desperate-enough-yetMost of the time we should be quiet and listen. Because we don’t know very much, very few of us have much say. Yet there are times when we should say something. What is funny is how often we have to tell indiscreet elected officials to leave well enough alone.


Dear Friends:

Your calls and emails are having an impact on the Obama Trans-Pacific Partnership trade legislation contained in HR 1314, but we can’t stop now!

The two-part Obama Trade bill will be reconsidered Tuesday, June 16 in the House of Representatives to overcome a temporary setback for Obama.

The first vote was on Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA provision), which provided job retraining and other assistance to American workers who will lose jobs from the Obama Trade bill (HR 1314). If Obama’s Trade proposal is such a good deal, why will Americans lose jobs?

The TAA vote lost 126 Yeas to 306 Nays. Representatives Beyer, Comstock, Connolly, Hurt, Rigell vote YES. Representatives Brat, Forbes, Goodlatte, Griffith, Scott, Wittman voted NO.

The House then voted on the Trade Promotion Authority provision (TPA). That passed 219 Yeas, to 211 Nays. Representatives Beyer, Comstock, Connelly, Forbes, Goodlatte, Hurt, Rigell voted YES. Representatives Brat, Griffith, Scott, and Wittman voted NO. (Please thank these four Congressmen for their opposition.)

POLITICO notes that the TPA’s provisions are treated as national security secrets with tight restrictions on who can read the bill and under what conditions:

“If you want to hear the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal the Obama administration is hoping to pass, you’ve got to be a member of Congress, and you’ve got to go to classified briefings and leave your staff and cellphone at the door.

If you’re a member who wants to read the text, you’ve got to go to a room in the basement of the Capitol Visitor Center and be handed it one section at a time, watched over as you read, and forced to hand over any notes you make before leaving.

And no matter what, you can’t discuss the details of what you’ve read.”

Congressman Dave Brat, commenting on the TPA bill, said: “fatal conceit is to think that I’m smart enough to walk in a room and read 400 pages of legalese and believe it and know everything that’s in a trade bill that’s 400 pages long and digest it with everything that can go wrong … Ask your congressmen to explain to you what they know about it. And if they don’t tell you anything, say, I don’t trust the current regime. And I want a no vote out of you.”

Senator Sessions (R-AL) responded to the mixed vote on the Obama Trade bills:
“A vote for TAA next week is a vote to send fast-track to the President’s desk and to grant him these broad new executive authorities. … it will empower the President to form a Pacific Union encompassing 40 percent of the world’s economy and 12 nations—each with one equal vote. “Once the union is formed, foreign bureaucrats will be required to meet regularly to write the Commission’s rules, regulations, and directives—impacting Americans’ jobs, wages, and sovereignty. The union is chartered with a ‘Living Agreement,’ and there is no doubt it will seek to expand its membership and reach over time.

Fast-track … can expedite an unlimited number of yet-unseen international compacts for six years. … which includes labor mobility among more than 50 nations, further eroding the ability of the American people to control their own affairs. …The same people projecting the benefits of leaping into a colossal new economic union could not even accurately predict the impact of a standalone agreement with South Korea … which promised to boost our exports to them $10 billion, instead only budged them less than $1 billion, while South Korea’s imports to us increased more than $12 billion, nearly doubling our trading deficit. … opening our markets to foreign imports while allowing our trading partners to continue their non-tariff barriers that close their markets to ours.

If we want a new trade deal with Japan, or with Vietnam, then they should be negotiated bilaterally and sent to Congress under regular order. Under no circumstances should the House authorize, through fast-track, the formation of a new international commission that will regulate not only trade, but immigration, labor, environmental, and all manner of commercial policy.”

The vote on TAA will be on Tuesday, June 16th. Please let your Congressman know that you want to know how they voted, and that you will share how they vote with family and friends. Contact your representative by visiting the House of Representatives website and fill in your zip code in the top right corner to be connected to your Congressman’s website or contact the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121, ask for your Congressman by name and you will be connected. If you call ask to speak to either the Chief of Staff or the Legislative Assistant who handles Trade issues.

Thank you so much for your help!


Delegate Bob Marshall

P.S. If you would like to donate you can do so below or if you’d like to volunteer to help my campaign you can do so at my website at

Because Marshall is a Conservative, he is rarely indiscreet. He has taken the time to understand why things are as the are. He also displays an understanding that his job is about serving the people of Virginia, not his own ambitions.

We have an election coming up in November, as is usual here in Virginia. In Prince William County, we will be electing our delegate and senator to the General Assembly. In addition, we will be filling all the elected offices in our county. So as Marshall suggests, if we want to make a difference in the outcome, there is no time like the present.

22 thoughts on “THE VALUE OF SPEAKING UP

  1. Kieth,
    By the way, the $5000 DVD cost will not be that much more. Typical manufacturing labor portion of costs in the US is one third the selling price. The difference of the cost of the DVD if manufactured in the US is the difference in wages ( or standards of living, or rent costs) between the US and a
    foreign manufacturer.

    The issue then becomes if in the US a person does not make a livable wage, enough to feed, cloth, and house expenses, he will be subsidized by the US goverment with food stamps, rent subsidies, etc. by higher taxes which have the most effect on middle class taxpayers in comparison to the superrich.

    I say it is better to pay the higher price than to have the lost generation we now have wandering the streets without hope, smoking and selling pot, because they have less job opportunities, or hope for livable wage jobs. Just my opinion.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.


    1. When we go to the store to buy something, we look for what we want at the quality and price at the best price. Most of us don’t care who made it, but does who made it make a difference? Yes. Conscientious, well-educated laborers with the right tools produce the best product at the lowest price. What they do to drive down price is produce large volumes of their product, or they command a higher price by producing a product that requires greater skill to produce.

      So why is U.S. industry going overseas? Why is our government steadily becoming more corrupt? Go back to that theme statement.

      Conscientious, well-educated laborers with the right tools produce the best product at the lowest price.

      What percentage of the workforce does that describe? What percentage did it once describe?

      We cannot compete because our own government has hamstrung us. Because we don’t have self-restraint, we cannot restrain our leaders, and they waste trillions to steal billions. That makes us uncompetitive.

      If anything is broken, it is our education system. Those proverbs you want people to learn? We should be learning them in school as children.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Many companies outsourced because their competitors outsourced first. They had to then outsource or go out of business. As I said, with the difference in cost of living and wages, plus currency manipulation, plus to qualify in the foreign markets they were required to make the products in China.

        Trade balance is the only answer in my opinion to keep trade free and fair.

        Also keep in mind Congress was sold on free trade being wonderful by explaining every dollar spent on foreign products would sooner or later return to the USA when the trade partner uses the dollar to buy US products.

        However two things happened. The dollars were kept overseas and used to build new plants and equipment overseas.

        Then the dollars accumulate by China were borrowed to the US for interest payments instead of buying US products.

        Then countries like Mexico buy products from foreign sources, then assemble them in Mexico to be sold in the USA without any tarrifs because they are a NAFTA partner.

        Ill stop here because, i could write a book on all the other ways free trade is not fair trade, especially for US workers.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. What is unfair depends upon ones point of view. If I can buy a product made in a foreign nation for less, why should I (or anyone else) be forced to buy something made here?

          Life is not fair. You know that and I know that. What matters is what is best for the country. As Keith observed, we have to make certain some defense critical items continue to be made here, and I think it is also obvious we should respond when foreign governments attempt to take over an industry by subsidizing their own companies and excluding ours.

          But what has caused our trade with other nations to become unbalanced? Don’t we both know our own government is out-of-control? Is it not also obvious that even foreign nations are buying off our leaders? The people who run our country are dishonest and incompetent, and we have nobody to blame except ourselves. We can theorize until doomsday about what is unfair, but it does not matter. We first have to get rid of the rot.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. The is no cure for a rotten board except to remove and replace it with a new sound board. Clawing the nails out of the board is the hard part but it can be done with hard work. if you do not replace a rotten board, the whole house will fall down. The US is tethering right now with a lot of rotten boards in its foundation. Where to find the hard workers is the challenge.

            Oh well

            Regards and goodwill blogging..

            Liked by 1 person

  2. with South Korea … which promised to boost our exports to them $10 billion, instead only budged them less than $1 billion, while South Korea’s imports to us increased more than $12 billion, nearly doubling our trading deficit.

    Anyone who is wondering why the GOP does not care if Obama is given fast tract to make new trade agreements? It is because their campaign contributors know they will make more profits regardless of any trade agreements outcome.

    Of course, if you understand that a trade balance tells the truth of all trade treaties to find out who is getting the better end of the deal. For example the South Korea result from the last trade agreement by Obama of $1 billion exports represents US new jobs, and the $12 billion imports represents US lost jobs.

    However either way, the guys who profit from selling goods still make a profit on anything bought or sold and they care less if their profit is a result of US labor or foreign labor. If the trade agreement results in more sales dollars, they profit from more sales regardless of who made the product.

    Any trade treaty needs to include an agreement for both parties to add tariffs without any penalties when trade become imbalance for either party to protect US jobs from whoosing out again just like it was predicted when Clinton approved NAFTA..

    Read the 400 page bill now being proposed and try to find that clause. You won’t. All you will find is a whole bunch of provisions that when disregarded will take forever to resolve.

    As for Obama who promised in his first election run to renegotiate all existing trade agreements, try and find out if he did as he promised.

    The present trade deficit for unbalanced trade in the US is one half trillion dollars which equates to a loss of four million US livable wage jobs.

    Free trade is great if it is fair trade. One half trillion dollars a year is not fair in my opinion.

    Working at Wal Mart or every other big box retailer stocking shelves with foreign goods does not pay a livable wage as did manufacturing jobs.

    Call your representative and tell him no deal unless trade is fair and balanced.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The main reason the United States has a trade imbalance is that we have too much government. That government:
      1. Costs too much. Taxes raise production and labor costs.
      2. Borrows lots of money. Raising the cost of capital.
      3. Favors those labor monopolies we call labor unions. Further raising labor costs.
      4. Favors existing corporations at the expense of new startups. Further raising production costs.
      5. Adds burdensome regulations
      6. And so forth.

      Instead of worrying about complicated trade deals too few understand, we need to make our government smaller.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Keep in mind, US labor will never e able to compete with foreign labor when they foreign laborers are paid $200 a month wages when an US laborer has to pay $1000 a month rent.

        Balancing the inequities is called harmonizing labor. costs. The problem is US workers are being harmonized in a downward trend from middle class to poverty in order to harmonize the differences.of labor wages. It should be the opposite in my opinion .

        The whole concept is called the new world order. No borders, everybody is the same. I don’t buy it.

        Regards and goodwill blogging.


        1. I agree with you that the loss of national sovereignty that Obama has been engineering is catastrophic. But we have been raising the standards of living elsewhere, just as trade increases our own. And wages have been raised elsewhere by hundreds of percent, and even broadened this effect across multiple countries as they compete with each other.

          We need to (1) do what we’re good at, (2) make sure that we’re good at important things, and (3) limit the trade-related regulatory environment to US national security and international contract issues. Everything else will take care of itself in a free market.

          By the way, here is additional information about Cruz and TPP/TPA (which are not at all the same thing).

          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Read the bills, The reality is there are so many remedy provisions that by the time a government bureaucracy investigates a complaint, years pass , plants close, and jobs dissipate into the clouds.

            Need simple control. Trade imbalances are an easy effective barometer of what is happening with the effects of trade and unemployment for both trade partners.

            Regards and goodwill blogging.


          1. I could be wrong but think that most illegal workers work in service industries rather than manufacturing product industries.who use Human Resource Depts using E Verify before they hire.

            Most illegals work for small business like restaurants, lawn or farm owners. Many being paid “under the table” to avoid taxes and benefits.

            Regards and goodwill blogging..

            Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t see how anybody in their right mind could give one more scintilla of power to President Obama, a proven habitual liar.

    I think it is clear that establishment Republicans think the only problem with Big Government tyranny is when Democrats are running it.

    And that is really sad.

    It means that the majority of Americans are no longer represented by any branch of government.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Consider why people voted for those Democrats and those RINO Republicans.
      The sad fact is that we are represented. We voted for these people, and we have gotten the leadership that most of us deserve.

      Social Security and Medicare, for example, are Ponzi schemes. These programs are designed to take money from young people and give that money to old people. Parents and grandparents end up robbing their own children. They use the excuse that they put money into those programs, but that money was spent as soon as our leaders got their grubby hands on it. Therefore, we justify robbing our children because someone robbed us.


      1. Citizen Tom,

        The RINO’s run as conservatives and then join the Democrats once they hit Washington DC.

        Boehner and McConnell, leaders of the House and Senate come to mind.

        At one time I really liked Senator Ted Cruz from Texas. But when push comes to shove, he just follows the money.

        Also, if Congress really did represent the people, the secret nature of this latest trade deal would be intolerable.

        Instead, all we get from our “representatives” is impotent, self-righteous complaints and mumbling.


        1. The us versus them thing sounds attractive, but it is an illusion. Did Boehner and McConnell lie? Of course they did, but anyone paying attention knew what they would do.

          Apathy is commonplace these days. When people vote, they don’t pay much attention. They hear the guy saying what they want to hear, and that’s who they vote for. Instead of doing the right thing, too many do what feels right.

          We have 535 people in Congress. The “system” put them there. Those “special interests.” Every single one of us has a “special interest.” If our special interest is not the welfare of our neighbor, we too are part of the problem.


        2. I was troubled by Ted Cruz’s support for TPA “fast track” authority. He and frequent ally Sessions differ markedly on this topic.

          I had previously listened to many hours of Cruz’s thinking on a variety of topics, and this TPA bit seemed starkly out of line. There was a recent radio show in which he called in to explain his position. He didn’t have much time, but I am more sympathetic to his notion here. Part of the issue is the distinction between renewing the TPA (which has existed for some decades) and voting for the TPP trade deal. Here’s a brief recap:

          Ted Cruz has read the TPP text as it currently exists. And it may take more than a year to complete (with many changes), rendering the Obama aspect perhaps a moot point. But one element not discussed much is that the TPA being voted on now forces the TPP to be treated as statute rather than treaty, and as such pulls its teeth with regard to controlling the US in override of the Constitution the way a treaty can. It is not a complete solution, but it is something. And it also requires that the ultimate TPP be approved by both Senate and House, not just the Senate, and requires that it be public for 60 days before a vote.

          ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Thus far I have been impressed by Cruz. At least, he doesn’t seem to bought. The problem we have with an honest politician is that he has a mind of his own. Since Cruz will have access to information not available to the public, he may vote based upon that.

            However, the fact that information is not available to the public is relevant. As it is, I think these trade deals have gotten too complicated. When we start trying to use these things to interfere in the laws of other nations (environment, labor, immigration, and so forth), we are trying to do too much. It is about fair trade, not running some other country.


          2. Ted Cruz has pushed publicly and privately for the TPP text to be made public.

            Isn’t it odd that “the most transparent administration” has come true, as “the most transparently socialist administration”? This was visible to many of us before the first election, but the perception is much broader now.


            The trouble with trade is not “unbalanced” nor any particular government mastermind’s idea of “fair.” Both the Korean and US standards of living rose as a result of the trade you described, and if we insisted on $5,000 DVD players (to support the “livable wage” you discuss) far fewer would have either DVD players or livable wages. It is like making key (and highly paid) creative people in companies do all their own bookwork and janitorial cleaning to prevent it from being farmed out to less expensive services. Such an approach limits the ability of those who can create from creating wealth.

            Instead, it seems to me that the real issue is national security. By making ourselves uneconomical to produce key defense components, we are now in the potentially fatal position of having an erstwhile and perhaps future enemy building our matériel for us. That, of course, would end as conflict escalates, and would be “as suspect as Stuxnet” in the meantime.

            ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

            Liked by 2 people

  4. Another compelling bit of evidence of the artificiality of “conservative” labels. Brat and Marshall have bought the Democrat and labor movement agitprop on this issue hook, line and sinker.



      1. No, Tom, I decided that Marshall is not a conservative. Of course, I reached that conclusion quite a while ago about him. Brat seems to fall into the same camp, but there’s not as much information about him. These are guys who know that a self-application of the “conservative” label and the mouthing of some buzzwords is enough to entice a bloc of low information voters. They play that. But on important economic and national security issues, they would see the United States international competitiveness destroyed, and potential adversaries enriched.



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