for a price that appears to far exceed the market value at the time. Memories of disgraced former GOP Congressman Duke Cunningham (CA) came flooding back into my head as I worked through the documents.
There are housing bubbles of course, and a home’s selling price often can exceed the assessed value. However—if the report is accurate—Schock sold his home at the bottom of the housing market to a long-time GOP donor for way over market price while other similar houses in the same gated-community development on the same street sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars less. Some very similar homes with much lower asking prices on the same block have been on the market for more than a year.
A boy could buy a lot of teal belts for that kinda profit.
Oh, and the donor? Ali Bahaj – then a Vice President at Caterpillar–a company whom Schock defended for dodging $2.4 billion in taxes by shifting profits overseas… after he sold his house to Bahaj. An unfortunate coincidence, surely. (Quit calling him Shirley…said it first!)
This kind of corruption, if accurate, is what led to Cunningham’s indictment and conviction and 7 years in the federal pokey. Schock would certainly have his dance card punched should the same fate befall him. No more fabulous vacays for him!
(Hat tip: Blue Nation Review via The Orange Satan via Scissorhead Patrick Bjorn)
Weepy brings the Orange Crush on to those who voted against him!
Kilgore has the best take on Boenher’s Revenge!
Now without a doubt there are congressional committee assignments that at some times and in some places matter to actual voters. But I’ve never heard of anyone deciding to vote for or against a Member on the basis of a Rules Committee position. It’s the ultimate inside baseball.
Maybe that’s why he is so strangely hued: his core is a sea of molten rage?