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Isn’t it a bit unconscionable for an administration (Democratic at that), to ask for raises for its staff, because they were effective especially at minimizing raises for everyone else? The surprising answer is … no.

Because yes! Cabinet secretaries under the law, should be getting a raise right now.
The answer also for those underneath, is that ALL state employees, based on their hard work and sacrifice over the past 4 years, now that money is again flowing into our treasury, should also get a raise as well.

Both groups deserve a raise. The money to pay for it should come from those who did well over the past four years,… Our own 1%.

Obviously someone has to be first. By the law specified in Delaware’s code, in order to have any raise for the next term of 4 years, the request for Governor Markell’s staff has to go in now, between the election and prior to the swearing in of the new legislature.

As for the AFSCME union’s rank and file, their request is handled through a different venue, the General Assembly, as those legislators take on the task and divvy up all the resources being spent in 2014.

So if there is any controversy, it can only be about timing… and the attempt to make a comparison of future earnings with the practices of the past. None of us do that in our own lives; we should not do that when messing around with the lives of other people….

How much do these raises cost us taxpayers?

Under the original proposal, as reported in the News Journal, here were the dollar amounts to be raised…. $12,775, $19,780, $9375, $2781, $2781, $2781. Effectively a grand total of…. $100,546.

Theoretically, if this money was spread between all of AFSCME’s employees, 4000 in number, it would amount to an extra $25 dollars per year… That would be an insult. Those workers deserve more.

Every leader or head manager needs to take care of his team; especially when they do well. Obviously the opposite does not fly. “Oh, I stole all your time away from your family, and used your intelligence, effort, creativity, to enable me to get the credit for running one of the best administrations ever, and now, I am going to take everything for myself and give you nothing back for all your effort.”

That statement does not fly in the face of the rank and file, nor should it fly among the top echelons of government.

Keep in mind, that salaries for these positions are set at the beginning of every four year term, specifically to last the duration of the whole term. None of us, who usually get yearly reviews, have our salary levels that well set into stone. Also keep in mind what the Minner years gave us, where we did not keep our cabinet position salaries competitive with those in the private sector, and, settled for the level of talent we paid for..

Salaries at the top are seen in light of investments. “If we, the state of Delaware, invest this much into you, Mr/Ms Secretary, what will be our return?” Smart people give better returns than dumb people. Smart people usually charge more… For example? Really good lawyers charge more than those getting a foot in the door; they do so for a reason.

So what about those on the bottom? How is this fair when they are required to stay at the same level, or as was the case recently, even being asked to work for less when the money became tight from lower revenues?

The answer is: those on the bottom deserve raises as well. And my answer to any questioning of the percentage often in double digits to those at the top, would be… that if you saved Delawarean taxpayers hundreds of millions, then perhaps you too, would be worthy of the same percentage… But most likely you didn’t make that much of a financial contribution to all of us paying your salary… Therefore, your salary increase which is expensive, needs to be proscribed by what we can afford.

For you see, $25 extra dollars a year doesn’t cut it. If 4000 people all got $1000 raises, that would cost an additional $4,000,000 over what we currently take in now. If you make that $2000, still very little, the cumulative total is now $8,000,000. Considering we were once considering an 8% cut of all government employees in times of hardship, then re-giving them that 8% in times of plenty, would be more than fair. Furthermore when you consider a 2% raise was called for and only 1% was given, that too should be tacked on, simply to be fair….

So if we gave $10,000 additional dollars to every one of the 4000 AFSCME employees, the gross cost would be….. $40,000,000. Considering what they have sacrificed, how much they have lost paying into their own pension plans, the level being re-invested into our infrastructure of people, should probably be around $100,000,000 a hundred million a year... After trimming waste and sunsetting programs no longer needed, the funds for this raise still unpaid for, should be made up in the forms of a millionaire’s tax… After all, if you prospered off the backs of those earning far less, then, pay-up time is more than fair.

The nice caveat of paying all these people more, is that instead of justifying the expense of say…. the Route 1/Interstate 95 interchange upgrade as improving productivity by moving goods and services faster, you just invested $100,000,000 right back into the economy… where… it will be taxed again on a) income, b) gross sales receipts, c) real estate and property taxes, d) capital gains and dividend taxes, e) and even though election year is long past and this topic with the loss of Romney’s big mouth is long forgotten, this $100,000,000 will create lots of new jobs at the grocery store, movie theaters, convenience stores care dealerships,etc….as regular government employed citizens all release some of that “pent-up demand.”

People are capital too.

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Nerein me lifetime, would I be havin’ thought I`d be seein’ myself, on th’ side o’ swashbucklers…

The fine distinction between patriot an’ gentleman o’ fortune, simply depends on who owns th’ wealth….

Robin Hood be a gentleman o’ fortune o’ sorts. From th’ rich t’ th’ poor. An’ th’ wealthy estates hire a Sheriff t’ hunt th’ lad’s down like one….

Sir Drake, filled th’ coiffers o’ England`s treasury, yet attacked Spanish galleons flyin’ th’ Jolly Roger.

American Merchantmen, plundered British merchant ships plyin’ th’ Caribbean. Th’ British called them Swashbucklers.

Southerners plundered Northern ships. The’r counter-band supplied th’ Confederacy fer voyages…

So ye be seein’, when ye use th’ term Swashbuckler, ‘t implies that someone has taken what ye thought ye had already successfully plundered….

There be nay sweet trade on th’ internet. Thar be what them who think they own th’ starboards t’, think be sweet trade, but that definition be open t’ interpretation…..

You make a movie; ye sell tickets. Ye sell television starboards. Ye sell ‘t t’ Wal*mart… Ye be done..
If th’ internet be free, then ‘t needs t’ be completely free…

If ’tis illegal fer any government t’ determine what goes on inside a church, then ‘t needs t’ be illegal fer any government t’ decide what swabbies can an’ cannot be seein’ on th’ internet…..

The shutterin’ down o’ MegaUpload, has stopped all file sharin’ across th’ globe. That be good fer Hollywood. But as Gingrich aptly expresses… Why ortin’ ta th’ world suffer fer Hollywood`s greed?

Think about ‘t… I cannot find ou’ what Spain be doin’ t’ augment th’ problem o’ excess wind energy, on accoun’ o’ MegaUpload be nay functionin’.

`Tis surreal… Better t’ go Bollywood, then Hollywood….

(assistance wi’ translation handled by syddware.com)

I’m printing this article in full: tell me, where in America can you find journalism this “fair and balanced”?

Another crisis in the horizon?

A | A | A |
Winarno Zain, Jakarta | Tue, 07/19/2011 7:00 AM A | A | A |

It seems the world economy has faced endless threats preventing it from sailing smoothly into a strong recovery this year.

First there was the Greek debt crisis that jolted several major banks, and then a political uprising in the Middle East that pushed up oil prices, and then a tsunami in Japan that disrupted manufacturing activities in many countries.

The world economy has not fully dusted off the adverse impacts of these three events. Yet another headwind is looming large on the horizon. This time it is the possible default of the US government of its debt on Aug. 2, if the US Congress fails to approve an increase to its debt ceiling as requested by President Barack Obama. By that date, the US government debt would have reached its maximum allocated limit of US$14.3 trillion.

The current negotiation between representatives of Democratic and Republican parties on the US budget deficit has run into a deadlock, and so the possibility is real that there won’t be any substantial agreements reached, since the dateline is nearing. Major rating agencies such as Standard and Poor, and Moody’s have warned they are ready to downgrade the US government debt rating from top grade AAA.

This would be the first time in 90 years that the US government debt has been downgraded.

It is not hard to imagine what will happen if by Aug. 2 the US government has exhausted its credit ceiling and can not get additional debt to pay for its spending needs.

The US government would have to curb its spending, and because some of these relate to payments to government employees, pensioners and other social benefits, this would strike a severe blow to the consumer spending that is so essential to the US economic recovery.

With debt default and credit rating downgrades, it would be difficult for the US government to get loans. Faced with increasing risk, investors would ask for higher returns for US government bonds. This would push interest rate higher, further depressing the economic recovery.

The US dollar would plunge, triggering a surge in commodity prices and another round of inflation around the world. A deadly combination of inflation and economic stagnation could spin the world economy into a tailspin as happened in the early 1970’s.

How would this worst case scenario affect the Indonesian economy? As capital flows out of the US, investors have tended to seek safe havens elsewhere. Commodities, especially gold and oil, would be their first targets. Emerging markets could be the next destination of this capital flight, depending on the assessment of investors on the strength of its economy and their vulnerability and exposure to the US economic fallout.

But financial crises always result in a loss of confidence and produce negative sentiments in the financial markets. They put financial markets into disarray, and as investors panic, capital starts flowing out of emerging economies.

During the global financial crisis in 2008-2009, capital moved out from emerging economies back to the advanced economies. At that time, the US government bonds and commodities like gold were considered safe havens.

If the US government defaults on its debt payment this time, the question is will the situation change? Will the US government bonds still be considered a safe haven for investors? If not, then where else will they put their money? Or maybe they would prefer to keep their money in the same place and not move it anywhere. If so, the Indonesian economy could get some benefit and may not have to face another shock.

In the longer term, however, the situation may change. No country is immune to the negative ripples of a US economic crisis. As US imports plunge from weakening domestic demand, exports from emerging countries will also suffer. The extent to which these negative impacts affect each country will depend on their trading and banking exposure to the US economy.

What is disturbing about this debt talk is the use of this debate as a political game. This is especially apparent in the Republican stance.

Economist, market analyst and CEOs of financial institutions and even the IMF itself have warned that if Congress fails to raise the ceiling of the US government debt, the world economy would slip into deep recession.

The Republicans did not fully accept Obama’s proposal to raise the debt ceiling. They only agree on a smaller number, but even it was given with some conditions. The Republicans asked Obama not to raise taxes, especially for the wealthy, and Obama should cut social spending, a sacred cow for the Democrats.

By using tit for tat tactics in the negotiation and by seemingly ignoring the impending consequences and dangers, the Republicans were trying to push Obama into an intricate political dilemma.

If the US economy slip into another crisis, economic contraction would be inevitable. Corporate bankruptcies would spread, and jobless rate would surge.

A presidential election is still slightly more than one year away, and Obama’s reelection prospects are solid. But his popularity rating is highly dependent on the unemployment rate. That is why the Republicans think the only way for them to erode Obama’s popularity now is by pushing the US economy into crisis.

As the stakes are high, the two political parties should temporarily set aside their ideologies and adopt a pragmatic stance for the interests of saving the world economy from another catastrophe.

President Obama demonstrated his willingness to compromise his political ideology during the global financial crisis of 2008-2009. Being a Democrat, Obama’s political inclination is generally anti-big business.

Obama realized that it was reckless lending by some big banks on Wall Street that triggered the financial crisis. But he also realized that saving these banks from bankruptcy was key to saving the world economy from further disaster.

His decision to pour $800 billion of taxpayer’s money to bail out these banks was hard to swallow by his fellow party members, but it worked. Now it is expected that the Republicans will be willing to do likewise.

The writer is an economist.

I was wondering if it would be too far a stretch to say the it was the Libertarian wing of the Republican Party (as if there is such a thing) that nixed the $800 billion bailout?

Whether that is good or bad depends on how much of a Libertarian one is….

(This idea occurred while reading Alan’s long comment several posts below…)

Outside the Perimeter
Courtesy of Department of Defense

Overall it was a quiet week…..

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

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

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

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

I’d laugh if it wasn’t true…
at 272.

Observation with 188.

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

Lee, Copeland Rebuke DSEA
with 102.

I Was Wrong with 72.

Ruth Ann’s Legacy
with 55.

Mike Protack Continues to Surprise holding at 53.

Put a Gold Star on his Helmet with 44.

MAC is Back at 42.

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

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

“You suck.”

:Do not”

“Do too.”

“Do Not”

etc…etc…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Driving home while listening to WDEL a commercial came on about a local brokerage firm, and the whole point of this commercial was to convince the listener that the market had bottomed out and it was time to invest…..

It went through a list of problems as to why people would not want to give them their money….

Record breaking cost of fuel.
Plummeting housing market
The falling dollar
The high price of food

At that point I lost interest at what they were saying for something had suddenly occurred to me.

In chronological order…. going backwards…..this is how our current crises happened.

The high price of food
Record breaking cost of fuel
The falling dollar
The plummeting Housing Market..

Each line, or event, was caused mostly by the event or line directly underneath it.

For example the high price of food is tied to the high cost of energy required to get that food to market….as well as the decrease of our food supply as large amounts of food jumped from the ground into our cars.

The high price of fuel is predominantly a result of the falling dollar. For example if a barrel is profitable at $66 dollars on the world market, and our dollar has fallen 50% of its value last year….. our cost of gasoline to us is $132 dollars a barrel.

The falling dollar is a result of the rest of the world’s acknowledgment of the huge pile of unsecured debt hanging over our heads. As seen on Martin Luther King weekend of this year, there is little confidence in America’s ability to provide security. Our dollar is garbage, and will remain so as long as major companies like Bear Stearns can fold overnight…….

So all our woes come down to the housing debacle. Back when the upcoming housing crises was first discovered, and the exact extent of how much unsecured debt’s ink was drying on the paper of most of our investment houses, became known……the dollar fell, which raised up the price of fuel, which in turn pumped up the cost of everything, including the provision of food “for our families.”

So how did this bubble based on housing costs ever get started? Simply because of one piece of legislation that got slipped into a late night omnibus bill (by one Senator Phil Gramm(R) Tex) which deregulated leveraged securities. With no regulation requiring anyone to monitor these massive (billions of dollars) transactions, large amounts (in billions) of loans were leveraged without any adequate collateral to back them up……

In other words, exactly the same sequence of events occurring within the 1929 stock market which eventually led to the Great Depression, occurred again because of this one piece of legislation sneaked in by Phil Gramm. Again, far from the eyes of government regulators, our entire economy was traded several times over on the sham, and huge transactional profits were pocketed:…..very, very large transactional profits, all done over packages worth 1% of their traded value…..

By the way, in case you did not know………Phil Gramm is McCain’s number one principal economic adviser….

In other words, the single one man responsible for all of our economic woes, is currently advising the Republican candidate for U. S. President…..who himself has admitted that he knows little about economics…..

Has any party ever picked a bigger loser?

Think about it.

Now…. listen to this. One of the central planks in Obama’s economic package, paraphrased by David Anderson, goes something like this….

We don’t need to make radical change, but if you just rolled it (required leverage amount) back to 20% then we would still have liquidity in the market and no additional government interference with investors.

Every Libertarian and Federalist should support such free thinking …………..I’m telling you …Obama is not your typical Democrat, just as Reagan was not your typical Nelson Rockefeller Republican……..

But in contrast, the relationship between Gramm and McCain, especially when one considers Gramm’s pivotal role in bringing our country to its knees,……..bears additional scrutiny…..

Outside the Perimeter
Courtesy of Department of Defense

At this time last year, Tommywonk, Curmudgeon, Delaware Liberal, FSP, Delaware Watch, Down with Absolutes, The Delaware Way, The Colossus of Rhodey, Pencader Days, Mike’s Musings, and others, were on fire…

Perhaps I’m nostalgic, but last year it seemed like the Delaware blogosphere was a bit more personal. There seemed to be more posts, and more personality coming through the blogs, than we see today in our selections.

There could be a myriad of reasons. One, the election season, extended version, could have taken a lot out of us. Two, several blogs switched servers, making my finding the archives a little difficult…..Three, viewing all the blogs from near this time last year, they all seemed written in a simpler in style; This year many are covered by a number of widgets…..and some with advertising……Last year most blogs were written by just one person; DelawareLiberal was the only “super” blog on line at the time. FSP was in the process of acquiring a bigger team. Since this time last year, three major Delaware blogs have become an “editorial board”, and not the “editor in chief”…..Delaware Watch, Delaware Libertarian, and Down With Absolutes have grown contributors since last Memorial Day……….

Perhaps we were more passionate last summer, because almost each of us had a different presidential candidate in mind for the Denver or St. Paul conventions…Each of us had something serious to argue about….Just mentioning the list of candidates today brings a lot of local names to mind…..Romney, Thompson, Giulliani, Biden, Gravell, Dodd, Richardson, and of course…..Ron Paul. Destiny has reduced us to three candidates, and conversations within the blogosphere, have become somewhat “canned.”

Some of the “greats” have left us…..Dave Burris……Mike Matthews…….Matt Marshall……but their shoes have been filled by David Anderson……Frank Knotts……..John Feroce…….Dominique………and the blogs go on…..

Perusing through some of the archives, much more original research was placed on line in the form of links. Now, it seems as if one browses another blog or newspaper site, pastes a byline, and moves on. Another difference, perhaps also due to the popularity of the personalities involved, is that there appears to be a lot more self advertising in the form of the announcement of other speaking engagements; local talk radio in particular……..Not that it’s a bad thing of course…..A wider audience is the sole effort all of us have to contribute to if we are to give politics another outlet of getting their words out to the public, other than the News Journal……….

It appears that local stories dominated last years news, at least as summer began. Of course in an election year, one should expect a presidential election to take precedence…..

And last but not least, we were a lot fresher last year….Blogging takes a little out of a person each time, does it not my friends?

Exceptions to what I just said. Hube seems to be on fire this year…..writing rather prolifically as well as providing eclectic, interesting tidbits about himself during the process….. His 100 top movies, and his videos in Spanish….prove that “personality” should not be pruned when writing, but rather cultivated instead….(It also proves life is bigger than just reading blogs). He still busts letter writers who errantly violate good sense in their News Journal letters to the Editor, he still posts the Watcher of Weasel’s results, some of which are first class writings…..Of course some of us think he could polish up his comments better, if he chose to become a first class writer, but……(lol)…….he wouldn’t be Hube, now, would he?

Whereas Hube has stepped up, Alan Coffey, who once was everywhere across the blogosphere, has tapered off a bit. Beset with tragedy earlier this year, that is understandable. However his prolific wisdom in the comment section, often through the back and forth between himself and other writers, often uncovers the details of a viable national policy that should be followed for years to come… And then he occasionally picks up something the rest of us have missed…..

Shirley at Curmudgeon, has written with less political passion since Ron Paul has stopped being news…One should pause to consider the milestones Ron accomplished in the area of raising money…..He may not have gotten the votes, but he is one candidate who does not need to beg for us to show him the money……..Obama and Ron Paul: Ticket for Change….. But if your are ever interested in some Weed.….

Mike Mahaffie is probably the best at showing all of us what being a Delawarean is all about….It’s about teams, its about eggs, its about one’s hometown….Forever the photographer, we see in his blog, the better part of Delaware we sometimes rush pass on our way to meetings that we tell ourselves are “more Important.” Mike, thank heavens, shows all of us,….. that is not so…….(Why do I get a spooky feeling I’m about to witness a 111,111…..?_)

Duffy at Pencader Days seems to be on his hiatus right now…I hope it is for good, not bad, reasons. Reading Duffy’s blog one senses the humanism required to face up to challenge, after challenge, after challenge. Sharing with the rest of us his triumphs and antagonistic sessions, we cannot help but appreciate that life is a series of challenges. The easy challenges do not really stretch us into adulthood. It’s the really big challenges that make us men and women, out of boys and girls…I find his personal accounts uplifting for the simple premise that if Duffy can face his challenges as he does, there is no excuse for the rest of us to face our own obstacles, with as much drive, determination, and grit…..

Merit Bound Alley has been on line, then off, then on, then off and is now on line again. I am trying to keep him as our science guru, scanning the science wires and posting the newest and greatest discoveries rocking the scientific world……..As politics heat up, it is nice to have a reminder that no matter how significant we tend to think ourselves to be……that we and an ant are in a statistical dead heat, when one compares each of our respective atoms to those of the universe as a whole……

Every community needs someone to keep the others in touch. Someone like the telephone operator in Andy Griffith’s Mayberry who kept all informed of everyone’s business. The community was closer that way…We have Nancy Willing and Delaware Liberal who serve that purpose well. Scanning the wires, copy and pasting, they provide the fodder for the rest of us to look at, dissect, and rebutt……The prodigious amount of what they cover, is the key.

Delaware Way, for example covers these local events, all of which are big in their respective neighborhoods, whether its Mr. Valahura,, The Middletown 301 Project, the SEU’s . Delaware Liberal keeps us posted on bloggers emotional events,….like kissing and making up…. as well as acknowledging the greater world out there….

But DelawareLiberal.Net. has taken on some serious investigative journalism. Jason did original research into the formation of the SEU and its continuance despite the fact hat its charter states that it should have closed down. LiberalGeek has the latests on their most recent meeting, here….It was obvious to me that something was different about this meeting which was missing from the last. Should I say more of a serious, or “get something done” attitude was present this time? Could we be seeing the fruits of Geeks reporting of his first foray into the lions den of General Assembly committee hearings?

DelawarePolitics.Net marches on without Dave….For an example of how unexciting it is without Dave’s boastful exaggerations, check out the mild tone of Smitty, reminding one of Ben Stein‘s character on the “Wonder Years.” David Anderson tries to get up into Sharon Stone and her karma…Just don’t forget what happened to Michael Douglas when he tried to do the same……..

Delaware Libertarian, has been preoccupied with the Libertarian National Convention, coming up with this visual aid to assist those wondering if Libertarians may make a mark this year………I was just speaking of this post the other day, telling someone that I thought it would have great relevance to our lives beginning after the stock market crash next fall…..

Meanwhile Tommywonk continues to doggedly pursue the Wind story, both on line and on the air….. As his post suggests, crunch time is here to persuade Senators to vote in favor of the best new opportunity Delaware will have for a long time…..The same arguments being used today, were used against the Banking Act, which just barely squeaked though the General Assembly.That bill did a lot of good for Delaware……

Dominique has breathed new life into Down With Absolutes….All the guys who use to give Mike Matthews a hard time, are enamored with her…..The best comments now come from Liz Allen and Nancy Willing…..Go figure….. But lately a series which invites a reader to tell whatever dirt they know about a candidate, is creating a rather good tutorial that our citizens can use in both the primary and general elections….Trolling for comments, and keeping it personal….Dominique carries Matthew’s good work forward…..

Delaware Watch took a break from blasting McCain to have some fun….Apparently out with his camera he caught this riding around our first state…..But if you ever wanted to blow a national presidential campaign completely out of the water, but just did not no how…..then this site is for you….

So I may concede that collectively we are not as good as we were last year…..But because of us, the News Journal is doing a better job. Because of us, talk radio is actually interesting again. Because of us, we are 3 Senators and one desk drawer shy of passing a Bluewater Wind deal over the objections of one Delmarva Power company….

Who would have ever thought something like that might come to pass?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Outside the Perimeter
Courtesy of Department of Defense

Things are heating up.

Some think politics are noble. They aren’t. They are about winning. Now that some contests are heated, we see frustration and anger apparently beginning to flare.

There are three themes running through Delaware’s blogosphere currently and all three are contentious. All three came to a head this week, because, to paraphrase a line in the movie Casablanca, destiny stepped in. In other words, real events outside our arena shifted the whole turn of events, and bloggers from both sides, came out clamoring.

The first factor, Harris McDowell’s report. The wind power battle witnessed the final lash by Harris McDowell. It fell short. Issued with it came a minority version that once coupled with the original, makes it look pretty sad….This is the best $100,000 of our state money can produce? And Tommywonk can write the opposing view for free? Incredulous minds began to wonder. We paid how much for this testimony, and we wouldn’t let those willing to speak for free, to say a word? Is something wrong with our government in Dover?

Of course. It lives and breathes in the bodies of four people….

One of those persons was the topic of some original research carried out by Jason330. Just in time to illuminate the motives behind the bill passed last week that allows McDowell to take over the SEU without remaining non profit.. What is even more of a scandal, is that the News Journal has not had the stomach to tackle this story. Suddenly the motives behind fighting Bluewater Wind, are now clear. Bluewater is not costly to Delmarva rate payers as we have heard ad nauseum over the air waves…….they are costly to one Harris McDowell.

The second event was the entrance of Charlie Copeland into statewide politics. Many were surprised, and some were angry, and some were hungry for copper.

Perhaps by coincidence, out of nowhere came this.

Having heard nothing about pink post cards for what seems like half a year, suddenly, with Charlie’s hat still wobbling in the ring, it’s out again. Just in time for the Republican convention, too. A Protack/Copeland ticket would again serve proof that politics can indeed make some strange bedfellows. But what is ironical is that Dave’s opinion seems to be a minority in his party. Protack has established some credibility in the past few months. One follower, also a friend of Dave’s, puts it this way……Whereas McCain was whacked by his party regulars, yet embraced by the voters, the Republican party would do well to investigate the popular appeal Mike Protack has. He has done well in each debate up to now…….probably better than Levine or Lee could muster. Of course he is not one of their own……so they may fail to make the wise choice. Realize of course, no one would even know about the pink post cards if it weren’t for bloggers……..

But perhaps the stars of our blogosphere are those making and responding to the comments. This topic has some very good dialog. The now famous “giggle berries” comment is one worth reading the many above it. As contentous as it may seem at times, this is what politics is about. Learning through listening to others. I found my viewpoints shifting back and forth as I read through the opposing viewpoints. It is truly recommended reading for all interested parties.

The third contentous topic was spawned by the Pennsylvania primary last week. Down with Absolute’s new writer has things jumping at that blog again, with reprucussions aftershocking their way across the net.
Helped along by Rev. Wright, their Hillary supporter, has aggressively challenged the Delaware blogosphere’s almost tepid status quo. In a way somewhat reminiscent of the good old days, blogging has become fun again. We are all grateful for the transfusion…….A great study of American politics can be made by studying this thread and its comments involving the Reverand Wright. But before we stop and take this commentator too seriously….we get a helpful hint at their psychology from this tasty nugget. If you want to see the fire power a Hillary supporter can muster, follow the comments on this thread, Overall, in an environment that had grown a little staid….there is now some habanero among the bunch……That’s a good thing.

But sometimes after taking a canoe down the Grand Canyon, one longs to find an eddy to sit and indulge the grandeur for a moment. Dover is our place of refuge. Although among most blog readers Dover is discussed most often in derogitory fashion, Mike Mahaffie shows us its better side. His pictures reaffirm why being alive and living…. is a good thing.

At Delaware Libertarian, Tyler posts a note about Argentina’s eradication of drug laws. We are also forewarned to expect some weird things out of Brian, but not because of any liberalization of drug laws.

Shirley has a post on what happens when you take Brian to Argentinia, or mix the fun side of drugs with what they are supposed to do, heal. They might be needing some of that medicine on Wall Street soon.

Perhaps while swirling in the quiet waters between thunderous rapids, you might want to ponder this message for The Digital Federalist. It has meaning on so many different levels. Does it really pay to work more?

Liberal Delight has some casual observations on contempory dating life. Check out the differences between your time and his…………

And then the eddy pushes you back into the current and cantankerous rapids begin. One good reason for supporting Obama is that he and JttR actually agree on something. Don’t know if that speaks more highly of Obama, or Ryan S. from Jokers to the Right.

Merit Bound Alley is approaching a month from his last post. Hope all is still going well. Hopefully the silence is due to spending the proper amount of time with the little one.

Kilroy has details on Senate Bill 308 which opens our schools finances to the public. Earlier he takes on Obama on his attack of Exxon, instead of attacking Americans who waste energy unwisely.

Pencader Days will make you forget about politics for awhile. Here is his treatise on autism, that gets my vote for best piece of the week. Here is his advice column. Its off to a good start.

Delaware Way has staked out the local news whether from Middletown or Mill Creek, and has started issuing race tips..….

But then as one approaches the turbulent water of the Colossus of Rhodey the gloves come off. Again we have moon bats beating up on ding bats……Here is an example…Of course the Rev Wright makes a billing. Who would have ever expected Hube to agree with a Hillary supporter about anything?

Politics do make strange bedfellows. Expect the cantankerous nature of close contests to rub off on our Democratic brethren as thing heat up for the Democratic governor’s race….It will be tough to reconcile us to one party in time for November…….

So on this note it would be appropriate to close with this comment buried in the DWA post about the Rev. Wright. Its author is none other than Steve Newton:

Ironically, until this thread was posted, I was working on a piece about the great strength of the Delaware blogosphere being the consistently ability to keep dialog going between people of completely different political orientations. We have our fights, and we have our moments of unity………

I don’t think I’ll be publishing the piece on the intellectual vitality of the Delaware blogosphere any time soon.

We have met the enemy and it is us.

Outside the Perimeter
Courtesy of Department of Defense

The most notable event that took place in our recent blogosphere, was the unceremonious “fuck you, assholes” sent by the Delaware House of Representatives (25 to 11) to those turds in the Senate, who are, and have been for too long,….. clogging up the plumbing of good government. By now, all should know that Charlie Copeland, Harris McDowell, Tony DeLuca, and Thurman Adams, are impersonating the Four Whoresmen (sp?) of the Apocalypse, responsible for keeping Delaware from becoming anything more modern than…………a feudal government.

Gloom and Doom opened the morning of the tenth. The News Journal and WDEL both took the fake, went chasing after a foul ball, and ran squarely into the right field fence. Anyone reading past the headlines would have instantly realized that something was wrong, There was nothing lurking in the background to back the headlines. It was a rumor gone wild. Someone had whispered that the wind farm was in mortal danger.

“What?” “The wind farm is in danger?” “Oh, No!”……..

But no report was out, said both news sources, but fortunately for us, four senators were squealing to the press about the issue.

What? Four Senators? Could it be?……Were we about to see the New Age reincarnation of the four Whoresmen of the Apocalypse? Was Armageddon just around the corner?

The News Journal named no names but gave background quotes from 4 sources…..Can we guess? “Desk Drawer” Adams? Harris McDowell? Tony DeLuca? Charlie Copeland? My………………………..how did you know? What amazing powers of prognostication you all possess! (That could, in part, be why you are bloggers).

So as we listened to Karen Petersen stammer from having been aroused too early in the morning (session went late the night before), things didn’t sound so good, Especially everywhere one turned, something was being said about the end of the windfarm……..

But those of us in the know, saw it as a concerted effort by four people. A quick look at the math, leaves 783,596 Delawareans still unaccounted for.

Any basketball team losing 4 to 783,596, would never be considered, even by its most ardent believers, as sitting on the edge of an upset!…………Some of us are wondering why those within the media, who should be immune to this type of fake out, were so gullibly sucked in……..

Tommywonk set them straight on Loudell’s Noontime broadcast, notable for being the first guest in recent memory, that Loudell has allowed to go over his time limit, during an interview without pulling the plug…….. Meanwhile, down south, Maria Evans was filtering through the News Journal story as well.

This flap had occurred just on the toes of Delmarva releasing their on shore prices for renewable wind energy. Or lets say they issues a perspective…..a rosy perspective…..an almost too rosy of a perspective to be taken with a grain of salt………This was quickly debunked by several of Delawares bloggers as purporting to buy wind energy from windmills whose building rights on the tops of mountains, were not even proposed?

And then, HCR 38 went to a vote. Tommy has the scoop on how it happened. as well as does John Kowalko. It came out………… in favor of Bluewater Wind by a vote 25 to 11. Almost all of the 11 came from Sussex County, and were Republican……..Looks like no help will be forthcoming from Dave for these notorious bashers of Dave Burris and backers of John Atkins. Sussex County is wind country. Don’t believe me? Just ask Lynn Bullock?

There is no doubt that Harris McDowell is tearing up all of the fabric of compromise within the second smallest state, in his all out scorched earth attempt to kick out Bluewater Wind.

Dana at Delaware Watch, sings the praise of one committed Legislator, intent on working for the people of his district, unlike his compatriots in the Senate, who have sold their people “out”. That’s the problem with keeping politicians in office too long. It is only inevitable that they eventually, they spoil like a ripe papaya

There has been a surge of spirit among those willing to take on the sad state of affairs known normally as Delaware Politics. Strange events are occurring. People are not willing to sit back and just take it anymore. Many will wonder where this spirit is coming from, and why it suddenly manifests itself among us……..But some of us know exactly from where it comes ….and will fight to keep that free spirit alive.

Delaware Politics.Net has absolutely nothing on Bluewater Wind this past week. Too occupied with “being bitter” and like the rest of us, they are nostalgic for 1999. When Republicans start fondly reminiscing about 8th year of a Democratic president, during the middle of the 8th year of a Republican one, you know something has broken down somewhere in their philosophy.

However all friendly kidding aside, they, along with JTTR, and Rick Jensen, are taking on the 10% cuts being forced upon our educational departments. This is an issue. Schools are being asked to give back money as well as every other state government entity. Dave asks if that is fair? Is it the best option on the table? Dana shows us where that money is going to. Take it from the schools and give it to………….Kilroy has a better answer…..Translate that feeling into action……Steve Newton takes the message directly to the source. Obviously our soon-to-be-retired Governor, having heard Allan Loudell who seems to be the only one mentioning the catastrophic food shortages, (that quite possibly has the potential to change our global political landscapes relatively soon), is worried that in her retirement, she will run out of Kraft Macaroni & Cheese. Stay tuned for a photochop of Minner enjoying her retirement dinner, with a twenty years stash stored behind her. Those of you who are parents, get yourselves ready for conversations such as this: “Dad,” “Yes, son,” “Why did you let the governor eat up all our school’s money?” If you are prepared, your answer should go like this……”Well, once upon a time…..It all started off when four people got together, and all of them had funny names. Their names were Tony “On The Take” DeLuca, Charlie “No Wind Here” Copeland, Harris “I love Delmarva” McDowell, and “Desk Drawer Adams”…………………” (more to come later)

From the Libertarian side of things, Shirley shows us that there are other people in this world who also have brains, balls, and the know-how to use both, other than Tyler Nixon. Figures this link would come from the “Live Free or Die” State. What is it with small states having the most vocal Libertarian contingents?

Thank heavens some one is finally getting wise.What a beautiful day

Bet it wasn’t a beautiful day for these people in Berks County, PA. (There is a highly recommended YouTube clip in this post’s comment section.) Obviously some laws are still subjective when it comes time to met out their punishments……

Alan Coffey lays the Republican hypocrisy right on the line with this post. Don’t forget, up until just last November, we were going to bomb them…….

Delaware Libertarian has a short post (Yes Duffy! It’s true……Check it out… 🙂 ) about how an above mentioned controversy will impact our local politics. Try as you may to simplify and reduce it further, it can’t be done……..

Along the same lines…..Duffy has some similar advice about finding simple solutions to big problems: always check the registry, and then, check it again………………..Duffy’s stories always make me feel human again; its nice to know I am not the only one upon who life is not always smiling….

On a more serious note, Duffy brings home just exactly what America is all about. Honor, Duty, and the willingness to sacrifice for a greater cause. Irregardless on how you feel about the war, you can feel nothing but pride after reading this tribute…….It infuriates me that back home, in Dover, we are forced to deal with those pursuing a narrow,specific, personal agenda, focused only on themselves and the accumulation of their own wealth, with not even a smidgen of responsibility to those who will suffer because of their actions.

What a huge difference between our military heroes, and those politicians who stay at home……………..

People ask me if I am worried…….I tell them no, I had an omen that in this week something great would happen……I was right. It did. Blue bug eyed aliens were discovered in and around Sussex County (must see picture). And after some trouble with a blood clot, Mahaffie is now in New Orleans, giving us a first hand look at the aftermath of Katrina. I was relieved to see the Cafe du Monde was still around with their awesome beignets. I hope he gets a chance to ferry over to Algiers, but his schedule may be a little too tight…….I’m still waiting for him to show up at the South Pole, to check out the accuracy of his GPS device. 🙂

And we need to keep Joe M. close to our hearts and in our prayers. Anytime one of us goes silent, I start to worry.

But a real event spinning off one of JTTR’s posts had be worried even more. Although I am fond of his analysis covering his taste in music, he did exceptionally well in reviewing this product. I was able to fight the power of suggestion for twenty one minutes before heading out to the nearest 24 hour location…………only to find, that because of the slowness of the economy, it had cut back its hours…….stranding me unfulfilled with JTTR‘s words echoing though my head….(By the way, his review is on target, and the purchase is worth the effort…) His mirror image, has finished his four years and like everyone who has traveled that path, looks backwards and says ………………..”ok”.

Matt Marshall is on TV. No not like water on Mars, this is the real thing. Those who follow DWA can also get a glimpse of the always articulate, and eloquent Dominique…..
But even bigger news it how Gene Reed, insurance commissioner gets his money……..and how the News Journal tried to hide it and cover it up……Just imagine the Pottersville this state would be in if it weren’t for us bloggers?

The Colossus of Rhodey points out that not all stupidity lies with our administration. The University of Delaware is getting ready for another national firestorm, especially during an election year, by putting this up for all to see….”The University of Delaware has revised a speech code that used to classify “[a]ny instance that is perceived by those involved as being racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, homophobic, or otherwise oppressive” as an emergency equal to fire, suicide attempts, and alcohol overdose.” Hmmm…a little hyperbole we have there, perhaps? Perhaps the University of Delaware’s officials should watch Battlestar Galactica to learn how one deals with those having different viewpoints, even if that person is yourself. I’m telling you. It’s the best show on television.

Finally full circle back to Bluewater Wind. Jason at Delaware Liberal shows us that as we squabble away valuable time arguing with, instead of simply bypassing one Harris McDowell, the rest of the world is moving forward with Offshore wind very quickly. We have just days before the announcement that the East Coast Hub of Offshore Wind development, will no longer be in Delaware. Because we (1st Senatoral District, Wilmington) elect stupid asses to our Legislature.

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