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This is post number 2000.

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

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

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

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

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Fact, Alambama’s law is just the first.
Fact, Right to Work States are also anti-foreigner states.
Fact, Union states, have a more balanced approach to business.
Fact, laws passed by Alabama, Arizona, South Carolina, Georgia, Indiana, and Utah, will apply to your executives as well as Mexican farm workers.
Fact, in Alabama, one German executive was detained from a Mercedes Plant, and one Japanese executive visiting a Honda plant, was picked up in a dragnet.. Because they couldn’t prove they were citizens (they weren’t), they were incarcerated.. In both those cases hush money and calls from the state executive, took care of the issues, putting the executives out of jail.

If you are a foreign company, thinking of building in any redneck state to save labor, there is a good chance you might find yourself in jail the next time you visit…

As they currently say in Alabama (while the crops rot in the fields…). “The Law… is the Law.” You would be safer building a plant in Venezuela where, yes, it could be nationalized, than you are in building in Alabama where you can’t visit… or find decent workers who will work for the prices you want to pay.

Move North. Safest place? Delaware.


Right click to open full image… Pictograph Courtesy of Viral..

So, can someone tell me again, why we shouldn’t tax the rich, and instead, balance the budget on the backs of everyone else?…….

I seem to be missing that little detail where that all makes sense……

Rebecca Young has been endorsed, I am being told, by (surprise) the Progressive Democrats of Delaware…..

To those of you who do not know, Rebecca founded the PDD on the embers left by the Howard Dean campaign of 2004…

She is running in the 22nd district, against Miro who is most famous for his sponsorship of HCR 59..…. Although the numbers show an advantage towards the Republicans, numbers of eager volunteers are at her disposal… Miro has not been contested for 10 years we were told.

If you know Rebecca, you know those district Republicans will have one hell of a fight on his hands this time….

Speaking of full circles. I’m feeling nostalgic because she was spark that got this blog up and running for its first time. Wow… what a journey……

Because that……. is what we do.

Thoughts:

Can Bullock beat Castle? Or is he destined to go the way of Miller in 00 an 04? A really nice guy, but…..

What needs to happen for the future good of Delaware is for John Carney to switch races and apply his millions towards regaining the House Seat for the Democrats.

Many of us feel John is too good of a guy to be squandered this season.  Minner will do for Carney, what Clinton did for Gore. For his own growth and development, most of us feel he needs some distance from Minner before taking over the Governors mansion.

A powerful switch like this needs to happen. If Carney runs, Jason and I will get him in.

Recently Charlie Rose had a conversation on camera with Richard Holebrooke.

Two important things came out of that conversation.

One, was that there can be no peace in the Middle East that is not directly organized, driven, and followed through upon by the United States government.

Two: was that there can be no peace in the Middle East that does not involve Iran.

Therefore, if any administration is seriously interested in Middle East Peace, then the United States and Iran need to hammer it out. Such an agreement would have far reaching effects over the entire region, even upon the settling of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

This may be unsettling for those who only get their information from newspapers. Their wing nuts are sure to call out….B.b.b.but Iran supports terrorism.

Perhaps they forget that the US did the same, under the context of containing the soviets. But since many often loosely throw out the word “terrorists”, let us first define exactly what the word means itself? Who defines a terrorist? The winners right? Were the Viet Cong terrorists or were they freedom fighters? No one mentions the difference now. Were the Contras terrorists or were they freedom fighters? No one mentions the difference now. Were the Afghans freedom fighters, or were they terrorists? The soviets and us, each had diametrically opposite opinions.

Anyone who has seen this cannot truthfully say that Iran is the evil empire of Mordor. Even though we are told one thing by our administration, when we look at raw intelligence we see that Iran is quite different from the picture painted by some Republicans pontificating before a session of joint congress.

Most of the harsh talk condemning Iran, if one looks hard enough, is financially traceable back to Big Oil. Still they are smarting from the nationalization of their oil based infrastructure that occurred as the US was being thrown out in 79. Need proof? Compare the votes of those who shake their fists at Iran, with those votes recommended by the Petroleum lobbyists. They are in lock step.

Iran was hurting under our relationship. The population responded by rallying around the best person who had a shot of ridding their country of the despotic ruler. Khomeini succeeded, and the US interests were tossed out.

But if one looks into Iran today, one can find that they have two political parties just like we do, and that they…. have close elections too.

Besides religious fanatics, Iran is full of moderates and liberals as well. It’s citizens are clever, industrious, patriotic, as well as artistic. They tend to think for themselves. And right now, their best bet for security from any of the giants around them, is to build a nuclear weapon. Even while this administration has painted them as dark and evil, they have helped us in the recent past. They receive credit for easing our way into southern Afghanistan. That engagement was too easy and over too quickly. Iranians should also be given credit for Karzai; it was their insistence that the Afghans listened to, not ours, and what could have been a long conflict, was settled quickly. We have also heard rumors that they gave Zarqawi to us in Iraq. We kindly thanked them by naming them in the axis of evil, by sending three carrier groups to their doorstep, and by lambasting them internationally……….

Some of the problem of dialog lies with Iran. But any discussion takes two parties. And the US needs to get off its high horse and start finding common ground with the Iranians. Iran controls Hesbollah; the US influences Israel. Great dividends are possible if todays blocked avenues are reopened and risks are again taken.

What America needs is a strong leader: one who is willing to stand in Iraq at the border of Iran. and say: People of Iran, ….tear down this wall you have built against the United States. But to be believable,….. that leader must not stink of oil……..
Beauty of Iran is often neglected
Hope on the Iranian horizon.

I learned it in sports and have carried it through my professional life. Sometimes one needs to be competitive.

You may have morality on your side, you may have competence on your side, and you may have legality on your side, but still, if you do nothing to stop an opponent, he wins.

Common sense right? It does not seem so with Democrats. Often criticized by the other side as being pushovers, it seems like the school of hard knocks has given Democrats an “F” in “learnability”. Some of the basic tendencies of human survival seem to have mutated away and out of the Democratic party. Some old democratic dinosaurs still have it. But when push comes to shove, Democrats primarily get the shove……….

Primer: here is how it is done……Whenever someone blocks one of my actions that I feel is instrumental in propelling my business forward, I make against him, an outrageous accusation in public. There may or may not be a smattering of truth to it, but the accusation is so well made, that the opposition is momentarily stunned. Stunned. Their brains fumble for the logic behind my remark. They cannot believe they were even accused of such an outrage. While they are still stumbling dazed through the fog of unbelief, I point out their slow response time and comment that they must be guilty. Unless they are super well put together, they usually respond in a stutter like fashion and make a number of errors that I can then expound on. “See. I told you so,” I say to the others.

This happened precisely as such with the Swift Boat controversy. Kerry did not respond well enough. Previously this happened earlier when the diminutive Dukakis almost fell off his step stool as Bernard Shaw implanted into every American debate viewer, the image of Dukakis walking in on his wife being raped……..

Immediately after making the accusation, you point out to the others, “See, I told you he is ineffective. Look at his demeanor. He is ineffective….”

Kerry looked ineffective as the tried to stare down the Swift Boat gasoline sniffers. Dukakis did not appear presidential in his answer either.

So who is getting it now?

Congress? Yes, Congress.

Congress is rated low in public opinion polls. Americans feel they are ineffective. Anyone with their pulse on America knows full well that Congress is getting it in both front and back by Republicans who are unhappy by nature, and Democrats who feel betrayed by the rhetoric that was campaigned upon………

When compared to Congress, the Executive Branch looks competent.

Congress is getting manipulated. The message ( not yet spoken out loud) is this: this Executive branch functions better without direct oversight by the American people. This ties together many strings into one package: Cheney’s outrageous comment, Gonzales cocky smugness, Harriet Myers blatant refusal to testify before Congressional committees, and now the threat to fire whichever poor sap of an attorney dares to file Congress’s contempt charge.

Flatly this administration is saying: We are a separate entity and there is nothing you can do about it.

Congress has done nothing.

The public is saying: “You know? The administration was right on this one. Look, the Constitution is in deep, deep trouble and Congress sleeps on their hands and does nothing. We are stuck with a king.” Today every Democrat should be worried about the permanent consequences of this ineptness: an uncontrollable executive…… Today every republican should be worried about the permanent consequences of this ineptness, during the next administration: an uncontrollable executive………

As an old pro, here is what Congress needs to do. It is not too late,… yet. Hopefully some of this advice will penetrate their archaic plugs of earwax, and resonate with action.

Instantly every Democrat needs to say into any microphone thrust towards his face: This is wrong! This is what the Soviets did! This is what the Chinese did! This is what the Nazi’s did! This if unchallenged, will be the end of the United States of America! Every day, Americans stand up and say “I pledge allegiance, to the flag, FOR WHICH IT STANDS………” And I may be dead tomorrow,… but while I am still alive and breathing, I am going to make sure as hell that our flag, does NOT stand for Dick Cheney and his youthful sidekick, George W. Bush!”

Every Democrat. Every microphone. And it must resonate….. if this country shall be saved as our Founding Fathers dared envisioned it………

sometimes it pays to listen to these guys

Wall Street Journal buried this deep within their pages: Banks Delay Sale Of Chrysler Debt As Market Stalls

In plain English it means that banks have decided not to fund the Chrysler deal. The deal will still go through, mind you, but the risk will be absorbed solely by those underwriting the deal, and the 12 billion will not be spread to investors as has been done in the past. “The market has dried up.”

This does not bode well for Newark. Why? Because the cost of money, or the interest rate for the twelve billion, has just risen.  That means that all costs, supplies, labor, and facilities, must be tightened even tighter in order that corporate is able to pay for the increased financing.

Plain talk: their mortgage, which was already 200 million a year, just hit the ARM plan and may go as high or higher than 300 million!!

That money was sorely needed to invest in environmentally friendly and marketable vehicles. They do not have that option and will have no recourse but to buckle down, hold on, and hope to survive a financial ride as scary as the Ka.

One can only hope that Kia or Hyundai is interested in opening shop in Delaware…..It will be a new experience for the local UAW to be sure, but Toyota seems to treat Americans more fairly than does our own……..At least foreign autos are sensitive to America’s needs and do not foot drag when it comes to creating cars that American’s WANT to buy…….

Anyone who clicked on the above links saw a difference in profitability among all those manufactures. Delaware needs to send someone to South Korea today. Secure jobs are often found within secure companies.

So what does this mean to everyone else? A lot. Here is how it breaks down.

Cheap money is no longer available. It is what has been driving up the stock market. Next time someone tells you it was republican tax policy, bitch slap them. (smile) If borrowed money is cheap then one can afford to spend more in the acquisition of a corporation, because on the bottom line, the cost is the same. Similar to the housing boom which has now ended, the monthly mortgage is the same on a house costing 250,000 at a 3% rate as an 80,000 house at 9%. Just as house prices soared, so did the price of corporations, pushing the market upward……….

Well, ladies and gentlemen. That push has stopped, as of yesterday…….The Fed may react someway and save us from a crash similar to the last time money was not available…..1929.

The political implications are obvious. This could not have happened under a competent Al Gore administration. But I will leave that for someone else to expound. Right now my broker is shut down, off-line, and not answering calls………

I just hope I can shift everything over to “fixed” before everyone else catches on…………………….Sometimes it pays to listen to these guys.....

The clock is ticking down……less than forty hours remain. Friends….that is only 2400 minutes! Or even worse, just 144,000 seconds. The countdown continues…..

Remember when the General Assembly was sworn in early in January, At that time the 1st of July seemed a long way off.

But in 2359 minutes, it will be here! January to June, let us see…..six months? we should be tidying up by now with just a few knick knacks left to finalize…..Right?

Let us see what is on the agenda’s of today’s General Assembly.

In the Senate: as of 12:00 (yesterday) only one thing: Tony De’Luca’s bill to have various organizations within the state, look for extra money and report back on 12/21/07 on what they find. I find this a little confusing. Why do we need to tie up the remaining 2398 minutes with a bill that does nothing but say “we need to do this”. On the surface, when you first hear it, it seems sound good. “I, Tony DeLuca, got tough with our bureaucrats and demanded they look for other ways to fund our government.” But isn’t that naturally what happens when you, your business, your government runs out of money? Your first priority becomes to find “where you can get more”……….Since there is no funding within the bill, and there is really nothing new in the bill, this bill, as it says from the outset, it is just a proclamation……..A commission, proposed within this bill, could just as easily be appointed by the governor to find revenue streams and report back.

If someone could get back to me on why this bill is important, I would like to hear. But in reading it, it sounds like ‘much ado about nothing.” One would think with only 2397 minutes left, we could find something far more worthwhile to debate……………..

On the house side more is going on. You have Senate Bill 36 which quietly sells government employees down the river. AFSCME may still be around for years, but as for saving pension plans or bargaining for better insurance, forget it. This bill would forever remove those items from the collective bargaining table:

Position classification, health care and other benefit programs established pursuant to Chapter 52 of Title 29, workers compensation, disability programs and pension programs shall not be deemed to be compensation for purposes of this section;

So if in the future if it becomes necessary for the state to economize by cutting benefits to minimize costs, the unions will be unable to protest it. This appears to be the first quiet, hidden attempt to cut state employee’s benefits. This Rubicon, if crossed, will forever diminish labor’s effective voice. Due to the lack of outcry, I doubt if most of them know……….or will know with only 2396 minutes left.

Next comes HB 177, the fusion bill. This would eliminate candidates who may have lost the primary, from running as a third party candidate in any general election aka Joe Lieberman or Connecticut. As Delaware Watch points out this bill would force organized labor to support just one of the two major parties. And you know they won’t support Republicans. Obviously this is one Democrat’s attempt to keep its rank and file from trickling away, aka the Berlin Wall. Thanks to the watchfulness of Dana this bill became public knowledge. But with only 2395 minutes left it had a good shot at going through.

Next comes HB 208, which says that a person has committed burglary as soon as they enter a building without permission. They do not have to steal anything, just be there. This would effectively cut down on the solid American tradition of checking on elderly neighbors, just to see if they might need medical attention. But most likely this issue will not be raised with just 2394 minutes left.

House Bill 251 prevents convicted criminals from becoming volunteer fireman. Perhaps this is ok, but I think there is no harm in letting Freeberry fight fires if she wants to. But these ramifications will go unnoticed with only 2393 minutes left.

The Senate Joint Resolution 3, organizes a leviathan task force to see what can be done with Wilmington’s schools. The makeup of this monstrous 33 member task force, will be big on names, but seriously short on talent. It will pass on the feeling of “lets do something nice for Wilmington” because no one will have time to look too hard at it with only 2392 minutes left.

House Concurrent Resolution 32 creates another task force, this time of 23 people, to look at new assessment possibilities instead of the current DSTP used in schools today. 3 of those will be on the above task force as well. (I hope they have daytimers). This report is due late May 2008, too late for serious action by the second half of this General Assembly. But it should generate plenty of controversy for the upcoming election. 2391 minutes and counting.

Senate Bill 119 seeks to insert this clause into the Delaware code: “(1) The amount to be raised by taxation shall not exceed 20.97 cents on each $100 value of real property in Sussex County for the tax year 2008, 22.23 cents for 2009, and 23.50 cents for 2010 and all years thereafter.” This is to fund Vocational Schools only. And with only 2390 minutes left, no one will even know……..

Senate Bill 123 further seeks to streamline and professionalize the educational process by controlling who those parents are on the advisory boards, which used to be siphoned from the Delaware Congress of Parents, but now are to be hand picked by the Secretary of Education.

Senate Bill 126 finally does some good. This bill alone should save the state billions over its lifetime if enacted. This bill returns the determination of fines back to the discretion of the judge, by eliminating the predetermined amounts, which unfortunately sent many people into our correctional system, who really did not need to be there. Let’s hope there is enough time, with only 2388 minutes left.

House bill 189 removes one more roadblock that stands in the way of remaking Sussex County into a sea of aluminum sided houses. This obsolete law, which on its surface makes sense to update, will, by its removal, allow many developments to go forward which have been so far held back. This bill still is stuck in committee. It may not see light in the next 2387 minutes left. Oops just passed the House.
HS 1 for HB146 seeks to mandate stateside recycling. Unlike most bills before the House this time, this one has the means to pay for itself. However constant vigilance and discipline need to be exercised to insure the recycling fund is not pilfered by Republicans whose modus operandi has always been: “see it, spend it” despite their political rhetoric to the contrary. Oh! Just got shot down…………..

House bill 241 seeks to make this change which will affect 5 employees of the state………all well known to every legislator.

Section 1. Amend §5201(b), Title 29 of the Delaware Code by adding the following sentence at the end thereof:

“An Individual qualifying for a service pension under §5522(e) of this Title shall not be an ‘eligible pensioner’.”.

Section 2. Amend § 5501(d), Title 29 of the Delaware Code, by inserting therein a new paragraph to read as follows:

“(22) Service as a per diem employee with the House or Senate of this State.”.

Senate bill 133 seeks to mandate the separation of children from sex offenders. This is a good bill. Let’s us hope it gets a hearing with only 2384 minutes left.

HB 220 could with tongue- in- cheek, be called the John Atkins bill. Should he ever return to political notoriety at a whim, he could be hauled in and tested. This bill extends alcohol monitoring indefinitely instead of ending in one year. This could be a good thing for those repeat offenders, but more than likely, knowing how most legislators can put down several very stiff drinks in a very short span of time, it could also be used for intimidation and control once an arrest was made. But in their stupor, there is no time to consider this, with only 2383 minutes left.

House Bill 172 seeks to impose the monitoring of uninsured motorists driving upon the road. It tightens reporting requirements on those who get insurance to buy a car, then let it lapse with no payment. Within ten days the state will know. But, to those who like to hold public officials accountable for their actions, this warning is appropriate: you had better make sure your insurance gets paid on time…….

HB 240 seeks to clarify criminal offenses by switching many minor ones over to civil offenses where they belong. This bill is an interesting read for it includes a list of minor infractions that should be civil in nature. Check out for yourself how many times you were a criminal, and because you did not get caught, you never knew it? This bill is overdue. The cost savings from tying down courts, the AG’s office, and law enforcement, over the life of this bill, should save billions.

HB 212 widens the area sex offenders cannot be seen in to include parks, playgrounds, daycare centers.

SB 160, again by DeLuca, provides one more slap in the face specifically to those American workers who get HURT ON THE JOB. They are being asked to incur at least 15% of the medical costs that occurred from accidents while they were on the job. Currently, they receive medical attention at no cost to themselves for employer mandated accidents. Considering that most current Americans do not have enough money to pay for gas , electric, ARM mortgages, car insurance, or car payments,….. their answer to the question “Do you want to go to the hospital for that?” will turn into an emphatic “no,” a decision that may perhaps kill them a few months later from its complications, but save them from paying their part of the 4000 dollar medical bill, which if paid, would push them into bankruptcy. This is just one more example of how a leadership position, removes a thoughtful person away from reality.

Senate Bill 111 seeks to move one offense the other way, towards a felony. Violation of a Domestic violence protection order, will be upgraded from a Class A misdemeanor, to a Class F felony. Knowing how those to violate these orders, are under passionate emotional influences, and immune from normal rational thought , this bill falls into that feel-good status, (look, we did something) just as mandatory sentencing did, and not into effective control. The only effective difference will be the charge presented to the court, long after the women and children are dead.

House bill 266 attempts to standardize the definitions of abuse thought the state’s governmental system. However, based on their definition of “emotional abuse” that definition could be in a thesaurus under “marriage”.

SB150
will give those medical professionals who help out during emergencies, freedom from any liability for any action occurring as a result of their involvement, the same way state emergency responders are protected.

HB 207 seeks to give the same penalties for selling counterfeit drugs, as for the drugs themselves. No more getting off because the actual drug sold, acetaminophen, was not on the controlled substance list……… but was being sold as something that was……..

SB 35: Section 1. Amend Subsection 1014(a) of Title 26 of the Delaware Code by striking the figure “$0.000178” in the first sentence thereof and replacing it with the figure “$0.000356”. This extra money goes into the Green Energy fund at the residential electrical cost of .18 cents per household. This is to generate home grown energy projects on a person’s own property.

And most importantly, with ramifications greatly affecting all Delawareans, is the Dick Cathcart sponsored HB 245. This bill will change history by changing the method moist snuff is taxed within the state of Delaware.

UPDATE: JUST LAID ON SPEAKERS TABLE

Keeley HJR 7 establishes yet another task force, again devoid of funding, to look into statewide recycling. I guess she doesn’t have the necessary votes to pass HB 146.

Then there is the HB 250, the appropriations bill for 2008: all 256 pages of it. But no worries, mate, there still are 2377 minutes left. (9.28 minutes to read and absorb each page, that is if so choose not sleep.)

Hopefully they are taking amphetamines. Because if they decide to get a good night’s rest over the next couple of working days, they will squander 480 minutes of that time left. One must assume that they will sleep on the floor of the offices, because commuting times will bite into 120 more of those minutes. Unless they eat while working they will use up 120 minutes and estimated bathroom time should fall between 100 and 120 minutes. So if we are willing to forgive these personal indulgences (a whopping 820 minutes), they have only 1577 minutes left……a little over twenty six hours to do all of the above and the bond bill as well, which as of yet, has not arrived out of committee…

There is a lot for our legislators to absorb in the next several minutes. To make it even tougher, our lobbyist’s contingent insists… that our legislators follow the Dr. Pepper rule these last few days……..

Dr. Pepper rule? Don’t know that one? That is a classic. It stands for having two drinks by ten, two drinks by 2, and two drinks by 4. Is it any wonder that our citizens get the short end of the deal at the end of every legislative session?

For true insight on how democracy works, show up at legislative hall on Saturday night.It is free and open to the public…… And bring a camera phone.