Clinton and Penn, Sitting In a Tree, C O L O M B I A  

I told a friend this week that Senator Clinton speaks like she's blue collar; as if she understands our issues. For me, it's always sounded forced, fake, like she was staging it. Especially when she'd talk about union issues and then have someone like Mark Penn around, hypocritical just doesn't begin to cover it.

Well, today in the Independent, they take Clinton to task for Penn and his recent LOBBYING on behalf of Colombia, you know, the country that stands by and watches as Union Activists are murdered.

Mrs Clinton's chief strategist, Mark Penn, has been forced to apologise after he was discovered lobbying for a free-trade agreement her campaign opposes. The proposed Colombia trade agreement is bitterly opposed by trade unions and human rights groups, and there are growing calls on Mrs Clinton to axe him.

Mr Penn has kept his $3m (£1.5m) a year job as head of the British-owned lobbying firm Burson-Marsteller while guiding Mrs Clinton's campaign. The man who helped Bill Clinton get into the White House has produced some of Mrs Clinton's most effective ads, including the recent "3am in the morning" ad, which stressed her round-the-clock capacity for handling crises.

Mr Penn described his lobbying meeting with Colombia's ambassador as "an error of judgment".

Error in judgment, my ass.

Now, here's the thing; I really hate (okay, despise) Penn. His desire to continue to work for anti-union groups makes me sick. I just have no idea how he can sleep at night when he's lobbying on behalf of his firm for a Colombian Free Trade Agreement that is not only bad for the US, but particularly bad for Colombian trade union activists.

But, don't take my word for it, listen to the President of Colombia, Alvaro Uribe

"I deplore the fact that Senator Obama, aspiring to be president of the United States, should be unaware of Colombia's efforts," said President Alvaro Uribe in a statement released by the presidency. "I think it is for political calculations that he is making a statement that does not correspond to Colombia's reality."


"I will oppose the Colombia Free Trade Agreement if President Bush insists on sending it to Congress because the violence against unions in Colombia would make a mockery of the very labour protections we have insisted be included in these kinds of agreements," Obama said Wednesday at a meeting of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO.

Why are Uribe's comments so important? Look at who they're directed at...Obama, not Clinton. It's about Obama's opposition to a Colombian FTA. I believe she will vote against the agreement, but Uribe is making Obama's stand on issue. Sure seems to me that Clinton and Penn are sitting in that tree, talking Colombian FTA.

ABC has been reporting that Penn has left.

It's being reported as breaking news on Dailykos.


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