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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.

Why are we here?

Mostly due to stagflation that occurred during the post Vietnam economy. That stagflation, where inflated prices led to a crippling lack of profit, created an atmosphere in which deregulation appeared to offer a viable solution..

And what a solution it provided. It offered hope and people responded by again putting their money up for investment, and the markets responded to the new influx of cash by growing towards more prosperous times. Ronald Reagan is usually given credit for this recovery.

This spirit of deregulation, since it appeared to work, spread out to all other fields…

One was banking… Banking works like this.. The bank borrows money on which it pays low interest, and lends out that money again at high interest… It makes its money on the spread between the high rate, and low rate.

Recognizing that the health of banks was tied up with the health of our nation, strict rules were placed on banks after the first Great Depression, to make sure no federal economic crises could occur again. One of those rules was to forbid any interest from being paid out on the capital the bank used as collateral: primarily that money which individuals placed into their checking accounts. This low cost of capital 0%, meant that the spreads would be beneficial to banks during both good and bad times, and … that banks would not have to charge as high on the upper end to achieve and cover their profit margins.

So during the 80’s the idea came up that having fake banks offer similar services could provide competition to banks and make them trimmer and healthier. We began using semi-safe money market accounts in place of checking account mechanisms and banks who had to compete against them, soon got permission to join in…. The bank was no longer paying out 0%. Nor was it’s capital safe from all financial fluctuations as it would have been had it remained depositor’s only.

Banking is risky. A bank provides safety to those lending money to it… and provides risky financial capital to those entities who borrow from it… The bank is expected to absorb all risk, and charges accordingly to cover the cost that such a risk involves.. This was typically done by buying short, and lending long…. The bank charges a low interest rate for a short period of time, because it can quickly get its money back and there is less risk of losing it. The bank will charge a higher rate on a long term loan because there is greater risk that it will not receive its money as agreed…

In the spirit of deregulation, banks began using money other than that of their depositors to make high risk loans. Since this money cost them more to buy, they made riskier loans on the high side to make up the difference.

Then came 9/11 and the collapse of the economy. Interest rates were dropped excessively low to stimulate growth. The drop in interest rates, made houses cheaper to buy and many people did.. A housing boom market was born. Since one could afford a more expensive house because of the new low rate, housing prices rose to meet that demand. If one had an existing house whose value was rising rapidly, that person could afford to borrow more. Their home, if sold, would cover whatever would be the default amount. And if a risky loan was made, the house’s rising worth would cover the defaulted loan amount and then some. In this environment it made financial sense to loan to anyone who couldn’t afford to pay the regular amount. You made money for a few years on the ARM portion and then, sold the house at auction to make even more money..

It was safe. Since it was so safe, the idea came up as to why you couldn’t buy or sell these safe investments.. Bundle the mortgages together, and find a buyer.. If a small institution had doubts about a mortgage, it sold it to a larger one. Eventually, because these investments were so safe (you’d just sell the house if it ever defaulted), the global economy invested heavily in this replacement for depositors. You paid out the low rate, and sold that to a buyer for a higher rate… and made money on the spread.

The only thing that could possibly go wrong, was if housing prices fell. Then, the house couldn’t be sold.. and the loan would go into default… Then the institution covering that default, would be the one absorbing the risk.

As ARM prices began morphing into regular interest rates, a lot of people simply walked away from their new mortgage responsibilities. As banks scrambled to sell these houses (that no one wanted), they couldn’t. As the numbers walking away grew rapidly, banks now left with a lot of properties on hand, had to sell them at bargain prices to get some cash back on the balance sheets. This impacted the price of everyone’s house. Why buy a $250,000 house on market when its neighborhood was selling at auction for $95,000?

Suddenly no home was worth an adequate amount to secure its loan. That made every mortgage basically as secure as any credit card transaction. Everyone hoped the person would make payment, but if that person defaulted, there was no way to collect upon the debt. Suddenly the institution was severely at risk.

Which meant,… just as suddenly, … the entire banking industry across the globe, was instantly based on nothing. Absolutely nothing, except the “hope” that American house payments would continue to come in….

With nothing to back up money, (it is after=all, just a piece of paper) suddenly everything, became without worth… Absolutely everything… One’s house, one’s wallet’s cash, one’s credit cards, one’s employer’s credibility, one’s paycheck, one’s accounts receivable, one’s accounts payable, one’s tax refund check… each and all of these were now based on the slim hope that perhaps everyone who found out that had no worth left, would continue making their mortgage payments out of habit… Not a reassuring dose of confidence.

Into this void steps the United States of America saying, ” We will guarantee all these loans, even though it may cost us a pretty penny, we will make sure everyone gets paid.”, The United States economy was large enough at that time, so such a statement was believable. A lot of investors large and small, closed their eyes and went to bed that night..

Socialism saved the world. Government action, not private enterprise, saved our ass. It was done by a Republican administration because it was the right thing to do. It was done by a Republican administration because it was the only thing to do…

So do us a favor, the next time you spend any money at all, whether it’s to pay a bill, pay a toll, buy something for your kids, pick something up that you always wanted, or even when you see your automated deposit hit your account… say a little prayer thanking God for socialism…. Because without it, there wouldn’t be an America right now..

And if you happen to hear someone abuse socialism in any derogatory form or fashion, do us all a favor, use your American given right to carry a gun, and shoot them* for us, …. P L E A S E ?

*(inside joke: 🙂 don’t get yourselves bent out of shape over it)

The Forces of Good Finally Have It's Champion

Desperate times demand bold actions… Yesterday Delaware Governor Jack Markell, who won the past election with the support of many from both parties, addressed the full houses of both Legislatures giving a “state of this State”, message…

The commentary across the blogs and airwaves, is all over the place.. So for those who missed it, here is the meat…

A. We’re in the middle of a Great Depression.

B. Wake Up, Old Farts! We’re short $780 million!

C.We shall share the burden fairly, and not cater to the sqeamy baby whiners…

D. (1) Cut spending by $331M; (2) Cut funding to special funds by $40M; (3) Utilize $155M in one-time federal stimulus funding; (4) Raise at least $55M by re-authorizing a sports lottery and getting a fairer deal for taxpayers; (5) Increase our revenues by $166M; and (6) raise fees and fines by $12M.

E. If you see one of our State’s Casino operators out shopping or walking down the street, do the whole state a favor and bitch slap some sense into the moron.

F. We have 10 weeks; or 70 days; or 1680 hours; 100,800 minutes…. to correctly set Delaware’s course to solubility over the next three years… Every second squandered, every breath of hot air, pushes us backwards from where we came…

G. Only complete openness and accountability can make government more efficient.

H. “We must shift our reliance on expensive institutional care for our senior population by fostering community and home based care.”

I. This state funds local governments.. We wonder what THEY are doing with that money we give them…. Hmmmm.

J. Education sucks up and wastes much money… We will consolidate our school districts as soon as we render inconsequential those legislators who have their tongues permanently stuck up their union’s ass, ….

H. We will free teachers from the impediments imposed upon them by unions and ill informed legislators, and let them teach… Let teachers teach.

I. Teaching to the DSTP — dead

J. Want more money? Then teach better… We’ll make sure you get it.

K. The only long-term answer to our problem is getting Delaware back to work

L. We propose to train 40-50 year olds how to use computers. We propose to use 5 million to leverage 50 million to start up small businesses. We propose to push green energy from the top to generate jobs and cheaper energy for Delawareans than ever Pepco or Delmarva Power could ever provide. Since the blogging world is now keeping a close eye on Harris McDowell, we can use the good parts of his plan, and even mention his name in public again in a positive way… Will wonders never cease?

M. We seek legislation that requires utilities to achieve, by 2015, a per capita electricity consumption reduction and peak demand reduction of 15%.

N. We propose to establish a statewide priority order for new electricity generation – requiring that we look first to cost-effective efficiency measures to meet new demand, followed then by cost-effective renewables. Only after those resources have been exhausted should we look to conventional fossil fuel sources.

O. Delaware must become the center for Green energy. Not China.

P. So let’s work to encourage turbine manufacturers to make the turbines and assemble the towers here in Delaware, with easy access to the Atlantic Ocean. These wind turbines require thousands of parts and we should work to make sure they are made in Delaware.

Q. Nod to Gilliagan, DeLuca, and Carney… Hey… How are you?

R. Look folks, it’s this simple.. We’re dead in the water, the enemy ship is swinging around to rip us apart with a final broadside from 55 cannons…. Do we grapple, tie ourselves, board, and take the fight to them, or…. do what we always have done and quibble about who gets the credit and who carries the blame…

S. Damn it. I’m going aboard. Who is with me?

In typical kavipsian fashion no punches were pulled.. Our crisis is too big for subtle niceties… “Gee, Tony, what nice suspenders!”…. The effectiveness of the speech, lies in the answer to the last question: who is with him?

For one, I am. And I pity whoever gets in my way….

lol.

You have a Herculean task before you… Essentially to clean up what Republicans have left behind.

However, it would be fair to warn you that my support for the Constitution of the United States of America, and my sworn duty to obey it to the best of my abilities, has me fearful of some the changes you propose for public safety. As an American, I have the right to live unsafely if I wish…

My ancestors had the same right.. They chose to come to America… and because of that… here we are today.. Our ancestors chose to travel west for opportunity, and because of it, here we are today.. Our ancestors chose to sign up and wear blue, to keep the grays from splitting us apart.. and because of that, here we are today…

I want that same right to maximise any opportunity that may present itself before me..

So, with fair warning, any criteria you propose to tame the Internet, which limits the right I hold so dear, the right to express my opinion with impunity, will cause you to lose the battle of public opinion… because I will fight you there..

The rules for engagement are as follows… YOUR PROPOSALS MUST FIT WITHIN THESE GUIDELINES… Once offered in high prose, but for everyone’s benefit today, I have put them in street language… For after all, that is where these values need to be upheld… on the streets of this great nation…

The ten basic rules are as follows…

1) You can’t tell me what to believe, or make me go home and shut up.

2) I’ll go armed and defend myself, thank you.

3) You can’t make me let someone else live in my house.

4) This is MY house; if you can’t demonstrate a compelling need to
snoop, stay the f*** out.

5) This is MY sh**; keep your greedy hands off it. And don’t go
accusing me of Evil without evidence.

6) If you’ve got evidence, lay it on the table. And no fair getting
a confession by pitchforking me in the ass.

7) I ain’t guilty just on YOUR say-so.

8) You can’t keep me in jail just because you want to.

9) As to the rest of my life, you can’t tell me what to do or not
do.

10) And neither can your big fat uncle in Washington.

Keep these in mind.. As long as you remain within the parameter of what I have sworn to cherish and uphold, you will continue to have my support… especially the fourth, since it’s misuse directly applies to us bloggers….

A Terrible Waste of Ink and Money

It is that time again. Everywhere one turns one sees someone’s sign… Candidates are hoping we will remember their name just long enough to push the “x” for them when we step into the voting booth… Most of us, however, see the signs as clutter….” Oh, I hate those things” we’ll hear our friends say if we driving in their company …. By the time November rolls around, there will be several letters in the News Journal, complaining about excessive signage. Again before November rolls around, there will be finger pointing among several candidates playing with each others signs……

It happens every season… But if one knows how to read them, they can be quite fascinating…sort of like going on a date with Paris Hilton, or Brittney Spears. For signs, if you really look at them, can tell us a lot about a candidate…

I know… you are thinking “that is silly”.. But it is not if you think about it, …. . For how many of you choose to wear a certain “look”? We all know that what type of dog a person has, tells us much about them…..

Why? Because the person putting his name out there, chooses the sign…. Each sign represents the candidate, and much fussing is spent over how to make it appear… What colors, what style, what background, etc… Each of those choices symbolizes something for the candidate… Campaigns can be won or lost, because voters love, or hate, a sign…. For small time candidates, they are the first wave of getting ones name out. Only later, when calling on social clubs to speak at, will you get in, once they recognize your name….. that is of course, provided the candidate has a good sign…..

The key elements to look for are clutter, style, color, and symbolism… Between all four, one can grasp much from a simple sign as he is passing…

So let’s begin…. For starters we will take a tour through Chateau country, which is the Senate 4th District, highly favored by Republicans… (apologies to Dr. Katz, his did not survive) As you may notice, the formatting does not fit on the page…I left it that way on purpose. To access the picture, right click on the picture, then click View Picture.. You will be able to zoom it at that point… On some the zoom will be needed to demonstrate some features, and that is why the initial format looks kind of odd… Now you know…
The Real Color Of Money

First off, Rich Abbot. We see he has done this before. We have his name, his expected office, and he is advertising that he is a Republican..Probably a good idea in a district that is mostly Republicans. His colors, green and black, are the color of money, which is not a bad choice up in Chateau Country…

The Confusing Image of Dee

Next we see Dee Durham. She is new, and tried the rookie approach of putting everything she could need on her sign. We see this and say, oh first time politician.. Secondly, her sign is hard to read… The message is hard to follow… The colors, lime green and lapis blue, show us she wants to be jarringly different, and wants to stand out as such in a crowd… No party affiliation is on her sign; she’s a Democrat in a Republican district. Her strategy is getting you to know her first, liking her, then finding out too late that she’s a democrat…. She may be a clear thinker, but one would never know it from her sign. Someone should have told her that when judging a design, she should close her eyes, open and shut them as fast as she can, then go only with what she can remember… The is the amount of time a motorist will have to view your sign…

Copeland's Great White Hope

Fleming has a clear theme. White is his principal color. Like a bride wearing white, he see’s himself as pure. He is saying I’m not a “red” Republican.. (They seem to be out of style this year…for some reason..) His sign is crisp and clean, with only his name, aspirant office, and a slogan he want you to remember… “New Republican Leadership…” He is going with the bride’s tabla rasa theme, hoping this district will jump to the idea of a fresh start…

Putting Family First

Clatworthy is putting his family out there, literally… We see it here, blown up, and it looks good. The sign has the party emblem, his name, and his aspirant office. The main feature is his family… This is quite appropriate, for if it were not for his family name… he would not be running. But when driving by, the details are lost…Perform the rapid blink test and you will see what I mean… No one says “ah, how cute” when driving by; more like “oh”… Nothing against the family. It IS a beautiful picture… but since all one will see is a blurry group when driving by, (it could be anyone’s family) the picture is a waste of money and detracts from the message… It’s a common mistake made by new candidates… They try too hard to design the perfect sign in a static environment, without realizing most people are traveling 35 mph or faster…and will see none of the details at all… Such a mistake can be construed by motorists as unclear thinking. Again, its his first time in office.

So based on the signage, Rich Abbot, with his color of money signs, will probably pull the district. Up there they put money first, country second….. And Rich knows it, too. After all, he’s Rich.

That in a handy guide form, is why signs are fun…. True, they are a diversion, but like guessing a horse’s handicap by a previous race, you can often base a candidate’s chances, by just how well their sign is likely to go over…..

Ok, now its your turn…. We’ll jump to Newark…. 6th Senate District.

Netherlands Flag Template

Again we have a first timer….notice the odd Netherlands flag color arrangement, What else is seen? Is it clear, concise? Is there too much information? Why is it necessary to put which district one is running for? When one votes, only those in that district, are on the ballot….Try the blink test, can you read the slogan? Again, being new, planning and staring at the sign, he forgot that only a hundredth of a second, was all anyone would ever see of it…..

meticulous font

This sign stresses classical elegance all the way. The white backdrop, again like a brides gown, symbolizes a fresh start. Notice the font chosen was Roman… The sign is crisp, clean, with only the name, aspirant office, and party affiliation… Only those extremely proud of their party, ever put their party on their signs… This sign shows a classic clear thinker, one who has his act together.

So who is your prediction in the 6th Senate Race on Tuesday? Make a prediction and see how you do…

If you look at signs a lot, you can see trends that stretch from district to district. candidate to candidate… The next batch or grouping can be themed…. as the outsider trying to break in……

Check Out The Tom

The State's Best Flanking Action

Hey I Applied First

Campaign Looks Good From Florida

I Have A Very Pretty Face

The last one is trying to open the door with her pretty face…

The next grouping all have the state colors as their motif… One can interpret that these are local minded individuals. There are those that aspire to go to Washington and change the world… Red, White, and Blue are their colors. There are others, who are content to stay home, and change the world they live in, day by day…making their world, and their neighbors, a little bit better… These are the workhorses…

Classically influenced.  Likes Classic Values

Mr. BIG Sign-- no classical taste at all

I've Got Jingle, Jingle In My Pocket...

Then there is this odd color combination that was started by Mike Castle.. I always interpreted it as a symbol of Delaware, in two parts divided by the Canal. With the colors of Grass and Water, these signe have ironically taken on a new meaning this year… More like “Oh, S$%, I’m in F@@$%^% Trouble”!

End of the Line This Time For Mike

End of the Line for Mr. Pam Scott

End of The Line For Lofink

And this color combination seems to run with the “entitlement crowd.” You will recognize them also as Hillary’s colors…..

It's Supposed To Be My Turn--Mine!

It's Supposed To Be My Turn...Mine

It's Supposed To Be My Turn...Mine

And then there are the exceptions which as they say…..prove the rule….

Into The Wild Blue Yonder....
Notice the sky blue background, and puffy cloud white, obviously inspired by a pilot…. Notice the confidence in the rather large name, with the aspirant position being the only other thing to catch the eye.. This is a very effective sign, standing out from the rest, mostly from its difference in color. It passes the blink test very well. This result will surprise people.

For the most unusual sign, within an unusual category, the exception that proves the rule… I have not idea what this is about….
Purple and Yellow? Old Fran Tarkenton Fan?
Perhaps he likes the Minnesota Vikings? No, actually, he is a member of the Lions Club.. those are his lion’s club colors…. It is…quite different…

Finally, a picture that I love and cherish…. I’ve laughed out loud for weeks as I drove by… but taking the picture to get the perfect angle, required standing in the road way…. a little too dangerous in this location…. To have serendipity put all these pieces together, it must be an omen of great importance…. Without further ado….
Copeland, Lee, Castle

Exit ’08…. Copeland, Lee, and Castle……

It can only be a sign unto us……..

When The Whole Country is Going South, Look to the North, as In Northington
Photo Courtesy of Northington 08

It is hard to run a Congressional campaign… sometimes things go wrong…

But sometimes one does things right, and that in itself, is an achievement worth celebrating…

Jerry Northington has run a good campaign from his own bootstraps… Not only is it good, but running without the “backing” of the state’s primary neutral Democratic party, he has emerged as one who has the potential to ruin Republican Mike Castle’s dream of his last election…

And that, is what this years Delaware election is all about…

I don’t need to preach to the choir about how Mike Castle has voted the Republican line… I don’t need to preach to the choir about how Mike Castle has voted for the war of oil; I don’t need to preach to the choir about how having a Republican in the extreme minority of the House (it will be entirely Democratic) will affect our slice of federal money; I don’t need to preach to the choir about how having a Congressional Republican from Delaware, puts growth in this state on ice. No…. you all know that already.

You also know that the challenges we will face in the next four years, here at home, 200 miles away in Washington, and across the world, will require a new path to be taken. They will require new ideas to inspire. They will require smart people for a change…. smart enough to work out the details….

And what impressed me about Jerry… was his intelligence…

(Now don’t get all hot and bothered if you support another candidate…I’m refusing to make comparisons…You can discuss it among yourselves if you wish…)

Intelligence… that IS a relative term…..Let me explain….I (cough, cough) have been called on occasion, by misguided people, “intelligent” at times for some of the posts I have written here…. But… I would not expect Dave or Hube to EVER utter such a compliment (except perhaps at my funeral) …. for based on what they represent….(making the assumption they are intelligent too)… my ideas appear bunk… 🙂 But, without them, the blogosphere would fall like a thud, cracking our asses wide open like a seesaw that someone has jumped off too quickly. The world needs some type of balance. We need those guys for constructive dialog, just as they need us….

So real intelligence is the understanding that even though we put the best argument for OUR side up for debate, we NEED another side to debate against, in order to get what we need done…..

I know… it is a big concept to grasp….(come back to it later, will you?) The big guys get it…. I think Clinton got it mid term… I actually heard Newt a year ago in New Hampshire, and I think he got it too. Despite our distaste now for Carper, I know he gets it… and the reason Castle has won so big so many times, is that he gets it…

So let me tell you about Jerry….

First if you haven’t, you should check out the Congressional Primary Debate here.… You should, really… For we are talking about our strategy to navigate this state over the next ten years….

Usually since the beginning of this nation, an outgoing administration has set in place, plans that self perpetuate over several years before they become obsolete.. This administration, however, has been so preoccupied with day to day dilemmas, that they are leaving us with no future plan and an empty treasury starting January 20th……

We need to choose someone smart.

Why? For what happens in Washington, for those of you that do not know, is that a lobbyist shows up at your door with a pre-written bill, he wants you to sponsor it, you horse trade, and then you set your staff on bringing it to the floor… The bills are never read by Congressmen, maybe only by two staffers, and the rest is all hype. To really change Washington, we need smart people to say, “wait a second, why are you billing us for this…?” Dumb people, oh dear, will just rubber stamp…..

I am afraid to say that Mike Castle has become a rubber stamper,…. In his defense, if I had been there as long as he, as I got old I would probably evolve into the same… In the twilight years it just gets so hard to read reams of paper; the cocktail circuit is much more intriguing and fascinating…..

There comes a time, for an old general to retire…. His past victories though glorious, are meaningless if he leads us into one more battle that loses it all……..History is full of such generals who have stayed on a little bit too long…. The best way to preserve ones legacy, I think, is to walk away from it while it is still intact….

Jerry is tall enough to fill Mike Castle’s shoes… To be honest, he is the first Democratic candidate since Mike and Tom flipped, to do so…
In listening to Jerry, one gets the sense that we will do ok if he represents us… He is not harsh like the last candidate…. He is open and understands that he has been led down a miraculous path, one he could ever imagined would continue as far as it did…..

The only reason he is not yet considered a strong contender, is because so few people have gotten to know him… My sources and calculations show him winning on Tuesday… Soon more will learn how good a candidate he really is… We know he’s tough… His gentle toughness has got him this far… But what impressed me most, was that he is solidly balanced….He may not be the raving Liberal that some progressives want….

Unlike most previous candidates for that office, I sense he understands the need, that if America is to get better…. WE ALL HAVE TO GET BETTER AT THE SAME TIME… Conservatives too.

It’s time we had a smart person in Congress. And Jerry can, I believe, push a moderate form of Health Care that will cover all Americans, without busting the budget…. His focus will be on prevention… If a pill taken early costs $3 dollars and a surgery costs $30,000, preventive heath care makes sense…

My favorite line, and the one I think that pushed me to understand that this man has not only the smarts to represent Delaware, but the charm, confidence, and intelligence to make things happen ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE, was this one:

“Ladies, and gentlemen, I’m a veterinarian… My medical experience…is that;… taking care of sick animals… We have known in veterinarian science, that the cheapest, most cost-effective way to treat a large population of animals…. is through preventative health care… We have known that for 100 years….. Now if we have known that, and we can accomplish it for animals….why in hell’s name,… can’t we come to an agreement, to do it for Human beings?”

Yeah, I think,……… he’s the one.

Nagle received an op-ed piece in the News Journal. Northington’s response was buried.

Here is what he had to say:

In a recent op-ed article, my opponent in the Democratic congressional primary, Karen Hartley-Nagle, listed a series of problems facing the United States and the world. What she did not do was suggest solutions to the problems we face. Delaware voters deserve more than a restating of challenges; we deserve ideas and solutions. We need a new direction for this state and the nation.

For most Delawareans, the top issues are the state of the economy and the Bush administration’s disastrous foreign policy adventures. Nearly eight years of Republican mismanagement of the economy, including an utter lack of any energy policy, has left many Delaware families on the edge financially.

Add to that the increasing cost of health care, food and fuel and the financial pressures on the men, women and children of this state are overwhelming. Clearly, we need a new direction in these areas.

Much of the economic crisis facing Delawareans stems from two dramatic errors made by the federal government: the lack of a comprehensive energy policy, and no regulation whatsoever in critical financial markets.

My economic solution calls for the creation of a national energy policy that will incorporate new and sustainable long-term energy sources with a steady decline in U.S. reliance on foreign oil. While the notion of complete energy independence is laudable, to get there we must fully exploit existing and emerging technologies.

Delaware is uniquely poised to be on the forefront of these technologies. For example, converting the soon-to-close Chrysler plant in Newark to build wind turbines would not only create a new industry for Delaware, it would play an integral role in energy policy and benefit the environment.

Without doubt, the federal government must play a more substantial role in regulating the financial industry, especially those segments that touch people directly, such as the mortgage industry. That is why once in office, I will submit legislation to ensure Americans never again are the victims of predatory lending by mortgage companies or other financial institutions.

American foreign policy has led to us being less secure. Our military is facing exhaustion. The war of choice in Iraq has cost lives, resources and strength, making it nearly impossible to respond to crisis spots around the world.

Contrary to what Republicans such as President Bush and Congressman Mike Castle believe, going to war does not make a nation stronger. It just puts us in greater jeopardy.

As a Vietnam veteran myself, I support bringing the bulk of our troops home as soon as possible and rebuilding our military so we can defend ourselves from credible threats, such as terrorism.

In a short newspaper article, it is difficult to touch on all the critical issues facing Delawareans and all Americans such as health care, crime, the environment and property rights. That is why I have a comprehensive list of issues and solutions at my campaign Web site, www. Northington08.com.

I am asking for your vote in the Democratic primary Sept. 9. Together we can turn Delaware and the nation in a new direction.

Posted by Jerry W. Northington,

This was too good to keep “under a bushel.”

Outside the Perimeter
Courtesy of Department of Defense

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

144th GENERAL ASSEMBLY

HOUSE Bill NO. 361

REQUIRING THE CONTROLLER GENERAL VOTE TO APPROVE THE POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENT BETWEEN BLUEWATER WIND AND DELMARVA POWER WITHOUT WAITING FOR CONFIRMATION FROM THE SENATE, NOR AWAITING A VOTE OF APPROVAL FROM THE MEMBERS OF THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL.



WHEREAS, House Bill 6 of the 143rd General Assembly (the Electric Utility Retail Customer Supply Act of 2006), signed into law by the Governor on April 6, 2006, establishes a process for procuring a new energy source based in Delaware; and

WHEREAS, House Bill 6 set forth the criteria for selecting a new energy generating source, including the cost-effectiveness of the project in producing energy price stability, reduced environmental impact, the benefits of adopting new and emerging technology, siting feasibility and the terms and conditions concerning the sale of energy output from such facilities; and
WHEREAS, the Public Service Commission, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Energy Office and the Controller General were given authority under House Bill 6 to select a bidder; and
WHEREAS, the Request for Proposal issued under House Bill 6 established a competitive process in which three proposals for power were submitted, an IGCC coal power facility, a new natural gas facility and an offshore wind power facility, all of which were reviewed and evaluated; and
WHEREAS, on May 22, 2007, the Public Service Commission, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Energy Office and the Controller General directed that Delmarva Power enter into negotiations with Bluewater Wind to build an offshore wind power facility in Delaware, and to submit a term sheet outlining the major provisions of an agreement; and

WHEREAS, on November 20, 2007, the Public Service Commission, Office of Management and Budget, the Energy Office and the Office of the Controller General held a hearing on the Bluewater Wind term sheet and directed Delmarva Power and Bluewater Wind to submit a Power Purchase Agreement for consideration on December 18, 2007; and

WHEREAS, the negotiations that were held between November 20, 2007, and December 10, 2007, resulted in a more favorable agreement from the perspective of Delmarva residential ratepayers than was embodied in the term sheet; and

WHEREAS, the negotiations have produced a Power Purchase Agreement to build and operate in Delaware the nation’s first offshore wind power facility; and
WHEREAS, the Public Service Commission staff report finds that the Power Purchase Agreement meets the criteria established by House Bill 6, including price stability, reduced environmental impact, and the use of new technology; and
WHEREAS, operation of the proposed offshore wind farm would provide jobs for Delawareans and make Delaware a leader in a new industry at a time when manufacturing jobs are disappearing; and
WHEREAS, construction of the proposed offshore wind power facility would make a significant contribution to a reduction in greenhouse gas and toxic pollution emissions; and
WHEREAS, citizens of Delaware have offered thousands of comments and letters in favor of the proposed wind power facility; and
WHEREAS, the Public Service Commission, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, the Energy Office and the Controller General did not act on the Power Purchase Agreement because of the lack of a consensus among the four entities; and
WHEREAS, approval of the Power Purchase Agreement would endow Delmarva Power’s customers with protection against future price increases and price volatility due to the rising cost of electricity produced from fossil fuels and international political uncertainties.

WHEREAS, the Delawarean House of Representatives on April 11th approved in a non-partisan vote by a margin of 25 to 11, HCR38, which recommends that the Controller General add his signature, along side of the others, to the Power Purchase Agreement agreed to by both Delmarva and Bluewater Wind.

WHEREAS, all members of the House of Representatives currently serving have been elected within the past span of two years, and all who wishing to be re-elected, must face public scrutiny this election season, their vote can be deemed more representative of Delaware’s needs then those of the Senate, with two thirds of its members NOT up for re-election this term.

WHEREAS, House Bill 6 of the 143rd General Assembly (the Electric Utility Retail Customer Supply Act of 2006), signed into law by the Governor on April 6, 2006, gives the Controller General the authority to act independently of the Senate when making his decision, and does not require him to be beholden to one member, or a small group of member’s narrow interests.

WHEREAS, Delaware Code Title 29, Chapter 11, Subchapter 10, gives the Controller General the authority to perform any analyses necessary, to determine operational efficiency and effectiveness, compliance with the laws of Delaware and legislative intent; the Delaware House of Representatives has determined by a vote of 25-11 on April 11th, 2008, exactly how that legislative intent behind House Bill 06 of the 143rd Legislative Session, should be interpreted by the Controller General.

NOW THEREFORE:
BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the 144th General Assembly of the State of Delaware, that it is the binding resolution of the General Assembly that even without the Legislative Council’s approval, the Controller General shall vote to approve the Power Purchase Agreement between Bluewater Wind and Delmarva Power because, in the opinion of the majority of the General Assembly, the proposed wind power facility meets the criteria established by House Bill 6 of the 143rd General Assembly and is in the best interests of the citizens of this State;


SYNOPSIS

This Concurrent Resolution requires that the Controller General vote to approve the Power Purchase Agreement between Bluewater Wind and Delmarva Power because, in the opinion of the majority of the General Assembly, the proposed Power Purchase Agreement meets the criteria set forth in House Bill 6 of the 143rd General Assembly and is in the best interests of the citizens of this State. This Concurrent Resolution further requests that the Public Service Commission may at some later time, determine if the costs for the Bluewater Wind contract should be distributed among all Delmarva Power customers.

Because that……. is what we do.