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If one is driving southbound down the Pacific Coast Highway and comes to the cliff where Jimmy Dean’s character went over, and your passenger grabs the wheel, turns hard to the right, stomps on the gas….. whose fault will it be if the car goes over the proverbial financial cliff?

Exactly, all you Republicans out there.  Exactly.

If the US economy tanks because our ratings get lowered one more time… It won’t be the fault of ANY democrat.

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Bruce Ennis put forth a bill (SR8) requesting Delaware go forward with formally supporting Glass Steagall re-implementation by the US Congress.

Bryan Townsend kind of came out against it. Here is Nancy’s copy of his emailed response to her.

One must understand all legislative members in Delaware are somewhat compromised. We are a banking state. In the words of Gov. Howard Dean, MD. himself… ” Any candidate who challenges Wall Street’s status quo is going to come under an avalanche of hateful attack ads this year –“

So there is considerable reason not to be an ardent Delaware fan of the return in 2013 of Glass Steagall….. One must give the courageous Bruce Ennis a plug for being one.

But it makes so much sense. There are times in our life when one can willingly chose a very risky path of action which will occupy 100% of ones attention, as in driving a mountain road along the cliffs in Montenegro at over 100 km/h. Or, we can choose to put ourselves into a safety bubble, such as cruise control on a major interstate highway, and relax and enjoy the other things in life, since all our effort is not involved on monitoring what otherwise could become a life or death scenario.

I have read Mr. Townsend’s statement and it is accurate. However my criticism is that it deals with banks. His and our responsibility is to the people whose money is in those banks. And who are on the hook when those banks fail.

The FDIC insures deposits now up to $250,000. It should not be responsible for funds placed in hedge funds, As Elizabeth Warren accurately stated:

Banking should be boring. Savings accounts, checking accounts — the things that you and I rely on every day — should be safe from the sort of high-risk activities that broke our economy.

If we are going to insure the people’s money, it should be kept in safe investments. What point have we in insuring by default hedge funds, swaps dealing, and other risky investment banking services. When the same institutions that take huge risks are also the ones that control your savings account, the entire banking system is riskier.

The funds for checking and savings accounts of America’s families and businesses, should not be handed over to the London Whale. If a crash occurs, and the money is safe, then the losses are only on paper. But when yours and my monies are in Bangledesh, China, or Antarctica on some risky get-rich scheme, and fail… our tax money needs not be thrown away because our American Banks were involved.

Banks cried the economy was safe enough for the repeal of Glass Steagall.. History showed them wrong. Even the most vibrant time of economic growth ever seen in America (92-00), could not prevent the collapse 9 years later after 8 years of Republican control..

The only way to keep citizens money safe, is to insure it. We are lucky we have a rich nation which can do that. We barely survived the financial collapse of late 2008. Our employment numbers still show the cost.

Yes, one can take the bank’s side and say things were different in 1932 than they are in 2013. But doing so, puts one in contrast with what is best for We, the people. The simple solution is to make it clear to all, that the FDIC will only insure safe investments used for checking and savings accounts. For risky investments banks are on their own. For them a bank must use other funds it can easily afford to lose if it wants to play at the crap table… It should not be throwing our money away because it assumes the taxpayers will simply replace their losses for free.

We should not be in the business of arguing what or what not banks should or should not do. They can do that within whatever parameters we choose to give them. However our concern is simply over how much we should insure. The new Glass Steagall Act of 2013 will make that clear.

A bill was placed on the docket to change Delaware Law.  It was supposed to slip through the last minute when no one was watching.    That is Blevins SB 151 regarding the Treasury…   Since it was a surprise, a lot of hoopla as been thrown  in the fire by pundits reacting to the impact of first impressions.   In their defense that was all they had to go on…

Due to time constraints this investigation will take a series of small steps, probably spread across Delaware’s official blog circuit, with help from Starkey of the News Journal

But to back up the word coup in my title,  I first want to show you how the original language was written then show you how it looked with the changes after SB 151.  Of course this was stated as necessary to keep the state treasure in line, a ploy that El Som and Cassandra seem to have swallowed hook, line and sinker.

First the original bill:

For those who follow along (you all are great) here is the passage number  Title 29; 2716(a)(2)

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(1) Require as a condition to any deposit of such funds in any state or national bank or savings and loan institution that such deposits be continuously and fully secured by direct general obligations of or obligations the payment of the principal and interest on which are unconditionally guaranteed by the United States of America or other suitable obligations as determined by the Board;

(2) Require that the selection of financial institutions to provide banking and investment services pursuant to this section be conducted on an open and competitive basis; and

(3) Require that temporary clearing accounts as well as major disbursement accounts be established in a bank or banks whose principal office is located within the State.

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That was the original piece of legislation.  Patty’s bill seeks to amend the section 2 of that piece, the embolden area.  From SB 151…

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(2) Require that the selection of financial institutions to provide banking and investment services pursuant to this section be conducted on an open and competitive basis as defined by the Board.; It shall be the responsibility of the Board to approve the selection of each of the said financial institutions by a majority vote of the members of the Board. The Board, by a majority vote of its members, shall be responsible for setting the policy as to the allocation between short and long term investments and the allocation of funds to the respective financial institutions selected through the open and competitive process; and

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Notice a “lot” of new language. In the synopsis this was sold as a clarification of the responsibilities of the board and the trimming of the responsibilities of the Treasurer. Instead, in what is now typical Markell modus of operandi, this if more of a surreptitious law-change than a clarification.

Previously the directive was this should be done in on an open and competitive basis. The previous directive specifically states this further down: 2716 (e)(1)

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The investment of money belonging to the State shall be made by the State Treasurer in accordance with policies established by the Board and subject to the terms, conditions and other matters, including the designation of permissible investments relating to the investment of the money belonging to the State,

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It is obvious to all that the existing law separates the Treasurer specifically out from all other board members when it comes to the investment of the state’s finances.

And that was really all existing code says in regards to the investment portfolio of the state’s money.

But, the new law, the one proposed by Blevins titled SB 151, makes HUGE changes. Now the board must make that decision. The board which according to Title 29; 2716(c)(4):

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The Board shall meet as often as shall be necessary to properly discharge its duties; provided, however, that the Board shall meet at least 2 times annually; and provided further, that the State Treasurer or the Chairperson of the Board shall be authorized to call special meetings of the Board.

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and 2716 (c)(2)

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a quorum of 5 members shall be necessary to hold a meeting of the Board.

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and 2716 (d)(5)

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The use of teleconferencing or videoconferencing is authorized for use in conducting meetings of the Cash Management Policy Board.

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Even now under existing policy only 3 people out of nine, if they time their conference-call correctly, can decide the future investment strategy of this state. Patty Blevin’s law would now give those three people (whomever they might be) unprecedented power and remove the current oversight of the only elected official responsible to the public.

“Coup” is the proper term for it.


Roosevelt’s Inauguration 3/4/33
Courtesy of CSpan.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Inauguration Day. (It was the last before the 20th Amendment moved it to January 21st.) It is hard for us to see though the old film clips but here are some additional notes from H.W. Brand’s biography of Franklin Roosevelt, titled “Traitor To His Class”….

In 1933, the pervading bitterness was similar to that experienced by today’s Republicans. They had talked themselves into believing Herbert Hoover was a shoo in. Instead it was a rout for Roosevelt. Hoover was not a social person to begin with, and his awkwardness continued though out the inauguration….

It was customary at that time, to have the outgoing president host a dinner for the incoming President. Hoover refused, and instead, settled on an awkward afternoon tea… When Mr. Roosevelt tried to mitigate the awkwardness and offer Hoover an early exit, Hoover aggravated the discomfort. “Mr. President” said Roosevelt. “as you know it is rather difficult for me to move in a hurry. It takes me a little while to get up and I know how busy you must be. So please don’t wait for me.” Hoover stood up and affixed Roosevelt with a glare. “Mr. Roosevelt. After you have been President for a while, you will learn that the President of the United States waits for no one…” and stormed off, leaving his wife to say the goodbyes..

Roosevelt began what later becoming tradition, of spending the morning at a private service, this time at St. John’s Episcopal Church. At 11 o’clock the car swung by the Mayflower Hotel and picked up both Franklin and Eleanor, then swung by the White House to pick up Hoover. Hoover surveyed the White House grounds then climbed in and scarcely looked at the Roosevelts…

As the open car pulled down Pennsylvania Avenue, Franklin politely acted like the cheers were for the actual president at that moment, the outgoing one, and declined to acknowledge them… But within blocks the fiction became unattainable and he began acknowledging the crowd by tipping his silk hat and smiling and the anger radiated by Hoover, intensified stronger.

In the Capitol he watched the swearing in of the Senators, and the Vice President John Nance Garner and watched what would be the last adjournment of a Lame Duck Congress. At one o’clock all moved outdoors and in front of a crowd of 100,000, began the ceremonies. Roosevelt was uncharacteristically serious. Many of his staff were surprised by his somber character…

As you can see in the beginning of the clip above, upon taking the oath of office Franklin took the unusual step of repeating back the entire part read from the Constitution, before saying “I do.”

This is a day of national consecration and I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our nation impels.”

Hoover was standing next to Roosevelt and his dour expression became a grimace as he anticipated another attack upon his administration… But Roosevelt proceeded with words of encouragement and hope.

“This great nation will endure as it has endured, and will revive and prosper. Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.– nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror, which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

This line did not resonate as it does now, as the famous line we now know from our study of history. At the time, it was patiently false. Americans did have a lot to fear. Banks were closed. There was massive unemployment. Hunger was widespread, and a financial system could barely get up onto its knees.. If you notice in the clip above, to the line… there is no applause.

More noticed and featured in the following day’s headlines, were these lines assailing “unscrupulous money changers” of Wall Street as those responsible for America’s plight. “Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply”.. “Primarily this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankinds’ goods have failed through their own stubbornness and incompetence.” Waxing eloquently, “the money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may not restore that temple to the ancient truths…”

Other applause lines: “our greatest primary task is to put people to work.” This would be accomplished in part by the “direct recruiting of the government itself; treating the task as we would the emergency of war.”

“We must frankly recognize the overabundance of population in our industrial centers and, by engaging on a national scale in a redistribution , endeavor to provide a better use of the land for those best fitted for the land.”

He calls for “definite efforts to raise the values of agriculture products” for insistence that the “federal, state, and local governments act forthwith on the demand that their cost be drastically reduced”, and he spoke for an “adequate but sound currency”… He set the agenda with this: “The international trade regulations though vastly important, are, in point of time and necessity, secondary to the establishment of a sound national economy.”

If you didn’t get the gist of it, Roosevelt’s words were purposefully vague. They were crafted to inspire confidence that action was forthcoming, without belying that on one yet knew what action or actions would begin to take place. “We must act, and we must act quickly.”

“I shall not evade the clear course of duty that will then confront me. I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crises– broad executive power to wage a war against the emergency as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.

No president, not even Lincoln, had spoken boldly of the power he would require. The American people were demanding much, and they deserved all that government could accomplish for them.

“They asked for discipline and direction under leadership. They have made me the present instrument of their wishes. In the spirit of their gift….. I take it.

He had an amazing 100 days.

There is a huge irony that on this same date, 80 years later, we are facing our first full day of sequestration; the exact opposite of what Franklin Delano Roosevelt ran against, won against, and fought against the entire length of his presidency. And his policies would still be in effect today. if it weren’t for the Republicans and the presidency of George W. Bush.

Roosevelt’s Inauguration 3/4/33

3 Cents of Every Tax Dollar
Courtesy of Bloomberg

Bloomberg published a report showing how a Federal subsidy of 0.8th of one percent, costs the US Treasury $83 billion dollars a year.

Ironically we are arguing about how to fill almost that exact amount with sequestration. $83 billion; either by taxes or cuts.

But what Bloomberg points out, by deducting the subsidies from the reported profits of the top five banks, that without the subsidies, there would be no profits.

The bonuses being paid to all top bank executives, are our money that we are subsidizing. The dividend payouts being received by every stockholder, is a give-you-something-free right from the US Treasury….

So, how does it make you feel, Mr. Middle Class, to have bankers flaunting $43 million paychecks, fleeced out of taxing you, while you pay $3.00 for every automatic teller transaction….

Oh, I’m sure you don’t mind. These banks are too big to fail… They bankrolled almost the entire Republican Party, and now, as long as Boehner runs the House, they are completely protected and can keep living off your subsidies…. You know what? They probably won’t even say thank you… Because in their eyes, their bonuses? They built that…..

Republicans, so devious … you gotta love them.

Of course one schedules a big announcement at an opportune time to divert attention from everything else. Suddenly not turning in tax returns is old. “Why you bringing up that shit for, you creepy old loser?” Suddenly, Bain Capital’s fortunes made at the expense of working class heroes, is like last years Mason Jar-d green beans…..

But, did you know, (and it will get lost today for sure), did you know that NOT SINCE EISENHOWER, HAS THE STOCK MARKET EVER PERFORMED AS WELL AS IT HAS THIS PAST TERM OF PRESIDENT OBAMA?
Not during the Republican years of Richard Nixon
Not during the Republican years of Gerald Ford
Not during the Republican years of Ronald Reagan….
Not during the Republican years of George HW. Bush….
Not during the Republican years of George W. Bush……

HAVE WE EVER HAD A STOCK MARKET PERFORM THIS WELL!!!!!!

(ok, ok, in order just to be considered fair here…)

Not during the Democratic years of John F. Kennedy…
Not during the Democratic years of Lyndon Baines Johnson….
Not during the glorious years of Jimmy Carter….
Not during the most amazing years in American History, of William Jefferson Clinton……

HAS THE STOCK MAREKET PERFORMED AS WELL AS IT HAS UNDER THE TERM LED BY OBAMA AND THE DEMOCRATS IN THE SENATE……

Not since Eisenhower…

Let that sink in….. Not since Eisenhower…..

If this were the Philadelphia Eagles and we’d had three back to back Superbowl wins…..we’d be jumping up and down for joy… These results are absolutely awesome. Obama/Biden is really the best team we have seen in our lifetimes…..

Of course, you would never know it if all you listened to, was the Dallas Cowboy’s …..

You see guys…. That’s America today…. And you are listening only to the Dallas Cowboy’s Network……

So if you want to see all the good news that got buried by today’s Ryan grabbing headlines…… and it is definately worth it, I have a link for you here……..

Look through the collection and tell me, does Romney’s choice really matter? REALLY?

Paul Ryan’s budget is up today. And Republicans are using it to promote fiscal responsibility. But, it balloons the deficit, making Republicans look like big spending Democrats, and Democrats look like tight fisted Republicans…..

Obama’s budget just got scored by the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) at a $3.5 Trillion Deficit by 2022…..

Ryan’s budget, will yield a whopping $36.5 Trillion by deficit by that same year. THAT IS OVER 10 TIME MORE !!!!

More details later, but it looks like Republicans are not only looney when they stick their heads up women’s privates, but are just as looney when it comes to the math of putting numbers to paper.

Since when is a deficit 10 times bigger, called “cutting back?”

It’s supposed to be a joke…….. right?

They are calling their loans….

The one being touted across the nation, is a California company who was told to settle his loan by Jan. 25 to the tune of $96,000….

After the initial shock, the B Of A representative provided an additional alternative… including paying off the debt at 12% interest over two years. That’s about $4,500 a month, nearly 10 times his current interest-only payment.

Smaller local banks and credit unions, are not applying this tactic as are the big banks…

If you still have an account in B of A, you should get out right now…. If you own stock in B of A, (you’re still that stupid?) you should get out now… If you owe money to B of A, you should start bankruptcy proceedings right now….

It is time to let B of A fail… No more bailouts for that bank…. They earned the privilege to fail….

It is a simple vote…

Should we or should we not put this man in an administrative function.

Please vote yes…. or no…..

(It should be open cut because a majority have already said they would support Cordray as head of the Consumer Financial Agency.) Just get it done…

But, it never goes to vote. In a motion to stop debate requiring 60 votes, 53 are found….

There is nothing more to debate. Vote yes or no… The argument has been on the table for months… But no… it cannot go forward because the Republican Party (all of it) had 45 members who voted against it…

The agency still has no one at the top to get it rolling. There is no one regulating Wall Street as we speak, simply because the entire block of Republicans, who voters put into minority receivership based on their previous track record, voted NOT to stop debate.

There will be no government until there are no Republicans.
There will be no Congress, until there are no Republicans.
There will be no Democracy. until there are no Republicans.
There will be no United States of America, until there are no Republicans.

(Sad thing this is not hyperbole. This is not campaign rhetoric. This is not hateful bantering. This is what is really happening. Makes a veteran want to cry)

The recession has popped a lot of dreams… It has forced a re-evaluation of priorities. It has put reality in the forefront.

So wiping off the table of everything, everything, and sitting down to a blank space, and asking myself, … what do I want, by the time I die.

It is:

A country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home and secure their retirement,”

After watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” you can be sure it can’t happen on a Republican’s watch….. For that dream to happen, we need protection from corporations and Big Money; not giving them more and more of what we make.

We need more money funneled away from big business, to be reinvested into the Middle Class… Since they haven’t done it voluntarily, we’ll have to force it.

Republicans can’t force anyone to do anything. They are putz’s. It will take a government of all Democrats to make Americans who die, at least die happy that they were able to secure:

“A country where working people can earn enough to raise a family, build a modest savings, own a home and secure their retirement”.