Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Hillary is Talking out of Both Sides of Her Mouth

Great exchange in the Debate last night re. the unwillingness of Sen. Clinton to give a straight answer to a direct question -- something long evident in her political career which most Americans objectively despise about politicians. Keep on doing what you do best Hillary. But please do it in front of more people so they can get a better measure of how much you are a "candidate for change"... Snicker...

“Unless I missed something,” he [Sen. Edwards] said, “Sen. Clinton said two different things in the course of about two minutes. America is looking for a president who will say the same thing, who will be consistent, who will be straight with them.”

Barack Obama added: “I was confused [by] Sen. Clinton's answer. I can't tell whether she was for it or against it. One of the things that we have to do in this country is to be honest about the challenges that we face.”

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Edwards assails the Clinton corruption machine

John Edwards summed up the "choice" Americans will have should Hillary Clinton become the Democratic Party presidential candidate: "Down one path, we trade corporate Democrats for corporate Republicans; our cronies for their cronies; one political dynasty for another dynasty; and all we are left with is a Democratic version of the Republican corruption machine."

Hillary Clinton represents a sort of "one America" (far different from that proposed by John Edwards). Hillary's "one America" is for the very greedy special interests...

Indeed, Clinton's so-called "Middle Class Express" bus tour could have been more aptly termed the "Throw the Middle Class Under the Bus" tour...

Time after time, Clinton has voted against the interests of most Americans and for the powerful lobbies which insist on re-making American law and American society for the benefit of corporations and the rich elites which control them.


Hillary Clinton accuses rivals of desperation

"Will she be the person who brings about the change in this country?" said Mr Edwards.

"You know, I believe in Santa Claus. I believe in the tooth fairy. But I don't think that's going to happen."

Increasingly defensive, Mrs Clinton raised her voice to levels that may have made her campaign staff wince off stage [...]"

Is Hillary the one who is really desperate???

That is, desperate to avoid answering hard questions regarding her policy positions and legislative votes? Desperate to avoid being identified as part of the "culture of corruption" -- being a "corporate Democrat"... Hillary has been adept to obfuscation and avoiding hard questions. I'm pleased to hear John Edwards sharpening the debate and demanding some answers.

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Monday, October 29, 2007

Credibility GAP: How corporations achieve competitive advantage...

Americans are frequently lectured by politicians (Hillary Clinton and George Bush, among others) regarding the need to be "globally competitive". This is usually delivered in the stern tones of a parent lecturing a child. Every now and then, the phalanx of generally approving media lets slip a glimmer of how corporations achieve competitive advantage under the current system of corporate managed trade and labor policy. Here's a wonderful story of how Indian children are used to produce clothing items which appear in American stores. It's especially ironic, I think, that the specific clothing articles were intended for the Christmas sales season...
Indian 'slave' children found making low-cost clothes destined for Gap

Child workers, some as young as 10, have been found working in a textile factory in conditions close to slavery to produce clothes that appear destined for Gap Kids, one of the most successful arms of the high street giant.

Speaking to The Observer, the children described long hours of unwaged work, as well as threats and beatings.

Gap said it was unaware that clothing intended for the Christmas market had been improperly subcontracted to a sweatshop using child labour.

The discovery of the children working in filthy conditions in the Shahpur Jat area of Delhi has renewed concerns about the outsourcing by large retail chains of their garment production to India, recognised by the United Nations as the world's capital for child labour.

According to one estimate, more than 20 per cent of India's economy is dependent on children, the equivalent of 55 million youngsters under 14.

The Observer discovered the children in a filthy sweatshop working on piles of beaded children's blouses marked with serial numbers that Gap admitted corresponded with its own inventory. The company has pledged to convene a meeting of its Indian suppliers as well as withdrawing tens of thousands of the embroidered girl's blouses from the market, before they reach the stores. The hand-stitched tops, which would have been sold for about £20, were destined for shelves in America and Europe in the next seven days in time to be sold to Christmas shoppers.

Read it all

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Republicans Against Free Trade, Democrats Posture

In 2003 - 2004, I was on the phones and on the internet urging Democratic presidential candidates to repudiate "Free Trade" and offshore outsourcing and the "guest worker" (H-1b, L-1) visa programs used to facilitate offshore outsourcing. The campaign managers and advisors kept activists like me at arms length. They wanted us to attack Republicans and deliver support (money and votes) while their candidates reassured business lobbies (as far away as India and China) that any positions they took were just posturing for the angry ill-informed workers.

Hell, when John Kerry had a chance to deal with the offshore outsourcing jobs issue in a national debate, he quickly stated that he would not "pander" to people who were opposed to free trade. (This went over real well with workers who were looking for something more than a slick facile slogan like "outsource Bush"; it may have cost Kerry the election.)

In short, Democratic Party presidential candidate Kerry tried to use the Offshore outsourcing/free trade issue in '04 but found that such positions upset his richy-rich business contributors so he backed off his "Benedict Arnold" rhetoric and tried to have it both ways. I noticed it, people on my email lists noticed, blog posters noticed it and even the business press in the U.S. and offshore noticed it. People do catch on...

And, where is John Edwards the sometime critic of NAFTA and "free trade" today? He's talking about "Two Americas" but nary a word about offshore outsourcing of American middle class jobs. Oh yea, he did have time to visit rich high tech CEOs in the Silicon Valley to explain how he supports their "need" for more imported "replacement workers", I mean, "guest workers" because there's such a skills shortage what with all the American IT workers who have been fired by the thousands. (Nah, Edwards didn't say that last part; I was just being sarcastic.

Sadly, Obama, is also courting the richy-rich business groups who are benefitting from offshore outsourcing American jobs and importing lower-wage "guest workers". Yea, his campaign was stupid, rude and irresponsible in the Hillary Clinton (D-Punjab) comments but it's unfortunate that Obama felt compelled to drop the whole issue of Hillary and Bill's ties to the elites benefiting from American job losses.

So, just because sometime Republican voters are disenchanted with free trade and offshore outsourcing, Democratic candidates have to be able to offer some credible alternative. They failed to deliver this in '04 and, at this point, they're not doing any better in '07. In fact, they're doing worse: they haven't even opened the subject.

Unfortunately, real democrats like Bernie (technically an "I") Sanders, Sherrod Brown, Jim Webb and Byron Dorgan are not among the presidential primary contenders. If they were, we'd have some people who could effectively and credibly debate the offshore outsourcing and worker replacement issues.

As it is, Hillary Clinton's alleged differences with her husband on trade and labor issues (played up and exaggerated in the WSJ) are unbelievable -- IMO mere positioning to win over labor and Democrats. Hillary is as "DLC" and tainted with pro-outsourcing lobby money as they come. She's even carved out a special niche supporting the expansion of the worker replacement visas...

Originally posted to Jonathan Tasini's site as a comment on, "Democratic Golden Opportunity: Republican Voters Oppose "Free Trade"

Who among the Democratic presidential candidates has the credibility to do anything about this?


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Friday, October 05, 2007

IBM Withdraws App for Outsourcing Patent

Slashdot carries the story from "Bob Sutor's Open Blog" that IBM is withdrawing one of it's outsourcing-related patent apps: "Outsourcing of Services".

The reason given: the patent does not stress technical content, a critical new factor in IBM's standard for patent applications.

Great! IBM is "open sourcing" the Offshore Outsourcing process of eliminating American Middle Class jobs then???

I don't know about you but this makes me feel a whole lot better!

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