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Delaware's Heroes For What

We hail our fallen heroes.  Hopefully many of you stirred some dull roots with spring rain today:…  memories, both a blessing and a curse.

But for whom did they die?

Did they die for….

Top 5 Contributors, 2009 – 2014,       Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC      Contributor      Total Indivs PACs
AstraZeneca PLC                                                                     $71,550                                               $36,550               $35,000
JPMorgan Chase & Co                                                          $58,200                                              $33,200               $25,000
Ashland Inc                                                                                $55,420                                              $25,700               $29,720
Blue Cross/Blue Shield                                                      $46,000                                                  $6,000               $40,000
Bank of America                                                                     $40,440                                                 $3,940               $36,500

Those were Tom Carper’s top 5 contibutors……

Or did they die for….

Top 5 Contributors, 2009 – 2014,        Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC     Contributor           Total Indivs PACs
Young, Conaway et al                                                        $121,300                                            $121,300                     $0
Skadden, Arps et al                                                              $92,600                                             $87,600                       $5,000
Grant & Eisenhofer                                                              $70,049                                              $70,049                       $0
Comcast Corp                                                                         $69,200                                            $44,200                       $25,000
Morris, Nichols et al                                                            $57,550                                              $57,550                        $0

Those were Chris Coons’ top 5 contributors……

Or did they die for…....

Top 5 Contributors, 2013 – 2014,       Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC     Contributor           Total Indivs PACs
Investment Co Institute                                                $12,500                                                 $8,140                            $2,500
Skadden, Arps et al                                                            $10,640                                                 $8,140                            $2,500
National Multi Housing Council                                $10,500                                                 $0                                     $10,500
Bank of America                                                                  $10,250                                                 $750                                 $9,500
AstraZeneca PLC                                                                 $10,198                                                 $250                                 $9,948

 

These are John Carney’s top contributors……

Our state relative to nationally, is actually on the good end of campaign contribution spectrum.  Nothing here, is really out of line. You should see some in other states…

But let us isolate by industry…..

For John Carney…. 

Top 5 Industries, 2013 – 2014,       Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC       Industry Total           Indivs PACs
Insurance                                                       $96,520                                                                   $2,820                     $93,700
Securities & Investment                          $93,000                                                                  $1,500                     $91,500
Lawyers/Law Firms                                  $59,110                                                                   $45,610                     $13,500
Commercial Banks                                    $49,000                                                                  $1,250                       $47,750
Finance/Credit Companies                    $43,250                                                                  $5,250                      $38,000

For Chris Coons…….

Top 5 Industries, 2009 – 2014,      Campaign Cmt                                                Industry Total             Indivs PACs
Lawyers/Law Firms                                  $1,495,387                                                    $1,341,519                    $153,868
Leadership PACs                                        $512,900                                                           $0                              $512,900
Lobbyists                                                       $345,302                                                       $325,472                        $19,830
Securities & Investment                        $296,800                                                       $235,300                      $61,500
TV/Movies/Music                                     $228,157                                                          $163,800                       $64,357

For Tom Carper……..

Top 5 Industries, 2009 – 2014,       Campaign Cmte                                            Industry Total               Indivs PACs
Insurance                                                     $371,710                                                          $94,470                         $277,240
Securities & Investment                        $320,340                                                      $125,840                       $194,500
Lawyers/Law Firms                                  $294,382                                                       $170,761                        $123,621
Lobbyists                                                        $214,262                                                     $207,042                            $7,220
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products      $207,710                                                      $50,300                         $157,410

And now, in what I believe is the first time ever…. here is the combination giving you an idea of who influences our 3 man delegation…  Compiled by adding together all three’s industry totals listed above and then ranking them top down…..

 

Lawyers/Law Firms   ……………..    $1,848,879

Securities & Investment …………….   $710,140

Insurance…..,,,,,,,,,……………. , ……   $668,257

Leadership PACs ………………………. $675,400

Lobbyists  ………………………………,…$568,779

Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $486,108

Commercial Banks  …………………….$435,240

TV/Movies/Music……………………….$292,067

Finance/Credit Companies………….$208,865

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And that is who owns our delegation….  Just seeing the visual makes it clear why some of the anti-people votes cast by this delegation, … are ever cast at all….   No, contrary to how we exclaim… They are not insane.  They are practical….

It will get worse with McCutcheon passed…

Already the amount of dark money as shown by tallies done by the Center for Responsive Politics show that nondisclosing groups have already reported spending more than three times as much as they had at this point in the 2012 elections — a presidential cycle when higher spending would be expected.”

Did you get that?  The unprecedented spending done in 2012, a contested presidential year, as of now been tripled over the same point of time back in 2012…….. . And it is both sides. In the past dark money was 80% Conservative, 20% Liberal.  Today (2014), it is 60% Conservative; 40% Liberal…   Spending by liberal nondisclosing groups is more than four times higher than it was at this point in 2012, while their conservative counterparts have tripled their previous spending level……

Which means, no tv watching this summer… and social media will become a real turn-off….  Both mean that most of America will tune out this election…  Thank you, Supreme Court…..   What were you smoking?

And if most of America tunes out this election,   it again begs the moral and serious question…. for whom did they die?  Certainly not us.

Delaware's Heroes

 

 

 

 

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Delawares US Senator Chris Coons

I wasn’t going to say anything; obviously I’ve changed my mind as the controversy continues to swill around Chris Coon’s “no” vote against his putting a certain person who once represented a cop killer on the bench….

Chris has said this vote was difficult for him, and I think it would be for any of us finding ourselves in his position.  It is easy to have an opinion and act on it when sides are clearly divided.  As when it is you against them.

It is not so easy when your close friends are sharply divided, and half want you go go one way; the other half want you to go the next… When in that situation people develop formulas to guide them;  such as take a poll and alienate the lesser amount;  another is to check with those who are closest to you, and go the way they suggest.  A third is to flip a coin, since you lose either way and gain nothing.  A fourth is to skip the vote.  And a fifth, is to actually look inside yourself, weigh all the data you are privileged to see,  seek out the best and worst of both sides, then make a decision on what you think is best…

That last one is a doosey.

But that is what we elect our officials to do.  We can’t be there ourselves.  We have mouths to feed, bills to pay, bosses to satisfy, and spouses too mollify, and our duty is to pick who we think will do their best making these decisions in our absence…  Among leaders, we call it delegation. We delegate these decisions to someone else, and trust they make the correct and right ones.

If you read through Chris’s statement, the emotion jumps off the page that it wasn’t an easy decision for him.  None of us who throw invective bombs his way, ever sat down with the family of a fallen police officer and ask how they feel.   Therefore we only know half of the equation; and to be straight up, that half is the left-brained, logical side of the equation.  Respectfully, the lawyer who represents a client should not be pasted as being aligned to that client, because that, is what lawyers do…. Neither should a plumber be blamed because he once fixed Eric Bodenweiser’s faucet…  Same thing;  logically speaking;  it’s work, that’s all…

But tell me truthfully… did you just cringe when I mentioned fixing Eric Bodenweiser’s faucet?  If you were in a bar, and this great guy next to you suddenly spilled that story that he once went to that house, of that man, and took money from him,  speaking strictly for me, I would immediately begin looking for another conversationalist… I’m just being honest.  I don’t know why, it is completely illogical…. But there is just that stigma…. that kind that causes a shudder from the very inside of the heart, outward…

Again.  no offense to anyone in bringing up this description.  We all can agree it is just a example of human nature.  But it is a very “BIG” part of human nature….

Which means it plays into the equation because all of our transactions are human…   Those of us taking Coons to task probably did not look very deeply at the ramifications of having someone like that on the bench.  Would there be more jailhouse deaths of inmates, because cops felt the defendant would be let off and knew he was guilty?  Would there be less arrests because cops knew their charges would get pardoned anyway?  To be honest, probably not, but since those thoughts just ran through my mind I’m sure there are other out there affected similarly….

But what this huge controversy does manifest, no matter which side you happen to be on, is that this decision was tainted.  Either way, there is going to be this  stigma, one way or the other, to one party or the other, always attached to this appointment….

With every decision this judge would make, forever into the future, … that stigma would  get called into account.   Either one side or the other would be outraged with every decision being made, by a far greater degree than if those same exact decisions had been made by someone we’d never even heard of before….

And that is where leadership comes into play… Whereas weaker minds would pick and choose sides, debate back and forth whether the one side or the other should win out in the end,  the real leader looks at the big picture, charts the path forward over years and decades,  and says “what would make all this go away, and get ourselves returned back to business as  normal in the shortest possible time frame?”

When that becomes the parameter, the correct answer almost smacks you in the face; it is so clearly obvious what must be done….

Call it Chris’s Lawrence of Arabia moment;  when you see the big picture and know what it is you must do. There are bigger, more important battles that need fought.  Allowing a tempest in a teapot to derail the future of the entire nation is in no one’s best interest.  Someone else, who will do just as great of job sitting on that bench can be found….  By then, many new crises will be upon us, and we’ll all be fortunate we are not reliving this distraction, over, and over, and over….

We made it go away… Whether it was this guy, or another, or a woman who sat on that bench, would not make any probable difference to your life, or mine. There are a lot of people out there who think the way this ex-lawyer does, who have the same depth of feeling towards civil rights, and I’m sure another one can be found rather quickly..  To let that distract from imposing higher taxes on the wealthy, from standing up to brutality in sub-Saharan Africa, from protecting Social Security,  from fighting the corporate influence that is slowly choking off everything good we used to love about America, would be in error…  And we’d be willing to throw all that away for what?  Just for a puny public show to prove how tough we are that we can stand up to the Fraternal Order of Police and not back down?

There may be another time to do so.  For example to preserve our Miranda rights.  To protect habeas corpus would be another one.  To keep the 5th Amendment intact would be a third… Those are all worth losing political capital over.  Each of those make decisions that really matter, to not only ourselves, but future Americans down through the years as far as our eyes can see.

You aren’t standing in his shoes.  He is.  It is called “doing your job” and it is why we elected him; to sometimes even save us from ourselves when  necessary…

Oh, well, you can think what ever you want about him, do whatever you want;  it’s your right, I won’t say any more; there other far more pressing things needing my attention… But just remember this;  that if you were in his shoes, at that time, making that decision, would you simply fall back on your prejudices and pap philosophies, perhaps your political nature that automatically always chooses one side over the other?  Or… would you too, look at both sides, and figure out by yourself what America really needs at this point,  then do something constructive to move us in that direction?

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Washington state which went with the highest minimum wage , has one of the highest job growth rates in the country… The high minimum wage did not tank their economy as Republicans said it would.

In fact, their growth is higher than Alabama, which has no minimum wage.

It is obvious really. If you can’t afford to spend money, you don’t.  Then when you can, you do…  Higher minimum wages grow their state’s economies.

(Below is the prepared text of the Governor’s State of the State for 2014. See if you can find the part which caused the Dow Jones to tumble.)

RED –Education

GREEN==Environment

ORANGE== Jobs

BLUE== Justice

VIOLET== Infrastructure

Lt. Gov. Denn, President Pro Tem Blevins, Speaker Schwartzkopf, members of the 147th General Assembly, other elected officials, members of the cabinet, members of the judiciary, Carla, the people of Delaware. Thank you for inviting me to address you today.

I know it wasn’t necessary but I just want to assure the members of the General Assembly that Secretary Bhatt was ready to personally plow each of your driveways to facilitate your travel here.

In all seriousness, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge our terrific state employees who day in and day out provide critical services to the citizens of our state. We all experienced the benefit of their work and commitment during the recent snow storms.

Our public safety, transportation, health care, facilities and other staff truly answered the call. We owe a continual debt of gratitude to our state employees for being there when their neighbors and fellow Delawareans need them.

Let me also thank the members of our military – our friends from the Dover Air Force Base, all Delawareans in the armed forces, and members of the Delaware National Guard. We had more members of the Guard deployed last year than ever.

Two of our Afghanistan veterans are with us today. I ask you to join me in thanking Capt. Brian Malloy and Chief Master Sergeant Kevin Gordon. Captain, Chief, please accept our appreciation for all that you and your colleagues have done for us.

This past year, one of Delaware’s own made the ultimate sacrifice. Warrant Officer Sean Mullen gave his life serving in Afghanistan. I ask that we all pause for a moment of silence to honor his memory.

Veterans like Capt. Malloy, Chief Gordon and Warrant Officer Mullen protect what makes America great. Our freedoms. Our liberty. And the promise that any child in America can grow up to be whatever they want to be.

That, of course, is the essence of the American dream. Everybody in this state wants a piece of it. That longing defines who we are as a people.

And while it isn’t our job to guarantee success for every Delawarean, it is our job to empower them to make their dreams real. Through several difficult years and this country’s worst recession in generations, we have made progress on securing that promise. The state of our state is stronger today than when I addressed you a year ago. Our job growth has outpaced the nation’s, highlighted by a thriving financial sector and technological innovation from companies large and small, whether it’s the parts manufactured at Miller Metal, the new pharmaceuticals developed at Incyte, the software made at SevOne, or the cutting-edge fuel cells made by Bloom Energy.

Our schools are implementing higher standards while, thanks to legislation passed by the General Assembly, we are better preparing our teachers. And the companies that will hire our students are dealing with fewer and clearer government regulations.

So, we’ve made progress, but to paraphrase Will Rogers, even if we’re on the right track, we’ll get run over if we just sit here. We have so much more to do.

If you have the right skills and live in the right communities, good-paying jobs are available. But for too many people, that’s not reality. Every Delawarean has something to contribute if given the chance. We need to make sure they have that chance.

As governor, I’ve made repeated visits to the Ferris School. The young men at Ferris often require intense rehabilitation. Four years ago, during a visit to a Ferris art class, a young man, whom I’ll call Brian, gave me a drawing he made. About a year later, a confident young man approached me at a Habitat for Humanity event. He delivered a firm handshake and asked if I remembered who he was. I couldn’t quite place him. “I’m Brian,” he said. “You met me at Ferris. I gave you the drawing. Look at me now.”

A bit stunned, I asked if he was working for Habitat for Humanity. He wasn’t. He was just volunteering in his free time while studying to be a nurse. And he was positively glowing.

I think about Brian whenever I see his drawing hanging in my office. It reminds me of the potential in every Delawarean. Unleashing that potential is one of the most important things we can do.

Unrealized potential has always been a human tragedy. Now, it is also an economic calamity. The premium in today’s economy is on the human factor – the creativity, talent, and drive in every one of us. A society that squanders the potential of its people is a society that lets its future slip away.

A bright future belongs to the states and nations that empower all of their citizens, transforming those who rely on government resources into contributors to our community. That bright future belongs to places where people like Brian get trained, find good jobs, and build better tomorrows.

That future will belong to us if we commit to unleash the potential in every Delawarean. How we do that is what I want to talk about today.

First and foremost, unleashing that potential requires that Delawareans have the opportunity to work.

Before the end of the decade, 60 percent of our jobs will require training beyond high school. And yet only 20 percent of our kids graduate from high school ready for college or a career. (translated SAT score over 1550.)

The path to middle-class security is not what it was 30 years ago. So, our approach to career preparation can’t be either.

Let’s ensure that all of our children are on a path to realizing their full potential – whether they choose to pursue a degree or take an accelerated career path.

First, we need to make sure that every Delaware student who can succeed in college gets off to a great start. Last week, I spoke at a White House event where 100 college presidents announced new commitments to expanding college access. Because of our commitment to be first in the nation working to expand college opportunities statewide, Delaware was the only state recognized.

Thanks to our partnership with the College Board, we are identifying students with the potential to thrive in college, but who would likely not apply, often because of financial concerns. They have received letters from some of the nation’s top colleges, including those from Delaware’s institutions, encouraging them to apply, waiving their application fees, and offering financial support.

They are students like Afoma Mbanefo of Christiana High School, who was born in Nigeria to parents who never dreamed of going to college. After receiving the information we sent, she applied and has been accepted to six institutions, including the honors program at the University of Delaware. Afoma is with us today. Congratulations!

We have 1,000 students in Delaware like Afoma who are capable of succeeding in college, but who do not attend. We can get that number to zero.

We know that students who are challenged in high school with college-level material often rise to the occasion. Studies show that when these students get a taste of college academics, they are twice as likely to enroll and persist to a second year in college.

I propose a scholarship program so that all low-income Delaware students with college potential can take credit-bearing courses during their senior year.

As we send more of our students into higher education, we need to make sure that they have a roadmap from the classroom to employment, and that our major employers are working with our universities so that our youth are prepared for the workforce. I’m pleased to announce today that DuPont has agreed to partner with our colleges on this effort.

They will work to identify skills needed for entry-level positions, match those skills with courses offered by our colleges, and provide internships. By completing identified courses and practical experiences, they will put students on a fast-track for opportunities, including full-time jobs.

We look forward to other employers joining DuPont on this initiative.

Let’s also ensure that those students who choose an accelerated career path – one that doesn’t involve a degree – get a head start on their futures.

This fall, we will roll out a new two-year comprehensive program in manufacturing technologies for high school juniors and seniors. The program will focus on mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering – and will lead to nationally recognized manufacturing certificates.

It’s modeled after a partnership between Delaware Tech and Red Clay which allows students to attend classes at their home school, while augmenting what they learn by providing access to manufacturing equipment at Delaware Tech.

To make our new program even more meaningful, it also must include real world experience. And that’s where a new public-private partnership comes into play.

The Delaware Manufacturing Association and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership are working with us to identify members willing to offer real world opportunities during the summer between junior and senior year. Whether it takes the form of hands-on work or job shadowing, direct exposure to the workplace is crucial. Several manufacturers already have answered this call to action, including Agilent, Siemens, PBF and PPG.

Matching skilled workers with available jobs is critical. Thanks to our new JobLink capability, it’s easier than ever for employers to search our database for employees with the skills they need.

In the last year, hundreds of employers have taken advantage of our new tools to find employees, and those inquiries led to hundreds of new hires at places such as Cabelas, Sitel and Grayling Industries.

All of our efforts will be most successful when Delaware businesses collaborate with Delaware educational institutions. So I propose creating a competitive grant program to fund public-private partnerships between employers and our schools and colleges that will develop the skills needed by tomorrow’s workforce.

Finally, too many working Delawareans struggle to care for their families and put food on the table. I am glad that the General Assembly is poised to increase the minimum wage. Thank you for helping so many hardworking Delawareans.

Our ability to put Delawareans to work depends in part on whether we build on our legacy of innovation. We have a rich history of invention in Delaware, and it’s time to write a new chapter. From the ashes of the old Chrysler plant is rising a new center of innovation that promises to do just that, the Science, Technology and Advanced Research campus.

The STAR campus represents the potential of university-based innovation to transform industries and spawn new companies. Academic research in Delaware contributed to the technologies that led to smartphones and tablets. Work done by Nobel Laureate and UD Professor Richard (What The?)Heck yielded chemical processes used in pharmaceuticals, energy, and electronics.

To encourage that kind of research, I ask that you invest in innovation by creating a $2 million matching grant program that will leverage federal dollars in support of research that will create the jobs of tomorrow.

One of the most promising areas for research that will have an impact on our economy is cybersecurity. From the financial information held by Delaware’s many banks to the technologies being developed by area science companies, our economy is only as secure as the networks that hold our personal data and intellectual property. As customers of Target and many other companies know, hacking and cyber attacks represent a huge threat.

Staying ahead of this challenge is something we and our employers need to do to protect our citizens and our customers, and it is good for our economy. Hundreds of unfilled jobs in this sector exist in Delaware today.

Our institutions of higher education are positioning themselves to take a leadership role in this area, and I am pleased to join with them to launch the Delaware Cyber Initiative.

Located on the STAR campus, this initiative will be a public-private partnership between the University of Delaware, Delaware State University, Delaware Tech and the private sector. It will feature a collaborative learning and research network dedicated to cyber innovation, and I’m proud to say it will tap into the resources of the 166th Network Warfare Squadron of the Delaware National Guard.

Unleashing the potential of our economy also demands world-class infrastructure. The ability to move goods and services efficiently, connect to cutting-edge information technology infrastructure, and access cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable energy, is essential to every industry in our state.

For years, Delawareans tried to avoid the interchange of I-95 and Route 1. But our investment in new fly-over ramps has alleviated congestion, shortening commutes, shipping times, and trips to the beach.

We are making similar improvements at I-95 and 202. That exit ramp was a notorious chokepoint, but improvements have cut the average number of hours per day of slowing traffic from six to less than one.

DelDOT will soon begin construction on the long-awaited West Dover Connector. In Sussex County, DelDOT is widening SR 26. And across Delaware, new and improved bike paths are improving our quality of life.

Infrastructure investments create high-paying, middle-class jobs today and they lay the foundation for future prosperity. It’s time to stop complaining about the sorry shape of our Transportation Trust Fund and fix the underlying issues.

I propose that we invest $1.1 billion over five years, a $500 million increase over our current financial plan. Let’s improve our transportation network for generations to come and put thousands of Delawareans to work.

We need to invest beyond our road network.

As Speaker Schwartzkopf and Senator Simpson know full well, investment in our parks, wildlife areas, beaches and other recreational amenities help attract millions of tourists, who in turn spend hundreds of millions of dollars and support thousands of jobs at restaurants, hotels and retail shops across our state.

Look specifically at our waterways. Water is the foundation of our tourism industry. It’s vital to agriculture, manufacturing, and everything that we do.

Yet a century of pollution has impaired nearly every waterway in our state. While we have significantly reduced air pollution and cleaned up brownfields, far too many streams remain unsafe, as Senator Lopez keeps reminding us.

We can’t eat our fish from the St. Jones. We can’t swim in too many parts of the inland bays. The Christina and Brandywine rivers are laced with toxic pollutants.

This is embarrassing. This is unacceptable. We must change it.

This won’t be easy or cheap – but it is achievable. We must upgrade wastewater and drinking water plants and improve stormwater infrastructure. And we must use cutting-edge technologies to remove toxic substances, like we are doing right outside this building at Mirror Lake thanks to the strong advocacy of Senator Bushweller.

To work toward these goals, next month, I will propose the Clean Water for Delaware’s Future Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to clean up our waterways within a generation. Some much faster than that.

In our time, this will create jobs. In our kids’ time, we will revitalize communities across our state. We owe future generations clean water. It’s that simple.

We all agree that a quality education is essential for anyone seeking to unleash his or her potential – and this begins at a very early age. Teachers tell us that the number one barrier to academic success is when kids do not come to school ready to learn.

Six years ago, Senator Blevins set us on a path to improve the quality of our children’s early learning experiences, as prime sponsor of the legislation that created the Stars quality rating system in Delaware. The Stars program has provided the critical base for the investments we have made over the last several years.

We have made significant progress. Last year alone the number of low-income children attending a high quality program increased by 50 percent. That means 2,200 more children are getting better opportunities to be prepared for success in school.

I am grateful to Senator Blevins and all of the members of the General Assembly for your support of early childhood education opportunities for low-income Delawareans.

But our work on behalf of our most vulnerable children isn’t done. We can do more to support the national Nurse Family Partnership program, through which nurses visit first-time, low-income mothers, and teach them how to care for their newborns. The results around the country have been stunning, including better academic performance, less juvenile delinquency and better overall child health outcomes.

As our next step, I propose that we more than double the number of first-time mothers who are served in Delaware by this proven program. That would give us a higher percentage of eligible mothers who are benefiting from this program than in any other state in America.

I want to thank Lt. Governor Matt Denn for championing this proposal.

We are making significant strides in our schools, thanks to this General Assembly, including education chairs Senator Sokola and Representative Scott, and so many talented educators across our state.

The world language immersion programs you funded now have 850 students in ten schools spending half of their school days learning in either Chinese or Spanish. Parents of those students have been thrilled with the results, telling us these programs have enriched their children’s education.

Our professional learning communities and implementation of higher standards are producing positive results. Two-thirds of our educators say their improved professional development is having a positive impact in their classrooms.

We are particularly focused on supporting our teachers of science, technology, engineering and math. Many jobs of the future will be in these STEM fields. But we have trouble recruiting and retaining talented STEM teachers who have more lucrative options.

Today I’m delighted to announce that this fall the Delaware STEM Council, in partnership with Ashland, will be giving awards to support our best STEM teachers, so they can share effective teaching strategies.

The magic of education happens with our teachers. It doesn’t happen in Legislative Hall or in my office. But if you look at the way we fund education, you would think politicians have all the answers.

State government sets rigid funding formulas that determine how many assistant principals, reading instructors, and administrative assistants a school will have. In fact, we have one of the most rigid funding systems in the country. This leaves little room for school leaders – those who know our students best – to innovate, create a vision, and pursue it.

It is time to give those school leaders more flexibility to make a difference in our kids’ education.

Starting in a handful of districts, I propose that we give school leaders the ability to spend some portion of their state resources in implementing their own school improvement plans. We should track their choices, measure the results, and see how we can best provide greater flexibility to more schools.

I thank Representative Heffernan for taking the lead on this issue.

Unleashing every student’s potential also demands that we make it more attractive for our best teachers to continue doing what they love – teaching. Since last year, my administration has been listening to educators about how we might set up a compensation system that attracts and retains great teachers.

Our best teachers deserve a path to receive additional compensation for pursuing leadership opportunities while remaining in the classroom.

We also must recognize that our starting salaries are not competitive with our neighbors.

I want to thank the Delaware State Education Association and the teachers who are working with us on an improved approach to educator compensation. We are pleased with the progress we’ve made, but there is still work to do and I hope we will be in a position to introduce legislation this spring.

Much of our success as a state will depend upon whether our cities are safe and vibrant.

We know revitalizing neighborhoods is an important part of making our streets safer. We can replicate the success other communities have had in strengthening neighborhoods, while also harnessing the attraction that vibrant downtowns hold for talented young people and innovative small businesses.

To do so, I propose we create “Downtown Development Districts” – a small number of designated areas in our cities that will qualify for development incentives and a host of other benefits in housing and transportation. Builders looking to make investments in these Districts would receive grants for a percentage of their investment.

I propose dedicating $7 million toward these kinds of projects, which will leverage tens of millions of dollars in private capital. And more importantly, this program can improve our housing stock and revitalize our downtowns.

Making our downtowns more vibrant and safer must start with Wilmington. Wilmington is the business capital of the state and our cultural center, yet violent crime has engulfed neighborhoods and taken many lives. When people do not feel safe in their communities, little else matters.

There is no quick fix. Mayor Williams has a significant task ahead of him. But it will take all of us doing our part – all levels of government, neighborhood leaders, faith communities, businesses – all of us. The Delaware State Police, Secretary Schiliro, Attorney General Biden, New Castle County Executive Gordon, and others all stand ready to help address the crime problems in Wilmington and beyond.

Far too often, gun violence is committed by shooters who cannot legally own guns, so it is critical that we do a better job tracing these weapons back to their sources. We must redouble our efforts to confront the gun-trafficking that is escalating the gang wars.

To do so, I am proposing a new division of special investigations within the Department of Safety and Homeland Security that will focus on gun-trafficking.

At the same time, we must place as much focus on addressing the causes of crime. Much crime is committed by people with substance abuse problems. Seventy-one percent of men arrested in 10 U.S. cities in 2011 tested positive for an illegal substance.

Too often, our solution is to simply throw the drug user in prison, but many of these individuals need treatment more than a prison guard.

For many addicts, it’s possible to deal with their disease successfully and go on to live happy, productive lives. There are stories like the young man recovering from a life-threatening addiction to heroin and becoming a business owner.

Or a teenage girl who lapsed into drug and alcohol use following her father’s suicide and landed in jail, but with assistance of a drug court program overcame her addiction and got a college education.

We all know people with addictions who, with the right intervention, could live fulfilling lives. It’s time for us to put into practice what we already know: addiction is a disease. It can and must be treated.

Representatives Keeley, Barbieri and Mulrooney along with Senators Henry and Hall Long, together with Secretary Landgraf and my wife, Carla, are reviewing the addiction treatment needs in our state and the resources available to meet those needs.

Later this year, I will propose changes that better align our resources to fill the gaps in our drug treatment system and I look forward to working with you to fill these gaps.

We cannot meet the potential of our great state and our great country if we give up on a great number of our people. Today, America incarcerates more than 2 million people, and each year we release more than 700,000 inmates. 25 years ago, the total number of people incarcerated was 700,000.

For released inmates, their criminal record makes it difficult to be productive members of society.

There are those who belong behind bars and it is worth every penny we spend to keep them there. But when a person has served their time, it’s up to them – and to us – to make sure they transition effectively, achieve their potential and contribute to society.

In 2009, with the leadership of Secretary McMahon and Director Ben Addi, we began our I-ADAPT initiative to help offenders prepare for their eventual release by giving them some of what they need to return to our communities: identification, access to medical care, a transition plan, job training opportunities.

Five years of experience has taught us that those little things make a big difference. But for many offenders there is one thing we can’t give them – a driver’s license. Many offenders guilty of drug offenses are denied a driver’s license – regardless of whether their crime had anything to do with a car. This penalty is just one more punishment that prevents them from seeking employment and accessing job training.

This should change. I ask you to eliminate the arbitrary loss of a drivers’ license for crimes that have nothing to do with automobiles.

Too many of the inmates we release end up going back to prison. One of the best predictors of whether a person will commit another crime is whether they have a job. If we know employing ex-offenders helps make our communities safer, why are we putting so many hurdles in the way of job opportunities for ex-offenders?

We need to start by looking at employment discrimination against people who have repaid their debt to society. Here is an example: If there is one employer in Delaware that should be able to decide whether hiring an ex-offender makes sense, it’s the Department of Correction. But the Department is prohibited from hiring anyone with a felony record, even on a part-time basis.

As Representative J.J. Johnson has suggested, we can do better.

Many communities have started to “ban the box” on job applications by eliminating the box that says “check here if you’ve been convicted of a crime.” I believe we should ban the box for state government hires this year.

Let’s stop denying ex-offenders their first interview. Let’s be a model for the private sector, because marginalizing ex-offenders helps none of us.

Delaware’s incarceration rate is higher than the national average in a country whose average is higher than the rest of the world’s. That’s not a point of pride, it’s incredibly expensive, and it hasn’t worked.

We lock up too many people for not making bail and not appearing at hearings. Forty percent of the women incarcerated at Baylor are pre-trial detainees, many charged with nonviolent offenses.

Based on guidance from Commissioner Coupe, I propose that we pilot, in the city of Wilmington, a program of pre-trial community supervision for nonviolent offenders. Based on a model from New York, this pilot program will allow the Department of Correction and social service providers to help get offenders to hearings and avoid trouble while awaiting trial.

By supervising some offenders, we can keep them out of prison in the first place and link them with services to address addictions or mental health concerns in the community, and not a prison cell.

In addition to filling our prisons with pre-trial detainees, we also impose longer sentences than other states do. One reason is that we are the only state in the country that forces our judges, without exception, to impose consecutive rather than concurrent sentences for multiple offenses.

That hasn’t made us any safer and contributes to overcrowding in our prisons. I ask you to join me in giving judges greater discretion when it comes to concurrent and consecutive sentencing.

Lastly, we need to change the trajectory of kids who enter the criminal justice system at a young age.

Many of these kids are bright and full of potential. And, after living in a facility with structure, education, and medical care, they have the same goals and determination as any of our kids.

But here is the reality. As well as those kids do while they are in a secure facility, when they leave our care, they often return to the same exact circumstances that led them to us in the first place, only now they are returning with the burden of a juvenile record. Many of them won’t complete their education.

Of 184 kids in custody at our Faulkland Road campus last year, only 11 were back in traditional schools six months later. Many kids drop out, are expelled or are re-incarcerated. This is our failure. We have seen the progress many of them make while under our care and we must do better when they transition away from our facilities.

I am asking you to fund community-based advocates to work with these families and kids after they leave the custody of the Kids Department. A 15-year-old doesn’t know how to access mental health services, re-enroll in school, and get on a path to success. These advocates can make that happen.

We also need to break the cycle of incarceration by getting these kids back into school. I am asking Secretary Ranji to lead a task force focused on how to get these children into an educational environment that is sensitive to their unique challenges and experiences.

One of my favorite parts about being governor is that I get to meet Delawareans from every walk of life. The budding entrepreneur. The ex-con trying to get back on his feet. The first-generation college student. The third-generation farmer. The excited new mother. The hopeful immigrant.

And you know what? We all really want the same thing. We want to give life our very best shot. We want to make the most of the talents God has given us.

Much has been written in recent months about inequality in America. About a lack of economic mobility, declining incomes for working families, and a shrinking middle class. About a lack of opportunity for people born into difficult circumstances or who make a poor decision early in life.

The very promise of America – the essence of the American dream – is that while we are not guaranteed equal outcomes, we are guaranteed equal opportunities to achieve our potential.

That’s why in recent years, we have focused so much on strengthening our schools, creating good-paying jobs, and enhancing our quality of life.

That’s why, with the help of Representative Melanie Smith and Senator Greg Lavelle, we passed the Justice Reinvestment Act to rehabilitate and not just incarcerate.

That’s why we passed new laws to make it clear that Delaware is a welcoming state no matter whom you love.

We do all of this because of our core value – our shared belief – that we all stand to gain when everyone gets a fair shot.

Isn’t that why we’re here?

Years from now – after the roads have been built; after today’s kindergartners have retired from jobs we helped create; after our cities thrive and our waters run clean; the people of Delaware may not remember us by name or know about the laws we passed or the bills we debated.

But in the end, that’s not what’s important. What they will know is that we were here for them and that our focus was to unleash the potential of every Delawarean now and help ensure that future generations will be able to go further than we could ever have dreamed.

I know we have the resolve to do our part to realize the promise of our great state of Delaware.

Thank you. God bless you and all the people of Delaware!

RED –Education

GREEN==Environment

ORANGE== Jobs

BLUE== Justice

VIOLET== Infrastructure

(Btw the headline was exactly how Allan Loudell read off the news at 4:00; I laughed out loud.)

Yep, the Paul Ryan budget was released today. As expected it is a budget designed to protect the top 1% from any bad thing that could possibly occur to them. As was poetically so well put by Romney during the past campaign…. ” ha, ha, ha, ha, ha…. The rest of us don’t matter….”

Today prominent theologians of all religions universally excommunicated the Republican Party of the United States of America from any pretension of anything corresponding to organized religion.

“They’re a cult, I tell you!!!”

Republicans in congress. God is watching you. And if you Fundamentalists would read your Bibles, you’d already know whose side He is on.

The rest of us… If you thought Republicans would come to their senses and start reinvesting in America, the joke is on you.

Nothing will ever change until America gets mad enough to rid ourselves of this pestilence forever…. You don’t have to vote for a Democrat. Most of you won’t… But you do… have to not vote for a Republican….

Unless you no longer consider yourself a moral individual, change your Registration…. TODAY!!!!!!!

Although the year is barely out, we do have our first nomination for the spot to be announced in December 2013.  With the Kinder Morgan Deal now on hold semi-permanently, even they are pointing to our hero of the year as the man most responsible for allowing the port to remain state owned….

I can say it was Julius Cephas who was behind almost every move to combat the loss of good jobs at our port.  He is being pointed out as the villain by the capitalists at Kinder Morgan.  In Delaware’s eyes, that elevates his hero’s stature even more…

In truth, he is no villain and knowing him, he will probably shun the acclimations being made by us common folk as being our hero.  In his eyes, he was just doing what needed to be done because no one else was there at that very moment to do it, and as that task swelled, it took a lot out of him….

Capitalists always need a villian.  But it was the “truth” which actually is what killed this deal.  Kinder Morgan WAS going to cut back on jobs, and their change of heart and blaming Julius instead of others, points exactly to the core of their problem with our port… …

People in Texas, do not understand unions.  They simply can’t fathom or understand how there can be an actual law that lets people strike and shut you down, whenever you try to pay them less..  In their eyes, you work for what they want to give you and if it is too little, ..humph.  go elsewhere….

The second culprit (after the “truth”),  was our office of economic development.  We gave Kinder Morgan too many “eager” signals that set us up as being seen as an easy pick.  They truly thought they could waltz in, pick up a top notch East Coast Port for a song, and we would eagerly give it up…  Again, that was because everything was done in secret.  Had a meeting been forthcoming in the very beginning,  Kinder Morgan might have moved on earlier when it became readily apparent, that southern Texas practices do not bode well in the Northeast…

Of course, being a corporation, they will blame the whistle blower.  (Ironic since the whistle blower of Enron works for them)..   Of course.  It is not like they find anything immoral in taking a state asset for a song, in firing those skilled dock workers, and replace them with some Spanish speaking Texans who never even heard of a union….

And Julius did blow that whistle. .  Like Rose on the Titanic, he took the whistle off of Jack (pun intended), and blew softly at first, then harder, and harder.   Gradually the sound registered on others ears….

Without Julius, Bob Marshall would not have pushed through Senate Bill 3.  Without Julius, most of the links showing up in everyone’s blog, would have not been found.  Without Julius, the case for protecting workers would not have even made the rounds of the Norman Oliver show….

There were many helpers. Bob Marshall, Nancy Willing, Norman Oliver, Norinda, Helene Keeley, Al Mascitti, Liz Allen, John Kowalko, and (an other blogger too shy to be mentioned here). When one looks back through all of them one sees from everywhere, there in the center of the universe,  stands a normal human being just like us, known to most … as Julius.

There will come a time when a better deal will arrive.  Could even be this year. There will come a time when a suitor who does care about Delaware, who does care about unions, about human beings, about those businesses on the outside, and who will want to upgrade the port for everyone’s interest, not just their own… And that suitor in this day and age, could even come from abroad.  Germany is very committed to union labor, to the environment, to being a good neighbor…. There are a great many possibilities out there that are immeasurable…. We definitely dodged a Texas bullet with this one….

When that suitor arrives… Julius’s stature will be set in cement….  For he did nothing really Herculean, except argue the truth…  He didn’t lie.  He didn’t connive,  He didn’t threaten….

That was done by our office of economic development.  Instead and unlike them, Julius told the truth.  He told the truth to anyone who would listen.  He told the truth enough, so many “did” listen….

And that is why, he  deserves this nomination as Delaware’s Man of the Year.  I know it is early into 2013, but great things just do not wait!!….

You will hear smears that Julius tubed the deal… I saw the letter and it is already out on WDEL and the Delawareonline’s News Journal… But as an impartial blogger, I can tell you exactly what killed this deal.

It was “the truth”.  The truth of what this deal would cost us Delawareans….. is what turned the tide and caused the outcry that rose up against it….

If Kinder Morgan really wanted this deal, they could have easily said… “we are expanding and putting 5 new berths out into the river.  We are buying the port for the bargain price of $5 billion.   We need those businesses outside the fence because the jobs we get, will soon be too big, we can’t do it ourselves.  We will keep the union just as it is;  Wilmington needs good jobs and we are going to do our part….  We are also going to contribute into an emergency fund to be used for any spill or environmental accident that takes place under our tenure….

Kinder Morgan could have done any of those things, … and didn’t…. The blame doesn’t lie with Julius after all…. Especially when you consider the following…

This Economic Council erred on Fisker Automotive.  Then it erred on Bloom Energy.  Then it tried to Kinder Morgan us out of our port…..   Someone rushed in  with a save to make sure that last one didn’t happen.

That person is now hereby nominated for Delaware’s Person of the Year…….

Port of Wilmington: Delaware's Diamond
Photo Courtesy of Port of Wilmington.com

Delaware is poised to give Kinder Morgan, our port for free. Well not exactly but on a percentage scale to Kinder Morgan, that is what it would come to.

This could easily have been done, if our government handled everything in secret. Pay a few people off, sign the contract; the yellow smoke appears, and Delaware fades into oblivion (Shrek Forever After image).

But, Delaware is a government of the People, for the People, and of the People. We found out.

There is a reason you have presidents of stockholders. Because naturally every one has a certain slant of opinions and one has to listen to a lot of hot air by listening to everyone’ parents complain. Having a chief executive cuts that process out and gives us simplicity required to get things done in a timely fashion. If people differ then they can take it up with the chairman and organize a revolt if necessary…

Hence in Delaware we have reached the point where we have a chief executive making the decisions and a lot of revolt steaming underneath.

So up to now, the unanswered question has been: how much should we charge? Just using the simple criteria of buying a house as an example, we can come up with a minimum figure.

When you sell a house you ask for:

  • Down payment: 5 percent
  • Interest rate: 3.26 percent

Next step is to figure out exactly what our port is worth to us.

If we just take the cumulative $250 million the state has made off the port in tariffs since taking ownership and providing records since 1996, we have a minimum guideline. In tax revenues alone over 50 years, to maintain the status quo, we need the  minimum of a $781  (250/16 X 50) million asking price.

Using the criteria above, we should then require 5% or 39 million down payment, and run the existing remainder through the standard mortgage calculation at 3.26%…

(Remember we are not figuring out the best deal, but the best worst deal for which we can afford to give up our beautiful port)

So financing the remainder $742 million over 50 years at 3.26% we should be asking directly for $$1,505,000.000 (billion) spread over 600 payments on top of that 5% down…. Even this paltry price would bring into the state a monthly income of $2.5 million (that is monthly!)..

As an aside, the equivalent of interest we would be receiving over time, would be $706  million. Not much over 50 years but a lot better than a loss.

As we have heard from many, giving the port up for free (as is being proposed by the secret deal of Alan Levine with Jack Markell’s blessing), hurts very many people…

So being realistic, if we have hurt on one hand, and benefit on the other, we need to make sure the overall benefit we get at least matches the hurt we are about to cause,… in order to simply break even.  Since breaking even is not a really the best business decision, we should be looking at doing a little or a lot better than breaking even…

Our lowest minimum price can be $1,544,000,000 (billion) meaning we lose out on anything less.

How much is the Kinder Morgan Deal? $200.5 million. Just 13% of the minimum price we will need to require for purchase… .

It probably hit mass culture with Star Wars. Where, when in a pickle, one made some adjustments to a computer, pushed a button, and one was suddenly in another part of the universe.

Then came the TV show Quantum Leap in the 80’s, where after a certain feat had been changed, one jumped through space and time into a new body, to begin a new episode the following week.  Remember Ziggy?

I was reading one of my earlier pieces that for some random reason yesterday had  caught a flicker of interest, and back then I had used that concept, that of “jumping”, to explain why America was finally settling on Obama as their candidate of choice….

America had been milling around in stagnation and needed a “jump” to move us forward. Clinton and McCain could not engineer that, I proposed and that is why we needed someone new, to “make the jump” forward.

That was written during the campaign of 2008. This summer will be 5 years hence.

America still needs to make that jump.

But just as we almost get there, Republicans sabotage it by pulling the  computer’s plug…

Now you reading this may be a Republican but please don’t take offense. You are actually a big part of the solution which you will see, if you read through to the end.

Let’s look at a few things.

  • Starting in the 80’s the Middle Class has consistently been losing ground against the top 1%. Now the Middle Class has spent their retirement savings just to pay normal expenses , and we are still heading downward.
  • Immigration reform was supposed to be completed and done in Reagan’s time. Thirty years ago. We are just getting serious now.
  • Our interstate system is 50 years old. We haven’t reinvested adequately. 11,000 bridges are held up by paint, and could drop out from under us at any moment.
  • Our tax system is still after 30 years, in disarray. The wealthy get breaks, the poor get pissed on.
  • Our Social Security and Medicare Programs are going bankrupt. They were also supposedly permanently fixed in Reagan’s term, again 30 years ago.
  • We have been at the mercy of oil speculators for the past 13 years. We still are. What did you pay today?
  • Capital investment in America is at an all time low, yet the wealthy have parked $13 trillion in savings. Why no investment?

So America, why are we still stuck in the 1980’s?

Republicans.  That is why.  Conservatives.

That sounds so simple that one must wonder why we haven’t moved them out of the way?

And that answer, is because for some crazy reason, we keep changing the rules to let them play longer.  Citizen’s versus United is just one case in point.  Allowing one person to fund a candidacy opposing the people’s true choice, obfuscates the entire playing field, and in the fog, makes the minority appear to have far more clout than is endowed to it by the American people.

Voting tallies prove that we have had over the past 24 years, 5 popular vote victories for Democrat presidents, and just 1 for Republicans, and to be fair, that was to a wartime president who barely got re-elected into office. Voting totals are the only non-spin, the only unobfuscated time we ever get to see how America truly feels.

The majority of America want us to jump forward.  They are tired after thirty years of nothing.

Right now, Republicans have killed the America dream.  College grads do not see them using their knowledge in their future jobs.  Retirees see their golden year’s savings swallowed up by profits of gigantic medical corporations.  Everyone is making tremendous amount of money, except 99% of the American people.

The majority want to jump forward.  Yet it is always Republicans holding us back.

Holding us back on Immigration Reform.  Holding us back on higher revenue.  Holding us back on budget cuts.  Holding us back on health care reform.  Holding us back on Chuck Hagel’s nomination….

It is just stupid..   It is done simply to achieve drama, and is only done for dramatic effect; it still is just a stupid waste of time and your money.  It is as if Republican behavior was patterned after that of a six year old child who drags his feet before going to school.  That child  knows he has to go there eventually, but he whines, supines, and acts recalcitrant, just to get attention…. maybe make someone feel “sorry’ for them… Boo hoo.

America is playing the role of the parent to these recalcitrant Republicans and is damn tired of it.

One simply has to look at today’s looming sequestration, which is strictly a problem Republicans created and brought down upon all of us,  and across this great nation, Americans  shake their heads in unison, remembering that if a Republicans had never been elected President  in the year 2000, by 2008 and Obama’s election, our national debt was on track to have hit zero…   Yes,  Democrats would have paid off the entire National Debt by 2008, if we had never had George W. Bush slip into office.

And now, we preparing to slash $86 billion over the next 9 months.  Then do the same over the next 12  years…

Under the Budget Control Act by 2021 discretionary spending will be at 5.5% of GDP which is its lowest level of GDP since 1931.  (We all know what happened in 1932!)   And we propose to cut it lower?

Yet we have $13 trillion in savings owned by the top 1%.  $86 billion of $13 Trillion is…. 0.7th of  one single percent.   If you increased taxes on the wealthy by only one penny per every dollar over $1 million, we would have  yearly budget surplus... just like that.  One penny per dollar over $1 million.  That one penny would even give us an additional 0.3 of one percent extra which could be applied to lowering the deficit…   Unbelievably easy….  If you own trillions, who is going to miss a penny?

But we can’t do it for one single roadblock.  Republicans won’t raise taxes.

America needs to “make a jump”…… and we need to make that jump now.

If this were Hollywood or a television drama, Captain America would pull out his sidearm, kill the insubordinate (spy) officer, and ask his attache to step into his position. We would then,  finally be able to save our ship.

Americans could then dream again about prosperity.  There is only one reason we don’t still  have it today.

I'm Grover And I will be your keynote speaker today
Courtesy of ©2012 Michael D’Antuono oil on canvas 30″ x 40″

In an insightful meeting at the Delaware Republican’s Lincoln Day dinner Saturday night, Grover Norquist, the featured speaker, came to give the locals an idea of what was going on in Washington…..

More gridlock.  More obstruction. More intransigence,  In his speech, the prime points were that there would be no compromise.  Republicans were dedicated to seeking full sequestration.  They were going to cut spending no matter what was going to happen.  They don’t care if Dover AFB is going to close; its a good thing because the military budget will be cut in half.  They don’t care if Highway funding is going to be fully put all upon the states; sequestration is going to cut the budget  in half.  They don’t care if there will be no beach rebuilding this summer; Republicans are going to cut the Federal budget in half.  There will be no agriculture support payments; Republicans are going to cut them in half.  There will be no Federal Medicare or Medicaid payments reimbursements made to the states; Republicans are going to let sequestration cut them in half.  When heaven forbid, an oil tanker turns the beaches and marshes of Rehoboth to Ocean City Md, into this century’s Valdez calamity, Both state’s will have to use their general fund to clean it up; the Republicans are going to say no to all new money…. Remember the last East Coast hurricane relief?  You were lucky, was the implication. Forget about any more for any storms in the future…

On the revenue side, huge tax breaks must continue going to oil companies and oil hedge funds; Republicans are going to say taxes were raised too much already.  Huge off-shore tax breaks will be maintained by billionaires and millionaires; after all taxes are raised too much already for any more loopholes to be closed.  (If pressed, they might do away with the mortgage interest deduction since that doesn’t affect billionaires; it only affects the middle class so it won’t create any economic impact.. The implication was that Republicans will do that if necessary, but at the bottom of the upper class; that is where they draw the line… )  The clear message was: it is time to make the poor suffer more; after all, the rich have suffered too much already.

More gridlock.  More obstruction. More intransigence,

“You can’t have compromise when both parties are going in the opposite directions.”  said Grover.  “It doesn’t do any good to say no, no, no, …yes.  It has to always be no, no, no… no.

More gridlock.  More obstruction. More intransigence,

There was little that was new.  Grover did express hope that as the Obama/McCain wave of democratic Senators comes up for a vote this next election, many in traditional Red states, playing a no-gain defense until the new team comes on board, is their best option.. Grover Norquist also made the point that due to the Republican redistricting, the red districts will outnumber the blue in the House until the next redistricting in ten years.

A decade of decadence is a long time.  

Grover did bring up an interesting concept.   That we have red states and blue states and they will be a laboratory of who is right, red or blue… We will see within these experiments whether theology can trump economics, whether philosophy can support a family, or whether an idle belief, can pay the bills….  He seems to believe that side by side experimentation will bode well for the red states instead of the blue.  He is thinking only as a rich person.  We shall see if voters agree with him, if they prefer living in a first class blue state or would rather forebear a third world red state…. His idea will backfire…

He praised Indiana erroneously, calling that a school choice state.  Instead voters threw out their gung-ho school-choice education head and replaced him with a Democrat who is going slow..  He praised Indiana’s privatization plan of the Indiana Turnpike without mentioning this road had not had upgrades to it in over 5 years. It is called the most dangerous Turnpike in America. (The money collected is going to the investment bankers)…  He derided California which has finally achieved a balanced budget.  He praised Wisconsin’s eradication of public unions without mentioning that because of Scott Walker’s governmental pay cuts, the economy in Wisconsin was collapsing while all others were bouncing back from the recession.  So though his scenario as presented painted a glowing picture to those Republicans seated before him, it was full of errors.

But I confess, I agree with his premise.  I too would like to see vindication that in order to run a stable economy you need what’s been missing: a balance between profits, taxation, and job growth and the only way to achieve that is to tax the top echelon much, much more so they reinvest in their state to avoid paying higher taxes…..  As was just done in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland; all economies that are now rising while those of red states are falling or staying the same.

Unfortunately we will have to make the states our laboratory.  We will have no choice but to rely upon the state level to analyze what is working and what is not and then derive from pure evidence, which one of our two parties we need to completely eradicate and do away with…. so government can begin to compromise and to work again.

For on the national scale, Grover promised it: All we are going to have is….. More gridlock.  More obstruction. More intransigence,

We will have it; because Mr. Norquist said so. He promised it in a keynote address, at Dover Downs in Dover Delaware on February 9th, 2013….

Here is the compilation of John Boehner’s House of Representatives over this last two year period of Congress. During this time frame the public opinion of Congress slipped from an approval rating of 60% to 7%.

Two Years Ago, John Boehner promised to be “Laser Focused on Jobs and the Economy” So what has the GOP House been up to?

House Bills passed:
46 Bills on Abortion
113 Bills on Religion
73 Bills on Family Relationships
36 Bills on Marriage
72 Bills on Firearms
604 Bills on Taxation
437 Bills on Govt Investigations

Bills attempted and failed to be passed even by the GOP:
33 attempts to Defund Obamacare…..Failed
15 attempts to Cut Funding for Planned Parenthood……Failed
3 Attempts to Cut Funding for VA Hospitals…….Failed.

GOP blocked bills:
Blocked bill to aid Small Business
Blocked Unemployment extension
Blocked Bank Reform Bills
Blocked Campaign Finance Reform and open Contributions Law
Blocked MULTIPLE Jobs Bills
Blocked Infrastructure Bill
Blocked Ending Tax Breaks for companies that Outsource Jobs
Blocked Wall Street Reform
Blocked Energy Legislation
Blocked Mine Safety Bill
Blocked Oil Spill Liability Cap increase
Blocked Bill to lower Oil Company Tax Breaks
Blocked Bill to impose charging American Oil Companies on Oil achieved in the Gulf

Number of TRUE Jobs Bills even allowed to come to a vote in the House….NONE.