You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Harry Gravell’ category.

“All you have to do, is close your eyes, click your heels together and say:  “there’s no place like home. there’s no place like home…”

Imagine Delaware, held at the Clayton Hall of  the University of Delaware, is sort of like that…  The panel featured 5 speakers:  

1) Mark Kleinschmidt,  NCCCCn (New Castle County Chamber of Commerce President)

2) Dr. Domenico Grasso, Provost of the University of Delaware (UD) 

3) Robert Schwartz, Pathways to Prosperity Network 

4) Robert Atkinson,  President,  Information Technology and Innovation Foundation

5) Governor Jack Markell,…

The theme was : career ready jobs through career ready education….   Tonight, the call was issued for a combined intensive effort from employers, educators, and government and nonprofit leaders to build pathways that link between work and learning and are aligned with labor market demand.

The argument was similar to that used by Common Core…  It goes like this.

The job market is global. America is behind.  We need more jobs.  There are jobs for very smart people that are empty.  We need to revamp our education so our not-so-smart people, can perform in those smart jobs.... That was essentially it, if you couldn’t go.

Just in case you are not familiar with the myths proven false with those looking at Common Core, here are the several myths from  above…

1)  The job market is global.  (The myth (or joke) is that no American Corporation pulled out of America and went to a third world country because of the quality of  their education…  We are not making IPods in China, Banaton’s bangles in Bangledesh,  Nike neckties in Nigeria, because of the high degree of mathematical skills their population’s possess…  No!  We shipped jobs over there because their employees would originally work for a bowl of rice……)

2) America is behind.  (The myth (or joke) is that America has the best education across all income levels.. Education is related to poverty;  if you take each income layer of America’s schools, and compare it to the comparable countries which are also in that same income level, which ever one you choose,…  the United States is on top of every single category….   Our +60% poverty schools educate better than other countries whose poverty average is +60% as well.  Likewise, our under 2% poverty schools, beat those of other nations with under 2% poverty…  At the  core of all the inappropriate misguided interpretations, is that our +60% poverty schools cannot do as well as  those under 2% poverty schools in other nations…. We have more poverty than most countries, and that is what lowers our entire national school average.)

3) We need to revamp our education:  (The myth (or joke) is that we revamp our education every 3 years.  Common Core is three years old now, and here we are, now getting this big push for vocational oriented education).   We did the DSAT, DCAS, SBAC’s all in quick succession.   We jumped from No Child Left Behind, to Race To The Top, to Common Core, and now… Imagine Delaware.  Education is the one facet of American life that goes through more changes than Chairman Mao…. 

4)  So not-so-smart people can do smart jobs…  (The myth (or joke) is that the number of smart-jobs is so small… Cited was the AIR study that pushed the parameters to state that in Delaware, there are 3 1/2 more high tech jobs than people who can fill them… Also stepping up to collaborate that was...Beracah Homes in Greenwood Delaware which was quoted as having hard times finding licensed electricians, plumbers, and other experienced tradesmen according to Jon Gallo, the company’s CFO.  Yet a quick check with IBEW off Basin Road, and Harry Gravell’s office in Elsmere, and Sam Latham, Delaware’s head of the AFL-CIO, … all consistently informed me that all their workforce is half idle…  There are electricians looking for work; there are plumbers looking for work.  there are skilled tradesmen looking for work…  The problem being quoted by Beracah Homes, is there are not enough NON-UNION certified electricians, not enough NON-UNION plumbers, not enough NON-UNION skilled tradesmen for Berach Homes to hire…  What they are looking to hire, is “cheap” skilled labor… 

The unsaid premise of tonight’s gathering, was that if you train your high schoolers in the trades, you can then do away with the trade unions… You can hire skilled labor on the cheap right out of high school for pennies on the dollar….. 

Furthermore you had two think tanks on the panel, one chamber of commerce head, one provost, and the governor… It is human nature. When any of us feel self-important we accent those threads of life which make us think we are self important…. 

Missing from the discussion, was any mention of poverty.  To be honest, it really didn’t fit in with the topic of conversation… just like a smelly elephant in the room doesn’t jive when one is discussing delicate desserts… so I can forgive it for being overlooked…  But if anyone is really serious, and would truly like to meet the aims these lofty over-$150,000-yearly-incomes espouse….  then we have to attack the poverty and start educating our children…  

We’ve got everything we need to get it done except leadership…. 

This is post number 2000.

The only real significance is it is 150 posts more than where Tommywonk stopped exactly one year and fifteen days ago…

If some future historian looks back, I can only guess they may kindly make some note of the quality of thought that underlies these efforts, but my guess, is no one will ever notice…

Irregardless, as long as the urge to put thoughts down for others continues, we will go on. As usual, with no goal, no direction, and no ulterior motive. Probably upon reflection, my biggest surprise, right here, right now … is that I still enjoy it so much, and can’t wait to jot my thoughts down, click the button, and send them off to where ever cyberspace and the vast internet ocean, lets them drift….

For each of you who have become regular over the years, … thank you friend…

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….

That said..

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.
Investment Homes lead forclosures not inner city Residences

Second off, The housing bubble reached its point of maximum inflation in 2005.
The Housing Bubble Starts to Dive 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…
Freddie and Fannie on the lowest line
Courtesy of NYT

Fourth off; During those exact same years, private secures, like Delaware’s own AIG, grabbed the lions share of the market.
Private, not Public Insurers Caused the Crash
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.

Taking the Easy Pass Lane

So there I was as a young man, traipsing over the grassy knolls of a compound called Dachau……..and the single image of which I could not shake from my mind, was a view back home from the top of the former Twin Towers.………taken while walking  around the observatory in a slow 360 degree circle and realizing that the entire mass of humanity in that circle of twenty miles, was less than the amount of those eradicated by the Nazis, without a whimper from the German people.

And as my eyes watered a bit, ((no I did not cry), I was still too young), while gazing upon the fake showers, and peering into the cyanide vats on the other side, a tiny child’s voice between my ears, kept repeating a phrase I had stumbled across before the tour on the floor inside the museum. ” You saw us being beaten, you saw us wearing stars, you saw us humiliated, you saw us being transported, and YET YOU DID NOTHING……… I remember at the time being quite angry at the timidity and the complicity of the German people. For a brief moment I hated them…….and in a typical fashion common of that gender in possession of high and excessive levels of testosterone, in those emotional moments I vowed that I, (superior being that I was) would never fear or cave in to brutal intimidation………..

Today, my friend’s friend, lies buried in Arlington……And when I clicked on a forgotten link……(do I still need this?…) and saw the face of a very brave New Castle citizen…….looking back from her high school picture…..those jaded eyes of mine wet over again as I slowly realized that I too had failed to live up to that promise I once made on a bright July afternoon, while standing beside a giant trench planted over with flowers……….

So where was I when it happened? What was I doing that was so important as events played around me? Nothing earth shattering really, and if you probe and scrape all the residue away, I was simply way too busy going through motions in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, to really worry making those tough sacrifices that are personally required to implement the necessary changes (piece of crap, I am)……. Then,……… something about that girl’s picture…………..pissed me off. I think it was how much like my own daughter she was……

So what can I do? Not much, I am no Kissinger nor Howard Baker. I cannot bring these people together and make a settlement. But I can make a choice……and that choice is this.

I can choose to STOP DOING NOTHING. I can go on record and suffer the surprise trip to Guantanamo that may come in the middle of the night (risk diminished), or the bullet to the back of the head in some forgotten landfill (not likely), if it comes to that. And most particularly, I can look at those who enabled and supported this administration when it chose to invade a nation that had not attacked us, a nation that had no intention of attacking us, a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11…….but only a nation that had the poor unfortunate distinction, of being the chosen victim that this bully of an administration had decided to make an example of………..long before the 2000 elections were ever held!

If any of you have ever felt that you too have done too little, that you too were lulled and fooled into believing this war made you safer, then come, join me outside Delaware congressman Mike Castle’s office on Friday July 6th. And should you be too busy, I will understand. Most likely you do not have that haunting childlike voice as do I between my ears, that implores ……..AND YET YOU DO NOTHING…….…But if, by some ancient gene, you do…… possess the capacity to know right from wrong, and if…… by the grace of God, you have been given time to come and be counted, and if…… you do not want to pass on, having never made a difference in anything………… then take the half hour, and come and join us; be counted on this upcoming Friday at 11:00am. (Tell Boss-women you have a doctors appointment if you have to……or call on someone you know who feels like you do, and unlike you, has nothing going on at moment in time.)

Results:

If ten people show, the war goes on, but us ten can rest at ease that we did our part. If twenty show, our numbers just grew 100% !!…….If hundreds show, one or two lines will appear in the News Journal and it will not have been in vain. If a thousand people show, the Congressman and staff will take notice. And just maybe……just maybe……..find within themselves the moral courage to add their voice to echo ours……..WE CAN MAKE A CHOICE……WE CAN DO SOMETHING.

In democracy, the real leaders are always “We, the people“: it is us who tell the government what We want them to do…… Please……..come with us……….and make our stand?

The clock is ticking down……less than forty hours remain. Friends….that is only 2400 minutes! Or even worse, just 144,000 seconds. The countdown continues…..

Remember when the General Assembly was sworn in early in January, At that time the 1st of July seemed a long way off.

But in 2359 minutes, it will be here! January to June, let us see…..six months? we should be tidying up by now with just a few knick knacks left to finalize…..Right?

Let us see what is on the agenda’s of today’s General Assembly.

In the Senate: as of 12:00 (yesterday) only one thing: Tony De’Luca’s bill to have various organizations within the state, look for extra money and report back on 12/21/07 on what they find. I find this a little confusing. Why do we need to tie up the remaining 2398 minutes with a bill that does nothing but say “we need to do this”. On the surface, when you first hear it, it seems sound good. “I, Tony DeLuca, got tough with our bureaucrats and demanded they look for other ways to fund our government.” But isn’t that naturally what happens when you, your business, your government runs out of money? Your first priority becomes to find “where you can get more”……….Since there is no funding within the bill, and there is really nothing new in the bill, this bill, as it says from the outset, it is just a proclamation……..A commission, proposed within this bill, could just as easily be appointed by the governor to find revenue streams and report back.

If someone could get back to me on why this bill is important, I would like to hear. But in reading it, it sounds like ‘much ado about nothing.” One would think with only 2397 minutes left, we could find something far more worthwhile to debate……………..

On the house side more is going on. You have Senate Bill 36 which quietly sells government employees down the river. AFSCME may still be around for years, but as for saving pension plans or bargaining for better insurance, forget it. This bill would forever remove those items from the collective bargaining table:

Position classification, health care and other benefit programs established pursuant to Chapter 52 of Title 29, workers compensation, disability programs and pension programs shall not be deemed to be compensation for purposes of this section;

So if in the future if it becomes necessary for the state to economize by cutting benefits to minimize costs, the unions will be unable to protest it. This appears to be the first quiet, hidden attempt to cut state employee’s benefits. This Rubicon, if crossed, will forever diminish labor’s effective voice. Due to the lack of outcry, I doubt if most of them know……….or will know with only 2396 minutes left.

Next comes HB 177, the fusion bill. This would eliminate candidates who may have lost the primary, from running as a third party candidate in any general election aka Joe Lieberman or Connecticut. As Delaware Watch points out this bill would force organized labor to support just one of the two major parties. And you know they won’t support Republicans. Obviously this is one Democrat’s attempt to keep its rank and file from trickling away, aka the Berlin Wall. Thanks to the watchfulness of Dana this bill became public knowledge. But with only 2395 minutes left it had a good shot at going through.

Next comes HB 208, which says that a person has committed burglary as soon as they enter a building without permission. They do not have to steal anything, just be there. This would effectively cut down on the solid American tradition of checking on elderly neighbors, just to see if they might need medical attention. But most likely this issue will not be raised with just 2394 minutes left.

House Bill 251 prevents convicted criminals from becoming volunteer fireman. Perhaps this is ok, but I think there is no harm in letting Freeberry fight fires if she wants to. But these ramifications will go unnoticed with only 2393 minutes left.

The Senate Joint Resolution 3, organizes a leviathan task force to see what can be done with Wilmington’s schools. The makeup of this monstrous 33 member task force, will be big on names, but seriously short on talent. It will pass on the feeling of “lets do something nice for Wilmington” because no one will have time to look too hard at it with only 2392 minutes left.

House Concurrent Resolution 32 creates another task force, this time of 23 people, to look at new assessment possibilities instead of the current DSTP used in schools today. 3 of those will be on the above task force as well. (I hope they have daytimers). This report is due late May 2008, too late for serious action by the second half of this General Assembly. But it should generate plenty of controversy for the upcoming election. 2391 minutes and counting.

Senate Bill 119 seeks to insert this clause into the Delaware code: “(1) The amount to be raised by taxation shall not exceed 20.97 cents on each $100 value of real property in Sussex County for the tax year 2008, 22.23 cents for 2009, and 23.50 cents for 2010 and all years thereafter.” This is to fund Vocational Schools only. And with only 2390 minutes left, no one will even know……..

Senate Bill 123 further seeks to streamline and professionalize the educational process by controlling who those parents are on the advisory boards, which used to be siphoned from the Delaware Congress of Parents, but now are to be hand picked by the Secretary of Education.

Senate Bill 126 finally does some good. This bill alone should save the state billions over its lifetime if enacted. This bill returns the determination of fines back to the discretion of the judge, by eliminating the predetermined amounts, which unfortunately sent many people into our correctional system, who really did not need to be there. Let’s hope there is enough time, with only 2388 minutes left.

House bill 189 removes one more roadblock that stands in the way of remaking Sussex County into a sea of aluminum sided houses. This obsolete law, which on its surface makes sense to update, will, by its removal, allow many developments to go forward which have been so far held back. This bill still is stuck in committee. It may not see light in the next 2387 minutes left. Oops just passed the House.
HS 1 for HB146 seeks to mandate stateside recycling. Unlike most bills before the House this time, this one has the means to pay for itself. However constant vigilance and discipline need to be exercised to insure the recycling fund is not pilfered by Republicans whose modus operandi has always been: “see it, spend it” despite their political rhetoric to the contrary. Oh! Just got shot down…………..

House bill 241 seeks to make this change which will affect 5 employees of the state………all well known to every legislator.

Section 1. Amend §5201(b), Title 29 of the Delaware Code by adding the following sentence at the end thereof:

“An Individual qualifying for a service pension under §5522(e) of this Title shall not be an ‘eligible pensioner’.”.

Section 2. Amend § 5501(d), Title 29 of the Delaware Code, by inserting therein a new paragraph to read as follows:

“(22) Service as a per diem employee with the House or Senate of this State.”.

Senate bill 133 seeks to mandate the separation of children from sex offenders. This is a good bill. Let’s us hope it gets a hearing with only 2384 minutes left.

HB 220 could with tongue- in- cheek, be called the John Atkins bill. Should he ever return to political notoriety at a whim, he could be hauled in and tested. This bill extends alcohol monitoring indefinitely instead of ending in one year. This could be a good thing for those repeat offenders, but more than likely, knowing how most legislators can put down several very stiff drinks in a very short span of time, it could also be used for intimidation and control once an arrest was made. But in their stupor, there is no time to consider this, with only 2383 minutes left.

House Bill 172 seeks to impose the monitoring of uninsured motorists driving upon the road. It tightens reporting requirements on those who get insurance to buy a car, then let it lapse with no payment. Within ten days the state will know. But, to those who like to hold public officials accountable for their actions, this warning is appropriate: you had better make sure your insurance gets paid on time…….

HB 240 seeks to clarify criminal offenses by switching many minor ones over to civil offenses where they belong. This bill is an interesting read for it includes a list of minor infractions that should be civil in nature. Check out for yourself how many times you were a criminal, and because you did not get caught, you never knew it? This bill is overdue. The cost savings from tying down courts, the AG’s office, and law enforcement, over the life of this bill, should save billions.

HB 212 widens the area sex offenders cannot be seen in to include parks, playgrounds, daycare centers.

SB 160, again by DeLuca, provides one more slap in the face specifically to those American workers who get HURT ON THE JOB. They are being asked to incur at least 15% of the medical costs that occurred from accidents while they were on the job. Currently, they receive medical attention at no cost to themselves for employer mandated accidents. Considering that most current Americans do not have enough money to pay for gas , electric, ARM mortgages, car insurance, or car payments,….. their answer to the question “Do you want to go to the hospital for that?” will turn into an emphatic “no,” a decision that may perhaps kill them a few months later from its complications, but save them from paying their part of the 4000 dollar medical bill, which if paid, would push them into bankruptcy. This is just one more example of how a leadership position, removes a thoughtful person away from reality.

Senate Bill 111 seeks to move one offense the other way, towards a felony. Violation of a Domestic violence protection order, will be upgraded from a Class A misdemeanor, to a Class F felony. Knowing how those to violate these orders, are under passionate emotional influences, and immune from normal rational thought , this bill falls into that feel-good status, (look, we did something) just as mandatory sentencing did, and not into effective control. The only effective difference will be the charge presented to the court, long after the women and children are dead.

House bill 266 attempts to standardize the definitions of abuse thought the state’s governmental system. However, based on their definition of “emotional abuse” that definition could be in a thesaurus under “marriage”.

SB150
will give those medical professionals who help out during emergencies, freedom from any liability for any action occurring as a result of their involvement, the same way state emergency responders are protected.

HB 207 seeks to give the same penalties for selling counterfeit drugs, as for the drugs themselves. No more getting off because the actual drug sold, acetaminophen, was not on the controlled substance list……… but was being sold as something that was……..

SB 35: Section 1. Amend Subsection 1014(a) of Title 26 of the Delaware Code by striking the figure “$0.000178” in the first sentence thereof and replacing it with the figure “$0.000356”. This extra money goes into the Green Energy fund at the residential electrical cost of .18 cents per household. This is to generate home grown energy projects on a person’s own property.

And most importantly, with ramifications greatly affecting all Delawareans, is the Dick Cathcart sponsored HB 245. This bill will change history by changing the method moist snuff is taxed within the state of Delaware.

UPDATE: JUST LAID ON SPEAKERS TABLE

Keeley HJR 7 establishes yet another task force, again devoid of funding, to look into statewide recycling. I guess she doesn’t have the necessary votes to pass HB 146.

Then there is the HB 250, the appropriations bill for 2008: all 256 pages of it. But no worries, mate, there still are 2377 minutes left. (9.28 minutes to read and absorb each page, that is if so choose not sleep.)

Hopefully they are taking amphetamines. Because if they decide to get a good night’s rest over the next couple of working days, they will squander 480 minutes of that time left. One must assume that they will sleep on the floor of the offices, because commuting times will bite into 120 more of those minutes. Unless they eat while working they will use up 120 minutes and estimated bathroom time should fall between 100 and 120 minutes. So if we are willing to forgive these personal indulgences (a whopping 820 minutes), they have only 1577 minutes left……a little over twenty six hours to do all of the above and the bond bill as well, which as of yet, has not arrived out of committee…

There is a lot for our legislators to absorb in the next several minutes. To make it even tougher, our lobbyist’s contingent insists… that our legislators follow the Dr. Pepper rule these last few days……..

Dr. Pepper rule? Don’t know that one? That is a classic. It stands for having two drinks by ten, two drinks by 2, and two drinks by 4. Is it any wonder that our citizens get the short end of the deal at the end of every legislative session?

For true insight on how democracy works, show up at legislative hall on Saturday night.It is free and open to the public…… And bring a camera phone.

Had the opportunity to watch the Health Care debate in Las Vegas. Here are some of the gems.

“We are looking at a system where people tell you the words you want to hear, but are less than forthcoming with plans to make it happen.”

“Half of the bankruptcies in this country are the result of people not being able to pay their hospital bills.”

“31% of the money in the insurance system goes toward the “for profit” system. Using that toward bringing down health costs would prevent financial insolvency.”

“Corporate profits, stock options, execuitive salarys takes 31% out of the healthcare dollar with no benefit to the health of anyone.”

“Doctors do testing to cover their backsides. do away with malpractice.”

“Take the profit out of medicine. Health care is a right, not a privelege,”

“Who has the courage and willingness to take a stand for the American people and take on the insurance companies who give us diminishing returns and insist on higher co-pays and higher deductibles.”

“How does Ameica plan to stay competitive against other countries with lower health care costs.”

“If Individuals hold on to more of their money, using only a fraction of the money to maintain the system. eliminate costs, purchase drugs by bulk, thereby passing the lower costs on to the economy”.

“Single pay, medicare option is the way to go. If people chose this option, this country could evolve. Competition among insurance companies is not the answer for competition drives up prices. Each company is cherry picking for the most lucrative health dollars, whereas the poor will get stuck on Walter Reed type government programs which will collapse under the strain, and a death spiral of the entire system will occur.”

“Some suggest that the government provide subsidies to insurance companies. Did it work for pharmeceuticals? Take insurance companies out of the picture. Health Care is a right.”

“The change will not happen through Congress. Are you kidding? They are beholden to too many lobbyists. Any attempt to change will be chopped up, water downed giving, no relief.”

“This country is literally bankrupt. Controlled by the military industrial complex, this country is whistling through the grave yard. You cannot trust a president. You can only trust the Amercan people. We need a plan where you chose the options. You know what is best for you. On this issue, you cannot trust the leadership. They have been screwing up for fifty years, have you had enough yet…..”

‘There is a role for the president. That is to change the culture. To energize the environment which sets a tone to demand from us the best that is in us. We diet all the time, but with a trainer we have a greater chance of success. The president is not an solution, the president is a tool, the people can use it.’

‘Lobbyists pay for the people who pay for the campaigns that pay for the candidates who pay for the marketers who manipulate you people to vote for those who have been told to suscribe to the view that was paid for originally.’ — Gravell

Flashback to the last hour’s of Legislature in the 05 session.

The Honorable Cathcart brings up a bill to move forward the moratorium on a certain vaccine preservative that may be banned by the federal government at the end of 08. This vaccine, when used on children, gave rise to a higher than normal autism rate, and often left survivors incapacitated. Using good judgment, the Honorable Cathcart proposed that the state of Delaware move forward it ban to the end of 07. This would protect a year’s worth of children from the possibility.

The Honorable Wayne Smith spoke against the bill, saying that if the federal government allowed it to continue to 08, then why should Delaware do anything different……

Cathcart responded that based on statistics, that 8 to 10 Delawareans would be affected by this vaccine over this one year period, and those children might suffer severely.

Wayne Smith argued that doing so was unfair to medical practitioners who had stockpiled the cheap vaccine before it was deemed to be dangerous, and who should be allowed to sell it off within the bounds set by the Federal Government.

Both individuals read medical evidence supporting their cause, and dismissing the evidence brought by the other.

I never found how it ended. I had to leave. There was no public record found, that I could access, just a brief mention about the bond bills that passed late that night.

Now the individual Republican who bravely championed a child’s right to life, is now Majority Leader.

And the villain, who argued that a Doctor’s money far outweighed a child’s life, has been rewarded quid pro quo for his courageous action in the trenches.

No one seems to be reporting the news from yesterdays PSC hearing in Legislative Hall in Dover. How could the most important decision affecting Delawareans for the next twenty five years, be subject to a news blackout?

Searching Delawareonline, WDEL, and WHYY, yielded no mention to Delaware’s public that the meeting took place. The only news source I could find in our state that even mentioned the happenings in Legislative Hall last night, was the Delaware State News. It led with this line.

Most of the comments Tuesday at Legislative Hall in Dover supported Blue Water Wind’s offshore Atlantic wind farm generation proposal or NRG’s proposal to expand the Indian River power plant in Millsboro to include coal gasification generators.”

There was little of no support for Connectiv’s or Delmarva Power’s proposals. Connectiv’s bid won the most points from Delmarva Power and the state’s independent consultant’s report. Read ( The public does not support our little inside plan).

NRG supporters, mostly NRG employees or retirees, read (coerced), touted the reliability a coal-generated power plant provides. “Wind is a pretty hip, sexy energy option,” Delaware resident and NRG employee Doug Netting. “‘Wind, however, is intermittent “ he said.

Jim Sadowski, NRG’s environmental manager (oxymoron) for the Indian River power plant, said it would take gale-force winds to create three megawatts of electricity. (not true: strong breeze to near gale)

Instead of choosing one of the three proposals, Delmarva Power favored ” conservation strategies, continuation of a new east-west transmission line and increasing its portfolio to more renewable energy sources from the existing power grid.” Read (if forced to, we will buy some other state’s wind power and tack on percentage and sell it to Delawareans.)

If there was any consensus, it was that something new had to be done about electricity in Delaware. “Inaction is not the answer,” said Wilmington resident Harry Gravell, who represented Delaware builders.

Apparently “the public” beat up Delmarva pretty bad last night as evidenced by the response from their spokesman. When he was questioned about whether Delmarva would be willing to change it’s position in face of overwhelming public support for Blue Water’s proposal, Delmarva Power spokesperson, Tim Brown, kept repeating the statement that “the utility stands by its recommendation,” Most of us who have been around, know this to be the common last ditch defense, always given by a spokesperson defending an indefensible position, against irrefutable evidence and facts. It smacks of admitting one knowing he is in the wrong, but who fears to lose his job should he budge one iota from his company’s position. We saw this trend all the time with Motiva, or almost any other corporate spokesperson.

Delaware’s small size is sometimes advantageous. We know our opponents personally and often conduct business in a less caustic manner than do some of our neighbors. However, our small size can be a detriment, when progress for it’s citizens comes in secondary to the profits of its movers and shakers. Sometimes personal friendships existing in the vacuum of scrutiny, bear more weight than the ultimate public good.

So why was there no news about the meeting last night, except by one newspaper. Was it truly a coincidence that led almost every of the state’s news sources, to fail to report the first of the most important meetings of this century, that will affect the future expenses of all Delawareans?

Expect a lot of coverage over Thursday’s meeting in Wilmington. Word has already gone out to Connectiv and Delmarva employees that they are required to be there to support their company (or lose all chance of future promotions) Within a packed auditorium, the appearance of support will appear more equal than it actually is, and the news coverage will be swayed accordingly. Those who speak in Blue Water Wind’s favor, can be expected to be shouted down. Those lining up to speak, will be weighted in favor of the status quo.

Sometimes coincidences occur. But other times so many coincidences happen coincidently that one wonders whether or not it is a coincidence at all. Sometimes when there is NO NEWS about a topic, it has far more significance than what news IS actually reported.

Last night the public spoke very strongly in favor of Wind Power. It spoke very strongly against Delmarva Power. It appears that great effort was made for you not to know about it.

Nancy, Nancy, forget da plane.

Remember it’s not about what this country can do for you, but about what you can do for this country………

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 130 other followers