Bob's Links and Rants

Welcome to my rants page! You can contact me by e-mail: Blog roll. Site feed.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

This is democracy?

CAFTA passes in the House, in a way similar to how difficult constipation passes--and the results stink just as bad:
After one of the hardest-fought legislative battles of the year, Republican leaders were able to cut enough political deals to overcome fears among many of their own members about foreign competition and push ahead despite opposition from most Democrats, labor unions and the sugar industry's powerful lobby.

The vote, 217 to 215, came almost a month after the Senate approved the trade pact and gave Mr. Bush a crucial victory that had seemed in doubt a few days ago. As recently as Tuesday, fewer than half of Republican lawmakers had publicly endorsed the pact and almost all Democrats were planning to vote against it.

But the end result did not come without some drama. The voting took almost an hour as Republicans pressured about 8 to 10 members. The count seemed to stall after about 30 minutes with the tally at 214 in favor and 211 against, and a handful of votes outstanding.

For the next half-hour, Republicans, mostly from textile states, jockeyed over who would be allowed to vote against the bill and save face back home. The final count came minutes after midnight.

Within minutes after the vote, the White House released a statement from Mr. Bush praising the action. "By lowering trade barriers to American goods in Central American markets to a level now enjoyed by their goods in the U.S.," he said in the statement, "this agreement will level the playing field and help American workers, farmers and small businesses."
Basically, the top 0.1% of the population in each of the countries involved will get even richer, while the rest will get poorer. NAFTA has been a DISASTA, especially for working Americans and Mexicans, and CAFTA will be too.

Bush and the Repug "leaders" hate us. The only plus to this caCAFTAphre is that it may cause a bunch of Repug congresscritters to lose their seats next year. An even bigger downside is that our evil pResident will do ANYTHING to prevent that, including starting several more wars.

I understand why the Bushes, Clintons and Kerrys support so-called "free trade"--there's lots of money in it for them. What I don't get is why anyone else does. The race to the bottom ends at the bottom.

It will be interesting to find out how many bribes and threats were used to get this result, after the Nick Smith fiasco on the Medicare bill. Unfortunately, we never will.