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Kevin reports that Sokola and Jacques put up a bill that postpones the Education Funding Improvement till effectively legislature is over. (Senate CCR 56)

Why?

Here is what the old bill said…

“BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Commission shall report its findings and recommendations to the President Pro Tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Governor, and, for public distribution, the Director of the Division of Research of Legislative Council and the Director of the Delaware Public Archives by March 31, 2016.”

This was one of the major sticking points last year if you will remember, because several people would not originally vote for the original bill’s date of June 30th 2016 because that was “bad” government… So it was changed to get passage votes… and now it has been changed back.

This original bill was forced on an runaway Educational lobby that really did not want it. It’s purpose was to propose legislation to change how schools were to be funded. it was also a foil being used to blunt the passage of Opt Out and opponents to the charter takeover of city schools.

The charter proponents are very scared that exposing the reality of how the funding of charters does immense detriment to the rest of public education, might wake up some legislators and the Delawarean public. They want this hidden.

Hence, the two legislators who are completely owned by corporate educational big money, Earl Jacques and Dave Sokola, wind up being the only sponsors of these two bills:

The first bill requiring the report by the end of March, and the second pushing it to June 30th.

Legislature ends on 6/30/2016.  This report is due on 6/30/2016.  There will be no time to debate or even look at what was proposed.

That is the bill’s intent.

Whenever anything comes up due on the last day of legislature, we can be assured that someone is trying to sneak something in, the majority of Delawareans don’t want…

What the original bill was intended to accomplish was a way to shift more funding to poorer state school districts.   it sounds good in principle.

But if one takes the actual record of deals stuck in the middle of the night by this administration, deals such as Fisker, Bloom Energy, TDC, Kinder Morgan, and Race To The Top, with 5 straight losses it does not look good for the sixth.

Anything other than a late night end-run-sneak, was no reason to pass this bill…

It is past time to hold accountable, those who are accountable for Delaware’s Educational fiasco. 

Our legislators at least for now, seem to be failing miserably at doing so.

 

 

 

 

 

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Today, as I was sitting on my lawn chair soaking up the hot temperature, a cabbage butterfly flew over me.

My first thought was oh wow, I have to mention this to Allan.

But then, I remember, they pulled the plug on  comments to their blog, so this little conversation that should have lead to other conversations and topics, will never happen.

Death …. it is final.

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….

“All Rise and Raise Your Right Hand… Do You, solemnly swear to have no remorse, to allow those known to be extremely violent and mentally twisted, to possess all purchasable firearms and ammunition, and to have no restrictions upon their use?  So Help You?

“WE DO.  WE VOTED AGAINST Barbieri HB 88 w/HA 1, HA 1 to HA 1, HA 2 BECAUSE WE BELIEVE  ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT TO OWN A GUN WITH NO RESTRICTIONS, EVEN IF THEY LOVE THE MALICIOUS KILLING OTHER HUMAN BEINGS.

Ok then in order please state your name and affiliation… in the order you are listed above.

Sweeney Todd– Republican; Bruce Ennis– Democrat; James Holmes–Republican; Colin Bonini– Republican; Adam Lanza– Republican; Cathy Clouthier– Republican; Charles Manson– Republican; Brian Bushweller,–Democrat; Gerald Hocker– Republican; Greg Lavelle– Republican; Robert Marshall– Democrat; David McBride–Democrat;  Gary Simpson–Republican; Robert Venables– Democrat; Charley Manson– Republican;  Brian Pettyjohn– Republican; Jeffery Dahmer– Republican; Ernie Lopez– Republican; Sweeney Todd– Republican;  David Lawson– Republican;  Jeremy Loughner– Republican…..

Steve is on top of this….Gov. Jack Markell is backing legislation that would allow Alabama-based HealthSouth Corp. to build a rehabilitation hospital in Middletown without a state review, despite a legal challenge and claims that the governor exerted improper political influence to move the deal forward. That would be excusable if HealthSouth Corp was a pristine company.  One that truly benefited all those fortunate to come into its good graces… But it isn’t….

Several separate lawsuits filed by private parties and the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) claim that HealthSouth Corporation (“HealthSouth”) and others provided investors with false and misleading information that artificially inflated the value of HealthSouth securities, in violation of federal securities laws….….

They were guilty of…” failing to make and keep books, records, and accounts,”   Obviously there is a good reason this company does not want a regulatory body looking over its shoulder.

Its court decision in 2006 cost it $215 million and its insurance companies $230 million. This was on top of the $325 million paid to the US Government.to settle its Medicare Fraud claims, and the $100 million paid to the SEC for its $2.7 committed in fraud....

Fifteen former HealthSouth executives pleaded guilty in the fraud, and five finance chiefs who worked under their former CEO Scrushy testified that he directed the scheme. Obviously there is a good reason this company does not want a regulatory body looking over its shoulder.

Additional suits, not included above were filed for…  “bad faith for wrongful failure to provide coverage.”

Obviously there is a good reason this company does not want a regulatory body looking over its shoulder

It is still undergoing a lawsuit based on its subsidery versus a Michigan firm, seeking  $376 million….

And we want to let this company come into Delaware and perform health work without any regulatory body looking over its shoulder… 

Just yesterday, April 30th, 2013,  HealthSouth Corporation announced that the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama denied the Company’s motion to vacate the decision of the American Arbitration Association (the “AAA”) panel which, on December 18, 2012, dismissed the Company’s claims against Ernst & Young. This firm litigates like crazy. And we want to let this company come into Delaware and perform health work without any regulatory body looking over its shoulder… 

It was sued by its very own employees who held that “the fiduciaries to the ESOP breached their duties to loyally and prudently manage and administer the ESOP and its assets in violation of sections 404 and 405 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, 29 U.S.C. § 1001 et seq. (“ERISA”), by failing to monitor the administration of the ESOP, failing to diversify the portfolio held by the ESOP, and failing to provide other fiduciaries with material information about the ESOP. HealthSouth Corp. and its insurers agreed to pay $25 million to settle lawsuits by workers over losses in their company retirement fund, .

And we want to let this company come into Delaware and perform health work without any regulatory body looking over its shoulder… 

Here are some of the wrongful death ruling decided against Health South Rehabilitation. The exact same firm coming into Delaware that Governor Markell, wants to change Delaware’s existing statutes so this company will have no regulatory body overseeing it…..

“Mr. Darling, the patient who is suing HealthSouth, said that practice caught him by surprise. “I was under the assumption that everybody in the building was licensed. “It turns out that the man who put the weights on my leg is called a technician. They were all wearing identical polo shirts with HealthSouth logos and the same ID badges.HealthSouth’s business plan at the time encouraged clinics to use unlicensed employees to perform physical therapy. That allowed their licensed therapists to perform more expensive tasks, bringing in more money at clinics.” Growing Concerns on the Health of HealthSouth New York Times September 19, 2002

And we want to let this company come into Delaware and perform health work without any regulatory body looking over its shoulder… 

A South Carolina jury sent a message to Health South, a rehabilitation nursing home hospital, by awarding $12.3 million in damages to the family of a man whose stage four bedsores contributed to his death. The home’s conduct was so outrageous that the jury awarded consisted of $8 million in punitive damages.

And we want to let this company come into Delaware and perform health work without any regulatory body looking over its shoulder… 

Two months after falling and breaking his hip while a patient at Healthsouth Rehabilitation Center-Beaumont, Roland LeBoeuf died..“While a patient at Healthsouth,  LeBoeuf sustained a fall during physical therapy and broke his hip,” the suit says.  He never recovered. The suit also accuses the center of the following: • Failing to actively perform ongoing nursing assessments on the patient to be aware of potential problems • Failing to put care plans into place for the patient • Failing to put in bed and chair alarms

And we want to let this company come into Delaware and perform health work without any regulatory body looking over its shoulder… 

Meyers was reportedly moved to HealthSouth in June, where her symptoms progressed. Doctors at this institution also allegedly discussed neurological testing but never ordered any tests, the news provider reports.   The lawsuit claims that a doctor finally ordered an MRI in July when Meyers began to lose movement in her legs.   The MRI procedure allowed doctors to discover a tumor on the woman’s spinal cord, and she allegedly needed to have it removed through a surgery that left her paralyzed.   There was a two month delay of failing to do what they recognized they needed to do all along,” Feller said. “It was just never ordered for her, despite the doctors attending to her saying, ‘We need to rule it out,’ they just never performed it.”

And we want to let this company come into Delaware and perform health work without any regulatory body looking over its shoulder… 

A Richland County jury awarded a Batesburg-Leesville woman $12.3 million Friday in a nursing malpractice case against Columbia’s HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital.

And we want to let this company come into Delaware and perform health work without any regulatory body looking over its shoulder… 

My mother was transferred to Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital. The arrangements were made by Bone and Joint Hospital. While at Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital, my mother, Edd Robbins, was conscious and complained all the time of great pain, in the area of the surgery. Her wound from the surgery was draining. I trusted Dr. Tkach, McBride Clinic, and Healthsouth and Bone and Joint Hospital to provide the proper care to my mother. A few days after my mother was transferred to Healthsouth Rehabilitation Hospital, I observed her when I came in to visit sitting unattended in a wheelchair saturated from the waist down from drainage coming from her surgical wound. I was upset and pointed out this condition to the staff at Healthsouth. My mother was in agony from her pain.

And we want to let this company come into Delaware and perform health work without any regulatory body looking over its shoulder… 

So… can anyone out there tell me… WHY?  we replaced the board that first disallowed them into Delaware, and who then later resigned in protest instead of allowing this same company to enter Delaware, and why Rep. Quinn Johnson is now filing a bill that exempts just this one company from every single  rule and regulation that have been in place for ages to insure that those in medical treatment centers remain safe?

Markell has said the hospital should be built, claiming it would create 80 permanent jobs and encourage health care competition.

Really?  Really?

So we are going to force our current rehabilitation homes to go out of business, because they have to compete with a company that does not have to play by ANY rules…

Really?  That is what we call encouraging competition these days?

If the HealthSouth came in to abide by Delaware;s long term rules and regulations, and competed on a level playing field, … well, that’s just plain competition.  I’d be good with that.  But to hurt Delawarean patients by bringing and a company known for neglect, known for malefeasance, misfeasance, and nofeasance,  so they can undercut those local firms doing medical care correctly, is nothing short of  criminal.

In fact it IS criminal, until you change the law so it is no longer a crime…

As I’ve written, and read, it appears very hard to discuss this Great Divide that has occurred between the 1% and the 99% …. without sounding shrill or hateful… by either side…

Murdoch’s publications probably just like me, think they are presenting facts. But in the way they do so, it seems like all the scripts for their showy, sexy voiceboxes, are being written by little warped, frustrated old men….. And there have been times when I’ve just simply stating facts, and then upon the final edit, caught a vague feeling that a caustic tone had crept unawares into the body of my work….

One sees the same reading comments on Delaware Liberal,…. and Delaware Politics…. on the Daily Kos, and on all the major media news stories.. at the bottom….

Each time one senses a restraint is trying to be upheld by the individual authors, but that the issue itself burns through it…

Somewhere, somehow, someway… all of us have come to the conclusion that argument is a contest like muscling the ball across 100 yards… The louder we shout, or the crazier we sound, the more hits we get…

And that last statement may be true…

Sadly that means there can be no end; the crescendo escalates as the metronome marks each passing measure….

And it’s not just politics. It’s our life…

This is probably no exaggeration to say that over the past 24 hours, I have seen San Fransisco’s coach decapitate the opposing coach of that game probably over 100 times… . Well, 🙂 …. with all the coverage, outrage, animosity, and discussion, one would think it would rank as something on that level, n’est pas? (Seriously, I don’t think the actual one that occurred during the Iraqi Occupation, received as much commentary and commotion. IT… should have…)

So why is there no balance to truth these days? Why is everything being investigated as if it were a lie? Why is everyone so ungrounded in their values? Why is everyone reacting with ferocity instead of humor? With bombasticity instead of clever congeniality?

I think it has to do with the economy. Everything is getting stretched too thin, and is being held up by slights of hands, and not solid economics… Families are tense, finding themselves on the edge of losing everything. Banks are tense, hoping no one looks too closely to understand that they too are also on the edge of losing everything. Republicans are tense; their politics are about to be exposed as a sham and bluster, is the only weapon they have that can throw their opponents off before ever having their fraud be discovered. Just looking at the ads repeated across yesterday’s games. .. Not one ad attempted to persuade me to buy of anything. All, were demanding, almost yelling at me, that I’d better buy their product and not buy anything else. Television audiences are eyeing this years great selections of new computer games: probably because on screen, they seem more real than the world we’re actually live in…

Those who study Europe of 100 years ago… will recognize these same patterns. From art, music, and theater, came the sense of the unreal that was pervasively permeating their lives. That unreal grew 1911,1912,1914,1915,1916, … until the guns fell silent, on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month of 1917…. Then true reality set in… 10 million of Europe’s sons, lay dead, eliminated by the war; 20 million more died of starvation, and disease, that were caused by it.

And as it ended, each nation’s boundaries were remained pretty much the same….. Except for Austria-Hungary, nothing changed. Thirty million people perished … for what reason?

Because everyone was tired (bored) of all the posturing and jabbering, and decided to fight it out as something different, to finally settle the matter… Any party could have walked away,… and it would never have happened… Instead it was like a Pre-Super Bowl week with all the hype bantering back and forth from team to team… by day five it’s already too much but it continues: there are still 2 days to go… By Sunday, everyone is sick of it, and just wants it to be over. But when it died down near the end of 1917, instead of a Lombardi trophy, we had the decimation of Europe……

We are there again now…. But this time it “ain’t” Europe.

So how do we fix it. What measures can we take?

One solution: don’t do what they did 100 years ago. Back then,autocrats handled the debacle.

It appears that only a “people’s movement” can restore rationality, calmness, thoughtfulness, back into our lives… something that DIDN’T happen in Europe. Their political system simply didn’t have that option; as they weren’t designed for that.

Through the labor movement, and through Teddy Roosevelt, that populist movement and subsequent calming effect, did happen in the United States.

Ways and Means…

Boycott every advertiser on Fox.. All television companies are corporate entities, but boycotts only work where one entity suffers, and the other three profit handsomely at their expense. Boycott everything advertised on the Fox network, and spread the word as to why you are doing it… “You want your country back.”

Threaten bankruptcy each and every time someone tries to collect a past due payment. “Sorry, I simply don’t have the money. We’re probably going to declare bankruptcy soon.. so if you call us again, it had better be with a ridiculously low offer.. like 5% of what we owe to wipe the debt out entirely.”

Seriously the idea of moving your money out of Bank America is a good one. Again, for this to work, one entity has to suffer while the other three prosper. If all giants suffer, no giants budge, because they are not losing ground to their competitors in that sort of environment. But if Bank of America folds, and the other three giants grow, then we will never again see a $5 increase in our swipe fees….

Use Facebook to organize a global attempt to shift all money out of Murdoch’s empire on the same day, say 11/11/11.. Everyone targets that just that one company. Again for it to work, one company must fail, while the others all prosper…

Have a National Holiday From Work Day. If 90% of Americans simply don’t show up for work to say, protest Congress’s incompetence. “Cough, cough… Uh, She-Boss-man, I’m a little under the weather… cough, cough… Been up all night; didn’t get a lick of sleep; just got done throwing up and then it came out that “other” end way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way, way,… too fast… ” (damn tequila!) …

Find a friend, neighbor, and go occupy something cool that close by…

Today the White House issued this Executive Order.

“Should the debt ceiling not be lifted in time by May 16, in order to prevent the Treasury from running out of funds, I am hereby using the emergency powers given to the Chief Executive by the Constitution, to temporarily suspend the Bush Tax Cuts until: 1) either we can legally borrow the funds to continue paying on our commitments, or 2) we bring our debt down to the 2008 level by having much more tax revenue pour in.

This is in effect, immediately, and I have instructed the IRS to recalculate all 2010 tax forms over the level of $2 million dollars, and asses those individuals and companies, for the differences.

We must take this action because Republicans want to pay politics with your lives. As Chief Executive, I am responsible to you, not them. I won’t let that happen.

With these tax cuts out of the way, and with our austerity programs already in effect, that windfall of profit the Treasury will receive, will be entirely funneled towards the paying off our debt.

This policy will continue until Republicans can act reasonably and in a productive fashion.

Barack Obama.

Duffy is God’s answer to a prayer.. I miss the old days of blogging when we were debating principals instead of people… Duffy has stuck to the old line of debating principals with facts, and that is what makes him special in the eyes of bloggers everywhere…

Since the passing of Steve Newton, he has been the only one to challenge me in any argument, and usually some pretty good stuff comes out of both sides during the exchange… I have respected that.. Cause once again, opinions mean dick. Facts are what we steer by.. It is my hope that in responding to his challenge that an answer may make itself apparent.. Who knows? It may not come from me… But if I’m the catalyst for bringing it out in the open, then… none of this was in vain..

Why I like to debate Duffy is simple.. Neither side, he or I, is concretely set in their opinions… We accept it when the other side makes sense… I usually go into such debates having no idea where they’ll end up… I hope the rest of you enjoy the ride as welI….

That said..

Duffy leads: Wall Street’s problems were caused by Fannie and Freddie loaning money to people they knew couldn’t pay and moreover, forcing banks to lend money to people who couldn’t pay. That was not deregulation but misregulation

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate.

First off, the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 was developed for, and locked in on, urban developmental areas and had no part of the subprime boom, which primarily occurred out in western desert regions where owning 4 to 5 investment homes was normal… Those homes were overwhelmingly funded by loan originators NOT SUBJECT to the act… We all know the crises was not because people couldn’t afford a payment on their house. It came about, because with no occupants, people could not afford the payments of 4 to 5 houses….. Instead of one loan per borrower turning up in default; four to five were.
Investment Homes lead forclosures not inner city Residences

Second off, The housing bubble reached its point of maximum inflation in 2005.
The Housing Bubble Starts to Dive in 2005
Courtesy of NYT

Third off, During those exact same years, Fannie and Freddie were sidelined by Congressional pressure, and saw a sharp drop in their share of loans secured by the Feds… Follow the dotted line on the very bottom of the graph…
Freddie and Fannie on the lowest line
Courtesy of NYT

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

Remember these graphs for later on when I discuss the results of deregulation, versus regulation… But like it or not, these graphs conclusively show that private insurers, who thanks to Marie Evans, we now know were deregulated by Phil Gramm in the 2000 Omnibus Bill, were the primary cause of the worlds financial collapse.. Probably put best by these words of AIG’s spokesperson, who when asked why they didn’t have sufficient funds to cover losses, said point blank, “We were deregulated. We were no laws requiring us to keep any funds, ..so we spent it…”

Duffy leads: The loosely regulated hedge funds escaped this mess largely unscathed. Why? They can’t count on a bailout like the big banks. The Too Big To Fail banks were counting on a bailout (not unlike the S&L bailouts which started on the Republican’s watch) and they got them.

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate. I agree that the hedge funds did survive better than the banks. Not because of bailouts, but because they sold short during the crises and made billions while firms closed and people got thrown out of work. There is nothing wrong with that; I did the same. In fact close readers may remember my warnings that the crises was impending almost a year earlier. Very close readers may remember my telling them exactly when to sell, and at what point the stock market would rebound… I must say: I called it rather well. 🙂

“Hedge funds were not in my understanding, at fault in the credit crisis,” said David Ruder, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. “At the most what they did was to sell securities when some of their investments were declining and they needed to have liquid funds. They were not the architects of these problems.”

De regulated hedge funds are not the issue… De-regulated, excessively leveraged, mortgage securities, are a different story however… They, not the banks that held them, are the cause of the crises…Years from now, when academics search for causes of the stock market crash of 2008, they will focus on the pivotal role of mortgage-backed securities. These exotic financial instruments allowed a downturn in U.S. home prices to morph into a contagion that brought down Bear Stearns a year ago this month – and more recently have brought the global banking system to its knees.

Where you err is when you state that banks too big to fail, assumed they would be bailed out… By implication, you say imply they failed from squandering money, and wanted the bailouts.. But your tax dollars didn’t flow directly to the bottom line.

The roughly $200 billion the Treasury Department has handed out to battered banks was swapped for a special class of stock that pays a 5 percent dividend (rising to 9 percent after five years.) As of April 15, the Treasury had collected about $2.5 billion in dividend payments on its investment.

So in that sense, the bailout money represents an expense for banks. That’s one reason a number of banks have said they want to give the money back as soon as possible.

You say big banks were counting on a bailout, and they got them? That didn’t happen to these banks. New Mexico, Georgia, and Florida each lost a bank just last Friday. That brings to 8, the number of banks failed in June. Unfortunately if a bank is failing, it can’t bet on itself to fail, as can a hedge fund.

Duffy leads: Banks have successfully lobbied to get their losses absorbed by taxpayers and gains are kept private. How nice for them. They felt comfortable making insane gambles because they knew they’d be bailed out. Most of them were right. Also remember that it was Bill Clinton who tore down the wall between retail and investment banking. The idea was to give banks more stability as they typically perform as exact opposites in bull and bear markets. (FWIW, I think that was a good idea and I can tell you first hand that two of the Fortune 100 banks I worked for were carried by retail banking in bear years. They may not have had bonuses those years but they didn’t have layoffs either)

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate. The idea is that the banks made bad decisions knowing taxpayers would bail them out is the issue that is inaccurate. For the record, I have no qualms that it was the Clinton legacy who tore down the wall between banks and investment banking. Like you, I feel it was a good idea to do so… Again the problem was not primarily with banks making loans to people who could not pay.. Although, it was as late as October 2009, when I was made aware of one private Bank in Denver still exaggerating income to make loans look good enough on paper to get approval of securitization. What caused the collapse was the leveraging of those loans as securities, so that as the housing market became overextended, and the ARM jumped past the low cost opening years, the damage was 100 times worse because of leveraging. What made the collapse criminal, was that the insurance most financial institutions had bought from AIG, to cover such an improbable event, had already spent by that companies executives, out on bonuses to themselves. What made it doubly criminal, was that when they received government dollars through a taxpayer bailout, those same executives assumed it was to first go towards paying their bonuses again. However, very recent events may give some cover to the argument that some collusion was implicit in the bailing out of Goldman Sacs and AIG… Basically, once bailed out, AIG paid Goldman Sacs for shares twice as much as they were worth. The documents also indicate that regulators ignored recommendations from their own advisers to force the banks to accept losses on their A.I.G. deals and instead paid the banks in full for the contracts.


Photo Courtesy of CBC

I was debating to fight the urge or not….I had just learned that the National Enquirer had leaked (yeah right) that Sarah Palin had an affair with her husband’s business partner in his private car-wash deal…

She has left the mainland and is in Alaska for a week her publicist says…

I noticed that no one else had published anything on either side of the issue, and was debating titling a post beginning with the word “breaking”.

Normally I skip over those “breaking” posts, but everything about Sarah is news; (did I mention she was hot).

But while I was pondering whether to send it or not, a link came in from a new source… Pinging back I read this article…..

Whoa… This sounds like me I first thought… It certainly uses the argument I firmly fought for when Americas thought sex acts were a cause for impeachment…..

And it dawned on me… I really don’t care who Sarah went down on before she was a government official… If she can govern adequately, more power to her… If she can govern superlatively, then I would recommend even more promiscuity…. If a video turns up, and she donates the proceeds to diminish the Federal Debt, I hope it goes global… If she can spend a night with billionaires willing to fork up 100 billion towards our debt, more power to her…..

Of course…I’m exaggerating… But I can get away with it because she is so hot. Imagine it I said the same thing with McCain as the subject….(Block visual image)…

But what goes on in her husband’s friend’s car or bedroom does not help me pay for the high cost of energy; it does not help me pay for insurance’ it does not help me pay for prescriptions; it does not help me pay for food; it does not help me pay for sewage; it does not help me pay for taxes…..

So her sexual escapades, although titillating (did I mention she was hot) have no relevance on whether my life continues to get better…. or worse….

So what are her plans to lower insurance. What are her plans to lower prescription costs? What are her plans to reduce our debt payments to foreign nations? What are her plans to make us an exporter nation again? What are her plans to give me more disposable income than I have today?

Call-it” is right… We bloggers (both sides) are the leading intellectual source of information in this state…. If we put first graders in a class about sexual promiscuity, they will learn about sexual promiscuity…Teach them about “the fun stuff”, and they will learn… It is the teachers who control the curriculum…. They have a responsibility to keep to the high road…

So, I took Call-It’s link as a omen not to publish the trash I was about to send… I hit delete…and it was gone…. Although I still secretly continued to wonder whether there is a video out there, Perhaps originally a secret forever, until the price tags crossed over several million dollars…. I kept it to myself….

Americans have sex…. That is no secret…. otherwise there would be no children….and no orgasms.

Final point…. I once argued vociferously with my Republican friends who were so incensed that oral sex went on in the White House. I told them to forget about it and enjoy the prosperity that came with a balanced budget… something I thought I would NEVER see in my lifetime…. but…there it was… Balanced.

Looking over such miracles to force a scandal out in the open, was foolish I told them… they would soon learn I was right I warned them…. Eager for power, they laughed.

Today, they worship the ground i walk on…. When they need advice, they call me….

There are just seven sessions left.

Both the dockets of the Senate and the House are full

It looks unlikely that the Senate will override its leadership and vote.

Now again is it time to call.

Senate Majority Leader
Senator Anthony J. DeLuca
(D) Varlano Legislative District: 11

Legislative Hall Office Outside Office
P.O. Box 1401
Dover, DE 19903

302-744-4165

It must go up for a vote…. (it still can if enough of us yell loud enough)

Many of you are familiar with the story and possibly with this year’s movie with the same title: Horton Hears A Who.

In that scenario, the tiny dust speck on which lives a whole civilization of “Who’s”, is about to be boiled alive. Only by making their existence known within the Kangaroo Court on whose decision their fate lies, will their civilization be spared. Even with everyone on the planet yelping, clanging, and gonging, only the giant elephant ears of Horton, can pick up their minuscule vibrations. Entreated by Horton, the mayor races through town to find any voice not appropriately yelling for its own salvation…..

In one room, more interested in playing with his yo yo, is one tiny ‘who”. Racing back to the megaphone, he holds the tiny tot up and gives it a big pinch….

It does the trick. Their existence is acknowledged.

The metaphorical parallels as to whether Delaware survives, prospers, or not, are somewhat scary.
So if you haven’t already done so today, put down your Yo Yo, pick up the phone to the above number….

AND SQUAWK!