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Insurance Rates Soar
Courtesy of FRED

This shows a problem and why blaming each other is a distraction being fanned by the core of the problem itself.

The personal part of insurance rates have gone up, and employees are yelling: what do you mean I have to pay more… I’m paying double already!

The corporations are telling their employees. We can’t afford to take up more of your insurance rates! We’re paying double already….

The big answer is why?

When George W. Bush ran for president, the following groups funded over 90% of his campaign.

Insurance Companies.

Medical Corporations and hospital chains

Energy Corporations.

We know what happened to energy during his two terms. We just learned what happened to medical and insurance that same time frame.

Obviously the extra money is going into the Medical Corporations provided insurance companies are cutting checks for an excessive number of claims over what it did in 2000, or into the insurance exec’s pockets, if they are not….

As a grand experiment, Delaware should allow anyone to buy into its Medicare option as an option for meeting the required claim to have Medical Insurance.

The graph simply shows why.

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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…

Would any American support a law imposed on us by the Soviet Union?

Would any American support a law imposed on us by Communist China?

Would any American support a law imposed on us by Islamic Iran?

Would any American support a law imposed on us by Mexico?

Would any American support a law imposed on us by Canada?

Would any New Yorker support a law imposed on them by South Carolina?

Would any South Carolinian support a law imposed on them by New York?

Would any Delawarean support a law imposed on them by Alaska?

No?

When put in this perspective, the phrase…”it’s the law…” rings rather hollow…

It’s the law… of what? It’s the law of…. who? It’s the law decided by whom?…… What reference does this law have to me?

Such is every Americans feeling to corporate law… These laws were applied to the lawbooks without our knowledge. These laws were applied to the lawbooks without our approval… There laws were applied to the lawbooks not in an open environment, but subtlely sneaked in, unannounced, unnoticed, unapproved, unsubstantiated, and unconstitutional…..

These laws that are being upheld, benefit a very thin percentage of people, a razor thin percentage of people. at the expense of the majority…..

Rick Santorium stands up and states we are a nation of law. We follow the rule of law…

Yes, we will follow a rule of law onto which a majority of us signs on to… But nowhere in our contract with America did we agree to follow laws that have not been sanctioned by the Constitution as being legal. Nowhere in our contract with America, did we agree to follow the phantom that corporations were human beings. that corporations had just as much right as people to write laws, get them passed, and then uphold them… as if they were people….

There are times when breaking the law, is better than following it…

If you don’t believe me, just ask Jesus.


Right click to open full image… Pictograph Courtesy of Viral..

So, can someone tell me again, why we shouldn’t tax the rich, and instead, balance the budget on the backs of everyone else?…….

I seem to be missing that little detail where that all makes sense……

Pondering over Steve’s return and the ramifications which came with it, (for example, I noticed the re-humanization of Dana Garrett), I was reminiscing why so many bloggers had fallen off the wagon…

Back in the glory days, there was a rather eclectic collection of men and women who put their thoughts down nightly or almost on a regular basis. A few are left today… But missing are Mike Matthews, Shirley Vandever, Tommywonk, Dave Burris, Dana Garrett, Duffy, Maria Evans, Joe M., Mat Marshall, …..

Most all of these posted their reasons for giving it up…. and they all sound the same. Tireless demands of time, no real feeling for posting anymore, realization that it was a lot of hoopla and little real substance.

And ironically the more successful you became the more time you felt you had to spend answering comments. And for the amount of time spent, the numbers of people actually reading them, were dwarfed by just the voting totals of Delaware alone.

But it is with Steve’s return that I think I finally was able to put my finger on just why the blog-world fell apart. It was because we had stopped becoming a community. It is rather interesting to read something someone posts that says: I think thus about this subject and here is why…. It is less interesting to have a blurb saying: “check this out” and then click a video and sit back waiting through the commercial….and then after watching, think: “that was a waste of time…”

Each person had a personality. Shirley tried portraying herself as a crusty curmudgeon but she was anything but…. Dave would bluster about, but then, without warning come through with brilliance. Mat, provided a odd twist from the enlightened eyes of a Cab Calloway student. Donviti was … well Donviti..and that’s a good thing. Hube could on the turn of a dime, surprise you by agreeing with what you said. Kilroy roasted Red Clay school district, no doubt causing them to cringe with his misspellings, and put New Castle’s school troubles on the map. Duffy always found the most eclectic random findings, and mainstreamed them for the rest of us. Nancy, with her sources, and emails, provided the bulletin board for all of us to snatch our next story from… Coupled with airplay on WVUD,WHYY, WMGD, Al Mascitti and Rick Jensen, actual influence over current events was projected… or at least it felt that way…

What we had was a community. And that peer group was who you wrote for. Sometimes you wrote evocative pieces just imagining Hube reading it and reddening his ears. Other times you could get Nancy’s gander up, just by praising Chris Coons. One out of this group, even considered running for Governor, and probably should have, considering the complete tanking of the campaign by that person who did run.

But mostly, we wrote for each other… If other’s wanted to read they were welcome. I think some who tried to fly too close to the sun, and write like they were the News Journal, got burnt out, and dropped by the wayside.

It is interesting to see the change in both Hube’s and Delaware Liberal’s format, comparing todays with yesteryears. Today, everything is bite sized. Before, we had the extended version.

The difference is like eating crackers off the table in back of the meeting room, or, breaking for dinner. Taking a break for dinner, is much more enjoyable.

All great moments pass. It is fact that we look back on them in admiration, that makes them great. So, I guess, though the characters are still alive, and a few still active, we cannot return to those times, long ago and far away.

I can only hope that a new generation, may someday read this, and happen to come across something like this, and find inspiration within themselves to do it again….

I think it is safe to say, we “pulled it off big time”. We really did something, which in it’s time was unheard of, and what we did, still has lasting ramifications rippling through our state government today…

I think most of the problems we dealt with, got fixed. Although no one can point to us and say we did it, that we influenced the changes, they certainly can’t deny. After all, each and every one of those problems haunted legislature for a quite a long, long time, and.. they are gone now. We exposed them for what they were…

With that said and done, … it’s pretty cool.

In April, May, and June, corporate America accumulated 1.7 Trillion in just corporate profits.

All that money could simply disappear, and it would have no effect on the day to day running of the economy. Loss of corporate profit? Job levels stay the same. Loss of corporate profit? Banks still solvent. Loss of corporate profit? Income levels don’t change…

Corporate profit is just another name for money left over after all expenses have been fufilled…

It’s extra, it sits on the outside of the economy, it is meaningless..

Let’s put that money into jobs, into business loans, into raising income levels… all which do have a benefit to the economy…

Then, once the economy is roaring, and everyone is again working, is spending freely, has more money than they can possibly use, then profits will be going through the roof…

When a business fails, the usual trend is for it not to pay it’s bills, accumulate and pocket all incoming cash it can, and then say… “Oops, sorry. We’re bankrupt….”

Allowing obscene profit during this economic depression is just as equally insane (except of course for those thieves legally skimming off the top before the upcoming inevitable collapse.)

Ok,.. Let's Do This!....

Yesterday, Obama was in Dover to grieve the return of those heros who crashed.

It brings up again the argument of why we are there……

There are small truths, and there are Great Truths…

For example, a amall truth may be that your child is on heroin. It will suck away everything you own.

A Great Truth, is that the boy or girl is still your child; you can’t wipe out that fact. You can’t say, “you made your choice; I’m done with you.”

Of course you will get that advice from well meaning friends. They’ll point out the hard facts that your child made his own decisions; that your child bears the responsibility; that your child made his bed and now has to lie in it.

And in the context of small truths,….. they will be right. Why should you cash out your retirement for legal fees, fines, clinics, drying out facilities? Why should you go to bed with a collapsed heart, cleaved by grief, from guilt, from the ghosts of “what could have been?”

But our lives…. are run by “Great Truths”, not small ones.

The “Great Truth” is that:.. “that is always your child”. The “Great Truth” is that: there can always be “hope”. The “Great Truth” is that: miracles do often happen, and when they do, they often leave a trail of good in their wake… The “Great Truth” is that: if you do choose to give up, and stop fighting the fight for “good”, the answer suddenly becomes final. It is over. You were it’s last hope.

But,…. if you never give up, for as long as you keep fighting, it can,… it can have a “good” ending some day. At some point in the future, it will have all been worthwhile…. Every effort, every pain, every tear, will have had its place in history as being a piece of the road that brought you to this marvelous conclusion.

Yes, miracles do happen. They never happen to those who give up.

So the question that needs addressed to the American people, is not symptomatically whether we should or should not get out of Afghanistan….

The question needs to be framed, that as Americans, should we pursue our journey towards a Greater Truth… or collapse upon the recognition of the small truths, and cut our losses…?

Essentially every president faces this test. Dying in quest of achieving a “Great Truth” is worth the lifeblood of every American parent’s children. Losing one’s child in vain, is the opposite.

Our goal in Afghanistan, is not to eliminate Al Qaeda, nor eliminate it’s unwilling ally, the Taliban. Our goal is not to support Karzai, who increasingly is showing himself to be using the vehicles of corruption to keep himself alive…. Our goal is not to isolate Pakistan, which will tend to increase their nuclear paranoia, were a freely independent Afghanistan to do a reach around and engage Pakistan’s arch rival India…..

Our goal is simple… It is to leave Afghanistan in a position where it can rule itself, and rule itself with a power that is not intent on crashing airplanes into our cities……….

It is that simple… We are simply there to protect individual families of Afghanistan from being on the receiving end of terror from either side or warring party, and provide each family with enough security for them to figure out just how to accomplish these goals…..

Yes Afghanistan is a mess now. And yes, there are hopeful signs of a positive conclusion. Those of you who shun the military, probably missed the significance of this teeney, tiny little line in today’s paper…..

“Mohibullah (chief target of the raid) and the unidentified man who fired the shot at the helicopter attempted to flee the country, ISAF said, most likely to Pakistan, but were tracked to a wooded area in a nearby district. Both were killed by an air strike Tuesday, ISAF said.”

That sent a tsunami through the insurgent community.

“Sure you can get lucky and bring down one of our more antiquated helicopters, but don’t expect to be a hero for long. We will find you. We will kill you…”

Every insurgent will think twice the next time, RPG in hand, a helicopter flies over his head…. “Um, not me, too risky. I won’t be the one this time.”

Small truths… Greater truths.

No one ever faults the parent of a child who successfully beats his habit, who drove the streets at night looking for their child on every corner, who stayed by his child through treatment and jail, who supported them right to the end, when finally that child, after all that effort, decides to dry out permanently, and start taking control of their own life.

Walking down our streets at night, asleep in its shadows, lie the sleeping bodies of all those children of parents, who chose to accept the “small truths”, and washed their hands, giving up on them.

That’s pretty much the answer to Afghanistan.

I’m printing this article in full: tell me, where in America can you find journalism this “fair and balanced”?

Another crisis in the horizon?

A | A | A |
Winarno Zain, Jakarta | Tue, 07/19/2011 7:00 AM A | A | A |

It seems the world economy has faced endless threats preventing it from sailing smoothly into a strong recovery this year.

First there was the Greek debt crisis that jolted several major banks, and then a political uprising in the Middle East that pushed up oil prices, and then a tsunami in Japan that disrupted manufacturing activities in many countries.

The world economy has not fully dusted off the adverse impacts of these three events. Yet another headwind is looming large on the horizon. This time it is the possible default of the US government of its debt on Aug. 2, if the US Congress fails to approve an increase to its debt ceiling as requested by President Barack Obama. By that date, the US government debt would have reached its maximum allocated limit of US$14.3 trillion.

The current negotiation between representatives of Democratic and Republican parties on the US budget deficit has run into a deadlock, and so the possibility is real that there won’t be any substantial agreements reached, since the dateline is nearing. Major rating agencies such as Standard and Poor, and Moody’s have warned they are ready to downgrade the US government debt rating from top grade AAA.

This would be the first time in 90 years that the US government debt has been downgraded.

It is not hard to imagine what will happen if by Aug. 2 the US government has exhausted its credit ceiling and can not get additional debt to pay for its spending needs.

The US government would have to curb its spending, and because some of these relate to payments to government employees, pensioners and other social benefits, this would strike a severe blow to the consumer spending that is so essential to the US economic recovery.

With debt default and credit rating downgrades, it would be difficult for the US government to get loans. Faced with increasing risk, investors would ask for higher returns for US government bonds. This would push interest rate higher, further depressing the economic recovery.

The US dollar would plunge, triggering a surge in commodity prices and another round of inflation around the world. A deadly combination of inflation and economic stagnation could spin the world economy into a tailspin as happened in the early 1970’s.

How would this worst case scenario affect the Indonesian economy? As capital flows out of the US, investors have tended to seek safe havens elsewhere. Commodities, especially gold and oil, would be their first targets. Emerging markets could be the next destination of this capital flight, depending on the assessment of investors on the strength of its economy and their vulnerability and exposure to the US economic fallout.

But financial crises always result in a loss of confidence and produce negative sentiments in the financial markets. They put financial markets into disarray, and as investors panic, capital starts flowing out of emerging economies.

During the global financial crisis in 2008-2009, capital moved out from emerging economies back to the advanced economies. At that time, the US government bonds and commodities like gold were considered safe havens.

If the US government defaults on its debt payment this time, the question is will the situation change? Will the US government bonds still be considered a safe haven for investors? If not, then where else will they put their money? Or maybe they would prefer to keep their money in the same place and not move it anywhere. If so, the Indonesian economy could get some benefit and may not have to face another shock.

In the longer term, however, the situation may change. No country is immune to the negative ripples of a US economic crisis. As US imports plunge from weakening domestic demand, exports from emerging countries will also suffer. The extent to which these negative impacts affect each country will depend on their trading and banking exposure to the US economy.

What is disturbing about this debt talk is the use of this debate as a political game. This is especially apparent in the Republican stance.

Economist, market analyst and CEOs of financial institutions and even the IMF itself have warned that if Congress fails to raise the ceiling of the US government debt, the world economy would slip into deep recession.

The Republicans did not fully accept Obama’s proposal to raise the debt ceiling. They only agree on a smaller number, but even it was given with some conditions. The Republicans asked Obama not to raise taxes, especially for the wealthy, and Obama should cut social spending, a sacred cow for the Democrats.

By using tit for tat tactics in the negotiation and by seemingly ignoring the impending consequences and dangers, the Republicans were trying to push Obama into an intricate political dilemma.

If the US economy slip into another crisis, economic contraction would be inevitable. Corporate bankruptcies would spread, and jobless rate would surge.

A presidential election is still slightly more than one year away, and Obama’s reelection prospects are solid. But his popularity rating is highly dependent on the unemployment rate. That is why the Republicans think the only way for them to erode Obama’s popularity now is by pushing the US economy into crisis.

As the stakes are high, the two political parties should temporarily set aside their ideologies and adopt a pragmatic stance for the interests of saving the world economy from another catastrophe.

President Obama demonstrated his willingness to compromise his political ideology during the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. Being a Democrat, Obama’s political inclination is generally anti-big business.

Obama realized that it was reckless lending by some big banks on Wall Street that triggered the financial crisis. But he also realized that saving these banks from bankruptcy was key to saving the world economy from further disaster.

His decision to pour $800 billion of taxpayer’s money to bail out these banks was hard to swallow by his fellow party members, but it worked. Now it is expected that the Republicans will be willing to do likewise.

The writer is an economist.

It was announced Monday that Vice President Biden’s deputy press secretary, Annie Tomasini, will leave at the end of the year for a position at Harvard.

Her position will be filled by Amy Dudley, who was the Great Delaware Sen. Ted Kaufman’s press secretary.

The Newest Member of the Vice President's Staff

The White House gave a brief description

Amy Dudley comes to the White House from Senator Ted Kaufman’s office, where she served as his press secretary. Prior to the Senate, she worked in the public affairs office of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI), where she helped to develop media strategies to highlight the organization’s efforts to support and strengthen democratic institutions worldwide. Dudley began her career in Washington as a staff writer for The Hotline, National Journal’s daily briefing on politics, where she covered the 2006 midterm elections and the run-up to the 2008 presidential primaries. A native of Brookfield, Connecticut, Dudley graduated from Colgate University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Peace and Conflict Studies. :