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The story goes that Warren Buffet, rather worried about his investments early 2008, wanted to talk to God… God told him to use his phone and he’d send him the bill… He got and paid the $333 million dollar charge. His investments flourished, too… That would be the end of the story, except he was down in Sussex County recently, following up first hand on a corporate case being processed out of Georgetown… once again, he asked God for the right to call, and agreed to accept the charges… When he got his bill, he was fuming… He was only charged 25 cents… “God”, he said, “you ripped me off on that first call, big time!”… God said, “Warren, don’t you get it? In Sussex County, that’s a local call…”
As someone who grew up where prayers were always said before football games and county meetings, it isn’t a big deal…… That is, as long as everyone agrees it isn’t a big deal. You don’t see prayers before meetings conducted in New York.
Not because New Yorkers are heathens, but because in New York, you have a multiplicity of religions, so praying a prayer from one of them, is a slap in the face for all others…
Why it’s even an issue in Sussex County is because the Positive Growth Alliance, has been building condo’s like ants, and lots of people who did not grow up in Sussex County, now live there. Many have different ideas of religion than those who’ve always been there all their lives…
If everyone believe in the same version of God as does David Anderson, then of course, duh, why are we even arguing about it… Of course we’re going to pray to God to guide us through this meeting.. That’s what He’s for!
Suddenly, thanks to Rich Collins and the Positive Growth Alliance, we have tons of people who do object to having David Anderson’s version of God, one who dislikes Homosexuals, and one who casts pox on Democrats, one who believes married people should have sex only when they have children, one who believes sex between animals is immoral, one who believes taxes are caused by the devil, one who believes that nature was made to bulldoze and pave with a combination of petroleum and gravel. … one who believes that oil companies have the divine right to pollute oceans, one who believes that animals were made for us to kill. … one who believes a national religious holiday should fall on the first day of deer season.. one who believes pick up trucks and baseball caps are proof that homosexuality is a sin,… on who believes killing someone with a gun is not a sin, but taking that gun away for the safety of others is…
(yes, I’m having fun and talking tongue in cheek)…
The point I’m making is that Sussex County is changing; and it is changing mostly thanks to Rich Collins and the Positive Growth Alliance.
Can you make new citizens join the current religion? If so, then by all means, just like the days of old, they will see no qualms in having a tiny prayer before the meeting.
But if they don’t want to join that religion, then, to force one group of religious people to impose their prayers on others, is not American…In fact, it’s kinda creepy…
If in an effort to show fairness, the Sussex County decided they would do prayers from all religions in alphabetical order, when they came to “B” and hit Buddahism, giving an Buddahist prayer before the session, most of those in the audience would be saying WTF! This is our nation, why do we have to listen to such crap…
Which is… exactly what those Buddahists think, who have opened a business in Millsboro, and have come before the county to ask for a variance on something or other that is in their antiqued code….
So… If it is unnatural for a Baptist to suffer a Buddahist prayer, it is equally unnatural for a Buddahist to sit through a Baptist prayer…
It’s not about one religion being right and the other wrong. It’s about who the citizens are that make up Sussex County. If you want to blame anyone over this controversy, the blame solely lies with those who built up Sussex County and brought in all these new people to begin with… Now that they are here, we have to make Sussex County as fair to them as New York, is fair to us, when we take our business up there……
Positive Growth, huh? Depends on your version of positive I guess………….
Tony DeLuca, Delaware’s other DeLuca, will again be president pro tem of the Senate.
There never was much of a challenge.
Doug Denison, one of Delaware’s better sources of information, has it all here….
That meant they’d have to get all seven senate Republicans (ha, ha, ha) plus four Democrats to vote against DeLuca.
When the vote came, the Democrats got what they needed from their side, with no votes from Katz and Peterson, plus “not voting” designations filed by Sen. George Bunting, D-Bethany Beach, and Sen. David Sokola, D-Newark.
Karen Peterson was a little chatty. “Bonini told me he was going to vote against DeLuca, but he sold out!” she muttered in disapproval.
Bonini (of course) denied he had mentioned that, and responded: “I know some people are mad at Tony about things, but Tony is a strong leader and we need a strong leader in these times,” he said. “I really think with Tony as pro tem and the leadership they have and the leadership we have, I think we’re going to make progress.”
Translated into English from Delawarean…. ” Tony got to me.”
After all, that’s what an effective pro tem does….
So what now? It’s up to us. Katz, Peterson, Sokala, Bunting will be shut out… However, if we make enough of a stink so DeLuca loses credibility with the populace, the same way we did with Deskdrawer Adams,… he will have to back off a little. Look how we defined and reshaped Delmarva’s preplanned “wind debate”? Bottom line, he has to face re-election in two years. He can’t afford to NOT be a knight in shining armor this session.
Katz, Peterson, Sokala, Bunting! If you get shut out, let us know every detail. :)
We were round tabling this discussion when one person said… “What if the US just gave up after Pearl Harbor?”
Now I’m all for people speaking their mind. I’m all for supporting the majority. And like the founding fathers, I have implicit faith in the ability of the people to sort out our problems and separate wheat from the chaff… if not the first time, then definitely over time.
Most ordinary people I know have far more wisdom than any leader I’ve had the privilege to share conversation with. Therefore I believe in the sanctity of the people’s choice. If the people voted him in, he’s there for a reason.
But that’s only if the election was fair. If someone padded the ballot box, or switched vote totals, than obviously this premise wouldn’t apply for the very reason that the choice of the people was not the person who was actually representing them.
Mike was bushwhacked, sort of like the US was at Pearl Harbor or on 09/11…Reading his interview yesterday in the News Journal, one gets a sense that perhaps this was not a fair fight…. By election laws it was, and we all have to accept the primary results. However, if Mike doesn’t run as a write-in, he is putting himself in the same position as if the United States did nothing after Pearl Harbor or 9/11….
And with Mike, it is not about winning, although winning would be nice. It would be about whether good or evil triumphed. Polls say it’s Mike’s race to lose. He actually has enough money to send every voter a personal card telling them exactly how much he’s done for them, how that will soon change for the worse, and explain how to write in his name and send the evil perpetrators back to their cardboard boxes.
If Mike doesn’t do this…. exactly then, what is he saying to future generations of Americans? ? That we should just give up when hit from behind with a baseball bat? That it’s the American way to lay down and bend over? That being a man, is knowing when to run away and hide? That brutality and tastelessness are the new American Way? That perhaps Christine was right? Castle has no man pants on? That the wishes of Delawareans don’t matter; we’ll stop immediately and do what Californians tell us? That how we brush off defeat is a better mark of character, than coming back strong and punishing the evil that befell us?
And sentences keep coming one after another… the list keeps going on…
But if I were in Mike Castles shoes, and if it were me looking over the entire scene before me… I would have no choice but to say I’m in… Oh yes, I would wait till the last minute of September 30th to do so… and I would create a smoke cloud beforehand by pretending to roll over and let bygones be bygones… …. …. and from somewhere out of the fog, then overwhelmingly, I’d strike.
I wouldn’t hold back.. It’d be my last race, it would be the one I pulled all my stops for. Every person I’d ever helped would get a personal appeal from me. Unconditional Surrender would be our rallying cry, just like for the troops of WWII… Our goal would be not just to win, but destroy the O’Tea Party forever.
Ok, Hannity O’Tea Partiers: so you were secretly prepared and yes, you overran Poland, and yes, you then went on to incorporate the Low Countries, Denmark and Norway, and even surprised France pushing their ally Britain into the water… But this time, you went too far.. You’ve taken on the United States. You’ve pissed off someone five times your size. We will Normandize you, Elbetize you, Dresdenize you, give you a Kolnectomy, Rhineantipuovertize you, Remagenisque you, and even liposuctionize your Battle of the Bulge. We will Pattontize you, Bradleydice you, and Marshall you into a corner from where you can’t maneuver.. We will take average civilians and turn them into a fighting force the world has never seen…
We will do so for the honor of America.
What kind of an America? An America where truth wins out, where decency prevails, where honesty and hard work eventually win out over trickery, skulduggery, and political assassination. You wanted to play dirty? We’ll show you how it’s done… In doing so we will show the world that modernism prevails, that decent people still run America. that the “Boehner Bullshit” is just that. It’s time to show the world what we’ve known all along.. That in America, it’s the people who run politics..Not the Politics who run the people…..
I’d tell every Delawarean… Do yourself a favor… Turn off your TV’s.. You got a question? Call me or my staff directly! We’ll talk to you… try talking back to their commercials! Where will that get you?
That stuff they’re airing? That’s not Delaware talking, That’s California money talking… That’s rich bitch snitch drug money being laundried to throw a Senate seat into supporting their snatching up of all your money… You want to keep some of your money? Call me. Call my staff… That’s Delaware talking.
Do you want reason to take on ins’hannity?
Well, it’s on. Support me. You can’t let the devil win… ”
Well anyway, if I were Castle, that’s exactly what I’d do. And I would do it selflessly, not to win, but to give Delawarean another alternative between a Democrat and our equivalent of the brown shirts of the Nazi Party.
Yes, if there is still good left in America, then Castle needs to run.
If the doesn’t, then the America that came back after Pearl Harbor……. is gone.
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.
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….
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.
Second off, The housing bubble reached its point of maximum inflation 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…
Courtesy of NYT
Fourth off; During those exact same years, private secures, like Delaware’s own AIG, grabbed the lions share of the market.
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.
Everyone complains about Congress… But the truth is, it is strictly only the republicans in Congress who gum up the works. The other party(Democrats), gets things done. The other party (Democrats), discusses their differences and reaches around those differences to find ways of agreeing and moving forwards. The other party (Democrats) looks at problems in the hope of finding solutions, and not just as a way to score points against their opponents.
Republicans do not care about their constituents. Name one who does. Their actions this past year prove it.
But the other party does… Let us look at a real example where the other party did something that benefited America.
It’s been over a year since the Recovery Act was signed into law by President Obama. Even republican Mike Castle is handing out the very government checks he voted against, which of course, were passed over his objection, by the party of the people: Democrats.
The Recovery Act cut taxes for 95% of working families to help give them a level playing field as they fight to survive. It invested in our nation’s infrastructure and clean energy. it gave tax breaks to small businesses to help hire workers, and it helped out state and local governments — especially to local police departments. Republicans wanted to cut back all police departments. Fortunately Democrats understood that during hard economic times, it is exactly the wrong time to cut back on public safety.
Now, as many as 2.4 million Americans are working who would otherwise be unemployed. We’re breaking the back of the recession.
In the three months prior to the Act under republican George Bush, the nation lost 2.2 million jobs. The financial system was collapsing, and the “Great Recession” was being recognized for what it was — the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
But as you can see above, ever since the Act’s passage, America has gained 200,000 (.2 million) more jobs than were lost. That net gain of 200,000 jobs, is 200,000 more jobs than were gained by Americans during the entire Bush administration. Of course, I should specify American jobs. A lot of foreign jobs were created by American corporations during the years of Republican policy; many an American lost his job because of Republican policy.
So, if there were no such things as Republicans, this nation would be better off… If there were no such things as Republicans, our 401K’s would be better off… If there was not such things as Republicans, our average checking balance would be better off..
Republicans are wimpy… We all know it takes a real man to stand up to corporations and put jobs back into America… 200,000 more jobs than the Republicans ever did. We all know Republicans bow and kneel to every corporation. They don’t have any guts to stand up for American people.
The last thing we need is one more Republican wimp in the Senate…. We need someone who fights corporations; not kisses their ass.
Democrat Speaker of the House, Bob Gilligan, told some of Delaware’s brightest and most compassionate people, that increased taxes were off the table.
Instead we would lay off copious amounts of workers, close large numbers of schools, not repair any of our state’s roads, trim down government workers pay again, and … strip funding to police, fire, and ambulance corps..
Fortunately for all us, legislative salaries would be spared and would continued to be paid for at the rate of their last voted increase amount…
All of this is necessary in order to prevent one more tax dollar from being collected…
But wait a second. What’s wrong with one more tax dollar being collected?
Nothing. In fact, raising taxes has been proved to generate thriving economies.
“No way I’m giving another fuckin’ penny to the damn government! I’ll just buy a brand, spanking new truck with the money I’d be giving them! I’ll show those bastards. I’ll just make 0 dollars income this year…”
A truck, that would never would have gotten bought, does… Taxes are paid by the manufacturer, distributor, sales person, bank or loan officers, and not to mention… by everyone else from who those people decide to spend the money they made upon the sale of that truck…
So you see, as this one tiny example shows you, taxes are good for the economy. Not so much the paying of them, mind you, but… the threat of taxes and a way out so anyone can get out of paying them… does wonders for any economy… It causes people to spend their money instead of hoarding it.
Whereas the eighties were often defined by the image of Kirk Douglas standing in front of stockholders, arguing that “greed was good”, … history and analysis will define the future 2000-teens by this adage: taxes are good.
After all, that adage explains why the Clinton years were wonderful, and the Bush years sucked. Unless of course you were in the top 1%. And even for you top one per-centers, even the Clinton years were pretty damn good!
So why would Bob Gilligan say taxes are off the table? Because he has sat in a Republican controlled House most of his life and that is all he’s heard? All laughing aside, yes, he and almost everyone else who doesn’t think for themselves…
And you can’t blame him… Based on the facts…if I were in his shoes, I would do the exact same thing… A man needs to get re-elected. And if the population is illiterate and unknowing of all the details, then you had better follow the money if you want to continue to hold power…. And that is what he is doing…
In 1999, 6180 people earned over $200,000 in income. (2.1%) Almost all of those individuals contributed to fund Delaware’s election the following year. Logically, House Speaker Bob Gilligan, along with his compatriot in the Senate, Tony De Luca, knows most of those 6180 people by face and probably half by name. He knows them far better than he knows his constituents living up and down the second street behind his home…
Were I in his shoes, I too would support my friends who got me elected… I too would have to say “no” to taxes in 2010, and trust that my constituents living two blocks behind me, would follow my lead… After all, they never read anything but the News Journal anyway, so my bet on their continued ignorance, is a pretty safe one….
So what has to happen is that the playing field must change. Bob Gilligan and Tony De Luca have to worry more over those people who are living in their neighborhoods, than they do over those making over $200,000 dollars a year…. Which means … we really need to start squawking…
Who controls our thoughts? The media? Political Parties? Johnny Carson from beyond the grave? Or are we in control of what we think?
I think each of us is responsible for our thoughts. Correct me if your wrong, but each of us has the responsibility to be right. Some of us are stupid. Some of us are not. Most of us are somewhere in the middle, naturally smart, but just a little too busy with our personal lives to be concerned with day to day mechanisations of the “big picture.” We leave that up to others, that is until they take us horribly towards the wrong direction….
Usually, through out the course of human history, that can be summed up thusly: leadership pursuing their own interests, instead of ours… Basically in a nut shell, that is where governments have ALWAYS gone wrong.
Government is for the people, of the people, and by the people… If run under that principal, then no matter what type of government it is, it does well. When that philosophy no longer applies, the inevitable revolution rises from pervasive discontent and instability, chaos, death, destruction, financial collapse reign until a new stability is established. As time passes, the new government loses its idealism, becomes self serving, and the cycle again repeats itself….
Our goal as individuals is to keep our government focused on us. Doing so, keeps our costs down, our lives stable, and opportunity available… Stability and low costs are requirements for continuous opportunity. Therefore we as citizens need to take ownership of our government again; we need to take our government away from the political parties that have held it hostage the last fifteen years, and we need to focus on remarkable individuals, put them into positions of leadership, and let them deal with the problems to which they are dealt…
If the person is smart, they will figure the best solution… What smart, intelligent person is going to do the wrong thing that will ruin him along with the rest of us? Too often we have elected stupid people because “a party” told us too. Unfortunately, the person the were running against, were probably “stupid” as well.. Every candidate from here forward, needs to tell his or her party to fuck off and begin running our government on ideas that work…
Courtesy of Department of Defense
“By the first light of the third day, look to the East!”
Everyone knows that living starts on the weekend… That makes Monday the third day… It is my sincere hope to return this feature back to its original time-slot so those starting their week, have something worthy to follow… Of course that leaves “Around the Horn” to synopsize on Friday, so between the two of us, we have full weekly coverage….
I apologize to Deldem of Delaware Liberal if this first return edition bashes up against his on vacation version of what went down this week…
So what happened this weekend?
Shirley opens with a story of what being an American is all about. The teary eye part made me proud that America still recognizes its heroes, and goes out of their way to make sure they know it… All of us can learn a lesson from this post…. When was the last time you went out of your way to make a member of our armed services feel welcomed?
She carries another idea that I will be stealing shortly.. It’s from down under. and it certainly is worthy of the read, if you haven’t caught it earlier…. it’s just another way of self expression…. :)
Aside from seven videos of varying topics, one an hour and twenty-six minutes long, and four quotes, the memorable posts on Delaware Liberals this weekend are the following… (We only covered the full first two pages, lol)… Their best was this one, The Morning After….. which describes the cuts to the state budget… “The Morning After” in this case does not refer to contraception, but is instead, related to the budgetary announcement made by Jack Markell on Thursday…. It begins with….
March 19, 2009 will forever be remembered as the date that Delaware’s Gilded Age officially ended. An age that was literally ‘built on a house of (credit) cards’ is no more.
The interesting point is that ultimately, it is the responsibility of the wealthy to carry the weight of the rest of us. Pandora follows the same theme with “What’s In The Water At CNBC”: apparently someone argued on that show that Wall Street couldn’t be run by anyone making under $250,000…… the unsaid premise is that the wealthy, who are overpaid for their results, need to make sacrifices so those making less, do not have to…
However the most uplifting piece of the entire weekend, was on this blog and had nothing to do with the economy… or the wealthy… It is about race, and in a spirited fashion on the weekend that Battlestar Galactica ended its 6 year run, Cassandra puts this vignette forward… I’m impressed she saw it, since she admits she doesn’t watch the best show on television this decade. Next to Obama’s Philadelphia campaign speech on the reality of “race”, this is as good as it gets….
This blog has taken on new life with the economic crises swirling around us… In an amazing piece, Steve Newton (in real time) breaks down the implication of Markell’s budget cuts and other attempts to balance the budget, and illustrates how those cuts will affect our employees… I can proudly say, it as good, or better than that other Delaware blogger who is prone to such analysis…… Again the same theme comes out…..
But the reality doesn’t work that way. If you eliminate one unnecessary management position making $120K, then you have saved enough money to keep thirty employees at the $40K and below level from having to take a hit.
Again the message is simple: Cut off the top to save those on the bottom, holding everything up… The shocking truth of what happens when citizens are preoccupied with other matters than their government, showed up in this comment…. “a vacant position in my agency, one that had been vacant for 1 1/2 years got filled by someone on Minner’s staff. Let me reiterate. WE DID WITHOUT THIS POSITION FOR 1 1/2 YEARS. AND NOW WE FILL IT? Luckily it is not a merit position, so it’s possible that the position gets vacated anyhow. But this is one of those 120k positions. “
Again the message: cut the top to save the bottom….
Delaware Politics begins with their take on Markell’s budget… One noticeable trend has been the life recently pumped back into conservative blogs. I have not yet commented upon it, but…. they were pretty shoddy all election season and up until the inauguration…. But with the Democrats now in the driver’s seats, the conversation among the back seat drivers, has again become interesting to listen to… At least one can feel they are getting pumped up, perhaps stealing the energy leaking away from those liberal blogs, who are now getting tired, and starting to wind down in their ardor and intensity…
Dave Burris does his take on Markell’s budget… Most notably he notices the lack of cuts in services…
“But when the rubber hit the road, not only did they fail to cut an agency, they didn’t cut ANYTHING. That is a massive failure to lead. We got such a large deficit (I don’t believe the numbers, but maybe you do) because we grew our government at a rate of 2.5 times inflation during the Queen Worthless administration. If we don’t address that, we will continue to have this problem as more and more of the economy is eaten up by the government.”
I noticed there was no mention that the failure of the Bush economy has drastically reduced ALL sources of revenue pouring into state coffers on which our government used to thrive during the last 8 years… But he does agree with Markell on across the board cuts: “I agree with the administration that cutting pay across-the-board is better than across-the-board layoffs in this environment, because layoffs would cost the state unemployment money,”
Interestingly, being conservative in a time of crises, leads to some silly conclusions… This one for example: “the gain from the Gross Receipts Tax increase is a pittance compared to what the state would get if they would just get out of the way and let these small business owners grow the economy”. Really? Currently we have 7.5 % unemployed, and our largest employer, the state, is taking an 8% across the board pay cut? And paying more for medical? And more in taxes? Where is all that money going to come from to allow these small businesses to grow the economy? You can give them a zero tax rate, but it no one spends in their business, they don’t pay taxes anyway… Nope, you need to make people spend, before any type of business aid makes sense…. Small businesses aren’t going to grow… They are just trying to hang on and stay solvent! Screw growth!!!!! lol.
In another attempt at silliness the lovely Marie Evans is proposing the Greenville Casino… The land is available… Three casinos, she points out in a state 96 miles long, with some creative placing, puts one every 16 miles…( as I said: creative placing… lol).. Unfortunately since Greenville is too close to the northern edge, were one to go in up there, her 16 mile theory would be impossible…
Likewise the Special Olympians apology to our and their president, does crack a faint smile….
And I’m outraged, outraged that there is no mention of the Democratic Party in each of these instances.
And the DSEA? They also are outraged, outraged that while arguing for higher taxes on all other people, under Markell’s budget…. THEY WILL HAVE TO PAY HIGHER TAXES TOO… OUTRAGEOUS!!! lol….
Welcome back to the fight guys!
Dana carries the AFSCME demostration over the cutbacks… They want the rainy day fund tapped out so they have their jobs… The only question, besides that is must be repayed every year., is that once spent, then what gets done next year…
Nancy covers the controversy over whether pensions should be capped at higher rates, than those just years away from retirement….
Mike Matthews has a job interview today… GOOD LUCK from all of Delaware’s Blogosphere…
The same theme brought to you by Markell’s budget cuts appears in Byron Short is Wrong (IMO)
In short, the most disappointing thing about Gov. Markell’s proposal is he’s shifting too much burden on the poor, lower-middle class and, in reality, isn’t asking much of those state employees (cabinet heads, directors, etc.) who could stand a tightening of the belt. Or a complete axing of their positions.
Knock something off the top, to save the foundations supporting the bottom…. Where have I heard that before?…
Already two proposals are in state legislature that work to mitigate the effects of the cuts… One doesn’t allow retirees to have the lower wages be used as a determinant of their pension size, and the other, gives two state employee’s married to each other, less cuts than two single state employees sharing an apartment, would get… These bring up questions of fairness.. One can sense in both these proposals that these employees are “entitled” to earning more money.. It’s a valid point.. They are lucky to have jobs… and if they get a “by” or a “pass”, who is it then who gets hit with the charge for allowing them not to carry the load everyone else is being dealt… If they really wanted to have done something constructive… they could have worked for Kerry…. But nooooo, they didn’t.. and now they are paying the price…. We all are.
However, a job is better than no job at all and this is not meant to be an insult! I didn’t enjoy my pay cut and the traumatic impact. Unfortunately Governor Markell did the right thing. Those at the top of the pay scale will survive better than those at the bottom!
Where have we heard that sentiment before? I don’t know… but it sounds vaguely familiar…
And some wise words to AFSCME union wannabe’s who wish to increase their power within their organization… “Suck it up and be thankful you still have a job because others will be glad to take it.”
Mike Mahaffie went to the last of the Markell meetings before this budget proposal came out… What is interesting is how the theoretical side of the equation seems dreamlike when compared to the reality all all the posts following the Thursday budgetary announcement… But although Markell was unable to attend due to the death of his father, Mahaffie does capture many of the sentiments “flickering” around the room…. One that stands out, was this gem:
As things wrapped up, Senator Simpson and Representative Carey, both Republicans, made a point of praising Governor Markell, a Democrat, for his bipartisan approach to the budget problem and openness to working together. They pointed out that Sec. Kee is one of several republicans in the Markell cabinet.
“On my count… all hands pull on the ropes…. Heave!”
One of those heaving is Brian from the Mourning Constitution. He tackles sports betting from the revenue side, and argues income beats job cuts….. Bringing money into the state, by making us the Vegas on the east coast, could keep some people some jobs…
As for the current vacancies at the Delaware DOC – just a month ago at a meeting of the Corrections hearing before the Joint Finance Committee, there were 33 vacancies in order to assure MINIMUM staffing – while in actuality there are over 330 vacancies that need to be filled to assure smooth, safe, and efficient operation of Delaware’s prisons.
Redwaterlily shows us what is occurring across the state simultaneously. Everyone is questioning their department, and wondering how they can afford any more cutbacks… Every department has needs… Every department has hard working employees who are not making the money they deserve… But as El Somnambulo points out above, by law,any extra money is spent in one sector, must be cut from another one…. The total amount is to remain the same… So each time one says they must keep their department open…. They are dooming another department somewhere in the State of Delaware, to double the amount of cuts….
Although quite prolific lately, this was a quiet weekend for the Colassus of Rhody… amounting to this list of what was NOT said by Obama on Jay Leno’s show….
Tommwonk’s weekend contribution deals with: Jack Markell’s budget…. Tommy focuses on how this budget will be perceived by the staff budget meetings…
We are open to discuss other ideas to meet our financial challenges, and in fact encourage your ideas, because the $750M [deficit] we face now may be our best-case scenario, if the fundamentals of the national economy do not improve.
Our best case scenario.. In this sobering piece,
The actual budget proposal made by Markell is here…
Looking at our problems…. it is easy to get overwhelmed.. sometimes it helps to realize through out history greater problems have befallen greater numbers of human beings…. But somehow we muddled through… We will muddle throughout this time, ….
Remember how this opened? It was a celebration of an American hero… Like them, today we need our wealthy to contribute more to the nation that gave them opportunity. Today we need our wealthy stepping up and heeding the call of their country. Like our young boys who are on foreign soil, they too must suffer the sacrifice, and without grumbling, willingly pay more to the state to cover those expenses incurred assisting those less fortunate than themselves…