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Award For Delaware's Most Influental P/P/or T of The Year
The Golden Flush Award
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Usually this is an after thought…” Oh, wow, year’s over, let’s get a person of the year”…  And then once we elect one,  we go… “holy crap… we totally forgot so and so….”

So to try to stir up some old simmering coals of memory, both mine and others, and perhaps even to (heaven forbid) get some debate going in the blog sphere, I thought I’d make an initial run on Thanksgiving Week, and then add people into the nominating category as others mention various ones I should kick myself for forgetting.

It will also force me to review the year which is something I rarely do… because face it, as a human being, I am slave of the moment….  If I did this last year, come December 14th the entire world would have been turned upside down and all the old priorities of 2012,  would in one day become trivial….

And so starting early gives me the chance to make the argument for each of those I decide to enroll with your kind recommendations included….

Julius Cephus:  Particularly this one man organized and stopped an end run around the Port of Wilmington.  The Kinder Morgan deal did not go through, and the Wilmington Port is bustling like never before…   Kinder Morgan was to strip the union of power, and drop the rates of pay, further dampening the economy of Wilmington proper.  It was also the first defeat of a Lavine-Markell development project, .. Fisker and Bloom had gone forward without a hitch.  Julius and other’s push back resulted in a General Assembly motion that stated they, not the governor, had final approval. It was the first time we were exposed to the current Governor’s manipulations.  They were to play a significant part across this year’s tapestry.

Steve Newton:  A blogger who has written infrequently, but effectively. His piece on SB 51  is what alerted us to the end run being performed by Dave Sokola on lowering the current standards being used for educating teachers.  It is brilliant.  It took an evening of reading the legislation line by line and cross referencing  it with Steve’s analysis, to understand the huge negative impact this bill would cause.  By the time this was done, the Bill had already passed the Senate unanimously without comment, and with an friendly amendment added that was voted upon without even being read.  Some public outcry was mustered within the House, both in committee and on the floor, but under the Governor’s direction, the Speaker of the House, pushed the bill to the floor before significant outcry could be mustered.  Only 4 House members were not on record for it’s passing.  Our educational schools now have to water down their teaching standards to meet the new law.  Steve also has brought the Highmark story to Delaware.  His research in the increase of medical costs in Western PA as a result of knocking out competition by unfair practices, leads one with a cold chill of what to expect in Delaware’s future.  We are already there.  As an insurer, Highmark is only paying medical claims in its own affiliated clinics.  As the new Blue Cross/Blue Shield owner, that is a huge percentage of Delaware’s residents.  None can go to any other hospital.  He has properly fingered Karen Weldham Stuart for not catching this prior to implementation.  Without Steve, this would have passed unnoticed.  The News Journal still has not once mentioned the takeover of Delaware’s health field under one owner.

Ernest Lopez.  If Kennedy were still writing Profiles of Courage, he should include this man.  Ernest Lopez is a conservative, and voted with Libertarian values to pass the gun legislation recommended by Markell and Biden.  Reflecting the views of his district, instead of taking the threatening message sent to him down from the NRA, he voted for his district.  A very vocal minority, who is always vocal, and always in the minority, swore they would unseat him.  He disregarded their idle threat, and voted both his and his constituents conscious.  A major billboard was put up to call him out.   His vote caused the passage of us now requiring background checks at public gun sales.  Now a certifiably insane person cannot slap cash and get a gun.  It is a no-brainer, and Ernie was the only Republican with brain enough to even know what a no-brainer is….

Cathy Cloutier:  her vote allowed gays to marry.  Again, she is a Republican who said enough is enough… Tired of voting against her conscious just so Sussex County would not flip over to the Democrats, she finally did not toe the line and voted along the lines of her own constituents, all overwhelmingly in favor of gay marriage.  In doing so, she went against the entire grain of her party, who firmly feel that gays are second class citizens, even though most Republicans in office are closeted gays.

Bethany Hall Long:  on the same vote, made a viable personal decision, and also voted for the legalization of gay marriage. Unlike Cathy’s vote, this was accomplished at great personal sacrifice, for all of those in her personal life, were solidly against this policy from taking effect.  In voting for what was morally right, she had to contend against those whose influence she could not escape.  She went with the correct vote, over the easy one.   As a result, Gay marriage is now legal in Delaware.

Paul Baumbach:  gave great ammunition against the fight for SB51, and later against HB 165. Both bills which will damage Delaware’s education for years to come.  He was one of the four who put up a fight on the House floor.  Paul also arranged for the meetings in Newark to discuss the new Power plant that figured in this past week’s election.

John Kowalko:  also was against SB51, HB 165, as well, being against the power plant.  In fact, John was the first person to sound the alarm over how big the power plant would be.  Without his big voice, it may have slid through unnoticed.  The power plant has defined northern Delaware politics since September.

Kim Williams;  responsible for HB 40 which investigates Charter School’s meddling into our educational systems.  She was as an acting state representative, allegedly refused entrance into a committee hearing on education, for fear she might say something damaging to the bill being rushed through….  She brought to the public’s knowledge, that the Charter School bill was drafted illegally without public input, and the charter group constructing it, was also under FOIA, to which the private group denied.  The Attorney General backed up her assertion, that the bill was formulated illegally but their decision was moot, because the bill was passed both houses anyways.  Kim Williams also in the HB 40 task force, led the group to realize that charter schools unlike public schools, do indeed filter those entering charters to weed out those who might lower their test scores….

Mark Murphy, Rodel, Sweeney, Hefferman, and the Fake Educational Reform Establishment:  I almost purposefully did not post this.  Although the first person’s name is usually followed by explicatives whenever mentioned, it is unlike Voldermort’s, still getting mentioned.  Mark Murphy was not put in his position based on his ability. He was placed there for his loyalty to the cause of  corporatizing public education.  Markell pulls the strings, Murphy figures how to get it done…  It is hard to make a puppet the most influential person of the year… So I was going to skip him… But at the last minute, remembered that every time  he or anyone of these make an op-ed, it resonates as gigantic news. The entire community rises up to counteract each op-ed, usually with the word “lies” thrown liberally about…. So, they do exert an influence.  I looped all of them together, as the group of liars in a Greek play, who stand on the stair steps and taunt the protagonists.  Well,… they are part of the play…….

Dan Short:  Sometimes villains get noticed too.  Primarily a single issue candidate, who personally supports the NRA, he actively campaigned and organized to create enough backlash so Markell’s gun laws could not get enough votes…  Without him, there is a possibility that all four of Markell’s gun control pieces of legislation would have passed both houses of Delaware’s legislature. Dan Short should be given the credit for stopping them.

John Sigler: Single handedly by his very brief tenure as the re-elected head of the Republican Party, he pointed out through his pigeon shooting, just how inept the Republican Party was at everything else.  With his leaving, all fissures cracking the Republican bedrock, were impossible to ignore.  Blogs split. The IPOD’s split. Former candidates of the same party just months earlier, now not talking to each other. The Delaware Republican Party is dead; no it is past dead.  More dead than a pigeon shot inside a box by John Sigler, former head of the Delaware Republican Party.

Nancy Willing: Her blog, the Delaware Way, is the go-to site for local information. Whether about Dover, about New Castle County, about any of New Castle County’s associations, Nancy combs all sources and puts them down in aggregate form. Heavily involved in the Power Plant controversy, The Delaware City Rail Yard controversy, Barley Mill controversy, the Woodlawan controversy, the Kinder Morgan controversy, the Charter School Controversy, the Common Core Controversy, Nancy has who is saying “what”, and links to “why”. One can expend less energy by using her blog to follow all the stuff the News Journal neglects, in a few quick empty steps.

Amy Roe:  a head of the Sierra Club, who emerged from nowhere to lead the fight against the power plant, and give quite a run against the establishment candidate.  Becoming the face the anti- power movement could coalase behind, she gave the anti power plant movement both dignity and grace.  Coming up short only 115 votes, she has awakened Newark now politically as never before…  The power plant if it goes forward, now has a strong group of Newarkeans against it.  Hopefully they will be monitoring it regularly and helping authorities keep in in compliance with all local law.

Tom Gorden; although much quieter than his first term in office, Tom Gorden is rapidly rolling back the privileges the previous Clark administration handed over to our state’s top developers. The Barley Mill plaza which had a green light, is now parked at a red. In a big sea change, though handled quietly, community groups are now no longer persona non grata in county government. It is no longer accepted as a matter of course that the Woodlawn Trust will be gobbled up by developers. If enough fight can be mustered, it can be stopped. Furthermore, with Tom there is closer coordination with the City of Wilmington, than we have experienced anytime in our lifetimes. In the county, local policing has been stepped up, particularly in neighborhoods prone to crime…

Dennis Williams: Came in with grand expectations, which looked deliverable for a while. The tide is turning and his relevance on this list, is because every day, the headline reality in Wilmington’s streets, brings his electioneering boasts back to haunt him, like a sizzling hot branding iron.  Time, Dennis, to say “Damn the torpedoes… Their punk asses are going in jail no matter which blowhard on City Council spouts off,before mine gets tossed in jail for impersonating a mayor..”

Alan Levin:  Jack Markell’s second in command, he was instrumental in defending Markell’s position on Kinder Morgan and the port, as well as the new power plant for the data center. He also had a hand in keeping Dole in Delaware, and worked to slip the power plant past a slew of unsuspecting Newark City officials.

Jack Markell: had his hand in everything.  He was behind Kinder Morgan’s takeover.  He was behind SB 51 and HB 165.  He was behind the illegal charter group, requiring HB 40. He also was the driving force for the four rational steps to gun legislation, 2 of which were passed. He was also the driving force behind the passage of gay marriage, signing the bill in the chambers just moments after its passage. He also supported the transgender bill in its travels through the labyrinth of Legislative Hall. He as behind keeping Dole in Delaware. He was behind changing an icon in Millsboro away from pickles, over to poultry. He pushed the bill to curtail Flowers. Despite your opinion over whether these were good or bad, they still showed a ubiquitous and wide reach across the state of Delaware. Seems like nothing got done that didn’t have his fingerprints all over it.

John Young: As head of Christina board, John Young led the board in standing up to Mark Murphy and Jack Markell, by refusing the RTTT funds slated for his district. Although some hired fools, (Jea Street) tried to paint Young into a corner, it served the opposite purpose and gave Young a platform. For the fist time, Common Core was getting publicly bashed. For the first time, many were finding that aligning themselves blindly to this sham of improving standards, was probably going to hurt them politically in the next couple of years. It was the fist salvo back, so the damage estimates were not high, but it did open eyes of many who had been on the sidelines of all educational issues, making them also become vocal in fighting Common Core. His blog Transparent Christina has channelled a lot of detailed information into the Delaware market, and had made Common Core an apprehension, instead of the savior it was supposed to be….

Kilroy: Kilroy has always been haranguing over education. In fact he was doing such a good job I left that issue alone for years, because other issues for me, like the economy and elimination of guns from the hands of the mentally ill, were more important. But as the issue has shifted back into the limelight, Kilroy’s hard hitting is making its mark… Kilroy is blunt, and right now, that is the language that needs to happen. Blunt descriptions of what takes place in the stratosphere of he academic field…. Kilroy often breaks stories before the News Journal, especially ones embarrassing to the Murphy/Markell cartel of education. If you have read Kilroy over the past couple of years, you would already know that Common Core is not the panacea we have been promised. It is a power grab for taxpayer dollars, financed by Wall Street itself…. If you think otherwise, you haven’t been reading a balanced reading list….
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That is what I have so far. In retrospect I am surprised that education has played so much, as even I have only come to that topic lately… But if one looks over the News Journal op eds, education really did dominate the discussion in the 2nd smallest state this year….

I may have forgotten some big ones. To reiterate, that is why I am posting this early, to catch those big mistakes as they get brought to my attention….

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In an effort to blunt the comparison of dead Americans by guns to say dead Japanese, dead Brits, dead Germans, the NRA has said things in America “are not that bad. Stop comparing America to civilized countries! Compare America to the “real world” it insists…

Just for the record here is why. In countries that do control guns in some way, the deaths per 100,000 are low.

Japan, has a 0.07 per 100,000 ratio.
Britain, has a 0.25 per 100,000 ratio.
Germany, has a 1.10 /100,000

In our country, which the NRA lets everyone do whatever they want, our ratio of gun deaths to 100,000 is…….

10.2 per 100,000

But as they teach you in beauty school, if you are ugly, hang with someone who is uglier than you. No one will notice.

The NRA wants us to compare ourselves with countries(ratios per 100.000 in parenthesis) like … El Salvador(50.36), Jamaica(47.44), Honduras(46.70), Guatemala(38.52)…. “See, these are bad countries”, says the NRA. “We don’t need to regulate guns yet in the United States.”

Question is this? Does anyone else think it is not cool we are comparing ourselves to former Banana Republics instead of the top civilized societies around the world? It’s like saying we should all be emulating Lindsey Lohan instead of Paris Hilton…..

With Sandy’s approach, words of warning went out to all campaigns.. Get your big signs down for the storm.  Feel free to put them up after the storm blows by.  Everyone got an email.

Democrats were in full force, and in New Castle County, not one Democratic sign was left standing…  By noon all  were stored for safe keeping…

There were no libertarian candidate’s signs.  As dedicated citizens, the libertarian team scoured the county and by noon, their signs were all stored for save keeping.

The one Jill Stein sign I’d seen, was gone.  Secured by the Green Party….

In fact the only signs up as darkness approached,  were those of Alex Pires, which is understandable,  it being a one man operation, and those of the Republican line up, which apparently has even fewer supporters.

It looks like Kansas,  at intersections now, with only Republicans contesting a one man operation….

If the Green Party and Libertarian party can mobilize faster than the Republican, it is time to stop calling the Republican Party a “major” party.

Even the Wizard of Oz had more going for it than today’s Delaware Republicans, who with their daily bumbles are rapidly creating a new definition of the English word pathetic.

Jockstrap….

I just couldn’t help but notice he supports almost every Johnson. (Even ones with Swiss spellings… Johansen ….)

Lol…

(title is a chess reference).

There is no worse thing on this planet than a negotiator who agrees to a certain policy, waits for it to get set in stone, and then, just before that policy is implemented, says, no, I’m not for it anymore. People like that are called Finks.

That type of action turned all of America against the Tea Party who actually made it their career to say “we won’t agree until we get this”, and when they got “this” they stormed out anyway, saying “that is not enough, we won’t agree until we get that, and more…” and followed the same process over and over and over again…

There is nothing worse than people who do that….

The Catholic Bishops today are saying the compromise in which health insurers bear the cost of contraception, is not enough, even though it meets their objection of not having any Catholic money go towards paying for contraception…

That actually was a huge concession. Catholic hospitals and schools will not have to pay for contraception, but it will be available for all women who work there to use if they choose.

The current position being taken by the Catholic Bishops actually goes against Church doctrine as well as the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ, himself….

(Remember, this is the exact same group that thought the best way to deal with priests who preyed Sandusky-like on alter boys, was to whisk them away where those guilty could abuse others who innocently had no idea beside whom they were serving the sacrament.)

The same group.

Bottom line, like the guilty priests, the Catholic Bishops got what they wanted. End of discussion. Any more discussion against this policy, and it becomes extremely obvious it is being done to support the Republican Party. The Church has been bought out by the 1%….

Back to why, prohibiting contraception in one way, violates the core spirit of the teachings of Jesus.

“Blessed are the Poor, for they shall inherit the earth”. “Give all you have to the poor, and you will then be able to enter the Kingdom of God.”

Obviously, if you don’t help the poor, you go to hell… Jesus could not have been more specific or clear.

When you don’t allow a woman to NOT GET PREGNANT, you force her out of being self sufficient, into becoming dependent on poverty.

Being against birth control forces women into poverty. Think about it. If you are single on a $40,000 job, and pregnant, you are out of $40,000 and have no income. Not only is the Catholic Church NOT GIVING ALL THEY OWN TO HELP THE POOR, but without free contraception, they are creating more and more poor, pregnant woman by pregnant woman, by the very position they take….

Bishops need to be queened.

They cost you too…

The drop in payroll tax from 6.2% to 4.2% results in a savings of about $1000 a year to every wage earner.

(If truth were widely known, that tax cut is actually a bad idea. It hemorrhages a dying social security fund, requiring the eventual death of the program or an expensive emergency last ditch surgery in the future.)

But it is hard not to give a $1000 present to every voter. Even if it only comes out as $19 dollars and change each week… But, still again, if your electric bill is $198 and you only have $189 in your account, that additional amount is, well, a lifesaver…..

But, Republicans in the House, even after Republicans in the Senate voted passage, overwhelmingly voted….. not to vote on the measure…

They didn’t vote against it… THEY VOTED NOT TO VOTE ON IT……
(speculation is that they lacked the votes to keep it from passing)..

So, how does that relate to you?

House Republicans (read Tea Party) just voted NOT TO VOTE on whether or not you will be losing an extra $20 a month out of your next paycheck.

Imagine what this is doing to payroll clerks around the country?
Imagine what this is doing to family budgets around the country?
Imagine what this is doing to businesses who rely on consumer spending around the country?
Imagine what this is doing to businesses heavily involved in the financial sector, around this country?

So what would normally happen?

Normally a group that can’t find agreement, acknowledges the sad fact, and long before the deadline, announces that they failed to reach agreement and that things would continue as they were on a temporary basis, to unfortunately allow for more time to solve differences.

But NOOOOOOOOOOOO, …. WE ARE STUCK WITH A TEA PARTY THAT FUCKS THINGS UP.

Instead, we have a vote not-to-vote, then get all sorts of very lame excuses from those who are delaying, none of which apply to the real problem that Social Security is doomed unless drastic action gets taken (higher rates, not lower), and we get nothing….

The tax cut will expire…

It is like sequestering a jury in a room, where everyone after much fact-covering argument has agreed to a judgment, except for one person who’s been bought off. And nothing, nothing, logic, emotional appeal, bullying, snuggling up to, befriending, produces any change. And you go years, every working day, to the same court house, the same jury room, they same chair at the same table, hear the same arguments, hoping against all odds, that today, he will see the light and switch. You go the next day.

That is today’s Congress. Held hostage by Tea Party Republicans who live in a dream world untouched by the reality of living under $185,000 a year. Like that bought-out juror, every day, they hold up progress with the unjustified belief that, if they wait long enough, the other 11 jurors will give up and sway over to the sole juror’s way….

Two things can happen… 1) return to the public and announce a hung jury, and do a complete retrial.. or 2) sneak up to that one juror, put a gun to his head, say nothing, pull the trigger, clean up the mess, dispose of the body, then go out to the public and announce what the 11 of you have decided…..

One is the nice way, sanctioned to due process of law. The other is the American Way.

It’s time to initiate the kavipsian policy of expression or what is otherwise known as “Show Us How You Really Feel”… Who knows? It could become the next great movement? The next time someone you know (or don’t), says anything about how millionaires should keep their tax cuts and the poor should pay, nod your head in agreement, smile a little bit, then hit them as hard as you can in their mouth, I mean as hard as you can! Put them flat on the ground holding their jaw… Then loudly say, “Don’t every talk that stupid way to me again!” Who knows, if 99% or all 303,930,000 would respond that way to our fellow congressional delegates, and the other 3.9 million of their like who advocate such madness, we might actually get the very progress we need, not because of intimidation, but because such policy is right….

For those who argue expression of violence is un-American, I’ll remind them that tonight, is John Wayne Night on AMC: view it!… I argue that such action is VERY American and perhaps it has been the lack of such spontaneous expressions of frustration from working American people, that has caused the logjam where nothing gets done because of one holdout, who thinks he can sway the world to his opinion and face no consequences… ….

Practice now, by punching brick walls.

London is ablaze. Rioting.

Why?

Cuts to their budget, just like the ones we are about to do to ours….

The only reason Americans haven’t rioted so far, is because of Obama and the Democrats insistence that Federal money is being spent as part of the stimulus plan…

In Greece, Israel, and now London, Liverpool, and Birmingham, people have been without…

Which as I said above, is exactly where we soon will be…

Not to sound callous, but perhaps one must consider the British deserve it? Likewise so will we if we too follow through with austerity cuts as did all these countries that have been rioting…

In every case, austerity cuts are the instigator….

Now austerity cuts, are really a stupid way out of a budget mess.

When you get to where your expenses are greater than your revenue stream, there are two ways to solve it… One, lower expenses so they match the revenue stream; two, raise the revenue stream so it matches the expenses… Best if you do both…

Where they failed in these nations, was to tax the wealthiest to pay for these necessary programs… Just in the numbers alone it makes so much more sense if you have to piss off someone to piss of the one percent at the top,…. than piss of the 99 percent on the bottom…..

“Hey, lets give whatever the “one-percenter” asks for.. just give it to him, and what ever it is he wants, we will take it out of the little the 99% have to fight over on the bottom…. ”

So Britain did that, and now they’ve got 99% of the population mad enough to riot, and there is only 1% with any resolve to stop them…

On the other hand, if they had taxed the wealthiest one percent (just for the sake of illustration) everything he had…. he’d be pissed. But 99% percent of the population would have jobs, would buy cars again, pay rent on time, would go out to eat, would shop to refurnish their house… 99% of the population would have jobs…..

So when the one wealthy per center, strode into the poor sections of town, and began throwing firebombs at the 5 And 10 Cent Store… 99% of the populations would descend on him, and nip his riot in the bud… “Uhh, no, you ain’t doing that here…”

So from hell it appears this notion came from, that we have to cater to the top 1% …. no, we don’t; we should be catering to the 99% of those on the bottom…. What they need, and therefore, what we need, … is to raise taxes just a tiny bit, up to 40% on the top marginal rate… and re tax capital gains, up to 40%…

Pretty soon, everyone will be too busy working to even think about throwing a firebomb through a store front window…..

Remember back when you occasionally went on a blind date?

Remember especially, right here, how Republicans dissed the Tea Party right up until they trounced them and then, inexplicably fully embraced them as the change of the future?

It’s like the republicans went out on a date with Lindsey Lohan, got a piece of her, and married her the next day….

They are waking up now.