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Truth, again lifted from Der Spiegal….

What a nice club that is. A club of liars, cheaters, adulterers, exaggerators, hypocrites and ignoramuses. “A starting point for a chronicle of American decline,” was how David Remnick, the editor of the New Yorker, described the current Republican race.

The Tea Party would take issue with that assessment. They cheer the loudest for the worst, only to see them fail, as expected, one by one. Which goes to show that this “movement,” sponsored by Fox News, has never been interested in the actual business of governing or in the intelligence and intellect that requires. They are only interested in marketing themselves, for ratings and dollars.

So the US elections are a reality show after all, a pseudo-political counterpart to the Paris Hiltons, Kim Kardashians and all the “American Idol” and “X Factor” contestants littering today’s TV. The cruder, the dumber, the more bizarre and outlandish — the more lucrative. Especially for Fox News, whose viewers were recently determined by Fairleigh Dickinson University to be far less informed than people who don’t watch TV news at all.

Maybe that’s the solution: Just ignore it all, until election day. Good luck with that — this docudrama with its soap-opera twists is way too enthralling. The latest rumor du jour involves a certain candidate who long ago seemed to have disappeared from the radar. Now she may be back, or so it is said, to bring order into this chaos. Never mind that her name is synonymous with chaos: Sarah Palin.

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Briefly put, after yesterday’s debate, Mitt Romney is all but assured of being the Republican nominee…

Out of nineteen conservatives who started out in the race for President, the one who is the most liberal, is the one who seems best to represent that party….

What does that say about conservatism?

It says, that even conservatives think the liberal approach makes more sense than what Conservatives have been advocating over the past 30 years?

Just sayin’.

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

Another crisis in the horizon?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The writer is an economist.

Down, Down,
Yellow, and brown.
The scores fall.
All over the town…

That’s adapted from a children’s book; originally it was a bedtime poem about falling leaves…

i want to share a story. A young lady i met near the end of this week, was excited her session of Summer School had ended… This is a bright person, I was surprised to hear she was in Summer School; (isn’t that remedial?)

So I asked, (to be polite), “how did you do?”

She said, ” I got a hundred on my final; That is the whole grade…”

“What?” I queried. “What was the course?”…

“Algebra” she said…

“You went to summer school, and got a hundred in Algebra? What kind of grades did you get all year?”

“Oh”, she said. “I flunked it. I had to take this course to go onto high school next year…..”

“Oh, wow. Say, I’m kinda involved with educational issues, and I’m really curious now.” I spoke quickly. “How was it that you learned something in what, four weeks, from June 19th to now: that you couldn’t learn in class, .. the whole school year?”

She flashed a smile, like “yeah, crazy, huh” and thought for a second, and said… “They just explained it better… it’s actually really easy.”

“They couldn’t explain it in regular school? Not even a whole year? ”

“No, they were like reading out of the book, and when we’d ask questions, they’d say the book didn’t make sense to them either, but it was what they had to teach from and they were sorry, but they didn’t know the answer themselves. They wouldn’t show us anything…”

“So, how did you like learn it all in summer school?”

Again the smile. “Well, like finding the slope, In my old class, I had no idea what the teacher was talking about with the change or x over the change of y… here they just said take this side and that side, and bingo, you have the slope.” It was so easy…

Well I thanked her for sharing and congratulated her on her achievement… I wished her best in another school year too…

Hmmmm. So why is it.. that Delaware pays for a whole year of school, when it can be boiled down and taught in 17 days? The whole course of algebra… boiled down to 17 days….

What are we doing wrong, that we willingly “lose someone” capable who can learn algebra in 17 days, and hold them back another year, because they couldn’t pass a core course? It doesn’t look like the problem is with her: it appears the problem lies in us!

All it took … was for someone to take the time to explain it to her…. That was all it took….

Ladies and Gentlemen: that is how we’re going to win this race … the one…to the top. .. …

High Price of Gas At the Pump

Yesterday, before Judge Pauley of the United District Court of the Southern District of New York, a motion was filed by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, against a consortium of hedge funds that ran up the price of oil during the winter of 2008.

The defendants manipulated the market by buying up roughly two thirds of the supply passing through the Cushing terminal, holding on to it to create the impression supplies were short, then dumping it onto the market, after betting it would sell short.

They performed the caper in January 08 and March 08. They were unable to find funding to finance it during February 08. Once they were notified in April that they had been placed under investigation, this consortium stopped.

This is just one group. imagine 30 to 40 groups all doing the same thing…

That this is done is now common knowledge, Out there are those who still erroneously believe supply and demand affect oil prices.. They refuse to acknowledge that oil was $145 a barrel, then $45 dollars once the funds got sold off to keep from going bankrupt..

There are those out there who still think we need to drill, drill, drill, like drilling will lower the price at the pump… It won’t, It can’t, . But instead of opening ocean floor to drilling, there still is something the Federal Government can do to make our lives easier when it comes to putting gas into our cars…

They can bet the entire Federal Debt on the fact that gas will rapidly drop in price, then dump a considerable amount of the Strategic Petroleum Reserves onto the Market… As the price of gas plummets from $3.87 to $1.47 a gallon, and bankrupts each and every hedge fund, both domestic and international, so much so, that across both sides of Wall Street, the sound of light caliber pistol fire echoes from building to building, cubicle to cubicle, … it forces the price of oil to again become determined by supply and demand. As all the moneys of the hedge funders start back-flowing into the US Treasury, and as each of us breathe easier every time we pull up to the pump, we, by pursuing this action, take care of the problem of high prices at the pump once and for all.

I mean if private companies can do it to take money out of our pocket each time we pump gas, the Federal Government can do the opposite to put money back into our pockets…

This is the second time… The first was 2008, but now, because of Republican gains in Congress, it is happening again… It would be wise to remember: just as we had to fight Germany twice in half a century because we didn’t finish the war the first time… this time, in our second war with the hedge funds, it would be wise to accept nothing less than unconditional surrender on their part.

A lesson needs to be taught! That lesson is: you don’t screw over everyday Americans.

Yesterday’s small step in US District Court, begins the process of educating America as to just exactly why, and by who, they are paying over $2.40 a gallon higher than they should……

And let us all stop this nonsense that gasoline prices are not manipulated…. They are. I’ve shown you the proof.

Next time someone tells you they aren’t, do them a huge favor. punch them hard and hurt them a little….

1. Proximity to one of the top research Universities in the country..

2. Well trained work force, ex Chrysler, GM, DuPont, Siemens,

3. Good relations between unions and management at all Delaware companies.

4. Proximity to Dupont Headquarters.

5. Delaware’s Corporate Legal System.

6. Delaware’s own underutilized and “cheap” access port for import and export ocean traffic .

7. Close proximity to the moneyed and power towns of Washington, New York, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, which is good for investor relations.

8. Nearby beach as incentive to draw top engineers from around the nation.

9. Soon to be built, cheap offshore wind power, which will help to moderate utility costs against the ever rising price of coal and natural gas.

10. By getting foot in Delaware’s door, GE could have an inside track at building and installing their top rated turbines off Delaware’s shores…

GE is looking for somewhere to build a new solar plant... Not one requiring tons of sun, but a place to manufacture the thin film necessary for the exchange of electrons necessary to make electricity. Driving down the cost of this film, will drive down the cost of solar electricity.. The lower the cost, the more it will be used, meaning less coal will be burned….

Lower Delaware is the best place in the nation for it.

.. and thanks Nancy for bringing this to our attention…. 🙂

It the government is not stopgap-funded by this date, it shuts down.

This year really doesn’t have a current budget…. yet. The Tea Partiers want to slash $100 billion out of this year alone. Republicans gave them the go ahead to try.

That is most of the discretionary budget.

There as been an academic argument for 30 years over whether big or little government is better.

This argument is divided, not so much along partisan lines, but along rural versus urban lines.

It makes a lot of sense really. In urban areas, there isn’t enough government. Too much crime, congestion, toxic waste,… all confront those citizens daily. How you going to combat them? Cut police? Cut highway funds? Cut environmental specialists?

No.

Now jump to mid America. Take Kansas City for example. Nearest City, St. Louis… a six hour drive across nothing. Go west, you see nothing for 10 hours till you hit Denver. Go north, 14 hours and you hit the Twin Cities. Go South, 800 miles…. first city… Dallas. And Kansas City? It has a franchise football team and franchise baseball team, but it is smaller then Wilmington Delaware’s greater metropolitan area….

And in between, …. lots, and I mean lots, of empty space….. very few people. North Dakota averages 10 people per square mile. When government intrudes into these people’s lives, they look at all the empty space around them, and say: “Out of all this space, you are actually bothering me? So what if my tractor leaks a drop or two of oil! My nearest neighbor is 20 miles away, and his next nearest is 30 miles beyond that! Now get off my land!”

But 2 million drops a day into a city’s drinking water, “ain’t” a good thing.

So,…. in this example, we see the divide separating the cheerleaders of both big and small government.

It truly is not the Democrat Party versus the Republicans: it’s an urban/rural standoff. What works for one, does not work for the other.

And it’s about time that all the pregame bullshit talk…. “my philosophy is better than your philosophy”, the crap we’ve heard since 1994, gets put to the test.

It’s time to flip the coin: Heads will pick receiving or kicking; tails will pick which side of field. Clock starts with the first kick of the ball..

So let’s see what happens when the government shuts down. It will be the republicans fault if it does. They will need 67 Senate votes to persist in their charade.

Lets see how those rural states, from whence these tea partiers hail, can survive without their urban subsidy. Yes, the solid blue states, the Democratic ones, those very ones that believe in big government, are also the very one subsidizing the red rural states with their Federal money. Republicans get defensive and cry like Boehner, upon hearing the very words: “redistribution of wealth”. But as you can see from here, wealth is redistributed from rich states to poor states all the time, and has been since their creation.

Urban subsidizes rural; not the other way around. Mississippi gets $2.02 dollars back for every dollar they send in to the Federal treasury. Delaware (the state that bucked the Tea Party trend because their citizens read blogs, not mainstream media), for every dollar it sends in, gets a paltry $.77 cents back….

So shut it down I say. Don’t blink. Maybe the Republicans have been right all these years…. Let’s shut down government, don’t drag it out, don’t water down the effort, don’t cause an economic malaise that stretches forever, …. Don’t compromise! Make the Republicans close the money spigot to their states, and let’s see, once and for all, whether or not, we need big government.

Let’s these states that continually vote Republican over and over again without any iota of what they’re doing, find out, once and for all, that they’ve been wrong all these years…

Once beaten in front of the world( someone buy Boehner some tissues), we can get on with fixing this country the right way, progressively, bringing prosperity back to the middle class where it belongs….

If Republicans won’t compromise, …. let them shut her down.

Reading through much, and reading what others have read, I can say I’ve seen nothing much to be concerned.

People are people, and always will be. If someone acts pompously, expect to get called out on it. Learn from it and move on.

What is funny, is that I’m sure they have opinions of individuals within our state department, that are far more condescending of us, than anything so far leaked about them.

There is a lot to read, but so far, nothing drastic has hit the fan. It makes little difference whether they were published, or kept in secret forever.

Just like a marriage, when secrets come out, it’s a good thing. Things unsaid and therefore never acted upon, can now be fixed.

Were these leaks about hardware, that would be different entirely. They are only about people, and opinions people have about other people. And as everyone who reads this knows, opinions are worth a bag of crap.

Still reading.. Will let you know if something changes. But right now, it’s as if all the hoopla lead up to the release of The Lord of the Rings, only to get The Last Airbender.

Like having bad farts locked up in the bathroom, it’s about time we opened the door and cleared the air.

The city of Newark has been trying to do it’s part in controlling misbehavior that occurs after drinking.

Townspeople have railed at them for not getting University of Delaware students to behave, and so they instituted a policy that holds business owners responsible, when and if they are deemed to run a disreputable business.

Although that may sound good to people who hate fun and drinking, it may not bode well for businesses considering setting up an establishment in Newark.

“Good”, some Council members say: “we don’t want their kind here anyway”. And they may have a couple of residents who will back them up… After all, Grotto’s belongs at the beach. Get rid of it on Main Street; they serve beer… Let’s get rid of all the Grotto’s while we’re at it! No one likes their pizza anyway.

Unbeknown to every Newark business, this law is in the books of Newark’s code.

It shall be unlawful for any person to allow, suffer or permit in any house or upon any premises occupied by himself, any profane, obscene or vulgar language or conduct, or any fighting, quarreling or affray, or any loud or unusual noises to the disturbance of the quiet and good order of the city.

For residents who are tired of loud behavior, that is a breath of fresh air. Now, they may finally get relief from those college students peeing in their bushes…

However, for a business, there is no set level that must take effect, before the implementation of the following penalties. It’s as if your boot camp drill instructor stood you at attention and told you that if you moved in the slightest, he/she would slam you with a baseball bat… With no parameters set, no time limit given, eventually you shuffle, and BAM, right into the back of your medulla….

Last Wednesday, at an well known established on Main Street, two girls got into a bitch yip. They were quickly ushered out of the building by management and employees. Calm was restored. But some random person called the police, who arrived after the incident was over. They arrested the two girls who were still hanging around outside, and then came in, handcuffed the assistant manager, and took them all to the police station, where they charged the girls with disorderly conduct, and the manager for running a disreputable business… Grottos… a disreputable business?… Has everyone on Newark’s council lost their mind?

A business is open to the public. A business can’t be responsible for every individual. No matter how much they try, they can’t be! They CAN be responsible for having systems in place, ones that that can be initiated if and when such a random unforeseen acts were to occur… But in this case, through a random system of events, an assistant manager is now going to have to pay at least 10% of his yearly income, hopefully put up by his company, to fight these charges. 10% of his income… His crime? He was scheduled to work that night… That’s it…

Or let’s put this irrationality in in a different way: it’s a given that Newark’s police are charged with policing the town. It’s also a given that City Council is the party responsible for all the laws made by the town. Check out this law.

302.9.2 Property Owner Responsibility. It shall be the responsibility of the owner of property damaged by graffiti to restore said surface to an approved state of maintenance and repair, including the removal of graffiti.

302.9.3 Notice. Notice shall be as specified in this chapter. Notice to remove graffiti shall specify that it is unlawful for the owner or anyone who has primary responsibility for control of the property, or for maintenance or repair of the property, to permit property that is defaced with graffiti to remain defaced beyond a period of 10 days after service of notice as specified in this chapter.

Currently there is graffiti on property owned by the City of Newark.. The person ultimately responsible for that property, would be the acting manager, which in this case would be the mayor, and members of the City Council. They are the elected officials held accountable for the running of the city. As we can see, here is evidence that they broke the above statute by allowing a single individual to deface their property.

Under the same principals which they are applying to the business which silenced a girl spat, they, the mayor and council, as well as the police chief just for good measure, should be arrested by the citizens of Newark, and charged for violating these clauses listed above.. They too should get an arrest record, they too should be personally assessed court costs and lawyers fees, and they too, should suffer economic hardship, just because they happened to be he mayor and council at that time of the spray painting….

LAUGHABLE? EXACTLY!

If Newark is going to hold businesses accountable for every little detail written in code, then they need to hold themselves accountable as well. They too need to be arrested, because some individual over which they had no control, did not know how to behave…

“They ( mayor and council)… should have prevented it”, the towns people say… “Throw the mayor and council in jail”..

Bottom line, this type of adherence to the law is stupid. The municipal code needs to be modified before a conglomeration of businesses start filing suit against every police officer, every desk supervisor, every chief of police, every council member and even the mayor. They are open to personal suit, because the business from which the manager was arrested, actually did what the law implied. They stopped the fighting, shut it down, before anything serious happened… One would think from the reading of the law, that is how they would abide by it in that given situation. But no….

Now some random employee, will have to go to court, and if the judge is not reasonable, (which has been known to happen in small towns), he could forever have the stigma of a misguided police force, attached to his name…

The stupidity is not in the intent… The stupidity is the the implementation… There is no filter.

If what’s good for the goose is good for the gander… throw these elected bums into jail……

It’s clear as day.

When you have no engine in your car, you have to put one in… When banks aren’t lending, when the private sector is incapable of spending, the government has to..

It is called deficit spending. It’s been done before. Whereas we suffered a horrible Great Depression, Sweden emerged from theirs in 1934 by using just such a Keynesian approach towards deficit spending. While America suffered through dust bowls, “Grapes of Wrath”, Hoovervilles, soup kitchens, and one out of every four workers unemployed, Sweden was thriving and its citizens were living quite comfortably.

America finally… five years later, had no choice but to follow suit after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. We too spent money we didn’t have and guess what? From 1939 to 1941, U.S. manufacturing shot up a phenomenal 50 percent!

So what happens to those people who have no choice but to work, when the government gives them a job? They spend…. soon,… more people have to work… who spend… so even more people have to work,… who spend … so even more people than the more people spending money previously, have to work. … and they spend.

Republicans clamor we need more jobs… Mike Castle even hands out a giant check he voted against! LOL.. But they are all lined up against the very engine that brought us out of The Great Depression… How silly is that?

They say… we’ll owe sooooooooooooooo much money… Hello…Excuse me? Uhhh, have you ever bought a … house? Don’t you personally owe soooooooooooooooo much money? A $200,000 dollar house cost over $455,000 by the time the last payment is made. But…… how long would it take you, forced to spend more than you currently make just to live, to save $200,000 cash just to buy that house outright?

Right…. you couldn’t…

The same principal applies to economics. If you need to spend money for jobs right now…. and don’t have it… when and where will those jobs come from?

They won’t. Duh.

Therefore when Bonini says “Delaware spends more per person than any other state, excluding Alaska and Hawaii…” and that “the No. 1 employer in Delaware is the state itself, and the number of people employed by the state has doubled in the past 12 years” … right now we should be grateful… not troubled. Because we too are making some of that money those people are spending.

When he says…. “Tough economic times have prompted people to get involved in the political process,” it’s hilarious…. Especially when you look at this… on the Republican side… THEY ARE ALMOST ALL MILLIONAIRES…. (C’mon… It’s Delaware… Even if you’re Republican you gotta laugh)…

But, when he says … “The fact that people are making tough economic decisions in their personal family lives is bringing attention to the fact that the government is not,” it shows he doesn’t understand government’s role in the economy. It unfortunately shows us all that he doesn’t either read, or understand, American history.

And… that is what makes him a dangerous person to put in as our State Treasurer. He’s a great guy, and I certainly wish him well, but now is just not right time for someone who does not understand deficit spending to be running our state’s Treasury. Thirty years from now… based on my best estimates…that will be his time.