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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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This is going to my hard core Republican friends. Why are you still supporting Romney?

1) You know he is not going to win.
2) You know as the election heats up, his Bain Capital experience will make Republicans untouchable for decades.
3) You can’t pin down where Romney stands on anything.
4) He tied his dog to a car.
5) He stands with black people and says “Who let the dogs out, woof, woof.”

Most of you are telling me, “I certainly can’t vote for Obama. I guess I’m not voting for President this time.”

Let’s say, just for argument sakes there was a presidential candidate out there who says to have good government you need: …………………

1. Become reality driven. Don’t kid yourself or others.
Find out what’s what and base your decisions and actions
on that.

2. Always be honest and tell the truth. It’s extremely
difficult to do any damage to anybody when you are
willing to tell the truth–regardless of the
consequences.

3. Always do what’s right and fair. Remember, the more
you actually accomplish, the louder your critics become.
You’ve got to learn to ignore your critics. You’ve got to
continue to do what you think is right. You’ve got to
maintain your integrity.

4. Determine your goal, develop a plan to reach that
goal, and then act. Don’t procrastinate.

5. Make sure everybody who ought to know what you’re
doing knows what you’re doing. Communicate.

6. Don’t hesitate to deliver bad news. There is always
time to salvage things. There is always time to fix
things. Henry Kissinger said that anything that can be
revealed eventually should be revealed immediately.

7. Last, be willing to do whatever it takes to get your
job done. If you’ve got a job that you don’t love enough
to do what it takes to get your job done, then quit and
get one that you do love, and then make a difference.

Honesty. Integrity. Principal.

Sounds good so far. Let us say just for argument, he had chief executive experience. Let us say just or argument that he once ran a state, one of the fifty in this union. Let us say while governor, this is what he did…..

During his tenure, New Mexico experienced the longest period without a tax-increase in the state’s entire history.

1) He cut the rate of government growth in half,

2) Left the New Mexico state government with a budget surplus and 1000 fewer employees (without firing anyone),

3) Privatized half of the prisons in the state,

4) Brought a state-wide school voucher system to New Mexico.

5) Vetoed 750 bills (more than all the vetoes of the other 49 Governors in the country at that time, combined) with only 2 overrides, earning him the nickname Gary “Veto” Johnson.

6) In 1999, Johnson became the highest-ranking elected official in the United States to advocate the legalization of drugs.

7) Shifted Medicaid to managed care.

ISN’T THAT WHAT YOU WANT? ISN’T THAT WHAT WE NEED?

Can you not think of a better way to show your lack of enthusiasm over a wealthy capitalist buying his way to the top of your ticket, by voting for someone who has character, who does what you’ve always wanted, a doer, not a talker?

And to think…. you were simply just going to throw your vote away.

His name is Gary Johnson. He is the new party’s candidate for President.

Remember Republicans. It is your values that are important. If your party has given up and moved on from your values, don’t think you have to be loyal to the word…. “Republican”… What you have to be loyal too, is yourself. Always. Never lie to yourself.

You don’t need to waste your vote on Romney. You probably need to find more about this guy, Gary Johnson, and then throw your support behind him.

Don’t worry it is not one of the two parties on whose ticket he is running. Remember, at one point in time, the Republican Party was a once a third party too. One that went mainstream because of its core values, its principles resonated with everyday American People.

MegaUpload said they had tried to comply with all of the copyright requests, and they had…

Listen how the Obama Justice Department twists that into a crime.

Courtesy of the LA Times.

MegaUpload provided no index or search function to the public, and sister site MegaVideo filtered its search results to remove copyrighted content. Wait, doesn’t that sound like good thing? Wait, see how the Obama justice department twisted that around….. The indictment contends that it’s a bad thing because it made it harder for copyright holders to see how much piracy was occurring on the service. WHAT?

The list of the “Top 100” files at MegaUpload is edited to exclude copyrighted works. Wait, that sounds like a good thing…. The indictment, however, asserts that it “makes the website appear more legitimate and hides the popular copyright-infringing content that drives its revenue.” WHAT?

Users could not stream a file on the affiliated MegaVideo site for more than 72 minutes unless they were paid subscribers to MegaUpload. (72 minutes is too short to copy a copyrighted movie) The indictment contends that the point wasn’t to discourage illegal movie viewing, but rather to monetize it. WHAT?

The Conspiracy made no significant effort and the company is being faulted for not monitoring what each of its users did on its service, not inspecting content as it was being uploaded for copyright violations, and not combing through its servers for infringing material. But that’s inconsistent with the rulings from several federal courts, which have held that online companies have no duty to police their services to prevent infringements or detect them after they occur.

Justice David Souter wrote, “in the absence of other evidence of intent, a court would be unable to find contributory infringement liability merely based on a failure to take affirmative steps to prevent infringement, if the device otherwise was capable of substantial non infringing uses.”

This indictment was done in haste and is not a condemnation of MegaUpload, a COMPANY THE INDICTMENT ITSELF, CONFIRMS WAS TRYING TO COMPLY WITH EXISTING COPYRIGHT LAWS……

This was served in Federal Court in Richmond. The same court that says that National Health Care is unconstitutional, even though a number of courts have ruled opposite.

This is a rogue court. This court has proven twice, it is not representative of America, and New Zealand should suffer for not questioning the authority of the order it was given… Injunctions across America need to be filed immediately in more circumspect courts, all aimed halting this injunction issued by this rogue court.


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

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

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

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.

During break I had a chance to browse the changed landscape of the Delaware blogosphere in depth.

There are two blogs that now carry the weight. Delaware Liberal and Delaware Way. Each are different in their own way. Delaware Liberal is an institution of fine writers, but is primarily dominated by two: Delaware Dem and El Somnambulo.

Delaware Way is where one goes to get news in the raw; for Nancy publishes everything… which is good since that is the only place one can go to find it.

Each of these provide a function… Delaware Liberal is where one can go to skim the headlines. Due to their updated format, if you missed a couple of days, it is hard to catch up… Being tied up, that has made following the news through them a little difficult. Nancy’s blog, although panned by Hube for it’s outdated format, is structured so one can follow it in consecutive order… Sort of like a facebook feed where one can drop back continuously until they reach where they last dropped off…

Other than that, there is nowhere else to look… That may be good for non- thinkers. But those of us who plan and run this state, are running blind… A scary thought as we approach the election year…

It seems like the old days mimicked the foundation of this nation. Whereas they argued over pints of ale; we argued over electronic wires… In our exchanges we tampered our views into an amalgamation of something that included the best of both worlds, and for that reason, the policies we forged, could pass the test of time… The only test it couldn’t pass, was us getting old and tired…

What is at stake, with the upcoming election… is a lack of depth. The brilliant group assembled under the general grouping “Delaware blogosphere”, was able to uncover all types of shenanigans; most of which had been going on under the cloak of looking the other way for most of our lifetimes… One, or even two blogs, cannot do the research being done independently by those of ALL political persuasions….

Which of course, means it will be easier to fool all the people some of the time… As long as they stay fooled until the votes are cast….. it doesn’t matter what happens later…

It is time each of the old bloggers look into their hearts, and review what they accomplished… It is time they look through what is written now and compare it to the days of yore…. It is time they return to the fight… the fight for truth… the fight for knowledge… the fight for justice.

It is time they realize they mattered and that like it or not, they were important to the everyday flow of politics… They made this past election happen. They changed the political landscape. They are what made local politics an issue….

We can go back to the pre-blog days of 2006… or we can continue exposing, inspecting, digressing, and scooping each other and the News Journal with information, that if left in the dark, would cost us each our money going into someone else’s pocket…

Delaware needs us. And you can’t escape that fact… It needs us.

Nancy has an example as to why….

On that page is a link to this Rasmussan Report.

VOTERS AGREE ONLY ON TAXING THE RICH TO PAY FOR HEALTH CARE PLAN.

Now anyone who knows me, knows I don’t take any stock in polls. I am smart enough to twist them into whatever I want, and so I can assume others out there are smart enough to do as well…

But over the past election, this group was the one closest to actual results throughout the primaries, as well as the general… So even though they were made up figures, I guess I’m saying, they still were closer than anyone else’s made up figures….

So the fact that a majority of Americans, all smart people mind you, believe that the rich should pay for our nation’s deficits… you know, the ones their party caused…. is rather telling. It implies that all the talk of no new taxes is baloney. New taxes on the rich are what Americans want. We want it sooner instead of later…

It boils down to ethics. Shouldn’t the wealthy take care of those who made them rich, now that times are hard? It reflects this nation’s battle with slavery 150 years ago.. Shouldn’t plantation owners take care of their slaves, like feed them? like give them a place to sleep? like allow them to get a drink of water?

If we had laws in place 150 years ago to cover the welfare of slaves, why then, can’t today’s wealthy and rich assist and help out law abiding citizens who have no jobs, who have no homes, who have no food… but still have their freedoms?

They can and it’s called paying their fair share of taxes… Americans who work, eat, live and die in our towns are saying the rich need to pay their fair share… Not get soaked mind you… BUT PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE…. Every American knows deep down that it is true… Every American knows that during WWII almost every family gave up someone to the war effort, because it was needed to save our nation… Yet today, we have the speaker of the House, A DEMOCRAT MIND YOU, saying there will be no new taxes on the table?

That goes even against the Rasmussen Report linked to above… Which plainly states: THAT THE ONLY THING AMERICANS ACROSS THE BOARD CAN AGREE TO, IS THAT THE RICH PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE….

And as proven in the post below, taxing the wealthy is super good for the economy. It fueled the Clinton boom. It drove the post second world war economy to new highs. Every time we had higher taxes, each person’s welfare, including the wealthy, just kept getting better….

Gilligan needs to get into the real world. and out of the pockets of wimpy land… (Everyone knows I love Gilligan but I get yelled at when I make mistakes and so should he). We are not on Gilligan’s Island. ( I fought the urge and succumbed). We are in a real world with real problems and one of those problems is that we are running out of money….

As one notorious bank robber responded when asked as to why he robbed banks responded: because that’s where the money is….

… so does our legislative need to solve it’s monetary needs by going to where the money is… the state’s wealthy….

It is such common sense and America knows it…. And the only reason we know America knows it…. is because Nancy published it in Delaware Way.

We need more like her…

….. 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….

Sussex Green drops a bombshell…

Despite what Meatball says, there is something sick in Sussex County and it rhymes with taker….

Here in essence is the argument for open government… This type of stuff goes on all the time and those of us jaded by its constant misuse, forget that is really antithetic to representative government… Which is why we need citizen watchdogs… and Sussex County has one now….

This must be read… Not only by residents of Sussex County who have to put up with the antics of a family who thinks they can rule with impunity, but by every man, women, and child of the future, so they know exactly how these things are done, and can intercept their implementation before similar actions are finalized.

Here are several examples of the travesty those communists who represent the fine folks of Sussex County have levied against their own kind….

Instead, the list of parcels and areas being considered for inclusion on the future land use map were presented to the P&Z Commission as Old Business at a meeting on April 30, 2008. The parcels and areas were discussed by the P&Z Commission, approved or rejected, and that was that. There was no public hearing on any of them. Then, when the Comp Plan was finally approved (June 24, 2008) all those amendments, which had been approved at the April 30, 2008 meeting were incorporated into the land use map and became part of the ordinance that authorized the Comp Plan.

The Wilson Baker parcels case illustrates this. Baker got a conditional use (c/u) for the smaller parcel in 2005. He either owned or quickly acquired the larger adjoining parcel of AR-1 soon after being granted the c/u on the smaller parcel. He established a propane, kerosene, and diesel fuel business on the smaller parcel under the c/u requirements. However, he wanted to sell both parcels and that proved a bit too complicated because of the c/u, or so his representative testified at the recent change of zoning hearings before the P&Z Commission and County Council. As a result, he apparently decided that getting both parcels rezoned to heavy industry (HI-1) from their current AR-1 would be the most profitable option.

The P&Z Commission scheduled the Wilson Baker parcels for the June 18, 2008 meeting under the agenda heading “Additional Old Business”. The one item under that heading is “Comprehensive Land Use Plan”. The minutes state that Mr. Lank “advised the Commission that a request had been received for inclusion into the Town Center Area around the Town of Milton; that the request came from Baker Petroleum of Wilson Baker, Inc. for the inclusion of their properties; that they are intending to apply for industrial zoning and to create a railroad spur for access to rail service; that the site has been reviewed through the PLUS process” (P&Z Commission Minutes, June 18, 2008, Page 8). The P&Z Commission decided to incorporate the request of Baker Petroleum into the Future Land Use Map by consensus. There was no public hearing

.

On June 24, 2008, the County Council voted to adopt the ordinance establishing the 2007 Comp Plan Update, with amendments. There was no public hearing

.

The entire sketch of how this parcel was rezoned was not done in secret.. It is available on reruns of the Dukes of Hazard television series that was shot during the 1980s.. The faces may look a little different, but the characters who play them are the same…….

Far too much chatter today was about the surprise calling upon a blogger to solicit the president with a question..

As to why the president would choose a blogger over a major news carrier, to ask a question, and get answered, to me is a no brainier…

If you want to get the truth out; well, you can’t do it through the mainstream media….

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…