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Governments should not use their offensive cyber capabilities to change the amounts held in financial accounts or otherwise manipulate financial systems….

Think back over the past 3 years…. 

Hmmmm.

 

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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….

A comment over at Kilroy’s describes HB 165 the best. It is putting schools who can’t compete in the real world, on welfare. No if’s, and’s, or but;s. HB 165 could be characterized as WALL STREET’S WELFARE ACT FOR CHARTER SCHOOLS…

All those arguments certain republican right wingers have been making about blacks on welfare? Well, .. how does the Charter School movement stand up under that same scrutiny, under the same accusations?

So borrowed straight from the Republican platform…

Welfare steals away responsibility from religious beneficiaries and charities….

I think this headline says it all: Massive Catholic School Closings Across America. Is Catholicism In Decline? With Charter Schools receiving government funding now stealing students away from Catholic Schools, Catholic schools have been forced to undergo mass closings across the country.

Move Welfare participants off Welfare Roles.

This is exactly opposite of what HB 165 does. Instead, it adds charters ONTO the public dole. It give welfare payments TO private owners (freeloaders) who do nothing but watch tv, imbibe alcoholic beverages, and fornicate with members of both sexes.. These private owners could certainly fund Charters using the business model. They could easily get a loan, and since Charters are so profitable, banks would certainly be happy to line up and lend it. But no. They want your free money. The money you worked hard for; they think belongs to them… They even have Wall Street lobbyists who will say so.

Welfare: its giving money for nothing.

Public schools outperform Charter Schools in testing when all other factors are equal. It makes sense. Vanessa Williams would play tennis better than a fifth grader starting for the first time. What HB 165 does is take money away from Venessa Williams, give it to that fifth grader’s mother, then call for a rematch. That outcome is the same, just that the fifth grader’s mommy can now shop at Talbots.

HB 165 takes tax money from the working man to support the non working one.

Do you work hard? Do you pay property taxes? HB 165 is making your taxes rise to provide this welfare payment to Wall Street. Here is how it works. Wall Street invests in a Charter School Corporation You always have paid taxes into public schools to support everyone’s child. When those children switch to charter schools, your tax dollars instead follow them. Wall Street who owns the charters, then gobbles up the money. Is that fair? They do nothing? And take your money? So do you want your tax dollars going to Wall Street? Or prefer them to stay close by within your own community? At least in your local community, you know it is going to “local” jobs. Where Wall Street puts your tax money, who knows? Furthermore, do you want your property asset values to keep soaring? Or fall because your school’s are becoming slums because of all the Charter Schools coming into your neighborhood? The outcome of this future scenario all hinges on whether HB 165 can get passed with the help of the Wall Street lobbyists in our legislative hall on Wed.

It never solves the problem. People living on welfare never get back to the working force, not the formal working force.

Welfare for Charter Schools creates a problem that is not there. Chicago went charters 10 years ago and now is closing lots of schools. Philly went Charters 10 years ago and now is closing schools. When a Charter comes in, it can’t compete with a public school. It takes a lot to run a school well, and Charter schools don’t have the economies of scale to match the ability of public schools and so their test scores are lower. But as they suck up more and more students, the public schools also have NO money to keep up their test scores. Things break, don’t get fixed. Teachers die, don’t get replaced. Principals leave, and no one takes over. Public school’s scores drop also… In a landmark Philly study comparing 2004 and 2011, the total number of students meeting competency at graduation, decreased BY ALMOST HALF!. Yes, by almost half. Half the number of graduates in 2011 in both charter and public schools, could pass the tests that just public schools passed in 2004. Because of letting Charters into Philadelphia, half the number of students are as competent as would have occurred if Charters were never allowed to come in. All students are suffering, and there is now no hope. Students in Charters, bad as they are, certainly don’t want to go back into the public schools system and be bussed across the inner city. We’ve created a Welfare State, where we are subsidizing Charters and will always be subsidizing charters.. That will happen here in Wilmington, if the Wall Street Lobbyists, who were there in force last Wednesday, get HB 165 out of the Senate over the Senator’s objections themselves!

Sets a threshold for the cost of labor.

If a person gets $100 dollars a day for doing nothing, then the most menial jobs must start over $100 a day, otherwise why would one work at them? Paying your property tax money to Charter Schools does the same thing. All one has to do is open a Charter School to get free money. A contract gets signed for 5 years, or renewed for 10 years. Once signed, the owner doesn’t have to teach one darned thing. He has 5 years until the contract ends, free money coming in. HB 165 allows free money to flow into the Charter School movement. The Charter School investment scheme was originally based on competition. They sought students who brought money with them. That was how Pencader was pitched and founded; as a better opportunity than what was in Glasgow or Christiana High. Now, since that money is not flowing fast enough for investors (believe it or not, it is Wall Street (i was skeptical at first too)), they have pushed HB 165 thru Jack Markell (Wall Street Support for 2016)and the DOE to give them a direct conduit towards funding… So now, even if those kids say “eww” and don’t come, your state tax dollars will keep making the payments that keep those investment opportunities a good risk. If the exact same scheme were applied to blacks in Southbridge, East Side, Hilltop, or West Side, we’d be calling for Welfare Reform right now. Since Charter Schools can’t fail because of state welfare payments, they will always get students by a) being less disciplined, b) by not enforcing quality standards, or c) allowing pot in classrooms with teachers joining in. Public schools will be forced to follow suit and also lower their standards to keep the money behind those types of students from switching. Delaware suburbs will become the inner city Philadelphia of education.

People in real need get help from their community. If they’re good people and show good will and try to get over their problems, they get help. If they abuse the generosity of others, they don’t get any more help. With the government running the system, it’s the opposite situation.

That is the distinction. Charter Schools were and (according to some “old” people) still are the market place solution to solving public schools. However that statement is not thought out well enough in advance. Consider this. When you have two grocery stores competing across the street, both are always busy and the price wars to get your interest, benefit you greatly. But after 5 or 6 more grocery chains move into the shopping center, all are barely staying financially afloat, and all must squeeze every penny off every product they can. All the prices are high. So what HB 165 is doing is giving money to those 4 or 5 newcomers who all came in late.. So instead of direct competition keeping things in check, where those 4 or 5 would normally fail and we’d be back to two large ones performing happily, we subsidize poor performance. Everyone loses. HB 165 will provide public money to charters, those education facilities that are doing poorly. With the government intervening in supporting the those that don’t work, it is destroying the system of what does, and up to now, has always worked.

When you’re really in need, you don’t get help. The one who never worked is in extreme social distress and it’s supported immediately. If you’ve been working all your life and all of a sudden get laid off, they’ll wait until you loose everything to give you help

This concept is valid with education. HB 165 will only give support to Charter Schools. It bleeds money away from existing Public Schools. In the supermarket analogy above, I showed how the bleeding of customers away from the two good viable stores is kept up longer than the competitive marketplace would allow by the continuous feeding of free money to its competitors, the newest entries. With the welfare payments subsidizing poor private charter performance, just as would the two large stores get forced out of business, so will the public school system en masse. I present to you today’s evidence of the school districts of Cleveland, Philadelphia, DC, and Chicago. In this case HB 165 is a direct subsidy to poor performance. It’s like giving free money to drug dealers. “Hey dudes! Got something in my wallet here for you!” Where is such help for public schools, who right now, with this additional state funding could really make a difference? It is getting sliced out of each subsequent state budget. State support for those who just need a little to stay on their feet, is being withheld so that those who “Play The Game” can get free money for doing nothing.. The signal sent is this: “if you do absolutely nothing, I’ll give you free money”. Seriously, what kind of an investor can pass up a deal like that?

The welfare system is ran by a huge team of bureaucrats and they have no incentive to take care of your money. In fact it’s the exact opposite. The more money they spend, the better they look in the results.

So it is with Charter Schools. The bureaucrats in this case are Wall Street. The last free source of money on earth is in American Education. There is no other unclaimed resource to be mined. Public education spends vast amounts of money, . Most of our property taxes go to education costs we impose upon ourselves by levies, not to local government. Historically all that money was in public hands. Now, it is being privatized. Just like lumber in national forests were once deemed a public future asset, they are now logged and sold for free. Just like water under the ground was once considered a public asset, it is now pumped and sold by the investor who pumped it. Just like a mountain was once a public asset, it gets stripped, pushed into the creek, and washed to the sea, while its assets get sold by a private concern with no benefit to the real stockholders, we the public. So it is with education. Except the resource this time is all that tax money from every piece of property in the great nation of the United States of America. Wall Street wants to mine, log, and profit off all those tax dollars you (our your bank escrows) mail in every year… They want it bad because like trees, coal, gold, rare earths, the product is free. And it is in demand. Anytime you have a high demand for something that is free to you, there is a very high rate of return…

Which is why, last Wednesday, I have on good authority to know, Wall Street brought in the best, the richest, the trickiest lobbyists they could muster, just to make sure HB 165 slid through Delaware’s House of Delegates with enough votes. Look this is not a nasty finger pointing session; just a statement of fact. I would have done exactly the very same thing if I were in their shoes. And if you were worth trillions, I’m sure you’d want to do the same.. We’re all human after all. We all employ whatever resources we can, to get whatever it is that we want. Sure, we might get criticized for it, but in the end we are comfortable with that; for we got what we wanted; we can shrug off that criticism. I just wanted you to know why there is a reason, a very good reason, that is bill which goes against public opinion, which goes against every voter’s gut instinct, which goes against what is best for every child’s education, is currently sailing through the General Assembly barely being debated… (Emergency lunch break is being called right now. Recess for lunch immediately. I said be quiet. We’re on lunch now)….

So when you wake up one day, and that hill you loved seeing is clear-cut, devoid of trees, that mountain you played on as a child, is gone, that river you used to swim in, is now a dry bed, you will know it came down to one day, one vote, when you were too tired to pick up the phone and call your Senator, or you had no idea because no one said anything because your newspaper kept you in the dark, or you resigned yourself to the fact that it would happen anyway so what’s the use, you will know it was because of whatever reason to strike your fancy, you failed at that one moment to make your voice heard. Maybe you would not have made a difference… But then again, maybe you would wind up being the deciding factor? That finally, opens everyone’s eyes to what is really happening..

Me? I do this solely because I have to look into the eyes of school children when I come home every single damn working day. If the enemy outspends us, it outspends us. If they blackmail legislators, they blackmail legislators. If big money wins, big money wins. If we lose, we lose… but I don’t have the luxury of being happy that my children will be fine with the outcome… anymore than those trees thought they’d be fine, anymore than that mountain thought it’d be fine, or that riverbed presumed all would be fine…

Sometimes one has to do all one can. Even if it is just a phone call saying… “You know Senator? This is way too fast. There is a lot of facts against this bill out there that make a lot of us real suspicious and squeamy about it. We don’t have to rush it this year, possibly losing your seat next election over something turning out really bad that was rashly done. Take it up next January, that’s only six months, and give all a everyone a chance to look at the ramifications. After all, what’s a six month wait for something that could turn Delaware’s into those of Phllly or Chicago, huh? Then, with good judgment, after everyone has seen all the pieces, then you can vote on it.”

“We all have parts to play; we choose upon which sides to play them.”

Today in order to capitalize upon the fact that the fourth quarter economy sank (even though it was because of the downward pressure due to the threat of sequestration forced upon Congress by the Tea Party), they wheeled out Arthur Laughter Laffer to make a dire predictions….

Be Careful Of What You Wish For

He is on their short list of who-to-call-when-we(FOX News)-NEED-a-dire-prediction…..

Because….. He is well known for making “dire predictions”..

“Economist Arthur Laffer told his clients on July 26, 1982, that (Ronald Reagan’s) Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which raised taxes by about one percent of GDP, “will stifle economic recovery,” “retard economic growth,” and undercut “the economy’s ability to enter into a period of expansion.” On August 20, 1982, he told his clients that TEFRA, Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act, “will tend to lengthen and deepen the recession.”

Instead, ….. No one could have been more wrong…

“Looking at real gross domestic product, it grew 4.5 percent in 1983 and 7.2 percent in 1984 – an exceptionally strong performance. The stock market had one of its best years ever in 1983 – both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 Index rose 35 percent. There was no increase in the rate of inflation, which was exactly the same in 1983 and 1984 as it was in 1982. The unemployment rate fell from 10.6 percent in December 1982 to 8.1 percent by December 1983 and 7.1 percent in December 1984.”

On August 20, 1993, Laffer told his clients, “Clinton’s tax bill will do about as much damage to the U.S. economy as could feasibly be done in the current political environment.” He said that interest rates would rise and the stock market would fall.

Once again, it would be hard to find a forecast that was more completely wrong….

“The unemployment rate fell from 7.1 percent in January 1993 to 5.4 percent by December 1994. Real GDP growth rose from 2.9 percent in 1993 to 4.1 percent in 1994. Stock prices rose and interest rates fell. More importantly, the 1993 tax increase and accompanying spending controls, which were opposed by every Republican in Congress, laid the foundation for the phenomenal growth of the late 1990s that actually produced budget surpluses before Republican tax cuts in the 2000s dissipated them.”

And now! Today,… well, there he goes again….

“You have the whole output of the economy shrinking. Not just expanding more slowly, it`s absolutely shrinking,” (lol, see by how little, below)… Laffer told Fox News’ Eric Bolling

That’s catastrophic,” the former adviser to President Ronald Reagan added. (Did anyone else catch the stupendous irony of that? Oh, Wow. You can’t make stuff like that up).

You can explain some of that by sequestration, and defense spending was down lot and all that. But you still have a rotten economy. And it’s still too bad. We know how to fix it, by the way, a low rate flat tax, spending restraint, sound money, free trade.” (See George Bush’s Economic Record.) Laffer was responding to reports Wednesday that the U.S. economy contracted 0.1 percent in the last quarter of 2012…

Yes. Laffer was responding to reports Wednesday that the U.S. economy contracted 0.1 percent in the last quarter of 2012. Quote: “You have the whole output of the economy shrinking. Not just expanding more slowly, it`s absolutely shrinking,”

Recalling his years as one of Reagan’s top economic advisers, Laffer said Reagan actually cut the highest tax rates (From 70%-50%; they are 35% now) He said “we made a mistake” by phasing in the cuts, which he said caused the 1981-82 recession. But he said the economy took off in 1983* when the cuts (and 1%GDP tax increase) went into full effect. *

“This place just went like a rocket ship,” he said. “I think we had 7.5 percent growth in 1983 and 5.5 growth in 1984, just this boom that lasted for years and years.”* (*lol)

(Conversational excerpts provided by Newsmax)

Anytime a gun advocate comes up against a good argument,  he backs into something along this line… Well, Hitler had all the guns registered and you saw what happened there, didn’t you?

First, what happened in Germany in 1932, could happen here….. lol. or more likely, it could not..   Using an argument that has no relevancy does little to help us move forward and take away every NRA sanctioned gun…   I kid again.  For underlying that sentiment, the reason the NRA and gun nuts are so uptight, is that they think their guns will get taken away….  Although that sounds absolute perposterous to a normal American, … based on our history, they do have a point…..  We once took alcohol away… Made it completely illegal… And,  I just discovered this today,  the Fed’s poisoned alcohol and put it out for public consumption, thinking that dying would cause people to shun the stuff….  10,000 died  and  it caused more people to drink than ever…..

So let us not put it past the Rick Santorums, you know those sanctimonous types who think their morals are so extreme that all America needs to become like them?   Just like birth control, he will try to take your guns…

If the Republicans do try and confiscate weaponry,  how would they go about it?  They would use the ATF.  That is the old name; it is now known as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives or in short form:  ATF (it never changed)….

The ATF agents are the specials of the class special agents.  They are the only agents authorized to enforce every aspect of  the U. S. Code…  The ATF employees roughly 5000, out of which 2400 are special agents.

There are estimates as high as 330 million firearms are scattered in homes across the country.  The current estimate is that the number ranges between 42 and 55 million households that have at least one weapon.   as you can see, the average household has 6 weapons per home…..

So, let us test the rationality behind the fear of “coming to take your guns away, shall we?

Let’s ask the question, … if we have 2400 ATF agents trying to confiscate 330 million guns in 55 million households….. how many years would it take?

Now we have to figure out a time frame,  can they do 10 in one day?  I think that would be too high of a number.  They would have to scout the house first and take a read to determine if it will be a simple operation, or a Waco Texas Gun Battle….  So, I would “guestimate” that  each agent should average one household a day…  He’d work on scouting the house from 8-3pm then go up, knock on the door, and for the next hour, try to get the gun.

At first, assuming we aren’t yet going to Puerto Rico,  let’s divide those ATF’s up into a certain number per state…..   Nice round number… 48 agents get their papers to go to each state…  They check into a hotel, they check out the internet connection, they go down to the bar…

So, the plan is to do each state and after a state gets completely rounded up, those agents head to California to assist the 48 who have the largest population to cover….

So, 55 million households divided by 2400 agents investigating a household every single day….   hmmm… yep… let’s see…

Rounded up, that would take 22,917 days….   not bad…   so in years divided by 365.25 to include leap year….. hmmmm.. yep… let’s see….

62.72 years…  actually… ( using the original total not rounding up by a third of a day).. Using the rounded total above, it would rise to… 62.74 years…

Oh wait…  We are talking Federal Employees here… They need time off.   Oops!  We just figured they’d work with no time off for 63 years…  so, .. since there are 52 weeks in a year, that means for each year we will have to subtract a day off for Saturday, and one off for Sunday… or 104 days a years.. While we are at it, lets give them vacations too!  So add 10 days to each years total!   So if we put that into the formula… and add it for every year, 114 days across the 62 and 3/4ths years… …  hmmm… yep… let’s see…  we will have to add on 7151.7 more days….   Therefore our total total would be…. 30069.7 days… or in years….  82.3 years….

So… if we start in 2017 when “Sanctimonious Santorum” gets sworn in and begin confiscating all the firearms in US households….. the task will be completed by the beginning of the new century… We’d be starting a new Century with no guns….

Oh yes, During this time frame, forget about ATF involvement in illicit drug investigations. . Forget about ATF involvement in explosions.  Forget about  checking for smuggling.  Forget about ATF involvement in checking the level of tar and nicotine inside of cigarettes… Forget about everything they do.   Every agent for the next 82+ years, is rounding up guns at the rate of one household a day….

News Flash!!!!!!   It’s not going to happen.  Even if we violated the Constitution and brought all our troops back home and told them to confiscate guns (they’d refuse to obey of course)….  I’m just being theoretical….  having a force of 1.5 million scattered across the country, all in hotel rooms on the taxpayer’s tab, with Internet capacity and a bar downstairs…  at one household a day, it would still take over a month… ..  roughly 40 days…

It would be an awesome time to attack the US.  There would be no soldiers stationed anywhere internationally (Ron Paul would jump for joy) to defend us…  But local hotels would love it..  At $100 per diem, the industry would be raking in $150,000,000…. every single day…

So gun enthusiasts, put this argument behind you.  It is impossible. No one is coming for your guns…  We are simply going to ban military weaponry,  eliminate some huge ammo clips, and register every single gun owner, and make them go through a psychological evaluation….  No big deal . It’s just getting a license to drive your car… And… no one is going to confiscate cars either, even though they do kill  more people per year than guns….

I must say. I’m slightly perplexed. You can argue this with the NRA that no one is coming for their guns until you are blue in the face! So why has no one ever done the math before?   Obviously the math makes the NRA’s argument completely inane…  Simple math proves it is impossible to come and take everyone’s gun away… Period…  You’d almost think Grover Norquist was working for the NRA….. oops…

Now, lets all work together and stop these suicidal shooters from taking more innocent lives…

Somewhere in our recent past, I was arguing with Jason330 over the importance of whether or not Mitt Romney should turn in his missing tax forms. I realize the Libertarian portion of me was very strong that day, and there are areas of a private person running for public office, that have no need to be discussed.

I felt at that time we knew how Romney made his money and that to carry it any further was a dead horse. So what if he didn’t pay taxes, which was probably what he was hiding.

I have changed my mind. I changed because over time, that question of what is on those 10 years of tax returns, is entirely what will determine which way this nation goes if he is made president.

If there is nothing there, then yes I’ll be disappointed, but it will not be he equivalent of electing NERO as our chief executive.. But, …. and it is a big but….. if he moved his money offshore, if he paid no taxes at all, if he misrepresented something he has already said, then electing such a person into the chief office of the land, will have grave import upon our future…

It raises serious questions. How can you Mitt… if you put all your money off shore, be able with a straight face to encourage others to put their money into America? How, … if you paid no taxes at all for ten years, can you ask those making less than you, to pay more for their medical, to pay more for their energy, to pay more for their schooling, to pay more for their pensions, to pay more to their banks, to pay more for their food, to pay more for their mortgages, to pay more, yes, in taxes? When you used every trick in the book to minimize your sacrifice, and because of that, you must now ask every man, woman and child not to live the dream you had, in fact,… to give up on that dream entirely?

This is the equivalence of NERO running the nation. It wasn’t necessarily that he was incompetent, it was that he had no legitimacy to be running Rome, and therefore, went crazy in the process.

Therefore if Romney doesn’t release all his tax returns, he has no moral authority to become our chief executive. Secondly, if he does release them and they do show a callous regard for the paying of taxes, and the use of offshore havens to shield income from the United States of America, he can have no moral authority as commander in chief to ask us all….. to sacrifice a little more….

He has no credibility. . . in doing so.

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.

Try this handy exercise at home Right click on picture to view full image

Here is a chart compiled by the CBO after decades of research… Decades… The question that prompted those decades of research had their seeds in the 1980’s: what happens to different income groups when we cut the top marginal rates?

Do this at home….

Use a ruler; take the measurements of the loss of income off the first quintile, slide your thumb up, then take the loss of income off the 2nd quintile, repeat the process for the third and fourth, then lay that on the rise of income on the top 1%…. It is an exact fit.

All the income increases being bestowed upon the top 1%, came from the bottom quintiles….

Remember this the next time someone says Socialist-Democrats want to redistribute income… Say, no, we want to RE-redistribute the income that Republican policies redistributed in the first place..

Mr. Republican: what kind of moral argument is it to be against redistribution of income, when that is exactly how you made all your money?

Republican policies took from the poor, to give to the rich… The poor don’t want your money; they just want their money back, sir.

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.

Lifted from Der Speigal:

And so the farce continues. The more mind-boggling its incarnations, the happier the US media are to cheer first one clown and then the next, elevating and then eliminating “frontrunners” in reliable news cycles of about 45 days.

Take Herman Cain, “businessman.” He sat out the first wave of sexual harassment claims against him by offering a peculiar argument: Most ladies he had encountered in his life, he said, had not complained.

In the most recent twist, a woman accused Cain of having carried on a 13-year affair with her. That, too, he tried to casually wave off, but now, under pressure, he says he wants to “reassess” his campaign.

If Cain indeed drops out, the campaign would lose its biggest caricature: He has been the most factually challenged of all these jesters.

As CEO of the “Godfather’s” pizza chain, Cain killed jobs — but now poses as the job-creator-in-chief. Meanwhile, he seems to lack basic economic know-how, let alone a rudimentary grasp of politics or geography. Libya confounds him. He does not believe that China is a nuclear power. And all other, slightly more complicated questions get a stock answer: “Nine-nine-nine!” Remember? That’s Cain’s tax reduction plan that would actually raise taxes for 84 percent of Americans.

Has any of that disrupted Cain’s popularity in the media or with his fan base? Far from it. Since Oct. 1, he has collected more than $9 million in campaign donations. Enough to plow through another onslaught of denouements.