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Name: Florence
Gender: Female
Hometown: NJ
Home country: USA
Current location: NJ
Member since: Sat May 2, 2015, 04:32 PM
Number of posts: 435

About Me

I love theater, music and gardening. My lack of social networking has been job related. But I am retired now.... woo hoo and my long time lurking silence is over!!!

Journal Archives

What you should know about NAFTA...... My fellow lefties are wrong

This was a comment on another thread and I decided to just post it as a new thread since the subject seems to never die. If you are voting for anti-vaxer Jill Stein (Putin fan) in part because of NAFTA, please read this.


NAFTA has two supplements: the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC) and the North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAALC).

Following diplomatic negotiations dating back to 1990 among the three nations, U.S. President George H. W. Bush, Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney and Mexican President Carlos Salinas, each responsible for spearheading and promoting the agreement, ceremonially signed the agreement in their respective capitals on December 17, 1992. The signed agreement then needed to be ratified by each nation's legislative or parliamentary branch.

The Canada–United States Free Trade Agreement had been very controversial and divisive in Canada, and the 1988 Canadian election was fought almost exclusively on that issue. In that election, more Canadians voted for anti-free trade parties (the Liberals and the New Democrats) but the split caused more seats in parliament to be won by the pro-free trade Progressive Conservatives (PCs). Mulroney and the PCs had a parliamentary majority and were easily able to pass the 1987 Canada-U.S. FTA and NAFTA bills. However, he was replaced as Conservative leader and prime minister by Kim Campbell.LC) and the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), to protect workers and the environment, plus allay the concerns of many House members. It also; however, Chr required U.S. partners to adhere to environmental practices and regulations si Campbell led the PC party into the 1993 election where they were decimated by the Liberal Party under Jean Chrétien, who had campaigned on a promise to renegotiate or abrogate NAFTAétienthe s subsequently negotiated two supplemental agreements with the new U.S. president. In the U.S., Bush, who had worked to "fast track" igning prior to the end of his term, ran out of time and had to pass the required ratification and signing of the implementation law to incoming president Bill Clinton. Prior to sending it to the United States Senate Clinton added two side agreements, The North American Agreement on Labor Cooperation (NAAmilar to its own.

After much consideration and emotional discussion, the House of Representatives passed the North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act on November 17, 1993, 234-200. The agreement's supporters included 132 Republicans and 102 Democrats. The bill passed the Senate on November 20, 1993, 61-38. Senate supporters were 34 Republicans and 27 Democrats. Clinton signed it into law on December 8, 1993; the agreement went into effect on January 1, 1994. Clinton, while signing the NAFTA bill, stated that "NAFTA means jobs. American jobs, and good-paying American jobs. If I didn't believe that, I wouldn't support this agreement."

The goal of NAFTA was to eliminate barriers to trade and investment between the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The implementation of NAFTA on January 1, 1994 brought the immediate elimination of tariffs on more than one-half of Mexico's exports to the U.S. and more than one-third of U.S. exports to Mexico. Within 10 years of the implementation of the agreement, all U.S.-Mexico tariffs would be eliminated except for some U.S. agricultural exports to Mexico that were to be phased out within 15 years. Most U.S.-Canada trade was already duty-free. NAFTA also sought to eliminate non-tariff trade barriers and to protect the intellectual property rights on traded products.

Intellectual Property
The North American Free Trade Agreement Implementation Act made some changes to the copyright law of the United States, foreshadowing the Uruguay Round Agreements Act of 1994 by restoring copyright (within the NAFTA nations) on certain motion pictures which had entered the public domain.

Securing U.S. congressional approval for NAFTA would have been impossible without addressing public concerns about NAFTA’s environmental impact. The Clinton administration negotiated a side agreement on the environment with Canada and Mexico, the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), which led to the creation of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) in 1994. To alleviate concerns that NAFTA, the first regional trade agreement between a developing country and two developed countries, would have negative environmental impacts, the CEC was given a mandate to conduct ongoing ex post environmental assessment of NAFTA.


A 2007 study found that NAFTA has "almost zero welfare impact on member and nonmember countries". A 2015 study found that Canada's welfare decreased by 0.06% as a result of the NAFTA tariff reductions, and that Canada's intra-bloc trade increased by 11%.

NAFTA has also been credited with the rise of the Mexican middle class. A Tufts University study found that NAFTA lowered the average cost of basic necessities in Mexico by up to 50%. This price reduction has increased cash-on-hand for many Mexican families, allowing Mexico to graduate more engineers than Germany each year.

United States
In a survey of leading economists, 95% supported the notion that on average, US citizens benefited on NAFTA.
A 2001 Journal of Economic Perspectives review found that NAFTA was a net benefit to the United States. A 2015 study found that US welfare increased by 0.08% as a result of the NAFTA tariff reductions, and that US intra-bloc trade increased by 41%.


The U.S. Chamber of Commerce credits NAFTA with increasing U.S. trade in goods and services with Canada and Mexico from $337 billion in 1993 to $1.2 trillion in 2011, while the AFL-CIO blames the agreement for sending 700,000 American manufacturing jobs to Mexico over that time.


For more details on this topic, see NAFTA's Impact on the Environment.
Overall, none of the initial hypotheses were confirmed. NAFTA did not inherently present a systemic threat to the North American environment, as was originally feared. NAFTA-related environmental threats instead occurred in specific areas where government environmental policy, infrastructure, or mechanisms were unprepared for the increasing scale of production under trade liberalization. In some cases, environmental policy was neglected in the wake of trade liberalization; in other cases, NAFTA's measures for investment protection, such as Chapter 11, and measures against non-tariff trade barriers threatened to discourage more vigorous environmental policy. The most serious overall increases in pollution due to NAFTA were found in the base metals sector, the Mexican petroleum sector, and the transportation equipment sector in the United States and Mexico, but not in Canada.


So NAFTA was more of less a done deal by the time Clinton was sworn in. It only had to be ratified and signed. He could have refused to sign it but that would have been a waste of political capital before he got started.
Overall it was not the disaster the far left would like to pretend. There was both good and bad outcomes. One of the reasons jobs are coming back to the US is that when you open up trade workers wages go up with the countries you trade with.
When Clinton signed it was with the agreement that the additions to the bill be kept in , environmental and worker protections.
Posted by Florencenj2point0 | Mon Aug 15, 2016, 06:16 PM (37 replies)

Their Coming to Take Me Away Ha Ha He He to the Funny Farm.......


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What flavor of pie do you prefer?
Posted by Florencenj2point0 | Thu Jun 16, 2016, 06:29 PM (19 replies)

Senator Sanders can't drop out of the race!

The race is over. The stadium is empty the lights are off and he is the only person left on the cross country track. It is sad watching Jane standing there with Jeff Sachs (even Weaver and Devine have gone home) with their flash light and lanterns waiting for the Senator to cross the finish line.

I am sincerely sorry for the pain some of your feel at his loss. I know what it feels like. It took me a long time to get over 2008 and I will never get over 2000.
I do not however feel sorry for Senator Sanders or Mrs Sanders.
Posted by Florencenj2point0 | Thu Jun 16, 2016, 04:52 PM (15 replies)

Live Blogging the Tony Awards!!

Opens With "Hamilton" which breaks the record with 16 nominations. I have to admit I don't get it since I don't like rap.
Okay, let me have it. I didn't like "Rent" either.
Posted by Florencenj2point0 | Sun Jun 12, 2016, 07:06 PM (17 replies)

When Bernie Sanders Thought Castro and the Sandinistas Could Teach America a Lesson

You know, before I started this post I thought "does this belong in General Discussion Primaries"? Yes, it does unfortunately because Senator Sanders won't drop out. So there is still a primary going on. So here it is.

This is why the republican candidate, even the horrible Donald tRump, would have kicked bernie's ass all over the map of the USA.


In the 1980s, any Bernie Sanders event or interview inevitably wended toward a denunciation of Washington’s Central America policy, typically punctuated with a full-throated defense of the dictatorship in Nicaragua. As one sympathetic biographer wrote in 1991, Sanders “probably has done more than any other elected politician in the country to actively support the Sandinistas and their revolution.” Reflecting on a Potemkin tour of revolutionary Nicaragua he took in 1985, Sanders marveled that he was, “believe it or not, the highest ranking American official” to attend a parade celebrating the Sandinista seizure of power.
It’s quite easy to believe, actually, when one wonders what elected American official would knowingly join a group of largely unelected officials of various “fraternal” Soviet dictatorships while, just a few feet away, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega bellows into a microphone that the United States is governed by a criminal band of terrorists.
None of this bothered Sanders, though, because he largely shared Ortega’s worldview. While opposition to Reagan’s policy in Central America—including indefensible decisions like the mining of Managua harbor—was common amongst mainstream Democrats, it was rare to find outright support for the Soviet-funded, Cuban-trained Sandinistas. Indeed, Congress’s vote to cut off administration funding of the anti-Sandinista Contra guerrillas precipitated the Iran-Contra scandal.

But despite its aversion to elections, brutal suppression of dissent, hideous mistreatment of indigenous Nicaraguans, and rejection of basic democratic norms, Sanders thought Managua’s Marxist-Leninist clique had much to teach Burlington: “Vermont could set an example to the rest of the nation similar to the type of example Nicaragua is setting for the rest of Latin America.”
The lesson Sanders saw in Nicaragua could have been plagiarized from an editorial in Barricada, the oafish Sandinista propaganda organ. “Is [the Sandinistas’] crime that they have built new health clinics, schools, and distributed land to the peasants? Is their crime that they have given equal rights to women? Or that they are moving forward to wipe out illiteracy? No, their crime in Mr. Reagan’s eyes and the eyes of the corporations and billionaires that determine American foreign policy is that they have refused to be a puppet and banana republic to American corporate interests.”
But Sanders was mistaking aspirational Sandinista propaganda for quantifiable Sandinista achievement. None of it was true, but it overlaid nicely on top of his own political views. Sanders’s almost evangelical belief in “the revolution” led him from extreme credulity to occasional fits of extreme paranoia.

For instance, in 1987 Sanders hosted Sandinista politician Nora Astorga in Burlington, a woman notorious for a Mata Hari-like guerilla operation that successfully lured Gen. Reynaldo Perez-Vega, a high-ranking figure in the Somoza dictatorship, to her apartment with promises of sex. Perez-Vega’s body was later recovered wrapped in a Sandinista flag, his throat slit by his kidnappers. When Astorga died in 1988 from cervical cancer, Sanders took the occasion to publicly praise Astorga as “a very, very beautiful woman” and a “very vital and beautiful woman,” positing that American foreign policy might have given her cancer. “I have my own feelings about what causes cancer, and the psychosomatic aspects of cancer,” he said. “One wonders if the war didn’t claim another victim; a person who couldn’t deal with the tremendous grief and suffering in her own country.”

(Sanders often lurched toward conspiracy theory to make banal historical events conform to an ideological narrative. He argued that Ronald Reagan was as Manchurian president created by millionaires who run corporations: “Some millionaires in California said ‘Ron, we want you to work for us. We want you to become governor.’ They sat around a table. A dozen millionaires. They made him governor. And then they made him president. And he did his job effectively for those corporations.”)
The conflict in Nicaragua exacerbated Sanders’s more extreme positions. He asked a group of University of Vermont students to consider how “we deal with Nicaragua, which is in many ways Vietnam, except it’s worse. It’s more gross.” His answer was to raise money and civilian materiel for the revolution, establish a sister city program in Nicaragua, and act as a mouthpiece for the Sandinista government.


In 1985 Sanders traveled to New York City to meet with Ortega just weeks after Nicaragua imposed a “state of emergency” that resulted in mass arrests of regime critics and the shuttering of opposition newspapers and magazines. While liberal critics of Reagan’s Nicaraguan policy rounded on the Sandinistas (talk-show host Phil Donahue told Ortega that his actions looked “fascist”), Sanders refused to condemn the decision. He was “not an expert in Nicaragua” and “not a Nicaraguan,” he said during a press conference. “Am I aware enough of all the details of what is going on in Nicaragua to say ‘you have reacted too strongly?’ I don’t know…” But of course he did know, later saying that the Sandinistas’ brutal crackdown “makes sense to me.”
What “made sense” to Sanders was the Sandinistas’ war against La Prensa, a daily newspaper whose vigorous opposition to the Somoza dictatorship quickly transformed into vigorous opposition of the dictatorship that replaced it. When challenged on the Sandinistas’ incessant censorship, Sanders had a disturbing stock answer: Nicaragua was at war with counterrevolutionary forces, funded by the United States, and wartime occasionally necessitated undemocratic measures. (The Sandinista state censor Nelba Blandon offered a more succinct answer: “They [La Prensa] accused us of suppressing freedom of expression. This was a lie and we could not let them publish it.”)


The Burlington Free Press mocked Sanders for playing the role of internationalista dupe and lampooned him for expressing, after just a brief, government-guided tour of Nicaragua, “such approval of the Sandinistas on the basis of what was at best a cursory inspection,” an instinct that “says more about his naïveté in the foreign policy field than anything else.”
Sanders countered that he was free to quiz real Nicaraguans on their political allegiances, but they “laughed” when he asked which party they backed because “of course they are with the government.” When asked about the food shortages provoked by the Sandinistas’ voodoo economic policy, Sanders claimed that bread lines were a sign of a healthy economy, suggesting an equitable distribution of wealth: “It’s funny, sometimes American journalists talk about how bad a country is, that people are lining up for food. That is a good thing! In other countries people don’t line up for food: the rich get the food and the poor starve to death.” When asked about Nicaragua’s notoriously brutal treatment of the Miskito Indians, the Free Press noted that Sanders “attempted to cut off” the line of questioning. (Ted Kennedy called the Sandinistas’ crimes against the indigenous Miskitos “unconscionable,” “intolerable,” and “disturbing,” commenting that they were relocated at gunpoint to “forced-labor camps which resemble concentration camps.”)


Perhaps at this point I don’t need to point out that Fidel Castro is likewise a crook and a murderer. Or that Sandinista strongman Daniel Ortega, while achieving none of the milestones Bernie Sanders once claimed he had achieved, stole enormous amounts of money from the Nicaraguan people and was, to name just one example, behind the infamous bombing at La Penca which killed seven people (including three journalists).
So to my fellow journalists: the next one of you who gets caught in one of Sanders’s riffs about the CIA’s involvement in the overthrow of Iranian leader Mohammed Mossadegh, ask him one of my questions. Ask him how consistent he has been on foreign policy. And help him answer a question posed by a Burlington Free Press journalist in 1985, who wondered if his useful idiot trip to Nicaragua would come back to haunt him in a future race.
“The answer is ‘probably.’ But I’ll be damned if I know how.”


As I have said before and I will say again anytime some one claims that Sanders is the better candidate against tRump, the right will have him called commie traitor and doing a perp walk with in a month.

Oh yes, and for more of Bernie's musings on what causes cancer see this: http://www.shakesville.com/2015/07/looking-for-bernie-part-1-sanders-72.html
it has something to do with old bitch teachers and not enough sex for girls starting at 13.
Posted by Florencenj2point0 | Sun Jun 12, 2016, 09:21 AM (10 replies)

My advice to the Republican Senate and Congress

Aprove Obama's judicial nominees while you have time, because PRESIDENT HILLARY!

President Obama effectively took the issue of qualifications off the table when he picked Judge Merrick Garland to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. In any other year, Judge Garland's nomination would be a sure-fire bet to win quick Senate approval.

Judge Garland is a sitting appeals court judge with a much admired record and a history of bipartisan support who has managed to win Senate approval for the bench while drawing virtually no criticism. Over the years, Republicans have praised his record and suitability for the bench.

Their support has been based on his undeniably formidable resume: high-ranking Justice Department lawyer; supervisor of the prosecutorial teams that convicted Timothy McVeigh in the Oklahoma City bombing and the Unabomber; and a sterling record on the bench, with a reputation as a judicial moderate.

Read more here: http://www.bradenton.com/opinion/article66984337.html#storylink=cpy

An increasing number of federal judicial vacancies throughout the federal court system is straining the capacity of the federal courts to administer justice in an adequate and timely manner. Listing of the vacancies in the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals and U.S. District Courts.

U.S. Judicial Vacancies
• Judicial Vacancies Summary
• Current Judicial Vacancies
• Future Judicial Vacancies
• Confirmation Listing The rising number of judicial vacancies prevents the prompt and timely administration of justice in the federal courts–where FBA members practice. This is causing unnecessary hardship and increased costs on individuals and businesses with lawsuits pending in the federal courts.

The judicial vacancies problem has reached crisis point with more than one-third of the current 103 vacancies in the U.S. Courts of Appeals and the District Courts have existed for at least 18 months. The Judicial Conference, the policy making body of the federal judiciary, has designated these vacancies as “judicial emergencies.”
The case for accelerated action on judicial vacancies is further highlighted by the need for The Federal Judgeship Act (S. 1653, H.R. 3662), supported by the Judicial Conference and the FBA, to add 12 new circuitjudge-shipss and 51 new districtjudge-shipss. It is a bitter irony that the case for these additionaljudge-shipss, which rests upon rising caseloads and insufficient resources throughout parts of the federal court system, rests on the assumption that all existingjudge-shipss are already filled and that no vacancies exist.

The FBA seeks the fair and swift administration of justice for all litigants in the federal courts. This requires a prompt up-or-down vote by the Senate on judicial nominees cleared by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

They have been holding off thinking they could wait until there was a republican president. It is not going to happen ladies and gentlemen. Big Dog is on the case, EW has dive-bombed the Orange Menace, We've Unleashed the Biden and the Baraken.... you guys are toast.
We, on the other hand, are having a very good week. And it's gonna get better. Soon we are gonna have Bernie and Michelle on the big bus with us! ROAD TRIP!

Let's start with Merrit Garland, shall we? [link:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merrick_Garland|
I know that many other liberals are worried that he is not liberal enough, but that doesn't bother me. Judges tend to go left when they get on the SCOTUS and take the constitution more seriously than ever. More than that, he is extremely competent and ethical. To me that is more important than his liberal leanings.
Posted by Florencenj2point0 | Fri Jun 10, 2016, 06:29 AM (0 replies)

Do not hamstring EW as VP

What a waste of talent. There is no doubt in my mind that Hillary would give her VP a ton of power just as Bill did Al Gore, but still, the senate is the place for Senator Warren. Let us imagine a great partnership between her and Hillary after Hillary is elected president. Oh the legislation they could dream up and pass! Get Bernie in on the deal, WOW!
Posted by Florencenj2point0 | Thu Jun 9, 2016, 07:38 PM (22 replies)

Favorite Hillary Primary videos (warning video heavy)

I know there are no unspoken rules like at dkos where you can declare a thread or diary a Hillary safe join or a bernie safe zone, but I think there should be. So I am declaring this a Hillary safe zone. I invite all polite and friendly bernie peeps to come in an comment. In response I promise to not make nasty comments in positive bernie diaries....from now on, because I just made one a few minutes ago..... okay I will go delete it.

Okay I am back.

Here are a few of my favorite Hillary videos. Please share yours.

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Hillary and the Girl Scout Cookies "we can not" cracks me up!!

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Fight Song

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Here is one from 2008 I never thought I would see again: Alicia Keys SuperWoman

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There was a a Hillary video from 2008 "Let the River Run" which disapeared. I wish someone would redo it.

BTW, I know everyone cried the other night when Hillary gave her big speech accepting the nomination. I teared up. Today when President Obama, the man I hated for years after 2008, endorsed Hillary, I sobbed for an hour. He won me over three ways... by sticking it to the republicans with signing statements and off session appointments and laughing at them, by working so well with Hillary and by the way he adores children. I just love him and I love that he is going to be hitting the campaign trail for her.
Posted by Florencenj2point0 | Thu Jun 9, 2016, 05:13 PM (7 replies)

Jonathan Weisman's Twitter feed, something to bring us all together Hillary and Bernie supporters.

look at what has happened to Jonathan Weisman on his twitter feed. Apparently he wrote an op ed critical of Trump and his closed door policies.


If this doesn't make you sick then nothing will!

Posted by Florencenj2point0 | Fri May 20, 2016, 11:42 AM (2 replies)

Bad News for those hoping the Democratic party is hopelessly SHATTERED!!

But never the less the party is LESS divided than it was in 2008.

Still, the Democratic resistance is less widespread than it was in the 2008 primary. While 72 percent of Mr. Sanders’s supporters say they would vote for Mrs. Clinton this fall, a Times/CBS News survey taken in early May 2008 found that only 60 percent of Mrs. Clinton’s supporters said they would vote for Barack Obama in the general election.

And I will say again that the only reason Sanders is doing better against Trump in the polls is that there has not been a single attack on him by the media or the right wing.... or Hillary for that matter. If anyone can link to an attack (and I don't mean some obscure radio talk show or end times website, I will take my statement back)
Posted by Florencenj2point0 | Fri May 20, 2016, 09:54 AM (28 replies)
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