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Courtesy of Washington Times

Woo Hoo… but it is not what you would at first think……..

Facts:

The Average Canadian is Richer than the Average American. And you know that they say about averages, which means the lower levels here in America are way, way, behind……

Net worth of the average Canadian household in 2011 was $363,202, while the average American household’s net worth was $319,970.

Primarily, paying private health care costs in America and not in Canada makes up the difference.  This past years aging of the baby boomers has increased the medical costs to American society as a whole, and those retirement plans once listed on America’s books as assets, are now quickly being funneled into retirement homes, hospital death panels, and insurance exec’s 7th and 8th homes.

National Healthcare with a single payer system, appears to actually be beneficial for a nation as a whole.

Republicans will say “sure, Canadians may think they are richer, but they are not getting the quality  healthcare Americans get.  Actually that is true.  They appear to be getting better healthcare  and getting it with none of the extra expense.  A healthy 19-year-old Canadian can expect to have 52 more years of perfect health versus 49.3 more years for Americans.  Canadians have a universal healthcare service, which is free at the point of care, whereas Americans’ access to health insurance is usually based on employment, income through Medicaid, or age through Medicare, and not universal.

There is no logical reason not to have single payer health care:  one it is cheaper; two it is better; three we will have perfect health and live longer;

Here are the reasons against having a single health care provider:  less profit to those who own the stocks.

So, it becomes a balance of perfect health for 53 years for everybody in the country. …..  or……  someone else’s bank account growing a little bit more…

Hmmmm. I think having someone else’s bank account grow a little more, is far more important to me than whether or not I have a healthy life or get to pull a few extra years to live on this planet..  I will vote for Romney to get rid of  Obamacare.

Of course, expect to hear the touting of …. Socialism is better than Capitalism.

That depends upon your definition.  For you see, Canada has been under Conservative Control for a long time.   Since the 1990s, Canada has pursued a hardheaded (even ruthless), fiscally conservative form of socialism.  It is just that their conservatives are conservative, and not fanatics which has made all the difference.  The argument is still out there that “uncontrolled Socialism” might not have painted as pretty of a picture as this blend of Conservative Socialism has wrought.

The proper name being thrown around to describe Canada, is  now hybrid-economy, meaning it takes the best from both worlds and blends them together.  Sounds like marriage.

As a footnote it would be good to hit all conservatives with this hockey puck right between their eyes.

Classic conservatism aims to minimize government but that is a tertiary priority after one: doing what is effective and two: doing that which is lest expensive. Since the days of Nixon that message has been co-opted by the radicals to a single item: minimize government. That isn’t “conservatism”, that is fanaticism.

Under classic conservatism life’s basic needs are addressed effectively. Then the most efficient system is sought so the needed quality can be delivered at the lowest price. A true conservative will support a government program if such a system delivers the quality most efficiently. At this point in time, when the nation’s needs are being met and cost is under control, only then does the classic conservative oppose government expansion as a point of principle.

Conservatism in America is functionally dead. It has been replaced by propaganda designed to support plutocracy. The American government has been transformed into an engine which pumps money from the general public into the coffers of a very small sliver of the population.

What is called conservatism today has no resemblance to the genuine article. Doing what time has proven to work best is right down a conservative’s alley. And in the matter of health care, time has proven that universal access works best and is the cheapest.

May America’s true Conservatives have this epiphany and unite with her Liberals against the plutocratic cancer eating away at our great nation.

Footnote: American Conservatives believed in managed healthcare when it was created as the Heritage Foundation Plan; implimented as Romney-care; and tweaked as the Republican Senate’s Plan.  There is something seriously wrong with today’s Republicans.  Seriously wrong.  They need to go up to Canada and see a doctor.

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They cost you too…

The drop in payroll tax from 6.2% to 4.2% results in a savings of about $1000 a year to every wage earner.

(If truth were widely known, that tax cut is actually a bad idea. It hemorrhages a dying social security fund, requiring the eventual death of the program or an expensive emergency last ditch surgery in the future.)

But it is hard not to give a $1000 present to every voter. Even if it only comes out as $19 dollars and change each week… But, still again, if your electric bill is $198 and you only have $189 in your account, that additional amount is, well, a lifesaver…..

But, Republicans in the House, even after Republicans in the Senate voted passage, overwhelmingly voted….. not to vote on the measure…

They didn’t vote against it… THEY VOTED NOT TO VOTE ON IT……
(speculation is that they lacked the votes to keep it from passing)..

So, how does that relate to you?

House Republicans (read Tea Party) just voted NOT TO VOTE on whether or not you will be losing an extra $20 a month out of your next paycheck.

Imagine what this is doing to payroll clerks around the country?
Imagine what this is doing to family budgets around the country?
Imagine what this is doing to businesses who rely on consumer spending around the country?
Imagine what this is doing to businesses heavily involved in the financial sector, around this country?

So what would normally happen?

Normally a group that can’t find agreement, acknowledges the sad fact, and long before the deadline, announces that they failed to reach agreement and that things would continue as they were on a temporary basis, to unfortunately allow for more time to solve differences.

But NOOOOOOOOOOOO, …. WE ARE STUCK WITH A TEA PARTY THAT FUCKS THINGS UP.

Instead, we have a vote not-to-vote, then get all sorts of very lame excuses from those who are delaying, none of which apply to the real problem that Social Security is doomed unless drastic action gets taken (higher rates, not lower), and we get nothing….

The tax cut will expire…

It is like sequestering a jury in a room, where everyone after much fact-covering argument has agreed to a judgment, except for one person who’s been bought off. And nothing, nothing, logic, emotional appeal, bullying, snuggling up to, befriending, produces any change. And you go years, every working day, to the same court house, the same jury room, they same chair at the same table, hear the same arguments, hoping against all odds, that today, he will see the light and switch. You go the next day.

That is today’s Congress. Held hostage by Tea Party Republicans who live in a dream world untouched by the reality of living under $185,000 a year. Like that bought-out juror, every day, they hold up progress with the unjustified belief that, if they wait long enough, the other 11 jurors will give up and sway over to the sole juror’s way….

Two things can happen… 1) return to the public and announce a hung jury, and do a complete retrial.. or 2) sneak up to that one juror, put a gun to his head, say nothing, pull the trigger, clean up the mess, dispose of the body, then go out to the public and announce what the 11 of you have decided…..

One is the nice way, sanctioned to due process of law. The other is the American Way.

It’s time to initiate the kavipsian policy of expression or what is otherwise known as “Show Us How You Really Feel”… Who knows? It could become the next great movement? The next time someone you know (or don’t), says anything about how millionaires should keep their tax cuts and the poor should pay, nod your head in agreement, smile a little bit, then hit them as hard as you can in their mouth, I mean as hard as you can! Put them flat on the ground holding their jaw… Then loudly say, “Don’t every talk that stupid way to me again!” Who knows, if 99% or all 303,930,000 would respond that way to our fellow congressional delegates, and the other 3.9 million of their like who advocate such madness, we might actually get the very progress we need, not because of intimidation, but because such policy is right….

For those who argue expression of violence is un-American, I’ll remind them that tonight, is John Wayne Night on AMC: view it!… I argue that such action is VERY American and perhaps it has been the lack of such spontaneous expressions of frustration from working American people, that has caused the logjam where nothing gets done because of one holdout, who thinks he can sway the world to his opinion and face no consequences… ….

Practice now, by punching brick walls.


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……

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…

    When The Whole Country is Going South, Look to the North, as In Northington
    Photo Courtesy of Northington 08

    It is hard to run a Congressional campaign… sometimes things go wrong…

    But sometimes one does things right, and that in itself, is an achievement worth celebrating…

    Jerry Northington has run a good campaign from his own bootstraps… Not only is it good, but running without the “backing” of the state’s primary neutral Democratic party, he has emerged as one who has the potential to ruin Republican Mike Castle’s dream of his last election…

    And that, is what this years Delaware election is all about…

    I don’t need to preach to the choir about how Mike Castle has voted the Republican line… I don’t need to preach to the choir about how Mike Castle has voted for the war of oil; I don’t need to preach to the choir about how having a Republican in the extreme minority of the House (it will be entirely Democratic) will affect our slice of federal money; I don’t need to preach to the choir about how having a Congressional Republican from Delaware, puts growth in this state on ice. No…. you all know that already.

    You also know that the challenges we will face in the next four years, here at home, 200 miles away in Washington, and across the world, will require a new path to be taken. They will require new ideas to inspire. They will require smart people for a change…. smart enough to work out the details….

    And what impressed me about Jerry… was his intelligence…

    (Now don’t get all hot and bothered if you support another candidate…I’m refusing to make comparisons…You can discuss it among yourselves if you wish…)

    Intelligence… that IS a relative term…..Let me explain….I (cough, cough) have been called on occasion, by misguided people, “intelligent” at times for some of the posts I have written here…. But… I would not expect Dave or Hube to EVER utter such a compliment (except perhaps at my funeral) …. for based on what they represent….(making the assumption they are intelligent too)… my ideas appear bunk… 🙂 But, without them, the blogosphere would fall like a thud, cracking our asses wide open like a seesaw that someone has jumped off too quickly. The world needs some type of balance. We need those guys for constructive dialog, just as they need us….

    So real intelligence is the understanding that even though we put the best argument for OUR side up for debate, we NEED another side to debate against, in order to get what we need done…..

    I know… it is a big concept to grasp….(come back to it later, will you?) The big guys get it…. I think Clinton got it mid term… I actually heard Newt a year ago in New Hampshire, and I think he got it too. Despite our distaste now for Carper, I know he gets it… and the reason Castle has won so big so many times, is that he gets it…

    So let me tell you about Jerry….

    First if you haven’t, you should check out the Congressional Primary Debate here.… You should, really… For we are talking about our strategy to navigate this state over the next ten years….

    Usually since the beginning of this nation, an outgoing administration has set in place, plans that self perpetuate over several years before they become obsolete.. This administration, however, has been so preoccupied with day to day dilemmas, that they are leaving us with no future plan and an empty treasury starting January 20th……

    We need to choose someone smart.

    Why? For what happens in Washington, for those of you that do not know, is that a lobbyist shows up at your door with a pre-written bill, he wants you to sponsor it, you horse trade, and then you set your staff on bringing it to the floor… The bills are never read by Congressmen, maybe only by two staffers, and the rest is all hype. To really change Washington, we need smart people to say, “wait a second, why are you billing us for this…?” Dumb people, oh dear, will just rubber stamp…..

    I am afraid to say that Mike Castle has become a rubber stamper,…. In his defense, if I had been there as long as he, as I got old I would probably evolve into the same… In the twilight years it just gets so hard to read reams of paper; the cocktail circuit is much more intriguing and fascinating…..

    There comes a time, for an old general to retire…. His past victories though glorious, are meaningless if he leads us into one more battle that loses it all……..History is full of such generals who have stayed on a little bit too long…. The best way to preserve ones legacy, I think, is to walk away from it while it is still intact….

    Jerry is tall enough to fill Mike Castle’s shoes… To be honest, he is the first Democratic candidate since Mike and Tom flipped, to do so…
    In listening to Jerry, one gets the sense that we will do ok if he represents us… He is not harsh like the last candidate…. He is open and understands that he has been led down a miraculous path, one he could ever imagined would continue as far as it did…..

    The only reason he is not yet considered a strong contender, is because so few people have gotten to know him… My sources and calculations show him winning on Tuesday… Soon more will learn how good a candidate he really is… We know he’s tough… His gentle toughness has got him this far… But what impressed me most, was that he is solidly balanced….He may not be the raving Liberal that some progressives want….

    Unlike most previous candidates for that office, I sense he understands the need, that if America is to get better…. WE ALL HAVE TO GET BETTER AT THE SAME TIME… Conservatives too.

    It’s time we had a smart person in Congress. And Jerry can, I believe, push a moderate form of Health Care that will cover all Americans, without busting the budget…. His focus will be on prevention… If a pill taken early costs $3 dollars and a surgery costs $30,000, preventive heath care makes sense…

    My favorite line, and the one I think that pushed me to understand that this man has not only the smarts to represent Delaware, but the charm, confidence, and intelligence to make things happen ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE, was this one:

    “Ladies, and gentlemen, I’m a veterinarian… My medical experience…is that;… taking care of sick animals… We have known in veterinarian science, that the cheapest, most cost-effective way to treat a large population of animals…. is through preventative health care… We have known that for 100 years….. Now if we have known that, and we can accomplish it for animals….why in hell’s name,… can’t we come to an agreement, to do it for Human beings?”

    Yeah, I think,……… he’s the one.

    Because that……. is what we do.

    Outside the Perimeter
    Courtesy of Department of Defense

    There has been some bantering about on some of the local blogs about a “war on Christmasbeing undertaken by a large majority of unseen beings…..Those beings go by many names….liberal, conservative, Jews, atheist, Mormon, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc,etc……

    Forgive my aloofness, but I seem to be skeptical about this war….Christmas, at least from my perspective, seems to be alive and well….

    The majority of my household are actually looking forwards to its coming.

    I have been known to startle people who hardly know me, by stating that I still believe in Santa Claus…..This little bell I have still rings for me when I shake it, and legend persists that as long as one still believes in Santa, they too can hear it’s crystal clear tones……

    Hopefully, after I explain how I rationalize this belief, you too perhaps may be persuaded to believe again in Santa Claus, no matter how jaded you think you are today……..

    Years ago, I began thinking about this question when I heard either as a story or a joke, about a child who not only believed in Santa, but questioned the sanity of those who did not? According to this child, those out there who did not believe in Santa, were absolutely daft!….After being told there was no Santa by his older sibling, he responded with the question: “if that is so… then how come everyone all over the world gets presents from him on Christmas Eve?”

    Wiser heads may chuckle at the story….But….heads much wiser than that,…..may realize that this kid has a point…….

    Why is it, …if one stops to think, that everyone gets a present under their tree on Christmas Day? Almost to the point that it matters little of what their religion may be? And what is it that makes this illusion persist, despite the didactic railings by Bill O’Reilly who as America’s Grinch, emphatically persists that there is “No Santa Claus” and never will be? (Tell that to his staffer who sued him for harassment: no Santa Claus indeed)?

    Something forces the myth to continue, for an awful lot of trouble is undertaken by grownups of all ages to insure this tradition continues……

    Some blame “Crass Commercialism” for the “war on Christmas.” More than likely they are just weary of standing in line, while they do their part to propel our economy forward….For in honest truth, if Christmas were abolished, our entire retail structure would collapse in shambles. Most of our retail outlets operate in the red all year until the start of black Friday shopping…… So a life without Christmas would be very bleak indeed: featuring unemployment, depressed wages, revenue shortfalls, cutbacks, more pink slips….

    At the bottom of this”War on Christmas”, lies the question of why human beings spend so much time, energy, and effort on making other people happy? Is this trait prevalent in any other species of animal,… or plant? Does it make evolutionary sense that when one can ill afford to survive economically, that he undergoes further hardships to insure a smile on someone else’s face? From a logical perspective, it makes little sense at all…..Yet we still do it religiously.

    This season, duty bound by a Pollyanna, I had no choice but to stand in line, at the last minute for what i thought was a perfect gift for someone I barely knew….(if anything at that time, I was grumbling in Scrooge fashion as to why I cowardly lacked the guts to just hand over a piece of American currency.) In the line in front of me was a young lady, I would guess of college age, buying two perfume sample kits, with assorted scents inside one case……At 17.69 apiece, it came to over 35 dollars….That’s over one third of a C note…..Being that this was no Paris Hilton in front of me, (my bad luck again), and remembering my past financial situations each semester that I returned home for the holidays, I thought that this poor person must love whoever was meant to receive those trinkets, a lot…..For why else would they spend money they so much needed for themselves, ….on someone else….And this person was not alone. As I looked to my left and right, at the 30 some checkouts open, and lines ranging between 5 and 10 per line, it was obvious that this poor person in front of me, was not a misguided, overly sympathetic, communist….sacrificing herself for the good of all…..She was part of the human equation, powered by something deeply rooted inside us, who was just like everyone else…..As I walked out to my car, still pondering the significance of what had just happened to me….I had to wait behind a line of 15 carts ahead of me, going through the security checkpoint at the front entrance……As I looked over the carts, all full, in front of me, I realized that at least 1500 dollars was leaving that store that very minute…..$1500 a minute yields $90,000 an hour… On this early shopping day, (this store being open for fifteen hours) means that on that day, more than likely, $1,350,000 was being spent on people other than the shoppers themselves….That was just in one store. There were 5 such mega stores in the mall I was shopping, all doing the same brisk business, and by multiplying that by the number of malls nationwide…..one gets a sense that Christmas is not dead, dying, or losing its oomph….It is as strong as ever.

    So where is this “War on Christmas” coming from…..A quick look at the Google Page “War on Christmas” provides some answers…..All the picks lifted by Google’s algorithm show past-their-prime commentators desperate to maintain their ratings….and no one else….So is this “War On Christmas” just a made up thing, a ploy to capitalize upon the masses emotions, in order to drum up ratings for a network? (How come all of these commentators work for Fox?). Are we being hoodwinked by our news purveyors just so they can charge a higher rate for their advertising dollars?

    According to Google: apparently so…..

    So anyone who promotes the “War on Christmas” must be immediately suspect as trying to sell us a ball of wax in the form of our hero, Santa Claus…..

    For like it or not, these television radicals like John Gibson and Bill O’Reilly, are way off base….There is a Santa Claus and proof of it is in every checkout line across this country…….It may not come in the form of a man who plays with elves, and kills grandma as she stumbles home on Christmas Eve……, but it is there, regardless of religion, regardless of creed, regardless of race, regardless of sexual preference, regardless of economic status, regardless of political persuasion, regardless of nationality, regardless of geographical location. It is there;….somewhere deep within our genomes the “Spirit of Christmas” lies, dormant through most the year, until a sudden ringing of a bell, activates it into action…….

    It is this so called selfless “Spirit of Christmas” that pervades our planet this time of year, that I call “Santa Claus”. And I do believe in him…I do believe, I do believe…..With all my heart I believe that Santa Claus is alive and well and that under billions of trees, presents will appear inexplicably this Christmas day, often under trees that could ill afford them……And that is how with no trace of shame I can look in the eye of a 5 year old who has had his vision shattered by his older sister, and tell him not to worry, that there truly is a Santa Claus and pending his behavior, there will indeed be something to look forward to on Christmas Morning….

    So my dear friends. As I read through what I have just espoused, perhaps without some common bond of emotional understanding, my argument may appear weak to you and ineffective……But if by some small chance, it touches a nerve and causes you to re-evaluate your own perspective on these wonderful Holiday’s,…………(so wonderful that we will be paying its bills for months to come)……..please accept it as my humble present to you dear readers, for all you have given me this past year………

    So with all the warmth and sincerity that I can muster, going to all of you outside the perimeter, no matter how, when, where, or what your religious preferences may be, and knowing that we all carry the same gene deep within our beings:

    Merry Christmas, friends. Merry Christmas….

    Courtesy of Dept. of Defense
    Courtesy of Dept. of Defense.

    The Nov. 3rd special election dominates local blog-versations. Which does one prefer, a party hack running a clean campaign, or a clean candidate, being run over by party hacks?” In the silence, whispered speculation continues to grow……….creating an atmosphere quite opposite of the “open government” supposedly endorsed by both candidates……Hmmmm.

    What’s this? Breaking News? From DWA……at least someone other than Dana, sees liberal tendencies in, shall I say, “JC”.

    Due to a deliberate lack of a response to Jason’s ultimatum, most of the inside track on the Senate 14th election, has been culled from Dana at Delaware Watch. We have the rundown on Bruce’s attempts to “con” lobbyists to knock on doors (not). Knock, knock. “Excuse me ma’am. Sorry to interrupt your dinner hour. Look, I represent the Big Booze interests (that’s with a “z” sound on the end…..not “bs”) and I was wondering if you had given any thought about having a big Ennis for your next state senator……” Or…….. how about, “I represent the Delaware Gaming Commission and we feel that your Ennis is good for gaming…..”

    Dana also gives us the scoop that everyone’s favorite FOIA democrat, Thurman Adams, has let lobbyists know that any support for Christian, means they go into a drawer, literally. Kind of odd when someone who supports prayer in school, won’t support a “Christian….”

    At FSP and Delaware Liberal they seem to revel in the silence. Other than a brief mention of the News Journal piece on “absentee ballots“, there it little news about the candidates of the 14th. All we have is Dave’s word that a candidate exists……….. Although the Copeland GOP seems to create scandals out of nothing just to surround their shining star candidate with some tarnish…..Oops, its not a scandal if corrected in 7 days. Its, for you francophones, a faux paux. For the rest of us (as Nancy picks up on Dave’s line), it is called a “typo.” I would offer up that the LEAD ( prounounced leed) PAC (Copeland’s $25,000) should, based on knowledge that the money was Copeland’s, the idea was Copeland’s, and the Printer was Copeland’s, the PAC should be pronounced LEAD(led) PAC as in very dense, heavy metal.

    What is sad, is that Delaware had a shot at someone who could lead FOIA in the house, another Karen Peterson perhaps……but now, after all this, how could she ever vote against a Copeland directive? Is a vote for Christian, truly a vote for Copeland. If so, Ennis becomes the lesser of two evils……..(Copeland vrs. Daniello) .You heard it here first…..

    Other news…..

    For those who missed it Matt at the Soapbox fills us in on the John Edwards interview. That was actually the high point of the night, but the MSM carried the entertaining interruption instead. The Soapbox gives the rundown for those who missed it, complete with expletives…..By the way, Matt is actively looking for guest posters on his site…..

    Jerry Northington gets honorable mention on Daily Koz for calling on Congress, perhaps “his” Congress, to tell Bush “No”!

    Over at Pencader Days we have an allegory of today’s politics. Formula One Racing. Describing F1 Racing to NASCAR fans is like describing Football (soccer) to football fans (Go Eagles!). Having once lived in a Formula II racing town, I get it. (Duff, sell that clip to “Speed”. It is that good.) However, my money is on the “Iceman”. I’m partial to Finns.

    New blood, or the return of old blood at WGMD has excited Mike Mahaffe. Based on Mike’s introduction, I will have to tune in. If he is half as good as Maria Evans, it should be quite an asset to this growing progressive state. Mike also gives us the date for the Supreme Court hearing (Nov 27th) on Delaware vrs. New Jersey, or “Historical Precedent” vrs. “Cheney’s secret plans”.

    Speaking of Cheney, he seems to keep a low profile these days. But his mechanizations still make waves, as mentioned here in Del Liberal

    In a rather awkward situation, taking a moment from filling in from a great guest appearance, Mike Matthews introduces us to the new blog, of the person that made such guest appearances possible. (Click and you will understand what I am talking about.) As a blog, it is different, yet for many of us, very, very familiar. We should have a very, very interesting run………Many of you have, but if you haven’t, stop by and add your congratulations……

    Also DWA has a disturbing video. Kent State it isn’t……………

    It appears that Kilroy has it in for John Carney. Of course he is a Levin fan. But still, his pictorials always entertain…..But although the Carney bashing is solid entertainment, do not let it dissuade you from reading the very proactive attempt to fuse administration and parents interests within the Red Clay School District. I am beginning to think, with Posts like these, that Kilroy’s on to something big. It should be done for every school district!

    Our favorite Curmudgeon, seems to be the only one to pick up on the story of NASA keeping their “air safety” study secret. That’s ok, we don’t need it here in Delaware……WE HAVE MIKE PROTACK.( third sentence: question 6 ) (All should read this entire revealing link, as well as the comments. (Remember writing them?)) before discussing the Republican Governor’s race. Back to the Curmudgeon. I sense in each of her posts, that political and government agencies: “CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!” Not only NASA, but the City of Philadelphia, and RedState. com seem equally unwilling to publish the “truth”. Perhaps Alice In Wonderland is more prevalent than I thought. Someone should check RedState for Alice’s mushrooms. “Ignoring Ron Paul“, because he is “not” a Republican……Come on….he is on every official Republican Debate, he registered in Congress as a Republican, and he raised more money than Tancredo, and he has done so, because he is the ONLY Republican who correctly BLAMES BUSH for what’s wrong, not illegal aliens…….which puts him right up there with Hube, Kilroy, and Dave to name a few…. ‘Yo! Losers at RedState……Ask Alice, when she’s ten feet tall……”

    Speaking of Ron Paul, our local Libertarian has this clip which adequately explains why Ron Paul is doing so well, and why some who are “old School”, are hesitant to jump on board……after all…..15 to 20 percent of Americans are Libertarians, according to Cato Institute

    On another topic, pursue this: “Primary care physicians are nothing more than gatekeepers for the insurance companies.

    Merit Bound Alley has the perfect answer for Hube, who I slighted in my last episode by not publishing his full take on Global Warming. MBA in the video “Silver Bullet” gives a sobering look to prove it really doesn’t matter if man “is or isn’t” the cause of global warming…….What matters is whether we don’t, or do something about it………..

    Speaking of one of the contributors to The Colossus of Rhodey, something is happening to his reception of Fox News Channel! It is no longer Comcastic! All other news services are working fine…..Conspiracy perhaps? Doing a little personal sleuthing, on 10/15/2007 Comcast added Fox Business News to channel 106 (site of the old Bloomberg which moved to 103.) My guess is that these are paired, and for your analog TVs, the digital interference from channel 106 creates the sordidness of the analog signal of Channel 65. With electronics, anything can happen……

    And just to show, that despite great differences in opinion, that when it comes to protesters, celebrities rule……..the same opinion lurks here on the right, as it did here on the left…….. Which leads one to wonder…..are there really a right and left anymore?

    When it comes to wind power in Delaware, those distinctions do not apply. Right and Left line up on the same side, against Delmarva and it’s lobbyists (McDowell-Copeland), which seems to be the only entities left in opposition to the wind farm going forward……..

    This has kept Tommywonk busy. Bouncing between radio broadcast, to blogging on wind here,
    here, here, here, here, here.

    Whether one is dealing with the price of wind in the Netherlands, or the increase of transmission lines across New York, or the seasonal carbon replacement factors that wind would replace, or the variances in wind velocity at 80 meters between summer and winter, perhaps something like this could keep things in perspective. A small break would be nice, for on October 29th, the hard work for wind begins anew……….Hey! Is anyone dressing up like Gary Stockbridge, Harris McDowell, or Charlie Copeland for Halloween? If so,……I would recommend not going trick or treating…………..for your own safety…………

    Much controversy surrounded this ad. It is no wonder. The controversy came from a incredibly small remainder of human beings, who out of ignorance or hobbled by duty, still support the republican dream. They had no choice but to complain vociferously…..reality had given them no other choice…..

    I see it with my kids…..it is human nature…..nothing to be ashamed of. When one is guilty of making a mistake…..one counters with their own outrageous accusation about one of their siblings.

    Those of you who are employers, and confront employees about their errors, first have to work through their accusations about their fellow employee’s errors……

    So it seems to be embedded in our genomes that if we, have no rational or reasonable method to explain our actions,………we create an outrage somewhere else to blunt our ineptitude and funnel anger into that direction.

    Bottom line: it was just an ad.

    To put things in perspective, how many Americans died because of the ad? How many Iraqis died because of the ad? How many Americans will be deformed for life, because of this ad? How many Iraqi’s will be deformed for life because of this ad? How many years will we be overtaxed, to pay for this ad? These are pertinent questions. And judging from the explosion of comment within the American press, the effect worked. We are actually, attempting to place on the floor of the Senate, an amendment condemning this ad.

    Are we adding an amendment to stop the killing of Americans? No……Are we adding an amendment to stop the killing of Iraqi? No………Are we adding and amendment to stop pissing away mine and Dave Anderson’s future income? No…….

    So in a sham, we are made to pretend we are outraged, outraged that something so horrible, so despicable has occurred! Calls within the VP’s office to Arrest Move-On, water-board them, kill them and drag their bodies behind Toyata pickups.

    But there is something profoundly bizarre. This outrage occurred solely in the American Press and within the republican ranks of Congress. The Global press ignored it except to say “what’s wrong with these American’s getting so up-tight with an ad?” In blogger world, no one cares…you may Google some responses, but since bloggers tend to be better educated than elected republicans, the consensus has been “so what” Here is one example:

    Once upon a time, everything was going great in our country — its finances, its wars, its economy, everything! — then some organization placed an ad in a newspaper and it was the most horrible thing ever.

    It was real bad — there was an ad. In a newspaper.

    And then everything went to shit and that ad was the only thing the pundits could talk about.

    The end.

    And on the Senate Floor came this rebuttal to the republican charge of outrageousness. Dick Durbin was the author.

    Mr. DURBIN. Would the Senator yield for a question?

    Mr. CORNYN. I yield for a question.

    Mr. DURBIN. Madam President, in the 2004 Presidential campaign, I might ask the Senator from Texas, there was a group from Texas that attacked Senator John Kerry and said he was undeserving of the commendations and decorations he received for his courage in fighting in Vietnam and raised questions about others who served in the military who were part of his swift boat operation. One would have to say, by any stretch, that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth were attacking the honor and integrity of one of our colleagues who served with honor in the Vietnam war.

    I would like to ask the Senator from Texas if he is prepared to remain consistent and if he is also prepared to amend his amendment to repudiate the activities, actions, and statements of the Texas-based Swift Boat Veterans for Truth organization with their unwarranted attacks on our colleague, Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, during the 2004 campaign.”

    The republicans, taken aback, bumblelingly responsed that Kerry was a political figure. It is perfectly fine to smear political figures anyway, anyhow, and anytime you can.

    Here was the rebuttal:

    MR. DURBIN … I am troubled by the conclusion of my colleague from Texas that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth could attack Senator JOHN KERRY for his valor and courage fighting for America in Vietnam and that for some reason we shouldn’t repudiate that attack; that it is OK because it happened, as my colleague said, during a political campaign. If this is about the honor and integrity of our Armed Forces, past and present, whether it takes place during a political campaign or at half time at a football game should make no difference. If the Senator from Texas believes we should stand on a regular basis and condemn those who would attack the honor and integrity of warriors who have served this country with valor in past wars and present wars, then he should be consistent. It is totally inconsistent for him to pick one organization and to ignore the obvious: There are others who have done the same thing.

    Swift Boat Veterans for Truth is a classic example of an organization that distorted the truth about Senator JOHN KERRY and others who served our country during the Vietnam war. The fact that they did it during a Presidential campaign should have absolutely nothing to do with it, if this is a matter of principle. However, if it is not a matter of principle and something else, then you would pick and choose those organizations you want to condemn or repudiate. Unfortunately, the Senator from Texas has picked one organization. He doesn’t want to talk about the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. He certainly doesn’t want to repudiate them. I think they should be repudiated. What they did cast a shadow on the combat decorations given to others during the course of that war.

    What Senator JOHN KERRY did was to volunteer to serve our country, put his life on the line, face combat, stand up and fight for his fellow sailors on that swift boat, and then come back to the criticism, the chief criticism of a group known as the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.”

    Finally this comment from Barbara Boxer, (D CA) :

    MRS. BOXER: … The fact of the matter is the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth went after a war hero and told stories to the American people that were not true and tried to sully a hero’s reputation.

    But he is not the only Senator who was attacked, as my friend remembers what happened to our colleague, Max Cleland. I know he does. Here is a veteran who gave three limbs for his country–three limbs. It is harder for him, for the first 2 hours of every day, to get ready for the day than it is for the Senator from Texas or myself or the Senator from Illinois to do our work for a month. Yet this man was viciously attacked and his patriotism called into question. Oh, yes, my friend might say, it was during a political campaign. It was disgusting. So we raise these issues.

    What I wish to ask my friend is this: I was thinking–as the Senator from Texas, my friend and colleague, was speaking–I was thinking about some retired generals who spoke out against this war and said they were called traitors and worse. So I am looking at ways to incorporate into this a condemnation of anyone who would attack a retired general for speaking out against a war because I think that was low and it was horrible. It was frightening because, in a way, it was saying to these retired generals that they had no voice, no independent voice.

    So I wish to thank my colleague, and I wonder if he recalls these generals. I will have more details as I put together my second-degree amendment as well.

    Icing on the cake:

    MR. DURBIN: … I don’t think the fact that it happens during a campaign absolves anybody from the responsibility of telling the truth and honoring those who served. In this case, two Democrats, Senator Max Cleland and Senator JOHN KERRY, were attacked, and there wasn’t a long line of people on the floor to condemn the attackers. Now that the Senator from Texas has decided we should bring this up as part of the Defense authorization bill, I hope he will be consistent, and I hope he will consistently stand up for the reputations of the men and women in uniform, starting with General Petraeus but including those who served in this war and other wars in the past.

    Each of them deserves our respect. I might add, parenthetically–it is worth saying–even if we disagree with their political views, they still deserve our respect. To attack their honor and integrity is wrong.”

    Once again we see how in the light of open and vigorous debate, that “silliness” becomes flushed out into the open, and becomes sanitized by the light of day. And thereby, through proper civilized use of debate, the American people remain protected from poorly passed legislation.

    To beat Tyler Nixon to the punch, it is not just congressional republicans who use this method of obfuscation. Our state’s Democratic Senate is just as guilty……..

    I can only hope that this facetious argument has merit in the long run. If it opens normal, hard working everyday American’s eyes, to the tactics of bait and switch, and keeps our eyes focused on what really matters……Americans fighting and dying for a lost cause……….then perpetrators of false diatribe, once exposed as the problem, can be removed from office in the next general election.

    Regardless of which party they hail from…….

    Bottom line: it was just an ad. And depending upon one’s interpretation, a very effective one at that. It seems like each time this foolish idea is debated in public, the few pixils of respect still left upon the face of the republican party, become removed byte by byte………

    I disagree with some of those who put down Petraeus as a liar, simply because they fail to agree with his assessment. It may come across to some as funny that I have thought, if not said, some to the same things against which I am now taking issue, and if so, so be it……

    What changed?

    What happened was this. I became more familiar with what was going on within Iraq. Of course, being of skeptic I tended to look at things hard. Very hard. To my surprise, I found out that I was seeing real signs of hope. This hope was not in the eyes of the politicos; it was the eyes of Iraqis. Since desperate souls grasp any rope tossed to them, I have waited quietly to make sure that these Iraqis were not suffering any type of delusion. I listened to all three reports expecting to see something in them dash my half submerged optimism, upon the reality of Iraqi shores.

    I think my conversion may have come about when I was studying the conversion of Al Anbar province. Those Sunnis chose to back us because they like us. Of course it wasn’t much of a contest, considering who their alternative was…..But it may have also come while studying the criticism leveled at us by the British, as they packed up and split. They criticized our arrogance , heavy handedness, and unwillingness to trust: all valid complaints Each of these were addressed under the Petraeus doctrine. After reading the Petraeus Book on the suppression of Insurrections, I realized his tactics were not part of the problem. They were in direct opposition to the problem. I understood what he was trying to accomplish.

    What happened under Petraeus, happened not because of the amount of troops we had at our disposal, but because of the way we used them, that made a difference.

    The surge may have helped. For before the surge, we, due to our insufficient numbers, acted like Soviets, if I may be blunt. We were there to suppress and pacify. We, with our own patriotic roots, should have been more aware that by taking that stance, we directly increased our own opposition.

    Once we added just a few more troops on the ground, we were able to interact with the local population, while still having enough force surrounding us to protect us. Prior to the surge, the problem was that whenever a few shots were fired, we would have to shut down our clinic, and head out across the desert. However with additional troops able to chase the insurgents, the military medical corp could continue to cure the local citizen’s ills. That was the difference. We could finish what we started.

    Of course the original problem was created by republicans, Rumsfeld in particular. Had we ramped up enough ground forces from day 1, we never would have needed the surge in the first place. Yes, we know their insurrection began because they believed we wanted their oil. (That republican Cheney messed everything up). But if I understand correctly, we dropped that privatized oil plank as a “no go” and are now supporting the nationalization of oil assets. We are pursuing more of a Biden local strategy, tribal leader by tribal leader, and doing so because of the surge. Paul Bremmer’s national unification strategy was not working.

    What I found, in essence, was that everything I said eight months ago that we needed to do in Iraq to win, we were now doing.

    Can this late development be twisted to mean I justify this war that was fought on false pretenses? Hell no. It will always stand as a stupid war, instigated by stupid ass republicans. Nothing can ever change that. We could have achieved much better results at far less cost, had we chosen to use other means.

    But we didn’t. We went in against all common dignity, history and sense. So since we did, does the resulting mess lie at our doorstep? Does we broke it, mean we own it?

    Perhaps. But instead of a “oops, I broke it” moment, it is more of an “Honey, I’m pregnant” moment. Whatever happened way back then, has now changed things permanently.

    Of course we can put up our hands and say, “Whoa, that’s your problem bitch…” and walk out the door. Many people do and feel no remorse about doing so. But that is not how I want my America to be perceived. I want My America to be responsible. I want My America to do the right thing. My America will be no punk. My America will be a Dad……….

    So emotionally, that is how I have come around about to see how we could win in that barren land. It is nothing new. Biden has pushed it for years.

    To win, these things must happen. They are in our control.

    Congress must finally stand up to the President. If Iraq can finally realize that America does not equal Bush, that we too think he’s a moron, that we too can admit and correct our mistakes, our relations will improve. If the American Congress ever gets some backbone, and forces upon the president a withdrawal timetable, the Iraqis too will get some backbone and begin controlling their own affairs.

    Congress must stand up to the president, and eliminate the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy 2%, and invest that money into Iraq’s infrastructure, hiring Iraqis to build their own sewers, roads, and buried electrical conduits. If Congress could do that, then the Iraqis might get some back bone and start controlling their own affairs.

    Congress must stand up to the President, and force impeachment if he fails to comply with Congress’s orders. Only then will Iraq realize that America is not over there to conquer, but sincerely is over there to help. If we are decisive over here, they will be decisive over there,……. instead killing time and each other until our next inauguration day.