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MegaUpload said they had tried to comply with all of the copyright requests, and they had…
Listen how the Obama Justice Department twists that into a crime.
Courtesy of the LA Times.
MegaUpload provided no index or search function to the public, and sister site MegaVideo filtered its search results to remove copyrighted content. Wait, doesn’t that sound like good thing? Wait, see how the Obama justice department twisted that around….. The indictment contends that it’s a bad thing because it made it harder for copyright holders to see how much piracy was occurring on the service. WHAT?
The list of the “Top 100″ files at MegaUpload is edited to exclude copyrighted works. Wait, that sounds like a good thing…. The indictment, however, asserts that it “makes the website appear more legitimate and hides the popular copyright-infringing content that drives its revenue.” WHAT?
Users could not stream a file on the affiliated MegaVideo site for more than 72 minutes unless they were paid subscribers to MegaUpload. (72 minutes is too short to copy a copyrighted movie) The indictment contends that the point wasn’t to discourage illegal movie viewing, but rather to monetize it. WHAT?
The Conspiracy made no significant effort and the company is being faulted for not monitoring what each of its users did on its service, not inspecting content as it was being uploaded for copyright violations, and not combing through its servers for infringing material. But that’s inconsistent with the rulings from several federal courts, which have held that online companies have no duty to police their services to prevent infringements or detect them after they occur.
Justice David Souter wrote, “in the absence of other evidence of intent, a court would be unable to find contributory infringement liability merely based on a failure to take affirmative steps to prevent infringement, if the device otherwise was capable of substantial non infringing uses.”
This indictment was done in haste and is not a condemnation of MegaUpload, a COMPANY THE INDICTMENT ITSELF, CONFIRMS WAS TRYING TO COMPLY WITH EXISTING COPYRIGHT LAWS……
This was served in Federal Court in Richmond. The same court that says that National Health Care is unconstitutional, even though a number of courts have ruled opposite.
This is a rogue court. This court has proven twice, it is not representative of America, and New Zealand should suffer for not questioning the authority of the order it was given… Injunctions across America need to be filed immediately in more circumspect courts, all aimed halting this injunction issued by this rogue court.
Duffy is God’s answer to a prayer.. I miss the old days of blogging when we were debating principals instead of people… Duffy has stuck to the old line of debating principals with facts, and that is what makes him special in the eyes of bloggers everywhere…
Since the passing of Steve Newton, he has been the only one to challenge me in any argument, and usually some pretty good stuff comes out of both sides during the exchange… I have respected that.. Cause once again, opinions mean dick. Facts are what we steer by.. It is my hope that in responding to his challenge that an answer may make itself apparent.. Who knows? It may not come from me… But if I’m the catalyst for bringing it out in the open, then… none of this was in vain..
Why I like to debate Duffy is simple.. Neither side, he or I, is concretely set in their opinions… We accept it when the other side makes sense… I usually go into such debates having no idea where they’ll end up… I hope the rest of you enjoy the ride as welI….
Duffy leads: Wall Street’s problems were caused by Fannie and Freddie loaning money to people they knew couldn’t pay and moreover, forcing banks to lend money to people who couldn’t pay. That was not deregulation but misregulation
kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate.
First off, the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 was developed for, and locked in on, urban developmental areas and had no part of the subprime boom, which primarily occurred out in western desert regions where owning 4 to 5 investment homes was normal… Those homes were overwhelmingly funded by loan originators NOT SUBJECT to the act… We all know the crises was not because people couldn’t afford a payment on their house. It came about, because with no occupants, people could not afford the payments of 4 to 5 houses….. Instead of one loan per borrower turning up in default; four to five were.
Second off, The housing bubble reached its point of maximum inflation in 2005.
Courtesy of NYT
Third off, During those exact same years, Fannie and Freddie were sidelined by Congressional pressure, and saw a sharp drop in their share of loans secured by the Feds… Follow the dotted line on the very bottom of the graph…
Courtesy of NYT
Fourth off; During those exact same years, private secures, like Delaware’s own AIG, grabbed the lions share of the market.
Courtesy of NYT
Remember these graphs for later on when I discuss the results of deregulation, versus regulation… But like it or not, these graphs conclusively show that private insurers, who thanks to Marie Evans, we now know were deregulated by Phil Gramm in the 2000 Omnibus Bill, were the primary cause of the worlds financial collapse.. Probably put best by these words of AIG’s spokesperson, who when asked why they didn’t have sufficient funds to cover losses, said point blank, “We were deregulated. We were no laws requiring us to keep any funds, ..so we spent it…”
Duffy leads: The loosely regulated hedge funds escaped this mess largely unscathed. Why? They can’t count on a bailout like the big banks. The Too Big To Fail banks were counting on a bailout (not unlike the S&L bailouts which started on the Republican’s watch) and they got them.
kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate. I agree that the hedge funds did survive better than the banks. Not because of bailouts, but because they sold short during the crises and made billions while firms closed and people got thrown out of work. There is nothing wrong with that; I did the same. In fact close readers may remember my warnings that the crises was impending almost a year earlier. Very close readers may remember my telling them exactly when to sell, and at what point the stock market would rebound… I must say: I called it rather well.
“Hedge funds were not in my understanding, at fault in the credit crisis,” said David Ruder, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. “At the most what they did was to sell securities when some of their investments were declining and they needed to have liquid funds. They were not the architects of these problems.”
De regulated hedge funds are not the issue… De-regulated, excessively leveraged, mortgage securities, are a different story however… They, not the banks that held them, are the cause of the crises…Years from now, when academics search for causes of the stock market crash of 2008, they will focus on the pivotal role of mortgage-backed securities. These exotic financial instruments allowed a downturn in U.S. home prices to morph into a contagion that brought down Bear Stearns a year ago this month – and more recently have brought the global banking system to its knees.
Where you err is when you state that banks too big to fail, assumed they would be bailed out… By implication, you say imply they failed from squandering money, and wanted the bailouts.. But your tax dollars didn’t flow directly to the bottom line.
The roughly $200 billion the Treasury Department has handed out to battered banks was swapped for a special class of stock that pays a 5 percent dividend (rising to 9 percent after five years.) As of April 15, the Treasury had collected about $2.5 billion in dividend payments on its investment.
So in that sense, the bailout money represents an expense for banks. That’s one reason a number of banks have said they want to give the money back as soon as possible.
You say big banks were counting on a bailout, and they got them? That didn’t happen to these banks. New Mexico, Georgia, and Florida each lost a bank just last Friday. That brings to 8, the number of banks failed in June. Unfortunately if a bank is failing, it can’t bet on itself to fail, as can a hedge fund.
Duffy leads: Banks have successfully lobbied to get their losses absorbed by taxpayers and gains are kept private. How nice for them. They felt comfortable making insane gambles because they knew they’d be bailed out. Most of them were right. Also remember that it was Bill Clinton who tore down the wall between retail and investment banking. The idea was to give banks more stability as they typically perform as exact opposites in bull and bear markets. (FWIW, I think that was a good idea and I can tell you first hand that two of the Fortune 100 banks I worked for were carried by retail banking in bear years. They may not have had bonuses those years but they didn’t have layoffs either)
kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate. The idea is that the banks made bad decisions knowing taxpayers would bail them out is the issue that is inaccurate. For the record, I have no qualms that it was the Clinton legacy who tore down the wall between banks and investment banking. Like you, I feel it was a good idea to do so… Again the problem was not primarily with banks making loans to people who could not pay.. Although, it was as late as October 2009, when I was made aware of one private Bank in Denver still exaggerating income to make loans look good enough on paper to get approval of securitization. What caused the collapse was the leveraging of those loans as securities, so that as the housing market became overextended, and the ARM jumped past the low cost opening years, the damage was 100 times worse because of leveraging. What made the collapse criminal, was that the insurance most financial institutions had bought from AIG, to cover such an improbable event, had already spent by that companies executives, out on bonuses to themselves. What made it doubly criminal, was that when they received government dollars through a taxpayer bailout, those same executives assumed it was to first go towards paying their bonuses again. However, very recent events may give some cover to the argument that some collusion was implicit in the bailing out of Goldman Sacs and AIG… Basically, once bailed out, AIG paid Goldman Sacs for shares twice as much as they were worth. The documents also indicate that regulators ignored recommendations from their own advisers to force the banks to accept losses on their A.I.G. deals and instead paid the banks in full for the contracts.
During break I had a chance to browse the changed landscape of the Delaware blogosphere in depth.
There are two blogs that now carry the weight. Delaware Liberal and Delaware Way. Each are different in their own way. Delaware Liberal is an institution of fine writers, but is primarily dominated by two: Delaware Dem and El Somnambulo.
Delaware Way is where one goes to get news in the raw; for Nancy publishes everything… which is good since that is the only place one can go to find it.
Each of these provide a function… Delaware Liberal is where one can go to skim the headlines. Due to their updated format, if you missed a couple of days, it is hard to catch up… Being tied up, that has made following the news through them a little difficult. Nancy’s blog, although panned by Hube for it’s outdated format, is structured so one can follow it in consecutive order… Sort of like a facebook feed where one can drop back continuously until they reach where they last dropped off…
Other than that, there is nowhere else to look… That may be good for non- thinkers. But those of us who plan and run this state, are running blind… A scary thought as we approach the election year…
It seems like the old days mimicked the foundation of this nation. Whereas they argued over pints of ale; we argued over electronic wires… In our exchanges we tampered our views into an amalgamation of something that included the best of both worlds, and for that reason, the policies we forged, could pass the test of time… The only test it couldn’t pass, was us getting old and tired…
What is at stake, with the upcoming election… is a lack of depth. The brilliant group assembled under the general grouping “Delaware blogosphere”, was able to uncover all types of shenanigans; most of which had been going on under the cloak of looking the other way for most of our lifetimes… One, or even two blogs, cannot do the research being done independently by those of ALL political persuasions….
Which of course, means it will be easier to fool all the people some of the time… As long as they stay fooled until the votes are cast….. it doesn’t matter what happens later…
It is time each of the old bloggers look into their hearts, and review what they accomplished… It is time they look through what is written now and compare it to the days of yore…. It is time they return to the fight… the fight for truth… the fight for knowledge… the fight for justice.
It is time they realize they mattered and that like it or not, they were important to the everyday flow of politics… They made this past election happen. They changed the political landscape. They are what made local politics an issue….
We can go back to the pre-blog days of 2006… or we can continue exposing, inspecting, digressing, and scooping each other and the News Journal with information, that if left in the dark, would cost us each our money going into someone else’s pocket…
Delaware needs us. And you can’t escape that fact… It needs us.
Nancy has an example as to why….
On that page is a link to this Rasmussan Report.
VOTERS AGREE ONLY ON TAXING THE RICH TO PAY FOR HEALTH CARE PLAN.
Now anyone who knows me, knows I don’t take any stock in polls. I am smart enough to twist them into whatever I want, and so I can assume others out there are smart enough to do as well…
But over the past election, this group was the one closest to actual results throughout the primaries, as well as the general… So even though they were made up figures, I guess I’m saying, they still were closer than anyone else’s made up figures….
So the fact that a majority of Americans, all smart people mind you, believe that the rich should pay for our nation’s deficits… you know, the ones their party caused…. is rather telling. It implies that all the talk of no new taxes is baloney. New taxes on the rich are what Americans want. We want it sooner instead of later…
It boils down to ethics. Shouldn’t the wealthy take care of those who made them rich, now that times are hard? It reflects this nation’s battle with slavery 150 years ago.. Shouldn’t plantation owners take care of their slaves, like feed them? like give them a place to sleep? like allow them to get a drink of water?
If we had laws in place 150 years ago to cover the welfare of slaves, why then, can’t today’s wealthy and rich assist and help out law abiding citizens who have no jobs, who have no homes, who have no food… but still have their freedoms?
They can and it’s called paying their fair share of taxes… Americans who work, eat, live and die in our towns are saying the rich need to pay their fair share… Not get soaked mind you… BUT PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE…. Every American knows deep down that it is true… Every American knows that during WWII almost every family gave up someone to the war effort, because it was needed to save our nation… Yet today, we have the speaker of the House, A DEMOCRAT MIND YOU, saying there will be no new taxes on the table?
That goes even against the Rasmussen Report linked to above… Which plainly states: THAT THE ONLY THING AMERICANS ACROSS THE BOARD CAN AGREE TO, IS THAT THE RICH PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE….
And as proven in the post below, taxing the wealthy is super good for the economy. It fueled the Clinton boom. It drove the post second world war economy to new highs. Every time we had higher taxes, each person’s welfare, including the wealthy, just kept getting better….
Gilligan needs to get into the real world. and out of the pockets of wimpy land… (Everyone knows I love Gilligan but I get yelled at when I make mistakes and so should he). We are not on Gilligan’s Island. ( I fought the urge and succumbed). We are in a real world with real problems and one of those problems is that we are running out of money….
As one notorious bank robber responded when asked as to why he robbed banks responded: because that’s where the money is….
… so does our legislative need to solve it’s monetary needs by going to where the money is… the state’s wealthy….
It is such common sense and America knows it…. And the only reason we know America knows it…. is because Nancy published it in Delaware Way.
We need more like her…
….. and now Steve Newton of Delaware Libertarian is bowing out….
Forgive me for getting some out of order, but his name now goes up on the wall next to those of Dana Garrett, Mike Matthews, Jason Scott, Shirley Vandever, Dave Burris.
All gone, leaving only these few greats are still left: Nancy, Tommywonk, Kilroy, LiberalGeek, Pandora, David Anderson, & Hube.
The era over which these giants roamed was between the elections of 06 and 08. Some started earlier, but these few individuals were the only source of information during that time stamp.
Today, the News Journal has lost its paternalistic viewpoint touting the union of construction labor and developers formerly known as the Delaware Way, and is actually reporting news ahead of bloggers for a change. Likewise today, WDEL has both on its morning show with Al Mascitti and afternoon show with Rick Jensen, steered discussion away from the likes of (who?) Sean Hannity… and Al Loudell has kept us abreast of local politics in ways unheard of before bloggers began typing in their briefs…
So in a way, since these bloggers were successful back then, today they are not as vital as they once were… Many saw their blogs as the only way to get the truth past the News Journal censors, those higher ups who would not publish any truth that showed an elected official in bad light….
Those studying this phenomena will see that there was much agreement between bloggers on both sides of the aisle… It was very rare for this group to be divisive over the prime issues of this state’s business.. All of them were for Atkins removal. All of them were for beginning offshore wind in Delaware, … All of them were for the slowdown of work force housing… all of them were for the betterment of Delaware’s educational opportunities…
Of course we quibbled on who would become the next president, but that is to be expected… No family lives without arguing at least once…
There were rises and falls among each giant’s influence… But at the core of each individual was the feeling that each had a unique insight into the current problem staring us down, and wrote about it with an urgency that turned out usually to be correct… And usually, if agreement was not forthcoming by the first comment, by the end of the comment thread, some form of agreement among the blogger’s roundtable, was visible…
As politicians came to realize the News Journal wasn’t changing, they began contributing to these giant’s pages, giving substance in ways unheard of among those writing for the Community Board of the News Journal… Reading the blogs gave us a real time insight into the workings of our state government in Dover……
But it was the wind controversy that elevated the giants to their current stature… Only the blogs could get the message out that Delmarva was incredibly concerned about losing control of their monopoly, and that wind power for Delaware would by offering competition, lower our energy prices. And they did, so well, that the entire legislature at the end of their 2007 session, voted unanimously to approve of the landmark agreement between Bluewater Wind and Delmarva Power….
Some of us think that they, shaking in their boots, didn’t dare vote otherwise… For bloggers have long memories as well as does the public….
But these giants among men, did more than just push wind. They publicized the eminent domain controversy. They scoured local politics. They broke the work force housing pact apart. They clamored against Atkins, forcing him to resign. They dogged the SEU. They picked apart candidates so much that those who had flaws, couldn’t win. Dana Garrett could be heard almost weekly on WVUD.. Tommy Noyes, for a while was a weekly guest on Al Loudell’s award winning newscast. They OOGAcised the fight for open government, forcing one flustered legislator to call out for a prayer dedicated to just for the bloggers, asking for their salvation of their souls… Apparently those prayers were answered; for by their souls we have open government today….
But amongst the best, the very concept of government was debated back and forth, no doubt as it once was during the beginning of this nation during its infancy… Torture, domestic spying, gun ownership, thieving Vice Presidents, all had their day in court upon these pages….
And today, there are new names who in the years ahead might be considered to be the giants of this contemporary time zone..
Deldem, RSmitty, El “S”, Donviti, Cassandra, all came into prominence after the defining moment of passing the wind act…. As well as Sussex Green, Red Water Lily, Mourning Constitution,… all of which became big as the 2008 election season came upon us….
And from the ranks of commentators came a Sussex County Councilwomen, a candidate for a House seat, as well as a last minute candidate who took on Mr. Pam Scott, and began nailing his shoes to the floor…. Miro had a contender for once; that commentator speaks up often…
Steve Newton will be missed.
With his passing is the last of the great thinkers… Today, we have bullets fed to us… But Steve took on all other blogs, all other commentators and wrote posts about them… Steve looked at everything with fresh eyes…. Giants can do that, since they see things from way up…….
I won’t go in to praising Steve… for I’m here to call attention to the passing of a era. Perhaps those times when benevolent giants roamed our state, will be considered by us dying men and women, to be the glory times we hark back to, the second we close our eyes for their last time…..
For when you look back as what we’ve done, the word “giants” is not really a bad moniker….
Sussex Green drops a bombshell…
Despite what Meatball says, there is something sick in Sussex County and it rhymes with taker….
Here in essence is the argument for open government… This type of stuff goes on all the time and those of us jaded by its constant misuse, forget that is really antithetic to representative government… Which is why we need citizen watchdogs… and Sussex County has one now….
This must be read… Not only by residents of Sussex County who have to put up with the antics of a family who thinks they can rule with impunity, but by every man, women, and child of the future, so they know exactly how these things are done, and can intercept their implementation before similar actions are finalized.
Here are several examples of the travesty those communists who represent the fine folks of Sussex County have levied against their own kind….
Instead, the list of parcels and areas being considered for inclusion on the future land use map were presented to the P&Z Commission as Old Business at a meeting on April 30, 2008. The parcels and areas were discussed by the P&Z Commission, approved or rejected, and that was that. There was no public hearing on any of them. Then, when the Comp Plan was finally approved (June 24, 2008) all those amendments, which had been approved at the April 30, 2008 meeting were incorporated into the land use map and became part of the ordinance that authorized the Comp Plan.
The Wilson Baker parcels case illustrates this. Baker got a conditional use (c/u) for the smaller parcel in 2005. He either owned or quickly acquired the larger adjoining parcel of AR-1 soon after being granted the c/u on the smaller parcel. He established a propane, kerosene, and diesel fuel business on the smaller parcel under the c/u requirements. However, he wanted to sell both parcels and that proved a bit too complicated because of the c/u, or so his representative testified at the recent change of zoning hearings before the P&Z Commission and County Council. As a result, he apparently decided that getting both parcels rezoned to heavy industry (HI-1) from their current AR-1 would be the most profitable option.
The P&Z Commission scheduled the Wilson Baker parcels for the June 18, 2008 meeting under the agenda heading “Additional Old Business”. The one item under that heading is “Comprehensive Land Use Plan”. The minutes state that Mr. Lank “advised the Commission that a request had been received for inclusion into the Town Center Area around the Town of Milton; that the request came from Baker Petroleum of Wilson Baker, Inc. for the inclusion of their properties; that they are intending to apply for industrial zoning and to create a railroad spur for access to rail service; that the site has been reviewed through the PLUS process” (P&Z Commission Minutes, June 18, 2008, Page 8). The P&Z Commission decided to incorporate the request of Baker Petroleum into the Future Land Use Map by consensus. There was no public hearing
On June 24, 2008, the County Council voted to adopt the ordinance establishing the 2007 Comp Plan Update, with amendments. There was no public hearing
The entire sketch of how this parcel was rezoned was not done in secret.. It is available on reruns of the Dukes of Hazard television series that was shot during the 1980s.. The faces may look a little different, but the characters who play them are the same…….
Far too much chatter today was about the surprise calling upon a blogger to solicit the president with a question..
As to why the president would choose a blogger over a major news carrier, to ask a question, and get answered, to me is a no brainier…
If you want to get the truth out; well, you can’t do it through the mainstream media….
Courtesy of Department of Defense
“By the first light of the third day, look to the East!”
Everyone knows that living starts on the weekend… That makes Monday the third day… It is my sincere hope to return this feature back to its original time-slot so those starting their week, have something worthy to follow… Of course that leaves “Around the Horn” to synopsize on Friday, so between the two of us, we have full weekly coverage….
I apologize to Deldem of Delaware Liberal if this first return edition bashes up against his on vacation version of what went down this week…
So what happened this weekend?
Shirley opens with a story of what being an American is all about. The teary eye part made me proud that America still recognizes its heroes, and goes out of their way to make sure they know it… All of us can learn a lesson from this post…. When was the last time you went out of your way to make a member of our armed services feel welcomed?
She carries another idea that I will be stealing shortly.. It’s from down under. and it certainly is worthy of the read, if you haven’t caught it earlier…. it’s just another way of self expression….
Aside from seven videos of varying topics, one an hour and twenty-six minutes long, and four quotes, the memorable posts on Delaware Liberals this weekend are the following… (We only covered the full first two pages, lol)… Their best was this one, The Morning After….. which describes the cuts to the state budget… “The Morning After” in this case does not refer to contraception, but is instead, related to the budgetary announcement made by Jack Markell on Thursday…. It begins with….
March 19, 2009 will forever be remembered as the date that Delaware’s Gilded Age officially ended. An age that was literally ‘built on a house of (credit) cards’ is no more.
The interesting point is that ultimately, it is the responsibility of the wealthy to carry the weight of the rest of us. Pandora follows the same theme with “What’s In The Water At CNBC”: apparently someone argued on that show that Wall Street couldn’t be run by anyone making under $250,000…… the unsaid premise is that the wealthy, who are overpaid for their results, need to make sacrifices so those making less, do not have to…
However the most uplifting piece of the entire weekend, was on this blog and had nothing to do with the economy… or the wealthy… It is about race, and in a spirited fashion on the weekend that Battlestar Galactica ended its 6 year run, Cassandra puts this vignette forward… I’m impressed she saw it, since she admits she doesn’t watch the best show on television this decade. Next to Obama’s Philadelphia campaign speech on the reality of “race”, this is as good as it gets….
This blog has taken on new life with the economic crises swirling around us… In an amazing piece, Steve Newton (in real time) breaks down the implication of Markell’s budget cuts and other attempts to balance the budget, and illustrates how those cuts will affect our employees… I can proudly say, it as good, or better than that other Delaware blogger who is prone to such analysis…… Again the same theme comes out…..
But the reality doesn’t work that way. If you eliminate one unnecessary management position making $120K, then you have saved enough money to keep thirty employees at the $40K and below level from having to take a hit.
Again the message is simple: Cut off the top to save those on the bottom, holding everything up… The shocking truth of what happens when citizens are preoccupied with other matters than their government, showed up in this comment…. “a vacant position in my agency, one that had been vacant for 1 1/2 years got filled by someone on Minner’s staff. Let me reiterate. WE DID WITHOUT THIS POSITION FOR 1 1/2 YEARS. AND NOW WE FILL IT? Luckily it is not a merit position, so it’s possible that the position gets vacated anyhow. But this is one of those 120k positions. “
Again the message: cut the top to save the bottom….
Delaware Politics begins with their take on Markell’s budget… One noticeable trend has been the life recently pumped back into conservative blogs. I have not yet commented upon it, but…. they were pretty shoddy all election season and up until the inauguration…. But with the Democrats now in the driver’s seats, the conversation among the back seat drivers, has again become interesting to listen to… At least one can feel they are getting pumped up, perhaps stealing the energy leaking away from those liberal blogs, who are now getting tired, and starting to wind down in their ardor and intensity…
Dave Burris does his take on Markell’s budget… Most notably he notices the lack of cuts in services…
“But when the rubber hit the road, not only did they fail to cut an agency, they didn’t cut ANYTHING. That is a massive failure to lead. We got such a large deficit (I don’t believe the numbers, but maybe you do) because we grew our government at a rate of 2.5 times inflation during the Queen Worthless administration. If we don’t address that, we will continue to have this problem as more and more of the economy is eaten up by the government.”
I noticed there was no mention that the failure of the Bush economy has drastically reduced ALL sources of revenue pouring into state coffers on which our government used to thrive during the last 8 years… But he does agree with Markell on across the board cuts: “I agree with the administration that cutting pay across-the-board is better than across-the-board layoffs in this environment, because layoffs would cost the state unemployment money,”
Interestingly, being conservative in a time of crises, leads to some silly conclusions… This one for example: “the gain from the Gross Receipts Tax increase is a pittance compared to what the state would get if they would just get out of the way and let these small business owners grow the economy”. Really? Currently we have 7.5 % unemployed, and our largest employer, the state, is taking an 8% across the board pay cut? And paying more for medical? And more in taxes? Where is all that money going to come from to allow these small businesses to grow the economy? You can give them a zero tax rate, but it no one spends in their business, they don’t pay taxes anyway… Nope, you need to make people spend, before any type of business aid makes sense…. Small businesses aren’t going to grow… They are just trying to hang on and stay solvent! Screw growth!!!!! lol.
In another attempt at silliness the lovely Marie Evans is proposing the Greenville Casino… The land is available… Three casinos, she points out in a state 96 miles long, with some creative placing, puts one every 16 miles…( as I said: creative placing… lol).. Unfortunately since Greenville is too close to the northern edge, were one to go in up there, her 16 mile theory would be impossible…
Likewise the Special Olympians apology to our and their president, does crack a faint smile….
And I’m outraged, outraged that there is no mention of the Democratic Party in each of these instances.
And the DSEA? They also are outraged, outraged that while arguing for higher taxes on all other people, under Markell’s budget…. THEY WILL HAVE TO PAY HIGHER TAXES TOO… OUTRAGEOUS!!! lol….
Welcome back to the fight guys!
Dana carries the AFSCME demostration over the cutbacks… They want the rainy day fund tapped out so they have their jobs… The only question, besides that is must be repayed every year., is that once spent, then what gets done next year…
Nancy covers the controversy over whether pensions should be capped at higher rates, than those just years away from retirement….
Mike Matthews has a job interview today… GOOD LUCK from all of Delaware’s Blogosphere…
The same theme brought to you by Markell’s budget cuts appears in Byron Short is Wrong (IMO)
In short, the most disappointing thing about Gov. Markell’s proposal is he’s shifting too much burden on the poor, lower-middle class and, in reality, isn’t asking much of those state employees (cabinet heads, directors, etc.) who could stand a tightening of the belt. Or a complete axing of their positions.
Knock something off the top, to save the foundations supporting the bottom…. Where have I heard that before?…
Already two proposals are in state legislature that work to mitigate the effects of the cuts… One doesn’t allow retirees to have the lower wages be used as a determinant of their pension size, and the other, gives two state employee’s married to each other, less cuts than two single state employees sharing an apartment, would get… These bring up questions of fairness.. One can sense in both these proposals that these employees are “entitled” to earning more money.. It’s a valid point.. They are lucky to have jobs… and if they get a “by” or a “pass”, who is it then who gets hit with the charge for allowing them not to carry the load everyone else is being dealt… If they really wanted to have done something constructive… they could have worked for Kerry…. But nooooo, they didn’t.. and now they are paying the price…. We all are.
However, a job is better than no job at all and this is not meant to be an insult! I didn’t enjoy my pay cut and the traumatic impact. Unfortunately Governor Markell did the right thing. Those at the top of the pay scale will survive better than those at the bottom!
Where have we heard that sentiment before? I don’t know… but it sounds vaguely familiar…
And some wise words to AFSCME union wannabe’s who wish to increase their power within their organization… “Suck it up and be thankful you still have a job because others will be glad to take it.”
Mike Mahaffie went to the last of the Markell meetings before this budget proposal came out… What is interesting is how the theoretical side of the equation seems dreamlike when compared to the reality all all the posts following the Thursday budgetary announcement… But although Markell was unable to attend due to the death of his father, Mahaffie does capture many of the sentiments “flickering” around the room…. One that stands out, was this gem:
As things wrapped up, Senator Simpson and Representative Carey, both Republicans, made a point of praising Governor Markell, a Democrat, for his bipartisan approach to the budget problem and openness to working together. They pointed out that Sec. Kee is one of several republicans in the Markell cabinet.
“On my count… all hands pull on the ropes…. Heave!”
One of those heaving is Brian from the Mourning Constitution. He tackles sports betting from the revenue side, and argues income beats job cuts….. Bringing money into the state, by making us the Vegas on the east coast, could keep some people some jobs…
As for the current vacancies at the Delaware DOC – just a month ago at a meeting of the Corrections hearing before the Joint Finance Committee, there were 33 vacancies in order to assure MINIMUM staffing – while in actuality there are over 330 vacancies that need to be filled to assure smooth, safe, and efficient operation of Delaware’s prisons.
Redwaterlily shows us what is occurring across the state simultaneously. Everyone is questioning their department, and wondering how they can afford any more cutbacks… Every department has needs… Every department has hard working employees who are not making the money they deserve… But as El Somnambulo points out above, by law,any extra money is spent in one sector, must be cut from another one…. The total amount is to remain the same… So each time one says they must keep their department open…. They are dooming another department somewhere in the State of Delaware, to double the amount of cuts….
Although quite prolific lately, this was a quiet weekend for the Colassus of Rhody… amounting to this list of what was NOT said by Obama on Jay Leno’s show….
Tommwonk’s weekend contribution deals with: Jack Markell’s budget…. Tommy focuses on how this budget will be perceived by the staff budget meetings…
We are open to discuss other ideas to meet our financial challenges, and in fact encourage your ideas, because the $750M [deficit] we face now may be our best-case scenario, if the fundamentals of the national economy do not improve.
Our best case scenario.. In this sobering piece,
The actual budget proposal made by Markell is here…
Looking at our problems…. it is easy to get overwhelmed.. sometimes it helps to realize through out history greater problems have befallen greater numbers of human beings…. But somehow we muddled through… We will muddle throughout this time, ….
Remember how this opened? It was a celebration of an American hero… Like them, today we need our wealthy to contribute more to the nation that gave them opportunity. Today we need our wealthy stepping up and heeding the call of their country. Like our young boys who are on foreign soil, they too must suffer the sacrifice, and without grumbling, willingly pay more to the state to cover those expenses incurred assisting those less fortunate than themselves…
This quote is from the Matrix. I just laid down a similar line on a comment thread somewhere here in the blogosphere and it sounded vaguely familiar. I looked it up and laughed out loud… See if you can find the relevance to which I speak. ( If someone has already has done this, (I’ve been out of the loop for a while) please feel free to post the link below… ) After all, it’s what friends do. They tease each other….
image courtesy of jluix.com
Why, Mr. Anderson? Why do you do it? Why get up? Why keep fighting? Do you believe you’re fighting for something? For more than your survival? Can you tell me what it is? Do you even know? Is it freedom? Or truth? Perhaps peace? Yes? No? Could it be for love? Illusions, Mr. Anderson. Vagaries of perception. The temporary constructs of a feeble human intellect trying desperately to justify an existence that is without meaning or purpose. And all of them as artificial as the Matrix itself, although only a human mind could invent something as insipid as love. You must be able to see it, Mr. Anderson. You must know it by now. You can’t win. It’s pointless to keep fighting. Why, Mr. Anderson? Why? Why do you persist?
My, how I love the intricacies of blogging….