Janet's Conner

This Blog tell the Truth and will never not tell the Truth. Impeach Bush

Thursday, July 20, 2006

OMAN TRADE DEAL: FLAWED WORKERS & U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY

Today, the House will consider H.R. 5684, U.S. - Oman Free Trade Agreement (OFTA) Implementation Act. This trade agreement would require market liberalization for most U.S. goods and services in Oman, and increase U.S. market access for certain Omani sectors and industires, including textiles. Many Democrats oppose OFTA because it undermines fundamental workers' rights, and includes a provision that threatens our national security.

***When are the people going to realize that the Democrats are for the people and that the Republicans are for the corporations?

Democrats are urged to vote NO on the previous question on the rule to permit consideration of the Cardin amendment to close the loophole in the agreement that would allow a foreign company based in Oman to operate U.S. port facilities.

* The pact is extremely problematic---containing language, intentionally hidden in the agreement, that compromises our national security and could provide a backdoor route for foreign interests to own or manage operations at our ports.

***And people think that the Republicans are good for national security! How? Why is this language hidden?

* Specifically, it allows a "right of establishment" to any company based in Oman. That would present an avenue for Dubai Ports World, or any other country with dubious ties, to set up a small operation in Oman and then lay claim to a U.S. port. The United States could block a port acquisition only by claiming a national security interest, but it would be up to an international tribunal to determine if such a move was justified.

* We should not support any trade agreement that limits our national security authority regarding critical and sensitive infrastructure, such as our ports. If we are really serious about national security, especially give the bi-partisan outrage over the Dubai Ports World situation earlier this year, we must delete this outrageous loophole.

***This statement right here, tells you that the Democrats are more concerned about national security than the Republicans. The Republicans are going behind the backs of the American people to still do business with Dubai Ports World. They went and put in language that contradicts what the people want. They are nothing but a bunch of liars.

* This vote is not so much about trade as about security: Our homeland security and our national security regarding threats of terrorism against our nation and our people.

DEMOCRATS SUPPORT TRADE AGREEMENTS THAT EXPAND MARKETS AND RAISE LIVING STANDARDS.

* Trade agreements should provide real gains for U.S. workers, consumers, and businesses, while supporting economic development, democracy and the rule of law in our trading partners.

* The United States, with its unrivaled purchasing power and its economic clout, is in a unique position to help raise living standards in developing countries, while promoting prosperity at home.

* Trade agreements must be done in a bipartisan fashion and negotiated in a way that brings the benefits of trade to both workers and corporations.


OMAN DOES NOT APPLY BASIC LABOR STANDARDS---RESULTING IN FORCED LABOR

* Oman has been promising for more than one year to change its labor laws, regulations and practices; and yet Oman has fully addressed only 1 of 10 areas where its laws fail to comply with basic international standards.

* Further, there are serious questions about human trafficking and forced labor. The State Department's reports that "foreign workers at times were placed in situations amounting to forced labor" in Oman. Yet, Oman has no law prohibiting employers from confiscating workers' documents. This practice enabled the human trafficking and forced labor conditions in Jordan---in violation of basic and fundamental international labor standards.


THE OMAN AGREEMENT CONTINUES THE PARTISAN FAILED BUSH ADMINISTRATION RECORD ON TRADE.

* Under the Bush Administration, the U.S. trade deficit has nearly doubled. Our trade deficit is on track to climb to $815B in 2006---exceeding last year's record-breaking deficit with the U.S. importing $2B more in goods and services everyday than we export.

* Despite a record trade deficit, the Bush Administration has focused on negotiating agreements with countries where the opportunities for U.S. business are limited, while refusing to stand up for U.S. workers and businesses in the face of unfair trade practices by large countries such as China.

* The Republican trade agenda has failed to break new ground by opening large markets for U.S. goods that are crucial to creating new jobs for American workers. All agreements to date come to just 4 percent of U.S. trade. In 2005, U.S. trade with Oman was only about $1B for the entire year.

* Rather than defending U.S. rights against countries that renege on their international trade commitments, the Bush Administration has chosen to allow foreign competitors off the hook---filing only 13 WTO trade cases in 5 years, The Clinton Administration files 11 cases per year.

* Nowhere are the Republicans failures more evident than for U.S. manufacturers who are forced to compete with Chinese companies with an unfair marhet advantage due to currency manipulation.


OMAN/USTR CAN REALLY FIX THE PROBLEM.

* All that Oman has to do before Congress votes on the agreement is make the necessary changes to its laws---on October 31, 2006, or before---and reference those changes under the Agreement, and it is likely that the agreement will enjoy broad partisan support in the House.

For more information, go to:

http://www.democraticleader.house.gov/30something/posters/foreign.map.pdf

http://www.democraticleader.house.gov/30something/posters/foreigndept.pdf

http://www.democraticleader.house.gov/30something/posters.html

AS REED CONCEDES, REPUBLICANS FEEL ABRAMOFF TIES




Ralph Reed, the former Christian Coalition executive director whose ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff dogged him in his run for lieutenant governor in Georgia, lost his Republican primary yesterday to Casey Cagle, a state senator. In recent days, Reed had enlisted the help of national figures like former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former Sen. Zell Miller in making automated calls to voters on his behalf, but the constant spotlighting of the Reed-Abramoff connection by his opponent and the news media forced him to run a lower-profile campaign.

***Both Giuliani and Zell Miller shouldn't run for any type of office again because they support such a jerk like Ralph Reed. The GOP had better get it through their heads that all Christians aren't like the whacked out right wingers that go along with Republicans, just because they are Republican. There are real Christians out there and they don't support the GOP anymore after all of their corruption. They aren't that way. And a lot of them are democrats, too!

The Georgia race was being watched by strategists in both parties as an indicator of how other Republicans with Abramoff ties, like Ohio Rep. Bob Ney and Montana Sen. Conrad Burns, might be affected in the midterm elections. Hours after Reed conceded last night, Burns challenger Jon Tester sent reporters a news clipping that suggested Reed's defeat spelled trouble for the Republicans elsewhere. The National Republican Congressional Committee sent reporters an analysis of yesterday's primary results for Georgia's House races, but it didn't mention the lieutenant governor's race.

***Anybody, and I mean anybody who had ties with Abramoff should not be elected into office. They are corrupt, liars and thieves and think that they are better that everyone else. Rep. J. Dennis Hastert, the Republican from Illinois "AND" Speaker of the House of Representatives should resign for his ties to Abramoff. He claims he has done nothing wrong but what else is he supposed to say?

In Georgia, Reed's work organizing conservative Christians to oppose the construction of new casinos, bankrolled by millions of dollars from Abramoff's Indian tribe clients, became a central focus of the campaign. "The campaign became almost a referendum on Reed... Cagle made Reed's character the most important issue," says Emory University political scientist Merle Black. "It really weakened Reed's support among evangelicals who would have been predisposed to support him in the past. It took other issues completely out of the campaign."

***We can't forget about J. Dennis Hastert either, especially because he is Speaker of the House. His head is so much in the clouds, he floats on air. Besides his ties to Abramoff, he has been caught up in land deals that he had inside information on. And let's not forget about his $1,000 a day fishing trips that have been paid for by the oil lobbyists. We know where his priorities lie and it's not with the people! The Hastert family has benefited from all of the perks from his office. Including his son who now works for GOOGLE as a lobbyist. It's time for someone else to take his seat! It makes you wonder why he didn't make any of his appearances over the 4th of July holiday, when veterans were there to question him about the budget cuts. Was he too afraid he would be confronted about the land deals?

Reed denies any wrongdoing. "I'm not focused on being a candidate in the future," he said in his concession speech. "I'm not focused on being a candidate in the future, but I'm glad I ran."

***Well Mr. Reed, you lied to all of your constituents. While you were preaching the good word of God to them, you were out wheelin' and dealin.' Like I said, all Christians aren't like most of the right wing nuts that you thought were your constituents! You did them wrong, Mr. Reed! Let's hope that these voters realize that they are being used by the right wing on the Christian right!


Source of Info: USNews
July 19, 2006

PELOSI CELEBRATES 75TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEPT. OF VETERANS AFFAIRS




Washington, D.C.---House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi joined Department of Veterans Affairs James Nicholson and House and Senate leaders at an event in the Rotanda of the U.S. Capitol honoring the 75th anniversary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Below are Pelosi's remarks:

"The 75th anniversary of the Department of Veterans Affairs is a magnificent opportunity to salute our brave veterans and dedicated men and women who devote their careers to caring for them.

"I am disappointed that we could not be joined by Congressman Lane Evans today, the senior Democrat on the Veterans' Affairs Committee for a longtime and a proud Marine. The veterans have no better friend in Congress than Congressman Evans. He has been instrumental in securing compensation for veterans exposed to Agent Orange, spearheading investigations into Gulf War Syndrome, raising awareness about the health needs of veterans and service members, and fighting for the benefits our veterans have earned and deserved.

"I am pleased to see Congressman Chet Edwards here, who is the senior Democrat on the Appropriations subcommittee that funds issues relating to our military, their families, and veterans. He is a champion for them on that committee every single day that he serves in Congress.

"As Americans, we make a simple sacred promise to our veterans; you have taken care of us; we will take care of you. How we repay their service speaks volumes about our national character. What an honor it is for all of us that you are here. A veteran of World War I is here, how thrilling for us; I hope it is thrilling for you.

"I want to call to your attention as I make these acknowledgements something you may not be aware of. A couple of years ago, the Speaker and I had the privilege with other leaders in the Senate to dedicate the statue of President Dwight David Eisenhower in the Rotanda of the Capitol of the United States. I mention that because General Eisenhower is here today. And I say 'General' because it was decided he would be here in uniform, not as President of the United States, but as General Eisenhower. He is right in back of the room, and I know he would want us to keep our commitment to our troops. You have taken care of us; we will take care of you.

"We must see caring for our veterans as a continuation of the cost of war and maintaining peace. As Ronald Conley, a past National Commander of the American Legion, said: 'Money wasn't an issue when these men and women were called to duty, and it shouldn't be when it comes to repay them for their service.' Our veterans who fought on the battlefield for freedom and liberty should not have to fight their own government for the benefits they earned and deserve when they come home. We must fulfill our sacred obligations to those who have worn our nation's uniform with not just words, but with deeds.

"This means giving the VA the resources it needs. Those who care for our veterans at the VA are some of our nation's best and brightest minds. They are consistently on the cutting edge of new technologies. It is the dedicated staff at the VA that developed the cardiac pacemaker, performed the first liver transplant, and conducted the first successful drug treatments for high blood pressure and schizophrenia.

"I have seen firsthand and on a regular basis the work of the San Francisco VA Medical Center in my own district. They have long been on the forefront of AIDS research. They are now doing cutting edge research in the Center for the Imaging of Neurogenerative Diseases on Alzheimer's disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, Gulf War illness, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy. And I hope, Mr. Secretary, when you visit San Francisco soon, you will visit the Neurogenerative Disease Center at our VA medical center. You will be very proud.

"The reach of the VA is remarkably broad; about one in four Americans are potentially eligible for VA benefits and services because they are veterans, family members, or survivors of veterans. That underscores the importance of Congress working in a bipartisan way to ensure the VA, and consequently our veterans, have all the resources they need.

"Recently, I visited the Persian Gulf, visited our troops, and thanked them for their patriotism, their sacrifice, and their great courage. After that, when we had a question and answer period, every question they asked was about what was going to happen to them when they came home, how they would be treated as veterans. I told them what we say here all the time; on the battlefield, our soldiers pledge to leave no one behind. As a nation, it must be our pledge to leave no veteran behind when they come home.

"God blessed America with courage, patriotism, and sacrifices of our men and women in uniform. I am here on behalf of my constituents to say thank you, and thank you to the VA."


***What Nancy Pelosi had to say was very heartwarming and I am sure that she meant every word that she said. But she is a Democrat and the Democrats "do" care for the veterans. The Republicans don't. She mentioned that the VA has some of the greatest medical minds and that the VA is on the cutting edge of many medical breakthroughs. That may have been true when she gave this speech, but President Bush took most of that cutting edge knowledge away from the VA the second he vetoed stem-cell research yesterday. His first veto, ever! If he cared for our veterans, he would have never vetoed that research. Actions speak louder than words! Anyone who voted "no" for stem-cell research doesn't support our troops! Anybody! Republicans or Democrats!