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Common Core took quite a few arrows into the heart with the release of New York’s Test Scores.   One of the huge questions being asked, is how did the Commissioner John King, know what the drop would be before the tests were given?

We are learning; new reports popping up every hour on how those scores were derived.  To understand the process, you must first be familiar with how regular grading scores are determined.  Most teachers when they score their tests assume that if a student can show that they understand 65% of the material, they can pass the class.  It is reality based.  Here is the material, you know this much, you shall pass because it is above the 65% threshold.  If you have a good class, you can pass all of them.

I hope you are sitting down.  The Pearson tests were taken, then graded.  After that was done,  they were then scored.  They were not scored on whether a person got the answer right or wrong.  They were scored on where the benchmarks should be.  A benchmark is that spot where a score of 1 then becomes a 2, or a score of 2 becomes a 3 and so on.

This is the story of how those bench marks were determined.  Close coordination was done with the College Board SAT’s.   The tests were going to determine which students were… or were not, college and career ready.

So how was the level where one is college-ready determined?.  It was decided to be at that level where there was a 75% chance that a student would receive a B- or above in ELA,  and writing, and a 65% chance that he would receive a C+ in math, in his first college course in those two subjects… Got that?  “That” is college ready.

Once that arbitrary level is set, and it is arbitrary.  Is a B- the same at Harvard as it would be in Michigan State?  is a B- the same if given by Professor X or Professor Y?   Anyone who has ever picked their college classes over the alleged difficulties of certain college professors, certainly knows that this method is very suspect.  But regardless of whether it makes sense, once the threshold is set, one can compare the SAT scores of those students and come up with a correlation.  The correlation  between these grades  and those SAT scores that would determine if one was college ready, happened at the score of 1550.

Now that you know how this score was determined, you can forever dismiss its validity.  That is not being snippy. That is a real assessment of the credibility these scores now have.

From the score of 1550, the next step was to determine how that works downward to the test scores of 8th graders who still have 3 years before they take the SAT. The Breakdown of that score was 560 Reading, 530 Writing, and 540 Math.

To those teachers gathered for the opportunity to cut the scores, the Pearson executives showed them all the data, then told them where the bookmark should be for a 3.  From there the groups determined where to draw the lines for a 1,2,3 and a 4. Then they went and did the 7th grade, then the 6th.  Each grade was determined by the previous one, all of which went back to comparing the 8th Grade to the SAT to be taken 3 years into the future.

They returned to the 8th grade, and re-walked through that process then, that was the cut turned into the commissioner.  Because he had given them the rubric  or guidelines upon which to make their judgment, he already knew ahead of time how the results would turn out.   Does that make sense?

Here is an first person account of what went on inside those cutting rooms…  and here is a humorous account with diagrams, which help a lot in understanding the twists and turns taken to determine this result.

Your test question now. Did you add the three individual scores I posted up above? Had you done so, you would have noticed that they came up to 1630 instead of 1550. It is 1630, significantly higher than the 2011 College Board’s index associated with a B- in college.

The above illustrates how one can manipulate the percentage of college readiness by hopping between the columns and changing the definition of “college ready” to suit oneself. If the State Education Department had increased or decreased the grade and/or the probability, the college readiness indicator would move up or down. In the end, they chose values that are extraordinarily high, producing an index that exceeds the College Board’s index for achieving a B- average.New Yorks score was already higher than the national average.

From this assessment, comes the criteria that permanently classify a student, that fire a teacher, that close down a school, that wreak havoc in a district.  An assessment that has no basis in reality…

What does have a basis in reality?

Decades of research have shown that the SAT test can be an accurate indicator of IQ. Which is why, test prep classes rarely move the needle on the actual scores themselves.

According to the College Board’s own research, the SAT is not such a great predictor of college grades. The correlation between the SAT and college grades is about .48, which means that its predictive power (r squared) is only 23 percent. High school grades are a better predictor of how students will do in college courses (nearly 30 percent). In addition, other research has found that high school GPA is three to five times more important in predicting college graduation than an SAT or ACT score. Even with all of that known, the State Education Department aligned students 3-8 scores with later performance on the SAT to create cut scores that give the illusion of being on the road to college readiness.

They created this report to justify their methodology.

If you connect the dots and read all of these links you will see that these scores were supposed to be low for a reason, a reason of politics,  They had the data and knew that the results would be scored low, that was their plan.

As they even state here, education did not fall apart; the students are not dumber; the teachers are not derelict; the schools are not failing.  They were just graded on a different curve, that’s all.

It was all done politically to show that large numbers of students did not meet the arbitrarily decided new standard of being college and career ready…

Yes, in even those in Third Grade.,

This is post number 2000.

The only real significance is it is 150 posts more than where Tommywonk stopped exactly one year and fifteen days ago…

If some future historian looks back, I can only guess they may kindly make some note of the quality of thought that underlies these efforts, but my guess, is no one will ever notice…

Irregardless, as long as the urge to put thoughts down for others continues, we will go on. As usual, with no goal, no direction, and no ulterior motive. Probably upon reflection, my biggest surprise, right here, right now … is that I still enjoy it so much, and can’t wait to jot my thoughts down, click the button, and send them off to where ever cyberspace and the vast internet ocean, lets them drift….

For each of you who have become regular over the years, … thank you friend…

The candidate will be none of those currently running… So who is your guess on who will jump in to save the Republican Party?

It is such a great time. The cold front has passed, warm moist air flowing in, misty rain, not enough to get you wet, but enough to wake you up as it dances across the face. In it one can feel the snow coming two days early… For a weekend night, outside it’s peaceful… Those with money, have finished shopping. Those without, are waiting for that last check before the holidays…

The annual tradition of trading favorite YouTube’d carols over the internet, has begun in earnest… Strains of Mozart, Celtic Women, Cat Stevens, Bon Jovi, Metallica, and tons of favorite carols by assorted artists, have caused all the stress, pain, heart attacks, symptoms of short breathing,……….. to melt away somewhere into the distant future, as we float back into all those happier times as we remember fond memories of our past……..

Courtesy of All American Patriots

Courtesy of Pat Dollard

Courtesy of Theodore’s World

Things aren’t so nice for 100,000 plus Americans now fighting in Afghanistan. Things aren’t so nice for their families, friends, and lovers back home,… now that things have really heated up over there….

Take a second: Imagine you’re a Taliban fighting this foe invading from a very distant land. Imagine the hope, and shot in the arm a headline like this from the United States, would instill in you upon having it read to you. Imagine how quickly its words would resonate in your blood, and how less inclined you would be to throw in the towel against overwhelming odds? Imagine if you had rounds of waterproofed AK 47 ammo hidden in your well, how inclined you must now be to pull them up, and lay in wait for an American serviceman, any American serviceman, to come close enough to fire a killing shot.

Republicans Shoot Down \$700 Military Appropriations Bill Funding War in Afghanistan. Bill Not Passed.

Republicans just aided and comforted our enemy…. Can you hear the Taliban cheering?

It’s the holiday season;  I’ll be honest.

David Anderson: you served. How can you stomach supporting the Republican Party when they refuse to fund American servicemen in combat?

Frank Knotts: How can someone with your passion for all that America has stood for, still call yourself a Republican when they play games with Americans living and dying for our shared values?

Hube:  What gives?  Where is the line across which the Republican Party stops supporting America, and the Tea Party begins to represent the Conservative’s cause?

Tyler Nixon: How can any ex service man, support the party that is so self centered, they have no clue of how their vote to, not fund the war, emboldens our enemies?

Kilroy of Delaware: What kind of political party would play with funding for troops in active combat? How can that be tolerated?

Oh, well, it’s not skin off my teeth. It’s your party… do what you want. I don’t care… But I’ll tell you this… This nation needs a little old one horse Tea Party for this one reason alone: so conservatives have somewhere else to go without crawling on their knees to suck up to the moral backruptiveness of the Republican Party, that’s why…

Oh, well, I’ve said too much already. It’s not my problem. I just think that:

Our servicemen deserve better.
Conservatives deserve better.
Our republic, the United States of America, deserves better.

Conservatives: isn’t it way past time to switch your parties affiliation?  It’s the holiday season!  What better gift to your kids and grand-kids  could you possibly give?

Courtesy of Department of Defense

“By the first light of the third day, look to the East!”

Everyone knows that living starts on the weekend… That makes Monday the third day… It is my sincere hope to return this feature back to its original time-slot so those starting their week, have something worthy to follow… Of course that leaves “Around the Horn” to synopsize on Friday, so between the two of us, we have full weekly coverage….

I apologize to Deldem of Delaware Liberal if this first return edition bashes up against his on vacation version of what went down this week…

So what happened this weekend?

Shirley opens with a story of what being an American is all about.   The teary eye part made me proud that America still recognizes its heroes, and goes out of their way to make sure they know it…  All of us can learn a lesson from this post…. When was the last time you went out of your way to make a member of our armed services feel welcomed?

She carries another idea that I will be stealing shortly.. It’s from down under. and it certainly is worthy of the read, if you haven’t caught it earlier…. it’s just another way of self expression…. 🙂

• Delaware Liberal
• Aside from seven videos of varying topics, one an hour and twenty-six minutes long, and four quotes, the memorable posts on Delaware Liberals this weekend are the following… (We only covered the full first two pages, lol)… Their best was this one, The Morning After….. which describes the cuts to the state budget… “The Morning After” in this case does not refer to contraception, but is instead, related to the budgetary announcement made by Jack Markell on Thursday…. It begins with….

March 19, 2009 will forever be remembered as the date that Delaware’s Gilded Age officially ended. An age that was literally ‘built on a house of (credit) cards’ is no more.

The interesting point is that ultimately, it is the responsibility of the wealthy to carry the weight of the rest of us. Pandora follows the same theme with “What’s In The Water At CNBC”: apparently someone argued on that show that Wall Street couldn’t be run by anyone making under \$250,000…… the unsaid premise is that the wealthy, who are overpaid for their results, need to make sacrifices so those making less, do not have to…

However the most uplifting piece of the entire weekend, was on this blog and had nothing to do with the economy… or the wealthy… It is about race, and in a spirited fashion on the weekend that Battlestar Galactica ended its 6 year run, Cassandra puts this vignette forward… I’m impressed she saw it, since she admits she doesn’t watch the best show on television this decade. Next to Obama’s Philadelphia campaign speech on the reality of “race”, this is as good as it gets….

• Delaware Libertarian
• This blog has taken on new life with the economic crises swirling around us… In an amazing piece, Steve Newton (in real time) breaks down the implication of Markell’s budget cuts and other attempts to balance the budget, and illustrates how those cuts will affect our employees… I can proudly say, it as good, or better than that other Delaware blogger who is prone to such analysis…… Again the same theme comes out…..

But the reality doesn’t work that way. If you eliminate one unnecessary management position making \$120K, then you have saved enough money to keep thirty employees at the \$40K and below level from having to take a hit.

Again the message is simple: Cut off the top to save those on the bottom, holding everything up… The shocking truth of what happens when citizens are preoccupied with other matters than their government, showed up in this comment…. “a vacant position in my agency, one that had been vacant for 1 1/2 years got filled by someone on Minner’s staff. Let me reiterate. WE DID WITHOUT THIS POSITION FOR 1 1/2 YEARS. AND NOW WE FILL IT? Luckily it is not a merit position, so it’s possible that the position gets vacated anyhow. But this is one of those 120k positions. “

Again the message: cut the top to save the bottom….

• Delaware Politics (FSP)
• Delaware Politics begins with their take on Markell’s budget… One noticeable trend has been the life recently pumped back into conservative blogs. I have not yet commented upon it, but…. they were pretty shoddy all election season and up until the inauguration…. But with the Democrats now in the driver’s seats, the conversation among the back seat drivers, has again become interesting to listen to… At least one can feel they are getting pumped up, perhaps stealing the energy leaking away from those liberal blogs, who are now getting tired, and starting to wind down in their ardor and intensity…

Dave Burris does his take on Markell’s budget… Most notably he notices the lack of cuts in services…

“But when the rubber hit the road, not only did they fail to cut an agency, they didn’t cut ANYTHING. That is a massive failure to lead. We got such a large deficit (I don’t believe the numbers, but maybe you do) because we grew our government at a rate of 2.5 times inflation during the Queen Worthless administration. If we don’t address that, we will continue to have this problem as more and more of the economy is eaten up by the government.”

I noticed there was no mention that the failure of the Bush economy has drastically reduced ALL sources of revenue pouring into state coffers on which our government used to thrive during the last 8 years… But he does agree with Markell on across the board cuts: “I agree with the administration that cutting pay across-the-board is better than across-the-board layoffs in this environment, because layoffs would cost the state unemployment money,”

Interestingly, being conservative in a time of crises, leads to some silly conclusions… This one for example: “the gain from the Gross Receipts Tax increase is a pittance compared to what the state would get if they would just get out of the way and let these small business owners grow the economy”. Really? Currently we have 7.5 % unemployed, and our largest employer, the state, is taking an 8% across the board pay cut? And paying more for medical? And more in taxes? Where is all that money going to come from to allow these small businesses to grow the economy? You can give them a zero tax rate, but it no one spends in their business, they don’t pay taxes anyway… Nope, you need to make people spend, before any type of business aid makes sense…. Small businesses aren’t going to grow… They are just trying to hang on and stay solvent! Screw growth!!!!! lol.

In another attempt at silliness the lovely Marie Evans is proposing the Greenville Casino… The land is available… Three casinos, she points out in a state 96 miles long, with some creative placing, puts one every 16 miles…( as I said: creative placing… lol).. Unfortunately since Greenville is too close to the northern edge, were one to go in up there, her 16 mile theory would be impossible…

Likewise the Special Olympians apology to our and their president, does crack a faint smile….

And I’m outraged, outraged that there is no mention of the Democratic Party in each of these instances.

And the DSEA? They also are outraged, outraged that while arguing for higher taxes on all other people, under Markell’s budget…. THEY WILL HAVE TO PAY HIGHER TAXES TOO… OUTRAGEOUS!!! lol….

Welcome back to the fight guys!

• Delaware Watch
• Dana carries the AFSCME demostration over the cutbacks… They want the rainy day fund tapped out so they have their jobs… The only question, besides that is must be repayed every year., is that once spent, then what gets done next year…

• Delaware Way
• Nancy covers the controversy over whether pensions should be capped at higher rates, than those just years away from retirement….

• Down with Absolutes
• Mike Matthews has a job interview today… GOOD LUCK from all of Delaware’s Blogosphere…

The same theme brought to you by Markell’s budget cuts appears in Byron Short is Wrong (IMO)

In short, the most disappointing thing about Gov. Markell’s proposal is he’s shifting too much burden on the poor, lower-middle class and, in reality, isn’t asking much of those state employees (cabinet heads, directors, etc.) who could stand a tightening of the belt. Or a complete axing of their positions.

Knock something off the top, to save the foundations supporting the bottom…. Where have I heard that before?…

Already two proposals are in state legislature that work to mitigate the effects of the cuts… One doesn’t allow retirees to have the lower wages be used as a determinant of their pension size, and the other, gives two state employee’s married to each other, less cuts than two single state employees sharing an apartment, would get… These bring up questions of fairness.. One can sense in both these proposals that these employees are “entitled” to earning more money.. It’s a valid point.. They are lucky to have jobs… and if they get a “by” or a “pass”, who is it then who gets hit with the charge for allowing them not to carry the load everyone else is being dealt… If they really wanted to have done something constructive… they could have worked for Kerry…. But nooooo, they didn’t.. and now they are paying the price…. We all are.

• Kilroy’s Delaware
• Where have we heard that sentiment before? I don’t know… but it sounds vaguely familiar…

And some wise words to AFSCME union wannabe’s who wish to increase their power within their organization… “Suck it up and be thankful you still have a job because others will be glad to take it.”

• Mikes Musings
• Mike Mahaffie went to the last of the Markell meetings before this budget proposal came out… What is interesting is how the theoretical side of the equation seems dreamlike when compared to the reality all all the posts following the Thursday budgetary announcement… But although Markell was unable to attend due to the death of his father, Mahaffie does capture many of the sentiments “flickering” around the room…. One that stands out, was this gem:

As things wrapped up, Senator Simpson and Representative Carey, both Republicans, made a point of praising Governor Markell, a Democrat, for his bipartisan approach to the budget problem and openness to working together. They pointed out that Sec. Kee is one of several republicans in the Markell cabinet.

“On my count… all hands pull on the ropes…. Heave!”

• Mourning Constitution
• One of those heaving is Brian from the Mourning Constitution. He tackles sports betting from the revenue side, and argues income beats job cuts….. Bringing money into the state, by making us the Vegas on the east coast, could keep some people some jobs…

For some facing job cutbacks, some good advice on how to survive a panic attack, can be seen here… This lesson might come in handy…. and then again, if you start foreseeing your own death.………

• Redwaterlily’s Ramblings
• As for the current vacancies at the Delaware DOC – just a month ago at a meeting of the Corrections hearing before the Joint Finance Committee, there were 33 vacancies in order to assure MINIMUM staffing – while in actuality there are over 330 vacancies that need to be filled to assure smooth, safe, and efficient operation of Delaware’s prisons.

Redwaterlily shows us what is occurring across the state simultaneously. Everyone is questioning their department, and wondering how they can afford any more cutbacks… Every department has needs… Every department has hard working employees who are not making the money they deserve… But as El Somnambulo points out above, by law,any extra money is spent in one sector, must be cut from another one…. The total amount is to remain the same… So each time one says they must keep their department open…. They are dooming another department somewhere in the State of Delaware, to double the amount of cuts….

• The Colossus of Rhodey
• Although quite prolific lately, this was a quiet weekend for the Colassus of Rhody… amounting to this list of what was NOT said by Obama on Jay Leno’s show….

• Tommywonk
• Tommwonk’s weekend contribution deals with: Jack Markell’s budget…. Tommy focuses on how this budget will be perceived by the staff budget meetings…

We are open to discuss other ideas to meet our financial challenges, and in fact encourage your ideas, because the \$750M [deficit] we face now may be our best-case scenario, if the fundamentals of the national economy do not improve.

Our best case scenario.. In this sobering piece,

..
The actual budget proposal made by Markell is here…

Looking at our problems…. it is easy to get overwhelmed.. sometimes it helps to realize through out history greater problems have befallen greater numbers of human beings…. But somehow we muddled through… We will muddle throughout this time, ….

And to give us a greater perspective, as always, Duffy weighs in with two sentences… Sentence One….. and Sentence Two….

Remember how this opened? It was a celebration of an American hero… Like them, today we need our wealthy to contribute more to the nation that gave them opportunity. Today we need our wealthy stepping up and heeding the call of their country. Like our young boys who are on foreign soil, they too must suffer the sacrifice, and without grumbling, willingly pay more to the state to cover those expenses incurred assisting those less fortunate than themselves…

Courtesy of Department of Defense

So here is what is going on across Delaware’s blogosphere….

The Colossus of Rhodey is bemoaning some publication’s or journalistic attempt to describe the left side of the Supreme Court as being moderate… Like Jane Fonda’s hell he says…. He also revisits John Edwards (remember him) sending a campaign staffer to by a Wal*Mart Playstation 3, while slamming Wal*Mart in his campaign speeches… The seventeenth of November was a light day for him, …but then Battlestar Galactica came on that evening… as his review on the eighteenth brings that episode back to life….

Duffy  has a post covering open ended gaming... it’s worth it visiting to see his reminiscence of his reaction to playing on a 2600…. I didn’t know that Americans spend more on games than movies? He also finished an extensive piece on religion and science.. Instead of debating between science and religion…we should include science in the classification of religion… I was intrigued by this statement….and after turning it over, I would have to say it is true… “There are many points of contention and conflict between Arab Islam and the West, but the chief religious contention between Islamists and the West is not really between Islam and Christianity but between Islam and Western scientific-materialism.” And to show you that Republicans never learn... Trent Lott is again appointed to the Number 2 spot….. Wow.

Delmar’s Dustpan covers a cover girl, a beauty of Delmar fame… Another Delmar, beauty, this architectural wonder, was once owned by the William Freihofer Baking company. But with new news of a priestly scandal, Delmar’s Dustpan makes a surprising find about the difference between two Delmarva newspapers… The News Journal and the Daily (Salisbury) Times….. If one’s blood has not boiled once yet today, they should view his catch (same link) of the FBI knowingly sending 4 men to jail to protect the identities of their informants… Two died.

Merit Bound Alley tells us of Joe’s plan to hook up with Tyler Nixon for a seminar of alternative energy, featuring a symposium of solar, wind, and bio fuels.. Someone named William Kempton is speaking on wind. Joe M is still in the process of trying to find out how many Karen Peterson votes were written in during the election just passed… but the Department of Elections does not plan on releasing them until the next year… He also gives a head shout to another blogger who made his predictions for the next race… two years away…. titled appropriately… “True Addiction“… Equally fascinating was Joe M’s personal vignette covering the problems being hidden within the Wilmington Catholic Diocese.

Delaware Watch recommends visiting Merit Bound Alley as well. (I didn’t check out the audio…) Dana Garrett takes on the Republican Party’s blame game among themselves and their propensity NOT to blame those who made the decisions …but underlings of those who made the decisions…. no matter what the economic status is within their families…. He also notes that Liberals have outed the Conservatives among our neighbor to the North… Apparently across the board, the term Conservative is equatable to Creationism, which was another once firmly held belief, despite the total absence of fact to back it up…. Dana also pokes holes in capitalist theory… Guess who’s gross domestic product — a measure of all the goods and services in the economy — rose 10.2 percent from July to September compared to the same three-month period during the previous year? Did anyone say Chavez? “It’s ironic, this revolution. The rich are even richer now.” Dana also uncovers a little know legislative attorney who defends Rep Wagner’s little past double dipping episode: charging in front of a judge, that anyone who wanted to sue against collecting from the state twice…. “had no standing to do so.” Aye! Protecting the little guy, huh?

Nancy’s The Delaware Way has a piece attributing the Democrat’s win to Dean and moderate conservatives who left the Republican Party… Even she admits she is reeling from the events of this past week with her pictorial representation she posts here…. She appears to be going through a light phase… going back a week is her celebration that Andy Reid accepts that his play calling sucks….

From Down State, Mikes Musings, starring a blogger still remarkably self absorbed since 1962, shares with us one of his life changing moments….. But more important for us, is the changing of Delaware’s status away from being the first state… nay, even being a state at all! But solutions are the real reason Mahaffie is happy. Using technology to bring back the best of olden times, is what technology is all about….

Tommywonk has his thing on Purple America…. He also celebrates another blogger’s bump to the home page of Daily Kos… He takes time to eulogize an economist responsible for uttering these profound words of wisdom: What George W. Bush has done has been to shift taxes from the present to the future–and also made future taxes uncertain, random, and thus extra-costly from a standard public finance view. So no matter how high our taxes go… Democrats cannot be blamed….

This person is wondering what the difference is between a Republican and a Democrat… Do we see seeds of a future post? Perhaps… But nevertheless, he has picked a new chairperson for the Republican Party.. One who has combed through all evidence and knows their weaknesses inside and out… The name of their new chair, may surprise you….. And this, will make you want to hug your kids forever.

Dave Burris,  quotes an article from TIME, outcrying that Republicans were only 77,611 votes shy of taking control of the House of Representatives, and that just a shift of 2847 votes in Montana, could have kept them in control of the Senate…. In fact, instead of drowning his sorrows for the Republicans faulty showing, he is crowing that in a bad year, where they should have been squelched, they weathered the storm rather well… “In a year that was supposed to be a big, blue wave where Democrats dominated from sea to shining sea, it almost wasn’t that at all. I can’t imagine conditions that would favor the Dems more, so this will probably be the best they can do.” he boasts.

Delaware Liberal, along with Tommywonk, and FSP, praise Joe M. for his work in pursuing the missing write in vote… a vote whose total was to be suppressed until after the choices were made for Senate leadership…. Also Jason goes out on the early line in his predictions for two years hence… I wonder how prognosticatable he will be? One of the interesting aspects of our blogosphere is the interaction between right and left… This interesting exchange covers Bush’s handling of the Iraqi war…I hope no one eats their words…. He comments on FSP’s head scratching over what was going on with the National Republican Leadership.. Dave Burris with this quote: “I spoke to the Sussex County Republican Women’s Club on Wednesday, and one portion of my message to them was that I was certain that our leaders in Washington had gotten the message that voters sent on Election Day.
Now, I’m not so sure.”
And we have breaking News that Mike Castle has filed again…One must check out the link provided… We also have the traditional rant over the “liberal media” which is not so liberal after all.…. then proves it with this worthy piece about the News Journal burying an environmentally sensitive piece that might offend the entrenched powerful….even though not publishing it could kill someone over time….. That Delaware blogger had better slow down… He just might burn himself out….. lol
At least I’m glad to see he his taking a break… on this post election weekend….

Oh! And as if we needed another one……….From the ranks of our regular commentators, a new Delaware blog is now on the boards as of 11/17……Welcome. Here is its opening post…..We shall see if it makes any difference… Most likely, due to “the fix” that’s in ….. this blog too will matter very little…….

Courtesy of Department of Defense

Campaigns clean up; celebrations abound; and most of us scurry across the internet to savor this historic moment in time…. There is undeniable evidence that something changed last night… In my humble opinion, I believe that what we received was notice that in a lot of people’s heads… a polarity switch occurred… We’ve heard talk that it was coming, but in truth we have been hearing the same talk since 2000; last night we received confirmation of the exact number of individuals who felt that way.

Comparisons are already being made… the Kennedy’s….the Bushes….. the Clinton’s…. but I saw something different in Obama’s speech last night than I have from any other national leader in my lifetime upon their night of victory…. While standing among the masses in front of a giant television screen…. I was taken with how different it was from the Clinton’s win in ’92, and unlike their celebratory coming out of the governor’s mansion back in Little Rock… Obama came out weighed down with the seriousness to with which then approached his speech… It was as if already the heavy mantle of responsibility had collapsed upon his shoulders, and already bearing its brunt for what he had to do… he wasted no time and stepped up to the task of moving forward over 300 million people.

Someone next to me… a young first time voter…. said.. “maybe we can now start looking at the real problems facing this country….” Our eyes met and we both realized simultaneously just how bad those problems were. and exactly just how much Obama and Joe would be counting on our help….. our help.

Whether it’s money, time, sweat, love, hope, concern, self sacrifice; it might take all… But it would be far worse than that other option: the one we had seen the “in lack of fruit thereof”…. namely to trust ourselves to the fate of “doing nothing”….. After all, that is why we were all there……

But better… was the breadth of the victory… Across the entire scale of our nation, and especially within this state, politicians on both sides who put their campaigns to task, on winning one for the party…..“do it for the party” ….. failed abysmally…. America said NO to party politics… Those candidates who successfully made the argument that their personal traits could carry us forward during these trying times….. who were open minded apart from party ideology, for the most part…. won… irregardless of party affiliation….

Of course there were Democratic coattails… Just the number of new sign-ups alone carried a blue wave before it, still, in almost every district, a solid core of voters understood that party politics had to go away…. People were chosen on their attributes…. and those lacking them, with an R attached to their name, just could not be counted to make those necessary changes different in polarity from those previously made during the past eight years….

Last night, as tension built up toward Virginia’s inclusion into the blue state’s total…. and the realization that still, a lot of states of this nation hand intentionally chosen to go the wrong way…. it occurred to some of us that it is a fine, thin line that exists among the few of those who actually decide the fate of each election… It is that undefined, wispy thin fine line, that gives God the ability to steer this nation in the right… or occasionally…. in the wrong direction… But looking at the vast geographical area covered in red, I realized what a fine line it was…

And as citizens around the world celebrated America’s new future, it was clear that Obama and Joe really need to thank just two people for their victory last night…… Sarah Palin…. and George Bush….. Without either, we may have had a squeaker flipping in either direction…..

And I would be remiss not to mention my BIGGEST surprise of the evening…. After McCain finished his acceptance speech…I realized for the first time since 2004’s primaries…that he was not really a bad guy after all…. The spell of Republican philosophy from which he could not shake himself, was truly the biggest millstone placed around his neck, long before he was picked up and thrown into the squalid farm pond comprising America’s National Political race… As an individual after all, he was a pretty good guy. … Why he made the mistake of acknowledging his party’s base, will forever haunt him as “The Road Not Taken as he moves on at term’s end toward the oblivion of talk show “experts”, a position frequently held out to those who have nowhere else to go…..

So now with a glistening eye, we turn our attention to those brothers and sisters living in our “village” (did you like that Dominique) and how this historic event was played though their eyes……

First up is Kilroy…. Crow Pie…ummmmm… I am so jealous… It is a speciality of which I have never had the privilege to indulge…. I’m guessing that with today’s economy, and the porn business fading, that Crow Pie will soon be on the menu at the Bull’s Eye, since their prime customer, cannot go back to his house… For those other bloggers who stuck out their necks too far… Kilroy has provided all of us….a tasty recipe….

Kilroy, unfortunately has not posted Copeland’s pictures from the Twin Lake Days, but you can find one from the archives that may represent those fun times…. here…. But seriously, one of the best posts of the day, nails local politics to the tee…. and shows why our next Senator should be Senator John Carney….

I want to single out a newcomer… not really that new, for he as been a commenter for awhile and a contributor on Steve’s Delaware Libertarian. His first Blog, something about peppermints, morphed less then a couple of month ago into the Mourning Constitution…. He literally saved me hours by doing the lifting for the State Insurance Commissioners Race… I’m so thankful that I was able to cross that off my agenda and sleep one night instead…. Most commendable was his journey of self discovery… opening at thread and pursuing it to its end… changing his mind once, it not two times, as things suddenly did not appear the way they were portrayed…. And I want to point out that it again, proves the maximum…. THAT BEING OPEN IS THE BEST METHOD SO FAR for getting to the truth of a matter…..It’s especially difficult when those other around you have traded truth for a bribe of some type, to slither through the definitions of shades of different facts or fictions… Brian did that, and personally I want to thank him for making it clear for the rest of us…….

Palin Haters will love Brian’s take on Obama’s win….. and the GOP would be wise to take this admonishment that as dark as things appear now… they will eventually get better… With just swig of mother’s milk, a clean diaper, and the formation of a new party, even for Republicans, life may someday turn itself around…..

Everyone will be surprised by our local cheerleader Hube’s deadpanned take on the election… It Is, What It Is…. He further alludes to his secret passion for one of our female Republicans running for a state office, and a secret distaste for someone who once won the American Idol competition… Hmmmm, or was it the other way around….? But comics have again taken center stage until the next election cycle raises it head or the next News Journal publishes a stupid letter…..

At the time of this writing Duffy is around 24 million miles away… at least his brain is, as he confesses here.
He sobered me up with what happens when you buy exotic pets listed in Hube’s old comic books for \$13.95.. By the time this posts, he may have his post election thoughts together (from 25 million miles away). as here is his front page….

Delmar’s Dustpan,
projects the rural aspect of voting in an election.. It is rather sobering to hear that some people are disappointed that McCain did not win… He has interesting analysis of the campaign results...as well as several helpful tips one can use with those campaign signs implanted in your yard…. He has looked through the Department of Election’s tabulations and being that his perspective is different, he provides some surprising finds…..

Joe M of Merit Bound Alley has some insight as to why Ramone was able to break the tide in his district… two words… constituent services… wait, he is not elected yet….. But we can see why there are no world class Japanese bands… Obama is beautiful day…. Joe is the only one so far who tempers his joy with a sadness that unfortunately passed in California….

As of her last posting, our favorite curmudgeon had not posted her thoughts on the results… We know from her previous writings, that the election did not go her way…. … … …. .. at all… Fortunately she made it to work on time: Tuesday November 4, 2008. What a nice employer (about 300 employees, heavily Democrat) who gives up two hour paid leave to those that vote. That’s called putting ones priorities in the right place.

Delaware Watch quietly posts the revelation that Obama has won, and uses Frederick Douglas’s early words to juxtapose against yesterdays event. Further down he carried Election Day’s Delaware’s Talk Radio’s schedule, in case you want to save it as a souvenir.

Nancy’s The Delaware Way opens with this two liner, and carries Jud Bennett’s celebratory dance over Joan Deaver’s election victory… The casual observer should note that the latter post crosses party lines.. No big thing here in Delaware… especially when ones quality of life, is on the line…

From Down State, Elbert With An E salvages this tiny bit of light out of the dark morass precipitated by the Obama induced landslide against everything Republican. The bright spot? Christine O’Donnell lost her bid for US Senate, she did win in a couple of representative districts. In the 38th, she topped Biden 7194 – 6239. In the 39th, she defeated Biden 3813 – 3791. In the 40th, my district, she bested Biden 4684 – 4154. At my polling place, my direct neighbors, she won 687 – 645. People just see things differently I guess… I also shows the incredible challenge that one Delaware Liberal commentator’s dream must face, if he want it to become reality….. It is also a reminder that Representatives Joe Booth, Gerald Hocker , Dan Short, and Cliff Lee, are not totally off their rockers.for no reason…. They have to live with their constituents too…..

Someone may be dropping LSD because no posts since the election have psychedelically materialized at this point… Congratulations on the strength of Markell’s vote in some of those same areas mentioned above in Elbert’s post… Your efforts appear to have been productive… Some of us are extremely interested in looking forward to your thoughts of just exactly what you found in your endeavors…being blue in red county of a blue state….post election……

From Sussex Red, to Blue, we somehow get Green… Land use if not in the public’s mind already, WILL become Sussex County’s new problem… Minner kowtowed to the same developers, Baker’s buddies, that caused her to veto the eminent domain bill.. Now a flawed land use plan has been thrust upon the Lower Third of this great state… Unquestionably, we are about to find that a private career offer, somewhat related to excessive Land Development, will soon be offered to our state’s First Lady…. But in a squeaker, plans were hampered when Joan Deaver squeaked by with a win over developer-toady Mark Baker. Minner’s executive action means Joan now will need strong support from our next administration…..But still… a win is a win is a win.

Mat Marshall (“Who?” for newcomers) just returned to Down With Absolutes… Welcome Back!…from all us “old hands”.
Do you need to undergo de-briefing? Or have you kept up with our shenanigans over your hiatus….?
Mike Matthews, who was hanging out at the winning party last night, has his bloggers extravaganza reporting covering New Castle County’s election scene… focused more upon the northern half…. Featuring the lovely Liz Allen as a supporter for the statewide Democrats only non-winner, the winsome Jack Markell who won BIG, and from the Ed Osbourne file...

But isn’t it funny, and perhaps it is only my impression, but as soon as the results are posted.. the intensity we lived leading up to that time, becomes historic. Relevancy moves forward with time… That is the impression I just got from traveling next to Matthews in his little car. Perhaps those vignettes can be used by historians to determine their effect upon our viewpoints…but at a little over twenty four hours they seem dated… But at the moment, man… at the moment…… More relevant I think is that with victory… and standing next to teary eyed black men, excited that they were seeing something impossibly dreamed of… so long, long ago… Mike has warmed up to the fact that really it will be ok to have Obama as our elected leader… His reading of this Newsweek article seems to have helped alleviate some apprehension…. The real question is when will Dominique succumb to his spell?

One of those things on my wish list this season was to post a photo of the Libertarian Political sign posted around our neck of the woods, and subtitle it with the “Long Arm of Steve Newton” who writes the Delaware Libertarian.…(it never happened because it was always dark and campaign signs show up terribly under flash photography)… But true to form Steve shows us the ubiquitous role of a third party… throwing the vote away from the expected winner…. In a role villanized by Perot in 92, Nader in 00, Barr comes through in two states North Carolina and Indiana.. to chop McCain’s lead enough to give those states to Obama….In Steve’s words: Third Parties do make a difference–whether or not it is always the difference they are looking for. If it weren’t for Steve, these details about third parties would simply be unknown… Further third party analysis of yesterday’s results, yield the number of votes for Libertarians (1.4 million) and the number of votes for Bob Barr… (477,000.) It looks like with his campaign debts that Bob Barr will be forced to eat meatloaf for a while whenever he is dying of Munger hunger. But somehow Steve’s premise does not stand up to a simple fact check….

Tommywonk covers his role in yesterdays victory and some insight into last nights celebration at the Doubletree… His candidate barely slipped past Libertarian in-fused Tyler Nixon in a very close race…(It WAS close to Tommy’s house; he lives in that district)..Equally humorous is the Doonesbury cartoon (people still read those?) he includes to celebrate Obama’s victory..(He’s half white you know..)

Tommy points out the most prevalent fact that yesterday’s race bodes for the future of the Republican Party, at least here in Delaware… “Concerns that Charlie Copeland might make it a close race for Matt Denn proved unfounded. Copeland managed only 38.7 percent—just three points higher than Christine O’Donnell won against Joe Biden. Hmmm. a real vote getter that one….. Hey, here’s an idea… Maybe it’s their ideas that turn 60% of the people off? Look like the Republicans will need to get a new leader now. Let’s see: their old one and his friends at FLS lost almost all the candidates they went to work for… Sorenson, I believe, was the only one who barely squeaked by, and that was solely because she was also an early supporter of wind… Charlie caused the loss of all the others, even in heavily loaded Republican districts! Delawareans tend to backlash against false and negative campaigning… (Isn’t that right, Jane Brady?) No question: Charlie just singly handed Delaware to the Democrats for years to come. Thanks to Charlie, this time Democrats will get to do the redistricting…. I’m starting to like the sound of the Blue Enigma Party… as the prime alternative to the Democrats in 2010… Unless Steve can get something together first to take advantage the Republican foundering ….

Delaware Politics.Net (FSP) has breaking news… Dave Burris, founder of that site, is starting a new blog... No doubt, he is looking for more freedom to express himself within his moderate views, and not willing to embarrass other members of DPN, who sometimes write stuff that only themselves can believe…..

Please visit and sign his petition (jumping the gun) to ask Jack Markell to create and sign Executive Order 1 to put all state spending on line. This is something we can do to change Legislative Hall immediately… Voter’s demand it… And Jack, don’t worry about those legislators who whoop and holler and threaten to stymie your plans… Just tell us who they are and we (the aroused public) now have the ability to make their lives more miserable than they can make your… (Isn’t that right, McDowell, Copeland?) Hat’s off to Burris… while Jason was calling him patsy names, he was building a website to actually do something…( starting cat fights is one of my specialties)..

Finally we get to Delaware Liberal… We held off for last for a reason… and it was due to the fact they have seven contributors… all of which are FIRED UP over last nights results, had I started this post as I had planned, most of the links would be on the third page by now….. ..

By contributor:

Deldem: Deldem jumps out of the gate with a series of headlines…as the news breaks… Deldem needs tissues. And Biden needs a haircut...(Amtrack loses out, but NCCo Airport gets upgrade) Literally. I am shocked that Copeland lost so horrifically. He is their future, and he barely beat out Karen Hartley Nagle’s vote total. Nevertheless, on the national scale, we will be in good hands… The Delaware GOP has been destroyed. Obliterated. Decimated. If you are a Delaware Republican, there is no hope. True conservatives in Delaware will be better off starting a new conservative party from scratch, for the GOP brand is so thoroughly discredited that it will be a generation or two before it can recover. Deldem is suing Burris, for misappropriating the name Delaware Politics, which could be the real reason Dave left to form his own blog… I hope Deldem has better luck than that which occurred when someone else threatened to sue over a picture of someone in a yellow shirt…. Threats of lawsuits that occur within our blogworld, tend not bode well on the one who dares to initiate the threat….. (That’s gotta be my vote for the best mud on the face accusation made in 2008). Oh gracious… I get hysterical every time I remember it…Next we have a story that, wait, get this: includes these three topics: sex, Mike Matthews, and a kitten. Deldem picks up on a question posed to Carney last night… I mean Senator Carney… On the day after,we see some footage of Chris Matthews from Hardball dancing ecstatically over Obama’s win….not know he was on camera….

Jason330: What most of us had called two days before, Jason calls at 9:42 pm. For once Jason is speechless…. Jason again illustrates why Liz Allen sometimes needs to just sit down and shut up.. Yes, we were all thinkin’ it… yet no one was sayin’ anything out of politeness… just keepin’ the decorum… then bam… Liz brings it on…. And poor tiny Karen gets caught in the crossfire… When you’re just 5815 votes up over Christine O’Donnell and you’re a blue in a blue state… THERE ARE NO EXCUSES. Basically if there is any issue that needs to be discussed, it is “why” KHN won the Democratic Primary, instead of someone poised to put Castle in the hot seat…. I hope that Jerry can fill us in on that topic in time to remedy that in two years… But if there was a “fix” done Liz, it was to put your candidate ahead in September, so we could watch the tumble in November…. Whatever. It’s over. More later. But first, Jason remembers a PPD meeting, where both parties are welcomed… if you are not a progressive when you come in… you will be one when you leave… it’s that simple… It’s not about party… It’s about a movement…. This one is great for the comments… Christmas it is… But speaking of holidays… Jason takes first crack at Thanksgiving, …. these turkeys are done…..

Donsquishy: Proves that listening to Queen/Kiss is infinitely better than performing for camera…(Get this guy outta’ here… I’m listening to music.) The countdown continues…. We also have a public service message about healthcare….

Cassandra: Cassandra weighs in on Wasilla Hillbilly’s Raid on Neiman Marcus…

Pandora: Woke up late… yawn…(is this New Hampshire again) and leads with Obama’s chief of staff announcement… Pandora lifts from Kos, the places to live if you want neighbors who don’t have a clue…. Is there a red dot where the 37th, 38th, and 39th all come together?

Liberalgeek: Perhaps this explains some of the losses incurred by the Republican Party this season.. Note to Republicans: NO ONE CARES. But we all care about Obama… our hero…. for good reason…. More about last nights victory party from Liberalgeek, as well as commentators who were there as well….

Nemski: Menski is the first to publish totals.. his choice is the End of Clatworthy race and the election of Dr. Katz… ( I really am fascinated that I’m still alive…)

And finally…. as the day after draws to a close… and bloggers tuck themselves for another busy day tomorrow…. we close with the national anthem, posted by Deldem from Delaware Liberal, that spontaneously occurred in Lafayette Park beside the White House… Through out our history, there may have been some sung with as much emotion…. The first, at the relief that the Baltimore bombardment had not done in the fort, at Normandy, at Iwo Jima, when the might of America, was realized on a global scale… and finally tonight… as hope, which has rarely been coupled with thoughts about our government…and history, which last night was realized the world over……..for once in our lifetimes….came together…. and …..rhymed…..

Courtesy of Department of Defense

Obviously the conventions would dominate those weeks in which they take place within our local blogosphere….

Since the Democrats began their convention, the number of posts relating to just national politics were as follows.

Delaware Liberal 77
Delaware Libertarian 6
Delaware Politics.Net 26
Delaware Watch 5
Delaware Way 5
Down With Absolutes 13
The Colossus of Rhodey 20

The number of posts relating to our state races were as follows:

Delaware Liberal 12
Delaware Libertarian 5
Delaware Politics.Net 5
Delaware Watch 2
Delaware Way 7
Down With Absolutes 13
The Colossus of Rhodey 6

Of course there were some judgment calls. Most particularly with our Senator running as Vice President, that always forced a judgment on whether the post should be considered local or national.

I say it should be no wonder that most local posts remained focused on the national fracus… For these are historic times… The first person with Afro-American blood is right now, running for the White House. The first conservative female (ever) is vying to survive the achievement of the Vice Presidency…. The first Delawarean in anyone’s lifetime, is right now on the national ticket…There was even a storm that looked like Katrina all over again…and the Republican convention downsized accordingly…. Out West, the police busted up a group of drinking conservatives who allegedly threatened to assassinate Obama… The other convention’s police, not to be outdone, were able to arrest Amy Goodman….

So I don’t want to fault those who ignored local politics in order to focus on the national agenda…

I just want to debate whether that is the most effective use of our time, irregardless of whatever party we are discussing…. The underlying question begs to be asked…. Does anything we say or picture upon our blogosphere …make even the slightest difference in the National Race?

Meanwhile we have local people desperately trying to find out about their candidates, as well as candidates trying to get their message past the WNJ’s blockade……and can’t; because we are not talking about it…And it certainly wasn’t a very quiet week in local politics.

The last week before the Primary begins today. On the Republican side, we have the hard liners fighting new blood… After 8 years of Bush, Republicans must consider whether they should stay the course, or molt into a new party still sporting the same name? Protack versus Copeland-Lee is about to determine that….Should Protack upset the regular party faithful, as his state’s highest ranked candidate, he will have considerable input on the direction his party must take, at least until a new figure emerges…. Conventional wisdom considering his win, says there is no way…. But across this nation, Republicans have lost three seats in special elections, all in reportedly safe districts…. If enough of Delaware’s Republicans want to force their party to run on issues, instead of running on slander, then Protack could just get enough bounce to go over the top…..

Stranger things have happened.

On the Democratic side, the governors race is heating up. But you would never know it if you only read the blogs for information (Unless you read Down With Absolutes)… Since a majority of bloggers consider themselves not only Democrats, but progressives, this is a tragic silence. Fortunately the News Journal stepped in, and took over the bloggers role this time, and published a great comparison of both candidates. Hats of to their editing department for their picturesque face off: that put bloggers to shame.

One would think there would be some buzz over the Democratic race to pick Mike Castle’s successor. Granted, the candidate we wanted to run is either going to win or lose the governor’s race next Tuesday, but irregardless, in a Democratic year, nothing substantial has been said about any of these candidates…

Fortunately WPVI Channel 6 stepped in and carried the bloggers role by televising their debate last Sunday morning…. But none would know by just reading the blogs…. It was actually a good chance to see who was honest and direct, who was prompted with canned answers, and who was trying to toe the center by not giving specifics and speaking in platitudes…..

And our insurance commissioners are infighting among the Democrats to see who takes on John Brady…. To be honest, the only one I know anything about is Gene Reed, and that is because of Mike Matthews. There have been three debates yet no one has mentioned them in blogworld…..

But the big, really big race. ie the one affecting us (up North) the most, is the Gordon-Coons battle. Tuesday decides it; there is no Republican challenger…. Fortunately this race has gotten some mention. Before the conventions started, cassandra m wrapped up a synopsis of their debate, that was not flattering to Gordon… But where we get our hard nuggets of info, are out of comments, as one side’s supporters bash those representing the other side…. But the real question of who will better reign in our developers ravaging our countryside, has yet to be answered…..

Equally strategic, is whether Bill Dunn can upset Paul Clark…. Clark is better funded, but previously committed official endorsements for Clark are now dropping like flies, since Bill Dunn has now entered the race….At stake is the question of whether developers should have unlimited access to our county government? Or should they have only the same rights as everyone else? Dunn is for reform… Clark is “the way we were”……

Up North, the big General Assembly race is in the fourth… the seat previously held by Copeland…. Three Republicans, and two Democrats, are battling among themselves for the right to go to Dover… All are well funded for a Primary and the fourth is covered with election signs… However very little has been said about this race within the blogosphere. What will be done when they are elected, will be anyone’s guess….

Democrats in the 6th Senate have a battle on their hands between John McKenzie and Mike Terranova. That race has not registered in our little blogosphere…. Nor has the Republican race for the 10th….between Andrea Daley and James Weldin…. Andrea is a frequent writer on Nancy’s Blog, Delaware Way…… But has any blog covered the pros and cons of either candidate? No.

County Council 8 and 12 are up for grabs on the Democrat’s side. In the 8th, John Cartier and Carl S. Colantuono go head to head for the grand prize… Carl Colantuono was previously highly recommended during a different race two years ago… In the 12th, the new guy Thomas Scherer is giving William Bell a run for his money…. Bell has all the trappings at his disposal that come with being an incumbent, but it appears that Tom is making up the discrepancy on the ground……

In town since Republicans do not exist in the city proper, the mayor, city council president, and the members of Districts 1,2,3,4,8 are all to be settled next Tuesday… But if one were reading the blogs for news, no one would ever know…. Before he left, Tommywonk featured Campbell Hay, who has the dubious distinction of being the only city candidate featured in blogland….

Kent County has a primary in the 3rd district of Levy court, just among the Democrats… and that winner goes against blogger David Anderson, I presume? Further south, Sussex County has a three way Republican race in the 2nd District, and a two way Republican race in the 3rd. In the last race, one of our states more insightful bloggers has put his hat into the ring… To find out his stance on everything, just Google Jud’s Rants Delaware... It should lead you right there……

So all that aside, during this week of conventions, what did we learn locally?

1) We learned we are more exited about the national circus than we normally let on…. It can suck up all our energy…..

2) We learned that we did not live up to our reader’s expectations; who will walk in to the booth on primary day, still in the dark, as if we didn’t exist at all.

3) We learned that candidates need to use us by sending their info to be published, and in order to distinguish ourselves from the News Journal, we need to print it…..

4) We learned we need to apply endorsements based on our values, and adequately explain to readers why our support is forthcoming…..

5) We all have favorites. But if you read the local blogs during this past week of convention coverage….. you would never know it…..

With one week to go in the primaries, we can make some inroads. However the lesson that we take for this week, is that as thoughtful bloggers, we CAN make real impacts on local races decided by the slimmest of margins. Talking mostly about national campaigns, only helps keep things running in our state, the same way as they always have been.

And none of us would agree that running in the same way…is good…..

Courtesy of Department of Defense

Today is August 1st. For fifteen days the best of Delaware’s first-half have been posted on this site for the academy and world to peruse and cast their votes. Today, we celebrate those chosen by you, to represent to the world, the best that Delaware has to offer.

The voting was on line. The results can be checked for accuracy. ( I’m actually proud of that).

Beginning with the first category:

Delaware Wind and Energy

And the nominees are:

Economics may be a dismal science, but evidence still matters, and the evidence has not confirmed the theory behind deregulation. Electric power generation is not a consumer driven business. The local market for electricity features one dominant buyer, several smaller buyers (large industrial users, one co-op and several municipalities) and the rest of us. Delmarva Power serves some hundreds of thousands of households, a small fraction of which have opted for alternate energy generation. The company’s buying power is five orders of magnitude greater than mine. Delmarva Power can influence the market for power generation by using its buying power; I can’t.

The Answer is Still Blowin’ In the Wind
… by Dave Burris formerly at Delaware Politics.Net……..

A week ago, one prominent Delawarean told me that the project was dead, the deal had been cut, that all of the players, including Senate leadership and the Governor candidates, were involved. It was over. DP&L was one of the good old boys and BWW was not and that was it.

I say that’s bullshit. I have two kids that have to breathe in Eastern Sussex County for the next 80 years, God willing. It’s only dead if YOU let it die. If you refuse to allow the “Delaware Way” to bury our energy future, all you need to do is make two phone calls today:

* Sen. Thurman Adams – 302-744-4318
* Sen. Anthony DeLuca – 302-744-4165

Wind Power is the Ethical Choice by Jason Scott at Delaware Liberal.Net……

It seems that every generation is presented with a stark ethical choice to make. Creating off-shore wind power is our ethical test. And make no mistake; the eyes of the world are upon us. Once again little Delaware can do so much for so many with if we pass this test.

Just as Caesar Rodney made his way to Philadelphia on July 2nd of 1776 to break a deadlock on the question of independence, we must make our way to the halls of power to break with the unethical and corrupt practices of the past. It is Delaware’s destiny to push the country forward once again.

Time To Invest In Delaware First by Maria Evans at WGMD 97:

Let’s face it, I’m not that green. I’m a global warming skeptic. I drive a car that’s less than stellar on gas mileage. I would march a billion rats into a laboratory for testing to ensure I’d have one less wrinkle a decade or two down the road. But I’m in favor of the wind farm proposed to sit off the coast of Rehoboth Beach. Â Â Â Â

The wind farm construction, according to Bluewater Wind, will bring in around “400 – 500 construction jobs and 80 -100 operations and maintenance jobs for the life of the 25 year contract.” Along with that, a regional shipping hub would be established at the Port of Wilmington and there’s a commitment to a teaching and training program for wind farm technicians.

For Sussex County, I can imagine opportunities beyond what Bluewater Wind is offering the state.

The State Senate to Hold Hearings on Doing Something Else
by Tommywonk.

As for Mr. Yingling’s concern for ratepayers, I have pointed out that it is the State of Delaware, not Delmarva Power, that represents my interests.
The Public Service Commission staff report summarizes the findings of the yearlong process and recommends approval of the agreement with Bluewater Wind. Any legislative hearing that doesn’t open by placing that report on the record as its first order of business should be viewed as a stalling tactic or worse.
The attitude of Harris McDowell and Delmarva Power seems to be: We’re for renewable energy, just not here and now.
Not here means not in Delaware. Not now means let’s scrap the agreement produced by the negotiations and start the whole process over without the requirement that Delmarva actually make a long term commitment to buy renewable energy.

(drumroll) And the winner is :

.

.

The second category is titled:

Delaware’s General Assembly and/or Governor

And the nominee’s are:

Never Have So Few Done So Much To Thwart The Will Of So Many by Maria Evans at WGMD 97:

The lawyer’s name is Randall Speck, he’s a Harvard Law School graduate, and according to sources at Legislative Hall, he’s worked on “all sides” of the energy debate. My immediate thought was, “What side is he on today?”

That question was clearly answered by the smiles shooting around the chamber between energy company representatives as Speck questioned the Public Service Commission about their decision to choose a wind farm with a gas plant back up as the new, price stable, energy source for the State. I’m sure after the hearing there was a room somewhere in Dover filled with energy company employees desperately trying to muster up the coordination to successfully execute a few high-fives.

Report from the SEU Meeting by Liberal Geek at Delaware Liberal.Net:

Byrne got himself in hot water when he referred to the board as a public non-profit. When pressed for what the hell a public non-profit was, McDowell asked that the question be submitted in writing and would be reviewed by counsel. He then threw out a statement that the board gets many conflicting requests, and that they cannot all be acted upon.

Someone suggested that all submitted questions and their answers be posted on the website, to which McDowell responded that as a volunteer organization, their time was limited. One of the people in attendance asked why there were no provisions in the bylaws that would cover removal of sitting board members. She specifically said “the head of the board.” McDowell kept coming back to transparency. The money quote is “I have never been involved in an organization that had as much transparency in my 30 years in the Senate.” Having seen how the Senate operates, I believe it. He also said that he doesn’t want to burden “this new baby” with a lot of rules that bog it down. Gotta love that in an oversight board.

Harris McDowell is using public office for personal gain – The Smoking Gun by Jason Scott of Delaware Liberal.Net

Actually, one person did notice McDowell’s greedy machinations and that person did seem to mind. The story of that knowing and acting on the knowledge provides another layer to the sedimentary history of McDowell’s serial abuse of the public trust. In fact, it is a glittery and interesting layer of that dank history because Harris McDowell was rebuked for his greed and indiscretion in no uncertain terms.

It was a rebuke so stinging that a person with a conscience would have had to resign from public office in shame. (McDowell has no shame however, so the normal rules of decent behavior seem to be lost on him.)

So who was this person who saw through McDowell’s “green energy” champion act? You’ll never guess so I’ll tell you.

It was Ruth Ann Minner. Or at least the office of the Governor.

UPDATED: DNREC’s Blatant Disregard For People, Aquatic Life And The Environment Leaves ME Speechless by Maria Evans at WGMD 97:

Did I even mention yet that the permit the Indian River Power Plant has been operating under expired 16 years ago and has been extended “administratively” ever since? Or how DNREC judges the fish kills to be acceptable by comparing them to the number of fish in the entire Atlantic fishery? Or the huge amounts of heavy metals released in the discharge?

And let me just add this: Sussex Countians endure the Indian River Power Plant polluting our air, water, land and the fish and shellfish we eat, while NRG Energy sells the power generated by the Plant into the grid. On top of that, DNREC, the state agency that is supposed to be protecting the fine people of the State of Delaware, doles out permits to the plant that are so permissive that NRG Energy can basically do anything and still be in compliance. But don’t you ever catch and keep a fish that’s one inch too short or you can be fined and/or arrested.

How To Buy A State Contract by Mike Matthews of Down with Absolutes.

Why, that would be Regulatory Insurance Services, Inc. (RIS); a family-friendly corporation that has made millions from auditing Delaware insurance companies for the Department of Insurance. The Insurance Commissioner awards this contract, and what better way to ‘help’ your chances than by paying for an elected official. The well-funded Insurance Commissioner candidate is none other than Gene Reed, Jr. Mr. Reed’s much touted campaign fund is a direct result of the friends and families and related corporations of Regulatory Insurance Services, Inc. in pursuit of the multi-million dollar contract awarded by the Insurance Commissioner. What’s a couple hundred thousand in campaign donations compared to a contract worth millions?

Sounds to me like a recipe ripe for foam-at-the-mouth profit-mongers more interested in installing a candidate who will serve their interests as opposed to those of the citizens of Delaware. But let’s not rely merely on rhetoric and conspiracy theory-like claims. Could Gene Reed be a Donna Lee Williams-lite; the kind of Insurance Commissioner who doesn’t give a damn about the consumer and who lives to serve the corporate behemoths who so richly line his campaign war chest?

(drumroll) And this category’s winner is:….

Maria Evans in   UPDATED: DNREC’s Blatant Disregard For People, Aquatic Life And The Environment Leaves ME Speechless (Applause)

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One of the areas not often covered in Delaware’s blogosphere, is the field of science. Obviously none of what we do could be done, had not technology advanced so far within our lifetimes…. This next category seeks to highlight those who have given us insight into this brave new world……

Delaware’s “Science Prophet”

And the nominees are:

The Environmental Impact of Meat again by Tommywonk.

No this isn’t another number crunching analysis of the food chain from Michael Pollan. It’s by food writer Mark Bittman, who writes the popular “Minimalist” column in the Times. His piece, called “Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler,” compares eating beef to driving an inefficient car:

To put the energy-using demand of meat production into easy-to-understand terms, Gidon Eshel, a geophysicist at the Bard Center, and Pamela A. Martin, an assistant professor of geophysics at the University of Chicago, calculated that if Americans were to reduce meat consumption by just 20 percent it would be as if we all switched from a standard sedan — a Camry, say — to the ultra-efficient Prius

UMC on Intelligent Design by Joe M of Merit Bound Alley

I have to say that I am surprised and delighted to read that the United Methodist Church has proposed and adopted this petition on ID. Here is the text:

Submitted Text

Evolution and Intelligent Design (80839-C1-R9999)

Add a new resolution as follows:

WHEREAS, the United Methodist Church has for many years supported the separation of church and State (paragraph 164, Book of Discipline, 2004, p. 119),

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the General Conference of the United Methodist Church go on record as opposing the introduction of any faith-based theories such as Creationism or Intelligent Design into the science curriculum of our public schools.

Rationale

Creationism and Intelligent Design are appropriate topics in public education classes such as comparative religion, literature, or philosophy since scientific method incorporates critical thinking processes. All truth is God’s truth. The promotion of religion or any particular religion in the public schools is contrary to the First Amendment.

Unfortunately, not quite in time for Giordano Bruno. . . .
by Steve Newton at Delaware Libertarian….:

Bruno, among other little intellectual peccadillos (like disbelieving in virgin birth), was found guilty in 1600 of believing in the existence of other worlds:

His trial was overseen by the inquisitor Cardinal Bellarmine, who demanded a full recantation, which Bruno eventually refused. Instead he appealed in vain to Pope Clement VIII, hoping to save his life through a partial recantation. The Pope expressed himself in favor of a guilty verdict. Consequently, Bruno was declared a heretic, handed over to secular authorities on February 8 1600. At his trial he listened to the verdict on his knees, then stood up and said: “Perhaps you, my judges, pronounce this sentence against me with greater fear than I receive it.”

Pat Gearity Writes:
by Nancy Willing at The Delaware Way:

ABOUT ARSENIC FROM NRG’S INDIAN RIVER POWER PLANT:
According to the EPA’s 2006 Toxic Release Inventory, the NRG Indian River coal plant released 31,000 pounds of arsenic into the plant’s landfill in 2006. The landfill leaches arsenic compounds and other chemicals into the underlying aquifer, which flows into Indian Creek and ultimately into the Indian River Inlet area. The coal plant also released 1000 pounds of arsenic into the air in 2006. According to the TRI report, the NRG coal plant is the only industrial facility in eastern Sussex County which emits arsenic and arsenic compounds.
The total toxic releases from the IRPP in 2006 were 3,722,456 pounds, according to the 2006 TRI. The NRG coal plant is the largest industrial polluter in Delaware, followed by Premcor Refining in Delaware City, and the Edgemoor/Hay Road power plant in Wilmington. WHAT DID THE LATEST DNREC FISH CONSUMPTION ADVISORY SAY ABOUT ARSENIC?
Nothing.
DNREC issued a Fish Consumption Advisory on May 17, 2007, for the Delaware Atlantic Coastal Waters including the Delaware Inland Bays for PCBs and mercury contamination of bluefish only. DNREC did not mention arsenic contamination as a contaminant of concern. DNREC did not warn against ingesting local species in the Indian River area such as weakfish, flounder and striped bass.

The Night Sky
again by Joe M of Merit Bound Alley:

Just past the first quarter, the moon casts silver light on the Earth. We were there. Humans threw people out of the atmosphere and we walked on an alien world. People stepped out of a metal ship, watched as dust flew from their footprints in a perfect parabola and settled onto the ground. We planted the Stars and Stripes, and gathering rocks for scientific inquiry, jetted those brave men back home. There are men alive today who walked on another world!

Brilliant orange, Mars creeps it’s way farther and farther from Pollux and Castor on the 2D map of the sky. If you look at that rusty dot, you are seeing robots that men and women hurled across thousands of miles to orbit or land, and send us amazing photos of that alien terrain. Soon, yet another robot will land on the ice caps and send us data about water on Mars!

Look far to the left and you will see Saturn, honey-gold and hanging in Leo, fighting the lion for brilliance and beauty! We sent another robot over one million kilometers away to orbit this ringed giant! This satellite, Cassini, landed a probe on one of the moons of Saturn, a completely different plantary system! We have video of the Huygens probe landing on the Saturnian moon of Titan, a world of thick yellow atmosphere and oceans of ammonia! If you look at that tiny golden dot in the sky, you can know that there is a human artifact out there, gathering data about other planets.

(Drumroll)….and the winner of the category of Delaware’s Science Prophet goes to:……..

Ouch!  We have a tie between Tommywonk’s  The Environmental Impact of Meat and Nancy’s Pat Gearity Writes. (Applause)

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As usual during any awards ceremony although all of the awards are well intentioned, the human mind just gets restless… so we have provided a compilation of jokes to enliven matters and hopefully after the breather, allow you to stay focused a little more strongly. This selection is entitled: Delaware’s Jokes: What’s Really Funny About Delaware”…..

“Thurman Adams, Charlie Copeland, Harris McDowell, and Ruth Ann Minner…..”

We now return you to our original programing……

Our next category voted upon by the Academy captures the good and bad of whats transpired these past six months. Highlighting something that only Delawareans would comprehend or appreciate are the next five nominees in the category which is titled….

Delaware’s Life and Hardships

And the nominees are:

4,000 Commas
by Liberalgeek at Delaware Liberal.Net

I had a plan for a post that would have a comma for each of our soldiers that have perished as a result of George Bush’s adventurism and need to overcome his fathers’ inadequacies.

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The Ever Duplicitous Senator Thurman Adams by Dana Garrett at Delaware Watch.

Surprise! Senator Thurman Adams recently announced that he would not keep his promise to Senator Peterson. The reason is juvenile. According to a source who allegedly heard it from his own lips, Senator Adams has decided not to let Senator Peterson’s FOIA bill come up for a vote because–now get this–it would then appear he had caved in to media pressure regarding it.

Imagine that. Instead of being embarrassed and conscience-stricken for being exposed as the person who keeps Delaware’s legislative branch closed to the taxpayers, Senator Adams views the prospect of the bill being voted upon as a personal attack on his fragile ego.

Thurman Adams is a 79-year-old baby. He is so thoroughly compromised and unprincipled, he cannot even be trusted to keep his own word.

Again: P-A-R-E-N-T-I-N-G by Hube at The Collossus of Rhodey….

Then, the kid walks up to me and starts tossing the plane directly towards my head.

Where is the parent, you may ask? Sitting right there — with a big smile on her face. Yep, there was mom, not saying a word to the kid like “Don’t throw that at anyone,” or “Get over here and sit down,” or even grabbing the airplane and telling the kid to occupy himself with something else.

The kid kept saying to me, “Look! Look!” and then would proceed to launch the plane right at my face. (Good thing I wear glasses or I might’ve lost my cool.) I glanced over at “mom,” with a scowl on my face which clearly indicated “Get your kid away from me NOW.” No dice. I walked over to look at some photos on the wall, my back turned to the kid and mom. The kid persists: “Hey! Hey! Hey!” I don’t turn around. The mom says, with a clear tone of condescension, “He might not want to play with yooouu …” Play? PLAY??!! Mercifully, my daughter came out then. We left quickly. There were two other waiting parents sitting down in the room, both of which had “oh my God” looks on their faces.

I sincerely hope I never have that kid in my classroom in however many years. I’ve a feeling I’ll be sending him out of class quite often. No thanks to his “mom.”

The History of the Delaware GOP’s Broken Promise on Senate Bill 4 by Dana Garrett of Delaware Watch:

Did I ever have the wool pulled over my eyes. And it was not as though I hadn’t been warned by many of my Democratic friends. “When it comes down to the moment of really doing what it takes to extend Delaware’s Freedom of Information Act to the Delaware Legislature,” they said, “the promises made by the Delaware Republicans in the State Legislature will vanish.”

But I didn’t listen to my friends. I praised the Republicans repeatedly for sponsoring open and good government bills, and I scolded Democrats for not following their lead. And now that Senator Karen Peterson (D) is once more forced to seek to petition her FOIA bill (SB 4) out of Senate Pro Tem Thurman “Slick and Slippery” Adams’ desk drawer, the promises made by the GOP Senators so far (except Sen. Colin Bonini) have vanished.

Sen. F. Gary Simpson (R) won’t sign the petition and the Senate Minority Leader Charles Copeland (R) appears to be against signing it as well:

Christine’s Lesson in Insignificance yet again by Dana Garrett at Delaware Watch:

What civil rights give her justification to sue a former employer, except for breach of contract, as a conservative? She isn’t a proprietor of ICI. Doesn’t she believe that proprietorship gives an employer the right to hire and fire for any reason whatsoever?

Or does the sensible intuition lurk in the recesses of O’Donnell’s pretty head that since, for most people, our society is structured to require employment for survival and to thrive that no employer should have the right to threaten one’s survival or capacity to thrive without a compelling reason to do so?

Hopefully, O’Donnell will develop her intuition further and realize that when working individuals can’t afford the expense of justice through lawsuits, they naturally join forces and form unions. It’s the only way in our society that most of the “little people” in the workplace can make themselves significant.

(drumroll) And this category’s winner is………

Hube with Again: P-A-R-E-N-T-I-N-G (Applause)

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Being wonkish we tend to measure our self-worth in wonkish categories. We flip out our wonks and measure them side by side to see who has one that is bigger and better…. We forget sometimes that we are frail humans too. This category is one which shows us just how strong we can be when faced with adversity that is not of wonkish persuasion. This category is titled…..

Delaware: The Human Equation

The nominees are:

So….the autism thing by Duffy at Pencader Days:

Things you need to know about autistic people and parents of autistic people.

1. No, my son is not Rain Man. He cannot count cards, play piano or whatever. I appreciate you trying to put some sort of positive spin on this but you sound like an ass.

2. My 7 year old son may have a meltdown in the grocery store for reasons unknown (even to me). Staring at me like I’m a hapless parent is bad but I’ll ignore you. Open your mouth and I’m giving you both barrels for your ignorance and lack of compassion.

3. Don’t patronize him. He’s not stupid and he understands what you’re saying. Talk to him, he may surprise you, he may not. Give him the benefit of the doubt.

4. Caveat to above. Set expectations accordingly and know his limits. Don’t set him up for failure. I do not bring him into areas with large crowds. He’d have a full blown meltdown that would probably have any nearby priests attempting an exorcism.

5. Don’t pity me. Having a disabled child is not ennobling or heroic. It just is. I didn’t choose this, it was chosen for me.

6. Caveat to above. It has made me a better person. I am far more patient and compassionate than I have ever been and perhaps why this was chosen for me.

Different Kind o Memory of Martin Luther King by Shirley Vandever at Delaware Curmudgeon….:

The traffic then wasn’t like it it now. We could do that.

Push ’em Back ! Shove ’em Back ! Waaaaaaaay Back !

Wellll, we all had a “sneak out” planned and I snuck through all the sleeping young’uns, down to the basement and up the cellar stairs, and don’t you know I heard my father’s voice, “C’mon outta there, Charlie”. He didn’t know it was me, assumed it was some intruder. I was busted.

Oh boy was I in deep shit. In my 14-year-old mind I wasn’t doing anything bad. Just sneakin’ out to have some fun with my girlfriends. Parents were called, punishments were meted out. I think I may still be technically grounded.

There was one small problem, of which I was oblivious. The month was April. The year was 1968. Martin Luther King had been assassinated, and there were riots in Wilmington. The National Guard was occupying the city (it lasted for 10 months). All this was going on around me, and I didn’t have a clue.

“C’mon outta there, Charlie !”

It was only years later that I heard and understood the fear in my father’s voice.

Congratulations, Lady Ravens by Mike Mahaffie at Mike’s Musings…

They were augmented by a group of girls, including Colleen (my eldest), who had been part of a lacrosse club last year and had some stick and ball-handling skills, but lacked game experience. They featured lots of sprinting towards the goal and plenty of shots, but little passing and strategy. Good teams beat them easily.

By the end of the season, though, the team had come together and found a nice balance. They still had a breakaway threat, but as often as not these girls made skillful passes, set-up plays, and manufactured goals with a touch of finesse. In their second-to-last game, they fought Caesar Rodney, one of the best teams in the league, down to the wire in a see-saw game that they lost only by one, last-minute goal.

So, congratulations, Lady Ravens. I’m looking forward to next year.

This is very strange … by Duffy at Pencader Days:

“Open it.”
“What? Me? Why don’t you open it when you get home?”
“What, you think this is a bomb or something? Who would want to blow me up?”
“Anyone who knows you really?”
“Very nice. Just open it.”
“There’s no note.”
“What’s in it?”
“Hmmm…Complete strangers sending me rare and expensive beer unsolicited. My reputation reaches far and wide. I’m hoping this is the beginning of a new trend. People will send me beer for free. That would be awesome.”
“Don’t you find this very strange?”
“Of course I do. But free beer in the mail is a good kind of strange. Body parts in the mail is the bad kind of strange.”

I can tell from her voice she’s unnerved by this.

Their Milkshake is Better Than Yours
by Joe M at Merit Bound Alley

There are some things that are absolutely great about living in Delaware: the one-degree of separation we all experience, Deerhead Hot Dogs, Deer Park, the beach, but most importantly to me is the annual rite of spring when The Dairy Palace reopens.

On Thursday, March 27th, The Dairy Palace takes the plywood off its windows and starts making the best damn milkshake in Delaware for 51 years running. If you haven’t experience the soft ice cream milkshake plain or mixed with a candy of your choosing, you have not lived. Seriously, you haven’t.

This Thursday, after lunch, I will journey down to Basin Road in New Castle, mosey up to the counter and order my usual, a medium vanilla milkshake. I can’t wait. See you there.

Update

What the hell? Last night after dinner, I took the wife and boy down from North Wilmington to New Castle for a milkshake and the windows were still shuttered at The Dairy Palace.

And the winner of “Delaware: The Human Equation” category is……:

Another tie: Between Duffy for So….the autism thing and Shirley Vandever for A Different Kind o Memory of Martin Luther King (Applause)

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The next category is titled Delaware’s Best Original Blog Photo. Some of the genius behind blogging is to take an item discovered either over the internet or within our daily lives and give that object a story and a purpose… The object may not be originally created by author, but had it not been for the author pasting the image in their blog, none of us would have had the opportunity to view it….

Delaware’s Best Original Blog Photo

In this category, the nominees are: Another Tie:  this time between Duffy for

Tombstone on the Florida Interstate posted by Nancy Willing of The Delaware Way…:

Live Red Clay Board Cam by Kilroy of Delaware

Uselessness by Delaware Liberal.Net

99,999 … and …100,000 by Mike Mahaffie at Mike’s Musings.

Germans Poking Fun at US Pols
by Nancy Willing of The Delaware Way……

(it’s the expression on Hillary’s face)

(drumroll)…. and the Best Delaware Blog Photo is………..

Our Last Tie……… between Delaware Liberal’s  Uselessness and Mike Mahaffie’s 99,999 … and …100,000 (Applause)

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One of Delaware’s most pressing opportunities lies within our state educational system. There are among our state several experts who have exercised considerable effort to better the lives of our children. The next category is titled:

Delaware’s Educational Opportunities

And the nominees are:

Red Clay Object Codes Now On Line
by Kilroy of Delaware….

The Reason I quit the Red Clay Consoildated School District Community Finanical Review Committee was because, I was led to believe the report couldn’t be E-mailed as a pdf. file and couldn’t be posted on the district’s webpage as a stand alone file to maintain security of the finanical data base. It didn’t take a fucking PhD to figure it out and took a half-whit like me with a GED and pocket full of college credits to presents this to you. A certain school board member claims it would be a major investment and finanical hardship to provide such service to the community. Well, it didn’t cost a dam penny!

In my opinion, certian members of district and a certain board member seem to want to keep the community in the dark like mushrooms covered in shit.

Elementary-aged Girls (GASP) Like Math And Science Best by Nancy Willing at the Delaware Way…..

Feh, how often do cultural ‘norms’ create ‘abnormal’ effects? (link):

Girls like writing and reading; boys like math and science. At least that’s the stereotype. But a new survey shows that girls in elementary school actually like math and science better than language arts.
Researchers at the University of Miami in Ohio surveyed nearly 2,000 girls in grades 4 through 8 at public and parochial schools and had them rate their enjoyment of four subjects, science, math, language arts and social studies, on a scale of 1 (strongly dislike) to 5 (really like).
Fourth-grade girls clearly liked science the best; their average enjoyment levels were:
4.11 for science
3.85 for math
3.5 for language arts
3.49 for social studies
As girls get older though, they seem to like science and math less, with science’s average likeability score falling to 3.29 for girls in 8th grade.
But these subjects aren’t alone, as girls seemed to lose a little interest in every subject.

Fixing High Poverty Schools ??????
by John Allison of Kilroy’s Delaware:

Go in and check the profiles and you will notice Red Clay has many schools with very high poverty levels…. Red Clay sucks! I need to rethink this! Do you think maybe the poverty level is rising because Red Clay charter Schools, Charter School of Wilmington 3% poverty, Delaware Military Academy 11.2% and Odyssey (0% , can’t be right but it’s online) are pulling many students that are not high poverty out of the Red Clay Schools causing the % of poverty to go up

The First Debate: Education by Cassandra at Delaware Liberal.Net…..:

Attendees of the debate tonight between Democratic gubernatorial Jack Markell and John Carney on Education pretty much filled the lower space of the Grand and there were some folks who ventured up to the (cordoned off) area upstairs. Markell supporters were very visible – ranging from the kids outside with signs and cheers (having some fun with folks going into the building, I might add) to a fair number of attendees wearing their Markell pins. If I am judging reaction to applause lines correctly, though, there were plenty of Carney supporters in the house.

It was a very civilized event – the candidates certainly were friendly and gracious to each other. The format was very focused (I really liked this), the moderators kept it all moving (and the candidates themselves were good about sticking to the rules) and the audience was polite and engaged. This was the first time that I’ve seen either of these candidates in person and both did well in this format – although I kept getting the impression that Markell might have been happier moving around on the stage.

Paid To Study by Shirley Vandever at Delaware Curmudgeon….:

Paid to study? I find something inherently wrong with this. Maybe I’m just an old fogie, but I always thought that education was something to be worked at not only for the simple idea of self-improvement but for the hope of better long-term opportunities.

The program is privately-funded (thank goodness), oddly enough by the Learn and Earn initiative, conceived by former House speaker Newt Gingrich.

“The hope is that the bribes will boost students’ motivation to learn, attend class and get better grades.”

Would that this program had been in effect when I was attending Concord High School in the early 70’s ! It sure would have beat slinging burgers and Cherry Cokes at Grady’s Bowling Alley. Although I did have the added benefit of learning how to play a pretty mean game of pool, it would have been alot easier to get paid to do what I already was doing on my own time (more money, as well).

(drumroll):  And the winner of the best blog post on education goes to…

Cassandra for The First Debate: Education (Applause)

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Next category in line is:

Delaware’s Funniest “Humor Posting”

And the nominees are:

Father/daughter blogging the Markell-Carney Education Debate by Steve Newton at Delaware Libertarian

My daughter liked Markell: sez the same thing as the other guy but at least he keeps me awake.

She’s not so hot on Carney: he’s kinda robotic and (kinda mean) but also a sissy.

Hey, I don’t write her material.

On schools that “feel like family” (a Markell quote): maybe in Canada, but at [school name deleted] we detest our teachers.

On where they’re going to find the money to pay for all this: they are going to steal it from New Jersey

On year round schools: take away my summer? You aren’t planning to vote for them, are you?

…..My daughter’s comment: when can we leave? all they do is promise everything to everybody and you know they won’t do it.

It is probably obvious now that the wrong member of my family is in charge of this blog.

C.R.A.M by Frank Knotts of First State Politics (before changeover)….:

Some will say that I am giving the election to the Democrats, I would say that the Republican Party leadership did that when they chose this path, and if we continue down it , they will destroy the party and in my view this great nation.

We must not give in to the temptation of the easy way, we must fight for what we believe , and we must fight to win, but not just to win elections but to win this ideological battle. We can not win that battle by conceding control of the party to the liberals.

So if the only weapon left to the conservatives of the Republican Party is to cast no vote then so be it, “LEAVE THE BOX EMPTY”!!!!!!!!! And tell the liberals in this party to

C.R.A.M. it!!!!

CASTLE RECEIVES HIGH HONOR FROM ROCKFORD PARK DOG
by Jason Scott of Delaware Liberal.Net.

Wilmington, DE – Delaware Congressman Mike Castle received unrestrained and boisterous affection from one of his neighbor’s dogs in Rockford Park this afternoon. The canine wagged his tail furiously and nuzzled Congressman Castle’s outstretched hand, at times licking it.

Rep. Castle has worked to build positive relations with of all manner of non-threatening dogs and has been a leader in the House advocating for the scratching of dogs behind their ears and saying things which dog’s seem to like such as, “Hey boy. That’s a good boy” and “Howzit going today Champ?”

In his remarks upon receiving the honor, Castle highlighted the need for a robust friendship with dogs. “I have the highest regard for all animal companions, however, as far as treating you like you are the best thing since sliced bread, there is nothing better than a dog.”

If ABC Had Moderated the Lincoln-Douglas Debates
by Tommywonk:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Excuse me, did an Elijah H. Johnson attend your church?
LINCOLN: When I was a boy in Illinois forty years ago, yes. I think he was a deacon.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you aware that he regularly called Kentucky “a land of swine and whores”?
LINCOLN: Sounds right — his ex-wife was from Kentucky.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Why did you remain in the church after hearing those statements?
LINCOLN: I was eight.
DOUGLAS: This is an important question George — it’s an issue that certainly will be raised in the fall.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you denounce him?
LINCOLN: I’d like to get back to the divided house if I may.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you denounce and reject him?
LINCOLN: If it will make you shut up, yes, I denounce and reject him.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Do you denounce and reject him with sugar on top?

In the midst of this nonsense, Senator Douglas did find time to insert an important point:

DOUGLAS: When I was 11, my grandpappy and I chopped wood and shot bears.

It’s true that in the mid 19th century, journalism was, in many ways, much rougher than today. But it’s hard to imagine it could have been much dumber.

Bloggers Continue to Get Choice Political Posts
by Liberalgeek of Delaware Liberal.Net….:

April 1st, 2008 by liberalgeek · 17 Comments

Last week we were all elated by the appointment of Mat Marshall to the post of Communications Director. If these things come in threes, there is only one to go.

Mike Protack has named activist/poet/blogger Dana Garrett as his campaign manager.

“My first foe in this battle to become Governor will be the Republican party itself. Dana has shown an ability to battle some of my biggest detractors, such as Dave Burris” said Protack.

“Once I have wrapped up the Republican nomination, I will need someone that can battle my Democratic opponent, whether that person is Carney or Markell, I know that Dana will be willing and able to excoriate them at every turn. He has been doing it for years.”

This is really unbelievable. Congratulations, Dana. I am sure you will be a formidable opponent.

And the winner of Delaware’s Funniest Humor Posting Is……..”

Tommywonk for  If ABC Had Moderated the Lincoln-Douglas Debates (applause)

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And after a long night, we come to the last category of the evening… This category recognizes that a lot of blogging uses other peoples work. Much of our lives would be cantankerous if it were not for the tools called “cut” and “paste”.. but creativity can take many forms. One of the forms used primarily in the past, is called “making things up.” Today we have a high sounding name for this thought process and tend to call it “most original content.” Even then, technology in the form of links, youtube, and images cannot be silenced…. This last category is…..

Delaware’s Most Original (Any Category)

And the nominees are:

10 Things I Love About Drinking Liberally again by Jason Scott of Delaware Liberal.Net……:

6) Meeting blog fans. Especially fans who have jobs which prevent me from naming names. (you know who you are.)

5) Getting the inside skinny. (Does anyone say that…”skinny” anymore?) Anyway, some things just can’t be emailed.

4) Meeting the awesome, charming attractive wives of bloggers. Let’s face it when people see you two together that think, “What is she doing with him?”

3) The fact that there is no “Drinking Conservatively.” So IN YOUR FACE CONSERVATIVES!!

2) The creativity & the strategizing. Some creative SOB is always throwing out some great idea.

1) Did I mention the drinking?

WPVI-TV’s 6 ABC Action News On Mat Marshall
by Nancy Willing of The Delaware Way…..

This Delaware teenager is pretty savvy when it comes to technology – and politics. That’s why Mat Marshal is the new communications director for a congressional candidate. In the classroom Mat Marshall is used to listening to his teacher at the Cab Calloway School of the Arts. And among his peers, fellow students often take in his ideas. Video clips and sound bites are about to become a big part of this 16-year-old’s life now that he’s been named the new communications director for Karen Hartley-Nagle, a Democrat who plans to challenge Delaware Republican Congressman Mike Castle.

Delaware Blogging in 2007 by Tommywonk….:

If blogging were just about typing deep thoughts into a computer and posting them online, then this recognition wouldn’t mean all that much. But Delaware bloggers have made their voices heard in ways that might have seemed improbable when I started TommyWonk in February, 2005. It’s not unusual to hear bloggers like Dana Garrett of Delaware Watch and Mike Matthews of DWA doing stints as guest hosts on WDEL talk shows. Dana appears on roundtable segments on Channel 12’s Delaware Tonight, long a bastion of the usual suspects offering the usual opinions. Dave Burris of First State Politics has emerged as a force for change within the Delaware GOP. In short, bloggers are finding their voices as proponents of change in the wider public sphere.

Observations on Iowa by Duffy at Pencader Days…..:

Huckabee and Obama represent a different type of candidate. The Thoughtful Candidate. The gulf between the two groups is so glaring it’s hard to unsee it once you’ve seen it.

Leaving Huckabee aside for a moment, I have to comment on Obama. Initially I wrote him off as a lightweight with little experience and little to offer. If you’ll pardon a pun, the darkest of dark horses. But I noticed something. Whenever someone asked him a question, he got a peculiar look on his face that was absent on the faces of this competitors. He looked…pensive. Studying the other faces in the Democrat debates I could see they weren’t listening so much as waiting to talk.

Quarantine 2008 has ended again by Duffy at Pencader Days….

I get to the office and my cell phone rings. Not good. My wife informs me that now all the kids are sick. Sick as in, simultaneously throwing up. Oh boy. I realize that I have to do what I have to do and get the hell back home ASAFP. In an hour and a half I’m done with the necessary stuff and I’m heading south fast. I do not feel well. Really bad. I’m burning up and my stomach hurts so much I can’t stand up straight. Back in the car and down 95. Just before the Sandbox, I have to pull over. All of southbound 95 gets to watch me puke my guts out on a Monday morning. Morning everyone!

I get home and all seems to have calmed down. Baby is playing quietly with a noise making book. #1 is asleep on the floor (!). This is the kid with a sleeping disorder that requires medication to help him sleep and any kind of noise would ordinarily wake him. That he’s sleeping in the middle of the living room does not bode well. The other two are on the couch tucked under a blanket watching something or other. My wife seems me and says “You are as white as a sheet. You didn’t make it did you?” I shake my head and she ushers me off to bed (God I love this woman)

(drumroll) … And the winner is:

Duffy for  Quarantine 2008 has ended (Applause)

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Finally, this was unannounced. But as the voting progressed it became apparent that we had multiple winners in each category but no one post or winner stood out entirely over the blogger’s field.
Remembering that it is just a honor to be nominated, I thought that would be sufficient. But as posts came in, I thought of an arbitrary solution, removed from all subjectivity, which might garnish a post that stands out above the rest…

And so….

The post receiving the most individual singular votes, will be that one….. and for the last time……

(drumroll).… and the winner is…..

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Ouch… What?  (Whisper, whisper)  Really? ..Oh my!  This is a letdown, but…. there was a four way tie for the post having the most votes.  After thinking of run off otpions, the academy has decided that there is no way anyone could realistically designate any one of these entries to be better than its brethern.  Therefore since there does not have to be one….. there will be no clear cut winner of the “Golden Hummer Award”.  We will have to wait until Delaware Liberal’s Oscars at year end to make that determination.  In the meantime congratulations to all of the nominees.  It is truly a pleasure to be considered among your number……

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.