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Award For Delaware's Most Influental P/P/or T of The Year
The Golden Flush Award
/Click Image for Past Winners

Usually this is an after thought…” Oh, wow, year’s over, let’s get a person of the year”…  And then once we elect one,  we go… “holy crap… we totally forgot so and so….”

So to try to stir up some old simmering coals of memory, both mine and others, and perhaps even to (heaven forbid) get some debate going in the blog sphere, I thought I’d make an initial run on Thanksgiving Week, and then add people into the nominating category as others mention various ones I should kick myself for forgetting.

It will also force me to review the year which is something I rarely do… because face it, as a human being, I am slave of the moment….  If I did this last year, come December 14th the entire world would have been turned upside down and all the old priorities of 2012,  would in one day become trivial….

And so starting early gives me the chance to make the argument for each of those I decide to enroll with your kind recommendations included….

Julius Cephus:  Particularly this one man organized and stopped an end run around the Port of Wilmington.  The Kinder Morgan deal did not go through, and the Wilmington Port is bustling like never before…   Kinder Morgan was to strip the union of power, and drop the rates of pay, further dampening the economy of Wilmington proper.  It was also the first defeat of a Lavine-Markell development project, .. Fisker and Bloom had gone forward without a hitch.  Julius and other’s push back resulted in a General Assembly motion that stated they, not the governor, had final approval. It was the first time we were exposed to the current Governor’s manipulations.  They were to play a significant part across this year’s tapestry.

Steve Newton:  A blogger who has written infrequently, but effectively. His piece on SB 51  is what alerted us to the end run being performed by Dave Sokola on lowering the current standards being used for educating teachers.  It is brilliant.  It took an evening of reading the legislation line by line and cross referencing  it with Steve’s analysis, to understand the huge negative impact this bill would cause.  By the time this was done, the Bill had already passed the Senate unanimously without comment, and with an friendly amendment added that was voted upon without even being read.  Some public outcry was mustered within the House, both in committee and on the floor, but under the Governor’s direction, the Speaker of the House, pushed the bill to the floor before significant outcry could be mustered.  Only 4 House members were not on record for it’s passing.  Our educational schools now have to water down their teaching standards to meet the new law.  Steve also has brought the Highmark story to Delaware.  His research in the increase of medical costs in Western PA as a result of knocking out competition by unfair practices, leads one with a cold chill of what to expect in Delaware’s future.  We are already there.  As an insurer, Highmark is only paying medical claims in its own affiliated clinics.  As the new Blue Cross/Blue Shield owner, that is a huge percentage of Delaware’s residents.  None can go to any other hospital.  He has properly fingered Karen Weldham Stuart for not catching this prior to implementation.  Without Steve, this would have passed unnoticed.  The News Journal still has not once mentioned the takeover of Delaware’s health field under one owner.

Ernest Lopez.  If Kennedy were still writing Profiles of Courage, he should include this man.  Ernest Lopez is a conservative, and voted with Libertarian values to pass the gun legislation recommended by Markell and Biden.  Reflecting the views of his district, instead of taking the threatening message sent to him down from the NRA, he voted for his district.  A very vocal minority, who is always vocal, and always in the minority, swore they would unseat him.  He disregarded their idle threat, and voted both his and his constituents conscious.  A major billboard was put up to call him out.   His vote caused the passage of us now requiring background checks at public gun sales.  Now a certifiably insane person cannot slap cash and get a gun.  It is a no-brainer, and Ernie was the only Republican with brain enough to even know what a no-brainer is….

Cathy Cloutier:  her vote allowed gays to marry.  Again, she is a Republican who said enough is enough… Tired of voting against her conscious just so Sussex County would not flip over to the Democrats, she finally did not toe the line and voted along the lines of her own constituents, all overwhelmingly in favor of gay marriage.  In doing so, she went against the entire grain of her party, who firmly feel that gays are second class citizens, even though most Republicans in office are closeted gays.

Bethany Hall Long:  on the same vote, made a viable personal decision, and also voted for the legalization of gay marriage. Unlike Cathy’s vote, this was accomplished at great personal sacrifice, for all of those in her personal life, were solidly against this policy from taking effect.  In voting for what was morally right, she had to contend against those whose influence she could not escape.  She went with the correct vote, over the easy one.   As a result, Gay marriage is now legal in Delaware.

Paul Baumbach:  gave great ammunition against the fight for SB51, and later against HB 165. Both bills which will damage Delaware’s education for years to come.  He was one of the four who put up a fight on the House floor.  Paul also arranged for the meetings in Newark to discuss the new Power plant that figured in this past week’s election.

John Kowalko:  also was against SB51, HB 165, as well, being against the power plant.  In fact, John was the first person to sound the alarm over how big the power plant would be.  Without his big voice, it may have slid through unnoticed.  The power plant has defined northern Delaware politics since September.

Kim Williams;  responsible for HB 40 which investigates Charter School’s meddling into our educational systems.  She was as an acting state representative, allegedly refused entrance into a committee hearing on education, for fear she might say something damaging to the bill being rushed through….  She brought to the public’s knowledge, that the Charter School bill was drafted illegally without public input, and the charter group constructing it, was also under FOIA, to which the private group denied.  The Attorney General backed up her assertion, that the bill was formulated illegally but their decision was moot, because the bill was passed both houses anyways.  Kim Williams also in the HB 40 task force, led the group to realize that charter schools unlike public schools, do indeed filter those entering charters to weed out those who might lower their test scores….

Mark Murphy, Rodel, Sweeney, Hefferman, and the Fake Educational Reform Establishment:  I almost purposefully did not post this.  Although the first person’s name is usually followed by explicatives whenever mentioned, it is unlike Voldermort’s, still getting mentioned.  Mark Murphy was not put in his position based on his ability. He was placed there for his loyalty to the cause of  corporatizing public education.  Markell pulls the strings, Murphy figures how to get it done…  It is hard to make a puppet the most influential person of the year… So I was going to skip him… But at the last minute, remembered that every time  he or anyone of these make an op-ed, it resonates as gigantic news. The entire community rises up to counteract each op-ed, usually with the word “lies” thrown liberally about…. So, they do exert an influence.  I looped all of them together, as the group of liars in a Greek play, who stand on the stair steps and taunt the protagonists.  Well,… they are part of the play…….

Dan Short:  Sometimes villains get noticed too.  Primarily a single issue candidate, who personally supports the NRA, he actively campaigned and organized to create enough backlash so Markell’s gun laws could not get enough votes…  Without him, there is a possibility that all four of Markell’s gun control pieces of legislation would have passed both houses of Delaware’s legislature. Dan Short should be given the credit for stopping them.

John Sigler: Single handedly by his very brief tenure as the re-elected head of the Republican Party, he pointed out through his pigeon shooting, just how inept the Republican Party was at everything else.  With his leaving, all fissures cracking the Republican bedrock, were impossible to ignore.  Blogs split. The IPOD’s split. Former candidates of the same party just months earlier, now not talking to each other. The Delaware Republican Party is dead; no it is past dead.  More dead than a pigeon shot inside a box by John Sigler, former head of the Delaware Republican Party.

Nancy Willing: Her blog, the Delaware Way, is the go-to site for local information. Whether about Dover, about New Castle County, about any of New Castle County’s associations, Nancy combs all sources and puts them down in aggregate form. Heavily involved in the Power Plant controversy, The Delaware City Rail Yard controversy, Barley Mill controversy, the Woodlawan controversy, the Kinder Morgan controversy, the Charter School Controversy, the Common Core Controversy, Nancy has who is saying “what”, and links to “why”. One can expend less energy by using her blog to follow all the stuff the News Journal neglects, in a few quick empty steps.

Amy Roe:  a head of the Sierra Club, who emerged from nowhere to lead the fight against the power plant, and give quite a run against the establishment candidate.  Becoming the face the anti- power movement could coalase behind, she gave the anti power plant movement both dignity and grace.  Coming up short only 115 votes, she has awakened Newark now politically as never before…  The power plant if it goes forward, now has a strong group of Newarkeans against it.  Hopefully they will be monitoring it regularly and helping authorities keep in in compliance with all local law.

Tom Gorden; although much quieter than his first term in office, Tom Gorden is rapidly rolling back the privileges the previous Clark administration handed over to our state’s top developers. The Barley Mill plaza which had a green light, is now parked at a red. In a big sea change, though handled quietly, community groups are now no longer persona non grata in county government. It is no longer accepted as a matter of course that the Woodlawn Trust will be gobbled up by developers. If enough fight can be mustered, it can be stopped. Furthermore, with Tom there is closer coordination with the City of Wilmington, than we have experienced anytime in our lifetimes. In the county, local policing has been stepped up, particularly in neighborhoods prone to crime…

Dennis Williams: Came in with grand expectations, which looked deliverable for a while. The tide is turning and his relevance on this list, is because every day, the headline reality in Wilmington’s streets, brings his electioneering boasts back to haunt him, like a sizzling hot branding iron.  Time, Dennis, to say “Damn the torpedoes… Their punk asses are going in jail no matter which blowhard on City Council spouts off,before mine gets tossed in jail for impersonating a mayor..”

Alan Levin:  Jack Markell’s second in command, he was instrumental in defending Markell’s position on Kinder Morgan and the port, as well as the new power plant for the data center. He also had a hand in keeping Dole in Delaware, and worked to slip the power plant past a slew of unsuspecting Newark City officials.

Jack Markell: had his hand in everything.  He was behind Kinder Morgan’s takeover.  He was behind SB 51 and HB 165.  He was behind the illegal charter group, requiring HB 40. He also was the driving force for the four rational steps to gun legislation, 2 of which were passed. He was also the driving force behind the passage of gay marriage, signing the bill in the chambers just moments after its passage. He also supported the transgender bill in its travels through the labyrinth of Legislative Hall. He as behind keeping Dole in Delaware. He was behind changing an icon in Millsboro away from pickles, over to poultry. He pushed the bill to curtail Flowers. Despite your opinion over whether these were good or bad, they still showed a ubiquitous and wide reach across the state of Delaware. Seems like nothing got done that didn’t have his fingerprints all over it.

John Young: As head of Christina board, John Young led the board in standing up to Mark Murphy and Jack Markell, by refusing the RTTT funds slated for his district. Although some hired fools, (Jea Street) tried to paint Young into a corner, it served the opposite purpose and gave Young a platform. For the fist time, Common Core was getting publicly bashed. For the first time, many were finding that aligning themselves blindly to this sham of improving standards, was probably going to hurt them politically in the next couple of years. It was the fist salvo back, so the damage estimates were not high, but it did open eyes of many who had been on the sidelines of all educational issues, making them also become vocal in fighting Common Core. His blog Transparent Christina has channelled a lot of detailed information into the Delaware market, and had made Common Core an apprehension, instead of the savior it was supposed to be….

Kilroy: Kilroy has always been haranguing over education. In fact he was doing such a good job I left that issue alone for years, because other issues for me, like the economy and elimination of guns from the hands of the mentally ill, were more important. But as the issue has shifted back into the limelight, Kilroy’s hard hitting is making its mark… Kilroy is blunt, and right now, that is the language that needs to happen. Blunt descriptions of what takes place in the stratosphere of he academic field…. Kilroy often breaks stories before the News Journal, especially ones embarrassing to the Murphy/Markell cartel of education. If you have read Kilroy over the past couple of years, you would already know that Common Core is not the panacea we have been promised. It is a power grab for taxpayer dollars, financed by Wall Street itself…. If you think otherwise, you haven’t been reading a balanced reading list….
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That is what I have so far. In retrospect I am surprised that education has played so much, as even I have only come to that topic lately… But if one looks over the News Journal op eds, education really did dominate the discussion in the 2nd smallest state this year….

I may have forgotten some big ones. To reiterate, that is why I am posting this early, to catch those big mistakes as they get brought to my attention….

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Bottom line is this year
Courtesy of Climate Code Red

If you kinda thought the weather was wild this year, you were right. The most ice lost is taking place right while you read this. A large chunk was broken up by a freak storm. Another similar on is on its way. The question that no one knows the answer to, is… will this affect the circulation pattern.

We all know in our lives that as human beings we can put up with aggravation rather well, unless we are Type A. Whether it is aggravation from our boss, from our spouse, from our in-laws, from our choir director, from that guy selling papers on the corner,… we put up with it, accepting it as the normal course of business. Except once or twice in our lives, we just snap. And the consequences of that, momentary snap, cause big changes… maybe in our employment, maybe in our marriage, maybe in our in-law’s will, maybe from the choir director’s husband, maybe from the police…. things change for us in a big way…..

That is how we have to see this. From a mud core taken from an ancient lake, Lough Monreach, in Ireland in 2009 it was discovered that in a matter of one month 12,900 years ago, we went from normal seasonal temperatures to an ice age. The cause came from a switch in ocean currents. As cold fresh water entered the ocean, warm water stopped flowing north. That Ice Age lasted 1300 years before the thaw returned. It flipped in one month…. 30 days more or less.

So is that happening?

The science is too big. We don’t know. It will be like on the Day after Tomorrow where we first find out from buoys scattered across the Atlantic. It cannot be predicted.

What can be foretold is that the earth has never had this much stress before during civilized mans span on earth. Do you know when you snap, or does it take you off guard as well?

That is where we are…

Of course nothing could come about it… Just like when your boss insults you in front of all your staff, your office competitor’s staff, and ridicules you like you have never been before… You just take it…

The boss tells your competitor… “I knew he was a wus… I wasn’t worried one bit… you have nothing to worry about him…”

Republicans will say in Tampa:… “I knew it was a scam…. I wasn’t worried one bit… we have nothing to worry about burning carbon fuels and putting carbon dioxide into the air.”

News Flash: The earth is not a wus……..

2012, day 230, 2.87743 million square kilometers
2011, day 253, 2.90474 million square kilometers (previous record low)

Hube…

If government entities were all supposed to allow guns on their premises, then why do we spend so much money at every governmental building to insure that no firearms enter that very building?

Because those inside do not want to get shot… 🙂

If that is good enough for the General Assembly located in Legislative Hall, it is good enough for residents of Public Housing.

….. 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….

Outside the Perimeter
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…. 🙂

  • Delaware Liberal
  • 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….

  • Delaware Libertarian
  • 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 (FSP)
  • 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!

  • Delaware Watch
  • 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…

  • Delaware Way
  • Nancy covers the controversy over whether pensions should be capped at higher rates, than those just years away from retirement….

  • Down with Absolutes
  • 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.

  • Kilroy’s Delaware
  • 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.”

  • Mikes Musings
  • 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!”

  • Mourning Constitution
  • 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…

    For some facing job cutbacks, some good advice on how to survive a panic attack, can be seen here… This lesson might come in handy…. and then again, if you start foreseeing your own death.………

  • Redwaterlily’s Ramblings
  • 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….

  • The Colossus of Rhodey
  • 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….

  • Tommywonk
  • 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, ….

    And to give us a greater perspective, as always, Duffy weighs in with two sentences… Sentence One….. and Sentence Two….

    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…

    Outside the Perimeter
    Courtesy of Department of Defense

    Overall it was a quiet week…..

    You know it has to be when Nancy only posts 7 posts all week….Sunday am through Saturday pm.
    In Delaware, most of the action happened within the comment sections. Those comment sections will be our primary focus within this edition.

    For neophytes, the state’s primary comment-streams occur on three blogs. This is where those who do not have a blog of their own, can pretend they are master blog writers, and often can within their writings, surpass the eloquence of the original author. The three blogs are DelawarePolitics.Net, Down with Absolutes, and DelawareLiberal.net.

    One reason explaining the popularity of these blogs is the ease with which commenting can be done upon these three blogs. Down with Absolutes has a widget which slows commenting down considerably, probably because those Federal Boys monitoring our sights are not fiber optic and the 2 second delay is the result. (It didn’t always act that way.) Perhaps if you are NOT currently being monitored under the broken FISA law, the display may actually keep up with your typing….. 🙂 As for the the other two blogs mentioned, typing comments is a breeze. Unlike these three, other blogs using blogger.com tend to wear down the patience of the commentator with spam passwords and multiple clicks for approval….Sometimes after posting, the comment disappears completely……so naturally you type in a double, and the next day……both are posted…… Those commenting with haloscan are slightly better off, but still, having comments appear in a separate window, is disruptive after being spoiled by typing like one does at these three, at the bottom of the page.

    A casual glance from Sunday evening,  looking back over this weeks comments, shows the big movers were:

    I’d laugh if it wasn’t true…
    at 272.

    Observation with 188.

    lord forgive me for what I am about to do…. with 161.

    Lee, Copeland Rebuke DSEA
    with 102.

    I Was Wrong with 72.

    Ruth Ann’s Legacy
    with 55.

    Mike Protack Continues to Surprise holding at 53.

    Put a Gold Star on his Helmet with 44.

    MAC is Back at 42.

    QOD (Would you let your 18 year old son have his 16 year old girlfriend sleep over your house?) with 42.

    Of course the number of comments appearing on a blog do not ascribe to the value of the blog. Quite often it is exactly the opposite. The banter sometimes borders on the ridiculous,with the metaphorical equivalent of:

    “You suck.”

    :Do not”

    “Do too.”

    “Do Not”

    etc…etc…

    Whereas exchanges between two personalities such as these are at first entertaining, one soon grows tired of the same old routines. The great threads occur when learned people jump on and provide details and facts which were previously unavailable. Then suddenly right before your eyes, a deceit that had been previously held as truth, begins to crumble and in its place, reveals a truth that has been held hostage by those lies far too long……

    The longest thread honors go to Delaware Liberal with this post which opens up with a picture of a “Hello Kitty” assault rifle.    Now the picture is worth logging on for itself, but the commentary gets off to a raucous start when Delaware Liberal is crashed by members of a gun blog….  The commentary ranges from sublime, to ridiculous…..  There are parts where it appears the primary purpose is to generate more comments by pissing off the other person.  Comment 114 sums up the reaction of those not defensive of either point of view. But some of the invective is notable. I point to this quote by Art Downs: A bereaved mother whose kid was killed by a pistol was protesting. She was a ‘new age’ mom with facial piercings and tattoos and I asked her if her lack of parenting skills may have contributed to the tragedy.” She was a ‘new age’ mom with facial piercings and tattoos and I asked her if her lack of parenting skills may have contributed to the tragedy. Of course it is unlikely that the happening occurred exactly the way it was portrayed, but anyone can pretend on the internet……

    But the gun controversy took up a majority of the comments this past week. Spots 1, 2, and 3, were all conversations circulating among the same characters discussing guns. At one point Mike Matthews interjects, asking why Delaware Liberal attracted all the gun nuts. A worthy response is floated back, questioning whether those supporting guns, are truly the ones who are nuts……..

    After guns which between three seperate posts generated a total of 621 comments on one topic…. the next topic with the most hits (comments) dealt with the relationship between DSEA and the Republican party. Posted on Delaware Politics.Net, the tone in this blog is completely alien to that of the previous 3. How to describe the difference…..perhaps one could say…..it was more serious in tone? Whereas the gun conversation was light on facts, and more of a battle between two unsubstantiated opinions, the post titled Lee, Copeland, Rebuke the DSEA. is more like a presidential debate, where substance is the real star. DElaware Politics has the reputation of being a right oriented blog, but the majority of those commenting, espouse rather progressive views. What is entertaining about this blog, spawned form Dave’s own loins, is that it is a battle ground of ideas. Conservatives and Progressives argued back and forth over charter schools, segregation, the failure rate, governor candidate’s ideas, and fortunately for us, it has very little mention of either Copeland, Lee, or the DSEA……

    Jason330’s apology for his tone in the first three top commented posts, brings back the same crowd and garners 5th Place.

    Sixth spot gets taken by RAM in Ruth Ann’s Legacy This thread quickly gets turned into whether her smoking ban was unconstitutional, or within her rights….. In a debate that was dead 5 years ago, the ghosts of smokers everywhere circulate the hope that someday it will be overturned. One astute commentator points out, that until a majority of Delawareans smoke……that won’t ever happen….Smokers are down to 8 percent of our population I think? Tokers make up 18%. So realistically, they have a greater chance of getting their product smoked in public, than do those boys in big Richmond, Virginia offices…..

    Mike Protack is the subject of the seventh highest comment post of the week….. Our favorite “Liz” carries the water on this one. Coming across as Protack’s biggest fan, she has nothing but praise for how he has run his campaign so far….. Protack is lucky to have fans like her.
    The debate rages over sharpshooter technology. (It didn’t seem to work in North Charlestion.….).

    Spot 8 takes place on Down with Absolutes. Guns, Protack,and new technolaogy are the topic. Once again Liz comes to Mike’s defense.

    A discussion about McCain earns ninth place. And the last blog with over forty comments, is a simple question about teen sex. Can someone help me? I forget which blogs either of those were on…….. 🙂

    It seems like guns dominated most of the discussion this week. Most of that discussion occurred on blogs upstate. In the larger world topics of discussion are often spawned by outside events. In this case the Washington DC ban on handgun was the news article that got this topic going….

    But I want to take a brief moment to comment on a general trend. Some of the longest threads are often not the best. Often banality occurs within these threads, until someone injects wisdom into the conversation with his comment, forcing a flurry of activity in his wake….

    I got this idea 24 hours after reading Duffy’s post here.

    Titled “My Most Popular Post”, it states simply that it is his most clicked post and provides a link.

    I wanted to do the same. But……..my most popular posts, are rather embarrassing.

    But if everyone else released theirs……..then to support FOIA……I will too..

    We have lost momentum on Around the Horn.…..If everyone on Friday, posts their most popular first, second and third…..we should all get a weekend of laughs…and share some highs, as well as lows, within our clan.

    The only rule, is “no spinning” of the results. A simple ….here is mine and a link……will do……

    Looking forward to a “fun” weekend for a change………………….

    Because that……. is what we do.

    Outside the Perimeter
    Courtesy of Department of Defense

    There was very little mention of the Easter Holiday in the local blogosphere. Delaware Liberal had a comment about choosing ham or turkey. Delaware Politics (FSP) also had a brief note acknowledging it, and went on to analyse Rev. Wrights comments, Delaware Libertarian’s Brian had canine problems at Easter, and Delaware Way provided a pictorial version, and Elbert (What, no E?) showed us his version of his Sunrise Service. But for the most part, very little about Easter was written, showing the relative unimportance that Easter has in our blogo world when compared to those other more important days, such as Veteran’s Day.

    Nancy has one post covering the Turkey, and so does Delaware Liberal, but the turkey seems to have taken a back seat this weekend to the ham. Delaware Liberal talks about the Ham here. And those at DelawarePolitics.net have been partaking too much of the ham it appears, at least if you look here, here, and here.
    They seem to be overlooking the obvious.

    It is obvious that in their feigned optimism, they overlook the this fact that Delaware Watch pulls off a BBC video clip. Certainly no one in the United States media would dare show something truthful. As Delaware Watch shows again, look what happens when truth tries to “come out” on our corporate owned broadcasting media….

    And speaking of truth, on Easter we hit 4000. The Memorials were quick to go up all over the entire blogosphere. Delaware Liberal has a pictorial representation where each dead soldier is portrayed as a comma…..Merit Bound Alley in a post titled “So?” answers the ham’s comments with a touching pictorial representation of those who gave their lives after spending a majority of their lives here in our schools. Delaware Watch‘s take is here and Steve Newton succinctly says it well in the comment underneath: War is horrible when necessary; this is not necessary.

    This was the week for milestones. Not only did we finally hit that figure in Iraq, but race relations themselves hit a milestone earlier this week with the “best speech ever.” Days later, discussion still swirled around what truly was a good speech; good enough it persuaded Richardson that a “once in a lifetime” candidate, was truly walking the ground among us…Delaware Liberal carried this piece of fallout…, David Anderson provides a deeper look at race than we are used to seeing on DelawarePolitics.net. Nancy responds with a Greenwald quote. And occurring simultaneously……the passport privacy issue. Delaware Watch points the finger at Clinton. The Colossus of Rhody points the finger back at Obama. After spending Easter analyzing the capacity for wind off of Cape Henlopen State Park, Tommywonk returns with a overall analysis of how the race speech played out. Duffy has the opposite tack, on how the Reverend Wright’s words themselves, have played out……

    And don’t forget the Tibetans.

    Even then, the local front was not quiet, not by a long-shot. Nancy tells us about the fight against Democrat Paul Clark and this developing buddies being waged by the Glasgow Historical Preservation group. Jack and John debated about education. DelawarePolitics.Net has their view. Dave tries to poke holes in Jack’s arguments, but he could use some lessons on calling out baloney from Steve Holmes’ twelve year old daughter. To echo Duffy from a few weeks back, maybe that blog, Delaware Libertarian, can learn something from her brevity.

    Shirley has the history behind the world’s best protest symbol. And our favorite curmudgeon is on a tear about rotten pears, and other earmarks that suck up all our money. Libertarian illustrates an earmark about another crop.

    And speaking of money, Delaware Libertarian riffs off Delaware Liberals piece and produces a piece of original thinking that leads to an idea on how we can produce a living wage without raising wages. As far as best original post of the week, this would be it.

    Being a week of milestones, as I mentioned above……..one would almost expect this to happen. Of course he is in Hawaii, so will know nothing about us mentioning it here until he clicks on his link when he finally gets back…Jason 330 got back and here is his report. Tommywonk got back and here is his report. Matt Marshall at DWA was gone, came back, and now is gone again. Congratulations Matt. If you ever need to lift anything, you have my permission, go ahead…strike while the iron is hot. If you ever need a ghost writer, I know a twelve year old who can help…(She likes Markell, too.)

    And if you happened to read through this entire piece, and click each link, and especially if you read them too, you would probably appreciate this most excellent awareness test coming from the Digital Federalist. Welcome back Alan. And those wanting to get in touch with their inner selves Duffy has a fun one for you, that just may open your eyes a little.

    And finally a link (from Duffy) that puts our milestone week in proper perspective.

    Next week (ie this Friday) Around the Horn will debut on Delaware Liberal, courtesy of Brian.

    Just a reminder that Duffy, the harbinger of Benny Lava, will be hosting Friday’s version of Around the Horn, and it should be good.

    (Let’s hope there’s beer).