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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.

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Seems to be a quiet week in blogger land, at least in Delaware. Perhaps everyone is resting for the high intensity moments arriving exactly a week away, in the special election to fill the seat of Jim Vaughn. The wind controversy gears up tomorrow as well when the letters released today become public. (I had better hurry, it’s out now.)

Delaware Liberal: Although headaches are usually bad, it looks like one spared Jason from an even bigger headache caused by one snooze of a Jefferson-Jackson dinner. Bottom line: it does not look good for John Carney. His association with Minner is too hard to disconnect. Like a Siamese twin, he is attached at the hip. DWA and a comment provide more insight. But to stop a blogger from live blogging, now that IS bad……..
Sorry John.

However Joanne Christian, (Dave’s girl) politically speaking, actually spoke to Jason 330, a brave act for a Republican. I think it speaks highly of her character and courage that she did. I don’t think I would have the guts to do so; (especially if I had to wear a dress). Has Ennis sat down with Frank Knotts, in a dress? No?

Perhaps I was looking for more local opinions facing those living in that area, but Jason’s interview was a good start. Perhaps light can be shed on whether the interview was carefully screened by Dave while live, or screened by Jason during editing. For me it did not answer enough questions such as: How do you feel about Bluewater Wind’s proposal? How do you feel about funding SCHIPS to 300% poverty level. How do you feel about requiring the Bond Bill and Budget to be available for public scrutiny at least three days before it is voted upon? How do you feel about funding charter schools, or at least allowing them to borrow money to continue their existence? Do you think and would you support, keeping committees and caucuses open under FOIA and would you support Karen Peterson’s Bill as is, next year? Where do you draw the line between the rights of developers and the rights of current residents of a locality. Which of their sides will you favor?

Not to dis the interview. But with only a week away, these questions have not been answered, by EITHER CANDIDATE!!!!!!

Dana hints of this by calling Bruce Ennis on his “Tricky Dick” defense. Is it just me, or is Dana attempting subliminal electioneering. Tricky Dick…..B. Ennis……Tricky Dick ……B. Ennis….

What does that say about us as Delawareans? What does that say about us a bloggers? How dare we have the right to complain later once the election is over, when we can’t even get information out to voters to make even an educated guess as to how the candidate will vote next general assembly.

Perhaps there is no discussion because it is already common knowledge and I was out that day and missed it. If so, sorry. But from my searches, we have much more available to us today about the Millsboro election last spring. The really big question is: do voters have adequate access to facts to make informed choices?

No offense intended to fellow bloggers. Just addressing the fact that there is a 800 pound gorilla in the room.

Almost to prove the point, we had our own version of a early morning CBS/Bob Barker game show, titled ……”Who Stole The Sign ?…..” Again sign vandalism is important, only for the fact that it pushes real discussion off the front page…..

Bounce back: Delaware Liberal, at least it founder Jason 330, throws his support for Bruce Ennis here. This is the first informative piece of information on either candidate so far. Hat’s off for doing so. Bruce has a lot going in his favor. I just don’t know how he will vote on the issues I and my neighbors think are important. Has he, as of yet, distanced himself from Joe Hurley??? Inquiring minds want to know…….

Liberalgeek (Welcome Back: this time I know our side will win.) writes about Health Insurance invoking one of the greatest movies made during the Bush Administration’s tenure: The Incredibles. It is a must read as we consider how our Health Care should evolve after 08.

FSP surprised everyone by changing his banner. He says it was for fall, but speculation abounds that since Mitt Romney did not show up in a knit sweater at the top of his website, something else is afoot. Dave has allowed the speculation to continue by not reiterating his avid support for this year’s Bob Dylan candidate. Also at FSP, one of their crowd tries to mimic Dean, but instead creepily reminds one of the movie Deliverance.

A must read at FSP is this post by the other David, David Anderson which shows that cheap sources of energy and its environmental effects are far too serious of a solution, to be played with by wannabe career politicians…..As someone once said, based on the term paper given by Bluewater Wind, “For twenty five years, we will pay less for electric, than twenty states now…” When it comes to Delaware’s competitive economic future, a fixed cost for energy from wind, cheaper for twenty five years than twenty states offer now, would certainly not hurt…..I wish that in 1982, during Reagan’s first term off-election year, someone had the foresight to lock US into a price of gasoline that was cheaper than twenty states paid then……I believe it was somewhere around $1.30? Hat’s off to David. (Proves what I have always said: being wrong on tax policy does not make you wrong on everything.)

DWA has this important Public Service announcement. I wish I could provide the irritating Comcast siren sound as it does for weather watches, but I was unable to keep the link formated from going 401. Consider yourself spared.( It was pretty cool while it lasted, if your geek age was 6 or under). His distinctive glasses……that should give him away. We’ve never seen him in contacts…..

Cathcart is in a tizzy over missing another Public Service Announcement. Actually the comments here are insightful, should you be somewhat historical and interested in the Atkins Affair.

DWA also provides significant background on what will become a big story now that the PSC has changed tack on the Wind Farm, and that is the influence of one shadowy Joe Hurley. His play-book was leaked on line here.…..

Dana provides his take on Bidens comments. But as Loudell comments, the timing was all wrong………Dana however goes mainstream this week, landing a televised appearance on WHYY. It is about time they put some “learned” people on some of their panels. If WHYY keeps continuing to use bloggers, I may watch more often. Prior to this, their panels supported the Incumbent Party of Delaware.

Kilroy takes an educational piece of legislation in New Jersey, and turns it into a damning indictment of educating by rules. When will they realize student learn by teaching? He also shows us a seagull just before it gets killed by an offshore wind farm….

Jerry shows us that all the news about the Bush Administration is NOT bad. Painstakingly he has done the opposite of what critics accuse the MSM of doing: showing only the dark side…….

Nancy continues to focus on Delaware’s local politics. Working stories in both MOT and Sussex County, she has two controversies that have one thing in common: DELDOT. FSP tries to pin the latter on Minner. Why do they blame men and not nature when Democrats are involved, and then turn around and blame Nature when republicans are involved?

As if to prove a point I made earlier today, the the Main Stream Media is alienating itself from both the right and left at the same time, The Colossus of Rhody does his take on how the media is favoring Democrats. But try finding anything negative about Cheney, even read glowing reports excusing his shooting someone full of bird shot…..It’s republican control, I tell you……

For fans of his global warming posts he has this take. He also noticed as did I back in September while looking for one Israeli airbase, that using Google Earth to target missiles into Israel would be a bad idea. It appears it may also be a bad idea to go door to door this Halloween should you happen to live in an area where they kill people.

Most importantly to fellow bloggers as well as any new entrant into our small world, is

Your [un]abashedly thorough guide to the Delaware blogosphere!

Where do you stand? I have to agree with his perceptions and good taste, (example: Dave Burris is the right’s answer to Dana Garrett and Mike Matthews) except to note he definitely overrates this humble blog

That is probably the best news on our local scene. There are some things that should not be missed. Laugh now, for next week between wind and an election, we will all be very serious indeed….Matt Marshall at the Soapbox found something that at least describes me, and may apply to some of you as well. Duffy has some profound items here at Pencader Days. Bingo anyone?. The Fantastic Forefathers almost fill in for Hube’s lack of Marvel cartoon commentary…….

Update: And I almost missed it in my hurry to revisit the formula I footage I previewed last week. But my vote for the best post this week goes here, and if there was anyone who drives blogger’s ire more then Minner, then it may be this local hero. There are a lot of funnies on Delaware’s blog scene, but Duffy had me rolling on the floor. (Warning: appreciation of fine writing, with special expertise in sarcasm, required for first time viewing.)

Mikes Musings left his usual laid back comfortable mood on all who dropped in this week. As Delaware’s photographer laureate, at least in volume, we understand how special this state is, or was before the wind blew…..

Shirley, our cantankerous Curmudgeon, leads with Ron Paul’s assessment of our future relations with Cuba. As usual, he makes more sense than the usual prattle echoing off the walls of congressional committee walls. Again like Dorothy in Jerry McGuire, he has me here: “It’s time to stop talking solely in terms of what’s best for the Cuban people. How about the wishes of the American people, who are consistently in favor of diplomacy with Cuba ?” She follows with three more Ron Paul articles, then does a dust up of FSP, which may not get the coverage it deserves….especially this line which if I were not genetically programed to cause salacious trouble, I would leave unpublished……(I can’t help it….The Rockies lost…and it’s Mischief Night!!! ) The line was this: “Now, I don’t know FSP, but this reply sort of sounded like this to me: “Now, now there honey, don’t worry your purty little head about setch and setch. Leave it to the menfolk, darlin’, and grab me a beer. “

Poor Dave. He’s done it now…… But nothing defeats a hearty laugh like bad economic news. And sometimes enjoying the fruits of life requires a momentary lapse of facing reality. Alan Coffey uses the Digital Federalist to profile an article that should give every American pause, if they can pull themselves away from “Dancing With the Stars” long enough. Tough times, are coming. Many will not pay their mortgages. Such sullen news brings the phrase: “There, but for God, go I.”
What is interesting to the local scene, is that the company profiled in the article, Goldman Sachs, tends to be the consulting firm whenever one considers privatizing Delaware’s or any other state’s toll roads…….scary……….

And since tomorrow is Halloween I must, in deference to Jason330, end with something scary…After all, it is Halloween. As I struggled to figure out what was the scariest scenario with which I could close this post, I had to choose between Freddy Kruger, The Scream, Ghosts, Skeletons, Jabba the Hut, it was a complicated choice, involving the search of many images. And after much thought, and frightful consideration, I finally settled on this, which at least for Delawareans, would be the scariest thing possible……Happy Halloween…..

Education is a vast enterprise, covering the scope of human existence. Currently our nations entire bureaucratic focus is to raise our test scores. This starts on a national scale and penetrates right down to the roots of each individual. Obviously, to increase test scores, you remove those who are pulling down the average.

Since our obsession with test scores has mushroomed, so has our dropout rate. More students are failing to graduate. Is there a correlation?

It seems from personal experience that as soon as a child has taken his last DSTP in March of his 10th grade year, he is considered a lame duck, and is left in educational limbo. Of course that is not true, all school administration officials will sound…..but for those skeptics I challenge them to compare the intensity that exists before the test to that of the educational process that occurs afterward.

So from society’s point of view, what good does it do to increase test scores marginally, even as we fail to graduate more of those same students? In energy talk…..we are drilling a dry well.

Since Delaware, due to the relationship of its size to its wealth, is the perfect laboratory to test this rethinking, we should begin debating the use of graduation rates to rank our schools.

But wait,…. some of the more astute will say. That is just what we did before testing and people were being passed to the next grade even though they were not ready? They are right. Graduation rates alone should not be the final word in ranking a school.

When struggling with a problem, it is always prudent to ask, 1) who is doing it right and 2) how can we do what they are doing. Reinventing the wheel is usually fun, but is always much more expensive than purchasing one cheap that does the job.

Except for the US, almost all other industrialized nations have a comprehensive exam that is taken post secondary school. We have two that could be used. The ACT and the SAT. Our higher educational institutions have relied on these two tests for half a century to determine the future potential of a high school graduate.

So what if we made the SAT mandatory? To be taken at the end of the senior year? For one, most college bound students have already taken it twice, so perhaps they may pull off their highest score yet……. 2) It is pre-standardized making the act of developing a separate state test nothing more than a waste of money. 3) It can be trained and taught within a curriculum that begins with the seventh grade. 4) Every student can be given the pre-study books out today that not only trains one on the questions that will be asked, but in the explanations provided, actually teaches how to solve the problems better than all but the most motivating teachers on the planet. 5). As a student graduates, the test score beside their name, gives future institutions a clear idea of whether they deserved to graduate.

Therefore, by streamlining the DSTP to blend and meet with the future criteria of the final Comprehensive Exam (SAT), we can use that data to determine and rate the effectiveness of each student, each teacher, each school, each district, each state, as well as the quality of our nation’s educational output compared to our intellectual rivals for future economic opportunities.

Now that we have a way of measuring results, it is time we get to the heart of the problem and figure out how to stem the drop out rate that is extremely high in schools where our poverty is the highest.

Again we turn to someone who has succeeded. The inner city district showing the most success is the Boston District. Basically they have found that it is rather cheap to target those individuals where intercession is needed, intercede, and follow through up to the point they graduate.

Delaware does well in the lower grades (K-5). Our problems develop first at the middle school level, and continue into the district’s high schools. Based on the inner city districts of other cities, we can be reasonably assured that if and when a Wilmington District is reborn, that it will have the highest drop out rate of all Delaware’s schools. Especially if nothing is done to intercede.

The intercession dollar amount tabulated in Boston was between 600 to 800 additional dollars needed per student. In Delaware this funding will need to come from other sources outside the current revenue flow patterns for our schools.

The Chicago school district study reveals an even finer point. Based on correlations with those who failed in freshman year or 9th grade, with those who failed to graduate, by interceding just with those failing or about to fail (D), one could make drastic reductions in the graduation failure rate, and increase the numbers of those continuing education beyond high school.

The most interesting facet of the study was this caveat. Interviews with 8th graders still showed strong positive outlooks towards their future. Many thought they were going to college, or getting a great job. But physical data directly shows that those who fail one grade in freshman year, will probably not go all the way to finish high school.

One failing grade during freshman year has not been considered critical. The student has three years left, they can make it up. But evidence shows that the tendency exists to fail another courses the next year and the year after that. It is the accumulative effect that disillusions most students who then fail to apply excessive effort.

100% success rate is a worthy goal, and may be achievable. However my concern is reducing the rate of drop outs.

What worked in Chicago was targeting those in freshman year who needed additional help, and giving it to them. Once they had the basics down pat in algebra, the tended to do well on their own in the upper classes.

Of course parents and society have a part to play in the ennui occurring in each student. But even those students who had nothing to go home to, if given proper respect, encouragement, and instruction at school, they too began to believe in themselves despite their economic surroundings.

This is just one head of Delaware’s hydra of educational problems. But for someone looking for a bang for the buck, and willing to donate substantial funds to do Wilmington’s poverty stricken schools some good, this intense focus on incoming high school freshmen, just might to the trick…………

Positivity works with children. Negativity works for wizened adults. Unless you turn an inner city school into a meaningful experience for each student who lives in an inner city environment, you give them no reason for wanting to succeed.

Brief notes:

What didn’t happen?

SB 04 did not escape fast enough when Thurman Adam’s bottom drawer was quickly open and shut. It and HB 04 expired last night from lack of oxygen.

Few gave much chance that either bill would survive once they entered the dreaded Senate Executive committee. Gee, who is on that committee? One, the chair, is a Democrat! Thurman Adams who hails from the Sussex County town of Bridgeville. The others include the following Democrats: Patty Blevins, Tony DeLuca, and Jim Vaughn, who can now retire since it will not matter how his replacement would vote. The committee is complimented by the ghost of Wayne Smith, Charlie Copeland, and the renewable resource fox lover, Liane Sorenson

If you need a good cry, look back through the January archives of Delaware’s bloggers and see the hopefulness that burned within. Then on 1/11 the Senate bill got pegged. On March 20, the House Bill 04 disappeared along with it after being passed 38 to 1 in the House.

So lets see…….in the House, which is Republican, almost everyone except for Rehoboth’s Democrat, voted to have the Bond Bill brought out of committee three days before the last day of the session. This year, the bond bill came out and was passed sight unseen at11:01 by the Senate, and at 12:54 by the House. 3.4 Billion and now you know more of what was in it than any of those voting yea did in the early morning hours!

So who failed us? We did, you and me. As any high school student of physics will tell you, under the law of inertia, it takes an unbalanced force to challenge and change the direction of a moving object. And our General Assembly has been traveling in this direction for a long time.

Only Delaware’s bloggers are “unbalanced enough” to create the precisely applied force required to change the direction of our legislature. Now, after tonight, it is public knowledge as to where that force needs to be applied………….

So we’ll give those lobbyists who packed the galleries early into the morning, fingers crossed that their special projects would go unnoticed until passage, then high five-ing their way down Lockerman Street to their favorite watering hole-(Hi Diana (bartender))………..to them, we give the first round.    But it was no TKO;   just a one point split decision. We now know their Achilles heel.

Incidentally,  of all the personalities. on either side of the aisle, in either chamber,   the most impressive personality was,……………………………Karen Peterson.  Someday she really could be governor.