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They cost you too…

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

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

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

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

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

So, how does that relate to you?

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

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

So what would normally happen?

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

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

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

The tax cut will expire…

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

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

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

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

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

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

Practice now, by punching brick walls.

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Duffy is God’s answer to a prayer.. I miss the old days of blogging when we were debating principals instead of people… Duffy has stuck to the old line of debating principals with facts, and that is what makes him special in the eyes of bloggers everywhere…

Since the passing of Steve Newton, he has been the only one to challenge me in any argument, and usually some pretty good stuff comes out of both sides during the exchange… I have respected that.. Cause once again, opinions mean dick. Facts are what we steer by.. It is my hope that in responding to his challenge that an answer may make itself apparent.. Who knows? It may not come from me… But if I’m the catalyst for bringing it out in the open, then… none of this was in vain..

Why I like to debate Duffy is simple.. Neither side, he or I, is concretely set in their opinions… We accept it when the other side makes sense… I usually go into such debates having no idea where they’ll end up… I hope the rest of you enjoy the ride as welI….

That said..

Duffy leads: Wall Street’s problems were caused by Fannie and Freddie loaning money to people they knew couldn’t pay and moreover, forcing banks to lend money to people who couldn’t pay. That was not deregulation but misregulation

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate.

First off, the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 was developed for, and locked in on, urban developmental areas and had no part of the subprime boom, which primarily occurred out in western desert regions where owning 4 to 5 investment homes was normal… Those homes were overwhelmingly funded by loan originators NOT SUBJECT to the act… We all know the crises was not because people couldn’t afford a payment on their house. It came about, because with no occupants, people could not afford the payments of 4 to 5 houses….. Instead of one loan per borrower turning up in default; four to five were.
Investment Homes lead forclosures not inner city Residences

Second off, The housing bubble reached its point of maximum inflation in 2005.
The Housing Bubble Starts to Dive in 2005
Courtesy of NYT

Third off, During those exact same years, Fannie and Freddie were sidelined by Congressional pressure, and saw a sharp drop in their share of loans secured by the Feds… Follow the dotted line on the very bottom of the graph…
Freddie and Fannie on the lowest line
Courtesy of NYT

Fourth off; During those exact same years, private secures, like Delaware’s own AIG, grabbed the lions share of the market.
Private, not Public Insurers Caused the Crash
Courtesy of NYT

Remember these graphs for later on when I discuss the results of deregulation, versus regulation… But like it or not, these graphs conclusively show that private insurers, who thanks to Marie Evans, we now know were deregulated by Phil Gramm in the 2000 Omnibus Bill, were the primary cause of the worlds financial collapse.. Probably put best by these words of AIG’s spokesperson, who when asked why they didn’t have sufficient funds to cover losses, said point blank, “We were deregulated. We were no laws requiring us to keep any funds, ..so we spent it…”

Duffy leads: The loosely regulated hedge funds escaped this mess largely unscathed. Why? They can’t count on a bailout like the big banks. The Too Big To Fail banks were counting on a bailout (not unlike the S&L bailouts which started on the Republican’s watch) and they got them.

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate. I agree that the hedge funds did survive better than the banks. Not because of bailouts, but because they sold short during the crises and made billions while firms closed and people got thrown out of work. There is nothing wrong with that; I did the same. In fact close readers may remember my warnings that the crises was impending almost a year earlier. Very close readers may remember my telling them exactly when to sell, and at what point the stock market would rebound… I must say: I called it rather well. 🙂

“Hedge funds were not in my understanding, at fault in the credit crisis,” said David Ruder, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. “At the most what they did was to sell securities when some of their investments were declining and they needed to have liquid funds. They were not the architects of these problems.”

De regulated hedge funds are not the issue… De-regulated, excessively leveraged, mortgage securities, are a different story however… They, not the banks that held them, are the cause of the crises…Years from now, when academics search for causes of the stock market crash of 2008, they will focus on the pivotal role of mortgage-backed securities. These exotic financial instruments allowed a downturn in U.S. home prices to morph into a contagion that brought down Bear Stearns a year ago this month – and more recently have brought the global banking system to its knees.

Where you err is when you state that banks too big to fail, assumed they would be bailed out… By implication, you say imply they failed from squandering money, and wanted the bailouts.. But your tax dollars didn’t flow directly to the bottom line.

The roughly $200 billion the Treasury Department has handed out to battered banks was swapped for a special class of stock that pays a 5 percent dividend (rising to 9 percent after five years.) As of April 15, the Treasury had collected about $2.5 billion in dividend payments on its investment.

So in that sense, the bailout money represents an expense for banks. That’s one reason a number of banks have said they want to give the money back as soon as possible.

You say big banks were counting on a bailout, and they got them? That didn’t happen to these banks. New Mexico, Georgia, and Florida each lost a bank just last Friday. That brings to 8, the number of banks failed in June. Unfortunately if a bank is failing, it can’t bet on itself to fail, as can a hedge fund.

Duffy leads: Banks have successfully lobbied to get their losses absorbed by taxpayers and gains are kept private. How nice for them. They felt comfortable making insane gambles because they knew they’d be bailed out. Most of them were right. Also remember that it was Bill Clinton who tore down the wall between retail and investment banking. The idea was to give banks more stability as they typically perform as exact opposites in bull and bear markets. (FWIW, I think that was a good idea and I can tell you first hand that two of the Fortune 100 banks I worked for were carried by retail banking in bear years. They may not have had bonuses those years but they didn’t have layoffs either)

kavips rebutt’s:Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate. The idea is that the banks made bad decisions knowing taxpayers would bail them out is the issue that is inaccurate. For the record, I have no qualms that it was the Clinton legacy who tore down the wall between banks and investment banking. Like you, I feel it was a good idea to do so… Again the problem was not primarily with banks making loans to people who could not pay.. Although, it was as late as October 2009, when I was made aware of one private Bank in Denver still exaggerating income to make loans look good enough on paper to get approval of securitization. What caused the collapse was the leveraging of those loans as securities, so that as the housing market became overextended, and the ARM jumped past the low cost opening years, the damage was 100 times worse because of leveraging. What made the collapse criminal, was that the insurance most financial institutions had bought from AIG, to cover such an improbable event, had already spent by that companies executives, out on bonuses to themselves. What made it doubly criminal, was that when they received government dollars through a taxpayer bailout, those same executives assumed it was to first go towards paying their bonuses again. However, very recent events may give some cover to the argument that some collusion was implicit in the bailing out of Goldman Sacs and AIG… Basically, once bailed out, AIG paid Goldman Sacs for shares twice as much as they were worth. The documents also indicate that regulators ignored recommendations from their own advisers to force the banks to accept losses on their A.I.G. deals and instead paid the banks in full for the contracts.

Because that……. is what we do.

Outside the Perimeter
Courtesy of Department of Defense

This is tougher to find these days…. Politics of inclusion. By definition, the campaign of inclusion has its eyes set for the future. It states in clear concise terms what its goals will be and then sets dates for those goals to be reached……

An example: by 2014 I want to turn over to Congress a yearly budget that has no red ink. (meaning it is balanced). If that is the goal you want, you climb aboard. If not, you let the train pass by…..knowing all the while you will benefit as well if that goal is achieved.

One of the better examples of the politics of inclusion was seen in a speech today, in Madison Wisconsin, by Ms. Michelle Obama. A random selection of passersby stood mesmerized in front of the HD flat screen showing the event. I too was taken in by her words and was surprised at the effect her words had on those who watched. She said nothing bad about Hillary, nor McCain, nor Bush. It was amazing to watch how she navigated through her speech without doing so, especially in front of a crowd that disliked all three. I couldn’t shake the idea that such a great person has to get into the White House, even if as a spouse. Somehow if that could just happen, the winter would pass and a new spring begin…….Yeah…..it was that good.

it was good because she talked about herself, her husband, and their plan for the future. Much of their popularity can be construed to the fact that to most politicos, their approach is quite novel. To those who have been around the Bush, their performance reminded one of politics like it used to be……way before television……….back when giants ruled…….

My vote for most inclusive Politico of the Delawarean blogosphere, would have to go to this person. This week at least, saw double duty as another media carried her vision across the Delmarva peninsula. No Al Mascitti is this one. We have yet to hear a rant coming from someone hiding behind the name “Curmudgeon.” Who else would have the balls to publish this quote: “It’s only when the tide goes out that you find who has been swimming naked.” But good quotes seem to run in her family: ‘And if you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.’ ” and the story behind it.

Another inclusive blogger on the local front would be Tommywonk. Being Republican or Democrat has little relevence as long as one is for wind……and who wouldn’t be, if they knew all the facts?
He has been busy battling the evil Zorg from Delmarva, forming his truth squad 1, 2, and 3 so far.

Donvitti seems to have been lulled into the politics of inclusion. The lion shall lie down with the lamb. I will let the readers ponder who is which after reading both posts…. A far cry from this.
We look forward to more examples of “beer therapy” Actually Drinking liberally is coming up, when? But that cuts out half of the fun crowd. A better tradition would be served by having an informal “Delaware Drunk Bloggers” session, open to all…..The combination of beer, politics, discussion, and witty repartee, covering both sides of discussion, would be intriguing. I believe the last time it was tried was around 1775, by a guy named Samuel Adams in British controlled Boston. Who knows what might happen if we try it here?

Imagine linking Mike Castle and Jason330 in a post about the politics of inclusion. Hard to believe? But a perfect example of blogging without editorializing was done yesterday just that way. Composed of facts, links, and time for the viewer to make up his/her own mind. In the end we understand that Mike Castle is running away from Bush like General Lee being chased by Knight Rider

Mike got his first golf game in. See Global warming is a good thing…..Where did all our snow go this winter? As Nancy points out, it apparently went to China.

Nancy also informs us of a meeting regarding Bluewater wind. With two speakers, one from Delmarva and the other from Bluewater Wind, one can listen to both and make up their mind. Just listen critically, bring questions. The meeting is at the New Castle Public Safety Building, the old county police headquarters on Rt 13, Tuesday night at 7:00.

Although one could not call it inclusion, Dana and Steve at Delaware Watch have traced down Tony DeLuca‘s involvement in killing Bluewater Wind. Et tu Brute? Hat’s off. It was a good job nailing down that one’s motive. Anyone in the 11th district want to blow him out of the water? A lot of people will pay to have him gone…….even if he does sing Italian love songs…..Perhaps he should be singing to corporations this song: “you can get anything you want, at Tony D’s Restaurant.

In another scoop, Dana has the first photo in recent memory of Tommy Noyes. If you do not yet know who that is,……you need to read more…………

Soon Delaware will see the properties of inclusion in action. Running for the Newark city Council is a young man not put off by politics. Down with Absolutes has the plea. No doubt his opposition will run as exclusive a campaign as his will be inclusive. Send help.

Kilroy threw in the bloggers towel last Wednesday. But fortunately his tests went well so he is still at it. Remember, it is a miracle that we are even here. One’s health is most precious, trumped only by the health of one’w loved ones……He too expects to show up in a different media.

Merit Bound Alley has a piece on the MSM’s infatuation with Obama. I have reported on the MSM’s “dis” of Biden. Joe M writes that the MSM favors Obama in their coverage. I believe I now know why. If one was a reporter confined to hotel rooms and a bus, going through the usual campaign assignments by rote, one would sense that this Obama campaign was fundamentally different.

Merit Bound Alley has also made the jump to being a .Net. No longer WordPress, it is Meritboundalley.net.

Finally Hube has a different take on the same Michelle Obama’s message. He seems to sigh over her admission that for the first time in her life she is proud of her country…….I think she has a point. Not since Kennedy passed has there been a President in the White House who made us proud to be Americans. Some felt that way about Reagan, many didn’t. Many felt that way about Clinton, some didn’t. One person felt that way about Bush, but he is soon moving to Dubai when his term ends…..so he doesn’t count. But someone with Michelle Obama’s perspective, especially after watching youth become engaged for the first time, it must be a “real” win to see them leave their video games at home in order to take in the sensations of the “Politics of Inclusion, ”

.

Of course these type of stories occur…….It is the decision to use these tidbits that comes into question.

lol

Recently in Delaware, a well know auto parts company did a comparative study and decided that Delaware was ripe for expansion. The acquisition costs were low, taxes low, and competition was archaic and outdated. They received the required financing and moved in.

They built a new store every 120 days. Gradually they had received all but the most loyal of its competitor’s regulars. They began to set the standards of how business could be run. Were one to write a textbook on how to succeed in acquiring a new market, they would have been the most quoted source. Comparatively their service times per transaction were faster, their customer satisfaction results the highest, and their return to the bottom line was better than those same company’s stores in other states.

Every opportunity was met with success. Investors as well as customers were happy they had moved in.

Then, almost inexplicably, the upper management decided to buy a local strip club that was up for sale. They tackled the purchase with meticulous detail. They wined and dined, then cold shouldered the prospective seller, until he, desperate to unload the property, gave it up for a song. No one is certain as to why this company would go into a venture half-cocked. Some thought it was for reasons, deep, secret personal reasons, that guided the chief executives decision. But for a song, the place was acquired and a great party was thrown to celebrate the new diversion. It was even whispered by some, that all entertainment costs charged to the auto parts conglomerate, would be at cost, if even charged at all. Those few who fearlessly stood up to the executive and challenged him to explain his weird choice of action, were chastised publicly and told not to worry, it would pay for itself ten times over……

But no one knew how to run it……Apparently upper management was so concerned with the acquisition and the possibility of future profits, that in their rush, they had failed to plan for its management.

“Don’t worry. We will do it” they said. They chose a bright young parts manager and put him in charge. Since the facility was intact, they placed want ads for employees and prepared to open their doors. But being new to the porn arena, caused many of the local entertainers to become a little leery of signing up. “Let’s wait and see” was their approach.

Desperate, because of upper management pressure to get something done immediately, the young part’s manager asked some of the company’s most loyal employees to moonlight for him in their off hours………Opening day was a flop.

Jeers, hoots, holla’s were shouted at the dancers. The locals treated them with contempt. Who pays to see a middle aged pot bellied male clerk, dance around in a thong? Not only did the employees get shouted off of stage, but they failed to receive tips as well. Desperate, the young parts manger made deals from his car’s window with hookers off of Route 13. He asked them to come in and fill his roster. The hookers would do so only if he stipulated that they could ply their other trade within the club’s walls. He felt he had no choice but to agree.

Costs were running 200% more than anticipated. They had underestimate the clientèle. Southern businessmen, these locals were not. Heroin was sold openly.

They had bitten off more than they could chew. Those who had supported the diversionary financial venture, began to come under fire by stockholders. Over and over the CEO reassured them that all would work out.

Close it down to stop the financial bleeding he was told. No he insisted. That would be a failure. He would not do that. Instead we will staff it with all our employees. Every employee will work half a day at one of the stores, and the other half would be at night, inside the strip club.

As the staff levels increased, operations stabilized. However the client base hemorrhaged. Most nights were devoid of customers. Occasionally a group would arrive from out of town. The strip club soon sucked up more profits than the auto part’s stores could afford. For the first time, the company dipped into the red. It never recovered…………

Then came the vice squad. Arrests were made and prostitutes and management were incarcerated. Fines were levied against the holding company. There was no money left to pay them. Under court order, the doors were closed.

For whatever the reason, whether it was due to loyalty, or trust in his past brilliance, or personal fear, no one stood up to the CEO. All who came to advise him, left with head hung, hat in hand……No one pushed back…at least not hard enough…….and as the result,…..the entire enterprise was eventually auctioned off to pay the creditors no more than 18 cents per dollar invested……….

Moral of the story: Extravagant adventures sometimes end where you least want to go……Planning make perfect……

Relevance of the story: I’m sure you are smart enough to have figured it out by now.

Taking the Easy Pass Lane

So there I was as a young man, traipsing over the grassy knolls of a compound called Dachau……..and the single image of which I could not shake from my mind, was a view back home from the top of the former Twin Towers.………taken while walking  around the observatory in a slow 360 degree circle and realizing that the entire mass of humanity in that circle of twenty miles, was less than the amount of those eradicated by the Nazis, without a whimper from the German people.

And as my eyes watered a bit, ((no I did not cry), I was still too young), while gazing upon the fake showers, and peering into the cyanide vats on the other side, a tiny child’s voice between my ears, kept repeating a phrase I had stumbled across before the tour on the floor inside the museum. ” You saw us being beaten, you saw us wearing stars, you saw us humiliated, you saw us being transported, and YET YOU DID NOTHING……… I remember at the time being quite angry at the timidity and the complicity of the German people. For a brief moment I hated them…….and in a typical fashion common of that gender in possession of high and excessive levels of testosterone, in those emotional moments I vowed that I, (superior being that I was) would never fear or cave in to brutal intimidation………..

Today, my friend’s friend, lies buried in Arlington……And when I clicked on a forgotten link……(do I still need this?…) and saw the face of a very brave New Castle citizen…….looking back from her high school picture…..those jaded eyes of mine wet over again as I slowly realized that I too had failed to live up to that promise I once made on a bright July afternoon, while standing beside a giant trench planted over with flowers……….

So where was I when it happened? What was I doing that was so important as events played around me? Nothing earth shattering really, and if you probe and scrape all the residue away, I was simply way too busy going through motions in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, to really worry making those tough sacrifices that are personally required to implement the necessary changes (piece of crap, I am)……. Then,……… something about that girl’s picture…………..pissed me off. I think it was how much like my own daughter she was……

So what can I do? Not much, I am no Kissinger nor Howard Baker. I cannot bring these people together and make a settlement. But I can make a choice……and that choice is this.

I can choose to STOP DOING NOTHING. I can go on record and suffer the surprise trip to Guantanamo that may come in the middle of the night (risk diminished), or the bullet to the back of the head in some forgotten landfill (not likely), if it comes to that. And most particularly, I can look at those who enabled and supported this administration when it chose to invade a nation that had not attacked us, a nation that had no intention of attacking us, a nation that had nothing to do with 9/11…….but only a nation that had the poor unfortunate distinction, of being the chosen victim that this bully of an administration had decided to make an example of………..long before the 2000 elections were ever held!

If any of you have ever felt that you too have done too little, that you too were lulled and fooled into believing this war made you safer, then come, join me outside Delaware congressman Mike Castle’s office on Friday July 6th. And should you be too busy, I will understand. Most likely you do not have that haunting childlike voice as do I between my ears, that implores ……..AND YET YOU DO NOTHING…….…But if, by some ancient gene, you do…… possess the capacity to know right from wrong, and if…… by the grace of God, you have been given time to come and be counted, and if…… you do not want to pass on, having never made a difference in anything………… then take the half hour, and come and join us; be counted on this upcoming Friday at 11:00am. (Tell Boss-women you have a doctors appointment if you have to……or call on someone you know who feels like you do, and unlike you, has nothing going on at moment in time.)

Results:

If ten people show, the war goes on, but us ten can rest at ease that we did our part. If twenty show, our numbers just grew 100% !!…….If hundreds show, one or two lines will appear in the News Journal and it will not have been in vain. If a thousand people show, the Congressman and staff will take notice. And just maybe……just maybe……..find within themselves the moral courage to add their voice to echo ours……..WE CAN MAKE A CHOICE……WE CAN DO SOMETHING.

In democracy, the real leaders are always “We, the people“: it is us who tell the government what We want them to do…… Please……..come with us……….and make our stand?

Occasionally something pops up and causes me to remember Senator Lloyd Bentsen, D Texas, responding to soon to be Vice President Quayle’s allusion that he, a young Republican was the new John Kennedy.

“Senator, I served with Jack Kennedy. I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”

Today another John is in the news, albeit briefly. Often as human beings we sometimes tend to make assumptions about the motives of another person, based solely upon our own emotional reaction. Because we happen to be in a somber or serious mood, any form of satire, humor, or silliness is taken verbatim and acted upon as an actual threat………..Only when one accounts for the degree of damage caused by a humorous action, can we hold its perpetrator accountable. For example, it would really be hilarious to yell fire in a crowded theater and watch all the fools (those not in on the joke) get flustered and crawl over each other to get out. Only when the bodies were counted, would we realize that our joke was not very funny to those families lined up to claim those corpses. Only then, would we understand the serious implications behind our actions.

John is a funny guy. He is outrageous. He is probably slightly crazy. (I love this quote)

“Daniello is the type of guy who can ask, as he did Saturday, “Can we all stand for the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, please?” and make it sound like a threat. Do not cross him when he has a gavel in his hand.” With this reputation it would be irresistible not to utter some outlandish proposition, strut and fret your hour upon the stage, and watch the minions scurry away in fear and trepidation.

John Daniello received his 15 minutes of fame last night, making it all the way to Kos and perhaps Malkin with his reported comment. Quite possibly he got more hits last night than he got votes against Dupont in 1970!

Many young bucks, restless after years of hiding behind a Bush, want to let chips fly, open wide the doors to opportunity, and let anyone and everyone have a run at the gold ring, and with a “what the hell,” throw all to the wind and let the voters decide, then accept whoever the voters choose. But underlying their premise, is the unspoken notion that the Democrats are going to take it anyway, so why not let them fight it out, and let the best man win the primary? It will be good for the state. Or will it?

Ask John Daniello. “Yo, John, know any Shipleys?”

The war was bad then…….just as it is today……great dissatisfaction was prevalent with the status quo, because of some guy named NIxon (no relation to Tyler). A general malaise had fallen over the entire country. Democrats were sure to win in the off year election, especially in a solidly Democratic state such as Delaware.

Two contenders, both beloved favorites of the party, both with strong support from their respective contingents, thought it was their time to grab the ring. Neither candidate, nor their supporters, could fathom that the other side would feel just as strongly for their candidate. Each side would run clean positive campaigns. But only one group can win, right?

What happened? If you don’t remember that primary you are telling your age. Daniello got into a lobster fight for the 1970 congressional nomination with Samuel L. Shipley, later a Democratic state chairman. After some double-dealing and a fistfight between two rival supporters, Daniello won the party’s backing at a wild, wild convention, but Shipley forced their feud to a primary. Daniello won again, but there were so many hard feelings that his candidacy was doomed in the general election.

It took 12 years and a young Tom Carper to put the House Seat back into the Democratic column.

If Democrats cannot hold together like glue, and based on tonight’s story and the blogger’s reaction, it looks like they can’t, the upcoming primary will result in a Republican’s capture of the governorship for the first time in 16 years.

So what’s with John’s beef with bloggers? Daniello sees bloggers as being the wild cards stirring up the embers, just as those long haired radicals, Tom Carper and Ed Freel did in the seventies. Just like those young bucks, the bloggers run on their own agenda, fueled by the passion of the moment (and a couple of beers), and as we have all read in the comment sections, they often threaten to switch parties if such- and= such does not happen.

But what if our flagrant actions were to result in the postponement of progressiveness’s moving forward. What if the electorate, recoiling from the animosity expressed so recently in a September primary, on November makes the emotionally safe choice, instead of the rational “better-we -go- this- way” choice……….

We pay for our sins a long time.

More than anyone else, John Daniello knows the pitfalls that a divisive all state primary will create…………he knows that war, sometimes seems glamorous from afar, especially to both young bucks and wizened draft-deferring Republicans, but when its ugliness is experienced up close……war exposes the worst of the human capacity.

Do we want to go there? Remember Franklin’s admonishment: we must all hang together, for surely if we don’t, we will all hang separately. Still want to go there?

We do?……. Good, I was hoping someone would say that. For a second I was afraid that I had convinced you otherwise. So lets get the rumble going……
I’ll start: That John Carney is nothing more than an ostrich, full of feathers, head in the sand, lays a couple of big eggs, and is so damned ugly……or was it Markell I was supposed to say that about…….damn, I can’t remember…….I’ll get back to you later as soon as I figure out which side I’m on…..It was Markell, right, oops I mean Carney, Markell………its time for some chocolate………

Many of you who read this blog have already left your comments on FSP ‘s coverage of this topic several days ago.

Tempted as I was to add my two cents worth, doing so would not really accomplish anything except to say “I told you so.”

I don’t know about you, but I always tend to put “I told you so” type people in boxes shaped like Robertson, Nostradamus, Rasputin, and Falwell. These characters come from the same mold as the girl on every American’s playground who shows up when we are around the age of 2nd grade, and makes many wild predictions to any gullible listener. When one of them at last comes true, she does not let a single soul forget it: “See….I told you so….”

So I didn’t comment. I went to the original source instead.

The headline says that Americans have a low opinion of Congress. Of course we are supposed to believe that it is because it is being led by a women for the first time, or a Democrat, or both………

What it doesn’t tell you is that along with Congress, the Presidency, the Supreme Court, Big Business, the Criminal Justice System, Organized Labor all took hits as well. Percentage wise, Congress’s drop was small, 4% when compared to a drop of confidence in the presidency, 59% from his height. What could cause Americans of all persuasions to become disillusioned simultaneously with all three branches of American government? The answer can be explained in one word……..

Republicans

Singlehandedly this group has cause Americans more problems than any other group in America’s history. Americans are more disillusioned now than any time since the Great Depression. The “malaise” that Reagan tried to pin on Carter, today looks like a flower garden to most Americans who compare it to what we have now. We had the nerve to complain that gas was 86 cents a gallon. Today every American is not only paying more for gas, but is paying far more for insurance, far more for out of pocket expenses (no longer covered by insurance for profitability reasons), far more for pharmaceuticals, a whopping 60% more for electricity. One remembers the good old days: gasoline was 99 cents a gallon throughout most of the Clinton years. In just a few short years under Republicans, this administration has taken a hopeful American society and run it through the gutter.

It should be no surprise to anyone that a pollster calling one of our citizens out of the blue, will get a negative response.

But the “malaise”being generated by the Republican Party throughout their leadership in both houses of Congress , the Executive Branch, and now the Judicial Branch as well, has affected all areas measured by the Gallop Poll data. Dropping in confidence down from last year, are also the military, the police, television stations, newspapers, banks, churches and organized religions.

Churches and religions! For heavens sakes! The Republicans have even destroyed America’s respect and confidence in their own churches. Far more sinful in most citizens eyes , is the malpractice that Republicans have shown towards the American Military. Their failure to put enough troops in Iraq, their failure to fund enough body armor, their failure to armor plate the Humvee being driven all around Iraq, their failure to assist returning veterans, is extremely outrageous. And now, even the military has had to suffer a setback in their reputation among American citizens. Unbelievable.

Do you know who improved their confidence levels over this time. In this years poll, no one group showed any improvement.

FSP tries to blame this malaise on Biden. Perhaps five people will believe that. The “malaise” comes from the war that is going poorly, the deficit that is growing exponentially, the inability of Americans to pay for what they need to light their homes and stay warm through winter, the increased cost of travel, all the while we see Exxon Mobile with record breaking quarters of 36 billion.

Perhaps this “malaise” is aggravated by the Republican’s poor choice of those they hire who then can’t perform the duties required of their position. We all remember the woe that one FEMA appointment brought. Not to mention all those political appointees who destroyed Iraq under Jerry Bremmer, during the early years when with the right leadership, we could have won the battle and have been home now.

So it is with great thanks that I want to commend Dave and FSP for publishing this poll. If it weren’t for his site and the silly comments posted by those who did not take the time to research and read the actual poll, I would have said “Ho hum” and let it pass by.

The Poll proves but one thing. There is a general “Malaise” pervading the entire American nation. It is much worse than the last one we experienced during the late Bush ’41 years. It is even worse than those years that Carter was hostage to the Ayatollah of Iran. It is that bad……….

This malaise is solely one of the Republican’s making. They own this one. They were in charge of the Executive, they were in charge of the Legislative, and they controlled the Judicial Branch during the last six years. Democrats have only the tiniest majority in just one of the branches. They have only had it for six months, just 1/12th the time Republicans have had control. However, …….despite such a short time, more good has come out of this Congress in the first hundred days, than any other Congress of recent memory.

America needs to remember who brought this on.

Republicans, if they are to survive, needs to find a leader who repudiates everything the current crop of Republicans ever did. It is no coincidence that those candidates who are chasing the deep pockets within the Republican party with hand extended out, are falling further and further behind in the national polls.

Yesterday, Halliburton was called before Sen. Dorgan’s committee to testify in it’s dealings with Iran. Sherry Williams, vice president and corporate secretary gave testimony for Halliburton. At her table, also invited by the committee was the N Y comptroller and one of our investigators who tracks terrorist money trails wherever they may lead around the world.

With so much news happening, this hearing will get no press. That would be a shame. For the give and take not only gave insight into the motives and operations of Halliburton, but they also through implication, gave ominous insight into the Machiavellian machinations of the Vice President.

Recently Halliburton announced its headquarters were to move to Dubai. But in the hearing today, it slipped out that the Dubai office was originally opened so that Halliburton could engage the country of Iran in business. At that time there were US sanctions against dealing with Iran. But Halliburton did not break the law; instead they called the company Halliburton Parts and Services, established a Delaware type charter in Dubai, and as a foreign subsidiary, it was legally allowed to make multi million deals with the very country that was engaged in supplying Iraq’s insurgents, or so we were told…….

Under questioning, Ms Williams admitted that the profits from Iran were the majority of the profits earned by the Dubai subsidiary, which incidentally was a subsidiary of the Cayman island branch of Halliburton. The profits were transferred to the Texas office effectively, if not legally, thereby allowing Halliburton to profit from selling to Iran, without “selling to Iran.” Currently Halliburton is under investigation by US Attorney’s office in Texas for dealings like these. Incidentally, to clarify this trail of deceit, 100 per cent of the profits of the Grand Cayman branch of Halliburton, came from Iran. Those of us trained to read between the lines know that this means that these shell companies were, despite appearances otherwise, set up to do business with Iran. It was not a case of… “we are so big, we can’t help what our subsidiaries are doing……”

What does this have to do with Cheney? He retired years ago. Yes, on paper but mentioned in this hearing, I believe by Senator Lautenberg, Cheney’s stock options do not expire until 2009, well after his term in office has expired.

This means that he benefits whenever Halliburton benefits. Example: let us give Halliburton a no bid contract………” ka ching, ka ching.” Let’s increase profits by taking government money and then, not providing the troops the service for which we were paid……”ka ching: ka-ching. Let’s keep the war going in Iraq so we can continue to secretly drill in southwest Iraq and sell the oil through Saudi pipelines……”ka ching, ka ching.” Let’s do business with Iran, despite the fact that it is supplying the very IED’s that killed a couple of Delawareans……”ka-ching, ka-ching.” Let’s send two carrier groups, instead of one into the Persian Gulf, to shake up the price of oil….”ka-ching, ka-ching………”

When asked what they were thinking as they did business with Iran, their response? If we didn’t move in, the French would do it….

Just curious, does anyone else see the irony of the very cabal (the vice president’s office) who demonized the French people with “Freedom Fries” and Franco-bashing 24 hours a day on Fox News, is now, through a subsidiary under fire, using the French to justify their own nefarious actions?

History will no doubt forever glorify Halliburton. That is what usually happens to outlaws who have balls. Many profiteers have gotten rich off suppling their country’s armies. But Halliburton breaks new ground, by being the first corporation to profit by supplying BOTH sides of a conflict that their country is engaged in, allowing them to be used by each other, against each other. And it was all done out of the Vice President’s office…………..

Hmmm. Could he turn out to be the “other rumored” Sith Lord?