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Let us start here.  A good leader takes his people where they want to go.  A good leader does not force his people to go where they definitely don’t want to go… That is ruling.  Not leading.

A good leader convinces his people why they must do something.  He makes sure he puts in how it will benefit them.  If it doesn’t benefit them, he is ruling.  Not leading.

A good leader creates good out of evil.  There is a moral equivalency to leadership.  It can be defined shallowly at times.  Such as calling Hitler good leader based on his strategy of conquering France. But time makes such affirmations short lived.  I don’t think anyone looking over the rubble left of Germany in 1945 at that moment considered Hitler a good leader after viewing his legacy.

A good leader does not follow the rules… He decides when and where the rules apply.   Some would apply the name “great leader” to one who never wavered.  Well, such a leader would have ruined the life of a little boy whose grandmother sent along a knife to cut the cake, not knowing that knives in school were grounds for expulsion.  A lot of misdirected people in leadership positions in that particular school district, made bad decisions based on their mistaken view of what makes a good leader.  A good leader does not always follow the rules.

A good leader decides when and where the rules apply.

In Syria we have controversy.   We have one argument stating that Syria must be punished.  We have the other that says War must be reserved only for something Huge.  That “Huge” is of course undefined and fits in with “we know it when we see it.”

As the executive of the world’s largest force, militarily, economically, and morally,  our president pretty much get to decide.

Here is what a great leader would do.  He would find a way to unite the two sides into one…  He would find a way to punish Assad of Syria in a way that would scare any other despot thinking of using chemical weapons,  and do it without going to war.

That would be great leadership.

So what would scare Assad the most?   It’s hard to tell, but my guess is that his biggest fear as a man, is if his palace is overrun by Syrians, who basically tear him apart, and do his wife and children, then systematically erase any acknowledgement  that he or his dad ever existed…   That whole reign of terror becomes ridiculed, laughed at, for the rest of History.   i would guess that is how you could get to Assad.

So, we, (not just the US but the rest of the world) have to make that threat real.. We don’t have to carry it out necessarily, but we have to make it real.   How can that happen?

I think first, is that we make crossing the border out of Syria a real good move for Syrians…   Send the signal, that if you leave Syria, the world community will settle you somewhere, give you a job, and a chance to begin a life of freedom and prosperity. ideally what we are doing is a Cold War.  Over time we are saying: “See how great the Rest of the world lives?  Oh, you poor Syrians… Escape and come join us”. Where could we relocate them?  Iran could step up, Jordan,, and Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States,

This is how your hurt Assad… Turn his own people against him… No ruler can rule a group of people who don’t want to be ruled.  He can use brutality to a certain extent, but the numbers are completely on the side of the population wanting him gone.  With our intelligence capacity, he will never be safe… Every bodyguard is a potential killer..

And that, more or less, is what we should do… It is what a great leader does… He solves problems in ways where the evil get punished and the good win out.

Going to war, rewards those doing evil, and hurts the good….

It is time our President, become the great leader.  Not by  digging down and reinforcing the costly methods promoted in the past..  But to devise and implement new methods which because of their success, will be utilized far into the future….

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I’m trying to put all your ideas together into one package. So, let me get this right… All you are asking is for, is a country where:

1) There is no universal healthcare.
2) Few entitlement programs.
3) Low Flat Tax System.
4) Faith based Government.
5) A deep reverence for God.
6) Extremely strict rules against abortion.
7) Marriage has already been strictly defined as between man and woman.
8) Homosexuality is a sin, and illegal.
9) Dress Codes are strictly enforced.
10) Tattoos, piercings, baggy pants, are banned.
11) Has the Death Penalty which they aren’t shy about using.
12) Strong private school system with religious focus.
13) Widespread dependency on oil and natural gas drilling.
14) Growing nuclear program
15) Nonexistent environmental nuisances
16) Culture that promotes family and stereotyped roles for men and women.

I’ve endeavored to put all your values on one page. I share your frustration because today, ever since 2008, it seems like America is moving further and further away from these values.

But you don’t have to be frustrated anymore. I have looked far and wide and have discovered a place already in existence that has those values in place, and more. If you sorely long for those values above, it is sincerely a place where you and your family would be very happy.

It is Iran.

You don’t have to pay me. I don’t need any commission. Just glad to help a fellow Delawarean out…. No problem.

Republicans pooh pooh the idea of wealth redistribution. They deride Obama’s policy as being just that.

Truth is, their policies that have caused far more wealth redistribution, than Lenin, Marx, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, or Tojo combined.. It has been redistributed all the wrong way; to the top.

I became curious as I was in line pushing my cart from Costco’s checkouts to my car, scratching my head how I could have spent $50 dollars on a few trinkets: water, bread, paper towels and razor blades. I had only three of the wrong bags (plastic) and had just electronically approved the emptying of my account by $50 dollars…. (The same purchases would have cost $33 back in November, before the Bush tax cuts were extended an additional two years)..

How does that play out in our society?

First a chart:

Yearly income ….(divided by 52 divided by 5)……. daily income

1 million…………………………………………………….$3846
$125,000……………………………………………………$480
$ 75,000…………………………………………………….$288
$ 45,000…………………………………………………….$173
$ 25,000…………………………………………………….$96
$14/hour @ 7.5 hours……………………………………..$105
$10/hour @ 7.5 hours……………………………………..$75
$7.25/hour, 7.5 hours……………………………………..$54
$2.38/hour, 7.5 hours……………………………………..$17

That means almost an entire day of work for someone on minimum wage, was worth those three bags I had in my hand.

Prior to November, they would have at least had $19 more dollars to spend.
Bread, water, paper towels, and a razor plus blades ($9 +$15). (ever wonder why most working protestors have beards?)

Here is a list of countries that I know had protests over wealth distribution, some causing the collapse of their governments… Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Albania, Britain, Wisconsin, Jordan, Bahrain, Syria, Yemen, Singapore… I’m sure there are more.

In each case, the people are protesting that they have to live on less and less, while their wealthy, due to unfair lenient tax laws, are making more and more….

1% of Americans, own 40% of our wealth. Wow, that sounds like Mexico, or Columbia! Do they really own that much?

The Gini coefficient is a mathematical term that measures inequality. If everybody has the same amount of wealth, the coefficient will be zero. If one person has all the wealth, then the coefficient would be 100.

Using this tool, we see how the world is stacked. Those countries called socialist by overly rich republicans, who apparently are complaining on having to live on $174,000 these days, and called number one places to live by everyone normal, have relatively low coefficients. Third world countries, where the president owns all the wealth, have relatively high ones

Here is a chart with map showing the rankings…..

Scroll down to see the company the United States keeps…. Georgia, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, United States, Morocco…… The only economic power below us is China, which will no doubt pass us up this year.

Far above us (we are ranked 85 our of 149, with some embarrassing countries better off than we are….. Myanmar, Iran, Yemen, Russia, Libya,) lie the top echelon, Denmark, Japan, Iceland, Sweden, Norway…..

What do those countries do differently? They figure out what they need to spend to maintain the quality of life they wish to attain, then spread the tax burden over whomever lives, or works there… Yes taxes are higher than here, … but when they pay $4 dollars for a gallon of milk, it goes toward their next doctor’s visit, not into some foreign investor’s pocket, who is playing with the hedge fund of milk that day.

Therefore they live much better than we can. Unless of course, you over here happen to be a 1 percent-er.

Then. for you, buying bread, water, paper towels, and razors is taking less than 2% of your daily pay, and not the 92% it does for someone who worked all day on the minimist of minimum wage….. .

For those of us privy to being on the inside of the collapse of the Shah, these times are eerily familiar.

“The palpable sense of relief. The euphoria among the government’s opponents. The carnival-like atmosphere. The explosion of national pride. And the blind faith that the new regime would be more just, more equitable and more democratic than the old. Iran’s masses were no less hungry for democracy than the Egyptians who crowded into Cairo’s central Tahrir Square to demand an end to Mubarak’s rule. Where the Iranians put their trust in Muslim clerics to bring about a just and equitable society, the Egyptians turned to the secular-minded army to give the Mubarak regime a final push.”

The hated autocrat was gone. A new era was ushered in with cheers, tears and the cacophony of car horns.

And so it was in Tehran – 32 years before to the day.

“On Feb. 11, 1979, the commander of the Iranian air force announced on national radio that the armed forces were withdrawing from the fight to save the American-backed regime of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, who had already fled the country three weeks before in the face of burgeoning street protests against his autocratic rule. With the military gone, the Iranian monarchy collapsed and with it any chance that the shah would return from what had been spun as a vacation – ironically to Anwar Sadat’s Egypt. As the troops returned to barracks, Tehran erupted into wild celebrations – punctuated by the deafening din of thousands of horns. ”

Whereas Iranians turned to their muslim clerics, today’s Egyptians are internet savvy. Messages and directives back then, were smuggled over months into Iran on cassette tapes. Today technology could reach thousands within one hour…. But for the sake of remembering, despite the differences, all of us should be wary… For a vacuum has been created. What goes in, will depend for the most part one nothing less than “idealism.” of the Egyptian people. They have the numbers, but do they have the will.

All it takes is one person withing the military of Egypt, to say…. “why not me?” Egypt then goes down the road of ruin similar to the Myanmar Empire (old Burma)…

Turkey faced a similar situation. One idealist, Attaturk prevailed and today Turks are for the most part, a very happy people.

What is best for the US?

Obviously if we learned anything from Iran, it is not to make Egyptians our enemy. That is the single most important objective that the United States must take away from Iran. That anti United States rhetoric from the Ayatollah Khomeini, has dominated our foreign relations from that moment on. All our problems with the Middle East, stem from that denunciation by that one man. How can any Arab do business with the “Great Satin” and go back home to peace? He gets taunted relentlessly by his peers, and therefore because of that, the United States has an uphill battle communicating even the simple basics of diplomacy to those who could be our friends and partners. We have a difficult time persuading them to accomplish things that work best, even in their own self interests, simply because we, … are the ones proposing it…

We, as the father of democracy, need to support those who our daughters pick. Even if it goes against our grain. If a majority of Egyptians pick the Muslim Brotherhood, so be it; we need to treat it as a wise father treats his daughter’s choice of a mate….

“Uh, … are you sure? Well, that’s a surprise. But you know, I raised you to be independent, and if this is who you want, and if this one makes you happy, and if this one you really, truly believe is the right one for you…. and I want you to be honest with yourself right now, well, as long as you are happy, I think it’s a great choice, and I will support you all….”

That solid support hinges on the words…. as long as you are happy. Were it to become known, that their spouse, (new head of government) was to start siphoning out of their bank account, we again side, as should the father of democracy, with the people, and help them explore the options of divorcing and rediscovering who they are….

That was our failure in Iran. Had we supported the Islamic revolution, it would have had to live upon it’s own devices, which were paltry. Instead it lasted fiercely defiant against the Great Satin; in fact, that was the only thing it had going for it. Able to fire up anger over our nations support of the shah, it didn’t need to take care of its people to stay in power…

We cannot give the next ruler of Egypt that option. Instead, we must embrace their choice, and accept that what makes our nation happy, like crappy private healthcare, like working long hours with little to show for it, like having false news broadcast over our corporate media, like working hard hours to pay back the bank collectors, utility company collectors, hospital and medical collectors, as well as paying up front for insurance policies that don’t cover anything,….. may not be their idea of a perfect society…..

We have to wise up and understand that as the father of democracy, our getting pushy and saying: ” I forbid you to marry that man” may actually be the very thing that makes that man appear attractive .. ”

Therefore we have to do the manly thing, swallow our pride, forget our ego, realize our grace, and accept what the Egyptians want, should be what we want too. Only then,… will no interruption occur within our relationship….

Executive Order No. 14 Regarding Gov. Minner’s “Livable Delaware” Agenda

WHEREAS, Delaware has a well deserved reputation as an ideal place to live, work, raise a family, and enjoy recreational activities;

WHEREAS, our natural resources, sound economy, opportunities for personal and business success, and overall quality of life will add almost 190,000 additional Delawareans by the year 2020, a growth rate faster than any northeastern state;

WHEREAS, Delawareans are concerned that the quality of place in our state is threatened by sprawl, traffic congestion, loss of farmland and open space, diminished air and water quality, and a shortage of affordable housing;

WHEREAS, residential, transportation and employment patterns can have direct impacts on the means by which we move about the State and attainment of Delaware’s air quality goals and the protection of public health;

WHEREAS, haphazard sprawl and unplanned growth create an inefficient demand for public infrastructure, services and facilities that all Delaware taxpayers must finance, no matter where they live;

WHEREAS, the Cabinet Committee on State Planning Issues has undertaken an extensive process of analyzing long term growth trends, soliciting public opinion, and considering the implications of expected growth throughout the State over the next 25 years, and has approved a comprehensive set of goals and strategies set forth in “Shaping Delaware’s Future: Managing Growth in 21st Century Delaware, Strategies for State Policies and Spending” to guide Delaware’s overall development and to ensure efficient, rational and cost-effective investments in necessary infrastructure;

WHEREAS, those development goals are restated herein:

Direct investment and future development to existing communities, urban concentrations, and growth areas. Protect important farmlands and critical natural resource areas. Improve housing quality, variety and affordability for all income groups. Ensure objective measurement of long-term community effects of land use policies and infrastructure investments. Streamline regulatory processes and provide flexible incentives and disincentives to encourage development in desired areas. Encourage redevelopment and improve the livability of existing communities and urban areas, and guide new employment into underutilized commercial and industrial sites. Provide high quality employment opportunities for citizens with various skill levels to retain and attract a diverse economic base. Protect the state’s water supplies, open spaces, farmlands and communities by encouraging revitalization of existing water and wastewater systems and the construction of new systems. Promote mobility for people and goods through a balanced system of transportation options. Improve access to educational opportunities, health care and human services for all Delawareans Coordinate public policy planning and decisions among state, counties and municipalities. WHEREAS, these planning goals provide an opportunity to promote sustainability of our economic and ecological growth and will maintain and enhance the qualities that make Delaware a unique place to live;

WHEREAS, the State must provide leadership and set an example by bringing its policies, programs, regulations and expenditures in line with the approved goals and strategies, and must play a major role in encouraging growth in areas that we’ve agreed are appropriate to accept it;

WHEREAS, my State of the State Address of January 25, 2001, calls for the development of “Livable Delaware” principles to keep sprawl in check, reduce traffic congestion, strengthen our towns and cities, improve our environment and protect our significant investment in roads, schools and other infrastructure;

NOW, THEREFORE I, RUTH ANN MINNER, by the authority vested in me as Governor of the State of Delaware, hereby declare and order on this 22nd day of March, 2001:

1. As part of Livable Delaware, the Office of State Planning Coordination shall immediately make available to all State departments and agencies a copy of the “Shaping Delaware’s Future” report and the adopted state development goals, along with instructions for preparing the implementation response called for herein;

2. All State departments and agencies shall, no later than August 31, 2001, complete and submit an implementation plan for these development goals and strategies which:

(a) Identifies all Department programs, policies and actions which are impacted by or can be used to support the state development goals and strategies; (b) Identifies administrative, organizational, regulatory, or statutory actions to be taken, including those already taken or underway, to ensure compliance and consistency with the state development goals and strategies;

(c) Identifies existing laws, programs, policies and actions that impede implementation of the development goals and strategies;

(d) Identifies how capital and budget planning will be used to implement the State investment strategies;

(e) Identifies essential legislative actions needed to ensure that state agency authorities and programs are consistent with and support the development goals and strategies;

(f) Sets forth an action plan, schedule for undertaking such actions, and proposes measures to gauge progress toward achieving the State development goals and investment strategies.

3. No later than October 31, 2001, the Cabinet Committee on State Planning Issues shall review and provide comments to the agencies and Office of State Planning Coordination on the implementation responses required in this Executive Order.

Here is my breakdown of tomorrow’s vote. It is an educated guess, no voter or candidate should take it seriously, but I raced to post it before polls opened, so that I could see if I did better tomorrow than on my March Madness Brackets. To my understanding, it is the only pre- election poll conducted in the 41st.

 

 

  Hastings
Bullock Burton Write In Total  
01 of 41 399 549 147 16
1,111  
02 OF 41
318 383 106 28 835  
03 OF 41 426 315 158 38 935  
04 OF 41 307 236 163 31 737  
05 OF 41 648 529 226 56 1459  
06 OF 41 305 285 109 27 726  
07 OF 41 886 729 317 91 2023  
08 OF 41 779 901 149 74 1903  
09 OF 41 193 176 92 16 477  
Total 4261 4103 1467 375 10206  

 

 

Prognosis: Atkins’s end run will have been irrelevant.

Bullock lost a “sure thing” by supporting NRG.

 

Update:   The results are in:


Hastings Bullock Burton Write In Total  
01 OF 41 262 185 14 144 605
02 OF 41 223 163 20 83 489  
03 OF 41 121 130 6 31 288
04 OF 41 182 189 11 89 471  
05 OF 41 277 256 28 86 647  
06 OF 41 123 116 28 41 308  
07 OF 41 298 244 49 48 639  
08 OF 41 237 251 57 27 572
09 OF 41 47 42 7 7 103  
             
  1770 1576 220 556 4122  
        11 others  

Residents living in Millsboro have got it made! No matter who wins the election this Saturday, they will have an outstanding representative to finish out the term vacated by the resigned John Atkins.

It is ironic that this election falls on Cinquo de Mayo, or May 5th in English. Residents of the 41st will be celebrating their “freedom” in two languages that day.

Politics in this small town is far removed from either the state or national trauma. In Millsboro, it is about the person running, not the party he represents. No bloggers tearing each other apart down there. Everyone gets along quite well, and the candidate still wave at each other when they drive past.There is even a rumor that they just might, if the weather is good, have a BBQ somewhere in the middle of all three of their houses. This would not be hard, for all three of them live within a two block area of the same development.

The only real difference between these candidates is that the Democratic, Lynn Bullock, is supportive of NRG’s energy plan, and the Republican Greg Hastings and Independent John Burton, both support Blue Water Winds proposal, (along with 94 percent of Delawareans).

If the name of a local entrepreneurial activity is any indication of the winner, then it may be possible that the Blue Water Grill, on Main Street, may portend good things for the Republican.

This race is a classic toss up; there are too many variables in flux to get a read……….

Lynn Bullock, the Democrat has been given a hard time by some Blue Water Wind supporters. But if the truth were known that his father was head of the NRG plant since “the war”, and it was he who was responsible for hiring many of the unemployed returning soldiers when they returned home, then one can understand and appreciate some of the personal motives for his decision. I for one would be loathe to go against my father’s legacy, and all it stood for.

However there are many in Millsboro who do not like the proximity of the plant to their neighborhood. The high rate of cancer has put many holes in what once was a tight knit community. They remember when NRG was forced to buy up all the land surrounding the plant, because pot ash and other toxic chemicals kept falling out of the sky……….The Blue Water plan appeals to this crowd, as do the candidates Greg Hastings and John Burton.

According to WGMD in a recent debate, Lynn Bullock, the Democrat, seems more concerned about NRG than anything else. His classic line was, “Let me clarify my clarification.”

The Independent candidate, John Burton, spoke about enforcing the laws we already have on the books, instead of spending time creating new ones, while the Republican, Greg Hastings, believes we have to “stand firm” on getting the current plant cleaned up, and spoke about solar power and “other options” for energy,

Will there be a Republican backlash against the party for its initial support of the previous candidate who resigned last month? If so it will be split between the Democratic and Independent candidates. And considering the choice candidate they have in Greg Hastings, it is unlikely that he will be punished for his party.

Many thought that the independent candidate had the best showing when they appeared together last week. Some residents were surprisingly impressed. He should pull votes from both parties.

And then there is John Atkins. His threat is over rated. Although his signs are ubiquitous around the town, it was hard to find anyone willing to vote for him. They still like him, and many think he got a raw deal, but to vote for him………nah, he had his run. It is time for someone new.”

Despite the prevalence of signs, only one residence could be found to display them on its property. Whereas Hastings, Burton, and Bullock signs are posted in front of every other house………

Not to mention, no drive to educate voters on how to navigate the complicated voting machine write-in process, has yet, at this late date, taken place. Those voters who may wish to say good bye to John, by one last vote for Atkins, may become too frustrated once the curtain is drawn, and spontaneously cast their vote for their second choice candidate.

However there is one area of concern. Approximately 51 % of those assisting the election got their jobs through Atkins. Voter fraud is always possible. It would be wise for each party to load every polling place with challengers and poll watchers, to insure no hanky-panky takes place. Seacrets do not mix well with politics…….. Doing so would leave fake absentee ballots as his only recourse……….

Voters of the 41st have a golden opportunity to vote for their representative without the distractions of a national or state campaign. In the quiet of this small town, home of two stop lights and a revolutionary oak tree, each citizen will have the time to consider all the options in detail, something the rest of us should envy. Whoever wins on Saturday, (at this point too close to call), will give Millsboro a great representative. They are all good men.

Thanks to Tommywonk for steering us in this direction.

Delmarva seems not to be the solution to our energy crises. They seem to be the problem. When blasted by both NRG and Blue Water Wind for their recalcitrance on this issue, something seriously stinks.

One would expect that as opposing bidders that NRG and Delmarva would be at each other’s throats, in a bidding war of sorts with our states economical future at stake. Instead, they are tied up dealing with Delmarva, who systematically denies that long term contracts benefit Delawareans, a view supported by Charlie Copeland, a whispered republican aspirant to the state’s governorship.

The Public Service Commission (PSC) stated in a letter dated 12/13/2006:

As you are also aware, in developing the IRP, the statue states that Delmarva may consider the economic and environmental of:

resources that use new or innovative technologies, (such as coal gasifications).

resources that provide short or long term benefits to residents of this state (such as renewable sources like wind and solar power).

facilities that utilize existing brownfield or industrial sites.

resources that promote fuel diversity.

resources that support or improve reliability; or

resources that encourage price stability.

In reviewing the IRP, it is at best unclear whether Delmarva considered the value of these items. It is the staff’s belief that additional information was generated by Delmarva or its consultant, ICF, which was not included in the IRP materials submitted to the Commission.

Delmarva’s dance around the issue is here.

Apparently appalled by this blatant disregard for either state or consumer input into this upcoming decision, seven parties petitioned to intervene.

Division of Public Advocate

Delaware Sustainable Energy Task Force

NRG Energy

Bluewater Wind

Jeremy Firestone–University of Delaware Professor

Alan Muller— with Green Delaware

Mary McGonegal–with Common Cause of Delaware

The Mexican Clinical Audiologist (let me know if you catch the pun) O’brien allowed only six of these seven requesting input. Who was “dis’ed”? The Public Advocate Office was denied input, despite of Delaware law 29 Del.C. 8716 (g) calling for the Advocate’s Office to

be deemed a party of interest, and (it) shall have full power to present evidence, subpoena, cross examine witnesses, submit proofs, file briefs, and do other acts appropriate for a party to do before the Commission.

Well it is obvious why they didn’t want them there………..

And then:

“Dr. Firestone, Mr. Muller, and Ms. McGonegal should confer with each other, and advise me (the Mexican clinical audiologist) with the March 7th filing in this case, who their lead representative will be.

The three citizens groups were lumped together as one, and both Jeremy Firestone, and Alan Muller appealed that decision by the Mexican clinical audiologist, contending that the differences between these varied citizens groups was far more diverse than the differences between individual energy providers, yet they were allowed their own representation.

Why? because O’brien thinks that Common Cause, Green Delaware, and a University of Delaware Professor all have congruent interests in the IRP. For those of us aware of what these groups stand for, this is laughable. I can only think, that because these diverse groups of personalities, (not to mention agendas), are being lumped together as one voice, that someone higher up, is directly interfering with every Delawares citizens’ right to have valid input into the decision making process.

What is at stake, primarily is Delmarva’s refusal to look at options regarding long term supply. If they looked at it, they did in name only, picking up a few pages for a glance. ( “Sure, we looked at it.” )

Dr Firestone takes them to task.

Instead of approaching the possibility of entering into long term contracts with its eyes wide opened, as it should in an IRP, Delmarva approached that possibility with blinders on. Indeed, it appears that Delmarva took on the IRP not as an objective broker, but rather with an agenda that at its core is centered on Delmarva’s desire not to enter into long term contracts………..It is not Delmarva’s prerogative to simply brush aside the Legislature.

NRG goes one step further.

There should be incredible irony, not lost to the Commission, with Delmarva arguing, in both the IRP and RFP proceedings, against making long term commitments with baseload energy suppliers– and citing to RSCI customers’ low load factors as reason for its justification– WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY REQUESTING AUTHORIZATION FROM THE COMMISSION, UNDER THE COVER OF A SEPARATELY DOCKETED PROCEEDING, TO INITIATE A MASSIVE INVESTMENT PROGRAM TO IMPROVE THESE LOAD FACTORS.

In a deliciously sarcastic comment, accidental or otherwise, NRG offers the Commission this assessment of Delmarva’s competence (or impotence) in determining public policy.

The Commission should consider retaining outside independent experts to review the specifics of Delmarva’s DSM and AMI plans. Nothing should be approved in the absence of a benefit-cost study and independent modeling.

In a rare case of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” Bluewater Wind joins NRG to take Delmarva to task along these same lines. More specific is Bluewater’s criticism of Delmarva’s draft of its IRP.

The draft plan fails to diversify energy sources. The draft plan ignores the trend of higher and more volatile natural gas prices. The draft IRP fails to protect Delaware rate payers from the cost of carbon dioxide pollution.

What is needed, Bluewater continues, is a better plan. One that achieves greater price stability, which would include the following:

Proactive steps to secure sources that protect rate payers from rising electricity prices.

Proactive steps to secure sources that protect rate payers from future costs of carbon pollution regulations.

Promote new generation sources in those locations that minimize the need for new, expensive, hard-to-site transmission lines to or within Delaware.

Set more aggressive goals for efficiency.

Obviously both corporations are looking out for their own best interests. But it looks like the PSC picked the wrong group of people to do the evaluation when it chose Delmarva. Bluewater’s goals, as mentioned above, are more in line with what both the PSC and the Legislature require.

Doesn’t it make sense that the company whose best interest seems to lie in line with our own best interests, would serve our state far better than another company, such as Delmarva, whose best interest is diametrically opposed what we want?

Like a car with sticky brakes, as long as we depend on Delmarva, this state will never get up to speed. (Remember here, we are talking about the only corporation IN THE WORLD, who did not take Y2K seriously at this millenena’s outset, and sent out those ridiculous bills on January 00 . Everyone else, ON THIS PLANET, fixed it.)

The Anti-Delawarean Company

Recently Duffy made a comment that was, as my kids would say, was “sooo…..2004” Being away I failed to respond in a timely fashion, and Tyler Nixon, thankfully, stepped up to the plate, and contributed the opposing point of view.

But it caused me to reflect, since a month ago I heard the same type of comment offered again in defense of Cheney, that events have moved forward so fast, that it is quite plausible that one missed an integral piece of the puzzle needed to understand today’s events.

In an effort to fill in those “gaps of knowledge”, perhaps allow me to expand on why it is quite conceivable that Cheney orchestrated the war to enrich his pockets.

These sources may be unknown to many of you. But I have found that credibility is often more prevalent, the further one is removed from the Kleig lights of media’s attention. When thing are said that are not “self serving”, their is a good chance that there may some truth buried within.

The area of concern lies with how intelligence was orchestrated by the administration to create an illusion, instead of being used to find facts. Now in late 2006 and 2007 we are starting to get the “unofficial” side of events that led us to invade Iraq, as ex-American intelligence officers have vetted their manuscripts and now are publishing them.

Are these ex intelligence officers to be believed, over the “official” Administrative take of events leading up to March 03?

Perhaps. Our Supreme Court always publishes a dissenting opinion, whenever it processes a verdict. This allows the open discussion of ideas, even after the discussion is rendered obsolete due to the decision having already being made.

These opinions, now being published, should be treated as the dissenting opinions that did not win in the inner office discussions leading up to the chain of command’s decision. But unlike Supreme Court decisions, these do not need a court case to be overturned.

One further note, before I begin. If history had shown the Iraqi war to be successful and accomplish the mission that was sold to the American people, then this conversation would be irrelevant. It is only within this context, that five years after we were first presented this intelligence, we are currently mired in dealing with bombs smuggled into the very safe Green Zone, and with demonstrations against American occupation, by the very Iraqi policeman and Iraqi army officers we counting on to defend our troop’s safety and security within that region, that this dissenting opinion, belatedly offered, has any merit.

When one of these sources took over as CIA chief of the European division, he was told the White House was extremely interested in Iraq, and that his department should report everything they could find out about it, as well as on Iran and China. The scuttlebutt within the agency was that the Bush people were out to settle the score for the first Gulf War. Bin Laden was an afterthought. All effort to move the terroristic threat into the inner sanctums of the White House, were blocked or shut down, as evidenced by the now famous “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US” fiasco proved. Instead of revamping efforts to concentrate on unearthing terrorists in Europe and infiltrating weapons proliferation networks in Europe, resources were shuffled towards gathering any dirt on the Saddam regime that could justify a ground attack upon that country. In any bureaucracy one career moves forward only if one gets noticed. When praise was delegated to Iraqi findings and silence given towards Bin Laden findings, a strong signal reverberated throughout all intelligence agencies.

George Tenet, to his credit was dedicated to breaking down barriers with our European allies. but he was swimming against the tide, which was turning increasingly away form the real targets and toward Iraq.

“The Bush administration was about to embark on a course that would do more to undermine this country’s intelligence community than any of the actions of its predecessors.”

This caveat was offered to illuminate how this administration chose fiction over fact.

Just hours after 9/11 one of our allies offered their support. “Anything we can do”, they said, “is at your disposal”. ” I hope we can all agree that we should focus attention on Afghanistan and not be tempted to launch any attacks on Iraq.” this representative said.

George Tenet replied. “absolutely, we all agree on this that. Some might want to link the issues but none of us wants to go that route.” The other side of the argument was of course represented by Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, and Cheney, and the others, but for now, under the quiet skies over post 9/11 DC, no one in the intelligence communities on BOTH sides of the Atlantic, considered pursuing Iraqi leads.

Had intelligence been part of the policy decisions, we might be in much better situation than where we are now. Under a different administration, the policy hatched out in meetings between underlings of international intelligence agencies may have risen to the policy determining level of senior officials. It was thought that European allies might take a request of cooperation from one of their neighbors better than they would have from us. This attempt to make the pursuit of Al Qaeda appear to be a multinational effort, was stopped by Rumsfeld’s disparaging remarks against our allies France and Germany by calling them “Old Europe” Had this officer known what was to come, he would have tried to make them understand the value of our friends across the ocean. “But then again, with their agendas, their mind was made up.”

Politicians Prefer Coal Smokestacks

State Democrats are behind the push for NRG’s clean coal gasification plant currently under review by the PSC. Their backbone, the deep pockets of labor organizations, is firmly behind the NRG proposal. Currently the Delaware Democratic party is the party of dominance of the moment, having most of the statewide offices firmly in their grasp, and possessing a majority of the state senate as well.

That may change if the NRG proposal goes through. Republicans, quiet now, are salivating over the real possibility they have of seizing the high ground on a issue supported by over 90% of Delaware voters. Their hope is that Democrats will remain too myopic to sense the greater picture, and in attempting to pay back Labor, their long time supporters, they will antagonize an electorate electrified by the idea of going green.

Those of you who think this cannot happen, do not understand Delaware nor its politics.

If one could imagine a dear friend or next door neighbor, always supporting you in times of need, bringing food while you were too depressed to cook, offering to watch your children so you could sneak a few hours rest, or shoveling your snow and then refusing payment, actually coming to you and asking for a favor,…….. you begin to understand Delaware politics. The favor is not a big one, really, it is just a small favor. At least it was a small favor when they initially asked it……..

This scenario describes the emotional bond between organized labor and Delawarean Democrats. These are the folks who carried Biden over Boggs……These are also those guys who drove those pickups plaquered with bumper stickers calling for the “Impeachment of Carper.” (yeah, it was sort of a joke, but it sent the message: don’t mess with labor.) These are the reasons Castle continues his sole Republican reign as the single Congressman of this great state. ( See it does cross both ways.) They are responsible for Coons, and most of New Castle County Council. Those males handing out campaign literature at the polls every election, are often piped in from Jersey and Pennsylvania, and if you ask them about their candidate, they’ll tell you, they don’t know……….Yes, the Dem’s definitely owe Labor…..

Labor sees the coal plant as the means to employ many in the building trades who are slowly being laid off as the housing building boom wanes. They have a valid point. People need jobs.

But a more important issue to those of us still working is our family’s future health. As energy requirements take larger and larger bites out of business’ and family’s incomes, one of the areas from which these dollar amounts can be recouped, is medical expenses. But Delaware leads the nation in cancer. Breathing NRG power plant fumes certainly does not increase our healthiness.

This is the dilemma facing long term Democrats. Which is the stronger force: the economic well being of their strongest supporters within the building trades, or the health and well being of every voter in the state…………………………………….?

Bluewater Wind which has support from ninety percent of the electorate, still faces strong internal political opposition to their wind proposal.

Katherine Ellison in a piece titled Gone with the Wind, writes:

Last June, six months before power-plant bids were officially due, Gov. Ruth Ann Minner and NRG Energy, based in New Jersey, released a joint statement announcing NRG would “move forward” with a “state of the art” 630-megawatt coal plant for approximately $1.5 billion. The plant would use “clean coal” technology, also known as IGCC, or integrated gasification combined cycle, which converts coal to gas before burning it. ”

In fairness, wind generation was not an available option to be considered at that time. Clean coal still had favorable buzz at the time.

Minner, a Democrat, is on record as being convinced that human-caused carbon emissions are contributing to climate change. Under her leadership, Delaware in 2005 joined a multistate effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. What makes her embrace of “clean coal” rather odd is that her own administration calculates that the IGCC plant would emit 475 tons an hour of carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas.

Two other factors make it less odd. First, NRG already owns a coal plant on southern Delaware’s Indian River — a facility, dating back to the 1950s, that is one of the state’s leading sources of pollution, belching acid-rain-causing sulfur dioxide and mercury emissions. NRG has been fighting state regulators’ recent orders to clean it up, but as part of the deal with Minner, it has promised to patch things up and close the oldest part of the plant. Nor, most likely, did it hurt that NRG’s lobbyist, Mike Houghton, has been a major fundraiser for Minner and other state Democrats — so major that he was given a special award at the party’s annual dinner last year.

Perhaps you are more politically savvy than moi but I have no idea where Mike Houghton could have possibly found that money. But the bottom line is this: the more one learns of local politics, the worse it looks for wind.

For not only does NRG seem to have an inside track with the Governor of the second smallest state, but of the four commissions that will be making the energy decision, three of the four heads are appointed by Minner.

Again according to Katherine Ellison, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and author:

Her press department and chief of staff declined or ignored repeated requests for an interview. Houghton also declined comment, other than to say he saw no conflict in his dual role.

Minner isn’t alone in paving the way for coal. Also in June, Delaware’s two U.S. Senators Joe Biden and Tom Carper — both Democrats, and Rep. Mike Castle, a Republican, wrote to the U.S. Department of Energy to support federal tax breaks for the proposed new coal plant.

Is Delaware getting sold out from underneath 90% of its citizens. Republicans certainly hope so………….

But again in fairness one needs to respect the time line. Notice all the events happened in June of last year.

Things changed.

Like Minner, all three pols are on record as concerned about climate change. But it took Willett Kempton, (an associate professor of marine policy at the University of Delaware) — who bristles with impatience over what he calls “a lack of policy response wildly out of sync with what scientists are saying” — to do something to make climate change an issue in the state’s choice of power. Last summer, he and his university colleague, Jeremy Firestone, took the unusual step of personally calling offshore wind developers to invite them to compete.

Among a half dozen entrepreneurs they called, Mandelstam of BlueWater Wind took up the challenge, rushing to prepare his bid in time for the December deadline. He’s been “educating” ever since.

Due to the excitement surrounding the proposed wind farm. the electorate has become “pro Wind”. This caught incumbent Democrats by surprise. Only one, the far sighted Jack Markell, has jumped on the bandwagon for clean energy. This has put him, at least among Progressives, far ahead in the polls over Carney for the next potential governor.

It is interesting that bloggers and forums have contributed much of the research that now supports both the economical and environmental benefits of BlueWater Wind’s turbines. This has caused serious concern within the backwaters of Legislative Hall and the Governors office, and although not one of the staffers has yet opposed their boss by recommending the obvious, that the NRG proposal is dead in the water, they are all thinking it.

There are few issues that “electrify an electorate.” like energy. Perhaps we are all jumpy because of the recent political energy decision that cost us dearly last May. But ANYONE, who continues to support a policy that is 1) dangerously more expensive to its citizens, and 2) extremely damaging to the environment, will be wearing the political equivalent of a cross hairs on their chest, with ninety percent of the electorate’s fingers slowly squeezing upon the trigger……………………….