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Usually this is an after thought…” Oh, wow, year’s over, let’s get a person of the year”…  And then once we elect one,  we go… “holy crap… we totally forgot so and so….”

So to try to stir up some old simmering coals of memory, both mine and others, and perhaps even to (heaven forbid) get some debate going in the blog sphere, I thought I’d make an initial run on Thanksgiving Week, and then add people into the nominating category as others mention various ones I should kick myself for forgetting.

It will also force me to review the year which is something I rarely do… because face it, as a human being, I am slave of the moment….  If I did this last year, come December 14th the entire world would have been turned upside down and all the old priorities of 2012,  would in one day become trivial….

And so starting early gives me the chance to make the argument for each of those I decide to enroll with your kind recommendations included….

Julius Cephus:  Particularly this one man organized and stopped an end run around the Port of Wilmington.  The Kinder Morgan deal did not go through, and the Wilmington Port is bustling like never before…   Kinder Morgan was to strip the union of power, and drop the rates of pay, further dampening the economy of Wilmington proper.  It was also the first defeat of a Lavine-Markell development project, .. Fisker and Bloom had gone forward without a hitch.  Julius and other’s push back resulted in a General Assembly motion that stated they, not the governor, had final approval. It was the first time we were exposed to the current Governor’s manipulations.  They were to play a significant part across this year’s tapestry.

Steve Newton:  A blogger who has written infrequently, but effectively. His piece on SB 51  is what alerted us to the end run being performed by Dave Sokola on lowering the current standards being used for educating teachers.  It is brilliant.  It took an evening of reading the legislation line by line and cross referencing  it with Steve’s analysis, to understand the huge negative impact this bill would cause.  By the time this was done, the Bill had already passed the Senate unanimously without comment, and with an friendly amendment added that was voted upon without even being read.  Some public outcry was mustered within the House, both in committee and on the floor, but under the Governor’s direction, the Speaker of the House, pushed the bill to the floor before significant outcry could be mustered.  Only 4 House members were not on record for it’s passing.  Our educational schools now have to water down their teaching standards to meet the new law.  Steve also has brought the Highmark story to Delaware.  His research in the increase of medical costs in Western PA as a result of knocking out competition by unfair practices, leads one with a cold chill of what to expect in Delaware’s future.  We are already there.  As an insurer, Highmark is only paying medical claims in its own affiliated clinics.  As the new Blue Cross/Blue Shield owner, that is a huge percentage of Delaware’s residents.  None can go to any other hospital.  He has properly fingered Karen Weldham Stuart for not catching this prior to implementation.  Without Steve, this would have passed unnoticed.  The News Journal still has not once mentioned the takeover of Delaware’s health field under one owner.

Ernest Lopez.  If Kennedy were still writing Profiles of Courage, he should include this man.  Ernest Lopez is a conservative, and voted with Libertarian values to pass the gun legislation recommended by Markell and Biden.  Reflecting the views of his district, instead of taking the threatening message sent to him down from the NRA, he voted for his district.  A very vocal minority, who is always vocal, and always in the minority, swore they would unseat him.  He disregarded their idle threat, and voted both his and his constituents conscious.  A major billboard was put up to call him out.   His vote caused the passage of us now requiring background checks at public gun sales.  Now a certifiably insane person cannot slap cash and get a gun.  It is a no-brainer, and Ernie was the only Republican with brain enough to even know what a no-brainer is….

Cathy Cloutier:  her vote allowed gays to marry.  Again, she is a Republican who said enough is enough… Tired of voting against her conscious just so Sussex County would not flip over to the Democrats, she finally did not toe the line and voted along the lines of her own constituents, all overwhelmingly in favor of gay marriage.  In doing so, she went against the entire grain of her party, who firmly feel that gays are second class citizens, even though most Republicans in office are closeted gays.

Bethany Hall Long:  on the same vote, made a viable personal decision, and also voted for the legalization of gay marriage. Unlike Cathy’s vote, this was accomplished at great personal sacrifice, for all of those in her personal life, were solidly against this policy from taking effect.  In voting for what was morally right, she had to contend against those whose influence she could not escape.  She went with the correct vote, over the easy one.   As a result, Gay marriage is now legal in Delaware.

Paul Baumbach:  gave great ammunition against the fight for SB51, and later against HB 165. Both bills which will damage Delaware’s education for years to come.  He was one of the four who put up a fight on the House floor.  Paul also arranged for the meetings in Newark to discuss the new Power plant that figured in this past week’s election.

John Kowalko:  also was against SB51, HB 165, as well, being against the power plant.  In fact, John was the first person to sound the alarm over how big the power plant would be.  Without his big voice, it may have slid through unnoticed.  The power plant has defined northern Delaware politics since September.

Kim Williams;  responsible for HB 40 which investigates Charter School’s meddling into our educational systems.  She was as an acting state representative, allegedly refused entrance into a committee hearing on education, for fear she might say something damaging to the bill being rushed through….  She brought to the public’s knowledge, that the Charter School bill was drafted illegally without public input, and the charter group constructing it, was also under FOIA, to which the private group denied.  The Attorney General backed up her assertion, that the bill was formulated illegally but their decision was moot, because the bill was passed both houses anyways.  Kim Williams also in the HB 40 task force, led the group to realize that charter schools unlike public schools, do indeed filter those entering charters to weed out those who might lower their test scores….

Mark Murphy, Rodel, Sweeney, Hefferman, and the Fake Educational Reform Establishment:  I almost purposefully did not post this.  Although the first person’s name is usually followed by explicatives whenever mentioned, it is unlike Voldermort’s, still getting mentioned.  Mark Murphy was not put in his position based on his ability. He was placed there for his loyalty to the cause of  corporatizing public education.  Markell pulls the strings, Murphy figures how to get it done…  It is hard to make a puppet the most influential person of the year… So I was going to skip him… But at the last minute, remembered that every time  he or anyone of these make an op-ed, it resonates as gigantic news. The entire community rises up to counteract each op-ed, usually with the word “lies” thrown liberally about…. So, they do exert an influence.  I looped all of them together, as the group of liars in a Greek play, who stand on the stair steps and taunt the protagonists.  Well,… they are part of the play…….

Dan Short:  Sometimes villains get noticed too.  Primarily a single issue candidate, who personally supports the NRA, he actively campaigned and organized to create enough backlash so Markell’s gun laws could not get enough votes…  Without him, there is a possibility that all four of Markell’s gun control pieces of legislation would have passed both houses of Delaware’s legislature. Dan Short should be given the credit for stopping them.

John Sigler: Single handedly by his very brief tenure as the re-elected head of the Republican Party, he pointed out through his pigeon shooting, just how inept the Republican Party was at everything else.  With his leaving, all fissures cracking the Republican bedrock, were impossible to ignore.  Blogs split. The IPOD’s split. Former candidates of the same party just months earlier, now not talking to each other. The Delaware Republican Party is dead; no it is past dead.  More dead than a pigeon shot inside a box by John Sigler, former head of the Delaware Republican Party.

Nancy Willing: Her blog, the Delaware Way, is the go-to site for local information. Whether about Dover, about New Castle County, about any of New Castle County’s associations, Nancy combs all sources and puts them down in aggregate form. Heavily involved in the Power Plant controversy, The Delaware City Rail Yard controversy, Barley Mill controversy, the Woodlawan controversy, the Kinder Morgan controversy, the Charter School Controversy, the Common Core Controversy, Nancy has who is saying “what”, and links to “why”. One can expend less energy by using her blog to follow all the stuff the News Journal neglects, in a few quick empty steps.

Amy Roe:  a head of the Sierra Club, who emerged from nowhere to lead the fight against the power plant, and give quite a run against the establishment candidate.  Becoming the face the anti- power movement could coalase behind, she gave the anti power plant movement both dignity and grace.  Coming up short only 115 votes, she has awakened Newark now politically as never before…  The power plant if it goes forward, now has a strong group of Newarkeans against it.  Hopefully they will be monitoring it regularly and helping authorities keep in in compliance with all local law.

Tom Gorden; although much quieter than his first term in office, Tom Gorden is rapidly rolling back the privileges the previous Clark administration handed over to our state’s top developers. The Barley Mill plaza which had a green light, is now parked at a red. In a big sea change, though handled quietly, community groups are now no longer persona non grata in county government. It is no longer accepted as a matter of course that the Woodlawn Trust will be gobbled up by developers. If enough fight can be mustered, it can be stopped. Furthermore, with Tom there is closer coordination with the City of Wilmington, than we have experienced anytime in our lifetimes. In the county, local policing has been stepped up, particularly in neighborhoods prone to crime…

Dennis Williams: Came in with grand expectations, which looked deliverable for a while. The tide is turning and his relevance on this list, is because every day, the headline reality in Wilmington’s streets, brings his electioneering boasts back to haunt him, like a sizzling hot branding iron.  Time, Dennis, to say “Damn the torpedoes… Their punk asses are going in jail no matter which blowhard on City Council spouts off,before mine gets tossed in jail for impersonating a mayor..”

Alan Levin:  Jack Markell’s second in command, he was instrumental in defending Markell’s position on Kinder Morgan and the port, as well as the new power plant for the data center. He also had a hand in keeping Dole in Delaware, and worked to slip the power plant past a slew of unsuspecting Newark City officials.

Jack Markell: had his hand in everything.  He was behind Kinder Morgan’s takeover.  He was behind SB 51 and HB 165.  He was behind the illegal charter group, requiring HB 40. He also was the driving force for the four rational steps to gun legislation, 2 of which were passed. He was also the driving force behind the passage of gay marriage, signing the bill in the chambers just moments after its passage. He also supported the transgender bill in its travels through the labyrinth of Legislative Hall. He as behind keeping Dole in Delaware. He was behind changing an icon in Millsboro away from pickles, over to poultry. He pushed the bill to curtail Flowers. Despite your opinion over whether these were good or bad, they still showed a ubiquitous and wide reach across the state of Delaware. Seems like nothing got done that didn’t have his fingerprints all over it.

John Young: As head of Christina board, John Young led the board in standing up to Mark Murphy and Jack Markell, by refusing the RTTT funds slated for his district. Although some hired fools, (Jea Street) tried to paint Young into a corner, it served the opposite purpose and gave Young a platform. For the fist time, Common Core was getting publicly bashed. For the first time, many were finding that aligning themselves blindly to this sham of improving standards, was probably going to hurt them politically in the next couple of years. It was the fist salvo back, so the damage estimates were not high, but it did open eyes of many who had been on the sidelines of all educational issues, making them also become vocal in fighting Common Core. His blog Transparent Christina has channelled a lot of detailed information into the Delaware market, and had made Common Core an apprehension, instead of the savior it was supposed to be….

Kilroy: Kilroy has always been haranguing over education. In fact he was doing such a good job I left that issue alone for years, because other issues for me, like the economy and elimination of guns from the hands of the mentally ill, were more important. But as the issue has shifted back into the limelight, Kilroy’s hard hitting is making its mark… Kilroy is blunt, and right now, that is the language that needs to happen. Blunt descriptions of what takes place in the stratosphere of he academic field…. Kilroy often breaks stories before the News Journal, especially ones embarrassing to the Murphy/Markell cartel of education. If you have read Kilroy over the past couple of years, you would already know that Common Core is not the panacea we have been promised. It is a power grab for taxpayer dollars, financed by Wall Street itself…. If you think otherwise, you haven’t been reading a balanced reading list….
That is what I have so far. In retrospect I am surprised that education has played so much, as even I have only come to that topic lately… But if one looks over the News Journal op eds, education really did dominate the discussion in the 2nd smallest state this year….

I may have forgotten some big ones. To reiterate, that is why I am posting this early, to catch those big mistakes as they get brought to my attention….

This took place early August. Was not recorded in American media. Was big news in the Mid East…

The arrival of Prince Bandar was secret, shuttled in and out of Russia without fanfare. The meeting went like this.

Bandar relayed the Saudi king’s greetings to Putin and the king’s emphasis on the importance of developing the bilateral relationship. He also told Putin that the king would bless any understanding reached during the visit. Bandar also said, however, that “any understanding we reach in this meeting will not only be a Saudi-Russian understanding, but will also be an American-Russian understanding. I have spoken with the Americans before the visit, and they pledged to commit to any understandings that we may reach, especially if we agree on the approach to the Syrian issue.”

Bandar: ““There are many common values ​​and goals that bring us together, most notably the fight against terrorism and extremism all over the world. Russia, the US, the EU and the Saudis agree on promoting and consolidating international peace and security. The terrorist threat is growing in light of the phenomena spawned by the Arab Spring. We have lost some regimes. And what we got in return were terrorist experiences, as evidenced by the experience of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the extremist groups in Libya. … As an example, I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics in the city of Sochi on the Black Sea next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us, and they will not move in the Syrian territory’s direction without coordinating with us. These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role or influence in Syria’s political future.”

Putin: ““We know that you have supported the Chechen terrorist groups for a decade. And that support, which you have frankly talked about just now, is completely incompatible with the common objectives of fighting global terrorism that you mentioned. We are interested in developing friendly relations according to clear and strong principles.”

Then Bandar discussed the potential cooperation between the two countries if an understanding could be reached on a number of issues, especially Syria.

Bandar: “Let us examine how to put together a unified Russian-Saudi strategy on the subject of oil. The aim is to agree on the price of oil and production quantities that keep the price stable in global oil markets. … We understand Russia’s great interest in the oil and gas present in the Mediterranean Sea from Israel to Cyprus through Lebanon and Syria. And we understand the importance of the Russian gas pipeline to Europe. We are not interested in competing with that. We can cooperate in this area as well as in the areas of establishing refineries and petrochemical industries. The kingdom can provide large multi-billion-dollar investments in various fields in the Russian market. What’s important is to conclude political understandings on a number of issues, particularly Syria and Iran.”

Putin: “Your proposals about oil and gas, economic and investment cooperation deserve to be studied by the relevant ministries in both countries.”

Bandar covers the Syrian misunderstanding.

Bandar: “The Syrian regime is finished as far as we and the majority of the Syrian people are concerned. [The Syrian people] will not allow President Bashar al-Assad to remain at the helm. The key to the relations between our two countries starts by understanding our approach to the Syrian issue. So you have to stop giving [the Syrian regime] political support, especially at the UN Security Council, as well as military and economic support. And we guarantee you that Russia’s interests in Syria and on the Mediterranean coast will not be affected one bit. In the future, Syria will be ruled by a moderate and democratic regime that will be directly sponsored by us and that will have an interest in understanding Russia’s interests and role in the region.”

Putin: “Our stance on Assad will never change. We believe that the Syrian regime is the best speaker on behalf of the Syrian people, and not those liver eaters. During the Geneva I Conference, we agreed with the Americans on a package of understandings, and they agreed that the Syrian regime will be part of any settlement. Later on, they decided to renege on Geneva I. In all meetings of Russian and American experts, we reiterated our position. In his upcoming meeting with his American counterpart John Kerry, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will stress the importance of making every possible effort to rapidly reach a political settlement to the Syrian crisis so as to prevent further bloodshed.”

On Egypt:

Bandar: “We said so directly to the Qataris and to the Turks. We rejected their unlimited support to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and elsewhere. The Turks’ role today has become similar to Pakistan’s role in the Afghan war. We do not favor extremist religious regimes, and we wish to establish moderate regimes in the region. It is worthwhile to pay attention to and to follow up on Egypt’s experience. We will continue to support the [Egyptian] army, and we will support Defense Minister Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi because he is keen on having good relations with us and with you. And we suggest to you to be in contact with him, to support him and to give all the conditions for the success of this experiment. We are ready to hold arms deals with you in exchange for supporting these regimes, especially Egypt.”

Putin: “We are very concerned about Egypt. And we understand what the Egyptian army is doing. But we are very cautious in approaching what’s happening because we are afraid that things may slide toward an Egyptian civil war, which would be too costly for the Egyptians, the Arabs and the international community. I wanted to do a brief visit to Egypt. And the matter is still under discussion.”

On Iran:

Bandar: “About Iran’s role in the region, especially in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Yemen, Bahrain and other countries. We hope that the Russians would understand that Russia’s interests and the interests of the Gulf states are one in the face of Iranian greed and nuclear challenge.”

Putin: “We support the Iranian quest to obtain nuclear fuel for peaceful purposes. And we helped them develop their facilities in this direction. Of course, we will resume negotiations with them as part of the 5P+1 group. I will meet with President Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the Central Asia summit and we will discuss a lot of bilateral, regional and international issues. We will inform him that Russia is completely opposed to the UN Security Council imposing new sanctions on Iran. We believe that the sanctions imposed against Iran and Iranians are unfair and that we will not repeat the experience again.”

Regarding Turkey.

Putin: “Turkey is also a neighboring country with which we have common interests. We are keen to develop our relations in various fields. During the Russian-Turkish meeting, we scrutinized the issues on which we agree and disagree. We found out that we have more converging than diverging views. I have already informed the Turks, and I will reiterate my stance before my friend Erdogan, that what is happening in Syria necessitates a different approach on their part. Turkey will not be immune to Syria’s bloodbath. The Turks ought to be more eager to find a political settlement to the Syrian crisis. We are certain that the political settlement in Syria is inevitable, and therefore they ought to reduce the extent of damage. Our disagreement with them on the Syrian issue does not undermine other understandings between us at the level of economic and investment cooperation. We have recently informed them that we are ready to cooperate with them to build two nuclear reactors. This issue will be on the agenda of the Turkish prime minister during his visit to Moscow in September.”

Concluding remarks.

Bandar: “In light of the course of the talks, things are likely to intensify, especially in the Syrian arena, although we appreciate the Russians’ understanding of Saudi Arabia’s position on Egypt as well as their readiness to support the Egyptian army despite their fears for Egypt’s future. The dispute over the approach to the Syrian issue leads to the conclusion that there is no escape from the military option, because it is the only currently available choice given that the political settlement ended in stalemate. We believe that the Geneva II Conference will be very difficult in light of this raging situation.”

More analysis can be found here….

If there were not radical republicans, there would be no fiscal cliff. We had a deal, modeled on the Boyle Simpson Plan, that balanced cutting expenses with raising revenue. Obama, Mitch, and John Boehner all signed off on it. They just had to take it back to their members and get their approval….

That was 3 cuts to 1 part revenue enhancement.

The Tea Party Republicans said no; it had tax increases on the top one percent. They could not vote for any tax increase on the top one percent. Bottom 99%? No problem; they were totally on board with taxing poor people. Just no tax increases for the top 1%….

And so, sequestration was brought into the agreement and …. here we are… Trying to stave off sequestration….

We have this crises because of the Tea Party Republicans. (Remember, the regular Republicans were all on board).

The Tea Party Republicans are the ones currently pushing Boehner not to agree… If we go over the fiscal cliff, it is solely because of these Tea Party Republicans, many of whom were voted out this past November for being too radical and basically nuts.

It sits between two giants… Iran and India. One is Shiite, the other Hindu… both hostile.

Currently this region is the current global hot seat. Some due because of Navy Seal Team 6, the rest due to Iran’s nukes.

However, as often happens when people get angry over a disturbance and hostile words begin to flow, if a member of the correct authority shows up, order is quickly re-established and no violence breaks out. On the other hand, if there is no authority intervening, words pile on words to create hostile feelings, and sooner or later, a physical threat provokes a defensive reaction and boom, a fight breaks out….

The US is the authority that can choose to make the difference.

A couple of things to note. Iran is rattling sabers rather loosely which means they are more worried over consequences within their country, than outside their country… If reading the Shiite tea leaves correctly, there is strong internal pressure within Iran to go tough against the outside.

The pressure is so strong, that Iran leadership seems to be flailing, … signing off on anything that could make it look like leadership was standing up for themselves and not being whooped on by the global community.

There is little Iran can do…

Here is what they’ve tried.

Three bombings. India, Georgia, and Thailand, aimed at Israel diplomats.

Boasting over a very difficult to believe breakthrough of their new technology. Such boasting is rather similar to those of Kim Jong-il….

Pre-empting the EU’s future cutoff, Iran cut off oil sales to 6 countries there.

But these threats seemed calculated for Iran’s domestic consumption. All three bombings were totally bungled, (perhaps by design). The countries cut off of oil, already had a ban in place of not buying any new Iranian oil since last month, and no oil is to be accepted by the EU after July 1st…. And the videos showing Mr. Ahmadinejad loading his new super de- duper nuclear fuel rods without radiation protection, strain belief…. (yeah right they were real)….

Elections are being held March 2nd and there are some serious domestic problems in Iran that warrant the distraction these foreign adventures cause.

In it’s own backyard, regional influence is running away from Iran. Perhaps it’s support for Syria has something to do with that. When the Assad regime fails, Iran will lose it’s supply line to the Hamas and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

No longer afraid of Iran, Saudi Arabia announced it would fill Iran’s vacuum with their oil. Even after Tehran called the Saudi move a hostile act, Saudi did not back down, but stuck to its guns in defiance of Iran.

Iran cannot do business with or obtain credit from any reputable international bank, nor can it easily insure its ships or find energy investors…

In the last six weeks, the Iranian rial has declined dramatically against the dollar, adding to the economic woes Iran is now confronting. This stems from America’s penalties on Iran’s Central Bank and on those dealing with it…..

Grain is sitting on ships that won’t unload their cargoes in Iranian ports because suppliers haven’t been paid.

Iranian oil is being stored on tankers as Iran’s buyers demand discounts to purchase it..

Those buying Iran’s oil, are not paying dollars. India is buying oil with rupees and barter, which means Iran might be receiving Indian goods it does not want or need….

All this with elections due in 16 days……

The Iranian problem is creating distance between the West and India. India has refuse to follow the West’s sanctions on Iran’s oil. That is understandable. When you exist in a land where your closest neighbors hate your friend, sometimes what is in your own best interest, is to put a little distance between you and your friend…. That is all India is doing. I mean even we would do that if we found ourselves in that same position…

And between these two I’s, lies Pakistan. A nation rebuffed that it’s ally didn’t confer and trust them and entered and captured Osama Bin Laden on their own. It appears Pakistan has gotten over that.

It is in the process of opening itself to India, creating another reason India would not want to appear too open to the West’s suggestion. Today three agreements on customs cooperation, mutual recognition and redressal of trade grievances were signed between India and Pakistan.

Pakistan is expected to add India to its most-favored status list, as India drops Pakistan from its own Negative List. In a huge trade agreement, Pakastani products will be open to market of 1.2 billion people. Both of India’s central banks have plans to open bank branches in Pakistan, and energy agreements that supply electricity to Pakistan and petroleum to India, are on the boards to be filled out and signed….

In the middle of all this, Afghanistan’s leader Karzai is visiting Pakistan to shore up relations. Sidelined by the US in its talks with the Taliban in Qatar, Karzai will attempt to shore up support in case a coalition government with the Taliban is forthcoming.

Soon a meeting will take place between Karzai, Pakistan, and the Iranian President, just two weeks before his election in which it is expected to create a joint communique demanding that the Taliban come to the negotiation table, so that region can get over conflict for a while, and get down to the business of rebuilding through trade among its neighbors.

Photo Courtesy of the horse’s mouth

Closing remarks of FDR’s declaration of war:

The attack yesterday on the Hawaiian Islands has caused severe damage to American naval and military forces. I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost. In addition, American ships have been reported torpedoed on the high seas between San Francisco and Honolulu.

Yesterday the Japanese government also launched as attack against Malaya.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Hong Kong.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Guam.

Last night Japanese forces attacked the Philippine Islands.

Last night Japanese forces attacked Wake Island.

And this morning the Japanese attacked Midway Island.

Japan has, therefore, undertaken a surprise offensive extending throughout the Pacific area. The facts of yesterday and today speak for themselves. The people of the United States have already formed their opinions and well understand the implications to the very life and safety of our nation.

As commander in chief of the Army and Navy I have directed that all measures be taken for our defense. But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. .

Senate Republicans plan to block debate on virtually all Democratic-backed legislation.. Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republican minority leader, and Sen. Jon Kyl, the Republican whip, added the signatures of all members of the Republican Senate caucus to a letter that promises to implement the plan.

What does this mean?

It means we are in stalemate. It means our Senate has become incapable of governing. It means historically that we have reached that point in Roman History and Star Wars chronology, where a charismatic leader (or Sith Lord) can make a case that we are better off with having a dictator than a squirmy republic, and the population agrees and goes along with him/her…

Those of us who have studied history (apparently a minority these days), know that our nation’s experiment with Democracy was viewed with curiosity, and that bets were made on how short we’d last in that capacity. After all, not since Rome created the position of Ceasar, had Democracy flourished to any extent upon the civilized world. It was inherently flawed.

Apparently they were right. As the Republican party today now proves.

Basically one can view today’s politics as a cancer versus one’s own body. You have healthy cells (Democrats) and cancerous ones ( Republcans)… The healthy ones try to carry on life as we know it.. The cancerous ones are only interested in creating more cancerous cells. They have no capacity to understand that if a body dies from their indulgences, they stop living too. Far too focused on just one thing, they spread their poison.

Of sure,… they cry buckets when America undergoes radiation treatments as we did when we voted in 2008. and large amounts of cancerous cells are picked off. But like a determined cancer, when remission is over, they return with a vengeance.

There is some hope. We had this before. When America debated slavery, we had some Southerners who defiantly insisted they would never waver…. 618,000 died as a result. But we finally eliminated it.

I don’t think there is any politician now who would advocate returning this nation back to that economic model. So… history is the final judge, … Progressives were on the right side of the argument. Obstructionists were on the wrong. Would America have been better off if we’d just settled it in the Senate, instead of killing 618,000 of our citizens?

Progressives were again, on the right side of Civil Rights. Obstructionists were on the wrong.

Progressives were on the right side of supplying Great Britain during their battles with Hitler. Obstructionists were on the wrong.

Progressives were on the right side of lavish governmental spending to create the Interstate Highway System. Obstructionists were on the wrong.

Fortunately America grew beyond that obstructionism. The difference then, as to now, is that we had a viable fourth estate, a free and honest press that published both sides of every issue fueling discourse and the flourish of new ideas.

Today we have propagandist rags. Telling us half. their half. There is no watchdog, there is no one minding the candy store.

The Tea Partiers and Democrats have their work cut out these next two years: Their primary job: stopping Obstructionism dead.

Otherwise we may just wind up with Afro American as our first Caesar. That’s what America wants.

The news is out, meanwhile the delegates are on their way to Denver, and the 08 campaign now turns a page into a new chapter….

This morning’s announcement puts Delaware (is that a state?) on the map, due to one of our state’s longest serving 1961 Archmere Academy’s alumni…

Some of us are not surprised, and our record shows it.  The bedrock for this decision was laid as far back as January 3, 2008…..  Those who followed Biden through out Iowa, knew as far back as then, that Barack’s people were very interested in him….  Most particularly because of Biden’s final stand, when  the Obama campaign reached out to Biden with a deal, that if any of their excess delegates were not needed in a certain caucus, they would vote first for Biden, if then afterward all of Biden’s supporters would then go stand with Obama.

Biden, to his credit (as well as the credit of all America), said he appreciated the offer but would have no part in such a deal….. ( They next went to Richardson  who said sure why not… the difference between them was 1%)  But it was Biden’s principaled refusal which pricked up the ears of the Obama organizers…

Today as the conventions approach, even before the announcement, the most skeptical gradually have come to the conslusion that there could be no other viable alternative:  It had to be Biden.

So what does this choice bring to America?   It brings real hope that America will turn itself around over the next four years…

Competency, the ingredient thoroughly lacking over the last eight years, will again be in charge….

Competency?  You might well ask.  How so?

Three areas:  all areas in which a Vice Presidency needs to be effective, if America is to continue to be effective.

One.  Knowledge of the Constitution:  Simply knowing what is right….and what is wrong.  Biden has stood on the side of, and fought for the Constitution each time it has come under attack.  As member of the Senate Judicial Committee he has both approved and disapproved Court judges, always voting with the Constitution against Republican attempts to water it down.

Two.  Respect among foreign leaders.  Most recently he has just returned from Georgia. At other times Biden has sat across the table from certain Communist premieres,  Balkan war criminals, and persecuted refugees.  Today his Balkan plan is working, compared to an Iraqi plan that may work one day ( a hundred years from now), but currently isn’t.  Most telling of Biden’s international respect, occurred late last fall, when riots erupted in the streets of Pakistan, both opposition leaders, Bhutto and Musharraf, placed calls to Joe Biden for advice; not to Bush, Cheney, Rice or anyone in the State Department.   That last fact is priceless.  Both sides upon asking themselves, just who out there can give me the best advice….. turned to Joe Biden.  Meanwhile the rest of the world daily continues to turn away from the current Republican leadership.

Finally, most importantly, knowledge of how to move bills through Congress… Joe biden has deep long term connections on both sides….  If there is anyone in America who can get both sides to work together, it is Joe Biden….

But only if the anti America bloc of 30 + Republican Senators can be diminished to 29.

And this is where we come in.   Obama-Biden cannot be expected to be able to make the change alone.  They  must have a Congress that will support them. 30 Senate Republicans have held up government for two long years.  Therefore it is not a big stretch to say that every sane American’s duty is to elect far less Republicans to Congress in November, no matter for which House they are running for. In Delaware, this specifically means we need to replace Mike Castle….

For Delaware (and the rest of America as well), this specifically means we need to replace Mike Castle.

“For if you always do what you always did, you will always get, what you always got….”

It’s Here.

America is choosing a new leader. It’s time we choose a good one. Those vying tor the opportunity, must fight until one wins….

What are they fighting for? The right NOT to retire at 72? The right for a post-menopausal women to lead us all? The right for our president to actually have pigment?

Not really. They are fighting for our survival. In case you didn’t know, we are in rather dire straits, similar to the late 1920’s, but we still have time. Fortunately for us, things have not absolutely crashed yet…. We are close, sometimes within hours….but we haven’t crashed yet… We still have most of the infrastructure of a society with which to rebuild this nation.

Some who have done well, will say this is malarkey. Just pessimism being canned for a political run….. Others who have been unfortunately set aside as their employment passed them by on its trip overseas……may agree with my assessment.

The question of who can bring us out….Who can figure the way out and then lead us there……is the one we need to ponder….

Our answer needs to be someone who can communicate. Someone who can take reality and explain it back to us in a way America can understand.

It needs to be someone who is smart; smart enough to know their own limitations and thereby surround themselves with people of differing viewpoints, in order to grasp the all encompassing breadth of their advice….

It needs to be someone who can represent our nation’s interests across the world’s stage. Who will be looked up to as truly representative of those ideals America once stood for, and not someone tainted with imperialist aspirations…….

It needs to be someone who understands the wealthy, who knows how their wealth is created and maintained, as well as someone who has walked among the poor, shared their concerns, and vowed to make a difference in their lives.

It needs to be someone who understands American blood is precious, who respects each volunteered drop, and spends it wisely only on matters dire to our nation’s survival…..

It needs to be someone who finally understands that fossil fuels are a dead end, who can work with energy companies so as less is consumed, they don’t go bankrupt. But understands that our nation’s survival will depend on our advancing beyond the limitations being imposed by those shackles fossil fuels bind us to.

The next president needs to understand that we understand that deficits DO matter……And that Americans need to begin whittling down that extraordinary amount…….and put this nation in the position where we can one day lend money to other nations, instead of borrowing from them…..

The next president will need to put people to work…..Cutting taxes is not enough……We will need, either through private enterprise, or government impetitus, to give people jobs….

It needs to be someone who understands this country can never succeed if we remain a bunch of blathering idiots.  Our educational problem can only be fixed by the sacrifice of brave men and women, willing to march into public schools to make a difference.  The next president needs to make every citizen understand,  that failure here, is not an option.

The next president will need to worry about massive defaults as our banks continue to write off assets that over time turned into liabilities……

The next president will need advisers who are practical. Political philosophy has caused us great pain. Practical applications based on what works, are the cause celebre of the next administration…..

The next president will need a majority in Congress. No more Republicans messing up Congress…..;please…..

(and…..drumroll…. here is where you hear who the best person for that position is.)

Nope, not from this writer…………. Instead, this writer assumes you are wise enough to make up your own mind….. If you truly aren’t…….. well sometimes our country does makes collective mistakes….occasionally every two hundred and ten years, we vote in a whopper….. But this time, on November 4th 2008, each of us needs to focus our attention upon which direction our country America needs to take.

Once a consensus has been formed about where we need to go,……..the winning candidate who subscribes to it, will have no other choice but to follow it……..

Because that……. is what we do.