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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….
====
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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There is a reason the opponents of Obama care are racing the clock to defund it before October 1st. They know how popular it will become to the American people.

I just looked and Delaware does not have their worksheets up yet, but in the state offices, things are looking rather rosy for the citizens of Delaware… Most of you will save thousands per year on medical bills.  Not all, but most..  Looking at the voting trends,  those who vote often, will all save money with insurance.

Other states do have their insurance options up and I have been looking through them.  The general trend is thusly.  If you are young, you are going to incur an expense you have not had to yet pay. Sorry.  That will come with sticker shock, as does a new car, as does your first house.  However, it should allow you the confidence to get checked out sooner, and therefore live healthier in your golden years than you otherwise would today if you had to pay full expense for care.

Hopefully, since you have to pay for it anyway, you will take advantage of it.

But you! Oh you! Who are old?  Who have pre-existing conditions?  Who have suffered with poor coverage for so long?  You are going to love what this does.  You will be able to figure out medical costs to the penny across your future years with your financial planning advisor, no matter what happens to your body.  The costs will be fixed, and a lot cheaper than you paying through the nose upon each occurrence.

One can describe it as buying a warranty.  What, the initial questioners ask?  You want me to pay money to this shop each month even  when nothing happens?  Yes and if something happens you get your car fixed for free.   Some gripe about losing $150 a month, until they see their first bill at a hospital would have cost them $5,000…. Then … they finally understand.

And you with families?  Especially you who have not taken your kids to a doctor because you couldn’t afford it?   You’re kids can now go…

So yes, those with money to lose will spend it all on ads telling you horror stories and capitalizing on one or two exceptions they make up as to who will pay more…

but just wait till October 1st, when you see that you start saving thousands…  EVERY SINGLE YEAR!

Then remember the Republican party tried to run the economy over a cliff, twice, to stop these savings from coming to you…..

October 1st, it is almost here.  About time for the pirated version to be leaked,  don’t you think?

We knew this but it  is now being published… and so it is in the news.

The world is getting warmer… and we can now predict our climate by looking at map at 300 miles south and guessing what our weather will be from that…

Just as plate tectonics and  Darwin’s origin of the species were able to lay the groundwork of reason  for explaining puzzling observations, this simplifies what to expect from global warming rather startlingly.

Texas is now  what we alway thought of when we considered the weather of Mexico; Oklahoma is now West Texas; Kansas is now Oklahoma; Nebraska is now Kansas; South Dakota is now Nebraska, North Dakota is now South Dakota: Southern Manitoba is now North Dakota…..

If  West Texas had 3 days of rain, now Oklahoma is getting 3 days of rain;  If it snowed 12  times in South Dakota, it is now doing the same in North Dakota… and so on.

So, to predict our heat, rain, winters, etc, our guide would be North Carolina.  Longer growing seasons,  some winters with no snow, hot summers…

However due to Global warming, the East Coast has a caveat.  An anomaly so to speak  and actually some relief from the North Carolina summer heat we would normally expect….

With the unprecedented melting of the Arctic and Greenland icecaps dumping its excess into the Labrador Current, that cold water drops South hugging the East Coast shoreline all the way down to North Carolina’s Outer Banks where it finally becomes neutralized…   Therefore even though we have hotter air masses, the colder ocean temperatures creates a buffer against Global warming off the entire northeastern US.

Europe, Japan, and Alaska all experience  the same mitigating effect, although with both Greenland and the Arctic Icecaps melting into the Labrador, the US East Coast gets a stronger volume of cold water.  Call it our icy shower effect….

Once melting stops and the currents dry up, we return to the North Carolina scenario of the twentieth century….

Cold Water in Summer Hugs Delaware's Shore  xoxoxo
Chart Courtesy of NOAA

So, we in Delaware really get the best climate on the East Coast.    Warm winters, little or no snow, and cool breezy summers….. as well as a longer growing period, and… less dependence on fossil fuels for winter heating.

Gee, global warming isn’t so bad for Delaware after all….  Oh, the rising seas?  There you go again… Why did you have to spoil the rosy picture I was painting?

 

This would give me a chance to use the Chuck Hagel category on my blog page. A category is those tiny blue things between the headline and the body of the post. Tacked on at their end is the comment access point, which one clicks if one is to make a comment. I’m glad I didn’t exterminate that one when I cleaned up my list last summer… I remember thinking, “wonder if we’ll ever hear from him again?”

It was for him I also created the “an actual good Republican” category… That is one that rarely gets used.

I appreciated Chuck Hagel because he didn’t give a rats ass about what a Republican was supposed to do, or what a Democrat was supposed to do… He just did it.

Midwestern common sense. We can use more of that.

This is going to my hard core Republican friends. Why are you still supporting Romney?

1) You know he is not going to win.
2) You know as the election heats up, his Bain Capital experience will make Republicans untouchable for decades.
3) You can’t pin down where Romney stands on anything.
4) He tied his dog to a car.
5) He stands with black people and says “Who let the dogs out, woof, woof.”

Most of you are telling me, “I certainly can’t vote for Obama. I guess I’m not voting for President this time.”

Let’s say, just for argument sakes there was a presidential candidate out there who says to have good government you need: …………………

1. Become reality driven. Don’t kid yourself or others.
Find out what’s what and base your decisions and actions
on that.

2. Always be honest and tell the truth. It’s extremely
difficult to do any damage to anybody when you are
willing to tell the truth–regardless of the
consequences.

3. Always do what’s right and fair. Remember, the more
you actually accomplish, the louder your critics become.
You’ve got to learn to ignore your critics. You’ve got to
continue to do what you think is right. You’ve got to
maintain your integrity.

4. Determine your goal, develop a plan to reach that
goal, and then act. Don’t procrastinate.

5. Make sure everybody who ought to know what you’re
doing knows what you’re doing. Communicate.

6. Don’t hesitate to deliver bad news. There is always
time to salvage things. There is always time to fix
things. Henry Kissinger said that anything that can be
revealed eventually should be revealed immediately.

7. Last, be willing to do whatever it takes to get your
job done. If you’ve got a job that you don’t love enough
to do what it takes to get your job done, then quit and
get one that you do love, and then make a difference.

Honesty. Integrity. Principal.

Sounds good so far. Let us say just for argument, he had chief executive experience. Let us say just or argument that he once ran a state, one of the fifty in this union. Let us say while governor, this is what he did…..

During his tenure, New Mexico experienced the longest period without a tax-increase in the state’s entire history.

1) He cut the rate of government growth in half,

2) Left the New Mexico state government with a budget surplus and 1000 fewer employees (without firing anyone),

3) Privatized half of the prisons in the state,

4) Brought a state-wide school voucher system to New Mexico.

5) Vetoed 750 bills (more than all the vetoes of the other 49 Governors in the country at that time, combined) with only 2 overrides, earning him the nickname Gary “Veto” Johnson.

6) In 1999, Johnson became the highest-ranking elected official in the United States to advocate the legalization of drugs.

7) Shifted Medicaid to managed care.

ISN’T THAT WHAT YOU WANT? ISN’T THAT WHAT WE NEED?

Can you not think of a better way to show your lack of enthusiasm over a wealthy capitalist buying his way to the top of your ticket, by voting for someone who has character, who does what you’ve always wanted, a doer, not a talker?

And to think…. you were simply just going to throw your vote away.

His name is Gary Johnson. He is the new party’s candidate for President.

Remember Republicans. It is your values that are important. If your party has given up and moved on from your values, don’t think you have to be loyal to the word…. “Republican”… What you have to be loyal too, is yourself. Always. Never lie to yourself.

You don’t need to waste your vote on Romney. You probably need to find more about this guy, Gary Johnson, and then throw your support behind him.

Don’t worry it is not one of the two parties on whose ticket he is running. Remember, at one point in time, the Republican Party was a once a third party too. One that went mainstream because of its core values, its principles resonated with everyday American People.

Yesterday, Va Gov. Bob McDonnell, Neb. Gov Dave Heineman, and Jack Markell addressed the governor’s association conference. This conference took place in the old House of Burgesses just off Duke of York Street in Williamsburg. In the very same room, beneath the same round windows where Patrick Henry, George Washington, James Monroe, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson once debated the merits of independence of breaking away from Great Britain, these two men addressed the governors on upcoming changes to the Medicare system due to the Affordable Care Act.

From the preamble, one thing was perfectly clear. Even though the same parties split the association of Governors and those in the hallowed halls of Congress, the inability to compromise and work together, is not present in the Governors Association. The problem is Congress.

Governors work together and learn from each other. Whether Democratic or Republican, the primary consistent problem from each and every governor, was the ineptitude of Congress to get things done. There are many questions today, that need answered. Partisan rancor has completely stopped Congress from working. That impacts governors as you will hear.

“The worst day in the states is better than the best day in Washington.” — Markell

“The buck stops at the governor’s desk. 49 of us have balance budget requirements….. We can’t print money.”–McDonnell

We would like the Federal Government to make decisions about the budget. We won’t agree with it. We just need to know to make our own budgets.

“Math is math. We spend a considerable amount of time looking at the math, and realize there is a considerable cost….. to doing nothing. If people are not covered,… they are going to get care at the most expensive place possible, and that is going to cost all the rest of us with insurance in what is termed uncompensated care. That cost is quite high… As we run the spreadsheets, this is not political, this is financial, We need to cover 30,000 more people. We are looking at what kinds of resources we can expect from the Federal Government, and what kind cost will be asked of the Delaware taxpayers. My view is that this could absolutely be a good deal for Delaware taxpayers. For us, this looks to be a good decision. == Markell

“Medicaid expansion without reform is not responsible. … Two things, we were not expecting…. One that it was decided on a tax and not the Commerce Clause. The other, by a 7-2 ruling the court said it was not proper to penalize states who refuse to expand Medicaid by penalizing their current funding covering their existing Medicaid base… That opens some new options. This gives some options that a lot of us did not be expected to come from that decision.” == McDonnell

“We have to move away from a sick care system. where providers are paid on how many procedures they do, on sick to a well care system where they are payed on how well they keep people healthy. each state can come up with their plan on how to do that. We have a couple of pilots going on in Delaware. The Medicaid expansion is the right thing in Delaware. We got to move from the sick care to the health care system. == Markell

“What you are hearing is a great discussion. We are probably going to have 50 different solutions to this problem. I respect the fact that Jack is going one way, Bob another way, and we are probably going to go a different way.” == Heineman.

“It is not all about conflict. It is about working with each other The impact of the presidential race cannot be overlooked. I don’t want to spend taxpayers money, both federal and state taxpayers money in building an exchange or expanding a program that may look completely different in 6 months. Romney has said, on day one he’s scrapping the plan and starting over….” == McDonnell.

“We are 5 months from January 1st. I don’t see Congress doing anything till after November elections.” == McDonnell

“The President and Congress need to act. Bob makes a decision every day. Jack make a decision every day. I make decisions every day. The Congress and the President, don’t. … I would like Congress and the President to step up and make these difficult decisions and then go away on vacation for a couple of years.” == Heineman.

“Uncertainty makes it difficult for us as governors. It certainly makes decisions difficult for business executives who are deciding where to make investments. Trillions on balance sheets around the country are awaiting for a decision from the Federal government in order to determine which way they should go in re-investing in this country.” == Markell

“I wish the Federal Government would let each state determine how they want to determine eligibility and distribute the benefits. … What I need to do in Nebraska is different from what Bob needs to do in Virginia, and Jack needs to do in DE, not to mention New York, Massachusetts, or California. I would like to see co-pays exist so you got a little skin in the game.” == Heineman

“Jack and i agree. There are many things that can be done apart from the federal government within our own states in finding solutions to funding our own problems. But unless we get some federal relief, we are not going to get these reforms done== McDonnell.

“Every governor would like less stings attached to funds that are provided. Too often the Federal government has a certain way the money must be spent. One size does not fit all. Some are meant for big cities that certainly don’t apply to rural states like Jack’s state or my state. == Heineman

“We need to have answers to questions like what would be the Federal and state ratios be on the insurance exchanges? “== Heineman.

“If all the governors were together I bet we could find a solution. I just wish Congress and the President could do that.” == Heineman.

“Your focus is on 2012. Mine is on 2016.. I’m working with these two guys to have a bipartisan party run for president. I’m not sure yet who is going to be at the top of the ticket, but I’m going to be their campaign chairman.” == Heineman.


Courtesy of Wikipedia

Census data suggests it…

Nebraska has more cows than people… One district is a as large as New Jersey, with only 10% of its population…

However, this years Census data shows that more than half of Nebraskans, (besides supporting the Cornhuskers) also live in just three counties that surround its three cities…

Get it?

Half of Nebraska is now urban… and Urban votes blue…..
Urban versus Rural: the divide