Best Made in the USA Sparkling Wines 2016

Best Made in the USA Sparkling Wines 2016

This year, we made a commitment to find the best sparkling wine made in the USA. The first step was to identify some of the best wine producers that make sparkling wines. To make the contest fair – all of the wines were covered. The sparkling wines all had to be bruts. (It is sometimes hard to compare a rose with a brut – it is like comparing apples and oranges). From the biggest sparkling producers, we went with their top of the line products which are often not available to the public. The exception was Mumm Napa Brut Prestige instead of their DVX line – the reason – Wine Spectator had rated the Brut Prestige higher than their DVX products. The price listed is the winery price.

So, this is the list from cheapest to most expensive:

  1. Gruet Brut (New Mexico) $17
  2. Kenwood Cuvee Brut (Sonoma, CA) $18
  3. Scharffenberger Brut Excellence (Anderson Valley, CA) $20 (WS 90)
  4. Mumm Napa Brut Prestige (Napa, CA) $22 (WS 91)
  5. Breathless Brut (CA) $25
  6. Iron Horse Classic Vintage Brut 2010 (Russian River, CA) $42 (WS 93)
  7. Laetitia Brut Coquard (Arroyo Grande, CA) $48
  8. L’Ermitage Brut  (Roederer Estate) 2007 (Anderson Valley, CA) $48 (WS 93)
  9. Lichen Blanc De Noir (Anderson Valley, CA) $55
  10. Gloria Ferrer Carneros Cuvee (’04) (Sonoma, CA) $59 (WS 92)
  11. Etoile Tete De Cuvee (Domaine Chandon)(06) Napa, CA) $80 (WS 93 for ’03)
  12. Le Reve (Domaine Carneros) 2009 (Sonoma, CA) $110 (WS 93)
  13. J. Schram  (Schrambsburg) 2006 (Calistoga, CA) $120 (WS 93)

The WS means the Wine Spectator rating of the wine from 70-100.

champagne 2016

These are the bottles after being wrapped up.

blinded champagne


The result: For the novice drinkers, they preferred the sweeter and cheaper Kenwood Brut. For the more seasoned drinkers, the winner was L’Ermitage made by Roederer Estate. A close second and a surprise was Laetitia Brut Coquard.


Made In America: A Buyer’s Guide For Donald Trump

One of the biggest reasons for this blog is enlighten the public that we need to support buying items made in the United States. After 5 years of frustration, it is nice that this has become an important issue for this election year. I have compiled several very nice “Made in America” lists over the years, but I was surprised that one of the Presidential candidates actually compiled a quite competent “Made in America” list. Not only is the list fairly formidable, they supply the links to actually look up the company. The list is from Hilary Clinton. It informs people where to get US made clothing and furniture, while, at the same time, bashing her opponent.


Trump couldn’t be bothered to find manufacturers in America, so we did it for him.

Source: Made In America: A Buyer’s Guide For Donald Trump | Hillary for America

Despite his repeated claim and desire to put “America First,” time and time again Donald Trump has told us he has to manufacture his products abroad. He says “it’s very hard to have apparel made in this country,” or that “they don’t even make the stuff here. It’s so hard to get.” No, Donald. Just no.

We can see how time consuming multiple bankruptcies and scamming small businesses must be, but really Donald, this is a pretty glaring oversight. It didn’t take us long to find over 100 examples of U.S. manufacturers and businesses ready and able to produce the same goods he makes overseas.

Scroll through to see just a few examples of the many American businesses Donald missed.


Where Donald Made Them: China
Where Donald Trump Could Have Made Them Instead: From Denver to Charlotte, we found 25 manufacturers producing American-made ties.

Boulder, CO | JZ Richards
Denver, CO | Knotty Ties
Fairfield, CT | Just Madras
San Francisco, CA | Blade + Blue
Monterey, CA | Robert Talbott Ties
Annapolis, MD | Starboard Clothing Co.
Detroit, MI | Cyberoptix Ties
St. Louis Park, MN | Pierrepont Hicks Tie Co.
Charlotte, NC | Ole Mason Jar
Mayberry, NC | High Cotton Ties
Pilot Mountain, NC |  Brown & Church
Bedford, NY | General Knot
Brooklyn, NY | Brooklyn Tie Company
Brooklyn, NY | Hickoree’s
Buffalo, NY | O’Connell’s Clothing
Long Island City, NY | Brooks Brothers
New York, NY | Collared Greens
New York, NY | Josh Bach
New York, NY | Mountain and Sackett
Ashland, PA | Gitman Bros
Philadelphia, PA | Commonwealth Proper
Rock Hill, SC | The Cordial Churchman
Fort Mill, SC | R. Hanauer Ties
Austin, TX | Fox & Brie Ties
Middlebury, VT | Beau-Ties of Vermont

Suits and Shirts 

Where Donald Made Them: China, Bangladesh, and Honduras
Where Donald Trump Could Have Made Them Instead:  From the site of the GOP convention in Cleveland to Reading, Pennsylvania, we found 33 stateside locations where Donald could produce his suits and shirts.

San Francisco, CA |  Blade + Blue
San Francisco, CA | Taylor Stitch
Fort Collins, CO | Blackland Clothing Company
Washington, DC | Read Wall
Chicago, IL | Hart Schaffner Marx
Haverhill, MA |  Brooks Brothers
New Bedford, MA | Joseph Abboud
Brooklyn, OH |  Keystone Tailored
Philadelphia, PA | Commonwealth Proper
Brooklyn, NY | Martin Greenfield Clothiers
Buffalo, NY | O’Connell’s Clothing
Rochester, NY | Hickey Freeman
New Orleans, LA | Haspel
Fall River, MA | New England Shirt Company
Bay Harbor, MI | Mettlers American Mercantile
Bozeman, MT | Mercer & Sons
Charlotte, NC | Ole Mason Jar
Raleigh, NC | Lumina Clothing
East Rutherford, NJ | Todd Shelton
Bellmore, NY | White Dress Shirt Company
Buffalo, NY | O’Connell’s Clothing
New York, NY | Jack Robie
New York, NY | The J Wingfield Company
Cleveland, OH |  Forma Apparel Manufacturing
Ardmore, PA | American Trench
Ashland, PA | Gitman Bros
Reading, PA | Bill’s Khakis
Philadelphia, PA | Collared Greens
Woolrich, PA | Woolrich
Cleveland, TN | Hardwick
Dallas, TX | Mizzen and Main
Houston, TX | Hamilton Shirts
Belleville, WI | Duluth Trading

Furniture and frames

Where Donald Makes Them Now: India, Germany, and Turkey
Where Donald Trump Could Make Them Instead: From Jasper, Indiana to Youngstown, Ohio, down to Norfolk, Virginia, we found 61 furniture and frame manufacturers right here in the United States.

Cerritos, CA | Villa Hallmark
Chula Vista, CA | San Diego Frame Manufacturing Company
Pico Rivera, CA | Camely Furniture
Ocala, FL  | Brick City Furniture
Berne, IN | Clauser Furniture
Berne, IN | Smith Brothers of Berne
Jasper, IN | Indiana Furniture
Jasper, IN |  The Jasper Chair Company
Auburn, ME | Thomas Moser
Portland, ME | Sturbridge Yankee Workshop
Ithaca, MI | Craig Frames
Holland, MI | Holland Bar Stool Company
Zeeland, MI |  Herman Miller Store
Minneapolis, MN | Room & Board
Houston, MS | Franklin Corporation
Asheboro, NC | Klaussner Furniture Industries
Beaufort, NC | Beaufort Furniture Company
Conover, NC and Hillsville, VA | Vanguard Furniture
Hickory, NC | Bradington Young
Hickory, NC | Century Furniture
High Point, NC | Home Meridian International
High Point, NC | USA Salvage
Lexington, NC | North Carolina Moulding Company
Morganton, NC | Guy Chaddock
Rougemont, NC | Beaufort Furniture Company
Shelby, NC | Bernhardt Furniture
Taylorsville, NC | Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams
Bow, NH | Aubin Woodworking
Las Vegas, NV | Foliot Furniture
Granville, NY |  Manchester Wood
McConnellsville, NY | Cambridge Mills Furniture
McConnellsville, NY | Harden
Newark, NY |  Hallagan Fine Furniture
Archbold, OH | Archbold’s Furniture Company
Cleveland, OH | Rustbelt Reclamation
Cincinnati, OH | Frame USA
Mt. Hope, OH | Canal Dover
Mt. Hope, OH |  Homestead Furniture
Sugarcreek, OH | Swiss Valley Furniture
Norwalk, OH | Norwalk Furniture
Youngstown, OH | JL Treharn & Co.
Bristol, PA | Ace Designs
Freeburg, PA | Colonial Furniture Company
Gordonville, PA | Snyder’s Furniture
Millersburg, PA | East Side Frames
Myerstown, PA |  The Keystone Collections
Ronks, PA | Fisher’s Quality Furniture
State College, PA | Spectra Wood
Southern Lancaster, PA | Cherry Acres
Conway, SC | Johnson Furniture Manufacturing
Sumter, SC | Carolina Furniture Works
Collinsville and Martinsville, VA; Valdese and Mount Airy, NC | Shenandoah Furniture, Inc.
Dayton, TN | La-Z-Boy
Lexington, VA | Shenandoah Framing
Lynchburg, VA | Old Dominion Wood Products
Norfolk, VA | Sorrentino Mariani
Winchester, VA | Henkel Harris Furniture
Vernon, VT | Vermont Wood Studios
Ashland, WI | Larson-Juhl
Berkeley Springs, WV | Gat Creek
Huntington, WV | MacKenzie-Dow Fine Furniture


Where Donald Made Them: Slovenia
Where Donald Trump Could Have Made Them Instead: If it’s not broke, don’t fix it? Well, something’s seriously broken when there are at least 12 locations Donald could have used to produce barware including Toledo, Ohio, and Phoenix, Arizona.

Phoenix, AZ | Drinique
Los Angeles, CA (& IN, VT) | Jacob Bromwell
Dayton, VA | LDA Creations
Cambridge, OH | Mosser Glass
East Liverpool, OH | American Mug & Stein Co.
Toledo, OH | Libbey
Monaca, PA and Lancaster, OH | Anchor Hocking
Columbia, PA | Susquehanna Glass
Mount Pleasant, PA | Rolf Glass
Kinston, NC | Lenox
Quechee, VT | Simon Pearce
Newell, WV | Fiesta


.Lumber Rain – Poppy von Frohlich

I present once more one of my favorite small American (and local) makers of clothing made in the USA. This new product is a raincoat called .Lumbar Rain by Poppy Von Frohlich.

Source: .Lumber Rain – Poppy von Frohlich

.Lumbar Rain

PVF rain coat

  • I finally made a rain coat! Waxed cotton canvas is the earth friendly option when it comes to rain gear.  Lumber Rain is designed to make you look rad while battling the rain.

    Large boxed pockets set at an angle for comfort but not so angled that your stuff falls out,  my large signature hood with a leather drawstring, western style front yoke, back rain flap, curved hem (a little longer in the back), antigued copper snaps, and french seams. (better pictures coming, these are temporary photos)

    I designed the coat to have enough room for two medium/light weight layers or one medium/thick layer.  Bust shaping is from a narrow front side panel and a larger armhole.

    To clean a waxed cotton coat you brush off dirt with a soft brush, if you get a lot of use out of it you can rinse it off with a hose and if you get a lot, a lot of use out of it you may need to reapply wax in the areas that get a lot of rubs.  The coat cannot be washed in a machine nor can it be dry-cleaned.

    A key characteristic of waxed cotton is that it shows its creases, called crooking.  It is a desired look when buying waxed cotton.  Expect to see crooking in the coat and show it off with pride because wearing waxed cotton is cool and responsible.  The whiskey color and the moss show the crooking more than the black does.

    Are you new to waxed cotton?  Are you a tiny bit skeptical?  I completely understand.  This coat can be worn as a normal canvas coat on non-rainy days but it has the added bonus of having water resistant properties for those rainy days, water does not penetrate the cotton fiber, it simply beads up and rolls off.  Waxed cotton can sound funny to someone who hasn’t worn it before so I am offering exchange, store credit or refunds.  I think once you try it on you will be very happy with it, but in case you discover it is not right for you we can figure out which return policy is best for you. This offer is good for coats that have not been worn outside, coats that were only tried on and worn around the house for twenty minutes or so.

    PVF Lumbar

    This is a pre-order, Shipping is scheduled for September 22nd

    made in Northern California, USA!!!



A Look at the Olympic Attire That Will Be Made in America | Alliance for American Manufacturing

Just in time for the 2016 Rio Olympics – Olympic attire made in the USA

Source: A Look at the Olympic Attire That Will Be Made in America | Alliance for American Manufacturing

A Look at The Olympic Attire That Will Be Made in America

by Jeffrey Bonior

Opening and closing ceremony outfits will be American-made, but most competition uniforms won’t be.

More than 10,500 athletes from 206 nations will parade into Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in less than 50 days for the opening ceremony of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.

The entrance of the worldwide Olympic delegation is always a highlight of the opening ceremony, in part because many observers fervently cast judgment on the uniforms each team is wearing.

Marathon swimmer Haley Anderson.

The athletes parade into the stadium these days is akin to a fashion show. Each country’s Olympic team will have an opening and closing ceremony uniform that range from a buttoned-up suit style to casual wear. And then there are the spectacularly colorful ensembles, which are patterned after a country’s cultural heritage.

In Rio 2016, Team USA will be wearing a semi-casual Polo Ralph Lauren designed outfit that reflects an American-style, Cape Cod-type boating ensemble. The uniforms will be awash in red, white and blue, but are much more toned down compared to the Ralph Lauren-designed 2014 Sochi, Russia Winter Games clothing. This year, they reflect an American preppy, summertime look.

And for the second straight Olympic Games, the Team USA opening and closing ceremony uniforms will be entirely designed and manufactured in the United States.

Ralph Lauren has been designing and manufacturing the U.S. Olympic Team opening and closing ceremony uniforms since 2008. At the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, Ralph Lauren debuted all-American made uniforms for the first time in many years. With the help of more than 40 U.S. apparel manufacturing companies, the company was able to once again produce an entirely Made in America clothing line for Rio 2016.

This has not only strengthened the American-made clothing industry but has also provided more jobs and extra work for the talented domestic clothing manufacturing workforce.

Among the items produced for Team USA are striped T-shirts, oxford shirts, white shorts, red, white and blue boat shoes and striped cotton bracelets.

The classic American boat shoes were manufactured for Ralph Lauren by Rancourt & Co. in Lewiston, Maine. The company had made private-label shoes for Ralph Lauren before landing the Olympics deal. Rancourt & Co. has increased its workforce from 20 employees to 65 because of its work with Ralph Lauren.

“We are thrilled to be partnered with Polo Ralph Lauren in making the shoes for Team USA’s uniform,” said company president Mike Rancourt. “This is one of the most exciting projects that we have ever worked on and it means so much to our company. We are proud that a product produced in Lewiston, Maine, will be represented on the world stage.”

Other Team USA American-made apparel items include closing ceremony oxford shirts, manufactured by New England Shirt Company, and white shorts courtesy of Hickey Freeman in Rochester, N.Y.

New England Shirt Company produced the hand-made oxford shirts at its 200-year-old factory in Fall River, Mass. All-American made clothing has been manufactured at the factory since 1933.

Rancourt & Co increased its workforce at its Maine factory from 20 to 65 people because of its work with Ralph Lauren.

“Working with Ralph Lauren on the closing ceremony oxford shirt has been an incredible opportunity,” said Brad Herzlich, director of marketing at New England Shirt Company. “We feel an immense pride in having a hand in dressing the Olympic team.”

Hickey Freeman is known for its high-end, top quality men’s suits and jackets and employs about 450 people in the Rochester area, and is no stranger to working with Ralph Lauren. The two companies worked together to manufacture Ralph Lauren’s “Blue Line” of tailored suits and sports jackets. The suit construction was previously done in Italy before Ralph Lauren struck a deal with Hickey Freeman to bring the manufacturing, and the jobs that go with it, to Rochester.

“For Hickey Freeman to make part of the uniforms that will be seen in the closing ceremony in the Olympics is great,” Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said recently. “The real credit goes to the workers at Hickey. It’s one of the highest quality made garments in America that we have left. Billions of people will see the uniforms.”

Ralph Lauren will outfit more than 1,100 members of Team USA for the Rio 2016 Olympics and the Paralympic Games which begin on September 18 in Rio. But not everything worn by American athletes at the games will be American-made. While the opening and closing ceremony outfits will be Made in America, the majority of the individual sports competition uniforms will be largely made overseas.

But apparel for the USA Rowing team is manufactured by Boathouse Sports in Philadelphia.

A majority of the Olympic teams competing in Rio receive government funding from their respective nations. The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) does not receive government funding and is financed through corporate sponsors like Polo Ralph Lauren. As an official outfitter of Team USA, royalties from Polo Ralph Lauren Team USA apparel sales to the public are used to support the USOC and the athletes.

Freestyle wrestler Jordan Burroughs.

Uniforms made by Nike for sports such as basketball and track and field are manufactured offshore. So too the suits produced by Speedo for swimming and diving. These brand names have become leaders in the particular sports they service and are generous sponsors of Team USA.

Off the field of competition, there will be another reminder of Made in America clothing during television broadcasts. Hardwick Clothes menswear will be providing all of the NBC male on-air talent with a variety of suits and blazers manufactured at its facility in Cleveland, Tenn.

The goal of these smaller, Made in America apparel companies is sales growth. Partnering with Polo Ralph Lauren can only enhance their chances.

Individual athletes also have set their goals for performance at the Rio 2016 games. Perhaps a goal for garment manufacturers in the years to come should be to produce all Team USA apparel right here in America.

See the other two video links below.

Rancourt shoes made in Maine will provide the red white and blue boat shoes for US Olympic athletes for the opening and closing ceremonies.

Boathouse Sports makes Rowing outfits for US Olympic athletes

From New Yorker Magazine

From New Yorker Magazine



Challenges of Getting a Product Made in the U.S.A. – The New York Times

Source: Challenges of Getting a Product Made in the U.S.A. – The New York Times

 Abby Hansen, center, stitches a Pad & Quill leather cuff for the Apple Watch at the Softline manufacturing facility in Minneapolis. Credit Jenn Ackerman for The New York Times

Many manufacturers perform a cost-benefit analysis when deciding whether to move production abroad. Others, however, are determined to make their products in the United States, even when the costs are higher.

It was craftsmanship rather than the bottom line that motivated Brian Holmes when he decided in 2010 to start a business and went looking for a manufacturer. He and his wife, Kari, started Pad & Quill, a company based in Minneapolis that makes high-end cases and other products for the iPhone and other Apple products.

“They had to be beautiful,” Mr. Holmes said of his products. “Good art is a beautiful product that is functional.”

 Brian Holmes, founder of Pad and Quill, says keeping production in the United States offers benefits to a seller. Credit Jenn Ackerman for The New York Times

To make the high-quality cases he set out to sell, Mr. Holmes needed a bookbindery that could stitch together the protective wood and soft leather he wanted to use. But he found out that in the digital era, bookbinding is a dying industry. He searched overseas and found a vendor in China, but was unimpressed with the results.

“I’ve never seen bookbindery quality better than in the United States because of the tradition here,” Mr. Holmes said. After several months of research, he found one he liked close to home: Trendex, a company based nearby in St. Paul.

Mr. Holmes said keeping production in the United States was not only possible, but that it offered added benefits to a seller. It improved the turnaround time, he said, and customers were willing to pay more for American-made goods (his iPhone cases range from $50 to $110 — about twice as much as a typical case). Plus, it gave him a sense of pride knowing that he was creating jobs and helping the economy.

His efforts come at a time when other American luxury brands are reshoring, or moving overseas production back to the United States, believing that cheaper is not always better.

The retail stalwart Brooks Brothers has three factories in the United States that make 45 to 50 percent of the company’s clothing, according to The Business of Fashion, an industry publication. And Walmart announced its commitment to American-made goods by pledging to purchase $250 billion in products by 2023 that support the creation of American jobs.

Reshoring is more suited to the luxury goods market, according to Jeffrey Silberman, the chairman of the textile development and marketing department at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.

“Reshoring will happen, but not in the way people expect it to,” Professor Silberman said. “It will happen in a smaller way. It’s a high-priced, luxury niche market, at this point at least.”

Consumers looking for luxury products are often drawn to a company’s dedication to craftsmanship. As part of Pad & Quill’s marketing strategy, its website includes videos of cases being made by hand. A blog also allows Mr. Holmes, his wife and others to ruminate on a range of topics, such as how to repair leather scratches and what it’s like to turn 48.

That aspect of tradition carries over to Pad & Quill’s suppliers. Trendex has nearly a century of bookbinding experience, according to Jeff Polacek, the company’s president, who took over the business in 1985 with his brother Tom. But it was facing a shrinking industry, and the company had to move into packaging materials to remain stable.

“When I got into the business, every paper was stored in file cabinets or ring binders,” Mr. Polacek said. “Information was stored that way; now, information is electronic.”

With a bindery in place, Mr. Holmes was able to build the rest of his supply chain. To do so, he borrowed from skills he learned while working for a medical start-up.

He kept a lean staff of himself and three others, which meant he outsourced jobs like customer service and accounting to consulting companies in the United States.

But even with a trusted supplier in place, it took a while to get the product right.

“Our first iPad cases were total bricks,” he said. “So huge, so ugly.”

So he rethought the design and began looking for better materials that would provide a longer life span for his products. And despite his efforts, he realized that some production facilities he wanted to use could only be found in other countries.

For instance, he works with a company, Saddleback Leather in Fort Worth, that makes leather products by hand at a factory in Mexico. And after three years of searching for an American company to manufacture a case constructed of wood and Kevlar, Mr. Holmes had to turn to a company in China.

 A Pad and Quill leather bag. Credit Jenn Ackerman for The New York Times

Seventy percent of Pad & Quill products are made in the United States, Mr. Holmes said, and reaching even that level was not easy. “Manufacturing is getting harder and harder in the United States,” he said. “But if you plan well, you can make products in the United States.”

As the quality of his products improved, so did sales. But his business was outgrowing his cash flow, and he needed investors. So he reached out to his business partners at Trendex.

“I wanted an investor in the supply chain because they would be vested in my success, not an angel investor,” Mr. Holmes said.

Mr. Holmes negotiated in 2011 to sell the Polacek brothers a 35 percent stake in Pad & Quill. In return, he was able to get a line of credit and pay off some old debts.

The deal was a good growth opportunity, Jeff Polacek said, adding that it was the first time that Trendex had taken a minority stake in another company.

“I think it’s been a good match; he is very quality-conscious,” Mr. Polacek said of Mr. Holmes. “He knows what his customers are buying and why his customers are buying, and he’s good at filling their needs.”

Mr. Holmes said it was important that he found investors who shared the same ideals. “You have to look into them and find out as much as you can, because you are married, and divorces are ugly,” he said.

Pad & Quill struggled in the beginning, but became profitable in 2011, Mr. Holmes said. The next year, sales of the leather and wood cases shot up, and revenue grew 50 percent over the previous year, he said. This year, he said, the company is projected to bring in $2.5 million in revenue.

Mr. Holmes acknowledged that his company might have been profitable sooner if he had moved manufacturing overseas. But “we learned so much about manufacturing by working with American companies” that it made better sense to keep it in the United States, he said.

The next step for Pad & Quill is to enter the retail mass market. Mr. Holmes said he was considering approaching Best Buy, which is based in Richfield, Minn., because it carried some luxury goods already and would be a good fit for his cases.

But moving into the wholesale market is “fraught with risk,” he said, and comes with added expenses, like maintaining a larger inventory and paying a distributor.

Before undertaking such an expansion, Mr. Holmes said he was looking for another round of investment. Another alternative would be to sell the company outright — an option Mr. Holmes would consider only if he found the right buyer.

“I would want a good buyout because my investors took risks,” he said, “but I would want a good fit.”

Pad & Quill was established as a quality brand, Mr. Holmes said, but it’s also part of his identity, so it would be important to find a buyer with values similar to his own.

“I think a lot of entrepreneurs are narcissists,” he said. “And that’s normal to have an inflated view of yourself.”


Will RNC Delegates Flip-Flop on Trade?

Interesting News: It seems that people do have a voice, however, it comes only during the time of the Presidential elections. For years, many people have felt that Free Trade has been a killer of American jobs (but have been unable to do anything about it). Exactly who has been AGAINST Free Trade for years? Progressive Democrats. Who has been FOR Free Trade? All Republicans (until now) and several big-business-friendly Democrats. Since the second Great Depression, there has been a slow growing resentment of Free Trade agreements. And, of course, now, both political parties are pandering for these discontented voters. For more about Free Trade, see my blog  entry: Why Free Trade is devastating to the USA.

Here are a couple of articles showing the current positions on Free Trade of the political parties.

Source: Tuesday Preview: Will RNC Delegates Flip-Flop on Trade? – Washington Wire – WSJ

Will RNC Delegates Flip-Flop on Trade – Wall Street Journal

Greetings from sunny Cleveland, where Republican Party delegates writing GOP platform will be in a windowless conference room to formally determine the party’s trade and immigration policies.

Headed into Tuesday, the big question on trade will be how far GOP Platform Committee delegates flip-flop on free trade. In 2012, the party formally called for enacting the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. On Monday, delegates in a subcommittee stripped from the party platform draft language opposing passage of the TPP in the congressional lame-duck session this winter.

 Though Republican National Committee delegates will hash out the party’s platform this morning, the most likely outcome now appears to be sticking with a specific language condemning trade deficits without offering a position on either the North American Free Trade Agreement or the TPP, both of which presumptive nominee Donald Trump has promised to upend.

“There’s going to be nothing controversial in the platform because Republicans want to stay away from controversy,” said Justin Everett, a Platform Committee delegate from Colorado. “The true fight is going to be in the Rules Committee over our candidate.”

Republican Platform Subcommittee Follow Trump on Trade – Bloomberg Politics

Republican Platform Subcommittee Follows Trump on Trade – Bloomberg Politics

The Republican Party, which has long backed free trade, is poised to support slowing down approval of trade agreements with Donald Trump as its presumptive presidential nominee.

A party platform subcommittee on the economy, jobs and debt voted on Monday in Cleveland to recommend language that significant trade agreements should not be rushed or undertaken in a lame-duck Congress. It also removed a reference to the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement at the request of members who oppose it and didn’t want any suggestion of support. The full Platform Committee, meeting in advance of the party’s convention next week, will vote on the provision either late Monday or Tuesday.

The 2012 Republican platform called international trade “crucial for our economy” and said a Republican president will complete negotiations for a Trans-Pacific Partnership to open Asian markets to U.S. products. Trump’s stringent opposition to trade deals such as TPP — which he has called “a rape of our country” — pits him against some party stalwarts and pro-business groups such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

“I expected it to be contentious and it wasn’t,” Andrew Puzder, chief executive officer of CKE Restaurants Inc. and co-chairman of the subcommittee, said about the debate on trade. “People all seemed to be going toward the same goal here, which is to get our candidate elected.”

Democrats stopped short of calling for a “no” vote on TPP during their platform committee meetings this weekend. Delegates for presidential candidate Bernie Sanders unsuccessfully pushed an amendment blocking TPP and urged that the trade deal not come to a vote in Congress.

The Republican Platform Committee sessions on Monday and Tuesday and Rules Committee later in the week are offering the first signs of how much turbulence Trump will face on his convention flight to the Republican presidential nomination on July 21.

Anti-Trump delegates are trying change party rules so that delegates who are bound by election results to back Trump can “vote their conscience” in Cleveland. Critics of the effort say that plan lacks the votes it needs and would thwart the will of about 13.3 million people who voted for Trump in the party’s primaries and caucuses.

Puzder, a Trump supporter whose company owns the Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. fast-food chains, said he backs free trade and that there’s no disagreement that the U.S. needs it. Yet Trump regularly states that the country doesn’t need large trade deficits, that existing deals should be enforced, and that they can be improved with better terms has broad appeal.

 “Who can argue with, ‘We should have a better deal?”’ Puzder asked in an interview. “It has emerged in this election cycle that free trade is not the overwhelming popular issue it used to be because working-class Americans and middle-class Americas — whether accurately or inaccurately — perceive that they have borne the burdens of free trade, whereas other sectors of the economy have garnered the benefits.”

David Johnson, a member of the platform committee’s economic subcommittee, owns Summitville Tiles in eastern Ohio and said trade deals have decimated his company. It once had 800 workers and now is struggling to maintain 150, he said.

“Wall Street likes TPP, but the 70 percent of the people that are employed in this country by small businesses don’t like it,” Johnson said during the subcommittee meeting. He called trade a huge issue in the election as Trump seeks to appeal to working-class voters in states such as Ohio.


Republican Party Platform Takes a Hard Turn on Trade – Alliance for American Manufacturing

Republican Party Platform Takes a Hard Turn on Trade | Alliance for American Manufacturing

GOP’s official stance could be very “Trumpian.”

The Republicans are working out their official party platform right now. And CNN, an enterprising newsgathering upstart, got a hold of a first draft of the platform document.

A lot of its content is what you might call “the usual” from the GOP. But, as CNN notes:

The most substantial changes to the 2012 platform came on trade — a key issue for Trump where he has sparred with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other reliable conservative business backers. The new language sounds remarkably like Trump, though it stays away from some of his more inflammatory positions including renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Here’s a snippet of that language that is downright Trumpian:

We need better negotiated trade agreements that put America first. When trade agreements have been carefully negotiated with friendly democracies, they have resulted in millions of new jobs here at home supported by our exports. When those agreements do not adequately protect U.S. interests, or when they are violated with impunity, they must be rejected. We cannot allow foreign governments to limit American access to their markets while stealing our designs, patents, brands, know-how, and technology. We cannot allow China to continue its currency manipulation, exclusion of U.S. products from government purchases, and subsidization of Chinese companies to thwart American imports. The current administration’s way of dealing with these violations of world trade standards has been a virtual surrender.

That this is in the draft language of a bona fide GOP platform pretty remarkable. This kinda talk doesn’t go over well in some corners of the Republican establishment; the Chamber of Commerce is not a fan.

That’s not to say the free-trade-at-all-costs types are particularly enamored with Trump’s likely opponent, Hillary Clinton, either. The Democratic nominee has taken a trade-skeptical position this election season – presumably because her rival, Bernie Sanders, pushed her very hard on the issue.

And that’s not to say that either party has suddenly become vehemently opposed to trade deals: The platform committees for both rejected attempts to get anti-Trans-Pacific Partnership language into the drafts.

But still: The polling, particularly in swing states, backs up the calls for trade skepticism. Whether or not explicit, yes-or-no language is included in either party’s platforms, voters are clearly concerned that American jobs – often manufacturing jobs – are put at risk by our government’s current approach to trade policy.

If they weren’t, no one would be talking about this so seriously in 2016, and Donald Trump wouldn’t be poised to win the presidential nomination of the Republican party.

Anyway, the drafting continues. So let ’em know: Pro-manufacturing policy deserves a place in their platforms.

Editor’s Note

It is interesting that both political parties want to represent that they are AGAINST Free Trade Deals without actually coming out and officially opposing them. The GOP, who are the architects of these Free Trade agreements and champions of “Free Trade”, have suddenly become the “Trump Party”. Is the GOP all just full of hot air? One way to find out: the controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Deal with Vietnam, Malaysia, Peru, Chile, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Brunei, is sitting in Congress waiting to become law during the Lame Duck session (after election day).  Let us see which party calls for the rejection of the TPP. Will it be the GOP who really want it to pass or the Democrats who really don’t want it to pass, except President Obama who would like it to pass. What did the TPP vote in 2016 look like? The vote in the Senate: passed 60-38 (Yeas: 47 GOP, 13 Dems; Nays: 7 GOP, 31 Dems & Ind.). The House vote: The vote was 218-208 (Yeas: 190 GOP, 28 Dems, Nays: 50 GOP, 158 Dems).

Free Trade has, without a doubt, costs the United States millions of good paying jobs and changed the US trade surplus into a giant trade deficit. Buy American, support your neighbor and reject the TPP and these awful Free Trade Deals.

I would recommend the elimination of all Free Trade deals except with the countries that have the same standards as the USA like Canada, and Western Europe. Which party will do that? Stay tuned.


Hardwick Clothes – American Made Clothes

Hardwick Clothes

Hardwick Clothes is one of the oldest makers of fine menswear in the United States. It is still one of the few places where you can reliably buy men’s dress pants and suits made in the USA. They still make their clothing in Cleveland, Tennessee just like they first did back in 1880. They make quality clothing – which means it is not produced in extremely high volumes and therefore, you will not see them at every street corner. Hardwick Clothes can be found only through various high quality men’s stores throughout the USA, but can also be purchased on-line.

Summer Check Sport Coat Updated Bradley Fit

Summer Check Sport Coat
Updated Bradley Fit

A New Owner – A New Start

Hardwick Clothing was purchased in 2014 by Allan Jones, a prominent Cleveland, Tennessee, entrepreneur, who has made a commitment to keeping it made in the USA. Hardwick Clothing will by supplying the sports jackets for the 2016 Olympics to the NBC (male) newscasters.


Source: The Story of Hardwick Clothes, Inc. | Hardwick American Made Clothes

The Story of Hardwick Clothes, Inc.

Hardwick Woolen Mill


Hardwick Clothes, America’s oldest maker of tailored clothing, has called Cleveland, Tennessee, its home since 1880.

The company, which was originally named Cleveland Woolen Mills, was founded by local businessman C.L. Hardwick, who partnered with John H. Craigmiles, John H. Parker, P.B. Mayfield and Creed Bates to establish the firm. C.L. Hardwick owned several businesses in Cleveland, and he put his son, George L. Hardwick, in charge of running the mill.

Cleveland Woolen Mills found success with an innovative fabric known as “jean cloth,” woven from wool and cotton. The cloth was used to produce a popular product called “Dollar Pants.”

During its early years, the mill experienced a number of setbacks, including several fires, but bounced back each time by adding state-of-the-art machinery and expanding its operations.

In 1925, Cleveland Woolen Mills changed its name to Hardwick Woolen Mills, reflecting the Hardwick family’s increased stake in the company. Hardwick Woolen Mills had evolved into a vertical operation, weaving the wool yarn at one end of the factory, and assembling garments in the other, giving rise to the company motto: “From the sheep’s back to the clothing rack.”

Hardwick Clothes


During this time, Hardwick Woolen Mills was the largest facility of its kind, producing a wide selection of men’s and boys’ clothing. As America entered the Great Depression, unemployment and plummeting demand presented Hardwick Woolen Mills with the toughest challenge in its history. The company reduced costs by nimbly moving its sewing operations into workers’ homes during this time. Hardwick trucks delivered fabric to homes throughout Bradley County, and returned to transport the finished garments back to the factory.

In the 1940s, Hardwick Woolen Mills contributed to the war effort by manufacturing uniforms for the military. During the post-war years, demand for wool dropped with the introduction of synthetics, prompting Hardwick Woolen Mills to sell its woolen operations to focus solely on the men’s tailored-clothing market.

No longer operating as a private label, the company changed its name to Hardwick Clothes, Inc., and began marketing aggressively, rolling out its first advertising campaign. American consumers began to associate the Hardwick name with high-quality tailored menswear. Hardwick’s greatest success was its line of blazers, widely regarded as the best in the world.



Hardwick History


By the 1970s, Hardwick was once again seeking to modernize its operations. In 1974, the company moved from its original Church Street factory to a new, 175,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing plant on the outskirts of Cleveland. The expansive new facility and modernized manufacturing equipment helped Hardwick stay competitive against an increasing supply of cheap, offshore clothing.

Hardwick’s reputation for American-made quality has helped the company survive—and thrive—in the face of outsourcing and cost-cutting. This status has helped Hardwick land contracts with a wide range of large clients, including the U.S. military and Major League Baseball umpires.

Since its founding in 1880, Hardwick Clothes has endured factory fires, economic recessions, two World Wars, inflation and leisure suits. Despite these challenges, Hardwick Clothes has continued to produce unsurpassed suits, pants and jackets for men and women, operating successfully with pride and quality.

Since the turn of the millennium, Hardwick has continued to adapt to changing market conditions, expanding its base of department stores and specialty retailers.


Hardwicks Modern Factory

Buy American, keep your neighbor employed.

August 2016
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