Saturday, June 6, 2015


TPP Begins to Unravel as Obama Launches Final Push For Votes

3 Secret Trade Deals Being Pushed On the World;
Gives Away American Sovereignty

"Please just tell us what is in TPP"

The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade package is beginning to unravel, with more prominent voices slamming President Obama and the Republican leadership over the secretive deal that threatens to cost American jobs and hand big corporations new powers that would violate national sovereignty.
House Majority Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Rules Committee chairman Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) refused to reveal to Breitbart whether they had read the TPP agreement but still said they would support the Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and allow President Barack Obama to fast-track the TPP.
Lawmakers claim that TPA is separate from TPP and that they will review the final TPP agreement before it is considered by Congress.
However, as Matthew Boyle explains, this explanation doesn’t wash. A vote for the TPA is a de facto green light for the TPP since there is essentially no way to halt a trade deal once it has been fast-tracked.
“Since fast track was created in the Richard Nixon administration, not one trade deal that started on fast track has been thwarted. As such, a vote for TPA is a vote for TPP, since passing TPA will all but guarantee the successful passage of TPP,” writes Boyle.
Senator Marco Rubio, Senator Lindsey Graham, and Rep. John Boehner are also refusing to reveal if they have visited the “secret room” to read the controversial TPP document, although all three are set to vote for the TPA.
“It is unforgivable for the Republican majority to shirk its congressional duty and refuse to read the text of a bill that will give Obama unprecedented authority over our economy,” said Daniel Horowitz, the senior editor of the Conservative Review. “Passing a bill in order to find out what’s in it is what placed the Pelosi Congress in the ash-heap of history. It’s not an auspicious path for ambitious politicians.”
Obama is in the midst of an intense lobbying campaign to promote the TPP in advance of a crucial House vote on TPA next week which could go either way.
“The push from the president included direct calls to lawmakers, interviews with television stations in key states and plans to bring several Democrats aboard Air Force One with him to a summit in Germany this weekend,” reports the Washington Post.
Hewlett-Packard CEO and 2016 Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina became the latest prominent voice to urge Obama to release the full text of TPP.
“President Obama has made lofty promises before and we’ve learned with this White House that the devil is in the details,” said Fiorina. “And the details are frequently very different than the lofty goals with which he describes the deal. So I’d like President Obama to tell us what’s in his trade deal before we grant him this broad fast track authority. So far, though, he’s been unwilling to do that and Hillary won’t even take a position on it. That should concern us. Mr. President, if you want TPA to pass, please just tell us what is in TPP.”
Meanwhile, despite claims that climate change mandates would not be a part of TPP, President Obama admitted during an NPR interview on Wednesday that this would indeed be the case.
“If we want to solve something like climate change, which is one of my highest priorities, then I’ve got to be able to get into places like Malaysia, and say to them, this is in your interest. What leverage do I have to get them to stop deforestation? Well part of the leverage is if I’m in a trade relationship with them that allows me to raise standards,” said Obama.
By passing such mandates via the TPP, Obama could sneak through draconian climate regulations under the radar, knowing that they would almost certainly be rejected by Congress on their own.
This would satisfy calls by the likes of French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius – a Bilderberg member – to enforce the new rules via global treaties to cut Congress out of the equation. Obama will attend summit in Paris in December to negotiate a climate agreement.
“Obama would not need to get Congress to approve the unfair climate change treaty terms that he negotiates. Instead, he could get the Commission set up by the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement to add those terms to the Trans-Pacific Partnership,” writes Howard Richman.
“After that, the Investor-State Dispute Settlement Provisions, set up by that agreement, could enforce Obama’s terms through the threat of multi-billion-dollar fines upon the U.S. government.”
Critics of the TPP assert that the trade deal will cost American jobs and give huge corporations the power to change U.S. laws.
Earlier this week, Wikileaks released 17 different documents related to the Trade in Services Agreement (Tisa), which is part of the TPP.
SEE: below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:

The U.S. Senate’s passage of Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) legislation on May 22 means that the TPA bill (also known as “Fast Track”) will soon be up for a vote in the House of Representatives. If the House follows suit and approves it, we can be certain that President Obama and his Republican supporters in Congress will move for expedited action on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), both of which, Obama has stated, are top priorities of his administration.
These twin, trans-oceanic agreements are massive schemes that propose a very radical transformation of the global politico-economic system, with revolutionary integration and convergence of the major Atlantic and Pacific nations. The TPP currently includes 12 Pacific Rim member states (Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, the United States, and Vietnam), but is expected to expand to include more nations, including Communist China.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) proposes to begin “deep and comprehensive” integration between the 28 member states of the European Union and the United States. Over the course of the past several years, we have published many articles detailing the dangers posed by these (still officially secret) agreements. We are bringing together here, in abbreviated form, 10 of those reasons why every American — whether identifying as Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, Independent, Tea Party, liberal, conservative, or constitutionalist — should oppose both of these proposals.
1: Sovereignty will be lost.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership constitute an all-out assault on, and an existential threat to, America’s sovereignty and independence.
Even if all of the glowing economic predictions and rosy job promises of the TPP/TTIP promoters were true — and as we show below, there are many good reasons to disbelieve this prosperity prop­aganda — would it really be worth sacrificing our national sovereignty and independence for these purported benefits? Would it be worth sacrificing our liberty and our Constitution? Would it be worth subjecting ourselves and our posterity to the rule of international bureaucrats and judges? Those are not idle, speculative questions; they go to the core of what the TPP and TTIP are all about.
Modern Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs, such as NAFTA, TPP, and TTIP) have become so comprehensive and complex (see below) that they guarantee conflict — both among the nations that are party to the agreement, as well as between private parties and the various nation-state parties. Resolving the conflict means resorting to adjudication. As with NAFTA, the TPP and TTIP create conflict resolution tribunals (courts) that claim the authority to overrule national, state, and local laws, as well as national and state courts and national and state constitutions. Additionally, PTA members often opt to appeal their cases to the World Trade Organization tribunal, which claims global judicial authority. In practice, this amounts, virtually, to legislating globally from the bench, striking down laws and ordering revisions. This is not merely a theoretical threat, it is already happening. Most recently, the WTO appellate tribunal ruled against the United States in a NAFTA suit brought by Canada and Mexico that claimed the U.S. Country Of Origin Labeling (COOL) law, which requires foreign meat to be labeled as such, is an unfair and illegal trade practice. The WTO’s May 18 ruling was the fourth time in three years that the global court had ruled against COOL, even though U.S. courts had ruled that COOL is legal. Faced with WTO penalties and threats of retaliation, the U.S. Congress is now considering repeal of COOL, and American consumers may soon lose the ability to discover if the meat at the grocery store (or the fast food burger/taco joint) is U.S.-raised, or from Mexico, Brazil, or China.
The WTO COOL case is a harbinger of more to come. The TPP and TTIP would exempt foreign corporations from our laws and regulations, placing the resolution of any disputes regarding those matters in the hands of an Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) tribunal or the WTO. Besides unconstitutionally creating another international judicial authority higher than our own courts and legislature, the agreements will put American businesses (particularly small and medium-size businesses geared primarily for our domestic market) at a serious competitive disadvantage. Foreign firms could operate here unburdened by the costly and onerous regulatory shackles that are crippling and destroying American free enterprise.
2: The TPP and TTIP are “living,” “evolving” agreements.
On November 12, 2011, the leaders of the TPP nations endorsed the TPP “Trade Ministers’ Report to Leaders,” which states, inter alia: “We have agreed to develop the TPP as a living agreement.... Therefore, the TPP teams are establishing a structure, institutions, and processes that allow the agreement to evolve.... We envision a continuing joint work program, including new commitments.”
The Congressional Research Service, in a March 20, 2015 study entitled “The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Negotiations and Issues for Congress,” notes: “The TPP has been envisaged as a ‘living agreement,’ one that is both open to new members willing to sign up to its commitments and open to addressing new issues as they evolve.”
Likewise, the TTIP promoters push the “living” document theme. In February of this year, the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) issued a report entitled, “A Fresh Start for TTIP,” which declares, “The [TTIP] negotiators should agree on standard harmonisation where it can be easily achieved … and should set up an inclusive process of regulatory convergence to allow TTIP to become a living agreement which harmonises further standards later on.”
Dr. Alberto Alemanno, the Jean Monnet Professor of EU Law at HEC Paris, writes that “unlike any previous trade arrangement, TTIP is set to become a ‘living agreement’, whose obligations will continuously be added without the need to re-open the initial international treaty nor to modify each others’ institutional frameworks. Thus, should the regulators identify areas for convergence … their agreed commitments … will become legally binding through a sectoral annex.”
The TPP/TTIP architects are drawing from the “success” of the European Union. In the development of the European Union — from its origin as the European Coal and Steel Community to the Common Market to the European Community to, finally, the EU — this subversive mutational process has been referred to as “broadening and deepening.” Broadening (or “widening”) refers to the constant expansion through addition of new member-states; deepening refers to the constant creation of new supranational institutional structures and continuous expansion and usurpation by regional authorities of powers and jurisdiction that previously were exercised by national, state, and local governments. The “living,” “evolving” treaties and agreements of the EU have eviscerated the national sovereignty of the EU member-states and increasingly subjugated them to unaccountable rulers in Brussels under the rubric of “integration,” “harmonization,” “an ever closer union,” “convergence,” “pooled sovereignty,” “interdependence,” and “comprehensive cooperation.”
3: It’s being planned in secret.
The Obama administration has audaciously claimed that the TPP and TTIP processes are “completely transparent,” and President Obama has publicly claimed to be peeved by charges (false charges, he says) that there is any secrecy involved. But the president is talking utter nonsense, if facts mean anything. It is a fact that after more than three years of (secret) negotiations, the administration still has not made the draft texts of either of the agreements available to the public. It is a fact that the only texts the public has had access to are those that have been “illegally” leaked. It is a fact that elected members of the U.S. Congress are only allowed to see the text under severely restricted conditions: They must go to a special room, must leave their cellphones behind, may not make any copies, are monitored while in the room, and before leaving must surrender all notes they have taken. On the other hand, it is also a fact that private “cleared” representatives of, for example, pharmaceutical companies, Hollywood studios, Wall Street, and other corporate interests are given passwords to access the documents online at their leisure: no restrictions, inconvenience, or humiliation for these privileged elites.
This secrecy charge is not merely some invention of right-wing Republicans; it comes also from progressives of Obama’s party: Oregon Senator Ron Wyden, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Florida Representative Alan Grayson, Connecticut Representative Rosa DeLauro, California Representative George Miller, and many others. If there is nothing to hide, why does the administration insist on shrouding the entire process in secrecy, and then ludicrously pretend they are being totally open and transparent?
4: The TPP and TTIP are not about “free trade.”
Historically, the “free trade” debate has centered on reducing or eliminating tariffs (taxes on imports). But U.S. tariffs are already at historic lows. If the TTIP and TPP were truly about free trade and tariffs, they could be written in a few pages. But they, purportedly, are hundreds of pages long. This is because they deal with what the glob­alization lobby calls “non-tariff barriers to trade,” which can be just about anything and everything. Here are some of the things the U.S. Trade Representative’s website lists as matters that are covered by the TTIP: “Agricultural Market Access, Competition, Cross-Border Services, Customs and Trade Facilitation, Electronic Commerce and Telecommunications, Energy and Raw Materials, Environment Financial Services, Government Procurement, Intellectual Property Rights, Investment, Labor, … Rules of Origin, Sanitary and Phyto­sanitary (SPS) Measures, Sectoral Annexes/Regulatory Cooperation, Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises, State-Owned Enterprises, Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), Textiles, Trade Remedies.”
And remember, as discussed above in number two, since these are “living,” “evolving” agreements, virtually anything may be added for consideration in the future. No less an authority than WTO Director-General Pascal Lamy has remarked on the revolutionary nature of TTIP. “Authorities in Europe and America have given the impression that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is just another trade agreement,” he said. “In fact, the proposed agreement is a different beast.” Lamy noted that “80 per cent of these negotiations deal with a realm of regulatory convergence.” Lamy, who previously worked as an official in the French government and the EU bureaucracy, knows about convergence, since he helped steer the process in the EU. “Convergence” in EU parlance has come to mean iron-fisted centralized authority running roughshod over national and local laws and customs.
Dr. Joseph Stiglitz, recipient of the Nobel Prize in economics, told the Italian Parliament last year during testimony regarding the TTIP, “This is not a free trade agreement and you should not sign it.” While this writer might disagree with Dr. Stiglitz on a number of other important economic matters, he is certainly correct on this point and his warning should be heeded. According to WikiLeaks, only five chapters of the purported 29 chapters in the TPP deal with matters that are considered traditional trade issues.
5: It is an immigration Trojan Horse.
The Obama administration, infamous for promising to use all executive means possible (whether constitutional or not) to grant amnesty to illegals and to expand legal immigration, is using the TPP/TTIP to replace our immigration system with EU-style mass “migration.” The still-secret agreements contain provisions for eviscerating our border controls, according to insiders who have studied them. “The Trans-Pacific Partnership includes an entire chapter on immigration,” Curtis Ellis, executive director of the American Jobs Alliance, remarked in an April 13, 2015 post for The Hill. “It is a Trojan horse for Obama’s immigration agenda. House members who were ready to defund the Department of Homeland Security to stop President Obama’s executive action on immigration must not give him TPA [Fast Track], which he will use to ensure his immigration actions are locked in when he leaves office.”
Critics point to the fact that President Obama has boasted of greatly expanding the L-1 “temporary guest worker” program to allow corporations to bring hundreds of thousands of workers into the United States while we are suffering extremely high unemployment. Moreover, Obama has already used a pseudo “free trade” agreement with South Korea to expand the L-1 program with that country.
We can take some guidance as to where this could lead from the EU, which the TPP/TTIP architects approvingly cite as their model. Restricted by EU court rulings, EU member states have found it virtually impossible to restrict “migration” and even extremely difficult to control the deluge of “welfare tourism” that is bankrupting many of their social services.
6: It merges America with China/Russia.
One of the overarching arguments repeatedly used by TPP promoters is that we must complete and adopt the TPP or Communist China will pre-empt us with its own trade pact. Likewise, they argue that we must approve the TTIP to keep Russia in check. The short answer to this is that the TPP/TTIP proponents are being totally disingenuous because most of the leading architects of the agreements have been on record for years in favor of admitting both China and Russia to the regional/global trade regimes. China is already a member of the U.S.-created Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and has been integrally involved in the talks aimed at transforming APEC into a Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP). The TPP is a key “steppingstone” in that process, according to the APEC/FTAAP architects. An important source on this matter is the pro-TPP bookUnderstanding the Trans-Pacific Partnership published in 2013 by the Peter G. Peterson Institute for International Economics (PIIE), one of the premier global think tanks that has played an especially important role in promoting the WTO, IMF, United Nations, and so-called free trade agreements, including NAFTA, CAFTA, TPP, and FTAAP. According to the PIIE book, “The TPP is regarded as an interim arrangement or stepping stone toward a broader, region-wide Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific (FTAAP).... TPP negotiators are … also planning and constructing the trade pact with a view toward future linkages with other APEC members, including and especially China.” (Emphasis added.)
Russia is also an APEC member and could be expected to be included in the FTAAP, which the Obama administration has been quietly developing alongside the TPP. As far back as 2010, the administration posted on the White House website an APEC press release of November 13, 2010 announcing: “Based on the results of this work, we have agreed that now is the time for APEC to translate FTAAP from an aspirational to a more concrete vision. To that end, we instruct APEC to take concrete steps toward realization of an FTAAP, which is a major instrument to further APEC’s Regional Economic Integration (REI) agenda.” Once that is achieved, both China and Russia will likely be full FTAAP members.
7: Could the TPP/TTIP be used to foist gun control on Americans?
This is not an “out there” question; it should be a genuine concern of all who treasure the Second Amendment. Constitutional champion Michael Hammond, the longtime executive director of the Senate Steering Committee, has warned that “there is ample time to insert firearms import bans (with the force of statutory law)” into the TPP and/or TTIP. “Barack Obama has been rabid in his zeal to destroy the Second Amendment community,” Hammond notes. “Over and over again, he has experimented with a wide variety of schemes to ban guns by regulatory fiat: eliminating credit, banning ammunition, compiling a gun registry, encouraging state bans, reclassifying common guns, banning the import of guns, and so forth. Hammond, who is now general counsel for the Gun Owners of America, notes that despite Obama’s notorious anti-gun record, the Republican “leadership” in Congress “didn’t see fit to even purport to prohibit the Obama administration from using a trade agreement to impose a statutory gun import ban.”
8: The jobs and prosperity myth
As with NAFTA and every other pseudo-free trade agreement, there are many politicians, lobbyists, and think tanks making pie-in-the-sky claims that TPP and TTIP will usher in new prosperity and a wave of good-paying jobs. We’ve been there before. In 1993, the Peterson Institute for International Economics released its influential study, “NAFTA: An Assessment,” which predicted that “with NAFTA, U.S. exports to Mexico will continue to outstrip Mexican exports to the United States, leading to a U.S. trade surplus with Mexico of about $7 (billion) to $9 billion annually by 1995.” It also predicted that the U.S. trade surplus with Mexico would increase to $12 billion annually between 2000 and 2010. The actual result was quite different.
In 1993, the year before NAFTA went into effect, the United States had a $1.66 billion trade surplus with Mexico; by 1995, the first year after NAFTA had entered into force, that changed to a $15.8 billion deficit. By 2000, that annual deficit had soared to $24.5 billion, and by 2007 it hit $74.7 billion. For 2014, our trade deficit with Mexico dipped to only $53.8 billion. In 1993, the year before NAFTA, we imported around 225,000 cars and trucks from Mexico. By 2005, our imports of Mexican-made vehicles had tripled to 700,000 vehicles annually, and in 2012, Mexico’s export of vehicles to the United States surpassed 1.4 million. Chrysler, Ford, and GM transferred major production facilities (and jobs) from the United States to Mexico. Our trade deficits with Canada have followed a similar path since adoption of NAFTA.
The PIIE authors and other pseudo-free trade propagandists had cherry-picked data and simply invented statistics to fraudulently sell their product: NAFTA. If they were car salesmen, they would have gone to jail for fraud and misrepresentation. Instead, they are back doing the same thing, concocting rosy statistics to sell the TPP and TTIP.
9: The TPP and TTIP are corporatist schemes.
Unfortunately, some of the loudest critics on this score are notorious leftists who regularly parade against capitalism. Republican leaders have been able to use that fact as a reason to disregard the compelling evidence that these criticisms of TPP/TTIP are solidly based. First of all, it is important to note that in most cases the big, international mega-corporations long ago ceased to consider themselves American companies and also long ago ceased to favor free enterprise capitalism: They are corporate welfare drones, the masters of government bailouts, government loans, government subsidies, government contracts. They are little different from the giant State Owned Enterprises (SOEs) or “private” corporations owned by communist princelings and commissars in China and Russia.
This is especially evident in the lineup of globalist corporations behind the TPP/TTIP: Goldman Sachs, Boeing, Dow Chemical, Unilever, Chevron, Caterpillar, UPS, Walmart, Chase, Citi — and a bevy of Big Business coalitions: Global Business Dialogue, Business Roundtable, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Transatlantic Policy Network, Atlantic Council, and more. These are “crony capitalists,” not free enterprise capitalists; they prefer to use the power of government rather than innovation, risk, and excellence to prosper. Many of these corporations and associations have their representatives working directly with the TPP/TTIP negotiators, and they are the “cleared” elites that get privileged access to the documents you and I don’t get to see, and our elected representatives only access under extreme controls.
10: The TPP and TTIP are regional transitions in the push toward a world government.
Unquestionably, one of the most important organizations pushing the TPP and TTIP is the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations, the uber-think tank that has been promoting schemes for world government for nearly a century. In a 2006 op-ed entitled “State sovereignty must be altered in globalized era,” CFR President Richard Haass declared that we must “rethink” and “redefine” sovereignty because “new mechanisms are needed for regional and global governance” and “states must be prepared to cede some sovereignty to world bodies.” Due to globalization, said Haass, “sovereignty is not only becoming weaker in reality, but … it needs to become weaker.” According to the CFR chief, we must choose between “an international system of either world government or anarchy.”
The CFR fully supports the trans-oceanic political and economic “integration” and “convergence” plans of the TPP and TTIP. It works closely with the Transatlantic Policy Network (TPN), which says its mission is “to promote and assist the convergence of EU/US Government policies.” The TPN’s 1995 “Partnership Project” called for combining NATO with a merged EU-U.S. “in a single political framework by early in the next century.” In its 2008 report Completing the Transatlantic Market, the TPN went further, revealing that “the process of creating a Transatlantic Market will be an integral step in the evolution toward an eventual Transatlantic Partnership Agreement embracing the economic, political, and strategic totality of the EU-US relationship.” “Totality” — did you catch that?
This is what former French Premier Edouard Balladur was aiming at with his 2007 book entitled A Union of the West, which received the expected send-off at the New York Times and other “enlightened” voices of the globalist media choir. According to Balladur the new partnership must be “a new alliance between Europe and America, and even more — a true union.” And that is what the TPP/TTIP schemers are truly attempting to put over.

7 Reasons Why Trade Promotion Authority/

Fast Track Must Be Defeated

SEE: below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:

In our companion article “10 Reasons Why You Should Oppose the TPP and TTIP,” we detail some of the most extreme dangers presented by President Obama’s two mammoth pseudo-free trade agreements, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). On May 22, the U.S. Senate approved Trade Promotion Authority legislation (TPA, also known as Fast Track), which greases the skids for passage of TPP/TTIP. Now the fight over TPA has moved to the House of Representatives. There are many reasons why Americans should demand that their congressmen vote against this legislation; we provide seven of them below.
1: TPA is essential to passage of the very dangerous TPP and TTIP.
Regarding the massive pacts the administration has been secretly hammering together with the Asia-Pacific region and the European Union, President Obama’s Trade Representative Michael Froman told the Senate Finance Committee in 2013: “None of this can happen without Trade Promotion Authority.” Similarly, President Obama, in remarks to the President’s Export Council, which includes top corporate execs, Cabinet officials, and members of Congress, said, “We’re going to need Trade Promotion Authority.”
Analysts on both sides of the issue agree that passage of TPA is critical for passage of TPP and TTIP, and, conversely, that defeating TPA is crucial for defeating these “ObamaTrade” pacts. TPA is the enabler that has made possible virtually every so-called trade agreement of the past several decades. So, if the TPP/TTIP truly represents the existential threat we detail in the accompanying “10 Reasons Why You Should Oppose the TPP and TTIP,” then it follows that all Americans committed to preserving our national sovereignty and independence should oppose TPA, since, if passed, it would all but guarantee subsequent passage of the TPP & TTIP.
2: TPA is a “bum’s rush” that ratifies a secret, corrupt process and aims to ratify a secret, corrupt product.
No lie is more apparent than the Obama administration’s continued ludicrous claims that the TPP/TTIP negotiation process is completely open and transparent. Few members of Congress have even seen the texts of the agreements, and virtually none has actually studied and dissected the complex legal documents. We, the public, have had to content ourselves with “illegal” leaked fragments of the agreement texts. And, reportedly, the TPP/TTIP texts are still being revised. Under the TPA, these agreements would be fast-tracked. Members of each house would have to vote within 45 days after the agreement is introduced in their house. They are limited to only 20 hours of debate. No Senate filibusters are allowed. No amendments are allowed. The TPP/TTIP proponents have had years to craft the texts, pack them with benefits for special interests, develop arguments and strategies to promote them, line up lobbyists and corporate cronies to push for them, amass huge war chests, and put their final campaign strategy into place. But they know they have to sucker us into signing on the dotted line before we actually read the fine print. They can’t let us actually kick the wheels, or we’ll see that this junker they’re selling as a mint-condition Rolls Royce is really a coffin on wheels. This is a repeat of the secrecy and deception surrounding ObamaCare, which culminated, recall, with the rushed vote before members of Congress and the American public had a chance to study it, because, as then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi infamously insisted, “We have to pass it so that you can find out what’s in it.”
Apropos of that, let us not forget that long afterward, videos surfaced of Professor Jonathan Gruber, a top designer of Obama­Care, audaciously admitting that he and the Obama administration lied to get this huge government takeover of healthcare passed into law. Gruber admitted that the monstrosity was intentionally “mislabeled” and written “in a tortured way to make sure the CBO [Congressional Budget Office] did not score the mandate as a tax.” Moreover, he mocked “the stupidity of the American voter” for naively buying this lie. We saw another replay of this corrupt process with the rush job that was used last December to pass the monstrous “Cromnibus” spending bill.
3: TPA is an unconscionable abdication of constitutional responsibility by Congress.
By approving TPA, Congress would be transferring an enormous grant of power to a president who has proven he lusts for power. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) admitted this in a press interview. “Yeah, we’re in active discussion on TPA, trade promotion authority,” McConnell told reporters. “It’s an enormous grant of power, obviously, from a Republican Congress to a Democratic president.” But that candid slip-up by McConnell has been almost totally overshadowed by the exact opposite media spin put on TPA by the pro-ObamaTrade Republicans, who absurdly claim that the fast track gambit actually “empowers” Congress.
House Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the top GOP cheerleader for TPA/TPP/TTIP in the House, has a Ways and Means webpage entitled “Empower Congress: Pass TPA.” Among other things, it makes this ludicrous statement: “TPA doesn’t give the president any authority he doesn’t already have. On the contrary, it’s Congress that gains from a strong trade promotion authority bill. Under TPA, it’s Congress in the driver’s seat. And the president must follow Congress’ lead in trade negotiations.” Representative Ryan’s “driver’s seat” metaphor reveals that he is little more than a sock puppet for the administration; he is merely repeating the same line that has been laid out by Obama spokesmen such as Trade Representative Michael Froman and Secretary of State John Kerry. Similarly, House Speaker John Boehner’s office asserts that TPA “specifically bars the president from making any changes to our laws.”
The Ryan/Boehner promises are about as trustworthy as a Federal Reserve note. Are we supposed to believe that the statement of negotiating objectives written into TPA will provide a “limiting” mechanism on a president who has repeatedly shown (and publicly boasted) that he believes he can disregard Congress and rule by executive orders? And are we supposed to believe that the GOP “opposition” led by McConnell and Boehner — who have rolled over repeatedly on issues dear to conservatives — will provide reliable protection against abuse? With Representatives Boehner and Ryan and Senators McConnell and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) all firmly in the pockets of the same TPP/TTIP lobby as Obama, only a fool would count on them to oppose anything President Obama stuffs into TPP/TTIP that violates any “objectives” laid out by Congress in TPA. Finally, the Froman/Ryan “empowerment” argument is ludicrous on the face of it, since the TPA is being introduced only at the very tail end of the negotiations. The TPP/TTIP negotiations have been ongoing for years and are near completion, so it is ridiculous to claim that “the president must follow Congress’ lead.” Does anyone really believe that President Obama will renegotiate the agreements to meet any “objectives” laid down by Congress?
4: TPA not only hands power to Obama, but to his successor as well.
Since the TPA bill would extend fast track authority for six years, it will go beyond President Obama’s term of office to include the first term of whoever is elected to the White House in 2016, whether Democrat or Republican, be it Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Bernie Sanders — or whoever. It is also important to keep in mind that TPA would not only apply to TPP/TTIP, but could be applied as well to many more far-reaching treaties disguised as trade agreements — either by President Obama or his ­successor.
5: TPA is another giant step in the unconstitutional transfer of congressional authority to the president.
Article I, Section 8, Clause 3 of the Constitution grants Congress the power “to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes.” The Constitution does not allow Congress to transfer or delegate this power — or any of its powers — to the executive or judicial branches of the federal government. Unfortunately, Congress has been doing that for many years — and we, the People, have been allowing them to do it. With regard to trade agreements, this has been going on since FDR’s radical New Deal when Congress passed and President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Reciprocal Trade Agreement Act (RTAA) of 1934. This was further developed with the Trade Act of 1974, signed into law by President Gerald Ford. The fact that this process has been repeated many times does not change the fact that the Constitution — which every member of Congress has sworn to defend — requires Congress to be in charge of regulating trade, not merely serve as a rubber stamp for the president and the trade lobby.
6: TPA also challenges the Constitution by violating the requirement that treaties be ratified by a super-majority vote of two-thirds of the U.S. Senate.
The TPP and TTIP are hybrid creatures that deal with many issues beyond normal trade issues such as tariffs and subsidies. It is not for nothing that both the TPP and TTIP are formally referred to as “partnerships.” They envision vast political and economic “integration” and “harmonization” schemes affecting all areas of citizens’ lives. They are treaties by any sensible definition, and, no doubt will be treated as such by U.S. federal courts, as well as international courts and tribunals when adjudicating conflicts. It matters not that our politicians refer to them now as “agreements” rather than “treaties.” Some of our TPP “partners” refer to them as treaties. The Australian government, for example, says: “Across the globe, there is an expanding network of free trade agreements (FTAs).... An FTA is an international treaty.” As such, the TPP and TTIP must, according to our Constitution, be approved by a two-thirds majority in the Senate.
7: The TPA will speed the transfer of immense power to federal and international judges to eviscerate the Constitution; to strike down federal, state, and local laws; and to legislate from the bench.
The breadth and depth of the matters covered under both the TPP and TTIP (judging by what has been leaked, reported, released, and/or admitted thus far) are truly astounding. There is, undoubtedly, much more hidden that is even worse. Plus, as we have pointed out previously, the authors of both pacts claim that these are “living” agreements that will “evolve,” meaning they will continue to grow and claim new powers not in the printed documents as they currently exist. This means that judges will determine what they mean. Over the past century, a false and subversive doctrine has gained dominance in our courts and among legal scholars that holds treaties are superior to the Constitution and can be used to strike down our laws, reorder society, and change our form of ­government.
Our Founding Fathers certainly did not intend the treaty-making power to qualify as a suicide instrument. Thomas Jefferson stated, “I say the same as to the opinion of those who consider the grant of the treaty making power as boundless. If it is, then we have no Constitution.” Yet, if we allow passage of TPA, we will soon be fighting to stop an all-out rush to pass TPP and TTIP. And if those pass, we will be thrown into endless fights to save the Constitution, and the freedoms it protects, against a continuous onslaught by enemies of every sort — aided by activist judges.

TISA Leaks: Another Secret ObamaTrade Deal, More Reasons to Stop “Fast Track”

SEE: below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:

Here comes another secret ObamaTrade treaty with enormous ramifications for every American. Wikileaks has released 17 documents related to a mammoth trade agreement the Obama administration has been negotiating that will, purportedly, cover 80 percent of the U.S. economy. It’s called TISA, the acronym for Trade In Services Agreement. It’s a pretty sure bet that 99.99 percent of Americans have never heard of it. But if the U.S. House of Representatives votes to give President Obama Trade Promotion Authority (TPA, better known as “Fast Track”) — and this vote could happen soon — TISA could be rammed through Congress in expedited fashion, along with the hugely controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).
As with the TPP and TTIP, the TISA treaty negotiations have been ongoing for several years in total secrecy, despite the Obama administration’s absurd claims that the process is completely “transparent.” Members of Congress and the American public are excluded from the process and are not allowed access to the document texts, texts that will become binding upon United States citizens once they are rushed through Congress on the TPA fast track. U.S. courts, or tribunals created under TISA, or World Trade Organization (WTO) tribunals are virtually certain to use TISA — as they have already done using NAFTA — to rule that U.S. laws are illegal and must be changed.
The TISA treaty is being negotiated by the United States, the European Union, and 23 other nations, including Turkey, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Pakistan, Taiwan and Israel. Together, TISA “partners” comprise two-thirds of global GDP. The “services” covered reportedly account for nearly 80 percent of the U.S. economy and include issues such as banking, finance, insurance, health care, air traffic, maritime, professional services, professional standards and licensing, e-commerce, delivery services, transparency, domestic regulation, and much more.
Last year WikiLeaks released its first batch of TISA documents. As The New American noted in an article on the leaked texts last October, one of the most obviously objectionable portions of the texts is the outrageous assertion that the documents even be kept secret for 5 years after they go into effect! We reported:
The very first page of the draft text states: “Declassify on: Five years from entry into force of the TISA agreement or, if no agreement enters into force, five years from the close of the negotiations.”
Moreover, it states: “This document must be protected from unauthorized disclosure.... It must be stored in a locked or secured building, room, or container.” Members of the U.S. Congress are not allowed to see the secret text; it will be presented to them, finally, in a high-pressure, no-debate vote, following a massive lobbying effort by the usual crony corporatists from the financial, insurance, and information technology sectors.
Incredibly (but as should be expected), the participants in and promoters of the TISA insist that they are all for transparency, openness, and due process. The U.S. Trade Representative’s website on TISA declares: “TISA will support the development of strong, transparent, and effective regulatory policies, which are so important to enabling international commerce."
Now, more than half a year later, the Obama administration continues to claim that it is being totally open and transparent with its “trade agreement” negotiations, which, if true, would have rendered the WikiLeaks release unnecessary. The fact that the administration has not released the TISA texts and that it took an extraordinary effort by a private organization to get portions of them released, should serve as warning that TISA negotiations, like those for TPP and TTIP, are operating in the shadows and should be brought out into the sunshine. That won’t happen if the Republican leadership in the House and Senate cooperate with the Obama White House and Congress passes Fast Track to speed the ObamaTrade agenda into effect.

Related articles:



James 1:26-"If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless."
Jude 1:19-"These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit."
Hebrews 10:26-27-"For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries."

Romans 6:1-"What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?"

Josh Duggar Molestation Scandal -
Megyn Kelly Interviews Jim Bob & Michelle Duggar:


"Questions, Questions: 
What I Would Have Asked The Duggars-
Janet Mefferd":

AND by Brent Detwiler:
SEE: below in full unedited for informational, educational, and research purposes:

Janet Mefferd is a highly-respected, nationally syndicated, Christian conservative, radio talk show host.  Like her, I came away concerned for the interview Megyn Kelly (who I like and appreciate) did of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar on June 3.  I’ve posted Mefferd’s “Questions, questions: What I would have asked the Duggars” below.  You can listen to Kelly's interview here.
I also came away concerned for many of the answers provided to Kelly by the Duggars.  Here is but one example (I can’t take time for more).  
In her introduction, Kelly pointed out the following about the start of “national notoriety” for the Duggars. She was referring to their first TV Special in 2004. 
KELLY: The family first rose to prominence in Arkansas where in the late 1990s and early 2000s Jim Bob Duggar served in the state’s House of Representatives. But it was in 2004 that the Duggars gained national notoriety. 
Later, Kelly asked Jim Bob Duggar the following question about whether it was a good idea to start the TV series called “19 Children and Counting” in 2008.  It was the wrong question.  She should have asked about the TV Special called “14 Kids and Pregnant” in 2004 
KELLY: But are you thinking at all, wait, this [the TV series] might not be a good idea because when you bring cameras into your home, they tend to discover things and people get more interested in you. 
J.B. DUGGAR: We had nothing to hide.  We had taken care of all that years before.  And when they asked us to do the reality TV show, all of this had been taken care of five years before and we had a clean bill of health from the state. 
First of all, the state did not give the Duggars a “clean bill of health.”  Detectives investigating Josh Duggar in 2006 wrote up an offense report accusing him of forcible fondling and second degree sexual assault in relation to five victims.     
Second, Josh Duggar was molesting girls in 2003 and soon after his father was making preparations to do a TV Special that aired in 2004.  If Kelly had asked him the right question, Jim Bob could never have answered, “All of this had been taken care of five years before.” 
He was able to give a deceptive answer because the wrong question was asked.  Josh was removed from the home for four months because of his molestations.  He returned in July 2003.  I would have asked, “Jim Bob, how soon after Josh moved back home, did you start discussing a TV Special with film producers?”  
Then this follow up, “Do you think it was a good idea to bring cameras into your home knowing Josh molested your daughters just last year?  How could you justify highlighting your family under those circumstances and making a TV Special your focus?”  
And then, “Why didn’t you tell the film company about Josh’s molestations?  Isn’t that something you would want to know about if you were in their shoes?  Were you concerned they might not produce the TV Special if they knew the truth about Josh?” 
And finally, “The promotion for your TV Special claimed, ‘This incredible family works as a team to ensure a happy, healthy and balanced life for each member.’  How did Josh ensure a happy, healthy and balanced life for each of his four sister who were victims?  And was everyone really enjoying a happy, healthy and balanced life?  Recently, you called it a ‘dark,’ ‘most difficult’ and ‘terrible’ time.  Weren’t you presenting a false narrative in 2004 as promotion for the TV Special?  Please explain the discrepancy.”    
Here’s some of what I recently wrote on a previous post.  
“One of the reasons, I posted this article [“A timeline of the molestation allegations against Josh Duggar” by the Washington Post] was to show how soon after the alleged molestation of five girls including four sisters, the father, Jim Bob, started promoting his family on TV specials as a model of virtue attributable to their parenting practices.  That lacked a tremendous degree of humility and integrity.”  
“At that point, the elders in Jim Bob’s church should have stopped him and redirected his attention to the care and protection of his family – not its promotion. … The family was in deep trouble and their parenting had not produced as advertised.  These were not ordinary family problems.  Things were seriously wrong.  It was time to refocus and reevaluate, not build a family empire.”  
“Instead, Jim Bob created a brand in conjunction with the company that did not correlate with reality.  It was encapsulated in the sentence, “Get an unprecedented look at how this incredible family works as a team to insure a happy, healthy and balanced life for each member.” 
“The Duggar’s are a family franchise.  There is tremendous pressure to put forward a superior “family life” product.  It is the key to their fame, and honestly, their fortune.  With the marketing of that product comes tremendous temptation to pretend righteousness and cover up unrighteousness.” 
The Lord have mercy on the Duggars but I don’t think they are being truthful in certain respects.  There are too many minimizations, contradictions and misrepresentations. I know the liberal press will take advantage of the situation but that is no excuse for the conservative press or evangelical Christians to go soft. 
Furthermore, we can’t reject out of hand the investigative reporting of the liberal press.  For instance, yesterday, In Touch magazine posted Duggar Interview: 7 Crucial Facts They Didn’t Tell You – the Cover Up Continues.  They asked some excellent questions and made some excellent points.  
Here are the questions Janet Mefferd would have asked.  I hope the Duggars go on her show.   
Questions, questions: What I would have asked the Duggars
Posted on June 4, 2015 by JanetMefferd 
I don’t know what you were doing last night, but I was yelling at my TV. 
I wasn’t literally yelling. But I was frustrated, and I did erupt in a few, rather loud “WHAT?!”s and a bonus round of several “You’ve GOT to be kidding me!”s. This is often what happens when I tune in to softball TV interviews, which is why I usually avoid them. And if ever I’ve seen a softball TV interview, it was last night’s sit-down between Fox News’ Megyn Kelly and the Duggar parents, Jim Bob and Michelle. 
It is not for nothing that there is a lot of controversy surrounding Josh Duggar’s admitted molestation of five young girls, including his sisters, since this famously clean-living Christian family is accused of covering up the sexual abuse for years and skirting the full legal consequences for their son. Did they do it for the considerable cash they were sure to earn through their reality TV show? Were they aware that the molestations were crimes under the law, or did they honestly believe they were just “mistakes?” Furthermore, what about the Duggar statements that don’t totally align with what’s in the police reports? 
There are a lot of tough questions that need to be posed to the Duggars. Unfortunately, Megyn Kelly didn’t really pose them (at least the ones I think she should have asked). So today, I reviewed a lot of the material in the police reports and the news stories, deliberately avoiding other people’s blogs and commentaries. I simply asked myself, “If given the chance to interview the Duggars after Megyn Kelly, what would I have asked them?” 
I always compile long lists of questions before I ever interview anybody. But this one is, admittedly, longer than most. I apologize for that, but I think each question is important. Here they are:  
  1. You both have used a number of terms to describe what Josh did to these five girls, including the phrases “mistakes” and “wrong choices.” These are terms usually reserved for fairly innocuous errors. Do you believe the sexual molestations Josh committed against these five girls were simply errors, rather than crimes? If not, why use such language to refer to what Josh admittedly did?
  2. It took you three reported incidents to get outside “help,” as you call it, to deal with the molestation of these five girls. You say this is because you’d heard the success rate for rehab wasn’t very good. But why would fear of the effectiveness of rehab preclude you from going to police after the first reported incident?
  3. Jim Bob, you admitted during the interview that the first two molestation victims were not awake but the subsequent victims were fully awake. Yet you said right after that, “none of the victims really knew about (the abuse) or understood what he had done until we told them.” How can both of those assertions be simultaneously true – that some were awake, and yet none of them knew what Josh had done? What exactly does that mean?
  4. You said that Josh called the babysitter he claims to have fondled and asked for her forgiveness. Did you ever talk directly to the babysitter’s parents after Josh molested her? What was their reaction to the abuse? Did they have any alternative opinion on how the abuse should be handled, legally?
  5. Knowing that Josh had sexually molested some of your daughters before, how was it that Josh was allowed to have a girl sit on his lap, a girl he claims to have molested? Where were you both physically located at that exact moment?
  6. After Josh’s first report to you, did you ever leave him alone with any of your daughters?
  7. After Josh’s first report to you, did you ever allow him to babysit for any of your daughters?
  8. Jim Bob, you have claimed that before you went to the Arkansas State Police, you “didn’t know anything about (Cpl. Joseph Hutchens) besides that he was an officer there at headquarters.” However, in the police report, Darrell Hignite reports the following: “I asked the Duggars if any of this had ever been reported to the police. James said that he had spoken to a state trooper after (Josh) had returned from the program in Little Rock. James said that he knew Col. Hutchins (sic) with the Arkansas State Police. James said that he knew Hutchins because he used to be a car dealer and Cpl. Hutchins was the State Trooper who inspected car dealers.” How do those two different accounts fit together? Did you have any direct conversations with Cpl. Hutchens about Josh’s crimes prior to physically going into state police headquarters and reporting those crimes to him in an official capacity?
  9. Exactly how much contact did you have with Cpl. Hutchens prior to reporting Josh’s crimes? What was the nature and frequency of your contact with him?
  10. When Cpl. Hutchens, as you reported, told you that a treatment program was enough for Josh, did you object in any way?
  11. What did Cpl. Hutchens specifically indicate to you about a police report? Did he ever tell you directly that he would not be writing up a report?
  12. If not, did you ask him for a copy of the police report at that time, or in the weeks following your visit there?
  13. You say “a few weeks went by, a few months went by” while you were waiting to hear from the police. Did you ever return to the headquarters or call to inquire about the status of the case? If not, why not?
  14. Cpl. Hutchens has subsequently claimed that you lied to him about the severity of Josh’s sexual-assault crimes when you came to him to discuss the situation, and that he would have made an official report had he known more about what happened.  What do you say to that?
  15. You have stated that you do not believe Josh is a pedophile, due to his age. However, the Springdale police report references a “state class” under Offense No. 1 as sexual assault in the 2nd degree. According to Title 5 of the Arkansas Code, a minor can be charged with 2nd degree sexual assault if he “engages in sexual contact with another person who is less than 14 years of age; and not the person’s spouse.” The statute also states that the minor does not have an “affirmative defense to a prosecution” if the minor was more than three years older than the victim, and the victim is less than 12 years of age; or four years older than the victim if the victim is 12 years of age or older. At any time, was Josh potentially facing charges of 2nd degree sexual assault?
  16. Is it true, as has been reported, that Josh attempted to sue the Arkansas Department of Human Services after his crimes were investigated? If so, why?
  17. You also have said in this interview that in the first abuse incidents, the victims “weren’t even aware.” Yet Michelle, you have said that when you went to the police department, your children “poured out their hearts. They shared everything.” Who shared everything? Just the final two victims? Or all the girls? And if it was all the girls, how could they pour out their hearts about incidents you and your husband say they weren’t aware of?
  18. Jim Bob, you have said that “parents are not mandatory reporters” when it comes to sexual abuse of children. However, the December 2006 police report notes – and it is widely known publicly – that your children are educated at home. Under Arkansas law, teachers are required to report suspected child maltreatment, including sexual abuse. Would your role as teacher PLUS parent not effectively broaden your own personal responsibility to bring any child maltreatment issues to the attention of authorities immediately?
  19. Who was this family friend of yours who described Josh’s molestations in a letter that was put inside a book and later discovered? Was the letter inaccurate in any way? Did you see it? Did you have subsequent conversations about it with this family friend?
  20. An unidentified female contacted Oprah Winfrey’s production company in 2006 and tipped them off to Josh’s incidents of sexual abuse. What, if anything, did Harpo Studios communicate to you directly about that tip at that time or afterward?
  21. Your family has been very involved in what is called the Biblical Patriarchy movement, and yet that movement has been tarred in the last several years by sex scandals. You have associated with Bill Gothard, founder of the Christian nonprofit Institute for Basic Life Principles, who resigned last year after allegations of rampant sexual harassment. Doug Phillips, founder of Vision Forum, has been another close friend of yours. Phillips, too, was felled by a sex scandal – an “inappropriate relationship” with a younger women not his wife that resulted in his stepping down in 2013. This was an organization, Michelle, that named you “Mother of the Year” in 2010. Why do think we are seeing so many major sex scandals coming out of the Biblical Patriarchy movement?
  22. In one lesson from Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute, called “Lessons from Moral Failures in a Family,” there is a hypothetical scenario described, in which “an older brother was guilty of sexually abusing younger ones in his family.” When the brother repents, one of the questions he is asked is this: “What factors in the home contributed to immodesty and temptation?” How do you react to that question?
  23. Do you believe there can ever be a case in which responsibility for sexual abuse can ever be laid at the feet of a victim? Do you believe any of the five girls Josh admits to molesting bear any kind of responsibility for their abuse? Or do you believe he bears full responsibility for it?
  24. Do you see the Biblical Patriarchy movement as having negatively impacted your family dynamics in any way? If so, how?
  25. You noted that after Josh fondled your daughters, apparently in their beds, and then fondled girls on a couch, you talked to other parents and noted “a lot of families have said that they’ve had similar things happen in their families.” Were these families all homeschooling families? Did it strike you as at all odd that molestations seemed to be common in your circles? What did you make of it?
  26. Based on your conversations with these families, were you led to believe that sexual abuse is common, and so perhaps it should not draw undue alarm? In other words, could that information in any way have contributed to you downplaying Josh’s abuse of the five girls, as many have charged?
  27. Do you continue to have any contact with Bill Gothard, either on the phone, in writing or in person?
  28. It has been reported that your family still follows the teaching plans of Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute. Is that true or false?
  29. Romans 13 talks about Christians needing to submit to the governing authorities. What responsibility do you believe you have to submit to the governing authorities when it comes to the commission of crimes and the breaking of the civil law?
  30. Can you think of any biblical reasons for not reporting sexual abuse to police as soon as it occurs?
  31. You talk about Josh being forgiven by God. Do you believe that forgiveness from God precludes civil punishment for a teenaged boy who sexually molests young girls, especially given the Arkansas statute on 2nd degree sexual assault and minors?
  32.  If not, what do you believe is a proper civil punishment for a teenaged boy who sexually molests girls as young as 5?
  33. How was it that after the first sexual-abuse incident Josh committed, there were others? How was that even possible, given that you said you had put in safeguards?
  34. Do you believe sexually fondling a young girl without her consent is only sexual abuse if the victim is fully awake?
  35. Jim Bob, you said you “had nothing to hide” because “all this was taken care of in 2002-2003,” and that was why you didn’t hesitate to launch your reality TV show. Michelle, you have said, “In our hearts before God, we haven’t been keeping secrets.” Did you disclose the incidents to TLC, prior to launching your reality TV show? Was anyone at TLC aware of the molestations prior to May 2015?
  36. You refer to an agenda that has twisted things to “hurt and slander.” What is the slander that people have committed against you?
  37. Michelle, you’ve said your girls “have been victimized more by what has happened in these last couple weeks than they were 12 years ago.” Are you really saying that media reports about the sexual abuse have been worse than the sexual-abuse incidents themselves?
  38. Michelle, you say: “We have been protecting those that, honestly, should be protected,” referring to the girls. Do you also believe you protected Josh in the process?
  39. Jim Bob, you say, “When they asked us to do the reality TV show, all of this had been taken care of five years before, and we had a clean bill of health from the state.” What exactly do you mean by “a clean bill of health from the state?”
  40. Jim Bob, you say, “Our son violated God’s principles from doing some improper touching.” Did he not also violate the law, the trust of the public and the innocence of those five young girls?
  41. In light of Josh’s past, did either of you ever advise him against taking that highly visible political job with the Family Research Council? Did you ever discuss the possibility that your family could face even more public scrutiny if Josh decided to serve in that role?
  42.  Jim Bob, you say, “the big picture is protecting juveniles’ records.” While that certainly is an important point, it would seem to many that the bigger picture is what happened to those five girls and whether or not your subsequent actions were appropriate. Why is “the big picture” the protecting of juveniles’ records, in your mind, rather than the abuse of those five girls?
  43. If a 14-year-old boy you did not know had molested your 5-year-old, how would you have handled it? Would you have reported the stranger to police, or would you have let his parents handle it in-house?